The formation of Mossman Soccer
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.
The 2018 Douglas United team.
Douglas United juniors.
Daniel Ferrero as a junior who still plays with Douglas United today.