One of WA’s oldest and most successful clubs has kicked off a season-long celebration to mark its 70th anniversary.
Perth Soccer Club, who began life as Perth Azzurri in 1948, will recognise their rich history with monthly events and displays of memorabilia from each of the seven decades.
And if president Gary Marocchi has his way, there will be a similar event in 2088 to celebrate the next 70 years.
Marocchi is one of a number of players who came through the club to represent the Socceroos. Others include Arno Bertogna, Sauro Iozzelli, Adrian Madaschi and Mark Birighitti. But Marocchi insists the growth of the 24-time champions is down to more than any individual.
“Our success is due to the hard work of our committee, sponsors and supporters, and also the selection of our coaches and players,” said Marocchi, who has also coached the Sky Blues.
“We have had many stand-out players over our 70-year history and they have all contributed to make this club what it is.”
Perth Azzurri was formed by a group of Italian migrants who socialised at the WA Italian Club. After mergers with East Fremantle Tricolore and Balcatta Etna, the club eventually took the name Perth SC in 1995.
“Perth Soccer Club has contributed enormously to the football landscape in this country, producing players for the national team and State teams at both junior and senior level, players for Perth Glory, as well as giving coaches the opportunity to progress,” Marocchi said.
“Our oldest club member, Guido D’Abbondio, who is 95, has been watching Perth SC since its inception in 1948 – he is my father-in-law!”
The club launched its celebrations with an official function earlier this month where Elio Nizzola, the last surviving member of the original Azzurri team, was one of a number of past and present players in attendance.
Club patron Eddie Rigo, who started his career as an Azzurri junior in the 1950s, still goes to every game and it is that sense of community that Marocchi wants reflected in the celebrations at Dorrien Gardens.
“We will be having monthly events to commemorate each decade from the 1940s onwards and we’ll be involving past players, committee members and supporters,” he said.
However this isn’t a club just looking backwards, as is underlined by their new $2million-plus synthetic training fields.
“We hope with the redevelopment that has occurred at the club that we can continue for another 70 years in a changing landscape, where sponsorship is hard to come by,” Marocchi added.
“We will continue to provide an opportunity for young players to achieve their goals, as well as making a concerted effort to promote women’s football at Perth SC.”