Over the years, Holroyd Rangers has undergone three name changes, four home grounds, four different uniforms, one season with a different association, and survived two near collapses and destruction of the clubhouse to emerge in 2006 stronger than ever.
Links with the Scouts
In 1966 the club was formed through the local Scout movement under the name “Guildford Cubs.” Playing at the Granville & Districts Soccer Football Association’s grounds at Auburn the club had two teams – under 10 and under 11. The new club’s uniform was based on the scout movement’s colours of green and gold, and consisted of a yellow t-shirt with a green stripe down one side, green shorts and white socks.
In 1967 the club grew to five teams after a constitutional change opened membership to people from outside the scout movement, and Ray Marshall Reserve at South Granville became the home ground.
A year later the club registered it’s first senior team. This initiated a name change, as the seniors were reluctant to play under the name “Cubs.” So Cubs made way for the more senior “Rangers,” maintaining the link with the scout movement but giving the seniors a moniker they could live with. The first uniform change also happened this year with a move to green shirts, white shorts and green socks.
1969 saw another home ground change with a move to a park on Pitt Street at Merrylands. This was a temporary home whilst the club’s new grounds were being built at Foray Street Guildford West. The park on Pitt Street had no lights so training was held at Tom Uren Park at Guildford West, now home to Greystanes Churches Soccer Club.
Guildford West Sports Ground becomes home in the 70s
The club’s new home, known as West Guildford Sports Ground, was opened in 1970 and that year saw another name change. Ready to enter a team in the “Federation” competition the club had to choose another name as there was already a Guildford side playing in the comp – Guildford County. The name Holroyd was chosen with the “Rangers” title maintained and the club became known as Holroyd Rangers Soccer and Recreation Club, reflecting the club’s involvement in other sports, particularly netball and cricket, which began at this time.
Throughout the remainder of the seventies the club continued to grow and achieve mixed success. Like all small clubs it was difficult to field teams in the higher divisions and so the better players would leave for greener pastures with clubs who could offer first division sides. The senior squads remained strong however with many players returning to play their adult years with their childhood club.
By the mid eighties however the club’s numbers had started to decline and in 1986 the club reached a crisis when it couldn’t field enough sides to continue it’s affiliation with Granville Association. The committee instead of seeking special consideration from GDSFA decided to affiliate with the Southern Districts Association and the move away from Granville nearly finished the club. Fortunately they re-affiliated with Granville the following year and the club started a period of rebuilding.
Throughout the eighties and early nineties the club had persisted with uniforms that were variations of the green shirt/white shorts combination but in 1995 a new committee decided a new look was in order and a uniform with a predominantly white shirt and green shorts/white socks was adopted.
The next few years were particularly unstable for the club, with a constantly changing committee, the departure in 1996 of founding President, Trevor South, and the near collapse of the club at the end of 1998 when almost the entire committee moved on.
Amid rumors of the clubs demise at the start of the 1999 season, life member and club legend, John Holland, along with some of the coaches from the previous year got together and ensured the Rangers would continue.
In a show of great faith in this new, young committee, John and his wife Greta made the decision to retire from their beloved club and move to the Central Coast at the end of the ’99 season. They were deservedly recognised for their outstanding contribution to football with the Association’s club person of the year award in 1999.
In 2001 the club enjoyed arguably its best season ever. With more teams than ever before, (16) including a ladies squad, a new modern uniform that still managed to respect the club’s traditional green and gold colours, and a committee determined to make the club a leading force in local football.
In December 2002, after repeated vandalism, the club facilities were burned down. This began a difficult period for the club trying to maintain a viable soccer club while operating from temporary buildings.
In 2004 the first girls team (under 12’s) was formed. This grew to include an under 14’s girls team in 2005.May 2005 saw the long awaited completion of the clubs facilities.
In 2005 with 17 teams and new club facilities the club continued to move forward.
In 2018 saw the introduction of a men's premier league team something that had remained missing for many years. The club also had 3 women's' senior teams, 7 men's senior teams in addition to 7 junior teams.
The biggest news to come out of the 2018 season was with a new committee came a new club logo, the committee decided if we were to move forward a fresh new design to take us into the coming years was needed. The Green and Gold colours were retained and a new kit for 2019 is highly anticipated.
The 2019 season saw a new Club President in Danny Rizk take over from long standing club man and life member John Nash, after Danny had initiated a rebrand in 2018 further progress continued with the club receiving council facility upgrades which saw 4 mini grand stands installed along with a complete perimeter fence for fields 1 and 2.
The sleek new jersey was worn by all junior and senior teams and we fielded the most teams ever for the club with 21 in total.
We had 5 teams feature in Grand Finals and arguably the clubs biggest ever achievement was winning the historic Cottam Cup when we defeated Inter Lions at Melita stadium.
2019 proved to be a huge year for Holroyd and it only looks to be getting better in the near future.
2020 season was like no other with a world pandemic not seen on our lifetime affecting everything and everyone including our beautiful game. The season had a delayed start with lock-downs in place and we didn't think a ball would be kicked but eventually a modified season went ahead under strict new guidelines. As a club we adapted and enforced government guidelines to ensure the sport would continue. When most clubs lost members we still managed to increase our membership and the club grew for the second year in a row.
We once again had 5 teams represent us in Grand Finals with 2 successfully taking out their respective competitions, focus now turns to 2021 and the hope we can have a season without the same restrictions.