Nambour-Yandina United are just two wins away from a maiden Sunshine Coast Premiership, but long-time fan Dave Maybury is warning the club “not to count our chickens just yet.”
Now in his 70s, Maybury is the last active member of the inaugural senior men’s side which played as the Nambour Reds in 1974.
Defeat, he says, has become a recurring theme for the club, which has been known as Nambour-Yandina United – or NYU – since the Reds merged with Yandina Eagles in 1997.
“We’ve become a club that knows how to lose,” said Maybury.
Three years ago, the senior men’s side finished dead last. Prior to that, they spent more seasons in the bottom half of the ladder than they did at the top.
In fact, in 47 years the club has never managed to win a men’s Premiership or Grand Final.
But Maybury, who once served as president of the old Sunshine Coast Soccer Federation, is enjoying NYU’s renaissance.
“We had the amalgamation with Yandina Eagles, and we had a couple of close calls where we nearly folded, but now I think we’re a club of the future,” he said.
While NYU isn’t the only club Maybury has been associated with on the Sunshine Coast, he believes that he is the last of the original Nambour Reds people to still attend regular games.
There is a nice symmetry to the fact that Maybury’s next-door neighbours, Ray and Noelene Carter, are two of the last of the original Yandina Eagles people left at the merged entity.
“Ray and Noelene are life members; they’ve been around since the late 1970s and are very much an integral part of the club,” said Maybury.
Many years ago, Maybury started coming back to NYU’s picturesque home ground, Carter Oval, which is nestled in the centre of Yandina.
“I used to sit in the stands, and no-one would know me,” he recalled. “But as I got to know the faces and I let them know who I was, they just folded me back into it.”
At the beginning of 2021, Maybury spoke at the season launch about the history of the club. The Nambour Reds, he told the players, was founded by two Scouse migrants from England, Ray and Kath DeCourcy.
Nambour played in the same flame-red strip as the famous Liverpool Football Club and wore the same liver bird on their logo.
Ray DeCourcy was the first president of the club while Maybury’s father, George, was vice president. Maybury’s mother, Irene, was the club’s first secretary.
The DeCourcys were Liverpool fans and the Mayburys were Everton supporters, but in Australia they were united at Nambour.
The Maybury brothers Dave and Terry both played at Nambour Reds, as did the DeCourcy boys Shaun and Noddy.
Shaun is now the president of Beerwah-Glasshouse United, aka Beegees, while Noddy is a well-known identity at Buderim Wanderers.
Despite their new loyalties, both DeCourcy brothers have a deep affection for the club their parents established all those years ago.
“I still have a soft spot for Nambour. The club is a part of my life – it always has been, and it always will be,” said Noddy.
“If Nambour win it this year, I don’t think any other football team on the Coast will begrudge them, because they’ve been battlers every season.”
Maybury believes NYU’s current success can be attributed to the strong family vibe led by coaching team Kyle and Korey Nix.
Kyle, who played for England national youth teams, is the men’s Head Coach and his brother, Korey, is the Director of Coaching.
Meanwhile, two of the men’s players are relatives of one of NYU’s long-serving presidents and life members, Peter Harth.
“This club has always been family based: we’ve had myself and my brother and Noddy and Shaun DeCourcy,” said Maybury.
“Now, we have Kyle and Korey Nix. They’re where they want to be and helping to build the culture.”
One of the distinctive features of NYU is the club’s active supporter group, The Red Army, who camp to one side of the grandstand and belt out a variety of songs and chants.
“There’s a lot of Poms that have come here over the years, and whenever you go to a Pommy soccer game you know there’ll be singing,” said Maybury.
“When a goal is scored, they’ll jump on the rails and start banging the gutter and the whole building shakes.”
For now, Carter Oval is quiet as South East Queensland waits for lockdown to end and football to return.
When it does, NYU will need to win two of their last four games – three of which will be played at home – to claim the Premiership.
As always, Maybury will be there in the stands, waiting for his club to make history.
“I’ve got a good feeling about this,” he said. “We’ve been through many adversities over the years, but we’re here today and the town is right behind us.”
To find out more about Sunshine Coast football history, click here.