1985 Junior Soccer Association Annual Report

Hail to the young kings of Olympic

KINGSWAY Olympic, aka The Green Machine, produced two of the great young goalscorers of the 1990s – Scott Racey and Gary Lees – but sadly neither got the chance to fully fulfil their vast potential.
Racey was the State League’s top marksman in 1991 with 20 goals, and his outstanding season also earned him fourth place in the count for the player of the year Chris Gogos PSL Medal, which was won by Rene de Koning.
Scott’s haul of 20 goals was amassed from only 20 games and gave him the Golden Boot by eight goals from second-placed Donal O’Brien of North Perth Croatia.
At that stage it was the highest number of goals ever achieved by an Olympic player in the First Division. It even eclipsed the efforts of the great Len Dundo, who was the club’s top scorer in both 1976 and 1980 with 18 goals.
The sky appeared to be the limit for the then 22-year-old Racey, who was born in Scotland but represented Australia in the Under-16 World Cup finals in China in 1985.
The Naven twins, Gareth and Craig, were also selected in that squad – the first time that three WA players had played for the national team in a World Cup finals tournament, in any age group. They were all with Bayswater Inter at the time.
And the trio made a stunning impact in a young Australian team that shocked the football world when finishing top of Group B with six points, having won all their three group matches.

Craig Naven was the hero from the first group game, scoring the winner in the 1-0 triumph over South American hot-shots Argentina. All three West Australians were in the starting line-up.
Australia then beat Congo 2-1 with goals from Paul Trimboli and Stan Thodis (the Navens started and Racey came on as a sub), and they rounded off their dominance of the group with a 1-0 win over West Germany, with Trimboli again on target.
Racey and Gareth Naven started against the Germans, while Craig Naven missed out because of injury.
In the quarter-finals they were fancied to beat African opponents Guinea, but lost 4-2 in a penalty shoot-out after the game had been deadlocked at 0-0.
Racey joined East Fremantle Tricolore in 1987 before going on to link up with Olympic – and he seemed set for a dazzling football career until tragedy struck in October, 1991, only a short time after he had won the Golden Boot.
Scott was working out with weights at his home when he collapsed. He was taken to hospital and was on the critical list for a few days. His problem was diagnosed as an aneurism of the brain.
He had a setback when infection set in. He made a good recovery but doctors warned him it would be too risky if he were to play football and attempt to head a ball. Consequently, he had to retire from the game,
GARY LEES was also lost to the game in his early 20s – but this time it was through disillusionment.

Gary, born only a few miles away from Scott’s birthplace in central Scotland, was only an infant when his family moved first to Sydney and a few years later to WA. He represented the State juniors at U15, U16 and U18 level and looked the obvious successor to Scott Racey when he bagged 20 goals for Kingsway Olympic in 1993 when he was 18. His haul included five in one game against Kelmscott Roos. He finished third on the scoring charts behind Perth Italia’s Frank Bate, who hit 28 goals.
Young Gary was hot property and was recruited by the Perth Kangaroos in what turned out to be their one and only season in the Singapore League in 1994. He scored the team’s first two goals in their opening 2-0 win over Gilbraltar Crescent at Macedonia Park, and followed up with a hat-trick in the 4-1 away win over Geylang. He was briefly sidelined through injury, but burst back with a couple of hat-tricks later on. In all he got 14 goals (two behind top marksman Paul Strudwick) as the Roos easily won the title with an unbeaten record.
He joined Stirling Macedonia in 1995 and was a target for a further move when Perth Glory entered the NSL in 1996. But he became embroiled in a transfer tangle and a severely disenchanted Gary then decided to hang up his boots at the age of 23 to concentrate on a different career. He had studied Human Movement at the University of WA.
PIC ONE: Scott Racey. PIC TWO: Racey (centre) with the Naven twins, Gareth and Craig. PIC THREE: Gary Lees. PIC FOUR: Lees in action for Kingsway Olympic 

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