Footscray JUST
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Footscray JUST

Footscray J.U.S.T.
Full nameFootscray Jugoslav United Soccer Team
Blues (Plavi)
Founded1950; 70 years ago (1950)
as Jugoslav United Soccer Team
Dissolved1990; 30 years ago (1990)
(Under new ownership as Melbourne City Football Club)
GroundSchintler Reserve, Footscray (1961-1990)

Footscray Jugoslav United Soccer Team, commonly referred to as Footscray J.U.S.T or simply JUST, was an association football club from Melbourne, Australia. The club was established by Yugoslav migrants in 1950, and was a founding member of the National Soccer League.


Early years (1950-1961)

The football team JUST was founded through the initiative of Ivan Kuketz (Serbo-Croatian: Kukec), a Melbourne hotelier and vice president of Brighton Soccer Club.

Kuketz was impressed by post-war migrant footballers from Yugoslavia and Czechoslovakia who had recently joined Brighton. Kuketz, himself an immigrant of Croatian descent had migrated to Australia in the 1930s envisioned a team composed solely of players from the respective nation's of the new club members. With the assistance of Jovan "John" Ivanovi?, Kuketz took the new arrivals from Brighton and began scouting players from migrant camps throughout Victoria and New South Wales, with a great many gathered from the Bonegilla facility. In March 1950 the Jugoslav United Soccer Team was officially established with Kuketz as its first president, whilst the club quickly became known by its acronym JUST.[1][2]

JUST rapidly progressed in their debut season winning the Victorian Division Three South in 1950.[3] The team comfortably achieved promotion to the Victorian Division One after winning the second tire in 1951.[4] JUST also topped a successful year by being crowned Dockerty Cup champions following a 1-0 triumph over Brighton.[5] JUST narrowly missed out on the league title in 1952 and 1953, finishing 3rd in both seasons, and in 5th place the following three years before securing their first title in 1957, and ended the five season league dominance of Juventus.[6][7][8][9] The following year JUST struggled to maintain their successful run in the newly renamed Victorian State League, slumping to 10th spot, the club's worst finish since formation.[10]


JUST were the dominant entity in an amalgamation with the Italian backed Footscray Capri in 1961. The club was renamed to Footscray Jugoslav United Soccer Team and permanently relocated to Schintler Reserve.[11] The arrival of club legend Zvonimir "Rale" Rasi? and Aleksandar Jagodi? as new coach in 1962 made a swift impact as the team won the Victorian State League in 1963 and Dockerty Cup that same year, winning 4-2 against Marabyinong Polonia.[12][13] The following season JUST narrowly missed out on back-to-back league titles, losing out to South Melbourne Hellas by 1 point (equal with George Cross), and finishing runners up after succumbing to a 1-0 defeat against Port Melbourne Slavia in the 1964 Dockerty Cup final.[14][15]

Former captain and club legend Franko Mi?i? represented Footscray J.U.S.T in 18 seasons between 1959-1977

The club fluctuated in mid table before ended the 1968 league season in 11th spot, the club's worst placing in a decade.[16] The crisis was averted under coach Rale Rasi? who lead JUST to victory in the 1969 league championship before taking on the Australian national team coaching role the following year.[17][18] JUST had also managed to reach the 1969 Victorian State League Cup final but were defeated. The end of the 1960s ushered in a golden era as JUST were crowned league champions for the fourth time in 1971.[19] The club also reach the 1971 Dockerty Cup final but lost 2-0 to Juventus.[20] League success was achieved for the fifth, and what would be the final time in the club's history in 1973.[21] The Plavi were Victorian State League Cup champions for three consecutive seasons in 1974, 1975, 1976.[22] The team's last Dockerty Cup triumph came in 1976 as JUST won the final 2-0 against Marabyinong Polonia.[23]

National Soccer League & Dissolution (1977-1990)

Dragoslav ?ekularac coached J.U.S.T to the 1986 NSL finals

In 1977 JUST became a foundation member of the National Soccer League, where they largely struggled, with the exception of 1986, where they lost to Adelaide City in the Southern Conference grand final.[24] In that year Footscray recruited legendary Red Star Belgrade player and trainer Dragoslav ?ekularac who also brought with him Vlada Sto?i? which immediately lifted the club from the bottom to the top of the league.

However poor performances returned and in their final season as members of the NSL in 1989, after the club changed their name to Melbourne City JUST to broaden their appeal and with Schintler Reserve having undergone significant renovations, the club were demoted to the Victoria State League along with fellow Melbourne club Heidelberg United FC after finishing second bottom, recording only five league wins.

Their last NSL match took place on 10 July 1989, when 1,830 turned up to Schintler Reserve to witness a 1-1 draw with Sydney Olympic.[25]

The club performed dismally the following season, and were relegated in the 1990 Victorian State League Division 1 after finishing in 15 place.[26] The club was subsequently taken over by the Argentine community which signalled the end of their historic Yugoslav/Serbian connections and effectively the end of the original Footscray JUST.[27]

The club carried on as Melbourne City playing at Schintler Reserve, however, it was vacated in 1994 and is now a container storage facility, with the clubrooms converted into offices. Today the club compete in the Victorian State League 3 North-West still as Melbourne City [28] (no connection to the A League franchise of that name [29]) playing at Edwards Reserve in Spotswood.

Crest and colours

The kit of JUST mirrored that of the Yugoslav national football team, which in turn was inspired by the Yugosav tricolour. From the early 1980s the team's shirt corporate sponsor was Jat Airways.

The club crest consisted of a red stylised football with white outline, on a blue background. The words "FOOTSCRAY SOCCER CLUB" were displayed above the football in bold, white lettering whilst the acronym "J.U.S.T" was featured on the bottom.[30][31]


Supporters and rivalries

The club's main supporter base consisted of ethnic peoples from Yugoslavia who had immigrated to Melbourne. JUST received particularly strong support from ethnic Serbs, although sympathies amongst Croats and Macedonians were torn as both communities had established rival football clubs. JUST maintained warm relations with Sydney affiliates SSC Yugal, whilst the club was perceived by its rivals as having close ties to the Yugolsav regime.[32][33] The club's player ranks included members of the broad Australian community.[34]

Throughout its history JUST maintained a fierce rivalry with fellow Melbourne club Croatia, which was founded by Croatian migrants to the exclusion of other Yugoslav ethnic groups in 1953.[35][36] The rivalry was politically motivated as Croatia and her fan base espoused Croat nationalism and Usta?a allegiance.[37][38][39]

A less heated rivalry also existed with Preston Makedonia, a club that further split members of the Yugoslav migrant community. It was founded in 1947 by ethnic Macedonian migrants who developed a political orientation towards Macedonian nationalism.[40][41][42][43]


NSL record

Season Pld W D L GF GA Pts Table Position
1977 26 9 6 11 36 39 24 8th of 14
1978 26 7 8 11 29 37 22 12th of 14
1979 26 8 3 15 29 43 20 11th of 14
1980 26 7 9 10 32 41 23 9th of 14
1981 30 9 7 14 32 48 25 13th of 16
1982 30 5 14 11 34 46 24 14th of 16
1983 30 9 9 12 25 42 36 12th of 16
1984 28 10 5 13 29 33 25 8th of 12 (Sth)
1985 22 5 2 15 25 41 12 12th of 12 (Sth)
1986 22 10 8 4 29 27 28 2nd of 12 (Sth)
1987 24 7 8 9 17 27 22 11th of 13
1988 26 7 9 10 34 32 23 10th of 14
1989 26 5 8 13 24 37 18 13th of 14

(Pld)=Games Played, (W)=Wins, (D)=Draws, (L)=Losses, (GF)=Goals For, (GA)=Goals Against, (Pts)=Points, (Sth)=Southern Conference


Individual Honours

Bill Fleming Medal

  • 1956 - Pepe Cubero
  • 1964 - Frank Micic
  • 1967 - Frank Micic
  • 1973 - Frank Micic

Victorian Premier League Top Goalscorer Award

  • 1971 - Dan Zoraja

NSL U21 Player of the Year

NSL Coach of the Year

International Players



  1. ^ "New club makes the grade". The Argus. 29 April 1950. Retrieved 2020.
  2. ^ Roy Hay (13 September 2010). "Teams no longer with us. Footscray JUST - Sports & Editorial Services Australia". Retrieved 2020.
  3. ^ "Victorian Division Three South - 1950 Season Table". Retrieved 2020.
  4. ^ "Victorian Football Club Archive - Fairfield to Frankston City". Retrieved 2020.
  5. ^ "1951 Dockerty Cup - Results". Retrieved 2020.
  6. ^ "1952 Victorian Division One - Final Table". Retrieved 2020.
  7. ^ "Victorian Division One Table - 1953". Retrieved 2020.
  8. ^ "1957 Victorian Division One - Final Table". Retrieved 2020.
  9. ^ "Footscray J.U.S.T. Divisional History". Retrieved 2020.
  10. ^ "Victorian State League Table - 1958". Retrieved 2020.
  11. ^ "Teams no longer with us. Footscray JUST | Sports & Editorial Services Australia". Retrieved 2020.
  12. ^ "1963 Victorian State League - Final Table". Retrieved 2020.
  13. ^ "1963 Dockerty Cup - Results". Retrieved 2020.
  14. ^ "1964 Victorian State League - Final Table". Retrieved 2020.
  15. ^ "1964 Dockerty Cup - Results". Retrieved 2020.
  16. ^ "1968 Victorian State League - Final Table". Retrieved 2020.
  17. ^ "1969 Victorian State League - Final Table". Retrieved 2020.
  18. ^ "Rale Rasic". MyFootball. Retrieved 2020.
  19. ^ "1971 Victorian State League - Final Table". Retrieved 2020.
  20. ^ "1971 Dockerty Cup - Results". Retrieved 2020.
  21. ^ "1973 Victorian State League - Final Table". Retrieved 2020.
  22. ^ "1974 Victorian State League Cup - esults". Retrieved 2020.
  23. ^ "Dockerty Cup". Retrieved 2020.
  24. ^ "Australian Soccer". Retrieved 2018.
  25. ^ "1989 National Soccer League results". Retrieved 2018.
  26. ^ "Victorian State League Table - 1990". Retrieved 2020.
  27. ^ "Victorian State League Division One - 1991 Season Table". Retrieved 2020.
  28. ^ "Melbourne City Club Page". Retrieved 2018.
  29. ^ Schetzer, Alana (15 June 2014). "Legal fight over ‘Melbourne City’ name will be lost: expert". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 2018.
  30. ^ "The World's Best Photos of australia and nsl - Flickr Hive Mind". Retrieved 2020.
  31. ^ "Footscray J.U.S.T. T-shirt". Futbol Cult. Retrieved 2020.
  32. ^ James, Kieran; Tolliday, Chris; Walsh, Rex. "Where to now, Melbourne Croatia?: Football federation Australia's use of accounting numbers to institute exclusion upon ethnic clubs". Asian Review of Accounting. 19 (2): 112-124. ISSN 1321-7348.
  33. ^ James, Kieran (5 January 2018). Goodbye Leederville Oval: History of West Perth Cheer Squad 1984-86 (large print). ISBN 978-0-244-34819-9.
  34. ^ "Footscray JUST - Players from A-Z". Retrieved 2020.
  35. ^ "Early days". Melbourne Knights FC. Retrieved 2020.
  36. ^ Melbourne Croatia 60 Years Honour Roll Documentary, retrieved 2020
  37. ^ ""Antifaux Pas" - "When Antifa comes knocking on the wrong door"". Glas Hrvatske Dijaspore - Croatian Diasporan Voice. 4 September 2019. Retrieved 2020.
  38. ^ "Neo-Nazis rock Melbourne club". 26 October 2007. Retrieved 2020.
  39. ^ James, Kieran; Tolliday, Chris; Walsh, Rex. "Where to now, Melbourne Croatia?: Football federation Australia's use of accounting numbers to institute exclusion upon ethnic clubs". Asian Review of Accounting. 19 (2): 112-124. ISSN 1321-7348.
  40. ^ wmca2017 (22 November 2017). "An Old Lion Roars Again- The Resurgence of Preston Makedonia in Victorian Football". World Macedonian Congress - Australia. Retrieved 2020.
  41. ^ "The Arrival and Settlement of Macedonians in the Inner Western Suburbs of Melbourne". Retrieved 2020.
  42. ^ "Melbourne derbies dossier: what you need to know". MyFootball. Retrieved 2020.
  43. ^ "Our Club - Preston Lions FC". Retrieved 2020.
  44. ^ "Footscray J.U.S.T. Divisional History". Retrieved 2020.
  45. ^ "Victorian Football Club Archive - Fairfield to Frankston City". Retrieved 2020.
  46. ^ "Victorian Division Three South - 1950 Season Table". Retrieved 2020.
  47. ^ "Australian Soccer". Retrieved 2020.
  48. ^ "Dockerty Cup". Retrieved 2020.
  49. ^ "Victorian Ampol Night Soccer Cup Winners". Retrieved 2020.

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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