APIA Leichhardt FC is based in the heartland of Australian Football – Sydney’s inner western suburb of Leichhardt. The club’s home ground, Lambert Park, has been APIA Leichhardt FC’s home since its inception, featuring a synthetic pitch with floodlights. Lambert Park is also located within metres of Sydney’s most popular dining spots, the famous Norton Street. Renowned for its restaurants, history and culture, Leichhardt and surrounding suburbs like Balmain, Haberfield and Drummoyne are places where people love to visit and wish to reside.
Established in 1954, the club has won a total of 30 trophies, and boasts 220 season members across 21 different teams.
Founded in 1954 by the burgeoning Italian community of inner western Sydney, with a huge influence from English and Scottish migrants at the time, APIA Leichhardt (as they were known) initially competed in the local Canterbury District competition. With the establishment of the NSW Federation of Soccer Clubs in January 1957, APIA gained themselves a place in the First Division of that fledgling competition.
1979 – 1992
In 1979, APIA was given access to the National Soccer League, the top tier of Australian soccer since 1977. In 1987, APIA won the national championship, six points ahead of the Preston Makedonia Soccer Club from Melbourne, with only two points awarded per win. The coach in that season was Rale Rasic. Charlie Yankos and Peter Katholos are probably the best known players from that side. The main cast of that year consisted of Tony Pezzano, Charlie Yankos, Arno Bertogna, Mark Brown, Jean-Paul de Marigny, Peter Tredinnick, Peter Katholos, Edward Lorens, Hilton Phillips, Gary Ward, Rod Brown and Tony Parison. In 1988, APIA won the National Soccer League Cup. By 1992, APIA Leichhardt was overwhelmed by financial difficulties. The club was somewhat restructured and forthwith played on state level with the moniker “Tigers.”
2017 – Present
In 2017, APIA won the National Premier Leagues NSW premiership, but lost the Grand Final to Manly United FC on penalties. APIA also made the Grand Final of the 2017 Waratah Cup, but lost 3–1 to Hakoah Sydney City East FC.
In 2018, APIA won the 2018 Waratah Cup. On 21 August that year, APIA defeated reigning A-League champions Melbourne Victory FC in the Round of 16 of the 2018 FFA Cup, becoming the seventh state-league side to beat a top-tier team in the knockout tournament. The result was billed as one of the biggest upsets in the tournament’s history.
Initiatives run by club:
Viareggio is undoubtedly the most prestigious Youth Club Tournament in the world.
The Torneo di Viareggio (English: Viareggio Tournament) – officially named the Viareggio Cup World Football Tournament Coppa Carnevale – is a youth association football tournament held annually in the commune of Viareggio, Italy and its surrounding areas. Established in 1949, the Torneo di Viareggio is considered one of the most important youth football tournaments in the world.
It coincides with the Carnival of Viareggio, starting on the third Monday of Carneval. The tournament runs for a fortnight, and finishes on the last Monday of Carnival. For this reason, it is also known as Coppa Carnevale (English: Carnival Cup).
APIA are looking for players to join their touring group to participate in the 2022 edition of the world’s most prestigious Youth Football tournament.
Skills Acquisition Program: The Skill Acquisition Program provides a clear, professionally delivered development opportunity for young footballers in NSW, which underpins the National Premier Leagues NSW Men’s and Women’s competitions. SAP covers age groups u/9s – u/12s.
Whilst there are no tables or scores officially recorded, APIA is proud to announce they have the most successful SAP Program in NSW in 2021/22.
Elite Development Program: The 7’s & 8’s APIA Elite Program is designed to provide the APIA football family an opportunity to experience elite level coaching at the discovery phase of the FFA curriculum. The program will offer players games during the season and two nights a week training, which will increase players’ touches on the ball and aid the players’ development.
APIA Development Program: The purpose of the Club formulating an Under 9s, 10s, 11 and 12s Division 1 Development Program is that some players have commenced playing later than others, and as such have been disadvantaged. Because of such a young age, there is still an opportunity to move forward and prepare yourself to attain a NSW SAP (Boys and Girls) or NSW NPL Premier Youth League position, moving forward.
Junior and coaching programs:
A.P.I.A. Leichhardt FC’s representative NPL1 Girls Premier Youth League Teams
The club fields four teams in the FNSW Women’s NPL1 Youth league competition being Under 14, 15, 16s and Under 18s. The club has been fielding Women and Girls competition teams successfully since 2006.
The Girls Premier Youth League in which the club competes is the highest youth league competition in the state.
A.P.I.A. Leichhardt FC’s BSAP (Boys Skills Acquisition Program) Teams. The club participates in the Football NSW Skills Acquisition Program, which was developed to provide a clear, professionally delivered development opportunity for young NSW footballers that underpins the National Premier Leagues NSW Men’s and Women’s Competitions – providing the state’s young players the best possible learning environment for them to realise their footballing dreams.
The club currently fields eight teams; two teams in each of the following age groups; Under 9, Under 10s, Under 11s and Under 12s.
A.P.I.A. Leichhardt FC’s GSAP (Girls Skills Acquisition Program) Teams. The club participates in the Football NSW Girls Skills Acquisition Program which was developed to provide a clear, professionally delivered development opportunity for young female NSW footballers that underpins the National Premier Leagues NSW Men’s and Women’s Competitions – providing the state’s young players the best possible learning environment for them to realise their footballing dreams.
The club currently fields four teams; one in each of the following age groups; Under 10s, Under 11s, Under 12 and Under 13s.
APIA Head Office
Address: Lambert Park, Marion Street, Leichhardt NSW 2040
Phone: (02) 9572 6888
Anthony Raciti – Honorary President
Junior & Senior Clubs
Phone: 0484 002 000
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org / email@example.com
Elite Development Program (EDP)
Convenor: Rick Montrome
Phone: 0403 377 767