About Virtus Soccer Club

Towards the end of 1951 and into early 1952 the new team settled on a name, ‘Virtus’, the name of LoBasso’s team back in Egypt. The colours selected were red and white, the official colours of Molfetta. The club crest was modelled on that of English football club Manchester United and featured a shield with the ‘VSC’ insignia, a football and scroll. On Sunday 18 May 1952, Virtus played its first ‘professional’ match at Leonard Park against new rivals Savoy in Round 2 of the PPSA competition. The inaugural team consisted of: Felice (Phillip) Introna, Nick Capurso, Dino Funda, Maurie Pasculli, Don DeGiglio, Corrado (Dino/Roy) Turci, Giuseppe (Joe) Camporeale, Dominic Bovenga, Frank Binetti and Onofrio Farinola. Domenic Valenti, Domenic Pepe, Pasquale Rafanelli, Tony Annese, Joe Mezzini and Domenic Caputo were reserves and the young John Pasculli was team mascot. Virtus was defeated 2–4, Giuseppe Camporeale and Frank Binetti scored the team’s goals. On Sunday 15 June, Virtus recorded its first win with a 2–1 victory over Rangers in Round 6.

In 1956 the Virtus committee leased a portion of land on Three Chain Rd to use as a home ground. It was named ‘Backstrom’s Reserve’ after the lessor. Virtus won the PPSA Association Cup and despite finishing top of the table were declared ‘joint champions’ with Savoy by the PPSA following a dispute over a ruling on points. In 1957 Virtus joined the newly formed Northern Areas Soccer Association (NASA) and claimed its inaugural championship. Land on Magor Rd was purchased and developed into a new home venue. It was unofficially known as ‘Virtus Park’ until 1958 when it was renamed ‘Byrne Park’ in honour of Roger Byrne, captain of the ill-fated Manchester United team which perished in the Munich air disaster.

In 1960 two dilapidated properties situated at Numbers 9–11 Parks St, Port Pirie were purchased and demolished for establishment of clubrooms. The foundations were laid in September and the clubrooms were constructed over the next five years, officially opening on 26 June 1965. This was almost entirely the product of voluntary labor from club members, many of whom were tradesmen. Virtus won league championships in 1961, 1963, 1965 and 1966 and another three Association Cups in 1958, 1959 and 1966.

In 1976 the club undertook extensive renovations at its clubrooms. The club temporarily relocated to Globe Oval for the 1978/79 NASA seasons as renovation and landscaping took place at Byrne Park. In 1980 Virtus returned to Byrne Park and also secured its first ever major sponsorship deal with S D Caputo & Sons signing on as major sponsors.

Virtus experienced a renaissance in the 1980s and in 1985 secured the NASA league championship going undefeated under coach George Hadges. The feat was repeated in 1991. In 1996 Virtus obtained State and local Government funding for an extensive refurbishment project at Byrne Park, including the installation of a state-of-the-art lighting system for night fixtures. In 1999 the club made the historic move to the South Australian Soccer Federation (SASF), rebranding itself (in line with SASF requiremenets) as the ‘Northern Demons’.

Whilst the Senior team has not yet enjoyed success at State level, the club’s Under 19s have secured silverware on two separate occasions. In 2004 the Demons defeated Playford City Patriots 2–1 in the Grand Final held at Hindmarsh Stadium. Five years later, in 2009, the Under 19s once again won the league title with 4–2 penalty shootout win over Enfield City Falcons.

Club honours

  • PPSA League Champions: 1956 (disputed)
  • PPSA Association Cup: 1956
  • MNSA League Champions: 1963, 1965, 1966
  • NASA League Champions: 1957, 1961, 1985, 1988, 1991
  • MNSA Association Cup: 1966, 1967
  • NASA Association Cup: 1958, 1959, 1994, 1997
  • MNSA League Cup: 1965
  • Alitalia Cup: 1966
  • Adelaide Inter-City Cup: 1992, 1993
  • Angione-Saracino Charity Shield: 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993 (joint), 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005 (joint), 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009
  • SASF State League Under 19 Champions: 2004
  • FFSA State League Under 19 Champions: 2009
  • FFSA State League Under 19 Runners-Up: 2010

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Virtus Soccer Club, playing in modern times as the Northern Demons is a soccer club from Port Pirie, South Australia. Northern Demons play in the Football Federation of South Australia (FFSA) State League. Their home ground is Byrne Park, situated on Magor Road, Port Pirie. Together with their three senior teams (Seniors, Reserves and Under 18s), the club has an Under 12,14, and 15 team competing in the Football Federation of South Australia Junior Premier League. Their cross-town rivals are the Savoy Soccer Club, formerly known as Port Pirie City, who play in the South Australian Amateur Soccer League (SAASL).