White Eagles Football Club have celebrated their 30-year anniversary in style in an occasion that acknowledges what the club brings to Canberra football and the meaning of the celebration to the Serbian community.
Club President Dejan Jovanovic is currently in his first season as President after being Vice President for a few years.
“I grew up with the club, played from when I was about 14/15 and in a few different capacities. Obviously reserves then firsts then I went away to other clubs and came back. My background being Serbian always kind of brought me home,” Jovanovic said.
The White Eagles are only a small club with two teams: CPL 1st Men’s and 23’s but hold a grand significance to the Serbian community around Canberra showing this in the celebration of their 30th anniversary
“We did a huge celebration at the Serbian Church Hall in Farrer. We invited past presidents, past players, current sponsors, past sponsors, and just the community in general that has ever had an affiliation to the White Eagles,” Jovanovic commented.
Jovanovic prides the club in being a stable community club for Serbian footballers but have since veered away from traditional ways.
White Eagles FC are very proud of their Serbian roots and show this through their visible ties on the club logo and jerseys to connect back to Serbia in the local community as Jovanovic confirmed.
“We’ve branched out to not only having Serbian people at the club and we’ve gone from the traditional having to be one nationality to everyone’s welcome,” he said.
“We wear the red, blue and white colours of our national flag and we have a form of the two-headed eagle on our jerseys that we also have on our flag in Serbia. It’s all these visible things that tie the community in Canberra back to the memories of being back home.”
There are many hands making light work at White Eagles FC with Jovanovic paying a special thanks to those that contribute their time and effort into the club.
“My current committee would be the first shoutout I would give, especially to the treasurer Dejan Petrovic, without him doing the admin side of things, we’d all be left in the lurk but he’s a massive help to the club,” he said.
“Along with Vice President Aleks Rajak, and committee members Velimir Milicic, and Daniel Rajic, we all put our parts in as community members. More than anything this season, I’d love to put a big thanks out to Zoran Milenkovic and Paul Townsley for coaching the boys so far this season.”
Jovanovic aspires to get the club to the top tier, NPL1, and believes this is something that the club can achieve in the future.
“I think we’ve let the ball slip on that one this year but getting promoted is something we are capable of doing. I think we’re the most successful second division side in the ACT, we’ve won 8 premierships in total from 1994 and 7 since 2004. Apart from that, I’d like to start developing a junior base and maybe a female side as well.”
Words: Sonia Emanuel