History of Macarthur District Soccer Football Association (MDSFA) now Macarthur Football Association (MFA)
The idea of forming a soccer Association south of the crossroads at Liverpool was first discussed in 1979. By 1983 the MDSFA was to become a reality and in 1984 the MDSFA became an incorporated body with charter of fostering, developing and promoting junior soccer in the Campbelltown, Camden and Wollondilly municipalities.
In the Associations inaugural year there were 20 Clubs registered with the Association, these being Bradbury Ambarvale, Burragorang, Camcraft, Camden Tigers, Campbelltown City, Campbelltown Police Boys, Campbelltown Collegians, Campbelltown Districts (now Gunners United), Campbelltown RSL, Eschol Park, Ingleburn RSL, Johnson & Johnson & K Lions (now Leppington Lions), Macarthur Raiders, Macquarie Fields United (now Fields United), Minto, Narellan, Tahmoor Nepean Rovers, Picton Rangers and Ruse. Thirteen Clubs moved from the Southern Districts Association, three Clubs from the Southern Highlands Association and five new Clubs were formed.
Since the Associations inception clubs have passed by the way due to various reasons and have made way for new clubs. Clubs newer to the Association are Appin, Camden RSL, Campbelltown Southern Districts, Campbelltown Uniting and St Marys Eaglevale, Douglas Park, Campbelltown Condors, East Campbelltown, Mt Annan and Harrington Park. All of this makes the Association 25 clubs strong, providing Soccer from some 8000 players and officials.
Over the years clubs supported Super League outside the control of the MDSFA with some mixed success. In 1987 Campbelltown City Soccer Club and Campbelltown Districts Soccer Club amalgamated forming Campbelltown City and Districts Soccer Club, which opened the door for negotiations between the Federation club of the area and the MDSFA. This lead to the MDSFA and Campbelltown City and Districts Soccer club agreeing on a change of colours of both bodies to make the identifiable step of furthering soccer and providing a career path for our better players. Campbelltown City and Districts played out of Bensley Road Complex and the Junior Representative Teams (Junior and Youth League) played our of Lynwood Park, St Helens Park which is now the Headquarters and home ground of the Association. The Super League and the Association colours were changed to grey tops maroon shorts and maroon socks.
Probably the saddest moment in the Association history was the passing of Ron Dine (the father of soccer in the area) in 1986. Although Ron never served on the Association as a Committee member he was always there to help and advice in presentation of medals to both winners and runners-up. Ponderosa Park (formerly the home of the Association) was renamed Ron Dine Memorial Reserve in His honour.
During the 1991 season the Campbelltown City and Districts Soccer Club approached the MDSFA to discuss the transfer of their Federation team to the control of the Association. After agreement had been reached between the parties the Association approached the NSW Soccer Federation to ratify the agreement and from the 1992 season the Federation team representing the Association would be the Macarthur Rams. This boosted the profile of soccer in the Macarthur area and provides a role model for the younger players in the District, and a career path for the more talented players.
For the 2008 season the Macarthur Rams will be competing in the NSW Premier League competition for both Senior Men’s and Youth League. The Association will also be entering teams in the Metropolitan League which caters for Under 11’s and 12’s.
From humble beginnings in 1998, the Women’s Program at Macarthur has flourished.
That first year under the guidance of Rob Laws and Peter Davies, the Association ran a senior team and an Under 16s in a Friday night competition which was barely above club football in quality. Also in place was an Under 14 Development squad and a schools-based seven-a-side competition. The following year saw the introduction of a Youth League competition, into which Macarthur entered Under 14s and Under 16s, the 14s qualifying for State Titles and finishing third. In the seniors, the Rams entered into a partnership with UWS Macarthur in the Women’s Super League, leading the competition for some time before finishing in a respectable mid-table position.
In 2000, the Rams again competed in Super League, this time on their own and found the going a little tougher, finishing closer to the bottom of the table. The Youth League teams were both competitive, the Under 16s finishing second in the League and fifth at State Titles. 2001 saw the start of a rebuilding stage, with Kim Manty taking the reins at board level and Peter Davies again in charge of coaching. The seniors, having been relegated to State League, did well to finish third in First Grade after losing many players from the previous year. The Under 16s again finished second in the League and with only 6 genuine 16s, secured second place at State.
According to Peter’s long-term plan, 2002 was the year to “win things” and ensure promotion to Super League the following year. Under his guidance, First Grade won the League by 12 points and won the Grand Final 3-0 and Reserves finished an unlucky second in the League and made the Grand Final. The Under 16s won the League, the Grand Final and State Titles and the Under 14s made the Semi-Finals and State Titles. Each of these junior teams also produced two NSW State Representatives. 2002 also saw the Women’s Program grow with the introduction of an Under 12s Junior League, in which the Rams’ team was very competitive, just missing the finals.
The 2007 season saw many highlights for the Women’s program. Competing in the Women’s Premier League both the 1st Grade and the Under 12’s won their respective competition. Macarthur is now one of the leading clubs for Women in Australia.
As can be seen the Macarthur District provides a nursery for many talented players. There have been many other players in the past that have come from the District to represent in Super League, Premier League, National League Teams and Australian National Teams.
The mission of the Association shall be to promote and develop the game of Soccer in the Macarthur District for the benefit of all within a framework of sound and ethical practice.