The 2017 football season will mark a huge milestone for Monaro Panthers Football club as they celebrate the 50th year of their club with the National Premier Leagues kickoff on Sunday.
Discussions about the club began at the bar of the Royal Hotel in Queanbeyan in 1966, where Italian expatriates met to speak of old times and have a drink.
With a name needed for a club, 1967 foundation player Mario Domda says, “we couldn’t get an agreement so I suggested that ‘since we are in the electorate of Eden Monaro, why not call it Monaro’?
Monaro started in the second division and claimed it with a 100% winning record against the likes of the Police Force, the RAAF, Army, R.M.C and Braddon and even a side from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
“We were about football,” Domda said, the beaty of playing the game and winning. We have always had an open door for anybody. If you came along to training and were good enough you got game time,” he said.
The Panthers entered the NSW State League in 1978 and winning it twice before been promoted to the National League in 1984. A brief period of decline saw the club go into recess at the beginning of the 1990’s, before Domda recieved a call and jumped in to help re-form the club.
Sunday will feature a gala day at Riverside Stadium with a number of events including junior matches and a Presentation before the Men’s Premier League Match.
President Simon France said the day is a great opportunity to celebrate the club’s diversity and history, “but really it is a chance to celebrate our 50th anniversary with the Queanbeyan