APIA Leichhardt
Full nameAPIA Leichhardt Football Club
Nickname(s)The Tigers, Marronazzuri
Founded1954 (as APIA Leichhardt)
GroundLambert Park / Leichhardt Oval
Capacity5,000 / 22,000
PresidentTony Raciti
CoachFranco Parisi
LeagueNPL NSW
20231st of 16
(Premiers & Champions)
WebsiteClub website

APIA Leichhardt Football Club, also known simply as APIA (Associazione Poli-sportiva Italo Australiana), is a semi-professional soccer club based in the suburb of Leichhardt in Sydney, Australia. The club was formed in 1954 as APIA Leichhardt, by Italian Australians. APIA, winner of the national Australian championship of 1987, is currently a member of the NPL NSW. APIA Leichhardt are one of just three winners of the 1960s Australia Cup that are still active, the other being Caroline Springs George Cross FC and Hakoah Sydney City East FC.

History

The club was founded as the Associazione Poli-sportiva Italo Australiana ("APIA") in 1954 by members of the Italian-Australian community in Sydney's Inner West. After several years in the Canterbury District competition, the club joined the NSW Federation's state league.[1]

In the 1960s APIA became one of the foremost soccer clubs in Australia and won the Premiership of NSW of the years 1964, 1966, 1967 and 1975, which was the highest level of achievement in the absence of a national competition. Between 1966 and 1974 APIA also won three times the State Cup of NSW, then named after a sponsor Ampol Cup. The 1974 final was considered "one of the most incredible finals" of the history of the club when skipper Jimmy Rooney and centreforward Peter Ollerton, who scored five goals, won 9–1 against Auburn in front of a crowd of 5210 at Wentworth Park, the highest finals result ever.[2]

Rooney and Ollerton were also in the team that represented Australia a few months later in its first World Cup participation in Germany.

In 1979 APIA was given access to the National Soccer League, the top tier of Australian soccer since 1977. In 1987 APIA won the national championship, six points ahead of the Preston Makedonia Soccer Club from Melbourne, with then only two points awarded per win. The coach in that season was Rale Rasic. Charlie Yankos and Peter Katholos are probably the best known players from that side. The main cast of that year consisted of Tony Pezzano; Charlie Yankos, Arno Bertogna, Mark Brown, Jean-Paul de Marigny, Peter Tredinnick, Peter Katholos, Edward Lorens, Hilton Phillips, Gary Ward, Rod Brown and Tony Parison. In 1988 APIA won the National Soccer League Cup. By 1992 the APIA Leichhardt was overwhelmed by financial difficulties. The club was somewhat restructured and forthwith played on state level with the moniker "Tigers."[3][4][5]

In 2017, APIA won the National Premier Leagues NSW premiership, but lost the grand final to Manly United FC on penalties. APIA also made the grand final of the 2017 Waratah Cup, but lost 3–1 to Hakoah Sydney City East FC.

In 2018, APIA won the 2018 Waratah Cup.[6] On 21 August 2018, APIA defeated reigning A-League champions Melbourne Victory FC in the Round of 16 of the 2018 FFA Cup, becoming the seventh state-league side to beat a top-tier team in the knockout tournament.[7] The result was billed as one of the biggest upsets in the tournament's history.[8]

APIA won the National Premier Leagues NSW Grand Final with a 2–1 victory over Sydney United in 2019.[9] This was the first final ever played at Bankwest Stadium.

When the Football Federation Australia repealed its controversial National Club Identification Policy, which effectively banned clubs from having ethnic identities APIA dropped the "Tigers" moniker and reverted to its original badge.[10]

The club was announced on 20 November 2023, as one of the eight foundation teams for the National Second Division, due to start either March or April 2025. They will continue to play in the NPL NSW for the 2024 season, before transitioning to the new league.[11]

Venues

Lambert Park under floodlights with the old turf surface

Lambert Park in Leichhardt is the club's traditional home ground. It was opened in 1954 and has, over the years, been used for most of the club's home games. It is still APIA's main ground and hosts all of the club's NPL matches. APIA has also hosted home games at a number of other venues, including Wentworth Park, Henson Park[12] and, most notably, Leichhardt Oval, where Australia Cup ties against high-profile teams have typically been hosted.[13][14]

Current squad

Updated February 2024.[15][16] Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Pos. Nation Player
1 GK Australia AUS Anthony Bouzanis
2 DF Japan JPN Seiya Kambayashi
4 DF Australia AUS Joshua Symons
6 DF Australia AUS Anthony Sparacino
7 FW Australia AUS Jack Stewart
8 MF Australia AUS Nick Sullivan
9 FW Australia AUS Ben Gibson
11 FW Australia AUS Rory Jordan
12 DF Australia AUS Sebastian Boffa
13 FW Australia AUS Jared Macerola
14 MF Australia AUS Jack Armson
15 DF Australia AUS Themba Muata-Marlow
No. Pos. Nation Player
16 MF Australia AUS Sean Symons
17 MF Australia AUS Jordan Segreto
18 MF Australia AUS Adrian Ucchino
19 MF Australia AUS Lui Di Triola
20 GK Australia AUS Alex Parkes
21 DF Australia AUS Michael Kouta
22 MF Australia AUS Eddie Caspers
23 MF Australia AUS Dakota Askew
27 GK Australia AUS Evan Davis
30 FW Australia AUS Alex Denmead
41 DF Australia AUS Nick Azzone

Seasons

Season League Waratah
Cup
Australia
Cup
[a]
Other Top scorer
Div P W D L F A Pts Pos Finals Player(s) Goals
1957 Div. 1 20 3 4 13 39 57 10 9th QF 2RAMP
1958 Div. 1 22 7 4 11 41 41 18 8th
1959 Div. 1 26 19 4 3 72 33 42 2nd RU
1960 Div. 1 26 18 5 3 71 25 41 2nd SF
1961 Div. 1 22 10 4 8 55 43 24 6th
1962 Div. 1 22 13 3 6 65 38 29 3rd SF W QF
1963 Div. 1 22 14 3 5 70 37 31 2nd RU QF
1964 Div. 1 22 14 3 5 59 35 31 1st W RU John Watkiss 24
1965 Div. 1 18 11 0 7 51 28 22 3rd W RU John Giacometti 21
1966 Div. 1 18 13 4 1 55 16 30 1st RU W W WAMP John Giacometti 20
1967 Div. 1 22 17 3 2 65 19 37 1st RU RU John Giacometti 22
1968 Div. 1 22 11 4 7 42 25 29 3rd GS R16
1969 Div. 1 22 9 8 5 35 26 26 4th W 3rdAMP
1970 Div. 1 22 9 1 12 36 35 19 7th WAMP
1971 Div. 1 22 6 5 11 25 40 17 8th 4thAMP
1972 Div. 1 22 11 8 3 33 18 30 3rd SF UnkAMP
1973 Div. 1 22 10 6 6 38 34 26 5th
1974 Div. 1 22 12 4 6 44 25 28 2nd PF WAMP Paul Ollerton 18
1975 Div. 1 22 13 5 4 39 19 31 1st RU W Paul Ollerton 17
1976 Div. 1 22 15 5 2 49 17 35 2nd W
1977 Div. 1 22 15 6 1 46 15 36 2nd PF
1978 Div. 1 26 13 3 10 36 4 29 6th 1R
1979 NSL 26 11 3 12 29 37 25 8th N/A R16 Ken Reed 7
1980 NSL 26 8 7 11 27 35 23 8th N/A R16 Phil O’Connor 10
1981 NSL 30 12 11 7 39 33 35 4th N/A QF Marshall Soper 12
1982 NSL 30 12 7 11 49 54 31 7th N/A W Marshall Soper 14
1983 NSL 30 11 6 13 42 36 39 8th N/A R16 John Bradley 12
1984 NSL/NC[b] 28 12 8 8 43 35 32 4th PF SF Peter Katholos 14
1985 NSL/NC[b] 22 7 2 13 20 34 16 9th R16 Peter Katholos 14
1986 NSL/NC[b] 22 9 6 7 25 23 24 7th R32 Terry Butler 4
1987 NSL 24 13 9 2 39 21 35 1st W R16 Rod Brown 14
1988 NSL 26 8 7 11 28 35 23 11th W Hilton Phillips 8
1989 NSL 26 7 9 10 27 35 23 10th SF Rod Brown 7
1989–90 NSL 26 11 9 6 36 25 31 6th SF Rod Brown 10
1990–91 NSL 26 7 7 12 27 28 21 11th SF Alex Bundalo 6
1991–92 NSL 26 7 11 8 26 28 25 8th R16 John Gibson 8
1993 NSWSLP 26 10 6+2 8 39 23 44 6th
1994 NSWSLP 22 7 3+7 5 20 19 34 8th
1995 NSWSLP 26 10 4+5 7 29 23 43 4th
1996 NSWSL1 13 7 3 3 20 14 24 3rd
NSWSL2 13 4 5 4 19 22 17 8th
1997 NSWSL 20 12 3 5 27 17 39 2nd PF John Buonavoglia 6
1998 NSWSL 21 8 6 7 32 32 30 8th John Buonavoglia 11
1999 NSWSL 22 11 2 9 43 37 35 7th Steve Karavatakis 10
2000 NSWSL 26 14 6 6 53 39 48 3rd PF Steve Karavatakis 14
2000–01 NSWPL 18 8 2 8 41 36 26 5th Steve Karavatakis 16
2001–02 NSWPL 22 12 5 5 40 29 41 4th EF Steve Karavatakis 12
2002–03 NSWPL 22 11 7 4 44 25 40 2nd W Not held Zlatko Arambasic 17
2003–04 NSWPL 22 7 3 12 24 36 24 9th SF Norman Tome 6
2004–05 NSWPL 22 9 4 9 25 29 31 6th SF Norman Tome 4
2006 NSWPL 18 3 4 11 16 38 13 10th RU Shane McGirr 3
2007 NSWPL 18 8 4 6 26 23 28 5th 4R Robert Younis 9
2008 NSWPL 22 9 7 6 41 35 34 6th QF Robert Younis 21
2009 NSWPL 22 5 7 10 30 38 22 11th 4R Robert Younis 11
2010 NSWPL 22 13 3 7 39 37 39 3rd SF 4R Robert Younis 14
2011 NSWPL 22 6 5 11 24 36 23 10th QF Robert Younis 5[17]
2012 NSWPL 22 9 4 9 32 31 31 6th RU Andrew Bevin 7[18]
2013 NPL NSW 22 2 8 12 29 48 14 11th W Nikola Taneski 7
2014 NPL NSW 22 4 8 10 31 51 20 11th 4R DNQ Blake Powell 9[19]
2015 NPL NSW 22 13 6 3 56 31 45 2nd PF 4R DNQ Blake Powell 21
2016 NPL NSW 22 7 5 11 39 41 26 8th 6R DNQ Tasuku Sekiya 11
2017 NPL NSW 22 16 1 5 50 18 49 1st RU RU R16 SFNPLF Jordan Murray 12
2018 NPL NSW 22 14 3 5 62 28 45 2nd RU W QF Jordan Murray 24
2019 NPL NSW 22 12 6 4 42 28 42 2nd W 6R DNQ Chris Payne 22
2020 NPL NSW 11 2 1 8 12 27 7 12th Not held Not held Sean Symons 4
2021 NPL NSW 17 6 3 8 20 21 21 season cancelled QF Franco Parisi 5
2022 NPL NSW 22 10 5 7 41 33 35 5th SF 4R DNQ Jason Romero 11
2023 NPL NSW 30 20 5 5 64 35 65 1st Not held RU R16 J. Armson - J. Stewart - 14
2024 NPL NSW 20 14 1 5 59 28 43

Correct as of 6th July 2024

Source OzFootball

Season League Sapphire Cup Top scorer
Div P W D L F A Pts Pos Finals Player(s) Goals
2024 NPL1 NSW Women 19 11 6 2 44 26 39
2023 NPL1 NSW Women 26 19 5 2 64 26 62 1st PF W Ash Crofts 24
2022 NPL1 NSW Women 22 12 4 6 48 25 40 2nd PF - Shea Connors 16
2021 NPL1 NSW Women 12 6 4 2 23 16 22 4th PF - Lisa Devanna 5
2020 NPL1 NSW Women 11 5 2 4 20 17 17 8th - - Georia Yeoman-Dale 5
2019 NPL2 NSW Women 22 17 4 1 105 17 55 1st RU - Ash Palombi 33
2018 NPL2 NSW Women 22 13 4 5 59 33 43 4th SF - Ash Palombi 17
2017 NSW State League Women 18 14 3 1 83 14 45 1st RU -
2016 NSW State League Women 21 14 3 4 56 17 45 1st RU -
2015 NSW State League Women 21 8 2 11 31 49 26 6th - -
2014 NSW State League Women 20 2 0 18 25 92 6 7th - -
2013 NSW State League Women 22 3 4 15 21 70 13 11th - -
2012 NSW Women’s Super League 18 2 3 13 23 55 9 7th - -
2011 NSW Women’s Super League 18 16 0 2 69 14 48 1st W -
2010 NSW Women’s Super League 16 8 5 3 39 22 29 4th RU -

Correct as of 6th July 2024

Honours

Regional

National

Individual Honours

National

Regional

Notes

  1. ^ FFA Cup/Australia Cup (from 2014). Includes Australia Cup (1962–1968) and NSL Cup (1977–1997)
  2. ^ a b c During 1984 to 1986, the league was split into two conferences – APIA played in the Northern Conference and the position in the table reflects position in the conference.

References

  1. ^ "History". APIA Leichhardt Tigers FC. Archived from the original on 23 February 2015. Retrieved 23 February 2015.
  2. ^ Mossop, Brian (11 March 1974). "Soccer with everything... Apia win 9–1". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 23 February 2015 – via Google News Archive.
  3. ^ Cockerill, Michael (16 April 1992). "Liquidator takes over troubled Apia". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 23 February 2015.
  4. ^ Cockerill, Michael (25 September 1992). "Apia plan legal tilt for NSL re-entry". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 23 February 2015.
  5. ^ Cooke, Graham (18 December 1992). "Soccer World – Coaching clinic a must for youngsters". The Canberra Times. Retrieved 23 February 2015 – via Trove. FORMER NATIONAL League giant Apia Leichhardt will resumeits interrupted career, reincarnated as the Leichhardt Tigers in the NSW Superleague.
  6. ^ "APIA clinch Cup crown in NSW ahead of FFA Cup Round of 32". FFA Cup. 16 July 2018. Retrieved 22 August 2018.
  7. ^ "Sekiya stars as APIA Leichhardt stun Victory in FFA Cup | The World Game". The World Game. Retrieved 22 August 2018.
  8. ^ "We didn't show up: Victory rue shock FFA Cup exit". NewsComAu. Retrieved 22 August 2018.
  9. ^ NSW, Football (31 August 2019). "Championship finally comes home to APIA Leichhardt Tigers". NPL NSW Men's. Retrieved 19 June 2023.
  10. ^ Historic NPL club APIA goes back to its roots with major re-brand, SBS, 2019-12-12
  11. ^ "Football Australia announces foundation clubs for National Second Tier". Football Australia. 20 November 2023.
  12. ^ "Tigers eye historic win". The Village Voice. 29 June 2012. Archived from the original on 30 December 2012. Retrieved 23 February 2015.
  13. ^ "APIA Leichhardt FC v Melbourne Victory - Australia Cup Match Centre". www.australiacup.com.au. 7 August 2018. Retrieved 30 July 2023.
  14. ^ "WATCH: Mariners hit APIA for six to reach Semi Finals | Australia Cup". www.australiacup.com.au. 21 December 2021. Retrieved 30 July 2023.
  15. ^ "Men's First Grade". Football NSW. Retrieved 25 February 2021.
  16. ^ "Statistics for APIA Leichhardt FC playing in 1st - NPL NSW Men's 2021". mygameday. Retrieved 2 October 2021.
  17. ^ "2011 NSWPL goalscorers". SoccerAust. Retrieved 22 October 2018.
  18. ^ "2012 NSWPL goalscorers". SoccerAust. Retrieved 22 October 2018.
  19. ^ "2014 NSW NPL1 Leading Scorers". SoccerAust. Retrieved 22 October 2018.
Preceded byAdelaide City NSL Champions 1987 Succeeded byMarconi Stallions