Our History

Our Club came from humble beginnings in 1966 when our founder, the late Mr David Rydstrand identified a need to fill ‘the gap’ between Carss Park Soccer Club and the Peakhurst United Club.
 

David identified Bell Park, located at the corner of Hurstville Road and King Georges Road, South Hurstville, as a potential home ground. Following a series of letterbox drops, aimed at canvassing support for the new Club, David, at the appointed hour sat on a seat at Bell Park (with two plastic soccer balls and pencil and paper) waiting to sign up new players.
 

The first players were two brothers, Robert and Wally Negroh. The long and celebrated history of ‘The Rovers’ had begun. After this, the build-up of new starters commenced, including Graeme Henwood (son of Laurie Henwood – the first president) and Mark Preston (son of Jim Preston) who was the first player to come from another Club (Carss Park).
 

Soon Connells Point had registered about forty players and was underway; with Laurie Henwood as its foundation President and David Rydstrand as Secretary.

 

With the new Club came a series of hurdles, the main one being the refusal of the St. George Soccer Association to include Bell Park as an option for competition games due to its poor playing surface. Nearby Quarry Reserve was ‘off limits’ also, as it was allocated to what was then the NSW Protestant Churches Soccer Association (now the NSW Churches Football Association).

David and Laurie then looked towards Poulton Park as a home for the new club.It was fortuitous that during the mid 1960s Kogarah Council was trying to develop Morshead Drive and the adjoining lands. They owned part of the land and had acquired some other privately owned blocks. However, there were a number of blocks fronting Homedale Crescent and running down to the creek in the bush where the park now exists. The landowner of one block was refusing to sell, and so he was preventing the council proceeding with the full development plan. He was keen on sport and had a shed on the property that was used as a gymnasium for boxing training.

 

At the same time the CPR committee was looking for a park. They had looked at options and were lobbying council for the bush area that is now Poulton Park. The stumbling block was this landowner who refused to sell. David Rydstrand took up the cause. He not only lobbied council but started negotiation with the landowner, who David finally convinced to sell to the council on the condition that this would allow the park development to proceed and give CPR a ground to play on. The council was happy, as this allowed them to develop the estate and get the proceeds from the land sales. The club was happy as we had a home ground, the landowner was happy as he saw his land contributing to the development of sport in the district.

At the same time the CPR committee was looking for a park. They had looked at options and were lobbying council for the bush area that is now Poulton Park. The stumbling block was this landowner who refused to sell. David Rydstrand took up the cause. He not only lobbied council but started negotiation with the landowner, who David finally convinced to sell to the council on the condition that this would allow the park development to proceed and give CPR a ground to play on. The council was happy, as this allowed them to develop the estate and get the proceeds from the land sales. The club was happy as we had a home ground, the landowner was happy as he saw his land contributing to the development of sport in the district.

Permission was sought and gained from Kogarah Council for the use of this field by Connells Point Rovers. Poulton Park at this time was best described as a swamp, covered with blackberry bush, weeds and various types of bracken and was being used for disposal of waste from the nearby sewer tunnel construction. With the help of many volunteers, including Alf and Doreen Howard (Alf later became a long serving Club President), and others such as the Thomas and Jones families, a playing field began to take shape after much hard work.

Finally, with the provision of a grant of four hundred pounds from Kogarah Council, Poulton Park was ready for its first competition game in early 1966, with 7 teams registered. Although Connells Point Rovers won this game 1-0 against Kogarah Waratah, the Referee reported the ground unsuitable for further play. As a result, all remaining home games for 1966 were shifted to Scarborough No 5; ‘The Rovers’ had however made a sound start, with the Under 10’s winning the premiership in the Club’s inaugural season!

In the next (1967) season the Club fielded 11 teams and gained approval to use Donnelly Reserve, once again after an effort by volunteers to improve the surface of the field.

 

In 1967, Poulton Park was raised by Kogarah Council, to minimise tidal impact from Oatley Bay.

 

In the early years, the club ventured into a number of other sports out of which grew the Connells Point Rovers Netball Club. The netball club was largely established by Barbara Hardie with Joyce Henwood as its first President.

 

Other milestones were the opening of the amenities block in 1988. This finally saw an end to the ‘caravan canteen’ which, despite no running water or power, was efficiently operated for many years by Mrs Terry Grove.

 

Another major development was the completion of construction of Poulton Park No. 2 field in 1991.

 

After considerable lobbying by the Club Executive and with assistance from the NSW Department of Sport and Recreation and Kogarah Council, flood lighting was installed on Poulton Park No.1 in 2000. Later in early 2009 training lights were installed on Poulton 2 and the Mini Field.

 

During the first 50 years the Club has produced and rubbed shoulders with players of note. Peter Stone, after a successful period with the Socceroos and St George Budapest, came to the Club as a coach and player. Jane Talcevski started as a junior and went on to play with the Junior Socceroos in the Under 17 World Cup, Paul Dee and Fabio Macolino also played with the Junior Socceroos. David Magrone joined up with the English club Watford, Nick Boskovski and Dominic Usaj joined European clubs, while Sebastian Sinozic played with Wollongong in the NSL. However, probably the best known is Ivan Necevski, GK Sydney FC 2007-2015 and Phil Kearns, who after 5 years with The Rovers, decided to change to a rugby ball and at the age of 19 was selected for his first of 61 tests as a Wallaby.

From humble beginnings, Connells Point Rovers Football Club has grown to become the largest sporting Club in the St George area. During the
past 10 seasons we have seen a rapid growth in girls participation in football and the recent introduction of a women’s Premier League
competition, as well as small-sided-games for the under 6s to 11s.

In 2014 outstanding performances included:
• 12A Premiers, Champion of Champion winners, and State Cup Winners
• 16A Girls Premiers
• 16B Premiers
• 17A(2) Premiers and Champion of Champion winners
• AA Women A Premiers
• AAD Premiers
• Premier League 1 Premiers (three years 2012–2014)

CPR U/17A Champion of Champions

Back Row: Nick Mondoulos (Ass Mgr), William Kong (Mgr), Panna Kolivas, Noah Hayward, George Macris (Coach), Michael Martinovic, Tivon Megase, Reece Gledhill, Brian Kong, Daniel Macris, Ayden Volcevski, Anthony Nizic, Markus Wong, Michael Santos
Front Row: Daniel De Cosmi, Matt Donnelly, Will Monaha, George Mondoulos, Callum Judd

In season 2015, the Club has fielded 56 small sided teams, 8 girl’s/women’s teams, 25 boy’s/men’s teams with more than 1000 registered players and officials. We look forward to achieving similar success this season to that of the previous year.

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Member of the
St George Football Asociation

© 2020 - Connells Point Rovers FC.
PO BOX 237
Oatley NSW 2223

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