The 1980’s

With a resurrection of performances over the past few years, 1980 to proved to be a positive year, with Polonia ending the season just one point behind Marconi in second place. In the semi-finals, however, Polonia’s run was abruptly halted by an in-form Wollongong United 1-4.

Mixing with the best the Federation had to offer in 1981, Polonia squeezed into the top four on the back of some welcomed results, before bowing out in the semi-finals to Melita Eagles by 0-1.

Also in 1981, Polonia made their first and only top division final, when they fell to Sutherland in the decider of the popular Ampol Cup, by 0-2.

The following year, the Junior Teams featured strongly, with the Under 14’s ending up Premiers of the Group One competition, and then going on to win the prestigious State Cup. The Under 16’s also fared well, reaching the Group One semi-finals.

Zygmunt Kalinowski was crowned NSW Soccer Federation Player of the Year in 1982. The Polish goal-keeper also picked up the Goal-keeper of the Year Award that same season.

With the Top Grade experiencing some tough competition and being unable to make a play-off for a number of years, the 1984 3rd Grade side flew the flag for the club when placed third. In their semi-final, they lost to Manly-Warringah by 2-4.

1985 saw a double win for Polonia at the Annual NSW Soccer Federation Presentation Night. Firstly, young striker Stefan Janic, who had been brought up from Albury, won the Golden Boot award as the League’s top goal scorer. Then, Henryk Sobczyk was awarded the ultimate individual award in NSW Soccer, when presented with the Rothman’s Medal for being the Best and Fairest Player of the Year.

Back on the park, and after finishing towards the end of the tail in 1986, Polonia claimed their fourth Division Two Premiership the proceeding year. In a run-away year, they outstripped their nearest rival Fairy Meadow by 10 points to finish the season undefeated, a result last achieved 21 years ago.

In scoring 79 goals that season, Polonia’s forwards Stefan Janic and Jurek Drys booted in excess of 40 goals between them in a show of firepower up front. In the Grand Final however, Polonia lost its only match for the year by 1-2 to Kingsford Hellenic at Parramatta Stadium. Lech Kulwicki scored Polonia’s lone goal.

The 2nd Grade side also stood tall in 1987, ending up in second place, before bowing out in the semi-finals to Avala 0-2. Also that year, Polonia won the Division Two Club Championship for the first time, compiling a massive 411 points, with their nearest rivals Kingsford Hellenic on 378.

Their return to the top flight again proved difficult and they finished ninth in 1989.

Aside from Kalinowski, the Polish Goal-keeper, Australian Socceroo and NSL player Marshall Soper spent a season with Polonia, while Zygmunt Garłowski, Henryk Kowalczyk and Henryk Mojsa all had stints at the club during the 80’s.

Polonia’s President’s during the 1980’s were:- M. Kordek, J. Szczygieł, E. Żurek, Z. Zarembski-Jurasz and G. Chrabowski. Other Committee Members included: T. Malinowski, Z. Pałka, C. Zarembski, G. Sobala, E. Rosik, F. Smyczyński, A. Stoebner, M. Pająk, B. Jurasz, E. Cioruch, P. Bondarek, N. Grabowski, H. Maleszka and B. Cieślak.