Definitions

Preston makedonia

Preston Lions FC

The Preston Lions Football Club (formerly Preston Makedonia Soccer Club) are an Australian football (soccer) club from Preston, a northern suburb of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. The club was formed in 1947, and currently play in the Victorian Premier League, of which they are champions of the 2007 season.

Foundation

Since its foundation in 1947 and affiliation with the Victorian Soccer Federation (now Football Federation Victoria) in 1959, the Preston Lions Football Club has grown to become one of the most recognised and popular sporting clubs in Australia.

Based in the suburb of Preston, Victoria, the Makedonia Soccer Club was originally created as a focal point for the newly immigrated Macedonian community to gather and socialise, and to provide the then Macedonian Australian youth with the opportunity to learn and play this ‘world game’ that was so popular back in their homeland of Macedonia.

Transformation of the club and affiliation to VSF

In 1959 the club established itself from an amateur club to a semi-professional club, and a change of name to the Preston Makedonia Soccer Club with promotion to the Victorian Division Two (South Competition). Preston Makedonia moved forward in leaps and bounds to become champions of the Victorian Metropolitan League Division One in 1966, and as a result, was promoted to the state’s top competition, the Victorian State League in 1967.

The club first experienced championship success at the state’s top level in 1975 and again in 1980. As Victorian champions, Preston competed in a play-off against other state champions and in 1981 they were promoted to the then National Soccer League (NSL) competition.

During this significant period of growth the need for much larger facilities became apparent and the club consequently moved from its home base of T.A. Cochrane Reserve in Collier Street, Preston, to its current home ground at B. T. Connor Reserve in nearby Reservoir. The Preston Makedonia Social Club was also established around the same time and is located directly opposite the ground.

National Soccer League

Preston continued to compete successfully in the NSL for the next 13 years, achieving their best finish in 1987 as runner-up in the Southern Division Championship. In 1992 Preston took out the prestigious Dockerty Cup in a thrilling penalty shootout against arch rivals South Melbourne. However financial difficulties led to poor performances and in 1993 Preston played their last match in the NSL.

Victorian Premier League

Relegated back to the Victorian Premier League, Preston were once again crowned Victorian champions in 1994. Around this time, Soccer Australia forced VPL clubs to abolish any ethnicity associated with their club names and the Preston Makedonia Soccer Club was renamed the Preston Lions Soccer Club, however maintained its heritage. The club has since adopted the title of the Preston Lions Football Club, following the lead set by the sports’ governing body and keeping in line with how the game is known in the UK and countries where people don't speak English – as “football”. Preston would once again become Victorian Premier League champions in both 2002 and 2007, adding to its already impressive collection of titles.

Supporters

With more than 5,000 loyal supporters, the Preston Lions Football Club boasts the largest following in the Victorian Premier League competition. In fact, during blockbuster games they can attract crowds in excess of 8,000 which is significant for any state competitive sporting event.

Although the club is based in the northern suburbs of Melbourne and is named after the northern suburb "Preston", the Preston Lions Football Club is considered the "Collingwood" of the AFL with the largest following in the state, and the ability of the club to draw support from all corners of the state. The club also enjoys significant support from country Victoria, namely Geelong and Sheparton, as well as other cities around Australia that include Sydney, Perth, Wollongong and Adelaide. The support from interstate is contributed to the club from 1981 to 1994 competing in the national competition of Australia, the National Soccer League.

Players

Over the years, the Preston Lions FC have produced many champion players who have gone on to represent Australia at youth and senior level such as Warren Spink, Robbie Dunn, Phil Traianedes, Zarko Odzakov, George Jolevski, Andrew Zinni, Oscar Crino, Peter Ollerton, Gary Cole, John Markovski, Kris Trajanovski, Goran Lozanovski, and John Sapazovski who captained the Victorian State Team on their tour to China in 2005.

The Club today and into the future

Today the club has over 240 players with teams in senior mens, senior womens and juniors, with a further 50 people involved in coaching, training, volunteering and assisting with the running of various teams. This group is supported by a team of approximately 10 committee members who are responsible for the management and administration of the club at the strategic and operational level.

As the club will celebrate its 50th Anniversary in 2009, the club is preparing a strategic plan to move the club forward in the future. Recently the Preston Lions Football Club has implemented a system of promoting its own junior and under 21 players into the senior sqaud. In 2008 seven players from the clubs juniors and under 21's structure were promoted into the senior lineup.

The club is proud of its womens team, also competing in the highest competition in the state, the Womens Premier League (WPL). The womens team in 2009 and beyond will look to strengthen its senior sqaud to battle for the WPL title, as well as establish junior girls teams.

With both the senior mens and womens teams competing in their premier competitions, combined with strong teams in the junior ranks, the Preston Lions Football Club with undoubtedly the largest supporter base in Australia out of all state league clubs, the club will continue with its mission to be the best state league club in Australia, to produce players for its senior teams (mens and womens), the national competition (A-League) and for the Australian National Team (Socceroos).

Honours

Club

National

  • 1992 Docherty Cup - Winners
  • 1990/91 National League Cup - Runners Up
  • 1987 National Soccer League - Runners Up
  • 1986 Docherty Cup - Runners Up
  • 1985 National Soccer League - Southern Conference - Runners Up
  • 1985 Docherty Cup - Runners Up
  • 1985 National League Cup - Runners Up

State

  • 2007 Victorian Premier League Champions
  • 2007 Victorian Premier League Minor Premiers
  • 2003 Victorian Premier League Minor Premiers
  • 2002 Victorian Premier League Champions
  • 1996 Victorian State League Division One Runners Up
  • 1996 State League Cup Winners
  • 1994 Victorian Premier League Champions
  • 1994 Victorian Premier League Minor Premiers
  • 1980 Victorian State League Champions
  • 1978 Victorian State League Runners Up
  • 1975 Victorian Metropolitan League Division One Champions
  • 1975 State League Cup Winners
  • 1973 Victorian Metropolitan League Division Two Champions
  • 1973 State League Cup Winners
  • 1966 Victorian Metropolitan League Division One Champions
  • 1963 State League Cup Runners Up
  • 1961 Victorian Division Two South Champions

Individuals

Australian Representatives - Senior Level

  • Robbie Dunn
  • Warren Spink
  • Andrew Zinni
  • George Jolevski
  • Phil Traianedes
  • Oscar Crino
  • Peter Ollerton

Australian Representatives - Youth Team

  • John Little
  • Warren Spink
  • John Markovski
  • Kris Trajanovski
  • Robert Stojcevski
  • Goran Lozanovski
  • Vasco Trpcevski
  • Robert Spasevski
  • Daniel Miller

Victorian State Representatives - Senior Level

  • John Sapazovski
  • Anthony Magnacca
  • Pece Siveski
  • Serkan Oksuz
  • Jonathan Munoz

Gold Medal Winners

  • 2005 Anthony Magnacca
  • 2003 Chris Emsovski
  • 2001 Chris Emsovski

Current squad

Squad Changes for 2008 season

In:

Out:

Notable former players

See also: List of Preston Lions players

Notable former coaches

Records

Note: These statistics include Victorian Premier League matches and finals played for Preston Lions between 1991 and 2005.

External links

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