Melbourne Knights FC has won the 44th Australian & New Zealand Croatian Soccer Tournament which ended on Australia’s Gold Coast on Sunday.
Melbourne Knights FC beat North Geelong Warriors 3-0 in the final to claim their 7th title.
The tournament, which was hosted by the Gold Coast Knights Soccer Club and is one of the main events on the calendar for Croatians down under, drew big crowds this year and was a massive success.
58 men and women teams from clubs in Australia and New Zealand, including two guest teams from America and Germany, battled it out this year for the title of the best Croatian soccer team down under in four divisions. Dalmacija Sydney Croatia were crowned the Masters 2018 Champions.
As well as the football on the pitch, the tournament provided plenty of opportunities to create new friendships and party.
On Friday night the band Prva Liga got the party going at the Disco event, whilst on Saturday the Miss Croatia Australia and New Zealand pageant took place at the Gala evening at the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre.
The winner was Vanessa Volarevic representing Miss North Geelong Croatia.
The inspiration for the tournament came from the successful Croatian-North American Soccer Tournament founded in 1964. The first tournament was played in Sydney in 1974, followed by a six-club tournament soccer at Melbourne Croatia’s ground Montgomery Park in Essendon in 1975.
Sydney United have the most number of titles to their name (10 titles), followed by Melbourne Knights (7 titles), St Albans Saints (9 titles), Canberra FC (6 titles), Adelaide Raiders (5 titles), and North Geelong Warriors, Whyalla Croatia, Western Knights, Ljubuski FC, Hajduk Sydney, O’Connor Knights, Auckland Croatia, and Brisbane Knights with 1 title.
A big special mention goes out to all the organisers and volunteers who helped make the tournament such a big success, as well as everyone who turned out to support what has become a true highlight of the year.
Photo credits: John Marenjak Photography – More photos from the tournament and parties here.