Welcome to the Earlwood Wanderers Football Club. Located in the heart of Earlwood, 11kms from the Sydney CBD New South Wales.
EWFC as it is known now, started in 1929 and has enjoyed great success competing in the Canterbury District Association, today having 1100 registered players. Junior non-competitive teams begin from ages U/ 6, 7, 8 and 9 where teams are available for all-boys, all-girls and mixed teams.
We also have our Little Wanderers Programme for kids for 2 to 5 years old. In addition EWFC have a successful Special needs – Football4ALL programme. This program aims to provide an opportunity for individuals and teams who have a physical, intellectual or development disability to participate in the world game.
EWFC focuses on basic skills and player development in non-competitive ages. Competition team ages range from U/12 through to 18 years where teams are graded according to a player’s skill level. Players then move on to AA Saturday, AA Sunday, BBC (an association Premier League), Over 35’s, Over 45’s, All Age Women’s and GMT (Premier League for Women).
Girls Football (The fastest growing female sport) is strongly represented at EWFC, games are played on Sundays. Age groups begin at U/8, U9, U/10, U/11, 12, 14, 16, WIL (from 17 -21s) and Ladies Open.
EWFC is a community club and is run entirely by volunteers who provide a caring and nurturing environment to assist in developing and educating today’s footballers and tomorrows champions!
At Earlwood Wanderers Football Club we have a fantastic history which spans for over 90 Years. Click onto our history page to see a breakdown of the club achievements and some of the fine people who have helped the club develop into what it is today.
The Early years and throught the 1940s
The club started in 1929 but the Earlwood Wanderers Soccer Football Club was in full swing in 1946 when the men of the district returned from World War II. Ex-service personnel had previously played in the Church competition in the district and felt that they still had a year or two left in which to play. The first official meeting of Earlwood Wanderers was held at the home of Alan Pringle who became the Captain of the first All-Age first grade team in 1946. At this meeting, Alan outlined the need for the newly formed club to recruit younger players to ensure the continuity of the Club. Within five years, Earlwood Wanderers was fielding some 20 teams and had become the largest soccer Club in New South Wales. Little did these founding members realise that, with only two All-Age teams fielded for competition, they were establishing a club that would be successfully operating 90 years later.
The name, Wanderers was chosen when interested players kept arriving for the first meeting and someone remarked: “Here comes another Wanderer!” The Club’s original name was “Earlwood Wanderers Sports Club”, as it was intended for other sports to be included. However, this did not eventuate. At this first meeting Ern Crozier was elected President. On returning from the War, the men were dismayed to find that the old soccer ground in Earlwood Park had been taken over by the Bowling Club. Earlwood Oval, which is now Earlwood Wanderers home ground, had always been used by Rugby League teams. The founding members proposed that Ern Crozier contact Canterbury Council to see what could be done about securing a home ground for Earlwood Wanderers. This resulted in Canterbury Council forming a Parks Committee, with Ern as Secretary, to work toward improvements to all parks in the Municipality.
Earlwood oval was eventually designated as Earlwood Wanderers home ground. Weekly meetings were held at Percy Gadd’s Hairdressing Salon in Homer Street, near View Street until 1948 when they were held in Jim Shepherd’s Barber shop in Homer Street, near St James Street, where the barber shop is today. The first All-Age First Grade team included: Alan Pringle (Captain), “Skeeter” Moore, Arnold Pike, Ken Pike, Stan Swaine, Basil Taylor, Don Pringle (Goalie), Ray Russell, Bill Gibson, Len Barden. The first All-Age Second Grade team included: Jack Erskine, Arthur Pullen, Jack Glover, Tim Lungtingam, Cec Pike, and Ron Barnes. The Club prospered and other younger players were recruited. In 1947, the Club fielded an Under 21 age team including: Ken Pawsey, Max Smith, Norm Oakes, Lyle Ingram, Alan Fyfe, Colin Soles, Ken Broughton, Ron Erskine, Bruce Burge, Ivor McCrystal, Jim Brown(goalie)
During the early 50s, some of the Earlwood Wanderers Soccer Football Club players were being selected in the District Representative sides. This was when Rex Foster formed a social team consisting of a nucleus of the best players in the 15-18 year old range. Provincial and country teams were played once or twice a month to further develop the players%9 skills. These games were played on a Sunday when there was no Sunday competition.This was the birth of the Earlwood All Stars.
Fifteen white shirts were purchased and a tailor sewed black stripes vertically on to these shirts. The team was a success, and in 1953 was undefeated in this competition. In 1954, Rex and Mick Foster were signed to play for Corrimal First Division Association. This Corrimal team won the NSW Competition, the State Cup, as well as the Sydney Cup in the same season.In this same year, many junior players of Earlwood Wanderers were being sought by other First Division professional clubs. Players such as John Warren, John Watkiss, Brian O%9Rielly, Peter Pascalis, and Bobby Morris were grabbed by Canterbury/Marrickville.Earlwood Wanderers had arrived and had quickly attained a name as a nursery of good soccer players.
Ten years on and Earlwood Wanderers Soccer Football Club was still successfully operating. Money raised to support the Club had been organised by the Payne family, brothers Jack, Alan and Cec, with their mother and Cec%9s wife selling lollies and drinks out of a tent pitched near where the Clubhouse is today. (Prior to the tent, the canteen operated out of car boots!) The Payne brothers did all the work – putting up nets, posts, taking them down, etc; at this time, they were the Club. Sales from the tent were operated on a roster basis. Each Saturday morning began with the tent being pitched, a little gas burner set up to heat the hot dogs, lollies on trestle tables, and soft drinks were kept cool in large bins.
For those rostered on duty, it was a battle against all the elements to prevent being either blown away or drenched when it rained.Alan Baker took on coaching the Under 10%9s in thelate 50s and continued for the next three years while also playing for the All-Age side.During this period several wives and mothers had a meeting one Saturday afternoon, sitting in the old grandstand and decided to form a Ladies Auxiliary. They were given five pounds from the men%9s club to start a bank account. The newly formed Ladies Auxiliary elected Millicent Threlfo as President. Millicent had three sons playing for the Club – John, Bruce and Richard. Shirley Baker became secretary/treasurer two years later. Millicent was President for some ten years and was the first woman to become a life member of Earlwood Wanderers.The Ladies Auxiliary organised money-raising events which included housie evenings, evenings in one another%9s homes, and even a dance in the small tin hall which was the Bardwell Park RSL at that time.In the early 60s, with 500 pounds raised by the Ladies Auxiliary, a small brick canteen was built to replace the tent.
This made it much easier for the ladies to store the goods, dispensing with the need to pack everything after games and transport to their homes. Tony Geraghty, amember of the Club, and a bricklayer, donated his time to erect the building. This brick canteen was taken down when the new Clubhouse was built in 1978.Until the 60s, the youngest division was Under 10%9s, so players who joined at five years of age, would play in the Under 10%9s for five years. Age groups were combined, so that a nine-year old would play in the 2 nd division of Under 10%9s.
In 1962, Rex Foster returned as Coach for the Under 10%9s while still playing for Gladesville.In 1963, Ray Hillier was encouraged by Herb Jennings to join Earlwood Wanderers. Ray%9s two sons, Les and Peter, started playing in the Under 8%9s and Under 10%9s. It was during this time that NSW coaches put on a coaches school, free of charge, which ran for a number of weeks because a lot of parents knew nothing about soccer, but were willing to coach and manage teams. Ron Corry, from Belmore Soccer Club, volunteered to coach Earlwood Wanderers%9 goalies. Games were played at various parks: Lees Park, Canterbury; Steele Park, Marrickville; Mackey Park, Tempe; Rudd Park, Belmore; Parry Park, Lakemba; Henley Park, Enfield.Earlwood Wanderers started basketball in 1966 for the sisters of playing members.
They began with four teams being fielded in the Concord District Association competition. Audrey Davis was the original organiser, with Thelma Robertson, J McDermott, M Searle, and Jenny Low taking responsibility for the teams over the years till 1972, after which the teams transferred to Western Suburbs. Basketball for women officially became Netball in 1971.During this period, Earlwood Wanderers won the Canterbury District Club Championship six times – 1965-66-68-69-70-71.1969 saw 26 registered teams from Under 6 to All-Age, totaling 403 players, and 3 mini-teams.
Ray Hillier’s son, Peter, was involved with the design of the new Earlwood Wanderers Soccer Football Club badge in 1973. The magpie was retained with the club name moving to the top of the badge. The Club jersey had changed from black and white quarters to black and white thin stripes in 1963, then to wide stripes in the 70s.In 1974, the State Under 12 McPherson%9s Trophy was won by the Earlwood Wanderers. In 1975, the Under 13%9s displayed their skills by winning the Champion of Champions trophy.
Many of these boys had been playing together since they were five years of age. In the three years from 1973-1975, the team notched up 409 goals for and only 38 against.The successes that this team experienced over the years were due to tireless volunteer workers, with special mention of Frank Koczka (coach), Bob Chinnery (coach) and Merv Sheehan (manager).Merv Sheehan installed a large net in his backyard for the boys to practice their kicking skills. The team spent many hours at the Sheehan%9s home.The team%9s Captain, Peter Raskopoulos, continued the skills he had learned with Earlwood Wanderers, and went on to play for Australia.The only competition for very young players was a series of friendly games between Earlwood Club players under the age of five. These games were more like kindergarten classes, designed to be fun, and run by two wonderfully patient men – the late Rex Rosser and Club stalwart the late Tex Brown.Tex was always at the Club.
Most youngsters aged between six and ten years would have had some interaction with Tex during their time with the Wanderers. He had a wonderful way with children, and any boy who came under his influence left Earlwood Wanderers a more educated person, whether it was in soccer skills or life skills.Over the years, the various executive members of Earlwood Wanderers encountered challenges and triumphs, none the least being the efforts that went into negotiating, planning, financing, and building the Clubhouse at Earlwood Oval in 1978.During the late 60s and into the 70s, there was an injection of new blood into Earlwood Wanderers, and with it came an enthusiasm which generated energy towards fund raising for the ultimate end, the building of the Clubhouse at Earlwood Oval. Under the direction of office bearers and officials such as Trevor Jones, Bill Thomson, Bruce Sheehan, Ray Hillier, Tex Brown, Ray O%9Mara, Father Frank Bendeich, Neville Turnbull, Ron Crum, Peter Morgan, Brian Channells, Tony Geraghty, to name a few, and not excluding all the tireless workers who made up the Ladies Auxiliary and the many other workers, too numerous to name, Earlwood Wanderers set about building the Clubhouse.
A building fund was established, and an Earlwood Beauty Pageant was commenced to help raise funds. During the period 1977-79, discos were conducted on a monthly basis in the Clubhouse for the younger members, together with their brothers and sisters. Craig O%9Mara was the disc jockey, assisted by Glen Chapple.Money which had been raised since the inception of the Club, together with an injection of capital from the New South Wales Government through the then Minister for Sport, Mr Kevin Booth and the local State MP, Mr Ken Gabb, on a dollar for dollar basis, comprised the beginnings of the Clubhouse.The Clubhouse was officially opened in 1978, and later dedicated to the memory of the longest serving President, (1970-81) when it was formally named the %CBruce Sheehan Memorial Clubhouse%D. The %CClubhouse%D became a symbol for members of this era of their efforts and regard for the years they put into Earlwood Wanderers.It was during this period that Bruce Sheehan and Tex Brown approached John Nash of the Nash Holden Dealership on Canterbury Road, Wiley Park, and secured a sponsorship for Earlwood Wanderers, whereby Nash Holden would donate shirts for each player in the Club. So, in 1978, 32 years of the black and white strip gave way to gold and black making it easier to read the sponsor%9s name.
During the late 70s and throughout the 80s, Earlwood Wanderers Soccer Football Club enjoyed successes at all levels of the code and was the largest Club in the Canterbury District Association. Earlwood Wanderers won the District Club Championship 14 times in this period, and also won the Under 9. 13 and 14 State Cup in 1982 and were runners-up in Champion of Champions in various age groups.In 1982, a new generation of committee members took office and with those new members, different ideas and ways of doing things were tried.
Without having to worry about building a Clubhouse, the various committees throughout this period directed their energies into building up the resources of the Club, to ensure that it continued to grow and remain the largest Club in the Canterbury District and the largest provider of sporting facilities for the Earlwood area.During 1983, it was felt that the youth of the community were at a loose end after the football season had ended, so it was decided to form a Cricket Club, run by a new committee which would have some members from Earlwood Wanderers Soccer Football Club. This move proved to be an outstanding success, and in their first season, the Cricket Club was the largest in the Canterbury District. Earlwood Wanderers Cricket Club quickly became independent of the Soccer Club.
The last decade has seen the club grow even stronger and has retained the Club Championship title on four occasions, seasons 2001, 2002, 2003 and 2004. Our tally now stands at 25 out of the first 60 years. Season 2005 player registrations exceeded 700 individuals spanning over almost 60 teams. The interest shown by girls is snowballing with the club fielding 9 girl%9s teams in season 2005. The interest in 2006 has already exceeded this.
In 2008 the club had it’s most successful season ever – and within the Canterbury District Football Association by winning an outstanding 10 Premierships. Out of 30 competitive teams, 21 teams made it into the finals series. Of these, 12 teams competed in the grand final with 10 resulting in premierships. u10-2: Finalist; u11-4: Finalist; u11-5: Finalist; u12-3: Finalist; u13-3: Minor Premiers & Premiers (second season in a row); u13-4: Finalist; u14-3: Premiers; u15-3: Premiers; u17-2: Finalist; O35-2: Premiers; AAS1A: Premiers; AAS1B: Finalist; AAS2A: Minor Premiers & Premiers; AAS2B: Finalist. The 2008 season also saw the Earlwood Wanderers as the most successful club for girls and women’s soccer with the following teams making into the finals series: u10-1 Girls: Minor Premiers & Premiers; u12-1 Girls: Finalist; u12-2 Girls: Minor Premiers & Premiers; u14-1 Girls: Premiers; u16-3 Girls: Finalist; AAW-1: Finalist; AAW-4: Minor Premiers & Premiers 2008 also saw our U14-1 Girls bring home the silverware from the international Kanga Cup competition held in Canberra.