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Check out the wiki entry
about our men's soccer team


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The Heart of the Club

When it comes to soccer, our Men’s A-Team is the showpiece of our Club. In its opening match in 1957 Croatia defeated Hamilton Sparta 2-1, with Pavle Usenica scoring the first-ever goal in Club history.A flyer promoting the 1971 Croatia Hamilton-Dinamo Zagreb game.

Throughout the years the Croatian National Sports Club of Hamilton hosted international friendly matches with Croatian club teams such as NK Dinamo Zagreb. Dinamo were only four-years removed from winning the 1967 UEFA Cup when they visited Hamilton. Other notable friendlies included matches against NK Medjugorje Veterani, NK Croatia Brihovo, NK Vukovar, NK Karlovac and NK Zrinjski Mostar, amongst others. We have also had the pleasure of hosting non-Croatian teams as well. This includes an international tournament in 1988 with Vasas Budapest SC, one of Hungary's major sports clubs.

Many well known Croatian and international players have worn a Croatia Hamilton jersey. Some notables include Croatian professionals such as Željko Adzić, Slavko Cetina, Vlado Crnjak, Berislav Krilić, Stjepan Loparić, Vlado Palijan, Ivica Tanković, and Nediljko Šimić. Šimić actually played against Hamilton as a member of NK Vukovar in 1991, years before ever moving to North America.

Croats were not the only prominent players to wear the Hamilton Croatia crest. 1976 Canadian Olympian Kevin Grant and Olympic team captain Jimmy Douglas played for the Club during the 1970s, as did English mainstay Frank Ellis and long-serving Ukrainian goaltender Tom Bondarenko. These and many other players are just a small piece of what has become a talented soccer mosaic.

Considered the heart of the Club, the Men's A-Team has represented the City of Hamilton and Croatian culture for numerous decades. The team has competed in tournaments and leagues over the years such as The Hamilton Spectator Cup, the Ontario Cup, various league cups, the CNSF Tournament, and countless others. Croatia Hamilton actually joined the professional ranks from 1970-1976 when they played in the now defunct National Soccer League (NSL). During the 1972 season a game between Croatia Hamilton and Toronto Italia was even televised by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC).

Hamilton Croatia vs. Toronto Italia in the summer of '72, a game televised by the CBC ending in a 2-2 draw.

Although the Men’s A-Team did a tremendous job promoting the City of Hamilton and Croatia from the start, some members thought it seemed unfair to leave all of the efforts to just one soccer team. In the late 1970s it was decided that the Club would include other sports such as bowling, chess, and veteran soccer (old-timers) to ensure that more people became involved in promoting the name “Croatia”.

Ultimately this created more membership, a stronger Club, and a constant sense of community.


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