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Old 03-08-2022, 07:17 AM   #1891
Momce Makedonce
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I saw a Facebook post a while back by someone claiming that in the 1980s fans of Rockdale Ilinden would hold portraits of Tito and taunt fans of Sydney Makedonia (now Bankstown City Lions), who they referred to degradingly as "patriots". A comment in the thread also claimed the same for Cringila Lions, who were supposedly also pro-Yugoslav and against the "patriots" at Wollongong Macedonia (now Wollongong United). There were insinuations that the same was true for Altona Gate "Vardar" (now Altona Magic), who I know used to sometimes call those at Preston Makedonia "Greeks".

Is anyone able to shed some light on all this?
I believe I remember seeing that post in one of the Macedonian groups on Facebook too.

I am a Sydney Makedonia/Bankstown supporter and going to their games as a kid during the mid 2000's was amazing, it made me fall in love with football/supporter culture and made me feel a sense of belonging to the Macedonian community.

Some older and middle aged guys who were around from the establishment of the club in the late 80's and in its prime in the 90's have told me that traditionally Bankstown were the "patrioti" or the "people's club" and Rockdale the "Titovisti". I can't confirm whether this is true as I wasn't even born at the time, its just what I have heard.

From all that I have seen Bankstown has definitely traditionally been a well supported club with a strong Macedonian identity. Bankstown and Preston supporters I know for a fact had a brotherly relationship during the 2000's.

I haven't been able to find evidence to prove the claims that Rockdale Ilinden supporters of that era were indeed pro-Yugoslavian, held Tito frames e.t.c. If anybody here has info on this I would be interested in finding out more too? The person was claiming the same of KUD Ilinden Dancing Group from Rockdale being pro-Yugoslavian in this era.

From what I have seen of Rockdale Ilinden since I have been following football the last 10-15 years and going to a fair few of their games too, they seem to be a genuine Macedonian club and no hints of any other sort of identity in the background. Perhaps once upon a time a pro Yugo contingent or even majority did exist. The last 10-15 years they have cemented themselves as a consistent club in NSW NPL1 and become the premier Macedonian club in Sydney. They have replaced Bankstown who dominated the 90's and 2000's but sadly currently find themselves in NPL3.

I have heard Wollongong Macedonia referred to as "patriotite" as well but don't know too much about the Altona-Preston thing. It's quite bizarre how "patrioti" is used in this degrading manner.

On a side note I was recently in Melbourne and visited BT Connor Reserve, sadly there was no game on and I could only look from outside the ground.
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Old 03-21-2022, 02:44 AM   #1892
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Bankstown City Lions meet Rockdale Ilinden for the Macedonian Derby back in 2005 at Jensen Park.

Crowd attendance reported to be in excess of 7,000, probably still the highest ever attended NSW Premier League match for a regular season game.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UBKxTBgeyzI
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Old 03-21-2022, 03:14 AM   #1893
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Bankstown City Lions meet Rockdale Ilinden for the Macedonian Derby back in 2005 at Jensen Park.

Crowd attendance reported to be in excess of 7,000, probably still the highest ever attended NSW Premier League match for a regular season game.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UBKxTBgeyzI
Bankstown are slowly coming back, just not sure if the support will ever come back with them.
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Old 03-21-2022, 07:45 AM   #1894
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Bankstown are slowly coming back, just not sure if the support will ever come back with them.
They were meant to be in NPL2 this season with the restructure announced last year, they were comfortably in top 8 of NPL3 which all were meant to go up to the next division. However, COVID ended the season and they have delayed the restructure until next season which is disappointing.

Neither do I, but with a history like the club has it would be disappointing for support to not return once they are back in the top division. The problem I see with Bankstown in modern times is they don't ACT like a big club, Rockdale do and always have, even when playing in second division and historically having a much smaller honours list. Similarly, Preston even when playing state league still thought of themself as a big club and acted in this way. The people running Bankstown need to adopt the same mentality, and this goes for the supporters of the club as well.
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Old 03-22-2022, 01:18 AM   #1895
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I think no matter what they do it just will never be the same, and that comes more down to the lack of support for the NPL in NSW than anything. I look at crowds in Victoria compared to NSW and the difference is night and day, people just do not attend NPL fixtures in NSW to the same level they do in Victoria.
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Old 03-23-2022, 08:54 AM   #1896
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I think no matter what they do it just will never be the same, and that comes more down to the lack of support for the NPL in NSW than anything. I look at crowds in Victoria compared to NSW and the difference is night and day, people just do not attend NPL fixtures in NSW to the same level they do in Victoria.
Agree with your comment Liberator with regard to NPL VIC crowds compared to NSW, there definitely seems to be bigger crowds down your way generally. Melbourne seems to have more of a culture of wanting to attend sport in person which I admire. Perhaps Melbourne is also more tribal with its football clubs/ethnic communities.

Out of curiosity how do "non-ethnic" clubs do with crowds in VIC? There are certain clubs like Blacktown City for example here in Sydney that have generally always been strong but don't pull massive crowds compared to the clubs founded by the migrants post WW2.
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Old 03-24-2022, 12:30 AM   #1897
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Out of curiosity how do "non-ethnic" clubs do with crowds in VIC? There are certain clubs like Blacktown City for example here in Sydney that have generally always been strong but don't pull massive crowds compared to the clubs founded by the migrants post WW2.
I don't think there is a single "non-ethnic" club in the top tier of Victoria (NPL 1), and very few in the top few tiers. The only "non-ethnic" sides in the NPL system that seem capable of pulling a crowd are just the A-League academy teams; Melbourne Victory, Melbourne City and Western United. There have been some others who have had dedicated supporter groups in recent years but that did not translate into strong crowd numbers. Examples of these include: Box Hill United, Nunawading City, Moreland City, Bendigo City, Frankston Pines, Whitehorse United and Hampton East Brighton. Go to any of these club's home games though and you would be lucky to crack much over 200 spectators, even luckier if some of these were not related to the players in some way.
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Old 03-24-2022, 05:16 PM   #1898
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And WTF happened in the world cup match today? Those Italian zhabari are gonna need something to calm their espresso fuelled nerves.
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Old 03-24-2022, 05:17 PM   #1899
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Honestly just did not expect that at all. Of course we only get good on the international stage under a bullshit imposed name qualifier.
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Old 03-24-2022, 10:11 PM   #1900
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And WTF happened in the world cup match today? Those Italian zhabari are gonna need something to calm their espresso fuelled nerves.
I know what you mean, I had no idea Macedonia was playing at all to be honest. I watched the Australia Vs Japan match last night, which was disappointing, but I gave up on Macedonia a long time ago. For more reasons than one - the name change, the number of shiptari on the team, the lack of apparent talent, etc. A work mate messaged me this morning to congratulate me for the win over Italy so that's all I've been doing today - just getting acquainted with the current squad and assessing our chances against Portugal on Tuesday (who just beat Turkey). I was pleasantly surprised to see that the majority of the team are actually Macedonians so that's a good start. I can now hopefully kick start the passion that I lost a long, long time ago. We beat Portugal on Tuesday and we're in the World Cup. Here's hoping.
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