Miranda Magpies Football Club History
Soccer has been played on a competitive basis within Sutherland Shire since at least 1929. Social Soccer was also widespread throughout the 1920’s when sports clubs of local factories would issue challenges to other factories and the matches would be played out in a cup like atmosphere on their picnic days.
Three clubs started playing in a competition from 1929. The three teams where from Miranda, Cronulla and Gymea. The Miranda team was from the Miranda Congregational Church and they where known as the Miranda Congs. The club played at the Summit Estate, which was on the corner of The Kingsway and Sylvania Road. In 1930 a fourth team, Sutherland United was formed in Kareela and was based in an area known as Pommy Gully. In 1934 the Georges River Bridge had been opened and Sutherland United now competed in the St George competition.
Competitive soccer then ceased in 1934 and it is unclear what happened to the original clubs. In 1936 Club members of Sutherland United had differing opinions as to the direction of the Club. Several prominent members split and formed the Casuals Soccer Football Club. The club fielded teams in the U16 and U18 divisions in the St George competition and played their home games in Millers Paddock, Sylvania Rd, Miranda. The Casuals continued to play in the St George area until the competition was suspended due to World War II.
After World War II, there was a huge resurgence of interest in soccer in the Sutherland Shire and the Casuals were able to field strong teams in the St George competition across all age groups from U12 – U18 as well as First Grade, Reserves and Second Grade.
In 1947, The Casuals also moved their home ground to Le Haynes Paddock, Miranda, which is where the Sutherland Hospital stands today. After a number of years at Le Haines field, the Casuals moved to Seymour Shaw Park when hospital construction first commenced. The home teams enjoyed a considerable advantage at Seymour Shaw due to the steep slope that ran across the field. As John Jones remembered “When you had the ball at your feet, the Eastern touchline seemed to be almost at crossbar level. This was certainly a ready made excuse if your shot missed.”
In 1949, a dispute with the St George Association over the loss of points against a Casuals U16 team was the catalyst that started the formation of an amateur soccer association within Sutherland Shire. A motion was proposed by George Swattridge and carried that the Casuals executive committee approach the NSW Junior Soccer Board of Control for approval to organise a competition within Sutherland Shire.
The deputation consisted of George Swattridge, Fred Hand, W Tanner and Allen Treddenick. A deputation was also present from the St George Association to oppose the Casuals request. A lengthy and often heated meeting took place in the Queen Victoria Building but it was eventually resolved that a separate association could be formed in the Sutherland Shire as it was considered a growth area.
During 1950-51 the Sutherland Association was to be reformed after it had been disbanded in 1930s. Office bearers were George Swattridge, President, Fred Hand Secretary and Allen Treddenick, Treasurer.
Miranda Magpies has the honour of being the first Club to join the Association at the inaugural meeting which was held at the old School of Arts in Kiora Road, Miranda in 1951.
During the first few years of the Association’s existence, all junior Soccer was conducted on two fields at Seymour Shaw Park, Miranda, and many members of the Committee at that time were quite content to continue with a centralised policy for Soccer within the Shire. However, just prior to the 1957 season, by a slender majority, a resolution to de-centralise soccer was adopted.
By1968, Miranda Magpies had 44 teams with 537 registered players. In 2021, the Miranda Magpies have 89 registered teams and 1015 registers players
Many players have worn the famous black and white colours with several going onto higher representative levels, including Alex Gersbach (Sydney FC & Socceroos) and more recently, Teigan Collister (W League: Western Sydney Wanderers) and Mark Natta (A League: Western Sydney Wanderers).
Miranda has changed so much over the past 50 years, from being a semi-rural area where everyone knew everyone else, to what it is today, the commercial heart of the Sutherland Shire. A debt is owed to those people, far too many to mention, who over the years have kept the Magpie flag flying high. Go The Magpies!
Alex Gersbach for Sydney FC Photograph: Dean Lewins/AAP
Tiegan Collister at Newcastle Jets Photograph: Rachel Bach (@bythewhiteline)
Mark Natta at WSW Training Photograph: wswanderersfc.com.au