During 1960 it became apparent to John De Witt and Ken Chipman, who were coaching teams with the Caringbah Rangers, that the large influx of players into Rangers had stretched the resources of the Club to a point where it could no longer adequately administer or coach the players.
At the conclusion of the 1960 season, Ken approached John to seek support in forming a new club. Along the way, other early recruits were Jeff Wright, John Oakes and Harry Johnson who started the hard work of forming the Club and later on Ewan Craggs and Don Henville got behind the Club. Though the need for another club was obvious, it was difficult getting the Club established. After advertising in the local press and placing posters in strategic parts of the district, results were negligible.
It is interesting to note that on the day of signing on members at Breen Park, Caringbah Rangers signed on approximately 300 players, whilst North Caringbah signed on one. The boy’s name was David Forrest. Other players who had previously signed were Peter De Witt, Raymond De Witt, Phillip Chipman and Harry Johnson.
Unperturbed at this setback, the Committee remained resolute at forming the Club by stopping boys and asking them if they would like to play soccer. The method finally got results and North Caringbah entered three teams in the competition in the under 8, 9 and 11 age groups. The nine-year-old team consisted of only ten players during the first round of competition, whilst the under 11 team was a composite squad made of both ten and eleven-year-old players.
The results of the first games played by the Club were;
8C North Caringbah 3 V Miranda 0
Scorers for North Caringbah: K. Reid (2), S. Wright (1)
9B North Caringbah 0 V Miranda 1
11C North Caringbah 2 V Miranda 4
Scorers for North Caringbah: P. Chipman (1), P. Wright (1)
Ken Reid had the honour of scoring the first goal for the Club.
Although there were a number of anxious moments in the early days, the tremendous support and the involvement of the parents of the players ensured that the Club quickly became established. Later on, the Club was fortunate to gain experience and support from Les Simmons, Ken Tasker, Cliff Horsley, Les Ambrose and Harry Preece.
One cannot forget the support and enthusiasm of the ladies in getting the Canteen off the ground. These ladies included Betty De Witt, Audrey Chipman, Dallas Johnson, Belle Wright and Peg Oakes. Audrey was responsible for the buying and controlled the finances with an iron fist. The canteen started out as two card tables underneath beach umbrellas. This was then replaced by a prefabricated construction designed by Ken Chipman which could be bolted together to form an 8-foot by 7-foot construction. This was stored at the end of the day in Jack Reid’s backyard.
The present field in Dianella Street was carved out of the bush only after energetic representation to the Sutherland Council by Mr Chipman. A lot of work had to be done in getting the field up to a suitable playing condition. This involved levelling, turfing the sandy areas and marking the field. Another added skill was snake catching every now and again.
There was indeed early opposition to the placing of the soccer field so close to the primary school. The issue was debated between School Council and Soccer authorities with soccer winning out to gain a field in the area.
The red and black colours of the Club were chosen by the original members. Ken Chipman had been associated with a Doncaster club in Yorkshire, which played in red and black. John De Witt had played in an army soccer team that also played in red. These colours were then selected because they didn’t clash with any other club. At one point in the early sixties, a coin was tossed to see if North Caringbah or Georges River would wear yellow or red shirts. It is now history with the club becoming known as the REDBACKS. Later a debate was held within the Club to decide on the emblem, with red robins or spiders being the popular picks. A vote was taken and the Redback spider became the emblem of the Club.
At the second Annual General Meeting of the Club, held on 5 December 1962, the Ladies Auxiliary presented to the meeting a new style of shirt. It was made of polished cotton, red in colour, with a black collar and cuff. A monogram depicting a Redback spider was on the left breast. J. Craggs suggested that lace could be used in place of the buttons.
“Moved A. King Seconded J. Oakes.
That the design as submitted be accepted with an option to use lace or buttons to be left to the Ladies Auxiliary”
Club minutes – 1962
Margaret Oliver designed the emblem and Mrs Lansdowne of Taren Point produced it for the shirts.
An article in the St George and Sutherland Shire Leader summed the Club’s debut season:-
“At the close of the 1961 season, North Caringbah Club is firmly established in junior soccer. Congratulations go to the U 8 and U9 teams, runners-up in their respective divisions. Condolences to the U11 side, but with three points separating the three teams for runners-up positions, theirs was also a creditable performance.”