1960 - 2012
New Australians; New Football (1960 – 1984)
What was once a State dominated by United Kingdom emigrants, was now receiving far more people from other nations, Particularly from Southern Europe. Italy, Greece, Poland and the various regions of Yugoslavia were the majority of migrants coming into Australia during this time. Clubs like Azzurri, Tricolore, Windmills, Swan Athletic, Swan Valley, Cracovia, Kiev, Dalmatinac and Athena had moved the game forward. With the advent of cheaper and faster air-travel, WA football was in a better position to venture further than the eastern states. Asia soon became a popular place to play football at a competitive level. Two new avenues in the sport commenced during this period, Sunday amateur football in 1968 and a women’s competition commenced four years later. Meanwhile, the struggle for control of WA football continued, which in turn decelerated its progress.
Football Task Farce (1985 – 1993)
Twenty-five years after the commencement of semi-professional football, the WA game still appeared to be in a state of flux. Declining playing standards, poor media coverage, lack of spectator comfort and refereeing standards were all issues raised in a Task Force Report in the mid-1980’s. The report was looked upon by many as the way forward, while clubs considered it a threat to their voting power. Consequently, the report and the offer of millions of dollars towards a central soccer complex, was thrown out. West Perth Macedonia, Spearwood Dalmatinac, Perth Azzurri, Floreat Athena and North Perth Croatia were the powerhouses during this period.
An Asian Adventure (1994 – 2012)
Despite all the mismanagement from the various controlling bodies that ran during this time, there existed certain entrepreneurs who were keen to see WA football on a much bigger stage. Spearwood Dalmatinac and Perth Italia both considered entering the National Soccer League (NSL) competition, but their plans never materialised. The first club to compete in a competition outside of the State was the IFC Perth Kangaroos, who competed in Singapore’s S-League. The team won the league title with relative ease, but not before considerable financial pain was felt by the club administrators. The State’s controlling arm, Soccer Administration of WA, took over the operation of the Kangaroos, while Arena Investments acted as financiers. This enabled the one-off season to be completed, although the players had to forego being paid. Nonetheless, the Australian Soccer Federation were impressed enough by what the team had achieved, and accepted a request to have a WA side in the NSL from the 1996/97 season. Stirling Macedonia (later Stirling Lions), Perth SC, Inglewood Falcons (Inglewood United), Joondalup City (ECU Joondalup), Floreat Athena, Western Knights and Sorrento were showing the way during this era. By 2010, Balcatta SC had begun to make a name for themselves.