APIA Leichhardt Tigers Football Club, also known simply as APIA, is a semi-professional soccer club based in the suburb of Leichhardt in Sydney, Australia. The club was formed in 1954 as APIA Leichhardt, by Italian Australians APIA, winner of the national Australian championship of 1987, is currently a member of the NPL NSW.
The club was founded as the Associazione Poli-sportiva Italo Australiana in 1954 by members of the Italian-Australian community in Sydney's Inner West. After several years in the Canterbury District competition, the club joined the NSW Federation's state league.
In the 1960s APIA became one of the foremost soccer clubs in Australia and won the Premiership of NSW of the years 1964, 1966, 1967 and 1975, which was the highest level of achievement in the absence of a national competition. Between 1966 and 1974 APIA also won three times the State Cup of NSW, then named after a sponsor Ampol Cup. The 1974 final was considered "one of the most incredible finals" of the history of the club when skipper Jimmy Rooney and centreforward Peter Ollerton, who scored five goals, won 9–1 against Auburn in front of a crowd of 5210 at Wentworth Park, the highest finals result ever.
Rooney and Ollerton were also in the team that represented Australia a few months later in its first World Cup participation in Germany.
In 1979 APIA was given access to the National Soccer League, the top tier of Australian soccer since 1977. In 1987 APIA won the national championship, six points ahead of the Preston Makedonia Soccer Club from Melbourne, with then only two points awarded per win. Coach in that season was Rale Rasic. Charlie Yankos and Peter Katholos are probably the best known players from that side. The main cast of that year consisted of
Tony Pezzano; Charlie Yankos, Arno Bertogna, Mark Brown, Jean-Paul de Marigny, Peter Tredinnick, Peter Katholos, Edward Lorens, Hilton Phillips, Gary Ward, Rod Brown and Tony Parison.
In 1988 APIA won the National Soccer League Cup. By 1992 the APIA Leichhardt was overwhelmed by financial difficulties. The club was somewhat restructured and forthwith played on state level with the moniker "Tigers."
Correct as of 3 May 2016. Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.
Lambert Park in Leichhardt is the club's traditional home ground. It was opened in 1954 and has, over the years, been used for most of the club's home games. It is still APIA's main ground and hosts all of the club's NPL matches. APIA has also hosted home games at a number of other venues, including Wentworth Park, Leichhardt Oval and Henson Park.