History of



23 March 2017, it was reported that Canberra FC had signed up to the recently formed Australian Association of Football Clubs (AAFC) as a member of the organisation. AAFC was set-up to represent National Premier League clubs interests at local, state and national levels.


During the first four seasons of the NPL, Canberra FC won two league titles in 2013 and 2015 and lost four grand finals in a row between 2013 and 2016.


Canberra FC was a founding member of the NPL ACT in 2013 following Football Federation Australia’s national re-structure of soccer leagues in Australia. Canberra FC finished its first NPL season as league premiers, seven points ahead of second placed Belconnen United. Deakin won the major semi-final against the same opposition 4-0 before succumbing 0-2 in extra time to Canberra Olympic at McKellar Park in the grand final.


24 June 2007 – 30 June 2007, Canberra FC participated in the inaugural ‘Croatian World Club Championship’ for Croatian diaspora in Zagreb, Croatia alongside other teams of Croatian heritage from around the world including Canada, USA, Germany, France and Austria. Canberra FC was a late entrant into the tournament after Sydney United had to pull out for financial and organisational reasons. The tournament was broken into two groups with the top teams playing off in the final and the second placed teams playing off for bronze. CFC topped Group B after a 5-1 victory over French club AS Croatia Villefranche, a 2-2 draw with SD Croatia Berlin and a 3-1 victory over HNK Zrinski Chicago. Canberra FC played Toronto Croatia in the tournament final and took a first half lead before a second half comeback by the Canadian club saw Canberra FC succumb to a final 1-3 defeat and claim silver in the tournament.


In 2006, Canberra Deakin changed its name to Canberra FC before the start of the 2006 ACT Premier League season.


In 1995 the club returned to ACT soccer and re-joined the ACT top division, by now renamed the ACT Premier League. Deakin marked its return to ACT soccer by winning the ACT Premier League with a fourteen point advantage over second placed Shamrock Rovers and by defeating Juventus 3-2 in the grand final.


Canberra Croatia competed in the top division of NSW until 1995 with the club qualifying for finals five out of six seasons. Croatia finished league runner-up in 1990 and lost the grand final in 1990 and 91 to Wollongong Macedonia and Blacktown City respectively. The club also changed its official name twice during this period to Canberra Metro (91-92) and Canberra Deakin in 1993.


In 1975, Croatia Deakin competed in the inaugural full Croatian Australian Tournament (Croatian Cup). The tournament was established to provide Australian and New Zealand soccer clubs with Croatian heritage a cup competition to compete for following Melbourne Croatia’s expulsion from the Victorian Soccer Federation in 1974. Sydney Croatia hosted the tournament with Croatia Deakin defeating the hosts 3-1 in the tournament final.

1970s and 80s

The 1970s and 80s saw the club continue accomplishment on the field with more premiership and trophy successes. The highlight of these successes was the three consecutive undefeated seasons between 1986 and 1988 when Deakin registered a total 42 wins, 6 draws, 0 losses, 174 goals for and 27 goals against.


17 August 1969, Croatia Deakin claimed its fourth league title of its first full decade in ACT soccer and twelfth title overall (4 Premierships & Championships, 2 Federation Cups, 1 ACT Ampol Cup and 1 NSW Robertson Cup). Then on 11 November 1969, to complete the decade, Croatia Deakin opened its clubrooms, restaurants and bars on Grose St Deakin, across the road from the soccer ground. This new clubhouse and soccer facilities was the first of its kind in Canberra.


In 1967 the club changed its name back to Croatia with a slightly different full name of Croatia Deakin Soccer Club to reflect the suburb the club is from and based. Croatia finished the 1967 season as league runner-up to Juventus but claimed a 2-1 victory in the grand final over Cooma United.


SC HOPE won its first title in 1962, beating Kosciusko to the league Premiership crown. HOPE backed up this first title up with success in the finals series as the club added the Championship title to its honours list with a 7-3 victory over Kosciusko in the grand final. HOPE additionally added the 1962 ACT Federations Cup and NSW Robertson Cup to complete a quadruple title haul. The club added a further two premierships and a championship to its cabinet between 1963 to 1966 as HOPE and Juventus battled it out in the league and finals for titles.


In 1960 the newly formed ACT Soccer Association, working under the title of Soccer Canberra, introduced new club naming regulations that prohibited names with ethnic ties. Croatia SC changed its name to Soccer Club HOPE in accordance to the new regulations.


Canberra FC was established in 1958 by the local Canberran Croatian community as Croatia Soccer Club but was simply known as Croatia. The club commenced competitive play and entered the ACT second division in 1959. After spending one season in the second division, Croatia SC was promoted to the first division.