Born in Holland, Bill Vrolyks was send to Australia in 1945 for training to fight the Japanese as part of the Dutch Air Force. Because of the union boycot in support of Indonesia the trainees were flown all over Australia to help loading ships to go to Indonesia. He also was employed as a guard at the Indonesians prisoners camp in Casino.

Already a football player in the Netherlands, in Australia he became the captain of the Dutch Airforce Team.

He married a local girl in Sydney and settled there in 1948.

His journey in football and community service spans decades, leaving an indelible mark on Australian soccer and beyond.

Vrolyks played a pivotal role in the establishment of the Dutch-Sydney Austral club, where he began his football career. Later, he transferred to Leichhardt Annandale, amassing an impressive record of 510 first-grade matches. It was during this time that he had the privilege of playing alongside the legendary Australian footballer Joe Marston.

Beyond his achievements on the field, Vrolyks was instrumental in shaping the coaching landscape in New South Wales (NSW). He played a key role in implementing the first coaching structure in the state and extended his expertise interstate, aiding in the formation of similar coaching groups, ultimately contributing to the establishment of the Australian Coaches Federation.

His dedication to coaching extended beyond formal structures. Vrolyks generously devoted his time and effort to coaching camps and clinics at Parklea Academy for a decade, all without financial compensation. His commitment to the sport earned him the honor of being named a Life Member of the NSW Coaches Federation.

Throughout his illustrious career, Vrolyks coached various NSW and state youth teams, leaving a lasting impact on generations of young footballers. His remarkable contributions to the sport were recognised with the award of the Order of Australia Medal (OAM) in 1988.

However, Vrolyks’ legacy extends far beyond the football field. His selflessness and dedication to community service were evident through his volunteer work with organisations like “Meal on Wheels.” Additionally, he played a significant role in the Torch Relay for the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games, carrying the torch around The Entrance (NSW)—a testament to his enduring commitment to his community.

Bill Vrolyks passed away in August 2021, leaving behind a legacy that continues to inspire. Southern & Ettalong United Football Club bid farewell to an icon who had mentored and coached three generations of footballers, underscoring the profound impact he had on both the sport and the community he served. In 2001, his contributions to Australian football were immortalised with his induction into the Football Australia Hall of Fame, solidifying his place as a revered figure in the nation’s sporting history.

Bill brother John, was wounded in Indonesia however this didn’t stop him from joining his brother in Sydney, where he also played for Austral and later for the Clogs and Arsenal in Wagga Wagga and a team in Dubbo.

See also: Clogball Remembered