History Of Sutherland Football

History of Sutherland football remembered as Sharks prepare for daunting 2019 NPL1 season opener against Sydney Olympic

History Of Sutherland Football

George Hurley felt it was his duty to try and keep the history of football in the Sutherland Shire alive.

Two years ago the sons of George Swattridge, the founder of the Sutherland Sharks club as it is today, approached Hurley with their father's typed notes recording 32 years of shire football history from 1930 to 1962.

Hurley painstakingly used the information in the original manuscript to compile a book, adding 30 years of photographs to bring the story to life.

The book, Reflections: The History of Soccer in the Sutherland Shire, is finally finished just in time for the start of the NPL 1 season.

The Sharks start their 2019 campaign under new coach Terry Palapanis on Sunday looking to return to the finals for the first time since 2013.

Sutherland open their season with arguably the toughest assignment in the competition, travelling to Belmore Sports Ground to take on defending premiers and champions Sydney Olympic. 

"In hindsight, I can't think of anyone who has gone to so much trouble over such an extended period of time," Hurley said.

"Firstly to be involved in running the club each year and then to document it, I've never seen that.

History Of Sutherland Football

"The main reason [that I wanted to take on this project] was because I admire him so much and had met him and his sons. He deserved to be remembered as well as the club and football in the shire."

Hurley joined the club as a player in 1959 having migrated from London. He went on to become Sharks president and is now the general manager and vice-president.

The book includes locations and descriptions of early playing fields in the area, the growth of competition throughout the Sutherland Shire and St George areas and the hundreds of players, volunteers and administration involved. 

Asian Champions League winner and former A-League midfielder Mateo Poljak is Sutherland's biggest signing for 2019, joining former Sydney FC defender Marc Warren, young goalkeeper Anthony Bouzanis, Spanish duo Raul Bennett-Romero and Juan Carlos Heras-Romero and former St George FC captain Tarik Ercan in the shire.

The Sharks have also lost captain Jacob Tratt (Sydney FC), while Nick Olsen (overseas), Josh Da Silva (Rockdale City), Nick Littler (Wollongong) and Hristijan Tanoski (Hakoah) have all left the club.

Sutherland's first home game of the season is in round two when they host Hakoah Sydney City East at Seymour Shaw Park on March 16.

Details: george.hurley@reflections.soccer or 0404 600 852


Thanks to the Leader for the story and support