It all started in 1963 when the local Headmaster of the Albany Creek Primary School – Hec Wolter – approached a couple of newly arrived “Albany Creekers” with the concept of a sporting club. Hec has spent his life as a schoolteacher, senior master and finally at Albany Creek as Head Master – bearing in mind there were only a total of 40 students in a maximum of five grades. Hec had been involved at his past schools in Union, League, Aussie Rules and Cricket and reached a point where he made a decision that his final sporting venture would be for the children to play the one true game – English Football. He approached Terry Smith and Gerry Archer seeking their assistance to coach the boys of the school. The foundation had been laid and the path identified.
Many boys in the district aged 4-10 started training each week in Gerry and Terry’s back garden and in 1964 the Albany Creek Junior team entered into the Junior Football Competition. It was Terry who arrived at the name of Albany Creek Excelsior or ACE for short.
Gerry and Sheila Archer remained active in the Club for many years and are proud of their foresight to foster an environment for the youth of Albany Creek.
The growth of the club has been solid over the past 20 years but more so the past 10 years where the game started to establish a strong identity in Australia. In 2006 ACE fielded 56 Junior Teams and 5 Senior Teams. In 2007 the club experienced the biggest growth on record leading to 63 junior teams and 5 senior Squads making ACE the largest Football Club on Brisbane’s north side with over 760 male and female players spanning the Junior and Senior ranks.
Continued growth over the years had placed considerable strain on overall facilities and in 2007 the Committee established a strategic plan to invest, improve and expand the infrastructure of the club to allow further growth. The first phase of the expansion commenced in late 2007 with the construction of a canteen at Brendale that opened for business at the start of the season. With council assistance the muddy car park at Wolter Park was surfaced and landscaped. The Wolter Park club house was extended providing an area to accommodate sit down meals. A $10,000 donation by the Sorbello family for materials combined with a donation from the Garvin family that provided free construction, allowed the grandstand to be roofed and with the assistance of funds from council the change rooms were renovated, making Wolter Park one of the best facilities for senior Football.
The second phase of the refresh program in 2008 included new lights, new goal posts, 3 water tanks and an underground irrigation system for Wolter Park. We installed and underground irrigation system for the Rooball fields and resurfaced the main field. A new modern clubhouse facility was constructed at Brendale which incorporates change rooms, toilets, handicapped toilets, a merchandise store, a first aid room, a gym, bar and a magnificent elevated viewing area which can accommodate up to 400 people. This facility once completed was valued at $1.2 million which is indicative of the commitment and support that the club received from its committee and volunteer. This initiative was led by our Club President Claude Sorbello, who donated his time and expertise for 2 years to obtain all the necessary approvals and managed all aspects of the construction. The dedication and hard work of a very committed group of committee members and club members was paramount and volunteer work through working bees contributed $87,000 to the construction. Local business and businesses associated with the club contributed $73,000, the club contributed $120,000 and we received voluntary member donations of $8,000. Federal Government provided $200,000 and Pine Rivers Council provided $160,000. The $120,000 contribution made by the club was raised through fund raising initiatives and value added programs that were run by the committee eliminating the need for additional funding from members.
The final aspect of Phase 2 was a magnificent bitumen car park at Brendale which provides in excess of 100 car parks to our facility. Combined effort of Phase 1 and Phase 2 contributed over $1.8 million to the clubs balance sheet.
In 2010 extensive works at South Pine Sports Complex added two new fields to the facility that was opened by the Moreton Bay United Mayor Mr. Alan Southerland, Councillor Mike Charlton and Club President Claude Sorbello. The additional fields were part of an agreement with council reached in 2007 in order to cope with the expected growth in the area. Council cost for these new fields was $3.4 million. New fields were officially opened in 2011.
The success of the clubs infrastructure improvement program and the clubs investment in junior football development was recognised in 2009 when ACE applied and was selected by Football Queensland and Football Brisbane as one of only six Junior Premier League clubs in Brisbane. This was shortly followed by the club winning promotion into Division 1 in 2011.
In 2012, Football Brisbane restructured senior football in Brisbane and introduced the Brisbane Premier League or BPL as the highest level league in the Brisbane Competition. In total 27 clubs in Brisbane applied and ACE was successful in being selected based on the club’s ability to meet the selection criterion.
One key aspect of the criterion required a major upgrade of the facilities at Wolter Park. The club had raised $180,000 over the past 3 years in preparation for this, however the funds were not sufficient for the construction in particular as considerable improvements were required to upgrade the existing clubhouse to meet regulations associated with handicapped access. This led to considerable negotiations which resulted in an upgrade to existing facilities and more than 500 square meters added to the clubhouse completed on time to the value of $850,000. Contributions from Len Webb and family in excess of $10,000, Howard Jones and Family in excess of $18,000, Tano Diamauro and Family $8,000, John Grullo and Family $8,000, Claude Sorbello and Family $150,000, Joe Amaraddio and Family $2,000, Stephen Bryant and Family in excess of $4,000, Loris Trombetta and family in excess of $2,000, Frank Heim $2,000, Ian Howie and Family $20,000. The assistance of many other individuals through working bees was invaluable to get the project completed as well as companies like CConect electrical who contributed $6,000 of electrical fittings and Craig Stack from Vision 1 Architects who donated more than $8,000 of work.
2012 Will remain a memorable year for ACE as we also won the Division 1 Premiership and promotion to the Premier League had it continued. This result justified the committee’s earlier decision to accept relegation to Division 2 and focus the clubs resources and finances in infrastructure improvements and development of junior football. 2012 Will also be remembers as the year for restructure as Football Queensland announced the introduction of the Australian Premier League which would involve the selection of 12 clubs in Queensland to participate in this second tier National Competition. The APL would combine the Junior Premier League and the State League competition into one. ACE established a new football club entity called Moreton Bay United Football Club and lodged an application with Football Queensland which was selected. ACE retains a 60% equity in MBU F.C. and believes that with MBU F.C. will provide local football clubs the opportunity to be part of the new APL. MBU F.C. will also provide ACE a better growth strategy that ensures that ACE maintains the community football focus.
All these factors combined provide a magnificent backdrop to the clubs 50th Anniversary in 2013.