The most poular and prestigiuos Macedonian Greek sporting club in Australia is Heidelberg United Alexander Soccer Club “hereafter The Club) which was founded in 1958 by Florinian immigrants from Greece.Three years earlier (1955) the founding members of the club dissociated themselves from petty politics and the unbalanced ideological strife which characterised the Northcote Florinan Social Club in the late 1940’s and early 1950’s. They decided to form their own social club, the Clifton Hill Social Club.
The colours of the team, yellow and black, were decided and based on the memory of the team in Florina in Greece. The name of the club Megas Alexandros came from the region where Alexander the Great was King.
THE FIRST GAME
The Clifton Hill Soccer Club was financial supporting the Club as well as of their own membership, the spectators, supporters and even players. The inaugural game was played on 13 September 1958 attracting a crowd of four hundred spectators and 2 pounds 2s 10d was collected, an amount which was increased to 5 pounds 8s 3d within three months following the successful and popular start up of the club
THE MAKING OF A GREAT CLUB
In its inaugrual apperance in the Provisional League the Club won the championship easily.The official magazine of the VASFA, Soccer News in its September 1960 edition paid tribute to the club ” of the entrants, Alexander proved themselves champions when they easily won the League Championship with a total of 34 points. Their attack was the best of any team competing in Victorian soccer this season, with 113 goals scored.”
1975 STATE LEAGUE CHAMPIONS
The club won its first major championship at the then highest level in 1975. The majority of the team went on and became the nucleas of what would be known as the golden era of the club from 1977- 1983. Heidelerg (formerly Fitzroy United).
THE NATIONAL SOCCER LEAGUE
The club was a founder-member of the Phillips National Soccer League and proved to be a model team for consistency and success, throughout the next ten years, the second best performance rate of all Australian teams competing in the highest league and the second most successful, behind Sydney City.
MOVING TO A PERMANENT LOCATION
After years of playing out of Fitzroy or Olympic Park, the comittee of Heidelberg decided it was time to find teh club a more permanent location. Following the formation of the national league the club commenced negotiations to relocate from Fitzroy to Heidelberg. The local council decided to lease the historic Olympic Village, (the training venue for the Melbourne 1956 Olympics) to the Club.
HEIDELBERG CROWNED CHAMPIONS IN 1980
Between the years 1977-1986 Heidelberg United finished in the top half every season. It didn’t take too long for the club to establish itself as the most prolific club that ever came out of Melbourme. In 1980 the club would produce no less than 7 players who went on to present Australia in internationals. In the 1980 NSL Grandfinal Heidelberg came into the game as the underdogs against the best team of the competition, Sydney City. The grandfinal was played in Canberra what was to be the first ever live game of a national sporting code. Heidelberg easily defeated Sydiney City 4-0
THE BRIDES MAID
Over the next few years Heidelberg failed to capitalise on its own success. The next few years would be full of heartache. Heidelberg appeared in 8 finals appearances and failed to win any.
1988 STATE LEAGUE CHAMPIONS
After been relegated from the NSL in 1987, Heidelberg played the 1988 season in the Victorian State League (VPL). Heidelberg needed to finish the season on top to gain promotion back into the NSL. After a turmulous 12 months the club finished on top and won the championship against Altona Magic.
1990 STATE LEAGUE CHAMPIONS
After been humilated with relegation 1 year after winning back its NSL spot in 1989, Heidelberg bounced back to win promotion back into the NSL by winning the State League Championship. The club has never full realised it potential during the golden era of the late 70’s & 80’s. The 90’s were not kind to the club.
NSL CUP & the 90’s
There was some consolation in the 90’s with the club winning the NSL Cup in 1992/93 and 1996/97. 1996/97 season will be the last year the club competes in the NSL. The Club was relegated and itfailed to regain entry after cripling debts almost wiped out the Club. The club went from an NSL team in 1996 to a State Divsion 1 club by 1999. Heidelberg suffered the humiliation of been relegated 2 divisions by the end of the 90’s. In 1999 the club won promotion from State 1 back to the Premier League for 2000.
2001 VPL CHAMPIONS
After the turblent 90’s was over the Club embarked on a rebuilding program. With most of the debts cleared it was time to focus on the team. In 2001 under the guidance of Peter Ollerton, the club bounced back and won the 2001 Victorian Premier League. The game was played out in front of 6,000 against Port Melbourne. The game was in the keeping after a 2-0 scoreline. But in a moement of madness, Heidelberg almost gave away.The club went into a penalty shoot out to win the major.
2002 RELEGATED AGAIN
By this time the supporters were becoming used to the topsy turvy nature of the club, which seems to have become an inherent culture in the club. A year after winning the championship, again Heidelberg was relegated. This was not the first time after winning a championship, the club was relegated the next. It would take another 2 years before the club will again play in the highest league in Victoria.
2004 STATE LEAGUE CHAMPIONS
After missing out on promotion by goal difference in 2003. The club appointed Phil Stubbins a past champion of the club to stear the club back into the VPL. The club finished a clear leader in 2004 and was promoted back into the VPL for 2005.
Back in the Premier League the club hit almost instant success. Heidelberg finished second in the first year back in the VPL and made it all the way the greandfinal knocking out South Melbourne & Oakleigh to get there. Unfortunaltey for the club, we lost 2-0 in the final to Green Gully.
2006 SEMI FINALIST
After losing the grandfinal in 2005, the club had aspirations to go one better. Injuries and suspension will play in a big part. The Club once again competed in the finals series, knocking out glamour clubs Kingston & Oakleigh along the way. In the semi-finals the club faced its toughest challenge against Altona Magic. With players out injured and suspended the Club fielded a young side which just failed in extra time losing 2-1