A decision to give some junior players a home club gave soccer in the region Tamworth FC – and years later the club is still going strong as they celebrate their 10th anniversary.
Tamworth FC had an auspicious debut season in 2008 when their three sides – under-13 and under-14 outfits and a reserve-grade senior team – won premierships.
It laid the foundation for a club who now boasts 18 junior teams, five senior teams and ladies teams.
The club’s formation was brainchild of four men – Wayne May, Darren MacKenzie, Anthony Kassis and Craig Hearfield.
“We had some junior kids that played some representative stuff,” May said, “and half were in Tamworth but didn't really have anywhere to go. So we thought we'd try and start up a club so they had a home to go to.
“They'd been playing reps for four years and they weren't really affiliated with anyone locally. That's how we started up.
“That was in 2008. But it all started in 2007 when we had to get all our paperwork in line … We won all three [grades] in the first year, so we had a big start to the competition.
“They weren't just rep players – they were mates from school. And it just turned out that they bonded pretty well and we had a good year.”
The club won first-grade premierships in 2012-13. May said Tamworth won club championships in 2012, 2013 and 2014.
Tamworth – who play a catch-up match against South Armidale at Scully Park on Saturday – has 252 players this season. May said that was a 10 per cent increase on 2017.
“We always thought we'd get up there [size wise],” he said. “[But] we'll never get like the big clubs like North Companions and the Kootingals because we don't have the school base they have.
“I think its [more about] the quality you give your members rather than having big numbers.
“I think our coaching over the years has proved [that] if you give them quality, you'll keep your players, and we don't lose a great deal of players. We had a quiet spell a few years ago but we've built up again now.”
May was a founding committee member of Tamworth. His association with the club “means a lot” to him.
“I love it,” he said.