Club History

The Very Beginning

Rochedale Rovers Football Club was founded in 1973, and has grown from a small junior club with four teams into a well established club fielding teams across all ages, with both male and female players. The history of the club has come a long way from a field at the back of the `Glen Hotel’ to the Impressive facilities we have today.

 

It was back in 1972 that Tom Vance had the vision of forming a soccer club. An ad in the local newspaper saw considerable interest and a public meeting was called. At this meeting on the 25th February 1973, Rochedale Rovers Soccer Club was formed. It was also decided the club strip would be the colours of green & gold. Training officially started on the 3rd March at the Rochedale State School.

 

Like all new clubs, early development relied on significant help by both those inside and outside of the club. It was when Brian Fitzgibbon, licensee of the Glen Hotel, was approached and agreed to use the field at the back of the Glen Hotel for playing purposes. The old “cow paddock” (complete with cows) was transformed into a soccer pitch.

 

Countless dance fundraisers, raffles, Tupperware parties and Auctions were held to raise funds along with generous donations saw the club have a healthy bank account balance of $2,343 at the end of its first year! During the off-season a great amount of time and effort was put in at the Glen in preparation for 1974 season. With Brian Fitzgibbon’s approval and support the concrete cricket pitch was removed which enabled the large pitch to be moved and a small field set up for the U7’s & U8’s games. This also could not have been achieved without the help of Cecil Austen, kindly donating his time and backhoe and club members that donated their time right up until Christmas Day.

 

The club was again fortunate when member John Beerling, donated a shed for the use of a canteen and storage. This proved to be a great asset. John Beerling and Brian Fitzibbon became the club’s first life-members.

 

Rovers officials were pleasantly surprised at sign on day in 1974, by the number of boys that wanted to register to play soccer. By the start of the season Rovers fielded 10 teams in the local competitions. Once again Rovers teams performed well on the pitch  picking up Minor Premierships and Grand Final Winners in U7B, U8B & U11B with U9D Minor Premiers & U10C Runners Up.

 

Early 1975 the Albert Shire Council showed interest in a property called Lomand Park; it was at the top of Underwood Road, Rochedale, with a view to developing 96 acres into a sporting and recreational complex. A public meeting was held on 13th February 1975, a management committee was formed with the sole purpose of obtaining the lease for this property and administering its development. This committee consisted of six independent local people and two representatives of each affiliated body, which at the outset were: Rochedale Rovers Netball Club, The Albert Youth Club, Smilingdale Golf Club along with Rochedale Rovers Soccer Club with delegates Tom Vance and Dave Elwood. The Albert Shire Council acquired the property in June 1975, and the management committee was successful with its tender for the main lease with the park being renamed to Underwood Park.

 

This could not have come at a better time as Rochedale Rovers were half-way through its third season and were now fielding twenty two teams including two senior teams. Numerous teams again crowned Premiers & Grand Final Winners and for the first time had 4 players gaining representative honours.

 

In 1975 the council started the earthworks on the three fields and by January 1976 they were ready for grassing. Prior to seeding in February, priority was given to installing an extensive irrigation system, then the fields were seeded with a strain of Kikuyu grass.

 

A lot of work was required around the fields with the erection of a canteen, equipment store, changerooms and fences around all of the fields and the installation of goal posts and lights. Most of the work was done by club volunteers.

 

5th March 1977 saw the Official Opening of the new grounds. The day involved everything from a relay from the Glen Hotel to Underwood Park, Junior Soccer, Senior Soccer, Opening Ceremony, The introduction of the `Miss Soccer Quest’ and the BIG MATCH of the day, Brisbane City vs Lions.

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