The SFC was established and in school headmaster and Victorian sportsman Sidney Grace was appointed Treasurer. In April the SFC club colours were decided (maroon and blue).
Subiaco played their first official match in the First Rate Juniors Competition on 16 May against Fremantle Imperials at Mueller Road (later Subiaco Oval).
Subiaco remained at Mueller Road (later Subiaco Oval) thought-out 1987 but then abandoned it due to the grounds poor condition, relocating to Shenton Park for the next 10 seasons.
The SFC joined the then Western Australian State League football competition where it has remained to be an integral part of the State’s football history.
Subiaco recorded its lowest club score in history 0.0 00, not scoring against South Fremantle.
The SFC relocated back to a re-conditioned Subiaco Oval. On Saturday 18 April 1908, Subiaco hosted the Cottesloe Football Club (later Claremont FC) in a practice game, the first recorded game at Western Australia’s future football headquarters. Saturday 9 May, Subiaco defeated East Perth 9.5 59 to 6.8 44 in the first WAFL game at Subiaco Oval.
In their first eleven years, the club finished last on nine occasions, and second last twice. During this soul destroying period George Bowen the club's first Captain. Scotty Wildy, Frank Tuohey, George Moysey, Wally Hannah, Jack Diprose and Andy Christie, gave the club good service.
The tide turned when John Scadden, Western Australia’s Premier from 1911–1916, and Subiaco President from 1912–19 masterminded an ambitious recruiting drive which completely changed the fortunes for Subiaco. The main targets were Phil Matson and Hubba Limb who had starred for South Australia when they beat Victoria in 1910, Bill Orr Perth’s champion rover, and Digger Thomas the star centreman in the Goldfields league. Other recruits were Joe Scadden, the Premiers' younger brother who played twenty one games for Collingwood in 1910, and Joe Bushell who joined his brother Harry at Subi. Most of the recruits arrived at the club for the 1911 season, but although there was an improvement Subiaco still finished last.
Subiaco played in its first Grand Final defeating East Fremantle 5.8. (38) to 4. 3. (27)
In 1912 Phil “aeroplane” Matson landed at Subiaco Oval with Billy Orr and Tom Cain. Subiaco started the season with a series of big victories, and captured the imagination of the football public. On the June, Monday public holiday, Subiaco and East Fremantle were the two unbeaten teams in the competition and met at Subiaco Oval. An unbelievable crowd of 12,500 turned up for the match even though it was a wet day and there was two other league matches played that day. Subiaco ran out comfortable winners 6.6 36 to 3.5 23 and the team received a standing ovation. The public were delighted to see East Fremantle who had won the previous four premierships soundly beaten. Matson, Limb, Thomas, Cain and Orr starred and Subiaco's long suffering supporters could smell a premiership push.
When the State Side was selected in July eight players from Subiaco were selected. At the end of the regular season Subiaco were comfortably on top with a 16-1 win/loss record. As minor premiers Subiaco reserved the right to challenge any club victorious after the series of finals. Subiaco won the first final against South Fremantle by 21 points and advanced into the Grand Final. Unfortunately Digger Thomas received a six month suspension for striking a South Fremantle player in the match. Then in a hotly disputed decision by the League, it was decided that the Grand Final would be played at East Fremantle’s home ground. If the Maroons won they would be premiers, in the event of a loss they would play East Fremantle at Perth Oval a week later to decide the premiership.
The Fremantle Oval match was a debacle. East Fremantle 13.19 97 defeated Subiaco 2.4 16. Phil Matson played a fine game and Joe Scadden contributed but all the other players had miserable days. Hubba Limb and Digger Thomas had been sorely missed. Subiaco started badly in the replay at Perth Oval and at half time were trailing by 17 points, 4.2 26 to 1.3 9. The second half belonged to Hubba Limb and Phil Matson who inspired their team to an epic victory 5.8 62 to 4.5 29. Limb kicked four goals and Matson starred all day as a loose man in defence in the last quarter. East Fremantle could only manage two points despite of having the assistance of a strong breeze.
Subiaco won back-to-back premierships, defeating Perth 7.7 (43) to 4.7 (31).
Phil Matson took over the reins as Captain/Coach for the 1913 season. Matson’s freakish playing ability had long been recognised but it was in 1913 that he began to establish his reputation as a coaching genius. Subiaco were not as dominant as in the previous season but still finished on top of the ladder with thirteen wins, one ahead of East Fremantle. The Grand Final between Subiaco and Perth attracted a crowd in excess of 10,000 and was described by the press as “brilliant” one of the best in the history of the Australian game. Subiaco ran out winners 6.7 43 to 4.7 31. Once again, Matson floated in defence and Perth didn't score a goal in the last quarter despite having the breeze. Digger Thomas was outstanding in the centre with Wally Short, Harry Bushell, Lang, and Limb all making significant contributions.
1914 was a disappointing season for the Club and they finished third. However seven players including Matson (Captain), Limb, Thomas and Cain represented Western Australia at the Australian Football Carnival in Sydney. Hubba Limb made national news by winning the long distance kicking competition and defeating Victorian champion Dave McNamara who still holds the record for the longest ever kick in a kicking competition of ninety seven yards.
Seasons 1915, 16, 17 and 18 were low key because of the World War. The papers did not publish team selections and reports of matches were brief. Numerous players were fighting overseas and some had been killed in action, including our own Andy Christie. Subiaco 3.3 21 defeated Perth 2.7 19 in the 1915 Grand Final but the post match celebrations were subdued. Press box writing in the West Australian claimed that interest in football had waned to vanishing point and there was mounting pressure to abandon league football. John Scadden speaking in his capacity as Premier urged that the game should go on. The game indeed did go on but only as a shadow of its former self.
Football returned to its glorious best for the start of the 1919 season. The War was over and a lot of players had returned from overseas but Captain/Coach Phil Matson had quit the Subiaco Football Club in the middle of the 1918 season. His defection to East Perth altered the destinies of both Clubs. The football public believed it was only a matter of time before Matson left Subiaco because Wally Steele was appointed Captain/Coach of Subiaco in 1917 despite Matson’s impeccable credentials for the job.
The strong willed Matson was devastated as his life’s passion was football and he was determined to make a name for himself as coach. He certainly did that. For the eight full years he coached East Perth they won seven premierships. He also played in the first three premierships 1919, 20 and 21, which were East Perth’s first premierships. During the 1928 season with East Perth on top of the ladder, he was tragically killed in a car accident. In the previous fourteen seasons he had been involved in ten premierships, four as a Captain/Coach, four as a Coach, and two as a player. In the history of WAFL football no person has come close to equalling this remarkable record.
Seasons 1919-23 were disappointing for the club and they only made the finals on one occasion. However during this period Arthur Green, a rugged defender, became a star of the competition but even more importantly Tom Outridge and Johnny Leonard emerged and it was obvious that they were destined for super star status.Tom Outridge won the first ever Sandover Medal in 1921. The recruitment of Snowy Hamilton in 1923 was a huge bonus as he was regarded as South Australia’s number one player. With the addition of these top players in the previous three seasons it was obvious that Subiaco would be strong contenders in 1924.
Subiaco won its 4th premiership.Tom Cain who had played 62 games for Subiaco, and had Captain/Coached South Fremantle was appointed non playing Coach. Obviously the success Phil Matson was having coaching from the sidelines influenced the decision. Cain proved to be a strong disciplinarian and with newcomers Clem Bahen, Johnny Grigg and Jack Beasley developing their skills Subiaco looked capable of challenging East Perth in the finals. The two teams clashed for the right to play East Fremantle in the Grand Final at the W.A.C.A and Subiaco won an epic struggle by eight points, 8 – 13 to 7 – 11. Hamilton, Leonard, and Outridge played superbly. The Maroons were brilliant in the Grand Final and the final score was Subiaco 11 – 7 East Fremantle 3 – 9. However East Fremantle had finished on top and had earned the right for a replay.
The replay confirmed Subiaco’s superiority and they won 7 – 9 to 3 – 6. Johnny Grigg was voted best player by the media and as a special reward for the players they were given 12s/6d ($1.25) for each match played. The main reward for the players however was the sense of satisfaction in stopping East Perth’s unprecedented sequence of five consecutive premierships. The celebrations were long and hard and no body would have realised that the longest drought in the history of WAFL football had just begun for the Club.
The Club started the 1925 season full of confidence despite the loss of Snowy Hamilton who had gone to South Australia to Coach West Adelaide. Nineteen year old Bill Brophy had improved dramatically, Pat Rodriquez was in top form and Captain, George Scadden had slotted into Hamilton’s position in the centre and was playing superbly. At the end of the qualifying rounds the team was on top of the ladder. The 1925 finals were disastrous and the only highlight was Pat Rodriquez’s seven goals against East Perth which was a record for a final round match.
The 1926 season saw the team lose another grand final to East Perth who were again being coached by Phil Matson, who had failed to secure a coaching position in the V.F.L. The final score was 11.19 85 to 5.5 35. Only Johnny Leonard who won the Sandover Medal that season, Tom Outridge, Bill Brophy and Arthur Green were capable of matching it with East Perth.
1927-30 was a rebuilding phase for Subiaco, but they remained competitive finishing fourth, third, fourth and fourth.It was in this period that the club produced future stars. Brighton Diggins, Len Metherell, Wilf Brophy, Billy Faull, Stewart Daily, Stan and John Penberthy and Charles Snashall. John Leonard and Tom Outridge continued to dominate and the Club and critics alike were confident that Subiaco would dominate in the thirties. Unfortunately Western Australia went into recession in 1930, and unemployment exceeded 30%.
What followed was an exodus of Subiaco’s top players to the VFL. Subiaco lost far more players to the VFL than any other WAFL club. It started with Johnny Leonard accepting a coaching position in Maryborough in country Victoria. Maryborough won the 1931 premiership and Leonard was then appointed Captain/Coach of South Melbourne for the 1932 season. He immediately recruited Subiaco’s best two players, Brighton Diggins who after the 1930 Carnival was regarded as the best big man in football, and Billy Faull who was an outstanding half back. Johnny Bowe a wingman who started his career brilliantly in 1931 was enticed to South Melbourne for the 1933 season. Other star players Subiaco lost were Len Metherall who was joined by his younger brother Jack at Geelong. Stan Penberthy transferred to Footscray where he became a top player, and Lou Daily went to Collingwood in 1933 before joining Len and Jack Metherall at Geelong in 1934
The 1931 season saw Subiaco defeated by East Fremantle 9.13 67 to 7.7 49 in the Grand Final. Billy Faull and Johnny Bowe were outstanding. On the 23rd of November 1931, local Mayor, G.H. Olney spoke of the problems in the district caused by unemployment which was forcing men away from their homes to find work. For the Subiaco Football Club the business of player retention was no longer the matter of keeping footballers happy, it was passed from the hands of the administration into the lap of the economic gods.
The 1932 season saw Subiaco slip to third last because of the loss of numerous top players.
1933 was one of the Subi's proudest with Coach, Arthur Green guiding the team into the Grand Final despite only having six of the 1931 side available. East Fremantle won the match 10.13 73 to 7 .7 49 Geoff Smith, a tireless rover won the Clubs Fairest and Best Award, Bert Nissen kicked 53 goals for the season and played well in the finals. Others who had good seasons were Johnny Grigg, Bill Brophy and Lloyd Strack. Subiaco fans also received a great deal of satisfaction from South Melbourne’s seven goal victory against Richmond in the 1933 VFL Grand Final. Brighton Diggins starred at centre half forward and set up the victory, and Billy Faull (right half back) and Johnny Bowe (right wing) were in the best player list. Bert Beard and Jack Rocchi were also in the side. The South Melbourne President said the man who deserved most of the credit was John Leonard who recruited the five Western Australians to the club. The Club then adopted a new nickname, and became known as the South Melbourne Swans, acknowledging the huge part Western Australian players had contributed to their premiership after years in the wilderness. Johnny Leonard would be delighted to know that when South Melbourne relocated in Sydney they still retained that nickname.
1934 which was Arthur Green’s last year as Coach, was disappointing with the team finishing sixth. Johnny Bowe returned from South Melbourne and was outstanding while Geoff Smith continued his good form, the highlight of the season though was Jack Jennings who kicked ninety two goals in his first season of football. This was an outstanding achievement as only George Doig and Ted Tyson had kicked more goals in a WAFL season of football.
Subiaco supporters were full of hope when the Club recruited Collingwood champion Frank Murphy as Coach for the next three seasons. Murphy had played in six consecutive V.F.L. grand finals including premierships in1927, 28, 29 and 30. The 1935 home and away season was outstanding and the Club finished on top of the ladder. Lou Daily won the Clubs Fairest and Best Award, plus the Sandover Medal. Jack Jennings confirmed his status as a star fullforward and kicked ninety three goals. Johnny Bowe, Stewart Daily and Angus Richardson also had top seasons. Subiaco outclassed West Perth in the second semi final but were devastated when West Perth reversed the result in the grand final and won by twenty three points. It was the Clubs third grand final loss in five years, and was a bitter pill for supporters to swallow as West Perth were coached by Johnny Leonard.Bert Davies playing on a half back flank and Johnny Bowe were the Clubs best players in the grand final.
The 1936 and 37 seasons were disappointing with the Club finishing fourth and last. Champion fullback Lou Daily won the Fairest and Best in both seasons. Lloyd Strack gave Daily great support on the full back line.Stewart Daily and Johnny Bowe also performed well but the team was in decline, four wins and seventeen losses was the Clubs worst effort since 1910.
In 1938 Subiaco amazed the football world when they recruited Haydn Bunton as the Captain/Coach from Fitzroy, big man Les Hardiman from Geelong and gifted half forward Keith Shea from Carlton. The plan was hatched by Tom Outridge in August 1937 who made the following statement in November 1939. “ No other Club in Australia would have attempted to do what Subiaco did in an attempt to field one of the best teams ever seen…… we unfortunately failed”. They not only failed but with these stars in their side for the 1938/41 seasons they finished second last twice and third last twice.However during this period the Subiaco supporters and the Western Australian football public were privileged to watch the games greatest player Haydn Bunton in action. His feats were extraordinary.
He won three Sandover Medals and three Club, Fairest and Best Awards playing as a ruck rover. He also won Subiaco’s goal kicking for the four seasons he was at the Club. Bunton was an extraordinary athlete, and at fifteen years of agehe played in a combined New South Wales country side which included an eighteen year old Don Bradman. Bunton scored a century while Bradman made ninety. The following year he scored one hundred and forty four for the country side against a full strength New South Wales state side. Bill Ponsford, an Australian cricketing legend, visited Bunton in Albury and tried unsuccessfully to convince him to join the St. Kilda cricket club. Both Ponsford and Monty Noble (an Australian Test Captain) stated that Bunton had a future as a test cricketer.
When the Club recruited these star players from Victoria, Lou Daily the Clubs Fairest and Best winner for the previous three seasons, decided to accept a coaching position in the Goldfields. The Club was unable to plug the hole left in their defence by his departure. Stewart Daily and Lloyd Strack continued to give good service while promising newcomers Fred Williams, Ken Cumming and Alan Wilkinson played well. At the end of the day the thirties had been disappointing for the Club, and no premierships had been won. However the players who had gone to Victoria tasted plenty of premiership success in the V.F.L. in the same period. In 1931 Len Metherall played in the Geelong premiership team. In 1933 Brighton Diggins, Billy Faull, and Johnny Bowe were members of the South Melbourne premiership team. In 1937 Jack Metherall played in the Geelong premiership side. Finally in 1938 Brighton Diggins Captain/Coached Carlton to premiership glory. Diggins is the only player who started his career in Western Australia to achieve this feat. John Worsfold played in the Eagles 1992 and 1994 premiership sides and then coached the Eagles to the 2006 premiership.
In seasons 1942 – 44due to the countries War commitments the competition continued, but players had to be under the age of eighteen at the commencement of the season. The Club finished on top in 1943but lost to East Fremantle and Swan Districts, and went out in straight sets.
The League changed back to an open age competition in 1945 with Seff Parry taking over as Coach and Aussie Diggins (brother of Brighton) Captain. The team finished fifth but all clubs struggled with player availability as the War was winding down and fifty seven players represented Subiaco during the season. Leo Hickey played well and won the Clubs Fairest and Best Award.Other players to play well were Norm Steere (rover), Neil Althorpe (centre) and Wally Orr (ruck). The tragedy of the season was when Alan Wilkinson, a brilliant rover who kicked fourteen goals in two matches, was forced out of the game due to a serious knee injury.
1946 saw the competition back to full strength, and the Club finished a creditable third after defeating South Fremantle in the first semi-final by three points but losing to West Perth in the preliminary final by thirty nine points. Special mention must be made of Fred Williams in the first semi-final. He was the teams centreman but Coach Murphy decided to move him to full-forward in the first quarter when Subiaco were kicking with the breeze. Williams responded magnificently and kicked six goals in the first quarter. He was then moved back to the centre for the final three quarters but still managed to kick another two goals. His eight goal performance was a record for the number of goals kicked in a WAFL finals match. Bill Alderman, Jim Hawtin, Frank Exell, all enjoyed good seasons.
1947 – 55 was a horror patch for the Club, and they collected six wooden spoons, and they finished no higher than sixth in the other three seasons. While this was going on Fred Williams, Jim Hawtin, Bill Alderman, Ron Coffey, Jeff Smith, Neil Althorpe, Bob Lindsay, Albert Howe and Don Carter gave good service. For the years 1949, 50, 51, and 52 the Club did not have one player make the state side. Don Carter broke the drought in 1953 and was rewarded with State selection and in 1954 Laurie Kettlewell joined him in the State side. Kettlewell was a star from game one and the long suffering faithful at long last could see a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel.
1956 saw the start of a Subiaco revival when Charlie Tyson was appointed Coach. The South Fremantle champion gave the players a new found confidence. He joined two former South players, Peter Amaranti, and Colin Hickman at the Club and brought with him Don Glass and Bill McGilvray who were fringe players at South Fremantle. Amaranti had already won the Fairest and Best award at the Club in 1965.Add to this list Laurie Kettlewell, Alan White, Ron Jarvis, Warwick Denton, Mike Somerford, Frank and Keith Dean, and the Coach had something to build on. Unfortunately, Don Carter went down in the pre season with a serious knee injury which finished his career. Tom Robbins, John O’Brien, and Terry Williams were recruited for the 1956 season. There was a big improvement and the team finished second last. Laurie Kettlewell, and Charlie Tyson earned State selection. 1957 saw further improvement and the team finished sixth.Don Glass won the goal kicking award for the league. However, the highlight of the season was the recruitment of Dennis Barron, Kevin Merifield, and Wally Stevens. Laurie Kettlewell, Charlie Tyson and Tom Robbins represented Western Australia. The improvement continued in 1958 with the team unlucky to miss the finals, and had to be content with fifth place. Tom Robbins won the Club Fairest and Best, while Laurie Kettlewell and Dennis Barron earned State selection. Rod Newton and Ron Triplett were top recruits.
Subiaco Reserves win their first premisership.
The start of the 1959 season saw enthusiasm levels amongst supporters at its highest since the War. Four players who made their debut for the Club in 1959, and immediately had an influence were Reg Hampson, Wally Martin, Merv Screaigh , and Mike Pethick. At last the Club had the depth to be a serious contender in the finals. Subiaco finished the home and away season in a blaze of glory, winning their last six matches. Laurie Kettlewell, who had missed numerous games because of injury, was back in top form and the move of Kevin Merifield to full-forward was a masterstroke. Subiaco went into the first semifinal as firm favourites. They did not let their long suffering supporters down, and the final score was Subiaco 26 -23 to Perth 7 – 9. Special mention must be made of the third quarter when they scored 16 – 8to 0 – 1. This is still the highest score in a quarter of WAFL final round football. Those who were there will never forget Ron Triplett’s drop kick goal from approximately eighty metres out. Triplett described it as a fluke and Kevin Merefield who was standing in the goal-square when it sailed over his head still says it is the longest kick he has ever seen.
In the preliminary final Subiaco defeated East Fremantle by thirty five points, with Reg Hampson in superb form. He starred in the mid-field and topped off his game with five goals. Confidence was sky high, and every Maroon supporter believed that the thirty four year premiership drought would be broken.
Unfortunately for Subiaco, Polly Farmer who won the Simpson Medal played one of the best games ever seen in a Grand Final.His ability to leap early, grab the ball and fire out twenty metre hand passes with unerring accuracy to team mates gave East Perth the edge. Subiaco were gallant and in the end were defeated 12 – 19 to 9 -14. Kevin Merefield had a purple patch in the last quarter when he kicked three goals, and reduced the deficit to ten points. He again marked close to goal but umpire Montgomery incorrectly ruled that the ball had not travelled the required distance. Frank Dean, Laurie Kettlewell and Reg Hampson all played top games. Subiaco were full of hope for the 1960 season but they lost ruck giant Terry Williams, stalwart defender Rob Jarvis and twenty year old wingman Ron Triplett. The club also lost their other top ruckman Keith Dean with a serious knee injury in round fifteen.In the end the team won twelve, lost nine and finished fifth, a win loss record which nearly always is enough to qualify for the finals. Laurie Kettlewell had an outstanding season winning the Clubs Fairest and Best Award. His value was also recognised by opponents and he beat Graham Farmer for a media award in which votes were cast by players from opposing teams. Reg Hampson (61 goals),Kevin Merifield, Rod Newton, Mike Pethick and Wally Martin, all had good seasons. Brian Sarre made his league debut in 1960.
In 1961 Dan Murray took over as Coach after Charlie Tyson decided to retire. Subiaco defeated East Fremantle 20 – 17 to 16 – 11 in the first semi-final.In the preliminary final against Swan Districts the team squandered a five goal lead in the final term against a superbly fit Swan Districts team coached by Haydn Bunton Jnr. and lost 16 – 19 to 15 – 9. Tom Robbins won the Clubs Fairest and Best, Reg Hampson again displayed his goal kicking talents and kicked 50 goals. Laurie Kettlewell, Denis Barron, Frank Dean and Rod Newton were others who had good seasons.
1962 saw Dave Cousins take over as Coach but the Club had a poor season and finished seventh. The highlight of the season was the debut of Austin Robertson who won the league goal kicking with eightynine goals. Laurie Kettlewell won the Club Fairest and Best. Kevin Merifield, Brian Sarre, Ross Gosden and Wally Martin all had good seasons. Austin Robertson, in his debut year, won his first of nine (9) WAFL goal kicking awards.
1963 was the most tragic season in the Clubs history.Leading into the State game on June 8th against Tasmania, the Club had been in good form and was second on the ladder. Their efforts had been rewarded and four players Phil Farrell, Reg Hampson, Austin Robertson and Brian Sarre were in the State side. Late on Friday June 7th Rod Newton and Merv Screaigh took advantage of the week off and decided to visit their former team mate Laurie Kettlewell who was living in Mt. Barker, and coaching the local team. Tragically both were killed in a horrific car accident. The effect it had on the Western Australian State side that day was significant, and for the first time Western Australia lost to Tasmania at Subiaco Oval. The effect it had on the Club was catastrophic. The team played magnificently the following week and won convincingly but after that morale nose divedand the Club won only one more match for the season. Wally Martin won the Fairest and Best, Austin Robertson won the goal kicking, and Brian Sarre the Simpson Medal. In the end the Club finished sixth. One positive for the Club was the debuts of Cam Blakemore and Colin Williams.
Keith Slater took over in 1964 and the Club looked genuine premiership contenders. The team won thirteen, lost seven, and drew one. The Club went into the first semi against Claremont full of confidence as they had comprehensively beaten the Tigers in the three qualifying round matches. Unfortunately the match was played on a wet windy day in miserable conditions which matched the mood in the Clubrooms after the match.Claremont won by two goals and went on to win the premiership. A golden opportunity to win a premiership had been lost and the premiership drought had stretched to forty years. Reg Hampson, Martin, Merifield, Robertson and Brian Sarre all had good seasons.
The 1965 and 66 seasons were disastrous with the Club recording two second last finishes. Respect for history and its connection with Club pride became a burning issue in the 1965 and 66 seasons. The best of the debutantes in these seasons were Peter Eakins and Peter Metropolis.
In 1967 the Club appointed Alan Killegrew as Coach, with Bob Johnson who was going to continue playing, as his assistant. Austin Robertson also returned after a successful season with South Melbourne. However the Club was weakened by the retirements of Laurie Kettlewell, Denis Barron and Mike Pethick. Once again the season was a disaster, and the Club finished last. Cam Blakemore, Reg Hampson and Austin Robertson all had good seasons. On the bright side Peter Burton, Ian Cunningham, Stephen Heal, and Barry Paterson made their debuts and all went on to have successful careers.
In 1968 the legendary Haydn Bunton Jnr. took over as Coach and in his five years at the helm changed the attitude of the players, introduced some new outstanding talent into the Club and helped lay the foundations of the 1973 premiership. In this period he played fiftynine games for the Club, and although well passed his best he set an example to the players with his incredible courage. He taught the players what was required if they were to achieve personal and team success. Of the sixteen players who had played ten or more matches in 1967 only Wally Martin, Bob Johnson, and Graham Heal were missing.
Club Champion, Reg Hampson described the pre-season as the hardest he had ever experienced. The team won twelve games and finished fourth which was a tremendous improvement. The highlight of the season was Austin Robertson’s personal achievement of kicking one hundred and fifty seven goals in the qualifying rounds which was an Australian record. Reg Hampson, Peter Metropolis, Brian Sarre, Peter Eakins, Ross Gosden, Kevin Merifield, Colin Williams, Cam Blakemore, and Peter Burton all had good seasons. The team played with great endeavour in the first semi-final and hit the front with two minutes remaining. Unfortunately East Perth against the trend of play kicked a goal with sixteen seconds remaining and won the match 15 – 16 to 15 – 13. After the match Kevin Merifield who had been a wonderful player for the Club, announced his retirement. In 1968 Austin Robertson became the highest goal scorer in the clubs history.
Seasons 1969 and 70 were stellar seasons for Austin Robertson and Cam Blakemore as they enhanced their reputations with their consistently skilful play. Peter Eakins won the 1969 Tassie Medal and earned All Australian selection at the Carnival held in Adelaide. Unfortunately in both seasons the team was beaten in the first semi-final. Brian Sarre, and Ross Gosden retired in 1969 while Reg Hampson retired in 19 70 after playing two hundred and twenty four games which was a Club record.However 1969 and 70 saw some outstanding players join the Club. Ron Bayens, Denis Blair, Brian Sierakowski, and George Young joined in 1969 while 1970 saw Peter Featherby, Mike Fitzpatrick, Mick Malone, and Keith Watt start their careers. The average age of the players who played league in 1970 was only twenty two.
1971 and 72 saw the Club finish fifth and sixth but it was a time of turmoil with Bunton battling injury and finding it difficult to come to termswith coaching from the side-lines. Bunton only played two games in 1971 and in 1972 he was a non playing Coach. The Club’s main problem in this period was lack of finance which caused player restlessness. Austin Robertson, Peter Featherby, Stephen Heal and Peter Burton all informed the Club at the start of the ’71 season that they would not be playing for the Club. Fortunately these problems were resolved, but then early season injuries to Peter Metropolis and Barry Paterson upset team balance. Just when it seemed the worst was over Cam Blakemore, the Clubs Fairest and Best for the previous two seasons had to have an emergency operation to remove a melanoma. Cam bravely returned to football after missing nine games and retired during the 1972 season.On the 10th July 1972 the Committee of Management decided to advise Bunton that he would not be coaching the Club in 1973. The team finished 1972 in a blaze of glory winning their last five matches. Mike Fitzpatrick and Peter Featherby (now playing centre) were outstanding.In the ’71 and ’72 period the Club added Garry Crouch, Fred Davenport, Dick Manning, and Neil Randall to their list. A highlight of the 1972 season was the improved form of Brian Sierakowski who won the Fairest and Best Award, while George Young won All Australian selection.
Subiaco defeat West Perth 10.12 . 72 d 6.4 . 40 to win first premiership in 49 years
Subiaco pulled off a recruiting coup when they appointed Victorian and St. Kilda rover, Ross Smith as Captain Coach for the 1973 season. Smith had Captained Victoria in the 1972 Carnival series and was interested in gaining coaching experience. Punters believed that Subiaco had backed a winner and the Club was installed as second favourite at Tattersalls Club to win the premiership. Apart from Ross Smith the Club had three young emerging super stars in Peter Featherby, Mike Fitzpatrick and Keith Watt. The goal to goal line ofColin Williams, Ian Cunningham, Peter Featherby, Ron Bayens, and Austin Robertson was second to none. Brian Sierakowski was the leagues’ number one enforcer, and there was an abundance of talent on every line. Unfortunately the Club had lost the services of George Young, who had transferred to St. Kilda. The Clubs early premiership hopes were severely dented when the team won only two of their first five games. The team was struggling to come to terms with Smith’s game plan. The game plan was built around a solid defence which kept mistakes to a minimum and the following brigade moving quickly into defence to stop opposition forward thrusts. After its poor start the team won fourteen of its next sixteen qualifying matches, and finished on top of the ladder. The game plan was being carried out to perfection, and the Club had unearthed two new stars in Fred Davenport, and Neil Randall who had had great seasons.
The only black cloud on the horizon was that they had been beaten by West Perth in all three qualifying matches. East Perth convincingly defeated East Fremantle in the first semi final and Subiaco lost the second semi-final by three goals against their hoodoo side, West Perth. Over the years because of their lack of premiership success the Club was expected to fail, and critics had a field day labelling the Club as losers. The bookmakers had the team at 7 to 1 to win the premiership, double the odds on offer at the beginning of the season. The team beat East Perth by ten points in the preliminary final with Keith Watt, Peter Featherby and Neil Randall starring. The Cinderella team had made the Grand Final, and the amount of hysteriagenerated by supporters was incredible.Club legend Tom Outridge passed away the daybefore the Grand Final. Roving legend Johnny Leonard attended the match and although he had coached West Perth to two premierships he declared he was a Subiaco man and was barracking for them. Unfortunately two regular members of the team Ian Cunningham, and Stephen Heal were injured and unable to play in the Grand Final. The game was played in windy conditions and the endeavour of both sides could not be faulted.At half time the score was West Perth 4 – 2 Subiaco 3 – 7 The Subiaco defence led by Denis Blair had been magnificent. In the second half Subiaco maintained tremendous pressure, and West Perth cracked, the final score was Subiaco 10 – 12 to West Perth 6 – 4 In the second half Ross Smith, Keith Watt, Mike Fitzpatrick and Peter Burton took control on the ball and the back line was superb. Smith’s game plan had worked to perfection. West Perth’s final score of 6 – 4 was the lowest score in a Grand Final since 1934. The backline of Davenport, Williams, Shepheard, Crouch, Blair and Paterson had completely blanketed the West Perth forward division. Keith Watt four goals, and Mick Malone three goals, did the bulk of the scoring. Denis Blair was a worthy winner of the Simpson Medal. The 49 year drought was broken and strong men cried unashamedly after the game.
Supporters could not wait for the 1974 season to commence. The side was weakened with the retirements of Keith Watt and Peter Metropolis. However there was a strong belief that the Club could repeat its success of the previous season. Fitzpatrick, Blair, Featherby, and Davenport were all selected in the State side. Randall, Williams and Smith all had good seasons, but after finishing third the Club was soundly beaten by Swan Districts in the first semi-final.
At the start of the 1975 season the cupboard was almost bare. Ross Smith, Mike Fitzpatrick and Peter Featherby had moved to Victoria. Austin Robertson and Brian Sierakowski had retired. David Parkin was given the unenviable job of keeping the team in finals contention. The teams effort of winning nine games for the season was creditable.Parkin started the season as a playing Coach but his form did not warrant selection. Unlike Haydn Bunton he had no trouble adapting to the role of non playing Coach, and the team won four games in the last round. Peter Burton took over as Captain, and won the Fairest and Best award by half a vote to Stephen Heal. Colin Williams, Neil Randall and Garry Crouch all had good seasons. Graeme Schultz who was a star recruit arrived from Essendon during the season and although he only played twelve games due to a clearance wrangle he just failed to win the Sandover Medal.
The Club endured another horrid period from 1976 – 1983. The Club collected four wooden spoons and also had three second last finishes. Jack Ensor, Brian Douge, Peter Burton,Ken Armstrong, and Peter Daniel were the Coaches during that period. It was mission impossible and even Ken Armstrong, a proven premiership Coach, was unable to make the team consistently competitive. Ensor introduced fourteen newcomers in 197 6, Brian Douge tried nineteen newcomers in 1977-78. Then Peter Burton gave nineteen newcomers a go in 1979.Only five of these players Neil Taylor, Ken Bell, Phil Lamb, Rod Brown and Brian Taylor went on to play more than one hundred games for the Club.During this period Peter Featherby returned to the Club and won Fairest and Best honours in 1977 and 78. Neil Randall won the Fairest and Best in 1976 and Alex Hamilton won the Fairest and Best in 1979 and 80. Gary Buckenara was the Clubs most outstanding local recruit in this period. But after playing sixtyone games he was recruited by Hawthorn for the commencement of the 1982 season. Tim Gepp, Glen O’Loughlin, and Gary Fathers who kicked eighty four goals in the 1977 season were other young players who performed creditably.
The 1980 season illustrated how badly Subiaco were playing when they only won two games and in the other nineteen games the average losing margin was sixty nine points. Dwayne Lamb played his first game for the Club in 1980. 1981 saw the Club win nine matches. The form of Gary Buckenara was outstanding while Alex Hamilton, Phil Lamb, Neil and Brian Taylor produced consistently good football.Bill Valli was recruited to the Club and also gave good service. Laurie Keene made his debut for the Club in 1981 and in one game he kicked nine goals.
1982 started disastrously with Gary Buckenara transferred to Hawthorn for a fee of $260,000.00 payable over three years. Buckenara was irreplaceable and by the middle of the 1982 season Subiaco were again the easy beats of Western Australian football. Subiaco won only one game in 1982. Dwayne Lamb who was making good progress, won the Clubs Fairest and Best award.
Peter Daniel took over as Coach for the 1983 season. The Club won their first two games for the season and then lost the next nine. The final nail in the coffin for Daniel was a humiliating 127 point loss to South Fremantle. He was replaced by Brian Fairclough.The second half of the season mirrored the first half. Under Fairclough the Club won two early games but then racked up a long sequence of losses. In the end the team won four, and lost seventeen. By this stage the Subiaco Football Club were being taunted by opposition supporters and journalists. As the season drew to a close one journalist wrote “The good old Subi we all know and love is a loser not a vulgar opportunistic winner. Getting clobbered with grace, style and forbearance is a special quality which Subi have made their own”.
While Subiaco were struggling in the early80’s Mike Fitzpatrick, Peter Featherby and Gary Buckenarawere becoming household names in Victoria. A highlight was David Parkin who started his senior coaching career at Subiaco and Carlton’s Captain Mike Fitzpatrick, holding the VFL premiership cup aloft celebrating Carlton’s 1981 – 82 victories. Fitzpatrick had earlier won Carlton’s Fairest and Best award in 1979. Peter Featherby won Geelong’s Fairest and Best award in 1981, while Gary Buckenara played in Hawthorn’s 1983 premiership side and earned All Australian selection.
The people of the Subiaco Football Club realised something had to be done but also felt there was enough talent in their ranks to become competitive with the right Coach. Neil and Brian Taylor, Dwayne and Phil Lamb, Glen O’Loughlin, Clinton Brown, Rod Brown, and Laurie Keene were all good players. Add to this list, newcomers Phil Scott, Todd Breman, Mark Zanotti, Warren Dean, Greg Wilkinson, and Michael Crutchfield and it was agreed that the Club had a future if it could find the right Coach and give him a five year contract.
Subiaco defeat South Fremantle 17.25 127 d 11.17 101 in the Reserves Grand Final
The Clubs prayers were answered when Haydn Bunton Jnr. became available for the 1984 season. He had just completed a successful term at South Adelaide where he had guided the perennial battlers into the finals three times including a Grand Final which the team lost. Bunton’s appointment caused so much excitement at the club that President, Michael Carlile felt obliged to strike a note of caution. “While we are confident that Haydn’s leadership and direction will significantly improve our performance in 1984 we must all be patient and allow Haydn time to develop our young players. Hence the appointment for five years”.
The Club recruited Peter Featherby, Rod Willett and Stephen Sells for the 1984 season. Subiaco’s improvement under Bunton was immediate, and all players put their shoulder to the wheel and enjoyed Bunton’s no nonsense approach. According to one football analyst the improvement achieved by Bunton was based on a brand of football that eliminates mistakes and weeds out players who could not handle his tough approach to team discipline. Dwayne Lamb and Neil Taylor were two players who rose to new heights under Bunton’s leadership and they finished first and second in the Clubs Fairest and Best award.Laurie Keene, Peter Featherby, Phil Lamb, Greg Wilkinson, Michael Crutchfield, and Clinton Brown all had good seasons. Nine wins for the season was a huge improvement, and most importantly the Club had regained the respect of the football community.
Bunton’s Lions won five of the first seven games of the 1984 season, and were in second place at the end of round one. Phil Scott, Laurie Keene, Peter Featherby, Dwayne Lamb, Phil Lamb, and the Taylor brothers, were all having good seasons. Add newcomers Andrew MacNish, Peter Spencer and Kevin Sparks who were also contributing and it was obvious that the team was a serious contender. Warren Dean was holding down centre half forward, and Clint Brown who had been moved to the backline was combining well with Zanotti, Wilkinson, Crutchfield, and Brian Taylor.
The team finished the season in grand style, winning all seven games in the last round. East Fremantle won the second semi final by two goals. The teams were evenly matched but lack of finals experience tipped the scales in favour of the Sharks. The preliminary final was a highlight for the Club and their 20 – 13 to 11 – 16 demolition of Swan Districts was achieved thanks to a magnificent last quarter when they outscored Swans by eight goals. Peter Spencer six goals, and Michael Mort four, starred in the forward line. Other players who had good days were Phil Scott, Peter Featherby, Phil Lamb and Neil Taylor.
Subiaco players challenged East Fremantle early in the Grand Final and led by four goals at quarter time. East Fremantle fought back well in the second and third quarters and led by three points at three quarter time.In the last quarter both sides played magnificently but in the end it was East Fremantle who prevailed. 15 – 12 to 14 – 13.Brian Taylor was outstanding and won the Simpson Medal while Dwayne Lamb who won the Club Fairest and Best award for the season played an incredible last quarter to almost snatch victory for his team. A pleasing aspect for the Club was that they now had a settled side which was going to be a big threat in 1986.
Newcomers for the start of the 1986 season were Greg Carpenter, recruited from East Perth, Ian Dargie recruited from North Beach, and John Georgiardies was promoted from the Colts. These three players added further depth to a good list and Subiaco supporters were confident that the team would make it “Six in 86”. At the completion of the second round Subiaco had lost only one game and were four games and percentage clear on top of the ladder. In the last round Subiaco increased their work load at training, and lost three games. The season had seen Laurie Keene win the Club’s Fairest and Best award. Stephen Sells had an outstanding season and kicked sixty six goals from a half forward flank. Warren Dean, Andrew MacNish, and Peter Featherby were others to shine. Two of the Clubs most loyal servants Neil Taylor and Phil Lamb both reached the two hundred game milestone during the season.
The second semi-final brought the team back to earth and East Fremantle won convincingly 20 – 13 to 12 – 11. The team was outstanding in the preliminary final and defeated Perth 26 -12 to 15 – 7. Breman and Dean kicked five goals each while Keene and Sells each contributed four. Mark Zanotti earned best on ground honours with a dashing display at half back.
Subiaco fronted up for the Grand Final with a top side but East Fremantle were hot favourites. Fortunately it was Subiaco’s day, and when the final siren sounded Subiaco 19 – 16 had crushed East Fremantle 8 – 13. The back line led by Simpson Medalist Mark Zanotti and ably backed up by Phil Lamb, Brown, Wilkinson, Willett and Crutchfield had been magnificent. Breman kicked four goals while Keene, MacNish and Sells all scored three. aydn Bunton, the little master, had orchestrated the greatest turnaround in WAFL finals history, one hundred and nineteen points in a fortnight. He beat his own record set in 1961 when he Captain/Coached Swan Districts to victory against East Perth.
Brian Taylor who finished second in the Sandover Medal, Laurie Keene, Warren Dean, Dwayne Lamb, Andrew MacNish and Greg Wilkinson all played interstate football in 1986. A Club record was set when three players who began their careers at Subiaco were selected in the 1986 All Australian Team. They were Gary Buckenara, Laurie Keene, and Andrew MacNish.East Fremantle had Jack Clarke, Alan Preen, Norm Rogers, and Ray Sorrell selected in the 1958 All Australian Team. No other WAFL. Club has had three players who started their careers at their Club in an All Australian team in the one year.
During the 1986 season the WAFL and SANFL were negotiating with the VFL. On the fourth of June 1986 league chairman Roy Annear called a press conference to allay fears about the WAFL’s priorities. He confirmed that the league favoured the formation of a composite team for immediate entry into the VFL. The Premier of Western Australia, Brian Burke, pledged the support of the Government of Western Australia in an expanded VFL competition, undertaking to provide reasonable support sort by the WAFL (financial and otherwise). South Australia pulled out but the West Coast Eagles and Brisbane joined the expanded VFL for the 1987 season, both teams payed $4,000,000.00 for the privilege. In 1985the VFL accepted Geoffrey Edelsten’s $6.5 million offer for private ownership of the Sydney Swans. Each of the Victorian clubs received $263,000.00 from the Swans deal. Victorian Clubs also benefited from the money paid by the Eagles and Brisbane, and several were saved from financial ruin. Unfortunately some of the Victorian clubs are still receiving financial support so that they can continue playing in the national competition.
Subiaco lost Laurie Keene, Dwayne Lamb, Andrew MacNish, Glen O’Loughlin, Phil Scott, and Mark Zanotti to the West Coast Eagles for the 1987 season while Warren Dean was recruited by Melbourne. Neil Taylor later reflected the formation of the West Coast Eagles tore the heart out of the Clubs 1987 team. Subiaco performed well in 1987 but the players were disappointed by the huge drop in attendances which caused lack of atmosphere at matches. The team finished second but was no match for Claremont in the second semi-final or the Grand Final. A seventy one point loss in the Grand Final was particularly disappointing. Players to shine during the season were Greg Wilkinson who won the Clubs Fairest an Best award, and Todd Breman who won the leagues goal kicking award with one hundred and eleven goals. Mick Lee, John Georgiardies, Karl Langdon and Bill Monaghan were young players who had good seasons. Shane Cocker was recruited from East Perth and proved a valuable addition to the team.
Early in 1988 it appeared that the team would struggle. Karl Langdon and Todd Breman were recruited by the Eagles. Peter Featherby, Phil Lamb, and Glen O’Loughlin retired, and after two games captain, Greg Wilkinson suffered a serious knee injury and was forced into retirement.Greg Carpenter took over as captain and the fact that the Club was able to recover and win the premiership was largely due to Bunton’s ability as a coach. Subiaco recruited well in 1988. Brad McDougall transferred from South Fremantle and had an outstanding season. Mick Jennings and Glen Hutcheson arrived from the eastern states and Gary Kemp came down from the Goldfields. An eighteen year old Brett Heady also made his debut and had an immediate impact. Brian Taylor won the Clubs Fairest and Best award. Neil Taylor, Cocker, Georgiardies, Carpenter, Brown, Willett and Monaghan all had good seasons and a 14 – 7 win loss record, enabled the Club to finish second. The team was outclassed by Claremont in the first half of the second semi-final and were seventy points down at half time. In the second half the players showed grit and determination and the final margin was twenty five points. Subiaco had the services of Laurie Keene for the preliminary final against East Fremantle which they won by three points. John Georgiardies six goals, and Laurie Keene were the stars. The team then produced their best performance of the season in the Grand Final and after an even first half finished all over the top of the Tigers and the final score was 19 – 8 to 8 – 12. Mick Lee won the Simpson Medal, while Keene, Brian Taylor, and Georgiardies also had outstanding games. Georgiardies kicked seventeen goals in the finals which was the second most goals ever kicked in a WAFL. final round series. The teams’ achievement of playing in four consecutive Grand Finals was a first for the Club and has still not been equalled. Haydn Bunton coached for another four seasons and although the team only made one more Grand Final appearance in 1991 the Club had regained its creditability and has not looked back since. His nine consecutive year term is the longest in the Clubs history.
1989 saw the Club slide down the ladder winning only six games and finishing sixth. Brad McDougall won the Fairest and Best award and was the Clubs stand out player. Neil Taylor retired at the end of the 1989 season having played 260 games which is still a Club record. Dean Kemp was an exciting new recruit, and joined his brother Gary at the Club.Damien Hampson also made his debut.
1990 was another disappointing season and the Club finished second last. Damien Hampson won the Fairest and Best award . Mitchell White and Matthew Burton made their debuts for the Club but like Brett Heady, Dean Kemp and Hampson they were soon drafted into AFL ranks.
1991 was undoubtedly a highlight in Bunton’s final years. Player stocks were boosted by the return of former Subiaco players who had not been successful in establishing long term careers in the AFL. Todd Breman, Ian Dargie, John Georgiardies and Andrew MacNish all had outstanding seasons. Andrew MacNish won the Clubs Fairest and Best award while Ian Dargie won the Sandover Medal. Glen Coyle from the Goldfields was a rugged backman recruited from the Goldfields who finished second in the Clubs Fairest and Best award. Young recruits Michael Symons, Matt Connell, and Daniel Metropolis made their debuts but were quickly recruited into the AFL system. Phil Scott, Matthew Burton, David Snow, Brett Hutchinson, and Bill Monaghan all performed well during the season. Unfortunately Claremont were a superior side and defeated Subiaco by seventy seven points in the Grand Final. The Tigers had beaten Subiaco in their five encounters during the season, and deserved their premiership success.
1992 was Bunton’s last year and the team finished fifth after winning ten games. Phil Scott rounded off a good career by winning the Clubs Fairest and Best in his final season. Mr. Reliable, Rod Willett who rarely played a bad game whether in attack or defence kicked forty three goals and had another good season.
Bunton’s successors were Tony Solin (1993 – 94), former Subiaco and Hawthorn champion Gary Buckenara (1995 – 96), Peter Thorn (1997 – 98), and Kevin Sparks who took over in 1999. During this seven year period the Club made the finals on five occasions, and played in one Grand Final when they were beaten by West Perth. In this period, the Club had the satisfaction of seeing several of their quality players carve out successful AFL careers. Jason Heatley who gave Subiaco outstanding service after being recruited from country Victoria and was Subiaco’s leading goal kicker in his four seasons at the Club. He also twice won the WAFL. Leading Goal Kicker award. He was recruited by St. Kilda for the 1997 season and kicked seventy six goals.
Other players from this era who played more games than Heatley at the higher level were Drew Banfield (West Coast), Matthew Burton (Fremantle, Kangaroos), Matt Connell (West Coast), Andrew Donnelly (West Coast), Daniel Metropolis (West Coast), Shane Parker ( Fremantle), Jarrad Schofield (West Coast and Pt. Adelaide).David Sierakowski (St. Kilda,), Michael Symons (Essendon), Luke Toia (Fremantle) and Mitchell White (West Coast and Geelong). On the other hand Subiaco received good service from players no longer requiredin the AFL, some of these players like Todd Breman and Dwayne Lamb had begun their career at Subiaco, while others such at Derek Kickett, Todd Ridley, and Dean Irving were recruited to add experience to youthful teams.
One player who did not play AFL but gave great service to the Club, was Nathan O’Connor, who won Fairest and Best awards in 1996 and 1999.Rod Willett won the Fairest and Best award in 1993 and retired in 1994 with one hundred and eighty eight games under his belt. Ian Dargie won his second Sandover Medal and the Clubs Fairest and Best award in 1994. He retired at the end of the season after playing one hundred and thirty one games for the Club. Dwayne Lamb retired at the end of the 1996 season, after one hundred and ninety one games for Subiaco, and one hundred and fifty one for the Eagles. Karl Langdon, Damien Hampson, Laurie Keene Andrew MacNish and Bill Monaghan were other top players who retired during this period after having played one hundred and fifty plus senior games.
2000 – 2002 was a frustrating period for the Club. Coach Kevan Sparks and the player group performed well in the qualifying rounds but failed in the finals. The team played second semi-finals in 2000 and 2002 but went out in straight sets. In 2001 the team was beaten in the first semi-final, the cold hard facts showed that the Club at the end of 2002 had lost six consecutive final round matches. On the credit side during this period the Club had recruited well and supporters were treated to some outstanding performances by the team and some of its players.
Powerful centre half forward Richard Ambrose and skilful midfielder Michael Symons finished first and second in the Sandover Medal in 2000. Michael also won the Fairest and Best award in which Richard finished second. Brad Campbell won the Simpson Medal. Other players to have good seasons were Richard Pang, Scott Harkess, and Peter Bird.
2001 The recruitment of Richard Maloney was an outstanding success. He won the Clubs Fairest and Best award and was our leading vote getter in the Sandover Medal. The Club also introduced some outstanding young talent into the league side. Luke Newick, Aiden Parker, Ben Keevers, Sam Larkins, and Chris Hood gave supporters hope for the future.
2002 Ruckman David Lucas was another top recruit and won the Clubs Fairest and Best award. Paul Vines a clever mid-fielder also starred in his first season and finished second in the Clubs Fairest and Best. Richard Ambrose maintained his good form and finished third in the Club Fairest and Best award. Mark Nicosci made his debut for the Club and showed that he was a player with a bright future.
Subiaco reserves defeat East Fremantle 13.9 87 d 8.7 55 to win the premiership.
Peter German was appointed Coach for the 2003 season. For the past five seasons the Club had made the finals but failed to win the elusive premiership. The Club had recruited well over the past three seasons and numerous local juniors had been blooded and were starting to play consistent football. Peter brought the 2002 Sandover Medalist Alistair Pickett with him to the Club and supporters felt that 2003 could be their year. Matt Priddis, Darren Rumble, and Ben Randall all made their debuts in 2003. The team finished the qualifying rounds on top of the ladder. Mark Webb thrived under German’s coaching and won the Clubs Fairest and Best award. Daniel Metropolis like Webb played every game and did a great job at full-back, he finished second in the Fairest and Best award.
Brad Smith had his best season kicking eighty four goals and winning the WAFL goalkicking award. Richard Ambrose, David Lucas, Richard Maloney, David Sierakowski, and Luke Toia were experienced players who had good seasons. Chad Cossom, Mark Nicosci and Ben Keevers were young players who took their game to another level. The team defeated West Perth by two goals in a low scoring semi-final and the team went into the Grand Final as favourites. Once again lady-luck was not with the Lions and Brad Smith suffered a knee injury early in the first quarter and was unable to resume. The team fought the game out to the finish but in the end West Perth were the better team and the final score was 13. 9 to 9.10.
2004 saw some of the older players from 2003 hang up their boots however the Club recruited David Robbins, Mark Haynes, Lachlan Oakley, Caine Hayes, and Travis Knights. The Clubs new home was now at Leederville Oval and the enthusiasm of the players and supporters was at an all time high. Alistair Pickett had an exceptional season winning both the Sandover Medal and the Clubs Fairest and Best award. Brad Smith had another great season winning the WAFL. goalkicking award with ninety eight goals in the qualifying rounds and he also kicked eleven in the finals. He was also runner-up in the Clubs Fairest and Best award. Captain Richard Maloney, Mark Haynes, Mark Webb, Matt Priddis, Paul Vines and David Robbins all performed well in the midfield. Key defenders Darren Rumble, and David Mundy played with poise and received good support from other defenders Ben Keevers, Ben Randall, Caine Hayes and Chris Hood. One of the most pleasing aspects of the season was the way Luke Newick took over the role of number one ruckman. He appreciated the extra responsibility, and took his game to a new level. For the second year in a row the Club had finished on top of the ladder. The team cruised into the Grand Final with a comfortable win against Claremont. As Coach Peter German said the team was then under real pressure to perform and the weight of expectation from all quarters to win the premiership was certainly feltby the team and coaching staff.
The team and coaching staff rose to the occasion magnificently and the final score of Subiaco 15 – 9, Claremont 7 – 9 was true reflection of the teams superiority. A five goal to two first quarter set up the victory. Brad Smith five goals and Sam Larkins four played well in the forward line. Ben Keevers and Caine Hayes were outstanding in defence and Paul Vines playing on a wing won the Simpson Medal. Paul’s disposal that day was simply absolute perfection. When summing up Peter German said the team performed outstandingly well in all areas and all players made a solid contribution to the outcome.
The team lost Richard Maloney, Richard Ambrose, and Brad Smith who was drafted by the Eagles before the start of the 2005 season. Mark Webb took over as captain, and Aidan Parker returned from South Australia. The players started the season and won their first three matches by a combined total of fifty goals. The team came back to earth when South Fremantle defeated them in their fourth match by five goals. The good form returned and they won their next six matches by eighty two goals. The teams’ outstanding form resulted in ten players being selected in the State side to play Queensland on June 11th at Carrara Stadium on the Gold Coast. The players selected were Lachlan Oakley, Darren Rumble, Luke Newick, Todd Holmes, David Robbins, Chad Cossom, Matt Priddis, Alisatair Pickett, Caine Hayes and Mark Webb. This created a WAFL record but it probably also made the players think that winning the premiership would be a formality. The team finished on top of the ladder with eighteen wins and two losses in the qualifying rounds. However, towards the end of the season the team was struggling to beat teams like Perth and East Fremantle who they had thrashed early in the season.
The finals campaign was disastrous. South Fremantle won the second semi-final 14.18 to 6.6. The preliminary final was even more disappointing when Claremont came from twenty six points down at quarter time to win convincingly 14.12 to 11.6.
The highlight of the season had been the form of Matt Priddis who won the Clubs Fairest and Best award and also the Simpson Medal in the State game against Queensland.Other players to play well throughout the season were Lachlan Oakley who won the WAFL goal kicking award with eighty three goals, Mark Webb, Mark Haynes, Caine Hayes, Alistair Pickett, Ben Keevers, and Luke Newick.
The dreadful finish to the 2005 season ensured that the player group were in a determined frame of mind for the 2006 season. The Club had been able to recruit three top quality players Chris Hall, David Mapleston and Shaun Hildebrandt. Also young reserve premiership players Cameron Heise, Jordan Adamson-Holmes, Blake Broadhurst, GregBroughton, Courtney Moores, Rob Forrest, and Marty Smith ensured the Club had a top senior squad to pick from throughout the season. Supporters were not disappointed, for a team to finish the season with twenty wins and two losses was unbelievable. This was statistically the greatest season in the Clubs proud history. Unlike the previous season the team gathered momentum as the season progressed and won their last three games of the qualifying rounds by a combined total of thirty six goals. Their last defeat had been on June 10th and they went into the finals on a ten game winning streak. The second semi-final was played in tough conditions and although South Fremantle led by three goals at three quarter time, the Lions finished over the top of the Bulldogs and won by seven points. Alistair Pickett kicked four goals in a best on ground performance.
Grand Final day was a perfect day and the conditions suited the teams hard running and skilful ball use. Once again the team saved its best for the big day and the final score was Subiaco 24 – 9 South Fremantle 10 – 10. This was the second biggest winning margin in WAFL Grand Final history. Mark Webb dominated the centre square and was a deserved winner of the Simpson Medal. Sam Larkins kicked eight goals, the highest tally ever by a Subiaco player in a Grand Final. Luke Newick ran all day and gave a brilliant exhibition of ruck play. Ben Keevers, David Robbins, Mark Haynes and Matt Priddis all had good games.Like 2004 every player had contributed to the victory.Mark Haynes won the Clubs Fairest and Best award. Matt Priddis won the Sandover Medal by a record margin and he also made his AFL debut with the Eagles. Greg Broughton was awarded the WAFL Rising Star award. Luke Newick, Ben Keevers, Mark Webb, Darren Rumble, Aidan Parker, Alistair Pickett, and Caine Hayes who won the Simpson Medal all played well for the State side.
The end of season celebrations were dampened somewhat when Peter German informed the Club that he was leaving to accept an assistant coaching position with the Fremantle Dockers. His four years as Coach of the Club had been outstanding. During his reign the Club had won four minor premierships and two premierships. Of the eighty eight games played under German the team had won seventy two, a winning percentage of 81.8%, a feat never before achieved by a Coach at the Club.
Scott Watters was given the job as Coach and newspaper critics were convinced that the Club would slip down the ladder. No critic tipped the team for the premiership and pre season predictions had the team finishing third behind Claremont and South Fremantle. Caine Hayes and David Robbins were big losses and it was obvious that Matt Priddis would become a regular member of the Eagles team. The Club had decided to pin its faith in its current group and there were no big name recruits. Brad Smith was returning to the Club after two years absence from the game because of two knee reconstructions. Everybody at the Club had their fingers crossed but no one could confidently predict that he would recapture his best form. The team started the season brilliantly winning their first seven games and extending its winning run to a Club record nineteen games. The highlight was undoubtedly the form of Brad Smith who kicked forty one goals. The other big plus for the team was Shaun Hildebrandt who had only played seven games in 2006. His mid –field run had been outstanding. Anthony Beattie who had rejoined the Club was also improving with each game. A three point loss to East Perth after being forty seven points up at half time ended the Clubs winning run. However the team quickly recovered from this set back and finished the qualifying rounds with a 16 – 4 win loss result second to Claremont. Claremont won the second semi-final 16 – 13 to 14 – 10. After a tentative start to the preliminary final, the team scored 23 – 12 to South Fremantle 7 – 7 in the last three quarters.
The team had played its best football for the season and could go into the Grand Final confident of reversing the second semi-final result. Daniel Rich and Kyal Horsley were two young players who impressed in the landslide victory. The teams first quarter effort in the Grand Final was sensational, 4 – 4 to 0 – 0.was a result of the players desperation to help team mates and fierce tackling. The players did not let Claremont into the game at any stage, and the final score of 15 – 13 to 9 – 8 was a just reward for a fantastic team effort. The team had won back to back premierships for the second time in the Clubs history. Coach Scott Watters summed it up by saying
“Grand Finals are about seizing the initiative and to keep Claremont scoreless was a huge psychological win, from a coaching perspective our strategy for that game was set in place after round twenty and the way it was ruthlessly put into play by our players was very satisfactory and a credit to them”. - Scott Watters
Brad Smith won the Simpson Medal for his seven goal effort and became only the second full forward to achieve this feat. Luke Newick once again dominated in a Grand Final. Most pleasing was the fact that every player made a significant contribution to the victory. Three Grand Final victories in the last four years by a combined total of one hundred and seventy two points illustrated the magnificent performance of the current player group and coaching staff.
Brad Smith rounded off his outstanding season by convincingly winning the Club Fairest and Best award with 206 votes. Other players to do well were Mark Haynes 184, Aidan Parker 180, Shaun Hildebrandt 178, Greg Broughton 175, Mark Webb 168, Anthony Beatty 164, Ben Randall 164, David Mapleston 163, and Alistair Pickett 157. The reserves also won the 2007 premiership. It was the first time the Club had won league and reserves premierships in the same year. Another Club record was set and Neil and Ben Randall became the first father/son combination to play in Subiaco premiership sides.
The past 108 years have seen many highs and lows for our proud Club. The Club has produced many great champions, and will continue to do so. The VFL/AFL has always been a huge attraction to our young players dating back to the late 1920’s. Numerous players starting their careers at our Club have become big names at the top level of football. Unfortunately the WAFL does not now get the support from the public it deserves. The current day players give their all to the game and the standard of WAFL. football is much better than most people realise. It is interesting to note that twenty of the twenty two selected in the Eagles best ever team 2006 began their careers in the WAFL. Five of those players started their careers at Subiaco, four after the introduction of the Eagles in 1987.
What does the future hold for our great Club? Only time will tell. Supporters can be confident though with a stable administration, a strong coaching panel, and a talented and dedicated player group that there is a good chance of further success in the next few years.
Subiaco defeat Swan Districts to win three in a row 22.16 148 d 14.7 91 to win its third consecutive premiership. Chris Hall wins the Simpson medal (v Swan Districts G/Final)
Subiaco win 8th R.P. Rodrigues Shield
S Watters was coach
The club celebrates QBE being the major sponsor for 25 years.
The club announces the Best Ever SFC Haydn Bunton Team.
Subiaco are defeated by South Fremantle 13 . 17 . 95 to 17. 11 . 113 in the Grand Final.
S Watters was coach
Club finishes 6th
Up and down year
C Waterman was coach
A Parker was captain
The Club helps celebrate QBE 125th Anniversary
The club finishes 3rd on the ladder
Subi makes it to the Grand Final but are defeated by Claremont
C Waterman was coach
The club finishes 7th on the ladder. Lions win first 4 games then loses next 6 games
Played in the Foxtel Cup in Adelaide vs Port Adelaide
Aidan Parker celebrates playing 200 games for Subi
The League side feature 18 debutants & uses 45 players throughout the season
C Waterman was coach
Club finishes 8th on the ladder.
J. Schofield is appointed as coach
For the first time since 1942 the club has joint Outridge Medallists (George Hampson & Brett Mahoney)
The club has 15 debutants
ex-Gold Coast Sun Kyal Horsley returns and is named captain.
Subiaco complete remarkable turnaround to finish 2nd with a record of 14-6
The Lions record the best attacking side in WAFL with 2000+ points on the season
Subi record a 16 point Grand Final Win over East Perth; the 12th in club history
Darren Rumble and Ian Dargie added to the WAFC 200 club
Jarrad Schofield becomes first to win a premiership as a player and a coach for the Subiaco Football Club
Subiaco show no signs of a Premiership hangover and finish first on the ladder with a record of 17-3.
Shane Yarran becomes first player of indigenous heritage to win the Bernie Naylor Medal (47 goals)
Subiaco win their 13th Premiership over West Perth by 66 points. Matt Boland wins Simpson Medal for best on ground.
Darren Rumble retires after winning sixth WAFL Premiership
Chris Phelan wins the Outridge Medal for fairest & best.
Geraldton product Liam Ryan emerges as an electric talent, kicking 40 goals from 16 games.
Ex-Subi draftees Adam Cockie & Greg Broughton return to the club.
Subiaco prove to be the best WAFL side in the regular season again finishing on top with a record of 16-4.
Subiaco qualify for their third consecutive Grand Final with a semi-final win against South Fremantle but fall short against Peel Thunder by 23 points.
Midfielder Chris Phelan wins back-to-back Outridge Medals