Rene De Koni

Bayswater Inter – The West’s Super Invincibles

SINCE the introduction of semi-professional football in WA in 1960 only one senior team has so far succeeded in winning every one of its league fixtures – Bayswater Inter.
An unbeaten record has been achieved several times in the top divisions and lower leagues in the last 60 years, but Inter are the only senior team to boast a 100 per cent record.
They were in the old Third Division at the time in 1982 and WON EVERY ONE of their 22 games, scoring 81 goals and conceding only eleven.
The 1983 Yearbook declared: “It has proved impossible to find anything of comparable nature in WA soccer history, and it is doubted if anything like it will occur for a very long time.”
They scooped the title by 19 points from second-placed Perth City. It was only Inter’s second season in the Third Division, having been created in 1981 with the amalgamation of Bayswater United, Juventus and Meazza.
David Harrison was the Inter coach, joining the club in 1981 after being sacked by North Perth Croatia. He then led Inter to the Second Division title in 1983 (they lost only one game on the way), thus gaining entry into the top division after only three years in existence.
Inter’s Scott Dennon won the Umbro Third Division fairest and best award in the 1982 season (and Scott went on to gain WA State team selection in 1984), while Nick Dujhovic was the club’s top scorer with 26 goals, the highest in the division.
The Inter squad in the sensational 1982 season also included star-in-the-making Rene de Koning, a classy midfield/defender who was only 19 at the time.
Rene played all his senior football with Bayswater (17 years) and won the Chris Gogos PSL Gold Medal as the 1991 fairest and best player when his team were in the Super League.
The Dutch-born de Koning played 28 times for the WA State team, making his debut in 1983 and going on to represent the State in the Kings Cup tournament in Thailand that year.

After 1986, however, he never donned a WA shirt again until five years later, when he was in the squad for the 1991 Marah Halim Cup tournament in Indonesia. He was one of the stand-out contributors as WA finished third in the event.
Rene had been resurrected to the WA squad by coach Gary Marocchi (a long-time admirer of the classy player) – and, appropriately, it was Marocchi who made the presentation when de Koning was inducted into the Football Hall of Fame WA in 2008.
FOOTNOTE: Eight clubs achieved 100 per cent records in winning league crowns (from first divisions to fourth divisions) in the pre-1960 amateur days of football in WA. They included Fremantle, who won all 18 games in Division Four B in 1954, and East Claremont, winner of all 14 games in Division Two in 1936.
WORLDWIDE: German side Dresdner SC won all 23 of their games in the 1942-43 season. The year before that, National in Uruguay won all 20 of their games. The only other perfect seasons on record belong to Hamburg winning all 11 games in 1927-28 and Ferencsvaros in Hungary winning all 22 in 1931-32.
In England, “The Invincibles” is a nickname that is used to refer to the Preston North End team of the 1888–89 season and the Arsenal team of the 2003–04 season. Preston completed an entire season undefeated in league and cup competition (27 games, although they didn’t win every one), while Arsenal were undefeated in the league (38 games) in a run that stretched to a record 49 games.
The term “Invincibles” has also been used elsewhere in European football. Italian clubs Milan and Juventus received the nickname after winning the 1991–92 and 2011–12 Serie A titles respectively. Celtic earned the nickname after going unbeaten across domestic league and cup competition during the 2016–17 season in Scotland.

PIC ONE: Rene de Koning receives his Hall of Fame plaque from Gary Marocchi. PIC TWO: Preston North End’s Invincibles. PIC THREE: Arsenal’s Invincibles

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