North Ryde Soccer Football Club was officially formed in December 1953 with George Collier being the driving force behind its formation to cater for the needs of a growing young district.
In a meeting at the North Ryde School of Arts on 10 December 1953 it was decided that five pounds was to be tendered to Ryde Council for the use of North Ryde Oval for the duration of the Winter Sports season. It was also moved that a smoko be held on 20th February following to obtain funds for the club.
Its chosen colours of brown and gold served the club for a number of seasons, varying slightly to maroon and gold as the years progressed. In 1986, the club affiliated with the North Ryde R.S.L. club, adopting the Blue and Gold of the present day through that union. (This affiliation was amicably terminated in 1991, although the facilities of that club are widely used by all the players and parents, and the Club maintained Associate Sponsorship until 2000).
For twenty years, the club was content to play district soccer, first in the Northern Suburbs Association and by the mid seventies, the Gladesville - Hornsby Football Association.
In 1973, it entered a team in the NSW Federation Division 6 and had progressed over the years to be only one Division from National League.
It has never forgotten its mission - "to develop youth and cater for the needs of its community".
Up to the acceleration in the mid 1990's, outstanding results had been State League Champions in consecutive years (1985-1986), State League Grand Finalists (1992), Women's State League Division One Premiers (1991) and Champion of Champions Finalists (under 12) in 1991.
The 1993 Season saw the Club reach new heights. In an exceptional year, the club won the Division 2 Premiership by eight points, were Club Champions and took out the Grand Final in front of over 2,000 spectators. Wide media coverage was received in the local papers and national magazines.
In addition, during 1993, the North Ryde Soccer Club negotiated a move whereby our State League sides played their Home Games at the T.G. Millner Field (home of the Eastwood Rugby Club). Our Club also used the facilities of T.G. Millner - "the Gunnerdome" - as a base for most of its Youth League, Junior Development, G.H.F.A. and Social activities.
1994 was equally spectacular - 6th in the First Division competition; victory over Blacktown City Demons and taking the great Marconi 'to the brink' in the $50,000 Waratah Cup Round 6 as well as finalists in the Reserve Grade. - a most satisfying effort in the inaugural year of the club's first of a Five Year plan for success.
1995 saw even more improvement. Initially, a change of name - to the Ryde City "Gunners" - for the Representative sides, meant a greater support base. All three grades made semi-finals (First Grade finished third) and our Under16 Youth League made the Final. The Association with Eastwood was further extended. Our reputation as "Cup Specialists" gave us the opportunity of playing another Quarter Final - this time in Canberra against the Cosmos.
In 1996, the Club gained extensively. Club Champions! Under 18's were crowned Premiers, Under 21's Premiers, Champions, and First Grade beaten Grand Finalists. In G.H.F.A., Premier League was Division Two Undefeated Premiers, Champions, and Youth League continued to improve, progressing on its cumulative points significantly each year. Finally, another excellent Cup sally with another Quarter Final exit - this time taking Super League Champions, the Parramatta Eagles to a penalty shootout.
Receiving support and sponsorship from Continental Tyres, The North Ryde R.S.L. Club, Lotto Sportswear as well as numerous local businesses, saw the 'Gunners' make 1997 even more remarkable! Over 40 teams played in the 'Gunners' colours that year; more than twenty-five teams, seventeen years and under - highlighting the Junior Development Policy established at the start of the Five Year Plan in 1994. The State League were again Club Champions, with First Grade comfortably second, Under 21's third and back-to-back Premierships for the Under 18's. Grand Finalists in all three grades and Champions in Under 21 and Under 18's. As well, the Youth League was promoted to Division One, cumulatively finishing second. Grand Final victories by the Under 13's, 14's and 15's, with the Under 16's Premiers and beaten Grand Finalists.
Successful application was made to the New South Wales Soccer Federation to enter the Super League competition at the end of that year. The Presentation was seen as one of the most professional ever put forward and the club rightfully saw itself for the first time in its history as a member of this elite group.
The first year in the premier NSW Federation league, the Super league, 1998, saw the club finish second last. Much of the club's drama was off the field however when after only the second game of the season, T.G. Millner was declared unsuitable and with much expense, Ryde played its remaining home games at Wentworth Park. This lack of stability did not help the club and after only their second year at the top, they were relegated to Division One, although they finished a creditable ninth in the First Grade.
The year 2000 saw the beginning of a revival as ex-player; John McKie took over the reins as Football Manager with the retirement of Les DeCelis. Much needs to be said of Les DeCelis' commitment to Ryde and as a fitting tribute, the Club bestowed upon him the honour of Life Membership for his devotion towards the club. The year 2000 was the watershed year for Ryde and the Gunners finished last in the Division due to the inexperience of the players and the rebuilding program. Many of the younger players were retained however for 2001 by Steve Mayer; and new coach Tony Dunn also brought along some really exciting and talented players, both from Ryde juniors and from other clubs. The average age of Ryde's First Grade squad was 25 and three quarters of them were under 23.
The Early Years
The New Millenium
The last season, 2001, saw the Gunners emerge as Grand Finalists, losing narrowly in an exciting and absorbing Grand Final at St. George Stadium to the Division One Premiers, Sydney University. Both Clubs were promoted to the Super League competition in 2002. As well, the revamped traditional home ground of the Gunners, Magdala Park, nestled on a bend of the picturesque Lane Cove River, is now the showpiece surface of the Federation.
Article kindly supplied by George Moscos of the Ryde City club - 04/01/2002
Fast forward to 2005 and the club began a revival of its Association side through the support of Tim Thorne, Director of Coaching and Principal of Kickstart. Under Tim’s professional guidance the club put all its young players through an enhanced training program, known as co-operative training. This skills based training presented the game of soccer in a fun and collaborate way, whilst providing the necessary skills to take them further in the years ahead.
In 2007 the club registered 25 Association (GHFA) teams comprising 12 Minis, 7 Juniors and 6 Seniors as well as 5 Youth League and one State League team through NSW Soccer (under Ryde City Gunners).
At the conclusion of the 2007 season the club had won 4 Premierships (U9/2, AA7, AA20 and O35/2) a Pennant (U11/2) and our AA20 and O35/2s backing up to win the Championship as well. All our teams did so well that for the first time in years, North Ryde Soccer Club ranked in the top 10 of the GHFA Club Championship.
During July the club hosted a Texas Hold ‘em Poker night which was well attended by parents and senior players. Prizes ranged from cash to wine and books but bragging rights was probably the main reason for some to participate.
Our end of year Presentation Day for all players on Sept 1st was extremely well attended. The jumping castle was very popular and the relaxed surroundings of Magdala Park meant people were happy to stay and mix. All the positive comments received indicate the club is responding well to players needs.
At the AGM on 7 November 2007 the Board decided that without significant financial support it was unable to continue to run a State League side. This meant unfortunately that the Youth League side would be discontinued as well (NSW Soccer rules). Luckily help came in the form of Donald Robertson. Donald approached Gladesville United who run a State League side and were happy to merge into a new club, to be called Gladesville Ryde Magic. It is proposed that this new club will use Magdala Park for its home games under an agreement with North Ryde Soccer Club. This ensures the continuation of representative soccer locally.
North Ryde Soccer Club Inc will instead focus on its local and longstanding players, and in particular its kids. It is also finding that older players, now Dads, are interested in either playing and/or becoming more involved in the club.
The club will be entering the Northern Womens Soccer Association in 2008 for the first time with a girls U12 team. It is expected that more teams will follow as the popularity of women’s soccer grows.
The club currently utilizes two grounds - North Ryde Oval and Magdala Oval, both within view of North Ryde RSL Club.