Caulfield Football Club
|Full name||Caulfield Football Club|
|Colours||Blue and White Red|
|Competition||Southern Football League (Victoria) 1993-|
|Ground(s)||Koornang Park, Carnegie|
Caulfield Football Club is an Australian rules football club which played in the VFA from 1965 until 1987, and in the Southern Football League from 1993 to present day. Nicknamed The Bears, they were initially based in the Melbourne suburb of Caulfield and wore a blue and white guernsey but now call Koornang Park in Carnegie home.
They also have a Junior club that competes in South Metro Junior Football League.
The club was established as the South Caulfield Football Club in 1957, which competed in the Federal District League. On 29 March 1962, the club merged with the Victorian Football Association's struggling Brighton Football Club – which had been evicted from its home ground at Elsternwick Park and could barely field a team – to form a club known as Brighton-Caulfield. The merged club was based at South Caulfield's home ground at Princes Park on Hawthorn Rd, Caulfield. In 1965, after three seasons of competing as Brighton-Caulfield, the club severed all links to its former Brighton identity, and became known as the Caulfield Football Club. The club adopted a new guernsey of white with navy blue hoops, and adopted Bears as a new nickname.
Caulfield initially played in the second division and failed to make the finals during the rest of the 1960s. In 1971 they managed to lure former Richmond premiership player Tony Jewell to coach the club. They also recruited his teammates Paddy Guinane and Neville Crowe to the playing group. With VFL players in the team they had immediate success, topping the second division ladder and losing just three games in the home and away season. Caulfield however lost their preliminary final and thus missed out on playing in the grand final. They went one better the following season and made it to the decider which they lost to Geelong West in the last minute; the Geelong club had been unbeaten all season, but Caulfield put up a fight, leading by 12 points at three-quarter time.
In 1973, the club won its first and only premiership, defeating Brunswick 18.20 (128) to 14.22 (106) in the grand final; full forward John Logan kicked six goals. This victory earned the promotion to the first division, where it competed for eight years. In its time in the top division, the club reached the finals once, in 1976; and, in 1977 it won the lightning premiership and was runner-up in the Centenary Cup.
At the end of 1981, Caulfield was demoted to Division 2 as part of a restructure of the Association's two-division system, in large part because of its substandard playing facilities. In its first season back in Division 2, the club reached the grand final, losing to Northcote by five points. The club endured financial difficulties through the 1980s, and it was eventually suspended from the Association after the 1987 season, due to having falling $11,000 behind on affiliation levies.
In 1988 the club merged with local club Ashburton to form Caulfield/Ashburton, and won the premiership in the South East Suburban FL first division; but, the club was suspended shortly before the 1989 season after it sent an abusive letter to the league secretary, and folded permanently.
History (1993 onwards)
The Caulfield Football Club was reformed in 1993 after the merging of two clubs, St. Kevins Ormond F.C. and Gardenvale F.C. Both clubs had competed in the Eastern Suburban Churches Football Association and their coming together coincided with the merger of the ESCFA with the Southern Football League, which changed its name from the South East Suburban FL the previous year.
St. Kevins Ormond F.C., the dominant club, was originally formed in 1946, and competed in the C.Y.M.S. competition, winning premierships in 1948, 1952, and 1963, and then transferring to the Y.C.W. competition in 1967 and having premiership teams in 1968 and 1974. The club, church based, was one of the very few strong clubs south of the Yarra River in the seventies and eventually due to constant travelling into the northern suburbs, the club decided to move to the E.S.C.F.A. for the commencement of the 1976 football season. The players were a lot happier as there was less travel and the competition was larger and more fierce.
The club started in C grade and whilst unsuccessful in winning premierships, they were runners-up in 1983 (C Grade lost to Mazenod), 1986 (B Grade lost to Box Hill Pioneers), and 1989 (A Grade lost to Donvale). With the demise of the original Caulfield F.C. in the mid eighties, many of the players and officials became associated with St. Kevins, which became very strong in the late eighties.
In the early nineties, with the imminent league merger and the waning of St Kevins as a football power, the club decided to look to Gardenvale for a merger so as to gain access to the main oval at Princes Park and to strengthen its player base.
Gardenvale had been formed in 1946 as Gardenvale East Presbyterian F.C., and had played in the E.S.C.F.A. the whole time. Whilst there had been moderate success, the Club had never won a premiership. Like St Kevins there were a few grand final appearances, in 1948 (B Grade lost to Blackburn United), 1961 (B Grade lost to Hampton Methodist), 1984 (E Grade lost to Sandringham Sacred Heart) and 1987 (D Grade lost to South Dandenong), and by 1992 it was struggling to survive as a club. They had played all their football at Princes Park, mainly where the soccer currently resides.
The Club moved to the main oval in the late eighties upon the demise of the original Caulfield club and it was this tenancy which assisted with the merger at the end of 1992. St Kevins however had originally played at McKinnon Oval, moving to the E.E. Gunn Reserve in the mid fifties. In 1965 the Club moved to Bailey Reserve and finally to Koornang Park in 1980.
In 1992, the merged Club successfully established itself at Princes Park; the new Club found immediate success by winning a reserves premiership in 1993 and winning both seniors and reserves premierships in 1994 in the first division.
Since that time, ultimate success has eluded the club and it now competes in the second division in the Southern Football League. Its association with the junior club which caused St Kevins' move to Koornang Park in 1980 has been successful and many current senior players have come from their ranks. In 2010 the club returned to Koornang Park to reunite with the juniors. With a full complement of junior teams, the club looks forward to gaining full strength and establishing itself as a permanent football club in the Glen Eira municipality in the twenty-first century.
- 1973 (2nd division)
- Neville Crowe (Richmond)
- Paddy Guinane (Richmond)
- Tony Jewell (Richmond)
- Darren Kappler (Fitzroy/Hawthorn/Sydney)
- Scot Palmer (30 March 1962). "Brighton saves its VFA place". The Sun News-Pictorial (Melbourne, VIC). p. 44.
- Jeff Penberthy (9 April 1965). "Old club becomes extinct". The Sun News-Pictorial (Melbourne, VIC). p. 57.
- "Caulfield downed by four points at home". Southern Cross (Caulfield, VIC). 21 April 1965. p. 16.
- Marc Fiddian (23 August 1976). "Cook kicks 14 at Port". The Age (Melbourne, VIC). p. 23.
- Marc Fiddian (26 September 1977). "Port's cup full". The Age (Melbourne, VIC). p. 31.
- Marc Fiddian (15 August 1977). "Cook kicks 12.4 to thrash Bears". The Age (Melbourne, VIC). p. 31.
- Marc Fiddian (8 September 1981). "Oakleigh potential fails to sway VFA". The Age (Melbourne, VIC). p. 45.
- Linda Pearce (6 November 1987). "Two clubs expelled from VFA next year". The Sun News-Pictorial (Melbourne, VIC). p. 78.
- Amanda Buivids (6 April 1989). "Sullivan to put venom in Cobras". The Sun News-Pictorial (Melbourne, VIC). p. 73.