The for­ma­tion of Moss­man Soc­cer

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - LIFESTYLE -

IN 1968, the Moss­man Soc­cer Club was formed and a se­nior team, coached by for­mer Dutch In­ter­na­tional, Peter Hills, would train at the Moss­man High School.

There was no op­por­tu­nity for ju­niors to play ‘The World Game’ in the Dou­glas shire so one res­i­dent, Vic Ber­toncini, would take his son, Steve, to the Table­lands to play.

“Bug­ger it,” he said to him­self, “we should start a ju­nior soc­cer team in Moss­man.”

And so, in 1977, the Moss­man Soc­cer Club, later to be known as the Dou­glas United Foot­ball Club, started to de­velop into the club we know to­day.

The club asked the Table­land league for ad­mis­sion and was told they needed to reg­is­ter one ju­nior team how­ever, ac­cord­ing to Vic, within two weeks they had one Un­der 12 boys team and a women’s Un­der 14 team.

Train­ing was held ini­tially at Moss­man High School with Peter Hills as the first pres­i­dent and Hans Ri­etveld and Ray Rex coach­ing in the early years.

The club ne­go­ti­ated with the coun­cil and the cricket club to share the fa­cil­ity at Cas­sowary.

Within 12 months of go­ing to Cas­sowary, and with un­tir­ing ef­forts of vol­un­teers, the ground was lev­elled and new grass was planted.

“When the fam­ily went to sleep, I used go to the grounds and wa­ter,” Vic said.

The ground was then, and re­mains, one of the best pitches in North Queens­land and the first in the state to have lights in­stalled.

The fledg­ling club soon took to fundrais­ing, stag­ing cabarets at the shire hall and sell­ing raf­fle tick­ets on Fri­day and Saturdays at the Moss­man and Port Dou­glas ho­tels.

Af­ter three years, enough money was raised to start the build­ing of dress­ing rooms, show­ers and a kitchen.

“We were mad in those days,” laughed Vic.

By the late ‘90s, a sec­ond level to the build­ing was un­der­way and Vic and Joe Noli, pres­i­dent for 10 years, re­called the ef­fort.

“There were about 35 of us wait­ing for the steel to ar­rive and fi­nally, at 4pm, the truck pulled up,” Joe said, “and of course the con­crete truck was ar­riv­ing first thing the next day.”

They worked un­til 1am to in­stall and tie the steel.

“I got up at 5am the next day and went to knock on the coun­cil’s build­ing in­spec­tor to check the steel work,” Vic laughed.

“Once the sec­ond storey was fin­ished, it was a sur­prise to every­one,” Vic added.

The club has en­joyed many suc­cesses and much of this suc­cess can be at­trib­uted to the founders of the club 50 years ago.

Pic­ture: RICK MOYER

The 2018 Dou­glas United team.

Pic­ture: SUP­PLIED

Dou­glas United ju­niors.

Pic­ture: SUP­PLIED

Daniel Fer­rero as a ju­nior who still plays with Dou­glas United to­day.

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