Burnie Hawks Football Club

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Burnie Hawks
Burnie Hawks Logo.JPG
Full name Burnie Hawks Football Club
Nickname Hawks
Sport Australian rules football
Founded 1987
First season 1987 (TFL)
Folded 1994
League Closed in 1994
Home ground West Park Oval
Anthem "We're a happy team at Burnie"
Brown and gold stripes

The Burnie Hawks Football Club was an Australian rules football club based in Burnie, Tasmania, Australia from 1987 to 1994.

The club was founded in 1987 after former North West Football Union (NWFU) club Cooee Bulldogs (1894–1986) closed down its operation in order to wipe out its large debts and rebrand itself with a more metropolitan-based name for its inclusion in the Tasmanian Football League (TFL) in that year.

Cooee had been locked in a battle with its West Park co-tenant (Burnie Tigers) to desperately gain a licence to join the Tasmanian competition from midway through 1986, and it was the rebranding of the club which was seen to have tipped the scales in favour of Cooee/Burnie Hawks.

The move did however cause much controversy with a bitter and at times spiteful rivalry forming with fellow former NWFU and later Northern Tasmanian Football League club Burnie Tigers, so much so that after a period of good onfield success for the new Hawks venture, Burnie Hawks junior development coach and ABC Radio commentator Geoff White stated in an interview on ABC Radio Football on 18 April 1992 that "sponsorship was becoming difficult to obtain, with businesses in the Burnie area refusing to support one club over the other for fear of a backlash by supporters of each club, it's just so divided at the moment, it's a real crying shame because this town (Burnie) could field a great team in State League football."

After making the finals in their inaugural season in 1987 the Hawks, on the back of solid crowd support powered to a preliminary final showdown with Glenorchy the following year but suffered a disastrous 110-point loss to the Magpies at North Hobart Oval. In 1989 and 1990 the Hawks narrowly missed out on finals appearances (their reserves team broke through for a premiership in 1990 however) but despite a finals appearance in 1991, the club was struggling for support and by the following season the club itself was in serious jeopardy with large debts and a rapidly sinking supporter base, so much so that the club had sought a merger with its much-hated rival, Burnie Tigers, as both clubs were struggling under the harsh economic recession hitting the state at the time.

The Burnie Hawks eventually absorbed the Burnie Tigers after the 1993 season had finished and from 1994, whilst still struggling with poor attendances, would play on as the Burnie Hawks despite the merger.

The Hawks' final season saw them once again play in the finals, their final match saw them defeated by Devonport by 46-points in front of a crowd of 4,210 at Devonport Oval in the 1994 Elimination Final on 4 September.

At the end of 1994 the club signed former North Melbourne player Peter German as captain-coach and one of his first tasks was to attempt to reunify the supporters of both clubs, as a result he adopted a full change of uniforms, colours and a new emblem as the Burnie Dockers.


  • Home groundWest Park Oval
  • Established – 1987
  • Playing colours – Brown and gold stripes
  • Emblem – Hawks
  • Club theme song – "We're a happy team at Burnie" (Tune: "Yankee Doodle")
  • AffiliationsTFL Statewide League (1987–1994)
  • Matches played – 158 (77–79–2) including finals

Premiership titles[edit]

TFL Statewide League Premierships

  • Nil

Tasmanian State Premierships

  • Nil

Individual medal winners[edit]

William Leitch Medal winners

  • Nil

George Watt Medal winners

  • 1987 – Mark Radford (tied)
  • 1994 – Stephen Jackson

V. A. Geard Medal winners

  • Nil

Competition leading goalkickers[edit]

TFL Statewide League leading goalkickers

  • Nil

Senior best and fairest winners[edit]

  • 1987 – Dale Whish-Wilson
  • 1988 – Wayne Keegan
  • 1989 – Steven Cole
  • 1990 – Paul Atkins
  • 1991 – Paul Atkins
  • 1992 – Leigh Heath
  • 1993 – Paul Atkins
  • 1994 – Brett Jones

Senior coaches[edit]

  • 1987 – Warren "Putt" McCarthy
  • 1988 – Warren "Putt" McCarthy
  • 1989 – Colin Robertson
  • 1990 – Richard Lakeland
  • 1991 – Richard Lakeland
  • 1992 – Richard Lakeland
  • 1993 – Michael Schulze
  • 1994 – Mark Lee

Club record match attendance[edit]

Club record home attendance[edit]

Club record score[edit]