Riverside Olympic were founded in 1967 but have connections with the game going back to those pioneering days of the sport in the 1920s. Olympic purchased all the gear and strips off the dismantling Patons & Baldwins at the time. Its original colours were black with blue “Olympic” rings. Patons were state and northern champions during the twenties and thirties so maybe the success story has continued, but one cannot envisage Patons would have been seen in today’s orange & white strip somehow!
In 1968 “Ravenswood” Olympic had based themselves at Kings Meadows High School, but moved to Ravenswood Recreation Ground in 1970 and joined the recently formed Northern Combined League.
In 1973 Olympic won their first major title when they won the Northern Combined League, scoring a massive 79 goals along the way. Unfortunately they lost the State Title play off to Hobart Juventus. The squad at the time was: Udovicic, Purse, Young, Mies, Webb, Jamie Hodge, Witton, Attenborrow, Chadwick, Micky Joss, Leighton Hodge, Roper, Edmunds, Enkelaar, J. Taylor and Redman. It was a well balanced squad littered with talented players; George Attenborrow and Micky Joss in midfield, the Hodge brothers; the experienced Webb and Udovicic, the promising Peter Mies and the solid Lee Chadwick up front.
In 1978 the club was on the move again, but this time the administrators were looking for a more permanent base, one which could house a clubroom and in turn would sustain and income. The club liaised with the Beaconsfield Council for the use of Windsor Park. The ground was situated inside the athletics track from 1979 to 1983, but was then moved eastward to its present location.
In 1981 the club borrowed $5,000 to begin construction of the clubrooms. Building continued throughout the summer months and in 1986 the Government loaned the club, through a sports scheme, a further $38,000 to complete the facilities that now stand at Windsor Park. This type of long term management and thinking produced long term benefits and a solid foundation. Players wanted to come to Riverside Olympic. President Marlene McCarron, Secretary Patricia Wrigley and a very hard working committee finally achieved their goal.
On the field, Olympic continued to be successful and won the 1984 Northern title under the coaching of Hans Streit by a point from Launceston Matric. In a breathtaking climax to the season, the title was decided in the final roster game of the year.
In 1987 however, the club finished last on the ladder, but it was the jolt required and Olympic learned from their mistakes. In 1988, with the formation of the statewide league, the club found their niche in the Northern League and finished runners up behind Devonport City, two points adrift but had a far superior goal difference. The reserves also finished runners up and the women’s team completed a hat trick of second placings.
In 1989, player/coach, Tony Walmsley, contributed significantly to the clubs prominent rise. He had players in the calibre of Jason King, Dale Smith, Stuart Biggar, Robert King and Roger Brown all firing for the club.
During the nineties the club established themselves as one of the top four Launceston teams, with even a moderately successful campaign in the State league under the coaching of the enigmatic Peter Sawdon. The former Rothmans Gold Medal and George Dale award winner could see the potential at the club during this period. He wasn’t to be disappointed.
Riverside Olympic have won the Northern Premier League in 1990, 1991, 1992, 1998 and again in 1999. The early nineties was a wonderful “purple-patch” for the club often doing the “double”. They were served by some reliable players: Jason King, Dale Smith, Roger Brown, Lynden Prince, Glenn Vollmer, Dale Colgrave, Peter Sawdon, Steven King, Mark Littlechild, Andy Gray, Stuart Bishop and Robert King. Long serving players in the past have been; Leon Colgrave, Geoff Taylor, Garry Colgrave, Geoff Smith, Ettore Scaglioni, Stuart McCarron, Malcolm Taylor, Charlie Lawson and Graeme Eastburn.
Recent success saw the Northern Men’s Championship team finishing runners up after an undefeated season in 2014 and the Men’s Championship 1 team taking out the title in 2016.
Many “well-known” Northern soccer names have been associated with the club over the years: 1974 Australian Junior representative, Braden Carter, state representatives Marianne Hardstaff and Joe Udovicic, NTSA representatives Leighton and Jamie Hodge and Malcolm “Stretch” Taylor, who netted 46 goals in the 1983 championship year and of course Terry Clark, Hans Streit and Peter Sawdon, three influential player/coaches in their day. In more recent years, Luke Eyles Has been drafted to South Melbourne in the Victorian Premier League & Nathaniel Atkinson has been signed by A-League Club Melbourne City.
The club has installed a great family atmosphere at Windsor Park and houses teams in nearly all competitions. With a strong emphasis on youth in the area, they have possibly the largest contingent of under-age players at any club in the state. Riverside Olympic are one of the most progressive clubs in the state, and with their junior set-up are surely guaranteed generations of success with around 500 participants on the field each week.