central football club - the humble beginning
Memories of Phil Kelly dated the 29/04/13
Place of the first meeting
The store room of my fathers’ supermarket K&J Supa Value now Rods Supermarket. The people in attendance sat on the cartons of beetroot, corn and other boxes scattered around the stock room floor. I can remember the following people attended, my father Mr John Kelly, Mr Ron Slater, Mr Bill Giles, Mrs Sue Wicks and her husband ( I can’t remember his name) and a few other whose names I can’t remember. I’m sorry I was only 14 at the time. These people were from all walks of life Mr Ron Slater ( our first president) was the local union rep, Mr Bill Giles worked in the railway, Mrs Wicks’ husband was an Engineer at one the big plants at the time(I think QAL) from memory Sue Wickes was a housewife and my Dad was a local businessman.
For the continued success of any club or organisation knowing its history, the why and where it’s come from helps to guide its future direction. Knowing the ideals, hopes and aspirations the original founders had for the club is very beneficial. The most vivid memory I have of the very first meeting was the animated discussion had by all around what values the club should stand for and a vision the new Club should aspire to. In essence what would set Central Soccer Club apart from other clubs.
I remember the primary motivation among the attendees for wanting to start a new club was their disillusionment with many existing practices of established Clubs. The consensus of opinion was that clubs where one team was made up of all the “good” players and the leftover kids placed in the “not so good” team was detrimental to the future success of the game. The kids in the “not so good” team grew sick of being flogged every week or if they were lucky enough to be picked in the “good” team they still received limited game despite turning up to training every week. Both these practices saw many kids and their parents lost to the game. I think the early founders were way ahead of their time and were effectively the early pioneers of the “salary cap” a practice now used by most major sporting codes in the country. They realised that by spreading the talent meant a closer competition and a closer competition was a better competition.
The committee felt that strong participation numbers across all age groups meant the club had a better chance to thrive and prosper in the long run. The gathered felt that a sense of equity and equality be implemented with team selections and game time. They wanted Central to be a club where good players who by their skill and drive raised the level of the not so good players and a successful season was measured by the improvement in the team as a whole. They wanted a club where every mum and dads child enjoyed equal game time and were part of a club that celebrated being a good “club man” as being more important than the “best and fairest” . A club that played the game hard but fair, where fellowship and camaraderie were celebrated and at seasons end every player received a trophy not just a select few. A club where successes were celebrated and successful teams or representative players were to be recognised and celebrated by the Club.
The Name Central:
I remembered these discussions went on for the longest time and once the Values and Visions were decided upon the more mundane issues such as club name, club colours and the make-up of the committee were next on the agenda. Gladstone at the time had a population of around 13000 the town limits were the new estate of Clinton to the west, South Gladstone ending at Philip St to the South and the city centre as the most northern. Game were played in the middle of the shows grounds although soon to be moved Briffney Creek (now the home of Brothers Football Club) it was felt that the real centre of Gladstone was around the West Gladstone area and the majority of people on the committee lived in this central location the club should be called Central. Simple as that.
The Club Colours:
I remember one of the people in attendance had acquired an “Admiral” catalogue with team jerseys designs and colours. My father’s favour colours were purple and gold and he really wanted the new club colours to be purple and gold. Luckily saner heads prevailed and Black and White was chosen. I do remember my father must have been pretty persuasive, he felt that kids running around and rolling in the dirt in white strips was not an ideal and white would be hard to keep clean. If it wasn’t for Sue Wicks his choice may have won the day and Central’s colours could have been purple and gold. In the end every was happy with the Black and White, they all thought it looked smart. I remember my dad buying a few of the first team strips.
The First committee:
Records may show differently however I do remember Mr Ron Slater was the first president and I think Sue Wicks was either treasurer or secretary.
Initially funds were limited so my father organised a local pensioner Mr Sandy Dow to sell raffle tickets every Saturday morning out the front of his shop. Sandy became a regular fixture outside the shop and many of the locals looked out for him every Saturday. This modest raffle seller raised plenty of money for the club. Our major fundraiser in the early days was the Christmas Ham wheel held in the car park of dad’s supermarket. Wooden seats and a flatbed truck with the ham wheel was set up in the car park, heaps of people used to walk or drive down for the event. Much to my embarrassment my father used to dress up as Santa Clause and hand out gifts to the kids. These nights raised much needed funds for the club.
All the hard work of the initial committee saw a very promising start for Central Soccer Club and which in its first season fielded a team in every age group from under 6 to under 16. It’s hard to believe something that started out amoungst the boxes of a supermarket stock room is still powering ahead 36 years later.
Central FC Life Members -
OVER 40 YEARS STRONG - OUR CLUB TODAY!
Our beginnings may have been humble, but our Club today is a thriving and lively Football Club filled with children - Families, Committee Members Players and supporters. Central has teams in every age division from under 5's through to Senior Men and Women's including CQ Premier League and local Gladstone teams.
The Home of Central Football Club
Central Soccer Club is an affiliate member (along with The Glen Cricket Club)of Sun Valley Park Sports Association (SVPSA). Central became an affiliate member of SVPSA on 6 May 1997. SVPSA was originally formed on 8 November 1988. The Glen Cricket Club was the driving force behind the formation of SVPSA.
The existing “clubhouse” was originally completed in April 1999. Prior to this extensive re-development of the ground had been undertaken, with the oval being completely re-developed, cricket practice wickets developed, a turf wicket laid, the initial storage shed constructed and the flood lighting project commenced.
Both affiliates (The Glen CC and Central Soccer Club) contributed the sum of $12,684.00 towards the cost of construction of the clubhouse, with SVPSA obtaining a government grant of $25,368.00 towards the cost of the building.
Prior to Central Soccer Club being an affiliate member of SVPSA, SVPSA had received an amount of $90,500.00 in grants from the Council with respect to the ground development. These grant monies were used in the development of the cricket practice nets, the complete reconstruction on the oval, the construction of the original storage shed, the turf wicket and the connection of power to SVPSA to allow the file floodlights to be installed as well as the first part of the flood lighting project. In addition, a grant of $5,000.00 was received from the Gambling Community Benefit Fund to construct the fence along the Tigalee Creek boundary.
SVPSA has received grants totaling $42,816.00 from the Gladstone Council since Central has been an affiliate member of SVPSA with respect to the re-development of the ground.
In December 2002, a further grant was obtained from the Gambling Community Benefit Fund to purchase the Kubota Mower.
On 19 November 2008, a grant was obtained from the Gladstone Regional Council to erect the second storage shed. Each affiliate contributed the sum of $1,685.55 towards this project, which was completed on 5 May 2009.
On 18 November 2010, a grant was obtained from the Gladstone Regional Council to extend the clubhouse. Each affiliate contributed the sum of $8,847.50 towards this project, which was completed on 1 July 2011.
In 2012 Central bought their very own bus to transport players to away games outside of Gladstone and for travel convenience of the club teams. Central had the bus painted in 2013 with the Club colours of Black and white and Our sponsors logos were added along the sides of the bus as part of the sponsorship agreements.
Our Club strips are still Black and white today and start at our junior levels following through to our Seniors- Uniformity is paramount with our Club and promoting our strip is something we are proud of - after all we are the Black and White, Centralites.
We host many junior workshops for our young up and coming football players, we believe in giving all our children the opportunity to further their skills and to obtain as much soccer knowledge as possible. We are proud of our philosophy to aid in the skill development and game understanding of every child in our club by hosting and having our juniors participate in coaching clinics conducted by well known Australian League Players, who travel to Gladstone to impart their skills and knowledge.
In July 2019, Central FC expanded it's base to now also include Brian Niven Park which it received handover of from CQ Mariners FC when their club folded.
The timing couldn't be better for the club which had expanded to have over 350 registered players and had now reached the capacity that Sun Valley Park could handle on it own.
We are a Family Club
Our Club is very proud of the fact that we have been home to families playing soccer for many generations we have parents playing and coaching who have their children playing with Grand parents taking on active rolls in either the committee or helping out with the grounds and canteen. We promote a happy and healthy competitive spirit in our club with game/team support and encouragement being the primary focus.
We have fun family day presentations that are aimed at making the season fun and enjoying the breakup presentations in a family and Club atmosphere.
The seniors also enjoy a well hosted and organised adult event at either our home grounds or at our major sponsors location.
Central Football Club Management Committee 2023
President - Tracey Clark
Vice President - David Slack
Secretary - Julie Porter
Treasurer - Brendan Davies
Senior Registrar - Tayla Bonney
Junior Registrar - Angela Ernst
Coaching Co-ordinator - Stuart Noonan
Equipment Officer - Kallie Peurifoy
Grants Co-ordinator - Marty Emerson Publicity Officer - Beck Emerson
Groundspersons - Ross Maudsley, Phil Smith
Central FC 20+ Year Players -