A Northern Spirit football club Webfanzine

Northern Spirit Football Club



Archive Page No. 2 - The Season beckons!

October, 1997 - News breaks that a consortium under ex-Marconi Chairman Remo Nogarotto is to put a proposal to Soc Aus for Northern Spirit Football Club Inc. to play in the EC. Graham Arnold apparently signed as a player and possible coach.

18/1/98 - Northern Spirit application approved by Soccer Australia - Player / Coach is to be Graham Arnold. Innovative new technology which allows cricket pitches on sporting arenas to be removed - and later replaced - has paved the way for North Sydney Oval to become the Spirit's home ground. The new side, which will become the second Australian club with fulltime playing staff, will have a jersey incorporating the colours red, gold and blue from the 3 local Associations (Gladesville-Hornsby, Ku-ring-gai, and Manly-Warringah). The team is to use North Sydney Oval, possibly Friday nights.

21/1/98 - Article in the Northern District Times (Sarah Byers) - "Their bid was, without doubt, one of the most professional submissions Soccer Australia has received", Chief Executive David Woolley said. "It will at long last provide a career path for thousands of aspiring young footballers in the three local associations", said Remo. Gladesville-Hornsby with 500 teams has been losing top junior players to western Sydney for years, said Kay Iredale (GHFA Admin Off.)

30/1/98 - From: Damian Smith "Subject: Zane signs for Spirit - Northern Spirit has supposedly signed 9 players this week. Breakers Clayton Zane is one of them, signing for 3 years! Robbie Slater was mentioned as was an Ian Crook (I'm sure that is what the Repoman said)...supposedly a veteran of the J-league. The others are said to be free agents and have or are representing Australia at 'some' level."

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3/2/98 - "Zane of course is destined for the Spirit next season, who are also planning to take Zeljko Kalac from Sydney Utd and Carlton's Kresimir Marusic..." - 'Markian' (ex The Australian)

3/2/98 - "Northern Spirit have offered Kalac $400,000 over 3 years to join them apparently. A lot more than Glory's "attractive" offer. ..and they're after Glory's Danny Hay." - David. (ex The Western Australian)

4/2/98 - Northern Spirit will be the 6th 'privatised' club in the Ericcson Sup next year; after Newcastle Breakers, Perth Glory, Carlton, Wollongong Wolves, and UTS Olympic / Contact can be made with Northern Spirit FC c/o Remo Nogarotto by Fax: 9634 4856 Mobile : 0419 899 624 - Chris (ex A&BSW / from a fan)

5/2/98 - "Marketing (The Spirit) means summertime Friday night at North Sydney Oval, with the odd game at Brookvale Oval tossed in to maintain links with the peninsula. 'Packaged entertainment' will be the key to attracting the sports fans looking for an outlet, although as Nogorotto reminds us: 'You can have fireworks and Jimmy Barnes performing, but no-one's going to come and watch you if you get beaten 5-0 (sic) every week'. - Chris (ex Northern District Times). (Sheesh all the way over to Brookvale from Epping! I'd sooner go up to Topper! What about a game at T.G.Millner?)

10/2/98 - From the A&BSW - "Northern Spirit officials were on duty last Sunday eagerly handing out thousands of the club's white Soccer caps to the multitude of youngsters who had turned up at the M-W rego day at Warringah Mall." Also in A&BSW Clayton Zane is reported to have a clause in his Spirit contract which releases him if he can sign overseas by July 31st. He is reported to be on 3 times his Breakers salary under the NS contract! - Chris

20/2/98 - "Bruce Grobbelaar (Oxford United, and former English Premier League and Zimbabwe keeper) has offered his services to The Spirit. The Spirit say they are waiting for a response from Kalac first, then will decide on Grobbelaar, but fear he will be asking for too high a price. Spirit have apparently signed former Spurs striker Ian Crook from from the J-League". - Markian. (Webmaster - I'd find another keeper like Brett Hughes!)

20/2/98 - "I watched 'On the Ball' earlier this evening. According to Kyle Patterson, Kresimir Marusic has definitely signed for Northern Spirit." - Geoff Coy.

24/2/98 - From A&BSW - Robbie Slater, Brett Emerton, and Luke Casserly certain to sign?

27/2/98 - Riccardo reported from the Illawarra Mercury (24/2) that Tony Perinich is signing for The Spirit from Wollongong Wolves.

27/2/98 - Chris Beattie's Football Cavalier webfanzine reports: "Northern Spirit have announced that they have completed two-thirds of their 18-man squad - although only a handful of names have been so far released". Apparently AdCity have not been immune to NS scouts. ( Ed. My pick - Tobin or Ivanovic)

3/3/98 - A&BSW reports that The Northern Spirit is owned 58% by three people - Rene Licata 7%, Remo and another 51% between them, with 42% owned by a Malaysian syndicate 'heavily involved in the construction industry in Australia'. It was also denied that El Tel has any interest financially or otherwise in NS.

10/3/98 - A&BSW and David from Perth both reported Spirit interest in ex-Sydneysider and Perth Glory keeper Tony Franken.

10/3/98 - Beatties Football Cavalier webfanzine reports that the following players are being chased or looked at by NS: Peter Tsekenis and Brett Emerton (UTSO), Anthony Surjan (WW) and Buljabasic (PG).

12/3/98 - Herald Sun (The Australian On Line edition) by Peter Desira - ".. Northern Spirit has approached Eric Cantona about a six-match guest stint when the new club joins the Ericsson Cup next season. Carlton is among the clubs approached to pay for the privilege of having Cantona play against them. Northern Spirit president Remo Nogarotto confirmed the approach yesterday. He said the deal was dependant on convincing the reclusive Cantona to come out of his self-imposed retirement, rather than money." "I would give my right arm to get him," Nogarotto said. Nogarotto is just as keen to lure England international John Barnes! One definite local target for the club is South Melbourne's vice-captain Fausto De Amicis, who NS have informed SM-L of interest but De Amicis denies any contact!.

17/3/98 - A&BSW reports that Northern Spirit will be in Malaysia in the Off-season for trial games.

17/3/98 - Beatties Football Cavalier webfanzine reports that NS are looking at Brisbane's Glenn Gwynne and Troy Cranney. Robbie Slater is mentioned as a possible signing unless he gets picked up by a senior UK club when his contract runs out at the end of the season (but has signed for Wolves UK).

25/3/98 - Mike Cockerill (SMH) says that Troy Cranney (Strikers) has signed. Others linked to NS include Gabriel Mendez and Paul Bilokapic, plus young players Eddie Bosnar (Breakers) and Michael Cunico (Marconi). Nogarotto denied he was being too aggressive in recruiting players as it was essential to get a strong squad together. "The Spirit has budgeted for a full-time playing staff of 18 , and has already filled almost three-quarters of its squad. The club moves into its offices in North Sydney next week, and players will report for duty on July 1 for a three-week period of promotional and marketing activities before pre-season training starts at the end of that month. The Spirit will fine-tune its preparations by participating in a tournament in Malaysia in late August, and the club has been guaranteed by Soccer Australia of a home game for its debut in the national league. While North Sydney Oval remains the club's official home ground, the Spirit also hopes to use Brookvale Oval for up to three fixtures".

26/3/98 - Remo Nogarotto appears on Optus (Sports Australia - Kick Off) and confirms 13 players are signed. The NS Board meets.

27/3/98 - Supporters meet for the first time at Epping. The Club announces Melissa Down is to take up appointment of Operations Manager on Monday 30th March, and the office opens at North Sydney Oval on Monday 6th April, 1998.

27/3/98 - Melissa Down, the NSFC Operations Manager from 30/3/98, makes email contact with the GS Webfanzine. Melissa indicates that we are doing great things and that fan input is welcome.

3/4/98 - Contact again from NSFC via Melissa Down. The Club office is expected to open on Wednesday 15th April now. A Northern Spirit Club for supporters is planned and club song and mascot are under discussion. An official internet site will be looked at soon.

7/4/98 - Beatties Football Cavalier webfanzine reports that Paul Bilokapic and Mark Ruden from Sydney United have begun talks with Northern Spirit for next season. Spirit's chase for Perth's Vinko Buljubasic has taken a detour this week as he may try his luck in Europe during the close season. Carlton and Northern Spirit have virtually ruled themselves out of the race to sign Andrew "Stabber" Marth from the Knights. Marth has accepted the coaching job with VIC. SL side Green Gully.

9/4/98 - GET SPIRITED passed 500 hits this week, and I eventually tracked down a copy of Soccer Australia Magazine, April - it contains interviews with two of the NS Directors - Kerry Chikarovski MP who has played as a young girl and was at the MCG in Nov. , and Councillor Kathryn Greiner who has also had some football connections. They are hoping for a family atmosphere after work on Fridays.

11/4/98 - Mike Cockerill in the SMH states that Brett Emerton has signed for 2 more years with Olympic thus ending Spirit's chances.

15/4/98 - Mike Cockerill reported in todays' SMH: Mark Rudan & Paul Bilokopic definitely signed. John Perosh probably on his way as well! Fan 'Gezzar' (Ari Chia) starts second Northern Spirit fans webpage. GS passes 600 hits. The NSFC Ltd Office was opened today at 15 Ridge Street, North Sydney.

16/4/98 - De Amicis rumoured to have turned NS down so his wife can stay in Melbourne!

17/4/98 - Herald Sun (Vic.) says Gabriel Mendez signed from Parramatta Eagles.

17/4/98 - "Hi Chris, this is Ben again and today I was at my uncle and aunty's house at North Sydney Oval and ran into Manny Zammut ( for the first time ) and Paul Bilokapic and Mark Rudan who signed for the Spirit on Monday ( not certain, but highly likely as they were checking out the ground in keen interest and had lunch with Manny later on, Sydney United officals also appeared later on ). Thought you might want to add this to your website. See ya, Ben Coonan". Thanks Ben. See you at The Spirit - we'll both wear our Breakers shirts!

21/4/98 - NS held a breakfast media conference at 7.30am which revealed details of the Strathair system which is being considered for the ground. It will cost $150,000 for two pitches. The system is being used by Manchester United, whose head groundsman was present!

25/4/98 - Another fan's web site opened - Brendan Armstrong's Northern Spirit Page. Brendan says: "The Hornsby Advocate reports that chairman of Northern Spirit, Remo Nogarotto, has returned from his his recent trip to Italy. He declared the trip a success after approaching past and present Serie A stars to play 3-4 guest appearances for the Spirit. Remo also pproached various top Serie A clubs to gain "sister club" links. The Advocate also reports "Nogarotto spoke at length with the management of English premiere league players John Barnes and Ian Rush during a stopover in London". Nogarotto also confirmed that he is one month away from publicly presenting the Spirit's team for the 98/99 season". Julian Farrell reports "A former French 1st Div. player reported signed.

1/5/98 - Brendan Armstrong has come on board and has his own Spirit Web page (with guestbook and chat room) - see links below.

5/5/98 - Spirit signings Luke Casserley (Marconi) and Tony Perinich (Wolves) both had strong games for their respective clubs in last Saturday's elimination semi final. Marconi defeated the Wolves 2-1 and Luke gets to play at least one more game for the Stallions before he moves to NSO.

6/5/98 - This week Beatties Football Cavalier webfanzine reports that Spirit could also lose foreign signing Ian Crook before he has kicked a ball. Crook is said to be a candidate to replace Mike Walker at first division Norwich City. Spirit may also lose the race to sign Robbie Slater to Glory, if Wolverhamton have an expected clean-out

14/5/98 - "Mr Spirit" Geoff Coy reports:

"The 'official' opening of The Spirit office happened yesterday. I couldn't get there so I did the next best thing and called in today. I met Melissa Down, the Operations Manager who was the only one home. Not unusual as she is the only full time employee at present. Their media man, a guy called Roger Sleeman is employed on a contract basis. Roger has been a reporter/journalist with British Soccer Weekly.

I 'pumped' Melissa for some information but she would only say that the squad will probably be announced next week. At present they have 14 players signed including a reserve keeper. They are still waiting to sign a first choice keeper. A 'Spirit' club will be launched soon to cater for the needs of supporters. The cost will be $30 pa with family membership available as well. The $30 subscription will entitle supporters to discounts on club merchandising, match tickets a magazine etc.

A promotion has been planned and will be held on Sunday 12th July at North Sydney Oval. This is the same day as the World Cup final which will be played later that night. The promotion will center around a family fun day and include: international food and wine stalls, clowns/face painting for kids, meet the players, players -v- celebrities match".

16/5/98 - "Some 'gossip' from the Northern Spirit. Apparently the Spirit are chasing a former Italian international goalkeeper Walter ZENGER (spelling??) All of this info is uncertain but he has supposedly played with Inter Milan, Norwich City and the L.A. Galaxy. Also the rumour is that Robbie Slater should not be given up on as a signing. Last but not least expect Ian Crook to definitely play. Thanks, Ben Coonan"

19/5/98 - Chris Beattie's Football Cavalier reports that NS have signed Michael Cunico as rumoured, Brett Hughes is still a possible, and even puts Alex Tobin back in the frame

19/5/98 - Get Spirited site zooms past 1,000 hits after just 4 months! The A&BSW reports that NS gave out awards at their Office Opening to Sydney based former players who made it big from the Spirit drawing area. Ian Gray, Joe Alagich, Gary Van Egmond, Bobby Catlin, Robbie Wheatley and Murray Barnes were the first to get the award. NDT reports on Marconi's 24 yo defender Luke Casserly signing for NS because of the full-time football and a chance to shine as a fringe socceroo. His nickname is appropriately "Casper".

22/5/98 - Geoff Coy reports that The Telegraph covered NS news: An article about Arnie trying to keep Ian Crook from going to England, more about apprentices, Ian Grays scouting for local players, and a young lad called Paul Wearne from NSW soccer Academy.

26/5/98 - Jason Roberts in WA reports Tony Franken re-signed by the Perth Glory despite NS offer.

27/5/98 - AAP reports Graham Arnold targetting Glenn Gwynne of Brisbane Strikers (reported some time ago on GS).

28/5/98 - NS hold training session promotion with GHFA Super Youth League U14' Christie Park. To everyone's surprise and joy they bring Harry Kewell who trains for 40 mins with the boys! Wow! is the general response. What a fantastic move!

29/5/98 - NS officials are holding talks and promotion with feeder Associations - today GHFA and clubs. Sources say that they are impressed by the NS approach. "The Spirit of the Game" flier is distributed. This confirms 14 signings incl. Eddy Bosnar a very promising sweeper ex Breakers and AIS, and Cunico from Marconi?.

2/6/98 - Chris Beattie's Football Cavalier reports that Brett Hughes is still in the sights, and that Wearne (in Chile with the U20) is still not signed. Rumour that Sth Melbourne are chasing cash for ground improvements and will sell players may mean De Amicis (who will play Croatia this weekend) may still be a chance. A&BSW report on youth development (see below)

Week ending 12/6/98 - due to 10 days away the news has slipped me by but the following events are known: On Friday 12th the supporters club was launched by Harry Kewell. Harry visited St Joseph's College, Hunters Hill (noted Rubgy school) to promote the game and NS. No more signings known but frequent mentions in the press are a sign that things are hotting up.

16/6/98 - A&BSW states that the supporters club has been launched - (letters received by fans say the membership info kit will be out on July 1) - with Harry as No. 1 member! Remo & Arnie quoted as after keeper Peter Blazincic and two UK Premier League players (!!?). NS is budgetting on an average home gate of only 5,000. First home game may be Oct 9th.

30/6/98 - It has been quiet for weeks but Chris Beattie's Football Cavalier reports this week the local noise column that: Arnie has had to take a pay cut due to Malaysian sponsorship affected by the Asian crisis, Robbie Slater is still among the talk for Spirit for this year, and goalie Peter Blazincic is expected to be signed. In other news Clayton Zane came through the Olyroo series v. NZ in fine form after injury and with goals in the final game.

4/7/98 - SMH reports that Nick Purdue, an Aussie youngster from Dutch Roda JC Kerkrade, has been signed. The membership Information Kits promised to enquirers were due out by now but were delayed - should be out by 17th July. Season ticket discount deal extended to 31/7/98!

12/7/98 - The SPIRIT Family World Cup Fun Day and Launch was held and two thousand fans and their families made the most a fine winters day to hear the latest NS news, see the players, children's coaching sessions, and a 'celebrity' game. Biggest news on the day was Robbie Slater's signing and captaincy! Many signed as official supporters club members and a small group tried out the Bob Stand as the venue for the vocal fans! A 4th Fans web page is now up - see "links" below! Chat sessions are available.

23/7/98 - A Northern Spirit fans email LIst has been started. Click here to join spirit OR Email Tancred for details of how to join! Rumour of Spirit playing a warm up game in WA. Playing in a pre-season tournament on the Sunshine Coast with the Strikers is likely in mid-September. With no Waratah Cup in NSW we may have to wait til the 9th Oct. to see them!

27/7/98 - National Soccer League newcomer Northern Spirit will today announce that it's become the first overseas-owned club in the competition. The new owner of English first division club Crystal Palace -- Mark Goldberg -- will now have a majority stake - AAP.
Northern Spirit, Marconi and the Brisbane Strikers are playing in a pre-season tournament on the Sunshine Coast from 18-20 September - the Holbrook Homes Challenge Cup! Thanks to the lovely Bonnie from the Brisbane Strikers office for that news! Get Spirited webfanzine passed 2,000 hits - now running at 20 per day! G'day out there!

14/8/98 - Chairman Remo Nagarotto told Get Spirited that the strips are - Home Red & White (with stars), Away Blue & Black. A bar will be set up near the Fig Tree next to the Bob Stand. Vocal fans requested access to the Bob Stand. Remo to meet with reps on site. NS Web Site due up 'any moment'. .

18/8/98 - Northern Spirit Website up and running at long last! See top of page or links below! Get Spirited passes 2,350 hits. Tancred's SpiritRealm web site up (see below). Trial game at Brookvale postponed to Wed 2nd Sept. Trial games on the Sunshine Coast cancelled. Spirit Michael Cunico scored 4 in the Aussie U20's 8-0 rout of Tonga

Archive Page No. 2 - The Season beckons!


Main Get Spirited webfanzine page

Editorial: The Northern Spirit Football Club Ltd is the newest entry into Australia's national football league (Ericsson Cup or A League). It will field a team in the competition in the 1998/99 season, playing out of North Sydney Oval.

This web-based fanzine is to give all those in the Northern Spirit Football Club catchment area a place to accumulate information, views, goss, etc. about the new Ericcson Cup football club for northern Sydney. It may give you all a way of getting in contact. We hope the club will provide material for its potential fans too!

It is being established for now by Chris Dunkerley who lives in the catchment, is an oz football fanatic, but is a strong Newcastle Breakers supporter. However he wants to see broad multi-ethnic teams in Sydney so is keen to see The Spirit do well also! It is expected that official web pages and true Spirit fan group based webzine/s will join GS during the 1998/89 season. Chris Dunkerley, Webzine editor, February 1998.

Most info on this page will be gleaned from the newspapers, what you fans out there post in (email me please), and from the Ultimate Oz Soccer List - which all on-line football fanatics should subscribe to!

The Northern Spirit Football Club Pty Ltd Mission Statement is:

"To build the dominant footballing organisation in Australia by developing a superior level of player professionalism, marketing excellence, spectator entertainment, and club spirit, which will, in turn, make a positive contribution to the overall image of soccer in this country"

I am sure we all look forward to that and we hope the fans are seen as part of that, and in return rise to the occasion. Ed.

The usual rumours about big name UK Premier League stars guesting!

Feb 98 - Rumours were around that North Sydney Oval will NOT be used due to opposition from Cricket Authorities, and that it will end up at Brookvale (which is real great for those in Berowra, Kenthurst, or Carlingford! :-( ) The NSW Cricket Association however is reported to have no problem with the portable wicket square technology; if it works! On 23rd April the Strathair system was revealed to media at an event which included the Head Groundsman of Manchester United (who are installing the system over the break).

"Did you know that Northern Spirit is the name of a Festival in Sweden, or that the Indoor Soccer Team in the Eastern Conference of the North American League in Baltimore is called The Baltimore Spirit? I wonder if they will do a Lakers?" - Chris Dunkerley 1/2/98

SBS and A&BSW reported an incident in the Marconi dressing room. Remo denied any official involvement in poaching players.

From "The Bearded Spirit" Julian 25/4/98 - "Talking of the SPIRIT, just happened to be talking to ABSW journo John Economos today (he wanted a TAB prospectus :) ) and we got to talk (quickly, mind you!) about Australian soccer. He said that SPIRIT had just signed a new French player who'd played 1st division football in that country with an unpronounecable name".

From Markian Jaworsky (Carlton SC fan) 17/5/98 - "I spoke with Kresimir Marusic last night after the grand final. Wished him well for his next season with the Northern Spirit. Skilful player, and a good bloke who listens very well to people and appreciates what they have to say. I told him that the Spirit will be playing on a cricket ground, and there maybe a cricket pitch to contend with. "No more cricket pitches!", "if there is a cricket pitch there, I'm leaving." was his reply. And if you get to see him at a club function, make sure you ask him to perform his balance-the-beer-bottle-on-your-head trick! - Markian Jaworsky"

Talk from GHFA officials is that NS will use Cromer Park for U19's and Christie Park for U17's. we presume these are Northern National Youth League team. Also talk that the 3 Associations' juniors will get some free admittance.

Clayton "Clacka' Zane is reported (4/7/98) to have been up to his night spot haunting again - this time in Coffs Harbour! and it has caused his drop from the Olyroos team for Sth America tour (confirmed by A&BSW).


Spirit fans warm up in the Bob Stand

"Interesting about Zane, at least I can bag 'Clacka' at North Sydney Oval in between Breakers games! :-) A better move than Marconi I think (but another nail in Breakers coffin unless the Board gets its fingers and dollars out)! "I hope Arnie signs someone with some speed. Imagine today's Arnie and Clacka Zane up front! The defences will fall asleep waiting."Chris Dunkerley


- Some interested fans are declaring themselves in the Epping area and further afield. How about you? Email Geoff Coy or me if interested in a supporters group. A meeting of interested fans was held on Friday 27th March at Epping. A meeting of fans was attempted at Chatswood on the June Long Weekend, and was achieved at the trail game v. Sutherland.

Don't forget the Chat Room on Brendan Armstrongs web site - Friday 7.30pm

Sugestions wanted from Fans for gatherings during the off season. Please email me or Geoff Coy with dates, places, times, activities.

16/5/98 SMH - Roy "Gooner" Sider was featured in the Sydney Morning Herald heading off to the FA Cup Final for his beloved Arsenal Gunners. Roy has pledged his Oz allegiance to Northern Spirit! Good one Roy, but for the thousands outlaid to get to Wembley you could probably get life membership of Northern Spirit! :-)


Melissa Down took up appointment as Operations Manager on Monday 30th March

Contact has been made from NSFC via Melissa Down. The Club office opened on Wednesday 15th April. A Northern Spirit Club for supporters is planned and club song and mascot are under discussion. An official internet site will be looked at soon. Buses may be run from local communities.

Bulletin 23/4/98 - Over the 3 weeks from then Northern Spirit FC P/L were undertaking business planning. This focussed on sponsorship, media events and promotion, and The Launch (in July). The Board Meeting in mid May will consider the plan and then implementation will commence.
The squad assembles on July 1 and training commences on July 27th. Official opening of the Office will be on 13/5/98.

Friday 12/6/98 - The Northern Spirit supporters club launched with the assistance of Harry Kewell, who has been signed by Northern Spirit for promotional work. Further details awaited.

Bulletin 14/5/98 - At present we have 14 players signed including a reserve keeper. We are still waiting to sign a first choice keeper. A 'Spirit' club will be launched soon to cater for the needs of supporters. The cost will be $35 pa for an adult, teens $20, children $10; with family Season tickets available as well. The official supporters club subscription will entitle supporters to discounts on club merchandising, bookibg match tickets, a magazine etc. For fans a promotion has been planned and will be held on Sunday 12th July at North Sydney Oval. The promotion will center around a family fun day and include: international food and wine stalls, clowns/face painting for kids, meet the players, players -v- celebrities match.

This page has just recorded 'hit' number : since the counter was set on 16th May, 1998

Photo on this page: Doctored photo of Graham Arnold in Spirit livery scanned from a Northern Spirit publication.

Copyright © C.Dunkerley Epping NSW 1998

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This Web Page was created using Saturday, 16 May, 1998
Most recent revision Thursday, 24th September, 1998