ANZA Soccer is thrilled to announce our new home! Starting this month, we’ll be playing at the Canadian International School (CIS) and are delighted that their full-sized soccer pitch will be our home base. Selected age groups will also play at The Cage, Dempsey from February.
However, it’s a very sad goodbye to The Cage, Turf City. The iconic venue that has become synonymous with ANZA Soccer over the years closed permanently in December.
While ANZA Soccer’s unofficial journey began back in January 1976, Turf City did not become our home until later. Once British troops began to withdraw from the newly-independent Singapore in the 1970s, what had been an expat boys’ soccer league started to disperse.
Realising this was a great shame, fathers David Foreman, Frank Wakefield, John King, and Gordon Gerachty (who was also ANZA’s chairman at the time), organised a new soccer league from Foreman’s dining room so kids could continue playing. They secured pitches and insurance, distributed flyers, and commissioned goalposts. On the first day, 33 boys arrived to join the International Junior Soccer League (IJSL) for kick-off.
Parent volunteers acted as organisers, coaches, and referees, and the league tripled in size quickly. At the end of the first season, it was decided that the league should gain official status. Gerachty suggested asking ANZA to accommodate them, so IJSL became ANZA-IJSL, then ANZA Soccer.
As the group continued to grow, the league had to move pitches several times, often helped by the Singapore Sports Council, which recognised ANZA Soccer as a valuable recreational resource for expat families. Games took place at Portsdown Road (pre-AYE), Minden Road, Farrer Road, and Loewen Road.
In the 2000s ANZA Soccer settled at Turf City, where they’ve remained ever since.
As a landmark location, Turf City owed its unique layout to once being a premier horse racing venue in Singapore. The narrow road to the pitches still traces the curve of the old race track today.
Girls joined the Saturday Club League in the 1990s playing in mixed teams. The numbers grew steadily over the next decade and in 2011 the girls-only ANZA Matildas teams were formed. Today, more than one hundred girls make up the ANZA Matildas League, and they also field strong competition teams in the girls’ Singapore-wide leagues. (Of course they do, they have excellent national role models!).
ANZA Soccer has been truly fortunate that volunteer committee members were able to secure the new CIS venue. Located at 7 Jurong West Street 41, it’s well-served by the MRT and bus network, and has more parking than Turf City. It’s also near the Jurong East Swimming Complex, so families and teams can head for a dip post-session.
We thank all the volunteers who helped with the search process, and look forward to starting at CIS later this month, and at The Cage, Dempsey in February. As for Turf City, it’s a place that will forever stay in our hearts and remain a significant part of ANZA’s rich community history.