REMEMBER WHEN…FLOREAT Athena became the first team to win the new Super League championship in 1988 – and they made it an extra special celebration in what was the “Bicentennial Year of Australia” by claiming the top scorer award (Paul Wormley), the Rothmans Gold Medal (Jeff Curran), the D’Orsogna Cup and the Top Four crown.
Stirling Macedonia won the Night Series crown (beating Athena 2-1 in the final), but after that it was all plain sailing for the Floreat side.
They finished the inaugural Super League season with 39 points, six more than second-placed North Perth Croatia – and had a 2-1 win over Bayswater Inter in the D’Orsogna Cup final, with Taki Nicolaidis and John Hunter getting the goals.
The Ken Worden-coached side followed up by claiming the Top Four Cup, beating Macedonia 5-2 in the final.
Former England Schoolboy striker Paul Wormley showed his competitors a clean set of heels in the race for the Jeans West Golden Boot award, getting 20 goals to finish ahead of second-placed Ken Boden (15). Athena’s Ross Greer got 12 for the season.
Wormley went on to enjoy success as a coach, leading Inglewood Falcons to their first State League title in 1996, and also coaching the WA State side.
Athena’s midfield maestro Jeff Curran capped a great season for the club by being awarded the Rothmans Gold Medal as the season’s Fairest and Best player, by one point from Graham Normanton, with Eddie Sinclair finishing third.
Curran, a former Scottish Schoolboys international, went on to win the Gold Medal again in 1989, also making a major impact when scoring twice that year as Athena beat Perth Italia 3-1 in the D’Orsogna Cup final.
Athena, incidentally, made it a hat-trick of Gold Medals when John Hunter won the 1990 award.
FOR THE RECORD: The Athena squad for the Top Four Grand Final (as per the programme) was: Alan Davidson, Mickey Cairns, Steve Hazeboek, Jeff Curran, Dave Walker, Ross Greer, Norrie Sutton, Paul Wormley (pictured left), John Hunter, Paul Farmer, George Doropoulos, Steve Worton, Harry Katsamakis. Coach: Ken Worden.
The Macedonia squad for that game was: John Alavakis, Derek Grace, Vic Filippou, Roy Jones, Alan Armstrong, Neil Garvey, Jamie McGettrick, Martin Reid, Frank Bate, Andy Sharp, Carl McDarby, Keven Elliott, Tony Nikolovski. Coach: Colin Ashley.