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Where Champions are Crafted

Melbourne Croatia Juniors - 1979

The tradition of producing high calibre players can be tracked back to Australia’s most prominent World Cup campaign in 1974, when a young Billy Vojtek represented club and country in helping the Australian National Squad qualify for the World Cup, and Jimmy Mackay scored the qualifying goal to get us to Germany that year – the following is a testimony to its players’ success:

Player International Club National Team Caps
Billy Vojtek Australia 44
Vilson Knezevic Germinal Beershot Australia 1
Joe Spiteri Lierse Australia 8
Mark Viduka Newcastle United Australia (C) 43
Danny Tiatto Manchester City Australia 23
Frank Juric Bayer Leverkusen Australia 4
Joe Simunic Hoffenheim Croatia 105
Joe Bacak Vitesse Australia U23 3
Mark Talajic Australia 1
Tom Pondeljak Johor FA Australia 6
John Markovski Australia 18
Fausto De Amicis Australia 13
Branko Milosevic Dinamo Zagreb Australia 15
Francis Awaritefe Wimbledon Australia 3
Andrew Marth Australia 17
Alan Davidson Nottingham Forest Australia (C) 79
Yakka ‘Vjekoslav’ Banovic Derby County Australia 2
Zeljko Adzic Dinamo Zagreb Croatia 1
Jim Campbell Australia 8
Jason Culina Ajax Amsterdam Australia 56
Tommy Cumming Australia 11
Robbie Dunn South China Australia 25
Eugene Galekovic SC Beira Mar Australia 4
Steve Horvat Hajduk Split Australia (C) 32
Ante Juric Benfica Australia 4
Steve Kokoska Australia 1
Eddie Krncevic Dinamo Zagreb Australia (C) 35
Adrian Leijer Fulham Australia 1
Jimmy McKay Airdrie Australia 52
Hammy McMeechan Carlisle United Australia 7
Ljubo Milicevic FC Thun Australia 6
Damian Mori Borussia Monchengladbach Australia 45
Kenny Murphy Dundee United Australia 15
Jeff Olver Australia 37
Sasa Ognenovski Seongham Ilhwa Australia 22
Joel Porter Hartlepool Australia 4
Matthew Spiranovic* FC Nuremberg Australia 26
Rodrigo Vargas Australia 2
* Torpedo Moscow Australia 18
Toto Da Costa Angola 12
Joe Didulica Ajax Croatia 4
Peter Beardsley Manchester United England 59
Ross Greer Selangor Hong Kong 3
Michael Reda Homentmen Beirut Lebanon 7
Vaughan Coveny New Zealand 64
Greg Draper Basingstoke Town New Zealand 1
Chris Jackson New Zealand 60
Duncan McKay Glasgow Celtic Scotland 14
Ian Wallace Nottingham Forest Scotland 3
Henry Fa’arodo Hekari United FC Solomon Islands 27
Stjepan Lamza 1860 Munich Yugoslavia 7
Total International Caps 1058

* Denotes current International player.
This is a record which many Australian clubs would be envious of, and demonstrates a continous tradition that Melbourne Knights can be proud of.

The tradition is underpinned by a strong youth development program in place at the club which in the past few decades has seen a progression of no less than twenty youth team players, some as young as 16, to the senior ranks and being representative in the senior NSL fixtures and now VPL fixtures.

Currently young stars who learnt their trade at the Melbourne Knights have stepped up to the new national soccer competition, the A-League. Players such as Ivan Franjic, Mate Dugandzic and Andrew Barisic are not only cementing their places as senior squad players, and national representative players, but are also expected to spread their wings offshore in the international arena.

The following list shows individual honours of our champions;

Johnny Warren Medal
NSL Player of the Year
1989/1990 – Zeljko Adzic
1991/1992 – Josip Biskic
1993/1994 – Mark Viduka
1994/1995 – Mark VidukaCoach of the Year
1993/1994 – Mirko Bazic
2008 – Chris Taylor

NSL Top Goal Scorer
1993/1994 – Mark Viduka
1994/1995 – Mark Viduka

VPL Gold Medal
Victorian League Player of the Year
1978 – Tommy Cumming
1979 – Tommy Cumming
2013 – Marijan Cvitkovic

Weinstein Medal
Junior Player of the Year
1996 – Ljubo Milicevic

VPL Under 21 Medal
Victorian U21 Player of the Year
2010 – Adrian Zahra

 

Sam Papasavas Medal
U21 NSL Player of the Year
1993/1994 – Mark Viduka
1994/1995 – Mark Viduka

NSL Goalkeeper of the Year
1995/1996 – Frank Juric

Joe Marston Medal
Grand Final Man of the Match
1990/1991 – Josip Biskic
1994/1995 – Steve Horvat
1995/1996 – Andrew Marth

Bill Fleming Medal
Victorian Media Player of the Year
1978 – Tommy Cumming
1979 – Tommy Cumming
2010 – Kevin Townson

Jimmy Rooney Medal
VPL Grand Final Man of the Match
2008 – Craig Elvin

Oceania Player of the Year
2000 – Mark Viduka

Alex Tobin Medal
2010 – Mark Viduka

FOOTBALL FEDERATION AUSTRALIA
FOOTBALL HALL OF FAME INDUCTEES

Hall of Champions
This is the highest award available for a contribution to the development of the game in Australia, and is given for eminent service or contributions to football in Australia, whether at state/territory level, nationally or internationally.

  • Alan Davidson
  • Eddie Krncevic

Medal of Excellence
This is awarded for distinguished service or contributions to football in Australia, whether at state/territory level, nationally or internationally.

  • Jimmy Mackay

Award of Distinction
This is awarded for outstanding service or contributions to football in Australia, whether at state/territory level, nationally or internationally.

  • Robert Dunn
  • Ken Murphy
  • Billy Vojtek

Club Records

  • Best Result in the NSL: W 8-1 v Wollongong Macedonia at Knights Stadium(h) 7.3.91
  • Best Result in State Competitions: W 29-1 V Brunswick Latvia at Corio Oval(h) 29.8.59
  • Best Regular season NSL Crowd (home): 11,415 v South Melbourne at Knights Stadium 5.3.00
  • Best Finals Series NSL Crowd: 23,318 vs South Melbourne (1990/91 Grand Final) at Olympic Park
  • Biggest Unbeaten Streak: 21 games – 20/08/1960 – 31/03/1962 (Preston Croat)
  • Biggest Winning Streak: 15 games – (SC Croatia) 31/03/1962 – 07/07/1962 & (Preston Croat) 27/08/1960 – 22/07/1961
  • Biggest Winning Streak in the NSL: 7 games – 23/10/1994 – 4/12/1994
  • Biggest Unbeaten Streak in the NSL: 12 games – 13/05/1984 – 26/08/1984
  • Biggest Losing Streak in the NSL: 4 games – 12/4/98 – 30/10/98 & 3/10/99 – 22/10/99
  • Biggest Streak Without a Win in the NSL: 8 games – 13/12/98 – 7/02/99 & 12/12/99 – 30/01/00
  • Biggest Unbeaten Streak in the VPL: 19 games – 17-02/2008 – 29/06/2008
  • Most Goals in a Season (as a club): 81 goals in 1959
  • Most Wins in a Season: 21 wins in 1983
  • Most Points in a Season: 66 points in 1995/96
  • Most Goals in a Match (NSL): Ivan Kelic 6 goals v Wollongong Macedonia at Knights Stadium(h) 7.3.91
  • Most Matches in the NSL: Josip Biskic 282 matches, Andrew Marth 269 matches
  • Most Matches All-Time: Josip Biskic 328 matches
  • Most Goals in the NSL: Ivan Kelic 78 goals, Adrian Cervinski 58 goals
  • Most Goals in a Season: 21 Mark Viduka 94/95, 21 David Brogan 1983
  • Best Games to Goal Ratio: 0.83 Mark Viduka 40 goals/48 games
  • Most Games Coached in the NSL: Mirko Bazic
  • Most Games Coached All-Time: Mijo Kis
  • Most Seasons at the Club: Josip Biskic 14, Billy Vojtek 13, Andrew Marth 13, Horst Rau 12, George Hannah 11, Mirko Kovacek 10

Club History compiled by Davor Ovcaric and Pave Jusup