Club History.

Since 1967.

In 1967 there were no soccer teams playing in Albury, but players from Albury were registered with a Wodonga team and played over the border.With the growing interest of more players in Albury it was decided that the time was appropriate for the formation of a team or teams in Albury. Prime movers in this direction were Derek Thornley, Bernie Schmitz, Hans Winter, Fritz Demharter, Hans Le Ramee and George Fuchsberger.

An Advertisement was inserted in the Border Morning Mail calling a meeting of all interested persons to attend a meeting at the Boomerang Motel on Friday, November 4, 1966, to consider the formation of an Albury soccer club. From this meeting, convened by George Fuchsberger, it was decided to form a new soccer club in Albury.

A further meeting was held on the 18th November, 1966, and the following office-bearers were elected for the 1967 season:

President: George Fuchsberger
Secretary: Derek Thornley
Asst. Secretary: L. McLelland
Treasurers: B. Schmitz, J. McKinvin
Committee: K. Muller, H. Winter, G. Rossman, H. LaRamee

The name chosen for the club was Albury United Soccer Club.

The Club sought and gained admission to the North Eastern Soccer Federation of Victoria and fielded two teams in the 1967 season.

The teams were coached by Fritz Demharter and trained at Melrose Park. This ground had been made suitable for play after strenuous working bees involving removal of a concrete cricket pitch, grass slashing, renovating existing dressing sheds and marking out a soccer pitch. The club colours were then yellow and black.

The first game played was between respective reserve teams and proved to be very entertaining and crowd pleasing right up to the final whistle.

Cobram quickly gained the ascendency and were two up to the first 10 minutes, with goals from Herman and Schultz.

Best players for Cobram: H. Schultz, S. Herman
Best player for Albury United: B. Schmitz.
Final scores: Cobram 2, Albury United 1.

The second game between the first elevens followed an almost identical pattern to that of the reserve game, in that Albury United dominated the early part of the game.

They took an early lead when Keith Chambers slipped past the defence to score from close range. However, as the game progressed, Albury began to tire and Cobram took the initiative and scored their winner in the closing stages of the game with a “freak” shot that cannoned off a defender over the head of goalkeeper Banovic, making it a 2-1 victory for the home team.

Best players for Albury were: Banovic, who played brilliantly in the goal, and young John Tai who at inside-right, played with the assurance of a senior.

Determination, the greatest asset any team can possess, was always noticeably to the forefront. Via the Border Morning Mail this impression is spelt out: In the first competitive game of soccer played in Albury for six years, Albury United caused an upset on Sunday when they held a strong Milawa team to a one-all draw at Melrose Park.

Although United have had little success this season, they have now signed D. Knobloch, who will strengthen the defence, and they hope to give King Valley a good game.

The match was a real crowd-pleaser, and the final scores (4-1 in favour of King Valley) flattered the visitors, who in last 25 minutes hit the post and then both Ruitenberg and Walch came very close to hitting the net with the visitors’ goalkeeper well beaten.

Two of King Valley’s goals were brilliant individual efforts.

The inclusion of new recruit Dieter Knobloch added strength to Albury’s defence which, given time, will prove very hard to pass. In the forward-line Hong Kong born Eddie Chan played superbly at inside-right.

Albury will have few worries for the future and will prove tough opposition for other sides.

Best players: E. Chan, H. Walch, H.Ruitenberg, M.Antonell.

Although fortunes had not been with Albury United to any extent up to date, the never-day-die spirit was still paramount, and on Saturday, July 1, 1967, comments in Soccer News in the Border Morning Mail highlighted the fact:

Albury United travel to play Milawa in what is likely to be one of the hardest fought games of the round.

Milawa are playing well, having won three out of their last five games, and a victory over United is essential if they are to remain a threat to the teams above them.

On the other hand, United are going through a very lean spell, having lost their last three home games, and will be anxious to take home two points in an effort to lift them off the bottom of the ladder.

However, Milawa proved to be too strong and after a spate of close marking and quick tackling which temporarily upset Milawa, Albury United could not stand up to the sudden attack by Milawa who eventually ran out winners by 2-0.

Results of the United-Benalla match were more encouraging as reported on Tuesday, August 1:

Albury United drew 2-all with Benalla in an exciting bottom-of-the-ladder N.E.S.L. game at the weekend. Instead of “folding-up” as they have done in so many games this season, United treated their supporters to a courageous fight-back and a grand-stand finish which had the crowd on their toes until the final whistle. This recovery was made even more remarkable by the fact that United played the last 20 minutes with only nine fit players on the field.

Improvement continued and the next weekend saw Albury United defeat Wodonga 2-0, the success being attributed to the strong defence of Knobloch, LaRamee and Walch.

However, this win did not shift Albury United from the bottom of the ladder.

The season was completed with a friendly game against Wagga United at Melrose Park.

Brief History Book.

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