History

Club History

Menai Hawks Junior Soccer Club was incorporated in 1979 and the Club’s first teams began playing in the Sutherland Shire Junior Soccer Association’s competitions in 1980. In that first year the Club had 100 registered players comprising six junior and two senior teams. The 6E’s were the first team to take the field for Menai Hawks and the kick-off was taken by the then Association President – Harrie Dening.

In the early 1980’s there was a lack of sporting facilities in the rapidly expanding Menai district. Following intense negotiations with Sutherland Shire Council the Club was allocated use of one of the first ovals in the district at Billa Road, Bangor where the Club operated a canteen out of an old broken-down caravan.

Menai Hawks playing strength continued to grow. In 1987, following considerable fundraising efforts and negotiations with the council, the Club moved to a new complex at Buckle Reserve, Menai which was at that time shared with Illawong Little Athletics Club.

The 1990’s saw player numbers increasing rapidly and by early 2000 the number of registered players exceeded 1,200 making Menai Hawks at that time the biggest club in the Sutherland Association and one of the biggest, if not the biggest, in Australia. With this rapid expansion the Club needed more fields to accommodate the number of teams playing and over the years acquired use of Casuarina and Coachwood ovals at Alfords Point.

Through the efforts of the Club Executives and major fundraising, the Club fully funded major extensions to the Buckle Reserve complex in 1997. These extensions included a 2nd floor meeting room and viewing balcony, dressing rooms for both home and away teams, expanded canteen space and storage rooms.

With increased use being made of Casuarina Oval it was no longer viable to conduct games and a canteen from an old shipping container which was rapidly rusting away. The Club’s Board of Management developed plans to remedy the situation and in 2003 a new brick complex was built and funded by the Club. In more recent years the Club has undertaken major lighting upgrades at Buckle, Casuarina and Coachwood fields.

Historically the introductory age for kids wanting to play soccer has been for children turning 6. In 2014 and in response to many enquiries for children turning 4 and 5 wanting to play, our nursery soccer program, Menai Mini Hawks, was conceived. Designed as a fun, gentle and non-competitive introduction to soccer where fundamental football skills are introduced the program has proved to be hugely popular with 2019 seeing over 80 young Mini Hawks taking part in the program.

Prior to 2016, football in the 2234 postcode district was largely a winter sport. In 2016 and in conjunction with Football NSW, Menai Hawks introduced Summer Soccer – played on weeknights at The Ridge from October throughout the summer. Competitions run from U06 to O35 for both males and females. An O45 Masters program is also incorporated. 2019 saw 725 players enjoying their summer football.

Sound administration over the Club’s 40-year history has led to outstanding success on the field. From the very beginning the Club has had a committed and qualified coaching panel to develop and guide our teams and this has resulted in Menai Hawks being very successful in the local Sutherland Association’s competitions across all age groups. At Association level Menai Hawks has won an impressive 248 premierships since inception up to and including the 2019 season.

As at the end of 2019, the Club has also enjoyed considerable success at State level winning 5 x Bill Cullinan Cups (The Premier NSW All Age competition), 8 x Robertson Cups (The Premier NSW U21A competition) and a further 7 x NSW State Cups at various age groups. In the prestigious NSW Champion of Champions competition, the Club has been successful on no fewer than 11 occasions. Many of our teams have also been runners- up in these State-run events.

Over the years the Club has provided the stepping stones for many players to progress to Association representative level. The Club can also boast producing many players who have progressed to State, A-League and Australian representative honours and these include female players as well. Check out our honour board for more details.

From its foundation as a Junior Soccer Club, Menai Hawks has progressed with modern trends in as much that in 2009 the Club’s name was officially changed to “Menai Hawks Football Club Inc”.

From its humble beginnings and thanks to a very loyal and industrious band of volunteers Menai Hawks has grown into one of the most highly regarded and prestigious clubs not only in the Sutherland Association but in New South Wales.

Over its 40-year history the Club has evolved with the area and grown with it. As such Menai Hawks is now as much a part of the community as the Menai district and the suburb’s name.

Menai Hawks is well placed and looking forward to the next 40 years and beyond!