Almanac Soccer: Clog ball – the tale of the Dutch and soccer in Australia 1950 to 1980

Neerlandia-Nieuws-1959Small

Soccer in Australia underwent a revolution and rebirth as a result of the influx of European migrants entering the country in the decades after World War Two. Each migrant community established soccer clubs and teams in various locations across the country, the most obvious and prominent being those linked to the Greek, Italian and Croatian communities. And then there were the Dutch…

 

Often dubbed the ‘invisible’ migrants due to an inclination to assimilate quickly in to Australian culture, the story of the postwar Dutch migrants and their influence on soccer here has largely been overlooked. Until now.

 

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Wilhelmina, Melbourne early 1960s

Adam Muyt is a Hobart-based writer and historian of Dutch descent who over the last 12 months has been unearthing and piecing together the tale of Australia’s Dutch-flavoured soccer clubs and teams, as well as the stories of various Dutch-born players, administrators and officials involved with the game here.

 

Adam’s research shows more than 20 Dutch-aligned teams were formed across the country through the 1950s and 1960s, while Dutch migrants played a major role in the founding of at least another 10 sides. Dutch teams took the field in all the major cities as well as regional centres such as Albany, Mt Gambier, Wagga Wagga, the La Trobe Valley, Geelong, Shepparton, Mt Isa and Launceston.

Morley1980SmallAdam is in Perth in September to research the story of the Morley Windmills, one of the first Dutch sides established in Australia and now the oldest surviving club with Dutch roots, as well as looking at the influence of Dutch-born players on the game in Western Australia.

 

Adam is presenting a talk on this subject for the Australian Society for Sports History (WA) on Monday 5 September at Morley Windmills Sports Club, Wotton Reserve, corner Embleton Ave and Broun Ave, Embleton.

MorleyLogoThis is a free event and starts at 6.30pm. Bar facilities available.

Adam Muyt is author of several articles, reports and two books including Maroon & Blue – recollections and tales of the Fitzroy Football Club (2006).  For further information on his research into the Dutch soccer teams of Australia see:  http://www.shootfarken.com.au/clogball-remembering-dutch-football-clubs-of-australia/

 

Les Everett looks after the WA chapter of the Australian Society for Sport History.

About Les Everett

A Footy Almanac veteran, Les Everett is the author of Gravel Rash: 100 Years of Goldfields Football and Fremantle Dockers: An Illustrated History. He is the footyalmanac.com WAFL correspondent and uses the money he makes from that role to pay for his expensive websites australianrules.com.au and talkingfrankie.com and fund the extravagant Vin Maskell at scoreboardpressure.com

Comments

  1. Snowy from Lonny says:

    Can anyone name the soccer teams in melb.back in the old WOS days?I will start. 1.South Melb Hellas

  2. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says:

    Loved that article in the link Adam.

    As a youngster in Adelaide in the 60s, I was taken by club names like Croatia, Beograd, Birkalla, Polonia, Hellas, Austria, Azzuri and Juventus.

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