Ballajura Junior Soccer Club – The Beginning


John_McNamaraThe words of Trish Pringle (RIP) in her Secretaries report for the AGM of the 19th September 1993 are a fitting reflection on the inaugural year of our club.

Trish says,

“The end has finally arrived in what has been the most hectic year in my life. If somebody was able to warn me about how much effort was involved in the setting up of a club, I may have just opted to chicken out.”

“I am quite glad though, that I didn’t and decided to see through something I thought to be an extremely worthwhile cause. I have been pleased to witness and be part of an extremely successful inaugural year for our club.”

When Niall Martin asked me to write about the foundation of the club it seem a very easy task, a few dates, some names and self praises for those involved. The truth is it is a huge story of many, many instances and events, one just as important as the other and an insight into the dedication and hard work by all involved.
The Committee
The 13 Coaches
The 142 boys and girls
The Parents
The Sponsors
These to me are the founders of our club because each was totally dependent on the other so as to achieve a good foundation for the future.

In August 1992 the Junior Soccer season was coming to a close and many parents from Ballajura who had been bringing there children to various soccer clubs around the city, were asking the question, why do we not have a Junior Soccer Club in Ballajura?
Some kept on asking (and would still be asking today) but some found the answer and MADE IT HAPPEN.
Let me tell you in the shortest possible time how?

In mid August ’92 my wife Breda and I met Trish who was employed at the Ballajura Tavern.We discussed the possibility of a Junior Soccer Club in Ballajura. She informed us that a John Davidson had also spoken to her about the very same thing and suggested that we get together with him.
At that time some of those who frequented the Tavern had been involved in a Social league team known as the Ballajura Tavern Soccer Club Brian Healy and Guy Stuart were involved in that club and had been using Greenpark (across from the Tavern) as the home ground.

(Following a number of correspondences with the Junior Soccer Association beginning on the 13th Aug 1992, the 24th Aug 1992 and on the 31st Aug 1992, we were invited to a JSA Committee meeting so as to put our case for admittance and to receive all the relevant information and directions so as to achieve our goal. This meant that we had until the 23rd September1992 (just 3 weeks) to present the initial plan which had to include nomination of home ground, approximate amount of teams, colours, Club Constitution, Bank details, Officers etc. etc.
In the meantime meetings at the Tavern with the Social Club members on 28th Aug ’92 and September 4th proved very fruitful with Brian Healy as President of the Social club agreeing to us applying to the City of Wanneroo for use of the Greenpark as our first home ground. The use of the Social Club’s equipment, such as the Goal nets, Line marker was a most welcome gesture and with no objections to the use of the Park, the City of Wanneroo eventually agreed to our booking request. Some at Wanneroo were requesting that we change the name of our club to reflect the Wanneroo locality. Of course we refused to do so and Ballajura Junior Soccer Club now had a home ground.

The first official Committee meeting was held at John and Trish Pringles home on the 2nd of September 1992 to get the ball rolling.
At various meeting held at homes of the Davidson’s, McNamara’s, Newton’s, Fulcher’s leading up to our first Public General meeting at Ballajura Primary School on the 21st October 1992 the Committee agreed on the club Constitution, club colours and adopted the Isle of Mann Manx logo as its own, with the inclusion of three soccer balls instead of the spurs.
This was done on the 13th of October 1992 so as to recognise those families who came from the Isle of Mann and founded the Townland of Ballajura (a Manx Townland) and are remembered annually by the student of Ballajura Primary School at their Manx day assembly and the four school factions.

The first steps had been achieved and it was now time to see if the Ballajura Community
Wanted a junior Soccer Club.
We held our first registration days on the 14th February 1993 and the 21st February 1993 and the community gave us a resounding THUMBS UP with registrations of 142 boys and girls.

The Business end of our community came to the fore with sponsorships of all the 13 teams for that first year and like the committee took ownership of the individual teams.

All of our Sponsors played an important role in the development of the club, but I cannot write this article without recognising the personal input from Angus McDonald, (RIP) father of Sheena Newton and owner of Storack, (sponsor of U9 team 2.)
Angus not only sponsored and made the metal goals that are still used today at Greenpark but his interest and enthusiasm helped all of us to keep focused on the task.

(There were no canteen facilities at Greenpark so on the 29th March 1993 we purchased an old Mr. Whippy Van. ($500) John Pringle, with a little help painted it in the clubs colours
Red with a Yellow Roof.
The van was used for two seasons and with the help from young family members of the Committee it served us very well with hot food and beverages for those cold Sunday mornings, gaining valuable income for the club. Eventually had to dispose of it.

On the 27th of March ’93 we marked out all the pitches at Greenpark with the help of Brian Healy.

On April 4th1993 History was made. We were all extremely proud of the turnout of young boys and girls in the Ballajura colours and I can honestly say that it gave me more joy and emotion than any of the football experiences that I have had in the past

We had success on the field with Ian Ellis’s u11s team won the League and success all round with all players playing just for the sport and comradeship.

July 1993 saw us take a major role with Footy, Cricket and Little Athletics in the development of Kingfisher Park and Pavilion where we now have our headquarters and home to our renamed Ballajura Soccer Club after the formation of the Senior teams in 1996 Gorden Bleakley’s foresight and hard work has proved to be another major milestone in the Clubs history

I wish to acknowledge the extraordinary efforts of the Clubs first Committee in achieving what may have been to some an impossible dream. I give thanks to the following on behalf of the present Committee and members for that enormous effort,

John Davidson President
John McNamara Vice President
Trish Pringle RIP Secretary
Maureen Fulcher Treasurer
Toni Kerford Registrar

Steve Newton, Sheena Newton, John Pringle, Breda McNamara, Steve Davis, Jackie Dennis, Sue Batchelor.

We must also acknowledge that every new Committee faces the same challenges as that first Committee. Our Club has grown in strength only because there are those who take on that challenge. We give sincere thanks to all

John Mc Namara