Past and present players to reflect on memories as Albany Rovers Soccer Club celebrate 70th anniversary

Taj StubberAlbany Advertiser
Rovers A's Justin Bielecki celebrates a long-range goal.
Camera IconRovers A's Justin Bielecki celebrates a long-range goal. Credit: Liam Croy

Players, officials and supporters will come together at the Earl Of Spencer Historic Inn on Friday night as the Albany Rovers Soccer Club celebrates its 70th anniversary.

Rovers will mark the occasion with a gala function at their major sponsor’s venue as past and present players reflect on memories made over the past seven decades.

The club started in 1951, and since then the men’s side has won 19 league titles in the top-tier competition — including this season.

President Justin Bielecki said about 150 people would be in attendance, with a few tickets still remaining and some to be sold at the door on the night.

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“It’s a great achievement to reach 70 years,” he said.

“It’s had plenty of ups and downs, of course, but we’ve been lucky to have some amazing people always be there to pull through.

“The senior teams have continued to grow and we’ve certainly been a lot more competitive in the last couple years, so it’s been great to be part of that rise in on-field performance.

“There has been plenty of highlights over the 70 years as you could imagine.

“I’d say having a ladies team for the first time back in the 1970s would’ve been a big one at the time and the men’s teams winning 19 league titles including a big one this year as well is certainly up there.

“There’s plenty to be proud of, going back to the start and looking at the social aspect and the inclusive nature of the club, it’s a really big thing for us that we try and continue with that positive culture.”

A framed 70th anniversary Rovers shirt will be part of a silent auction on the night along with a 50-inch TV and an overnight stay at the new Hilton Garden Inn hotel.

“We’ll be recognising some of the key contributors to the club, giving some awards of which some will be a little bit tongue in cheek, and otherwise just having a fun night at the Earl with members and sponsors,” Bielecki said.

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