History of FCBL
FC Bulleen Lions was founded in 1974 and has had several name changes and merges over the years.
The first game the seniors played in 1974 was an away game, held at Reservoir/Regent. They donned the maroon & gold and played Galveston. Bulleen won the game 5-1. That season Bulleen finished fourth on the ladder – in the “Victorian Soccer Federation’s North Division”.
In 1975 the team placed third on the ladder.
In 1976 the team placed seventh on the ladder.
In 1977 the team played in the higher – Second Division of the Provisional League although they finishing a disappointing third last with a total of 15 points.
By the time 1978 rolled around there were three junior teams at the club: under 15’s, under 12’s and under 11’s.
In 1979 soccer was growing in popularity and over 120 children registered to play with the club. There were seven teams. The seniors had been demoted and were playing the in third division of the Provisional League where they finished the season in fifth place on the ladder.
1980 saw mixed results for the senior team and as a result there were drastic changes made to the 1981 player list with the introduction of more experienced players. The junior teams had grown to encompass under 11’s 12’s 13’s 14’s 15’s and 16’s. In 1981 Bulleen won the Coppa Italia series.
1982 the seniors finished second in the second division of the Provisional League. The successful season gave them an automatic upgrading to first division the following year. In 1982 Bulleen were runners up in the Coppa Italia.
In 1983 ex-Socceroo Fausto Tarquinino was coaching the senior team and by the end of the year the club had put in an application for admission to a higher league. They were granted a promotion to third division of the Metropolitan League.
In 1984 Bulleen were runners up in the Coppa Italia series.
In 1985 our senior team finished in second place and the club was promoted to second division of the Metropolitan League for season 1986.
In 1986 the glassed-in VIP spectator section (now known as the Lion’s Den) was erected. The senior team finished the season as runners up and the reserves won the championship for the Reserves League.
In 1987 Bulleen won the Division 1 championship by one point against Ringwood City Wilhelmina. In late 1987 the senior team rose from Metropolitan League to the major league in Victoria – State League (currently known as the Premier League).
In 1988 the Senior Team finished ninth on the ladder and the Reserves finished third.
In 1989 the Senior Team finished tenth in the league.
In 1990 Bulleen finished the State (former Metropolitan) League in eighth position. They were equal sixth however moved down the ladder due to the goal difference calculations.
In 1991 Bulleen was slotted to play in the Premier League of Victoria, made up of the best 14 teams across the state. Premier season went from March to August, the Championship winner decided on a ‘first past the post’ basis. Bulleen finished the season equal first with Juventus, just missing out on the championship. They scored 15 wins, eight draws and three losses through the season. Overall they scored 54 goals – the highest score of all the clubs.
In 1992 Bulleen finished second in the Premier League Championship and proudly fielded five representatives in the 1992 Victorian State Team.
1993 Bulleen became known as the Bulleen Lions. The seniors finished on top of the ladder to become the minor premiers and defeated Fawkner 2-0 to win the ultimate goal – THE GRAND FINAL!
In 1994 Bulleen Lions began the season by winning the prestigious Coppa Italia and in 1995 the senior team were very close to pulling off the “impossible” dream – going from 5th on the ladder to playing in the Grand Final. Unfortunately we lost the game in extra time going down to Altona Magic 3 – 2.
In 1996 Bulleen Lions had a disappointing finish to the season – finishing eighth on the ladder.
In 1997 The Senior Team of Brunswick Zebra’s merged with Bulleen and Box Hill – to become Bulleen Inter Kings who then, later changed their name to the Bulleen Zebras.
By 1998 and 1999 junior teams had grown in numbers with the club fielding 15 junior teams with three in the Super League – U 13’s U 15’s & U 16’s. The U 12’s won the championship for the second year in a row and in 1999 eight junior teams won five championships and two presigious Victorian Soccer Federation Cups.
From 2001 to 2006 the juniors continued to grow. In 2001 we had over 300 players and 12 junior sub-teams. The GoalKick program for boys and girls started for the under 7’s. By the time 2006 rolled around Bulleen had over 600 young players and 170 children participating in GoldKick programs.
In 2007 the club hosted no senior soccer team. In 2008 the Essendon Royals moved in as tenants of the Veneto Club and formed the Bulleen Royals. They played in the First Division. From 2009 the seniors were once again known as FC Bulleen Lions and once more proudly wore the maroon and gold.
By 2010 junior soccer registrations were at record highs. There were 23 junior teams from under 11’s to under – 18’s. Soccer Clinics were held through the school holidays and the first Under 16’s team travelled to Bassano, Italy for a two week training camp. The Five-A-Side competition was also introduced to club.
In 2014, FC Bulleen Lions successfully applied for, joined and now compete in the NPL1 (National Premier League) Competition.
The growth of FC Bulleen Lions has been an interesting journey with a myriad of ups and downs, highlights and lowlights – but the direction had always been clear. To create a leading sports club in Victoria that provides excellent opportunities, resources and facilities in the community for the development of young and elite sportspeople.