Geelong West Football Club

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Geelong West
Names
Full name Geelong West Football Club
Nickname(s) Roosters, Red West
Club details
Founded 1878
Dissolved 2016
Colours      White and      Red
Competition Geelong Football League
Victorian Football Association
Ballarat Football League
Ground(s) West Oval

The Geelong West Football Club is an Australian rules football club which played in the Victorian Football Association (VFA) from 1963 until 1988. Geelong West, nicknamed the 'Roosters', wore white and red during their time in the Association. Following a merger in 1989, the club competed as Geelong West-St Peter's in the Geelong Football League, fielding teams in all age groups from under-9s to seniors.

The club will merge with the Geelong West Sports Club at the end of 2016 to form the Geelong West Giants.

History[edit]

Formed in 1878, Geelong West began in the Geelong & District Football Association. The club with their red jumper and white monogram was not to be confused with the Geelong West Cricket & Football Club who wore a blue and white jumper – giving rise to local nicknames Red West and Blue West for the two clubs respectively.[1] The Roosters and were a consistently strong club winning 25 premierships before joining the Ballarat Football League in 1946. Premiership success followed in the BFL, with the club winning four premierships in a row from 1956 to 1959.

The Ballarat-based clubs in the BFL grew to dislike Geelong West's presence in their league, as it meant long travelling distances for away games, and weaker crowds for home games; and after 1962, the BFL was keen for Geelong West to leave. At the same time the Victorian Football Association was looking to expand, so the two agreed for Geelong West to join the VFA second division in 1963.[2] The club had to change its jumper as it clashed with the Preston Bullants, so reversed its colours to a white jumper with a red GWFC monogram. In their inaugural season they only missed out on the wooden spoon by percentage but took out the premiership the following year, thus earning promotion to the first division. Geelong West only spent one season at the top league before being demoted again, but reached the next three Grand Finals, losing in 1966 and 1967, then winning in 1968 to be promoted for the second time.

Once again, the club wasn't strong enough to compete in the first division, lasting three seasons before being relegated, but things changed in the 1970s. The club won its third premiership in 1972, completing a perfect season by winning all twenty games it played to be promoted back to the first division. On this occasion they deserved to be competing amongst the best teams and in 1975, under the coaching of Bill Goggin, Geelong West claimed a surprise first division premiership by defeating Dandenong in the VFA Grand Final.

By the time the 1980s came around the football club had run up a large financial debt that it struggled to manage. There was a significant reduction in support from the local community, in large part because there was strong growth of the Geelong Football League throughout the mid-1980s, which pushed player salaries up and attracted local sponsorship away from the club. There became a shortage of quality players willing to travel to Melbourne every second week, particularly at the Under-19s level, which led to the club's onfield position deteriorating through the 1980s. Faced with these problems, the club withdrew from the VFA after the 1988 season.[3]

The club merged with the neighbouring St Peter's Football Club to form Geelong West St Peter's. The club competed in the GFL between 1989 and 2016. At the end of 2016, the club merged with the Geelong West Sports Club to form the Geelong West Giants, which will field separate teams in the GFL and the G&DFL from the 2017 season.[4]

Honours[edit]

VFA 1st Division Premierships (1)

  • 1975

VFA 2nd Division Premierships (3)

  • 1964, 1968, 1972

BFL Premierships (4)

  • 1956, 1957, 1958, 1959

GDFA Premierships (25)

  • 1885, 1887, 1889, 1890, 1892, 1894, 1896, 1909, 1914, 1915, 1927, 1931, 1932, 1933, 1934, 1935, 1936, 1938, 1945

References[edit]

  1. ^ "A Brief History…". Geelong West Cheetahs. Retrieved 29 July 2016. 
  2. ^ Fiddian, Marc (2004), The VFA: a history of the Victorian Football Association, 1877–1995, p. 189 
  3. ^ Glen Quartermain (28 October 1988). "Local apathy causes proud Roosters to flounder". Geelong Advertiser. Melbourne, VIC. p. 16. 
  4. ^ Lachie Young (13 August 2016). "Geelong West Cheetahs back joint bid to become Geelong West Giants". Geelong Advertiser. Geelong, VIC. Retrieved 15 August 2016.