Club Spotlight: Essendon Royals Soccer Club

60 years ago, Unione Sportiva Triestina was founded by Italian immigrants with the aim of providing the local  community with an opportunity to indulge their passion for the world game.

Like many clubs around the time of its foundation, Unione Sportiva Triestina was built on the concept of a home for those who had brought football with them from across international waters.

It is that premise of home and community that has remained at the core of the club, even after four mergers and name changes. 

A part of the Essendon Royals for the past 20 years, Life Member Adam Maltese highlighted that the rewarding club environment was a credit to the efforts of many selfless volunteers over the years. 

“It’s people like Silvester DeBernadi and Brunetto who worked tirelessly on the grounds almost full time; watering, mowing, weeding, filling in holes, marking the lines,” he said proudly. 

“They make it possible for the club to concentrate on other things with the knowledge that the job they give these people will be done with love, and without question or hesitation.

“It is these people that pass on their love of the club to the new people coming in, in the hope they will continue our growth and success.”

Club Manager Sherene Disauro shares the sentiment as she describes the impact the community setting has had on its growth.

“The participation of the community has meant we now have over 750 kids playing at this club, and over 45 sponsors.”

“We also continue to grow our female presence (within teams, coaches, committee and volunteers), which is such an important item on our clubs’ agenda.”

A vital reason for the rise of the women’s side of the game has been facilities upgrades, explained Royals’ Head of Football Vaughan Coveny.

“We thrive on support from the State government and the local council,” he said. 

“We are moving to a brand-new facility just down the road, which gives us more places to train, more places to play, lights to play under.  The new grounds, new lights, new goals – it has brought new people to the club.”

Maltese agrees with the importance of facilities support in providing the chance for the Essendon Royals to build towards a limitless future.

“Having been involved as the coach of the women’s team from 1995 to 2001, it is an area of the club that interests me a lot,” said Maltese.

“I have seen it grow and flourish. We had no girls at all before the 1995 season, now we have a senior team and about eight girls’ teams, and we are only getting bigger.

“With the support of local, state and federal governments for women in sport. our facilities are better to accommodate the large influx of girls and women in the future.”

Thanks to those grants, the Essendon Royals now have two main grounds enabling the club to welcome more players in the area.  Increasingly those players are girls and women; seeing their numbers rise to 750 registered players. Yet some of the largest benefits witnessed from this expansion have been on a cultural level.

“From young girls at under 9s, all the way through to senior women, we've had a big increase in numbers, players and coaches as well,” Coveny explained.

“The new female players have brought a different perspective on the game and it's just brought a new excitement to the club.”

Maltese acknowledges the impact of the Matildas in this growth and interest.  He also sees the limitless opportunity that his club is now well poised to take advantage of.

“The success of the Matildas and Sam Kerr can only increase the popularity of the sport. 

“I see the future of our club, where eventually the boy’s teams and girls’ teams are on par with each other.”

“Hopefully some of our players will represent Victoria and Australia, like our junior boys have done over the years.”


Club Name:

Essendon Royals Soccer Club

Member Federation:

Football Victoria



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Social Media Links: