Sydney Hills Eagles
|Full name||Sydney Hills Eagles Australian Football Club|
|Ground(s)||Bruce Purser Reserve|
|Official website||Sydney Hills Eagles official website|
Sydney Hills Eagles is an Australian rules football club competing in the North East Australian Football League and Sydney AFL competitions and based out of the Sydney suburb of Rouse Hill, New South Wales.
Previously known as the Baulkham Hills Falcons (1976–1999) and East Coast Eagles (2000–2011) and wearing maroon and gold, this team now wears the West Coast Eagles uniforms of blue and Gold.
The history of the Sydney Hills Eagles can be traced back to the formation of the Baulkham Hills Junior Australian Football Club in 1976. Since 1976 Baulkham Hills has fielded teams in all age groups in the major junior competition in suburban Sydney. Baulkham Hills are the most successful junior club in Sydney, having enough players to field two teams in every age group in most seasons and more often than not winning the premiership. In the mid-to-late 1980s it was not uncommon for two Baulkham Hills teams (then known as the Hawks and the Kookaburras) to play each other in grand finals.
In 1988, the club had enough numbers to field an under 19 team in the Sydney Football League. As the Sydney University club could not field an under 19 team, Baulkham Hills played in their stead. The team had a successful season, eventually finishing in fourth place after losing the first semi-final to Pennant Hills. As this team was an amalgamation of players from the Hawks and the Kookabuuras, a new emblem – the Falcons – was born. The team played in a maroon jersey with gold stripes, similar to the jersey of the Subiaco club playing in the WAFL.
In the early 80s Baulkham Hills played in the SDSFA at their home ground at the Kellyville Postal Institute Club, then later moved to Charles McLaughlin Reserve. This period of the club was not a successful one and both the First and Reserve Grade teams went long periods without wins.
In 1989, the club fielded a senior team competing in the Sydney Football Association (Division 2) competition. The team met with moderate success in their first year, finishing fourth in a seven team competition, being knocked out of the finals race in the first semi-final.
In 1990 the club had gathered enough support from ex-junior players and disenchanted players from other clubs to field teams in the Sydney Football Association (SFA) Division 1 competition in the first grade, reserve grade and under 20 competitions. 1990 was a successful season, with the first grade team eventually losing the Grand Final to Balmain at Erskineville Oval and Doug Scholz winning the Snow Medal for the best and fairest player in the competition.
In the following year the Falcons turned the tables on Balmain and won their first senior premiership in a keenly fought match at Roger Sheeran Oval.
By 1993 the club had outgrown the SFA and was promoted to the Sydney Football League. The Falcons endured a tough couple of years in 1993 and 1994 before making the preliminary final in 1995. It was in 1995 that the club produced its first Phelan Medallist in ruckman Graham Jones.
Between 1996 and 1999 the club struggled, never finishing higher than fifth on the ladder. One high point for the club during these lean years was Jarrod Crosby winning the club's second Phelan Medal in 1998.
Before the 2000 season began, the club struck up a partnership with the West Coast Eagles and was renamed the East Coast Eagles. the club adopted their new playing strip of blue and yellow.
In 2006, the club were undefeated through the home and away season, and easily won their second semi final to qualify for the grand final. But in a shock result, the Eagles suffered their only loss of the season on grand final day, going down by 2 points to Pennant Hills in wet conditions at Henson Park.
In 2008 the club finished the season in fourth before defeating North Shore (by 50 points), St George (by 65) and UNSW/Eastern Suburbs (by 45) to reach their second Grand Final in three years against arch rivals Pennant Hills. Despite trailing by just 17 points at half time, the Eagles ended up going down by 104 points.
In 2009 the club moved to their new oval Bruce Purser Reserve on the corner of Withers Rd and Commercial Rd, Rouse Hill
In 2009, The East Coast Eagles won their first ever AFL Sydney Premiership, winning the Grand Final against UNSW/Eastern Suburbs 22.12 (144) to 13.12 (90). Gus Seebeck kicked 10 goals for the game.
Captain, Jon Vlatko was named as the Club Champion in 2009, with Gus Seebeck finishing as runner up. Mark Skuse was announced as the Player's Player. In Division 1, Josh Shepherd claimed his third straight Best and Fairest award at the club by winning the Bill McLeod Medal, after taking out the Premier Cup Under 18's Best and Fairest award in 2007 and 2008.
In 2010, the Eagles did it again securing Back to Back Premierships by defeating Sydney Uni at Blacktown Olympic Park - 13.9 (87) to 10.10 (70). Damien Bowles claimed his first Club Champion medallion to go with his Rod Podbury Medal on Grand Final Day. Damien was unlucky not to also claim the League's Phelan Medal when after polling the most votes, he was ruled ineligible owing to suspension during the season.
The U/18 Premier Cup lads were beaten in the Grand Final by 6 points after extra time by Sydney University. Luke McLeod won the Division One medal named after his father Bill. James Ford took out the Division Three B&F whilst Dean Costello and Adam Hutt won their respective U/18 awards in Premier and Challenge Cup.
|1||2009||Sydney AFL||UNSW-ES Bulldogs||22.12 (144) - 13.12 (90)||Blacktown Olympic Park|
|2||2010||Sydney AFL||Sydney Uni Students||13.9 (87) - 10.10 (70)||Blacktown Olympic Park|
|3||2011||Sydney AFL||Balmain Dockers||17.12 (114) - 10.11 (71)||Blacktown Olympic Park|
- Terry Thripp was a Baulkham Hills junior prior to playing 78 games with the Sydney Swans.
- Sanford Wheeler played several games for the club in the early 2000s after 43 games with the Sydney Swans.
- Trent Goodrem, current Central District SANFL triple premiership player and 2009 Jack Oatey Medalist
- Official Sydney Hills Eagles Website
- Official Baulkham Hills Hawks Website
- Full Points Footy Profile for East Coast Eagles