Highlands Park Football Club
Highlands Park is an association football club that was founded in 1960. The club participated in the professional soccer league in South Africa from 1960 until 1982. The club was based in the north of Johannesburg and grew to be one of the most popular clubs in the professional soccer league. The National Championship was won by Highlands Park in 1960, 1961, 1965, 1966, 1974 and 1977. The Castle Cup was won by the club in 1965, 1966, 1967 and 1974. During this era the club produced many famous local players who went on to play in overseas leagues.
Unfortunately the club experienced financial problems in the early eighties and the franchise was sold to another professional club who immediately changed the name and who are still participants in the Professional Soccer League in 2009.
The Highlands Park junior football and amateur senior teams were not included in the sale of the franchise and the club continued to serve its community with an amateur status. The club relocated to Gemmel Park in Linksfield not far from the original base of the professional team.
The Highlands Park Football Club has grown from strength to strength particularly over the past ten years. Under the guidance of Chief Executive Officer – Larry Brookstone – the club has resurfaced not only with junior teams but with senior teams with professional ambitions.
Highlands Park prides itself as a community based club and offers many subsidies to children from disadvantaged communities. At a junior level the parent body are responsible for giving of their time and assisting with fund raising activities to sustain the club.
Today the club offers junior football from the age of five upwards to both young boys and girls. Up to the under 15 age group the club consists of twenty seven separate teams who participate in various area based leagues. Over and above these teams the club participates in the SAFA under 13, 15, 17 and 20 leagues. The SAFA junior leagues offer the most competitive junior football standard in South Africa. All the juniors of the Gauteng professional teams in South Africa participate in the SAFA leagues.
At a senior amateur level Highlands Park has a 1st and 2nd team which participates in the Super League. This is an area based league in which teams are drawn from roughly a 40 km radius. During 2009 both the Highlands Park 1st and 2nd teams have performed exceptionally well and look well set to win both Championships.
The following web link provides the current league positions for both these teams http://www.elfa.leaguerepublic.com/ .
Larry Brookstone’s vision resulted in the club purchasing a Castle League franchise six years ago. The Castle League is essentially a fourth division semi professional league. The club participated at this Castle League level for three seasons and won promotion at its fourth attempt to the Vodacom League. The Vodacom League is a provincial league and is the third tier of football in South Africa. Highlands Park has participated in the Vodacom League for the past two seasons and has finished in credible 8th and 3rd position.
Professionalism at the club continues to grow and there is a determination to win the Vodacom League during 2009/2010 season and be promoted to the National First Division which is the feeder to the Professional Soccer League (PSL).
Highlands Park Football Club is once again searching for its former glory. There are a number of highly committed people who are backing CEO Larry Brookstone to reignite the proud heritage of Highlands Park and restore the club to its former status.