Come and Try ... soccer with Murray Bridge United Soccer Club

Dale Binney invites you to come and play soccer – football – on Beatty Terrace this winter.

“Come and Try” aims to promote fitness and wellbeing in the Murraylands – and it could promote your business, too. Murray Bridge News is seeking an ongoing sponsor for this fortnightly feature. Call Peri on 0419 827 124 or email peri@murraybridge.news.

The 2020 season was supposed to be a glorious one for Murray Bridge United, which was due to complete in the top flight of the South Australian Amateur Soccer League for the first time.

Then – you might have heard this one before – COVID came along.

A series of challenge matches last year helped the club’s players keep their skills sharp, and a pre-season competition later this month will give them hit-outs against Naracoorte United, Renmark Olympic and Southern Breakers.

Then the big test will come at last.

United’s home ground on Beatty Terrace might not have the hoighty-toighty vibes of some of the city-based clubs they’ll be up against in 2021, but Murray Bridge has a proud history stretching back 65 years and a generation of players who have earned three successive promotions through the grades.

One member of Murray Bridge United’s golden generation, Dale “Dart” Binney, had a chat with Murray Bridge News at a training session this week.

When did you first start playing soccer?

In under-11s I started. One of my mates from school, he was playing down here. I actually played (Aussie rules) football for Redlegs before they folded, and then wasn’t doing anything for a year and came down.

What do you get out of it?

It’s a casual sport, not so serious down here, and obviously you build relationships with all of the juniors guys and they’ve stuck around. The game itself is good. Everyone around here is into footy, but (soccer) is the world game for a reason.

What has been the greatest achievement of your soccer career so far?

In juniors we went from 13s, 14s, 16s where we didn’t really lose too many games – we had a core group that stuck together, and those guys are best mates still. I’ve been off and played for Adelaide Hills, association and stuff like that, so that’s a highlight; but winning the premierships and the cups and all that sort of thing (is what) makes it pretty special.

How did you go last season?

It was a COVID cup thing – they split (the SAASL clubs) up into different areas. They had a World Cup format with groups and knock-outs and all that. It was still good to get some games in, and it still felt like a full season, really, because we played finals. We did alright. We could have done better. We’ve got a habit of coming second ... We played two div one teams last year and we held our own against them. We've got a few more players this year to strengthen the team up a little bit, so we’ll be looking to bring it to them.

What do you hope to achieve as a soccer player?

Personally I’d like to win some silverware with these guys. Like I said, we’ve been coming second most years, which gives us promotion but it doesn’t get us that silverware – it’s not the same. So as a footballer, that’s what I want to do here. They’ve been 50-odd years without that.

Why should people come and play soccer?

Most of us just come down here to have a kick, get out of the house, see the boys and just hang out with your mates. With div one now, it’s getting competitive but it’s just a casual thing we’ve got going on here ... It’s a good club to be a part of ... It feels like home, feels like family, and you can’t get away once you're here. It’s good to get out of the house, good for your mental health, and it’s a team sport, so you make some friends. All that stuff.


“Come and Try” aims to promote fitness and wellbeing in the Murraylands – and it could promote your business, too. Murray Bridge News is seeking an ongoing sponsor for this fortnightly feature. Call Peri on 0419 827 124 or email peri@murraybridge.news.