The foundation and reformation
Although Pascoe Vale FC as we know it today was formed in 1966, the first known Pascoe Vale Soccer Club was formed by British migrants in 1927 who played in the Victorian Metropolitan Leagues and competed in the historic Dockerty Cup.
The club was reformed in 1966 by Aromanian immigrants from the village Nižepole in Bitola, Macedonia, who nicknamed the club ‘Pascoe Vale Pelister’ after the mountain from where they came.
The first president of our current club was the late Michael Puljevic, who entered us into the now defunct District Leagues in the late 60’s, where we finished second in the West Division in 1968 and finished third in the Central Division in 1969.
When the Premier Division of the District Leagues was formed, Pascoe Vale was a member club. Many of Pascoe Vale’s players of that era went on to play at bigger clubs; Nick Boskov went to Preston Makedonia, then to Yugal in Sydney and from there switched to Canberra, while John Tilovski spent two years at Footscray J.U.S.T. along with Mirko Dzanovski.
In the early 70’s, Pascoe Vale’s president was George Dzanovski, a man who carried us through some trying times. In 1976, Frank Patti was appointed as the first ever paid coach at the club. Chris Dzanovski followed as president, and was also one of the club’s greatest ever players, along with Steve Dzanovski who was also at his peak. Steve played with Pascoe Vale from 1966 until his retirement in 1981.
In 1982, club legend Jim Tona took over as president as we began to surge through the leagues, earning three consecutive promotions and winning the 1984 Provisional League Division 2 Championship, the first league title in the club’s history. Pascoe Vale enjoyed moderate success during the 80’s and 90’s, being promoted to the State Leagues for the first time in 1987, and winning the 1992 State League Division 4 Championship with the likes of club legends Pepi Colakovski and Nick Katsis, who are still heavily involved at the club to this day.
Turn of the century
After 9 years in State League Division 3, the club went on a recruiting drive in 2001 and picked up Daniel Tribuzio as well as ex-NSL players George Petrov, Michael Burlak, David Colosimo and Rob Petrovski, succeeding in promotion to State League Division 2.
Pascoe Vale went from strength to strength from this point on by recruiting Vitale Ferrante and former Victorian Premier League players such as Rocky Di Vitto, David Turkovic, Robert Spence, Steven Tribuzio and Adam Inglese to name a few. Under the guidance of Gianfranco Impellizzeri, Pascoe Vale narrowly missed promotion in the 2003 & 2004 promotion play offs in front of big crowds, both ending in penalties against Langwarrin and Kingston City respectively.
Division 2 posed a problem for the club and after continuous disappointments in bottled promotions, the club hired former A-League assistant coach Luciano Trani as head coach in 2008. Pascoe Vale won the 2008 State League Division 2 Championship on the penultimate day of the season, with a winning goal from Daniel Genovesi on the final day of his football career.
The recruitment of Luciano Trani is believed to have permanently changed the culture of the club, which has seen the professionalism of clubmen and players rival that of the biggest clubs in the state. Special mention must be made for a particular signing in 2009, a young Adrian Talarico, who to this day holds the record of most senior matches played for the club.
The club consolidated our position in Division 1 with high calibre coaches such as ex-South Melbourne legend, David Clarkson, and George Karkaletsis. In 2011, Vitale Ferrante took over as coach and commenced building a legendary side with the recruitment of eventual club captain Joseph Youssef, Luca & Marco Santilli and former West Ham, Melbourne Victory and Wellington Phoenix player, Michael Ferrante.
The following year would be the most successful in the history of the club, which saw Pascoe Vale win the 2012 State League Division 1 Championship by five points over Port Melbourne, promoting us to the highest tier in Victorian football for the first time in our history and marking the next step as we evolved from a small family club to now competing with some of the biggest clubs Australia had to offer.
After building upon the squad in the Victorian Premier League in 2013 with new additions Davey Van’t Schip and Tomi Milardovic, Paco would now enter the new NPL era.
The NPL era
The top tier of football in Victoria was reformed in 2014 to the National Premier Leagues Victoria, where Pascoe Vale finished 11th in the 14 team inaugural season.
Despite being tipped by some as relegation candidates at the start of the year, Pascoe Vale finished in 6th place in 2015, qualifying for the finals series. Pascoe Vale came up against Heidelberg United in the elimination final and progressed on penalties. Facing South Melbourne at Lakeside Stadium, Pascoe Vale conceded two late goals in extra time to go down 3–2. This semi-final finish was the furthest Pascoe Vale had ever reached in a top flight season. The 2015 season also marked the first season Pascoe Vale played out of their new home ground at CB Smith Reserve, a newly built $6.3m facility.
Prior to the 2016 season, Pascoe Vale Soccer Club announced they would adopt a new name and logo, proceeding onward as the Pascoe Vale Football Club. Their new logo was inspired by that of FK Pelister, tying back to their original namesake and humble origins. Pascoe Vale finished the 2016 season in 7th place, with Van’t Schip scoring 9 goals and taking out the club’s Golden Boot award.
In 2017, Pascoe Vale formed its inaugural senior women’s team. Pascoe Vale’s female participation more than doubled in 2017 to five female teams in total. The men’s team finished the season in 7th place, just outside the finals series. Davey Van’t Schip scored 17 goals to take out the club’s Golden Boot award yet again and was only second in the league to Heidelberg’s Kenny Athiu, who scored 21 times. Tomi Milardovic retired at the end of the season, after five seasons at the club.
In 2018, Pascoe Vale finished the season in 4th place, qualifying for the finals series where we lost 2–1 to Oakleigh Cannons in the elimination final. Van’t Schip was the top scorer for the third season running, this time with 15 goals, the fourth highest tally in the league.
From January 2019, Pascoe Vale player Hakeem al-Araibi, a political dissident from Bahrain, was being held in Thailand pending deportation to Bahrain. This attracted much media attention and a campaign for his quick and safe return was spearheaded by the club, with support from Craig Foster. He was released in February of the same year after the government of Bahrain withdrew their extradition request, and arrived at Melbourne Airport on 12 February to much publicity.
In June 2019, long-serving head coach Vitale Ferrante resigned after eight years in charge. His brother Michael Ferrante, along with Luca Santili and Davey Van’t Schip also departed the club, while David Chick was named as the new head coach. In August 2019, Pascoe Vale were relegated from NPL Victoria, finishing in bottom place.
After strong performances during the cancelled 2020 & 2021 seasons, Paco would just miss out on promotion in the 2022 NPL2 season under the care of Alex Cobo. In the disappointing 2023 season, a change in coach led to Ante Moric taking the reins for the latter half of the season, where we finished the season at the bottom of the table.
We now look forward to an exciting 2024 season with Dandenong Thunder’s renowned 2012 treble-winning captain Shane Rexhepi as our new head coach, alongside a multi million dollar redevelopment of our true home ground, Hosken Reserve.