HIGHFIELDS FC - HISTORY
Football (Soccer) has been played by players from the Highfields area for many years. It had been played long before the current Highfields FC formed more than 20 years ago.
The Cawdor Rangers were the first team to play in the Toowoomba and district football competition during the 1950’s.
Some of the players in the Cawdor Rangers team were brothers, Kevin and Earl Franke who went on to represent Queensland. Their cousin Nev Franke also played. Kevin Franke was the father of Phil and Barry Franke. Today, Barry is still very much involved with the current Highfields FC as our Indoor Soccer Coordinator.
The idea of forming a Highfields “Soccer” Club came about by Helen and Noel Oldham, deciding they would like their son Stephen Oldham to play soccer. At the time Rugby was the only local sport available.
After Noel Oldham discussed the idea with Barry Franke, it was decided that they call a meeting for an indication of interest from the local community. At that meeting there were approximately 30 people in attendance and the decision was made to form the Highfields Club. The first Executive positions were: Noel Oldham – President, Barry Franke – Vice-President, Helen Oldham – Secretary and Andrew McLintock – Treasurer. Debbie Franke (Barry’s wife) volunteered to be Canteen Convenor and continued in this position for quite a few years.
It was still quite a gamble to establish the club, as the Playing Strips had to be ordered at a cost of approximately $3000 so that they would be available in time for the season to commence. This had to happen before a Sign-On Day could be held.
Craig Stibbard from Thrifty-Link Hardware kindly donated a cordless drill for a raffle to help get our finances started.
Sign-On Day eventually came and 72 players registered with the Club, resulting in
7 teams being entered into the then Toowoomba Junior Soccer Association Inc.
There were many tasks to do before the season commenced. Negotiating with the Council and Rugby Club to share the Kuhl’s Road ovals, also marking and maintaining the fields. The Clubhouse had to be shared with Playgroups, Art and Gardening groups as well as the Rugby Club. Eventually as the Community grew, a storage shed was built alongside the Clubhouse to accommodate all the equipment that each Club needed to store.
Barry Franke coached the Club’s first Senior Mens team in 2007. The Senior Mens team in 2007 had an impressive year, making it to the finals. 2008 saw the Club’s first Colts U16 /U18 team entered into the Senior Competition. In 2009 the Club was proud to have a Senior Mens Reserve and also a Colts Team playing in the competition. 2004 was the Club’s first Premiership win. Our U13B Strikers were victorious on this momentous occasion.
Kirstie Nicholls became a State Representative for Womens Soccer QLD in 2003 at the age of 12. Jordan Franke (daughter of Phil and Karen Franke) along with ex Highfields player, Amy Mairs were successful in the selection for the girls U/13 State Junior Development Squad in 2007. Jordan Franke has gone on to be selected in the Queensland State team in 2010. Ben Gregory won selection in the boys U/13 State Junior Development Squad in 2007.
2005 saw the Club introduce Indoor Soccer at the Highfields Indoor Sports Centre both for Juniors and Seniors.
Highfields FC continues to provide the opportunity for “whole family” sporting and social involvement. With great culture and team spirit and many lifelong friendships formed, the Club is fortunate to have built such a strong foundation.