The smiling face behind the lens, capturing the celebrations, commiserations, headers and hard hits.
Sal Giovinazzo is a household name within the Canberra football community, after he started covering local games in 2001.
“I love my weekends,” Sal said.
“In retirement, I get to meet so many wonderful people every week and I’m proud to call them my ‘soccer family’.
“It’s a nice feeling to have something in common with all of them. Everyone is unique and I love hearing the stories they tell and the joy the photos give them.”
Sal has also found himself immersed in the history, regularly posting old photos to his ‘Soccer Snaps by Sal’ Facebook page.
Facebook: Soccer Snaps by Sal
“Basically, I believe the history of the game belongs to everyone.
“All I am trying to do is preserve as many memories as I can find so they are readily available for future generations who may be interested in knowing who played at a given time, who won what tournament and so on, all in one central location.
“I know when I played, I had little interest in the historical side. You basically lived for the moment with your mates. In later years, you meet up with old teammates and reminisce about the good old days and then you start thinking how much you enjoyed the game, who you played with, what the score was, who scored and so forth.”
One such match, now standing out from the rest.
“My fondest memory was the 1983 Youth Grand Final (Downer Olympic vs Croatia Deakin) at Deakin Stadium. From memory during the season, Croatia Deakin had beaten us 3-0 and 5-0,” he said.
“I rocked up on grand final day to be greeted by my coach who said if we had any penalties, I was to take them. I was a bit stressed by this short notice and was even more stressed when a few minutes into the match we were awarded a penalty. I stepped up and am happy to say scored. We won the grand final 2-0 against a very good Croatia Deakin side.”
Sal is committed to preserving this important history, with big plans to take his Facebook photo album a step further.
“I would love to write a book about the history of soccer in Canberra but just do not have the time.
“At the moment, I have approximately 400-500 programs which I will continue to post weekly, as well as hundreds more old match photos and rep photos.”
Connecting the past with the present, a gift for the entire football family, including Sal.
“I have had people thank me for posting photos of their brother and of their father which they had never seen.
“It is hard to describe how great this makes you feel knowing you have brought joy to others, and I guess this is one really good reason to preserve these memories.”