REMEMBER WHEN…IT’S 30 years since Perth Italia achieved an incredible catalogue of thrilling successes through all age groups, with the club boasting a line-up of some of the best coaches in WA.
Ken Worden, and his assistant Ian Buckley, led the first team to a hat-trick of senior triumphs in 1990.
They claimed the Night Series crown after a marathon 210 minute contest with Stirling Macedonia following two epic contests. The first ended in a 1-1 deadlock, after extra time, but Italia triumphed 2-1 in the replay.
They were declared Emu Export Super League champions, despite having finished runners-up to minor champs Floreat Athena in the home and away season. The title was decided after a top four play-off, with Italia beating Macedonia 4-2 in the Grand Final, which also went to extra time. It was an explosive clash with two players being red-carded – Italia’s Mel Brown and Macedonia’s Alan Armstrong.
And the thrills continued in the D’Orsogna Cup final when Italia overcame plucky underdogs Rockingham 4-3, despite having to twice come from behind and having key defender Shaun Murphy sent off. Italia’s goals came from Gerry Christie, with a double, and one each from Lou Collova and Peter Murphy. Steve Duckworth got a hat-trick for Rocky.
Italia’s under-21s (coached by Neil Morson) won the Reserves Super League home and away title (and also the Grand Final play-off), while the under-18s (with former Australian captain Gary Marocchi at the coaching helm) also enjoyed much success, culminating in a Grand Final triumph with a 5-1 win over Sorrento.
The club’s under-17 side also boasted a hat-trick of titles, winning the league, knockout cup and R and I Cup. They were coached by Laurie Naven, the father of twins Gareth and Craig Naven who were part of Italia’s successful senior team.
Pulling it all together was David Harrison, Italia’s former first-team coach who was the Development Officer in 1990.
“Our teams from seniors to under-17s entered 11 competitions – and won them all. As far as we can ascertain it is the first time it has happened in Australia,” said Harrison at the time.
Pictured (from left): Marocchi, Morson, Worden, Buckley, Harrison, Naven.
Gerry Christie in action against Rockingham.