History of Marconi

History of Marconi Fairfield

by Andrew Howe

At a general meeting in 1956 proud Italian immigrant Oscar Michelini moved that the social club of which he was founding member of adopt the official name "Club Marconi of Bossley Park Social Recreation and Sporting Centre Limited". The name Marconi was in recognition of great Italian Guglielne Marconi, who invented wireless transmission. In the five years till 1962 a small tin shed meeting room where the Marconi club was baptised had developed into a significant faculty. The club now also owned the 22 acres of land surrounding the social club, situated in Bossley Park, in the Fairfield region of western Sydney.

Marconi's first soccer representation came about in 1959 in the form of a youth team. The first Marconi senior side came into being in 1961, where competing in the NSW amateur championship, the club won the NSW amateur league by eights points. Not to mention being victorious in the 1961 Amateur cup! Marconi quickly rose to prominence and in 1971 was accepted into the NSW state league, then considered the pinnacle of Australian club soccer. The coach at this time was Les Scheinflug (currently the Australian youth team coach).

From the onset of the national league in 1977 Marconi have regularly been considered pace- setters of the competition. In the first national league game ever played in Brisbane (on April 3, 1977), Marconi beat Brisbane City 1-0, in front of over 5,000 fans. Marconi came agonisingly close to securing the league's first league championship, only to be pipped at the post by Sydney City on goal difference. The Fairfielders could also not have got any closer to winning the inaugural national knock-out cup - losing out in the 1977 cup final to Brisbane Lions 5-3 on penalties, at Brisbane's Perry Park. At the end of the 1978 season supporters were wondering if any trophy was ever going to come their way - after 13 rounds of the league's second season Marconi were six points in front of their closest challengers and had not lost a game. By round 26 the team were placed fourth and had lost 8 games!

But the Marconi faithful did not have to wait much longer. In these days where the leading team at the end of the home and away season was declared champions, Marconi were national champions of 1979, making mathematically sure of the title after defeating arch rivals Sydney Olympic on September 16.

Marconi's real golden era started in the late 1980s. After Frank Farina was the national league's top scorer in both of his two seasons at Marconi (1987 and 1988), Marconi made three grand final appearances in a row. Grand final victories occurred in 1988 (v Sydney United on penalties) and 1989 (Olympic 1-0). In the 1993 grand final, Marconi edged out fellow national league ever-present Adelaide City 1-0.

Marconi holds the record for the number of national league wins (248 at the start of the 1996- 97 season) and the number of premierships (four). Such high standards alone ensures that the club will go close again this season.

Statistical summary of Marconi in the national league

league season
Final ladder
National knock-
out cup placing
home crowd
1977 2nd (14 teams) 2nd (14 teams) 4100
1978 4th (14 teams) =17th (32 teams) 5900
1979 1st* (14 teams) =17th (32 teams) 5100
1980 4th (14 teams) 1st (32 teams) 5100
1981 14th (16 teams) =3rd (36 teams) 3900
1982 10th (16 teams) =5th (16 teams) 3600
1983 9th (16 teams) =3rd (16 teams) 3000
1984^ 3rd (12 teams) 19th (24 teams) 1900
1985^ 3rd (12 teams) =17th (32 teams) 2900
1986^ 4th (12 teams) =17th (32 teams) 2200
1987 4th (13 teams) =3rd (13 teams) 3000
1988* 4th* (14 teams) =9th (24 teams) 3000
1989* 1st* (14 teams) =5th (14 teams) 4400
1989-90 1st (14 teams) =9th (14 teams) 4800
1990-91 4th (14 teams) =5th (14 teams) 4600
1991-92 7th (14 teams) 2nd (14 teams) 3400
1992-93* 2nd* (14 teams) =5th (14 teams) 3400
1993-94 4th (14 teams) =5th (14 teams) 4100
1994-95 10th (13 teams) =9th (14 teams) 4300
1995-96 1st (12 teams) =5th (12 teams) 5000
* grand final winner/champion
^ national league divided into two conferences. Marconi in northern conference.