Tingira Soccer Club.

In the late 80s, early 90s V.E.S.C. was the king of junior soccer in Newcastle winning all ''A'' division titles in 9s,10s,11s, and 12s. Which made our club very popular with all of the super league clubs looking for players.

In the early 90s it was rumored that all N.N.S.W. 1st Division clubs would have to have junior super league teams, so a successful junior club with no seniors would become very attractive. According to Bob: “over a three year period we were approached unofficially by three 1st division clubs about bringing u/13 players over to their club and in return they would look after the players and me !!!!!!!![could not help myself and declined] end of story.”

During the beginning 1994 season N.N.S.W. told all 1st and 2nd division clubs that they had to have ties with junior super league clubs. During the June 1994 junior U11 state titles which were held at Valentine complex, Bob and Dave Foreman were cleaning up and getting ready for the next day, when they had the following discussion “ I thought we should approach Belmont juniors and put in a joint venture to have teams play in the junior super league for 13s,14s,15s and 16s – over a beer we discussed how we were going to put this in place. Belmont had a 2nd division team and had super league in the early 90s but failed because they could not get all the local players to participate.

Bob knew that to be successful we needed both clubs junior base to compete in junior super league and we needed to be successful from day one - otherwise people would consider that we were just another average club and we would not get the respect from our peers.

Bob Austin called an informal meeting with the Presidents of both clubs David Foreman [V.E.S.C.] and Wayne Cooper [Belmont] on the Monday of the long weekend and gave them the idea of what we needed to do and asked for them to go back to their respective clubs and officially vote on a proposal and put it in the minutes so we could have this joint venture put in place before October and the nomination deadline.

We suggested a joint sub-committee of President,Secretary,Treasurer and 3 x committee members from both clubs.

An official meeting was held between the both clubs in early September 1994 at Complex and it was decided to apply to play in N.N.S.W. SUPER LEAGUE COMPETITION for the 1995 season.

It was decided that because of the little time that was left to submit an application,that bit would be left up to Bob to organise and submit the application on behalf of the joint venture, keeping both Presidents informed.

We advised Mr. Gary Screen the then General Manager of N.N.S.W. soccer federation of the plan and asked for comment from the federation. “He told me that he thought that it was a great idea and as far as he was concerned he would help as much as he could.” The draft was shown to David and Wayne, both approved and it was submitted before the 30th of September deadline.

First week of October Gary Screen rang Bob and advised that the only hiccup with our nomination was that you could not amalgamate a Limited Company and a Incorporated club, however if successful would we be prepared to fix the problem? One club would have to become a Limited Company or the other would have to become an Incorporated body - or a new Identity would have to be created.

We contacted club member Dennis Edwards who was a solicitor. Dennis informed me that the best way to go was to form a new Incorporated body, but to cover us until then we would have to get both clubs to propose and carry a minute in boths clubs next meeting. This was done by both clubs and Gary Screen was informed by letter. In the first week of November 2004 we were notified by N.N.S.W. soccer federation by letter that we had been accepted into the N.N.S.W. super league competition for the next 3 years[1995,1996,1997].

A meeting was organised and was held at Complex, it was attended by [Valentine-Eleebana members - David Foreman, Richard Poole, Terry Rhoades-Brown, Tony Herzog, Cheryl Armstrong, David Simpson and Bob Austin. Belmont members - Wayne Cooper, Steve Donahue, John Garland, Lance Marsh, Les Barter, Tony Clarke and Richard Dear. A chairman,secretary and treasurer were elected- Chairman-Bob Austin, Secretary David Forman and Treasuer - ??????????

In November 1994 we had committee, no name, no teams and no coaches. All were fixed and put in place by the end of November.

After much discussion and numerous suggestions including [Belvale,Valmont etc...] Lance Marsh came up with Tingira United[because it was geographically between the two clubs],It was also decided that we would use the ship Tingira [which was a coal ship that ran up and down the coast between Newcastle and Sydney in the 1800s] as our emblem. All agreed and David informed N.N.S.W.,who in turn informed us that from the 1995 season no club could be identified by United, City, Olympic, Azzurri etc... .At the next meeting it was decided that we we could not be known as Tingira Ships,so a compromise was made that we would be known as "Tingira Eagles"and that the ship would be on the emblem.

First ever Tingira playing strip:

The first playing strip contained all four colours of the two Clubs- Blue and Gold,Tangerine and White.
The design was done by Mrs Christine DeMarchi whose son Luke was in the under 13s
The first team sponsors were- Swimworld Port Stephens [Ross and Jenny Parker],Valentine Pharmacy[Gary and Sandra Wilcher], Newcastle Clothes Lines[Gary and Vicki Roberts] and Lloyd Scott Copiers.

Coaches and Managers:
It was decided on at a very early meeting that no parent would be allowed to be a coach of a Tingira team that their son was playing in.

13s Coach- Keith Anderson Manager- Denise Jones, 14s Coach-Bob Austin Manager Les Barter,15s Coach-John Clinton Manager- Ian Armstrong, 16s Coach- Wayne Parkes Manager- Alan Reay.

In our first year more than 90% of our players were either Belmont or Valentine-Eleebana juniors.

Dianne Nichols was the canteen superviser.

It was decided that Cahill Oval would be our home ground.

1995 - 13s premiers and grand final winners, 14s premiers and grand final winners,15s runners-up and grand finalists,16s 6th.
1996-13s premiers and grand finalists,14s premiers and grandfinalists,15s premiers and grand final winners,16s premiers and grand final winners.
1997- 13s premiers and grand final winners,14s premiers and grand final winners,15s premiers and grand finalists,16s premiers and grand finalists.
1998 -13s  finished 3rd and semi finalists,14s premiers and grand final winners,15s premiers and grand final winners,16s premiers and grand finalists.
1999- 13s finished 3rd and semi finalists,14s finished 4th and semi finalists,15s runners up and grand finalists,16s premiers and grand final winners.
2000- 13sfinished 5th,14s finished 4th and finalists,15s finished 3rd and finalists,16s premiers and grand final winners.

So in six years we had 15 premiers,10 grand final winners,7 grand finalists,1 finalist and 3 semi finalists.Not bad for one club in a six year period.We did not meet the criteria to play in state junior league from 2001 onwards!!!!!!

Coaches and Managers:

1996- 13s Coach-Garry Bergquist Manager-Bob Austin,14s-Coach- Keith Anderson Manager Denise Jones,15s Coach Neil Jeffress Manager Brian Cox 16s Coach- John Clinton Manager Ian Armstrong.
1997 -13s Coach-John Clinton Manager David Foreman,14s Coach Garry Bergquist Manager Bob Austin,15s Coach Keith Anderson Manager Denise Jones,16s Coach Neil Jeffress Manager Brian Cox
1998- 13s ????????, 14s Coach John Clinton Manager David Foreman,15s Coach Garry Bergquist Manager Glenn Callinan,16s Coach Keith Anderson Manager Denise Jones
1999-13s Coach Bob Austin Manager Ian Dobbie,14s Coach Steve Smith Manager Rodger Cooper,15s Coach Jon Clinton Manager David Foreman,16s Coach Frank Groen Manager Manager ?????????
2000 13s Coach Wayne Parkes Manager Ray Geddes,14s Coach Bob Austin assistant coach Kevin Lowe manager Ian Dobbie,15s Coach Steve Smith Manager Rodger Cooper,16s Coach John Clinton manager David Foreman.

All coaches had to have at least a level two [seniors] coaching certificate,but most had a level three.

In 1997 Mr Bob (Doc) Gray came on board as the clubs Trainer and physio and stayed until he passed away in 2008

In 1998 Belmont Sporties Club became the major sponsor of the club on the condition that we change the name to "Belmont Tingira Eagles", which was done.

Belmont Tingira Seniors

So in 1999 the three Musketeers, or three Stooges of Clinton, Bergquist and Austin were together again with the Belmont Tingira 2nd Division. In the first year all teams made the semi-finals and U/19s made final. Best part of it was that over 90% of players were local juniors and more than 75% were Tingira Juniors,who had been in existence for only four years. The oldest Tingira player was 20 years of age{ in fact the only u/16 player from 1995 was Jarl Wolfenden,the rest were from the original 13s,14s and 15s} which was a great achievement and proved that we were definitely on the right path.

The following year N.N.S.W. allowed one player over the age of 19 to play in the U/19s,Most of the 2nd division clubs decided to give that position to a loyal clubman that always struggled to get a run in reserve grade. Belmont- Tingira coaching staff of Larry,Mo and Curly decided to sign an up and coming 48 year old John Parkes from Wallsend,who had been playing with Jesmond in ID 3 and jumped at the chance to play with the kids.

In the two years that Parksey played at the club we won two premierships, played in two grand finals and won one, but the most impressive part of John's stint at the club was that during the 2000 and the 2001 seasons not one Belmont-Tingira player in the u/19s was sent from the field or suspended from yellow cards during the entire season!

Reserve grade finished 3rd in 1999 and at one stage looked liked being premiers but due to injury and other commitments finished 3rd and were beaten in the final.1st grade finished with a wet sail but due to injuries and other commitments[players having weekend work commitments,holidays,family dramas etc...] dropped off the pace, but overall for the first year back we did pretty well.

2000- turn of the century and all Belmont-Tingira teams excelled - U19s-Premiers and Grand Finalists,Reserve Grade-Runners up and Grand Finalists,1st Grade 3rd and Finalists.

2001- In this year Gary Bergquist decided to move on and accept a coaching position at Adamstown. Belmont-Tingira were doing it a bit tough financially and it so there was no money for coaches and some money for players[not much], Clinto stayed on as 1st grade coach, Bob Austin filled the vacant Res grade coach and shared the 19s [“I did 1st half and clinto did the second half],not only did we win the premiership and grand final,we never changed the format of doing a half each - even in the grand final.”Reserve and 1st grade were beaten in the minor semi finals.

2002-During the last half of 2001 John Clinton and Bob Austin decided that the club needed to go in a different direction and that we should bring in new coaching staff, so that the club could grow and prosper. We approached several potential coaches and we had also included several senior players to help with our quest. Just before the 2001 semi-finals 1st grade goal keeper Craig Burton came and informed me that an old coach of his was interested in the position. “So after a informal meet and greet with Clinto and myself Mr David Brenton was invited to become the 2002 coach of Belmont-Tingira and he accepted formally to me during the 2001 Grand Finals held at Lake Macquarie.”

On the following Tuesday John Clinton telephoned and said that a coach had rang him and said that he was very keen to come to Tingira in 2002 and that he could bring some players and sponsors with him. John asked me where the club stood and he realised that we had offered David Brenton the 1st grade job on Grand Final Day. I said that it was his call,but I had shaken hands with David Brenton on Grand Final Day and said the job was his.John Clinton rang the other coach back and said thanks for the offer,but the club had already made plans for the 2002 season.

So in 2002 David Brenton became the new 1st grade coach, John Clinton became reserve grade coach and Mark Fisher and Alf Gray became the new under 19s coaches. Managers were Alan Broadley 1st grade, Todd Cadogan reserve grade with Mark Fisher and Alf Gray the under 19s. Bob Gray was still the trainer.

!st grade had a bad year with injuries and just missed being in the top four, reserve grade and U/19s both made the semi's but were knocked out in the first week.

2003 saw the same coaching staff and managers. In 2004 we were in the market for a new coach and Gary Bergquist became the new 1st grade coach for the 2005 season and John Clinton became the u/19s coach, Gary then brought Brad Davies into the club from Phoenix and the following season Brad took over as 1st grade coach with Gary as his assistant and John Clinton as the u19s coach.

I would like to recognize the enormous amount of work done by John "Johnno" Broadley over this time. Johnno has the potential to be one of the most effective sports administrators in any field, his passion and knowledge were second to none.

End of an era

At the end of season 2005, Tingira was struggling financially and Belmont FC, were not prepared to underwrite any potential loss. Belmont FC relinquished their ownership of Belmont Tingira which continued in the NEWFM League as part of VEFC, playing under the name Valentine Belmont FC to maintain the association with Belmont Sporties. A discussion between the then President and Secretary of VEFC, Mr Warren Read and Bruce Potter was essentially "we have to either close this or make it work".

At this stage Tingira was effectively no longer providing a pathway for our local youth who continued to be sought out by the NBN clubs from about the age of 13 upwards.

In our first year as Valentine Belmont, we achieved 3rd place in First Grade, falling to 6th place in 2007. A highlight of 2007 was our Youth Grade - Premiers!

In 2007, VEFC was approached by Phoenix Rangers FC who expressed interest in merging with a club with a significant junior base. At this stage, Northern NSW had made it clear that the future involved State League Clubs with substantial development programs.

The Direction of VEFC has always been clear. We were and continue to be a club that strives to nurture and develop talented local players. Since 1994 this has been the direction and ambition of our club. The merger with Phoenix Rangers Football Club from season 2008 gave us the State League Licence and with that the career path we had been working towards for 14 years.

The cost

As part of the approval process, NNSW imposed two conditions. VEFC was not permitted to maintain teams in the NEW FM competition and Phoenix had to be included in the playing name of the new entity.

Tingira was basically a great group of people - players, coaches and supporters. Being suddenly transformed to a State League Club left many long term players "out in the cold" unable to gain a place in the new entity. Vefc endeavored to create an ID team to give these players a home, but those unsuccessful in gaining a place in the state league teams mostly decided to move on. We were able to find places for our entire youth team.

The benefit

More than 2/3's of our 2010 and 2011 State League Players are local Eastlakes juniors. Many of these kids would not have the opportunity to play at this level without a local State League Club committed to local player development.In season 2011, we maintain A Grade sides from U11 upwards and for this year we will field 4 x Under 17 teams.

In this area more than any other - we have faithfully followed the Tingira traditions and legacy.

Bruce Potter

Secretary 2004 - 2011



Belmont Tingira lived on after 2008 with the name being resurrected ny a group of former players, coaches and football managers under the leadership of Wayne Cooper and Richard Dear. The club played very successfully in the Interdistrict Competition before coming full circle and merging with Valentine Eleebana FC from 2013 onwards.

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