History Week 12

This week we turn our attention back forty five years and to the St George squad of 1970.

The Saints finished second in the league that year, failing by just one point behind champions Hakoah, but ahead of Yugal and Croatia, who rounded out the top four.

But in the round robin formatted finals series, St George qualified for the Grand Final after victories over Croatia (3-2) and Yugal (4-0) with a lone loss to Hakoah (1-2).

But in a quagmire at the Sydney Sport Ground, in front of a crowd of 6,200, Yugal overturned that semi final loss to defeat the Saints, starting as hot favourites, stunningly winning 4-0.

Interestingly, Yugal had played the season under the name of Ryde, in an attempt to attract the fans of that district.

This was how the legendary football journalist, Andrew Dettre, in the excellent green-printed “Soccer World” newspaper of the time, rated the Saints team that day:

St George: Jim Fraser 2, Don Sandell 2, Manfred Schaefer 4, Harry Williams 4, George Harris 2, George Campbell 3, Atti Abonyi 2, John Warren 4, Mike Denton 2, Adrian Alston 2, Alan Ainslie 2.

It may have been a loss, but what a team nonetheless…with five of that starting eleven travelling to West Germany and the World Cup as members of the Socceroos four years later.