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A BIG soccer season

WORDS: TIM WARD – OLD SCOTCH SOCCER CLUB

After arguably the biggest season in the club’s long and eventful 30 year history, Old Scotch Soccer Club (OSSC) can give itself a massive pat on the back.

For the first time we fielded seniors and reserves in the lofty heights of the State Leagues, a level unmatched by any other old boys’ rival club in Victoria. As an amateur club competing in a professional league for the first time we were expected to struggle, and many sceptics had written us off before kick-off – but those who have never pulled on the OSSC strip have no idea what it’s like to play for the shirt. 

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The Old Scotch Soccer Club Senior Team

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The Old Scotch Soccer Club Reserves Team

Early thoughts of fighting off relegation were quashed after the first half of the season as OSSC sat comfortably in the top two promotion spots in both the seniors and reserves.  People were starting to talk – some good, some just jealous. Those who respected the club were full of praise for what they saw when visiting OSSC.

Coach Eamonn Beamish (’79), also a Director of Soccer Coaching at Scotch, had once again instilled a level of belief among the experience and youth he groomed through the ranks. A sprinkling of new Scotch talent came through, including youngsters Hugh Goad and Harry Hackett (both in Year 11 at Scotch), who got their fair share of senior soccer as the season rolled on.

As we searched for promotion to State 2, a thought previously not even considered, we stumbled at later hurdles. With a big away loss to title rivals and eventual champions Kingston City, as well as a few too many draws, we finished only a few points off promotion in a very respectable third place. The reserves finished as runners-up to Kingston City reserves, an amazing turnaround given their third last place in 2010. Hats off to the now departing Scott Nellies (’83) for a stellar first season at OSSC – we wish him well.

In all, six teams competed in all levels of competition from seniors down to casual Sunday squads, a number matched only by one other club. Our Reds and Royals finished third and fifth respectively, a fabulous result in very tough leagues. Coaches and players should be commended. The Blues and Golds also had tough seasons in division 6, but came through with flying colours.

OSSC turns 30

It is nearly impossible to project how far this club has come since its rebirth in 2005. From the base of the Provisional Leagues with two teams and the bare minimum 40 members, OSSC has grown to more than 100 playing members and six men’s open age teams. 

But the club goes much deeper than its modern current day history, dating back to October 1981 when our founders formed a committee in search of an Old Boys club fit to compete in the amateur leagues. Since then the club has had a roller-coaster ride full of triumphs and tribulations. 

In April/May of 2012, OSSC will formally celebrate its 30th birthday, with further details to come to all existing and former members, partners, sponsors and supporters, including our dear friends at Scotch who have been an integral part of our success.

H A Smith Reserve – a new beginning

Finally, OSSC is about to embark on one of the biggest and perhaps most significant chapters in its long history – a new home. With no fewer than 10 grounds to call home in 30 years, OSSC is finally staking its claim to H A Smith Reserve for the long term, with ground, lighting, pavilion, parking and associated developments underway. 

It has been a long road, but progress is finally visible in the form of workmen and earthmovers going to work on the reserve to have it ready for season 2012. This not only benefits OSSC, but also the many schoolboys at Scotch dreaming of a smooth surface on which to ply their trade. 

For all news, information and updates on the club’s whereabouts, results, sponsors and calendars, go to www.ossc.com.au for more details. Pre-season is scheduled for mid-January.