Carraro a Parklea FC legend
Few people can speak of the tradition and culture of Blacktown District Football Association’s Parklea Football Club as authoritatively as club president Mik Carraro.
Carraro arrived at the club 30 years ago as a five-year-old to play football.
An active open age player for the club still, Carraro has never played anywhere else.
“I played all my football here,” Carraro said.
“The club is a great community club. We are focused on player development and coach education.
“There’s a great community feel to the club.”
Parklea is celebrating their 40th anniversary this year, a milestone Carraro is looking forward to celebrating.
“What do you do when you have a birthday? You have a party,” Carraro said.
“It’s in the planning stages, but it will be something at the clubhouse.”
And the clubhouse has hosted plenty of celebrations in recent years.
The Blacktown District Football Association club won six-straight open age Premier League grand finals from 2009-2014, mostly under the guidance of Peter Kerrigan.
“They were good years. We had a lot of good times,” Carraro said.
“We’ve had 20 retirements at the end of last year, so it’s looking a bit different now, but we’re looking to blood the youth through because there is some good players coming through.”
Carraro said the club had approximately 80 teams and over 900 playing members in 2015 a sign that, even at 40 years old, the club is still going strong.
Other highlights for Carraro include playing a New Zealand schoolboys team as an under-15 and hosting the Rockdale City Suns in the Waratah Cup last season.
Carraro was keen to point out the contributions of John McShane, who has spent countless hours on the field on Saturdays and Sundays preparing fields, as well as Ian Hudson who ran the club in the mid-1990s.
-By Matthew Galea