As far as endings go, none could be more perfect than the closing celebration for Savoy Park. Savoy Soccer Club’s supporters were treated to a spectacular day of soccer and festivities to end 62 years of history at the grounds on Saturday.
After the festivities kicked off early in the afternoon, the Reserves – led by coach John Smith – took to the field to win 2-0 against Para Hills. But it was the club’s senior side that made sure the last game to be played at the park was one to remember with a thrilling 5-1 victory.
As the match closed, jubilant coach Vinny DeGioia led players and supporters on to the field to continue the celebrations.
Exciting, new chapter beckons for Savoy
Savoy Soccer Club will embark on a new chapter in its rich history as it farewells its Warnertown Road grounds and prepares for a move into the city at the soon-to-be-completed Memorial Oval sports precinct. Players, officials and supporters were treated to a day of spectacular celebrations to say farewell to its playing home for 62 years.
And what a farewell it turned out to be following a 2-0 victory in the Reserves and then the icing on the cake, a thrilling 5-1 win to claim the premiership title in its division.
The club’s chairman, John Caputo, told the large gathering Savoy was excited for its move into Port Pirie. The celebrations were attended by Mayor John Rohde, council’s CEO Peter Ackland, council’s Director Corporate and Community James Holyman and Frome MP Geoff Brock.
“We now plan our next move, an incredible opportunity for Savoy Soccer Club made possible by the Port Pirie Regional Council and the state government,” Mr Caputo said.
“We are also excited for the move in 2019 to the new Port Pirie Sporting Precinct and for our future which because of our past will forever be bright.”
Mr Caputo reflected on the club’s early days – before Savoy Park – and said they were relocating to where it all started for the green-and-whites in 1949 in what was salt flats at Mary Elie Street.
“The land was very dusty and dry, and very muddy when wet, but through sheer determination and love for our game, our club's founder managed to park out a playing field,” he said.
He also praised the club’s helpers who have worked tirelessly to keep Savoy Park ticking along.
“Since 1957 many a volunteer has lent a hand to keep the pitch in great condition and general maintenance around the park,” he said.
“On this occasion, the very last official game to be played at Savoy Park, we must acknowledge many of our valued volunteers.”
Commemorative plaques were presented to Dot Camporeale for her work running the canteen, to Vic Caputo and Gary LoRusso for manning the gate when a small fee was charged to enter, and to Sam DeGioia, Phillip DeGioia and Alan Manfield for their work in the park’s upkeep.
Mr Caputo also praised the many players to have played at Savoy Park.
“From 1957 hundreds of men have pulled on the green-and-white and represented this club with honour,” he said.
“Every ball kicked is a part of our history. To every player that has walked on this park, every player that stands here today, we thank you.”
“We know that over the last 62 years there have been many people that have lent a hand and for that, we are truly grateful. There are simply too many to name but you all know who you are.”