Southern United was formed in 2006/2007 when the Moorabbin Districts Hockey Club based in Cheltenham at the current “Farm Rd” pitch, and the Sandringham Hockey Club, based at the current Brighton Secondary College merged.
Moorabbin Districts Hockey Club
The Moorabbin Hockey Club was formed in 1960, when Harry Nederveen, a local Cheltenham resident and top grade umpire, brokered the marriage of the Cheltenham and Bentleigh hockey clubs. A meeting of officials from both clubs saw the sense of an amalgamation as Bentleigh had two very good senior teams whilst Cheltenham had moderate success in seniors and potentially very good juniors. Thus, the Moorabbin Hockey Club was born. Some of the luminaries of the day, besides Harry Nederveen who was founding President, were Jack Blackburn, Mal Sundstrom, Pat Gawthorne (Cheltenham); Hugh Videion, Mike and Pat Sinnott, and Dudley and John Buckle (Bentleigh).
The new club’s success was soon evident when it played in A Reserve grand final in the first few years of its life. Moorabbin were runners-up in 1962 and gained promotion to A grade. A couple of season’s later, they were relegated, but again won promotion following their memorable Premiership win a re-play against Old Scotch. The club held this grade for many season’s though not ever able to be a real force in the “four”.
The women’s section was formed in 1969 when several ladies answered newspaper advertisements (“The Standard”) for players to join. These ads were placed by Len Anderson, who later became the first women’s Coach and section coordinator. The section grew steadily in proportion to the rest of the club through the early efforts of Graham and Judy Stewart in particular.
In 1973 an influx of juniors who moved from the Melbourne High School Old Boys club injected more youthful talent into the club, giving it depth which has carried through to present times.
The next major step in the club’s evolution was in 1981, when the Oakleigh Districts Hockey Club merged with Moorabbin Hockey Club to form the current “Moorabbin Districts Hockey Club”.
Many senior premierships were won over the years, but if success is judged on premiership flags, the juniors have been outstanding. In the 1975 – 85 period, it was usual to have as many as four grand final teams in the one year. The Under 14’s won four flags in a row, while the Under 12’s and 16’s were regularly in finals, achieving great success. Moorabbin was represented in all age groups’ State Teams, often by as many as four players and a coach.