The principal founder of the club in 1962, under the name of Hellas, was Mr A. Hatzi-Stathi, who along with others created the club after the demise of the Olympic club which had been banned by the S.A.F.S.A following crowd disturbances.
The Club was a major force in South Australian soccer in the 1960's & 70's prior to joining the National Soccer League.
Hellas played its home games at Hindmarsh Stadium prior to and during their National League campaign. The venue was the scene of many local derby's and outstanding games.
The club entered the NSL in the inaugural year 1977 with cautious optimism having won the local championship in South Australia in 1976.
In 1978 it was probably the club's greatest achievement when they became National Champions of Australia in only their second year of participation in the National League.
NSL Champions: 1978
Champions National Youth League: 1993
Champions SA 1st Division: 1966, 1968, 1969, 1971, 1973, 1976, 1987, 1989, 1990, 1991
Champions SA 2nd Division: 1982
Champions SA Metro League: 1979
SA Federation Cup Winners: 1964, 1967, 1999
Coca Cola Cup Winners: 1970, 1974, 1975, 1976, 1986, 1987, 1988
Ampol Cup Winners: 1964, 1968, 1970, 1971, 1972, 1975, 1976, 1979, 1982, 1988, 1993
West End Cup Winners: 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990
Player of the Year - NSL: Graham Honeyman
U/21 Player of the Year - NSL: 1977 John Kosmina, 1995/96 Jim Tsekinis
West Adelaide Sharks - History
Added 2006 Mar 17, 00:31 by Admin @ www.footballnews.com.au
Profile: From the humble beginning, the West Adelaide Soccer Club can reflect on an extraodinary fine history, claiming to be one of the glamour clubs instrumental in helping put Australian Soccer on the International map.
The club had progressed enourmously since a handful of Greek Migrants - 15 or 20 of them got together in 1936 and decided to found the Hellenic Soccer Club. The team played on Sundays at any ground they could find, often at Adelaide High School, and provided their own clothes and boots. They paid the referee out of their own pockets. In those days a "big crowd" would have been around 100 people, but then the Greek community as a whole barely exceeded a couple of thousand.
The club was was officially formed in 1945 under the name Olympic by members of the Greek community. In 1960, Olympic was suspended from competition and was reconstitued as the Hellinic Athletic and Soccer Club, in 1961. It re-entered the South Australian State League as West Adelaide Hellas through amalgamation with the West Adelaide Soccer Club, which was founded in 1910 and used Hindmarsh Stadium as its home ground. From 1962 the club achieved enormous success in the State League. It was a founding member of the National Soccer League.
West Adelaide had the honour of scoring the first point in a national football league in Australia. The date was the 2nd of April 1977, the scorer was John Kosmina, and the venue was Manuka Oval in Canberra.
How ironic it was then that the national league's first goal scorer ended up being the national league's top goal scorer - amassing a record 133 goals in his national league career. Not to mention top scorer in full international games for the Socceroos (25 goals).
It did not take too long at all for the ambitious and progressive club to gain national success. In only the year after inception of the national league, West Adelaide were national champions. In these non-finals years, the 'minor' premier was crowned the champion team. West won the 1978 title in a scenario only dreamed about - at its home ground, with an 85th minute goal, on the last day of the league, in front of 16,251 fans - and against long time cross-city rivals Adelaide City. This was a fitting way to celebrate the club's 30th anniversary!
A long lean spell followed West Adelaide's early successful national stint. The club was to finish at the wrong end of the national league ladder for most of its following national league seasons, and were lucky to avoid relegation twice the early 1980s. West were relegated after the last dual-conference national league in 1986. The club spent four of the next five seasons in the relative limbo of the South Australian state league, interrupted by a brief return to the national flight in 1989-90.
A major report commissioned by the national league executive in 1990 implied that it was in the national league's interests to have a strong club like West Adelaide back in its ranks. Thus West Adelaide were virtually invited back to the national league for the 1991-92 season.
Since 1991-92, on and off the field success has seen West Adelaide needing no more favours to continue its national league survival. After another slow return (finishing second last in 1991-92), the club then made the astute selection of Raul Blanco as their new coach. Dividends were returned immediately with finals' placings in 1992-93 and 1994-95. In June 9 , 1998, bad news for the Adelaide Sharks as a fire destroys change rooms and some administrative offices at their new Thebarton Oval base. The damage bill could reach $150,000.
In September 6 ,1998, A general meeting of Adelaide Sharks members supports the privatisation of the Club, endorsing Mr Con Makris as the new owner with a 51% share of the Sharks.
Of the 172 players used by West Adelaide in the NSL, it is obvious as in the case with Adelaide City, that some players for whatever reason will be remembered before others. Some of those that readily come to mind are the likes of John Kosmina who was a great striker, excellent in the air and had an exceptionally powerful shot. He could turn extremely quickly and was very fast over a short distance. John left South Australia to play for Arsenal in the U.K. and later returned. Although John only played 67 games for the club, he scored 24 goals which was an extremely impressive strike rate. John went on to play in Sydney and later went into coaching.
Martyn Crook was a master craftsman in his role as goalkeeper between 1977 and 1986. Many times when players thought they had him beat he would pull off some amazing save and have the crowd left in bewilderment. Martyn controlled the players around him in the penalty area and was responsible for keeping many clean sheets. Martyn played 192 NSL games for the club, the third highest for a West Adelaide player.
Neil McGachey, another icon of the game in South Australia, was captain and sweeper at the club for some time and was a legend before the NSL commenced. Neil had the ability to control games whether attacking or defending and had a tremendous influence with his passing and prompting of the players all around the ground. Neil had a few injury problems over the years but still managed to play 138 games for the club in the NSL. Neil took on a coaching role at the club and led them to their 1st and only NSL championship in 1978.
Ian McGregor was a tireless worker in every respect who had the speed and skill to break up attacks and to worry any defender when he made his runs down the wings. Ian was consistent in his performances for the club over the years and played 201 NSL games for the club which was the 2nd highest number of games played by a West Adelaide player in the NSL.
Graham Honeyman was a great player and stalwart of the club over a 10 year period, who had many outstanding performances. Graham played 238 NSL games for the club between 1977 and 1986 which was the highest number of games by a West Adelaide player in the NSL. He also managed to score 36 goals, which was the 2nd highest number of goals scored by a West Adelaide player in the NSL.
Brenton Hiern was a stylish defender who has great heading ability and positional sense and when he played alongside Robbie Dunn the club had 2 of the tallest defenders in the league. Brenton played 124 NSL games for the club between 1983 and 1993.
Robbie Dunn played mainly at the centre of the defence but on occasions was used up front as a striker. His long striding runs forward put fear into many opponents, as he was very hard to knock off the ball. Robbie played between 1982 and 1986 and during that period played 77 NSL games.
Robbie Slager another very reliable defender, good in the air and solid in the tackle. Robbie played 144 NSL games for the club.
Peter Blanzincic in goal gave many outstanding performances using his goalkeeping skills to help keep his team in the game. Peter played 121 NSL games for the club.
Richie Alagich was a hard working skilful midfield player who not only would break up opponent's attacks but would create havoc amongst opposing defences with his superb distribution of the ball. Richie played 117 NSL games for West Adelaide.
Robbie Hooker was an extremely reliable defender and would continually make attacking runs from the back. Robbie was quick at closing down opponents and had very good vision and positional sense. Robbie played 133 NSL games for the club.
Con Kokkinoplitis was another defender who initially played for the club in the NSL in 1991. Con was quick, skilful and a favourite with supporters, he played 137 NSL for West Adelaide.
Stan Lazaridis who could play equally well at left back as he could midfield, was absolutely adored by the Adelaide Hellas supporters. 'Stan the man', as he was and still is known, was brilliant at breaking through defences with his speed and strength and crossing balls into the opponent's penalty area. He was also an expert at taking free kicks, particularly with his left foot. After dominating in the NSL for West Adelaide, English club West Ham came knocking on our door enquiring about Stan the Man, for a record fee of $700,000 transfer fee Stan signed with West Ham and played there for 4 years until his move to Birmingham City, and is now currently playing for Perth Glory in the A league. Stan Played 73 NSL games for West Adelaide.
Pablo Cardozo, goal scorer extraordinaire, was capable of scoring some spectacular goals, Pablo had the skill to bend and move balls on the way to goal. Pablo played 111 NSL games for West Adelaide and scored 40 goals, the highest number of goals scored by a West Adelaide player in the NSL.
Jimmy Tsekinis, another crowd favourite, who with his skill could turn a game around in seconds. He had the ability to take players on and create openings and he was more than capable of scoring his fair share of goals. Jim played 112 NSL games for the club and scored 27 goals.