Lions president Peter Bacha revealed the club was facing the loss of its football licence before council threw it a lifeline last week.
“It’s come just in time; it’s massive relief,” said Mr Bacha, who has been a player, coach and official at the club since 1979.
“The council has given us another lease of life. It’s game-changing for us.”
The councillor driving the merger, Liberal Steven Issa, said the football club could now look forward to a bright future.
“It’s massive for the club. They are now an NPL1 (National Premier League) club, and this league is just below the national A-League competition,” Cr Issa said. “They also have grassroots football teams, so this isn’t just about council supporting a representative-level team.
“The broader community will also benefit from this deal. Council can now open up the bowling club (after a year sitting idle) as a community facility with the bistro and lawn bowls coming back.”
Mr Bacha thanked Cr Issa and Lord Mayor Andrew Wilson for leading the way in finding the club a new home after a “bumpy ride” in recent years.
“We always wanted to merge with bowling club,” Mr Bacha said. “When they decided to go with the Australian Turf Club (at Rosehill nearly two years ago), we then we had a fight with the council’s administrator and had to start the whole process over again.
“And now, this decision by the council has secured the club’s future. We can now properly look after the players, coaches and supporters of the club, as well as the broad community.
“It’s a great day for Rydalmere FC.”