We’ve Come A Long Way
Conception of the BAYSIDE SOCCER LEAGUE now titled BAYSIDE FOOTBALL ASSOCIATION in 2007 began in August, 1977. The brainchild of TONY HALL whose love of soccer/football has been with him all his life. He saw a need to promote the game on the MORNINGTON PENINSULA. The small amount of clubs that were scattered mainly in the FRANKSTON DISTRICT could never cater for everybody who wanted to play the round ball game. The ruling body of soccer/football in VICTORIA also had high charges for clubs to be a part of their association, so TONY decided the way to go was a completely new league to be run by volunteers and charges to be in the league kept at a minimum, profit was not to be the gain but the sport would be the one to benefit. TONY sounded out the local junior clubs would they be interested in having a senior side. Over his many years of playing the game he had found many friends who were still looking for a game, but it would not be training twice a week and everything else involved in playing at a higher level.
A sit down meeting in the HALL household with some soccer enthusiasts saw the very beginnings however in less than a week all at the first meeting pulled out.
So promoting the league again had to occur over again at all the local senior and junior clubs and out of this BILL MORREY became a staunch ally. President of the SEAFORD Junior Club BILL was as enthusiastic sometimes more so than TONY.
Not to be outdone TONY arranged a SECOND meeting at the SEAFORD SCOUT HALL some weeks later. The meeting addressed by TONY and BILL drew much response from those present. Seaford put in two sides NORTH SEAFORD and BELVEDERE, two teams made up of TONY’s friends created SKYE and CARRUM and later to join BOTANY PARK.
The stumbling block was to be the VICTORIAN SOCCER FEDERATION (VSF) who did not like the idea of a “rebel” league. Club’s who were members of the VSF were politely told they could not put a third team in the league and to be associated with the VSF. FRANKSTON CITY now defunct took a chance and played a third side as MT ELIZA, as did ROSEBUD who played thirds as DROMANA. KARINGAL UNITED had intended to enter a side but caved into pressure. BOB McINTOSH who was KARINGAL’s President had been elected as BAYSIDE’s President however he was forced to withdraw, BILL MORREY the leader he was stepped in and was to hold this position for many years to come and as many say the “GRAND OLD MAN of the LEAGUE”.
It had taken over six months for all the groundwork to be done, the seeds had been sown and as TONY will tell you to this day the continued success of the league was based on these months of trials and tribulations.
APRIL 3rd 1978 was due to be the start of the league however VSF again came into the picture and it was to be the 10th before the season started seven teams were the initial members.
The trophies were up for grabs, the SAFEWAY BAYSIDE SHIELD and the radio station 3MP based in FRANKSTON put up a Cup for competition. TONY HALL had convinced both organisations and he had been successful.
The question now came up of referees, the forgotten part of this new league, fortunately it was a question of somebody who new somebody, begging phone calls and the result was that we had a small panel of referees. On occasions with a delayed kick off a referee might do two games, sometimes a home official would have to take up the whistle. Three such referees in this early period were Terry Oram, Brian Hartley and Don Albers we owe much to them and others who kept control in the middle for five dollars a game.
Les Shorrock was a well known soccer identity in Melbourne attending State League matches taking pictures of incidents in the match, many of these pictures would feature in a local soccer paper. Les ran a soccer shop in St Kilda at that time and besides all this he had been able to secure a half hour segment on a radio station on Sunday evenings. Tony Hall visited Les prior to the season start and explained the league to him, the result of the conversation was that during his programme he would read out the Bayside results for that day, often he would comment on some of the results as in some games there were a lot of goals scored. On odd occasions he even managed to get the results put into the soccer paper.
SKYE was to have a disasterous start, with the season less than three weeks old on of their players DAVID BONOR was to die tragically. Whilst on a holiday in WESTERN AUSTRALIA with his family his car collided in the early morning with a kangaroo and all but one of the family died. SAFEWAY was approached and agreed the shield should be renamed the SAFEWAY DAVID BONOR SHIELD.
The season went well. The League and Cup were both close competitions to the end. North Seaford became the first League winners, with Mt Eliza holding them until the final two rounds.
The 3MP Cup Final held at North Seaford Reserve attracted a crowd nearly three hundred and fifty people with the teams led out by a pipe band. Disc Jockey PHIL O’BRIEN of 3MP presented captain BRIAN SUMMERFIELD of the NAVY with the Cup after they had stopped NORTH SEAFORD’S aspirations of the double with a 3 – 2 victory after extra time.
Over the coming years leagues and cups were won, clubs were presented with pennants all of which had the Bayside symbol on it a seahorse originally designed by a parent from Skye Juniors, it has been modernised over recent years seemingly giving it a new life. This year would have been the forty third in Bayside competition and hopefully if the virus situation goes away boots can be brought out of cold storage. How does one reflect on all these past years safe to say it owes a lot to all the people who have run the league after the early years, names to mention amongst many others are John Heskins, Darryl Kennedy, Stan Packer, Wayne Brown, and two stalwarts no longer with us Barry Fearn and Peter Rushton. You have all done so much for the round ball game. I believe it is important to point out that it is possibly due to the Bayside competition that clubs have survived and not gone into extinction, and new clubs have been formed such as Seaford and Peninsula Strikers. Rosebud, Mornington, Berwick, Boronia and Bayswater were faced at one stage with withdrawing from the FFV and joining Bayside, all have now recovered and returned to State League Soccer. Again it is only to right to point out that through the years we have such an increase in clubs wanting to join that we have had up to four divisions, one could describe this as explosion however I am not taking into account the introduction of sub junior soccer for boys and girls, a senior woman’s league, veterans leagues, where will it end. The mention of Boronia earlier was another big step in the history of Bayside when the league was open to clubs away from the Peninsula, many clubs asked to join from the eastern region and Beaumaris going in the other direction. The VFF made peace a long time ago realising the leagues intentions were all good. The league today does not have as many clubs involved in however for those in it the niche has been filled. To finish this synopsis long may the league thrive the round ball sport has been all the better for your existence.
So here’s to the future, how many clubs will enter the ranks of BAYSIDE in the next thirty years, we hope all will enjoy the experience as have the FEDERATION.