Southport Australian Football Club

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Southport fc logo.png
Full name Southport Australian Rules Football Club
Club details
Founded 1961; 56 years ago (1961)
Competition North East Australian Football League
President Alan Mackenzie
Coach Nathan Bock
Captain(s) Ben Headland
Ground(s) Fankhauser Reserve (capacity: 8,000)
Other information
Official website

Southport Australian Football Club (nicknamed The Sharks) is a Gold Coast based club competing in the NEAFL Australian rules football competition.

Southport is perhaps the most successful ever Queensland based Aussie Rules club with a total of 13 premierships in only 26 years and have made the finals each season.

The club has been involved in Australian Football League licence bids since 1996. To date none of these bids have been granted, however the AFL began taking interest in 2006 with pushes to merge Southport with a Melbourne-based AFL club.

Southport Sharks joined the NEAFL competition in 2011. As of 2016, the current competition consists of the following sides: Southport, Aspley, Redland, NT Thunder, Sydney University, Canberra Demons, GC SUNS, Brisbane Lions, Sydney Swans, GWS Giants.


Formation and early years (1961–1982)[edit]

On 22 May 1961, the Southport Australian Football Club was formed and six days later the first training session was held at Labrador Sports Oval. It was revealed on 7 June 1961 that the club would be known on as the Southport Magpies and would wear a black and white vertical striped jumper similar to the Collingwood Football Club. In front of 1000 spectators Southport played their first ever game against Centrals Football Club on 25 June 1961. Southport came out victorious in their first outing 8.10.58 to Central's 6.11.47. They would then go on to win the first ever Gold Coast Australian Football League premiership with a 13-point victory over Ipswich on 25 September 1961.

With the expansion of the Gold Coast Australian Football League starting in 1962, Southport moved their home ground to Owen Park. Southport won back-to-back premierships in the first two years of the Gold Coast Australian Football League, defeating Currumbin by 53 points to win their second premiership. Following a series of local premierships, the club applied for entry into the Queensland Australian Football League in July 1981. Twelve months later, the Queensland Australian Football League officially accepted Southport's entry application for the 1983 season. In their last game as part of the Gold Coast Football League, the Southport Magpies fell in the Grand Final to Coolangatta by 28 points. The disappointment of the Grand Final loss was short lived as the rebranding from the Southport Magpies to the Southport Sharks began. The strip was changed to a black V on a white background to avoid an identity conflict with the Sherwood Magpies, who later became the Western Magpies. The decision as to which club would retain the "Magpies" moniker was made by the toss of a coin.

New competition and dominance (1983–1999)[edit]

Upon entrance into the Queensland Australian Football League, the newly formed Southport Sharks were given little chance of success against the predominantly Brisbane based competition. In their first game of the 1983 season the Sharks walked away winners with a victory over the Western Districts. They would compile a 12-6 win loss record during the home and away season. The Sharks going undefeated through the 1983 finals series and would win the Grand Final by 13 points over Morningside. The Sharks would continue prove themselves through the 80s with another three premierships added to their trophy cabinet as well as two runners-up. Early in 1989 the Sharks moved their headquarters to their current ground Fankhauser Reserve.

The club continued their dominance with an unbeaten season in 1990 but the club's financial woes were a big issue following a Grand Final loss in 1991. The club almost abandoned the QAFL late in 1991 to re-enter the Gold Coast Football Club but Queensland's introduction of poker machines would secure the financial future of the Sharks. By 1995 the Sharks had reached 20,000 members began to lead the charge for a second Queensland team entering the Australian Football League. In 1996, the Sharks made their first bid to the AFL for inclusion in the national league, which was rejected by the AFL in favour of the Port Adelaide Football Club's elevation from the SANFL. After which, the club continued to lobby for a licence.

Following the AFL's rejection of the Sharks into the national league, the Sharks would set out to prove just how good they really were. The team would win three premierships in a row in 1997, 1998 and 1999 to finish off the millennium with success. In 1999 the Sharks were able to poach future St Kilda Saints star Nick Riewoldt from their cross town rivals Broadbeach Cats, although Riewoldt would not compete for the Sharks senior side until 2000.

New Millennium and More Dominance (2000-2010)[edit]

The Sharks would enter the 2000 season as the raging favourites to take out a fourth consecutive premiership. Soon to be number 1 AFL draft pick Nick Riewoldt would play a huge role in their Grand Final victory over the Northern Eagles. Riewoldt would be kept virtually touchless in the first half when matching up against future Brisbane Lions player Jamie Charman. Riewoldt would be moved to ruck and would go on to kick two goals in the Sharks Grand Final victory. The four consecutive premierships would be Southport's last taste of success for five years as the club entered a rebuilding phase. Former AFL player Paul Dimattina pulled on the Sharks guernsey in 2005 and would lead the team to their first premiership in five years. The Sharks would continue their success with another three Grand Finals between 2006-2008 in which the Sharks would come away with two more premierships. In November 2010 it was announced the Sharks would be joining the newly formed North East Australian Football League which included four AFL reserves sides and local teams spread throughout Canberra, New South Wales, Northern Territory and Queensland.

Entry into the NEAFL (2011)[edit]

The Sharks put together a 9–9 win loss record in the 2011 NEAFL season but missed the finals series by percentage, their first non-finals season ever. The Sharks finished the 2012 NEAFL season with a 14–4 win loss record and were placed third on the ladder. In the qualifying final, the Sharks fell to the Brisbane Lions reserves team but recorded their first NEAFL finals victory over Redland the following week. The Sharks faced the Northern Territory Thunder in the preliminary finals but lost by 37 points.


In season 2016 will be coached by former Adelaide and Gold Coast defender Nathan Bock. Other former AFL listed players at Southport this season include Jack Anthony (Coll/Freo) Andrew Boston (Gold Coast) and Fraser Thurlow (Essendon). There has been significant list changes over the pre-season and the playing group is looking to improve on last season's 6th place finish.



The most intense rivalry in local Queensland football exists between the neighbouring clubs in the form of the Sharks and the Broadbeach Cats and stretches back to their first meeting in 1971. Matches between the two teams generally result in a larger audience and a heated contest on the field. As of the completion of the 2013 NEAFL season, the win-loss record between the two clubs stands at 70-10 in favour of the Sharks. The Cats were removed from the North East Australian Football League at the conclusion of the 2013 season which has resulted in the rivalry not continuing at the senior level.

Premierships (21)[edit]

No. Year Competition Opponent Score Venue
1 1961 GCAFL Ipswich 9.12 (66) - 7.11 (53) Labrador Sports Ground
2 1962 GCAFL Currumbin Lions 9.18 (72) - 2.7 (19) Labrador Sports Ground
3 1966 GCAFL Surfers Paradise Demons 14.24 (108) - 7.16 (58) Salk Oval
4 1975 GCAFL Coolangatta Blues 26.16 (172) - 17.16 (118) Salk Oval
5 1976 GCAFL Broadbeach Cats 14.11 (95) - 9.14 (68) Salk Oval
6 1977 GCAFL Coolangatta Blues 22.18 (150) - 13.9 (87) Salk Oval
7 1979 GCAFL Coolangatta Blues 17.16 (118) - 16.19 (115) Salk Oval
8 1980 GCAFL Palm Beach Currumbin Lions 17.18 (120) - 15.8 (98) Salk Oval
9 1983 QAFL Morningside Panthers 13.12 (90) - 12.5 (77) Windsor Park
10 1985 QAFL Mayne Tigers 11.8 (74) - 10.11 (71) Windsor Park
11 1987 QAFL Windsor-Zillmere Eagles 13.17 (75) - 11.6 (72) Windsor Park
12 1989 QAFL Windsor-Zillmere Eagles 16.17 (113) - 12.5 (77) The Gabba
13 1990 QAFL Morningside Panthers 22.14 (146) - 12.15 (87) The Gabba
14 1992 QAFL Morningside Panthers 14.19 (94) - 12.9 (80) The Gabba
15 1997 QSFL Mount Gravatt Vultures 26.13 (169) - 11.9 (75) Windsor Park
16 1998 QSFL Morningside Panthers 12.15 (87) - 11.10 (76) Giffin Park
17 1999 QSFL North Brisbane Eagles 15.14 (104) - 9.7 (61) Giffin Park
18 2000 QAFL North Brisbane Eagles 10.8 (68) - 8.11 (59) Giffin Park
19 2005 QAFL Morningside Panthers 16.15 (11) - 6.14 (50) The Gabba
20 2006 QAFL Zillmere Eagles 17.14 (116) - 16.8 (104) Carrara Stadium
21 2008 QAFL Morningside Panthers 18.7 (115) - 15.17 (107) Carrara Stadium

Club song[edit]

The club song was sung to the tune of Goodbye Dolly Gray.

Grogan Medallists[edit]

QAFL Top Goalkickers[edit]

  • R. McKay (85) – 1998
  • R. McKay (66) – 1999
  • R. McKay (79) – 2000
  • B. McEntee (119) – 2004
  • B. McEntee (84) – 2005
  • B. McEntee (100) – 2007
  • B. McEntee (66) – 2008

Drafted players in the AFL/VFL[edit]

Year Name Team Draft №
1987 Darren Carlson Brisbane Bears QLD Zone Selection
1988 Marcus Ashcroft Brisbane Bears QLD Zone Selection
1989 Matthew Kennedy Brisbane Bears QLD Zone Selection
1990 Corey Bell Brisbane Bears QLD Zone Selection
1990 Steven McLuckie Brisbane Bears QLD Zone Selection
1991 Brent Green Brisbane Bears QLD Zone Selection
1994 Steven Lawrence Brisbane Bears QLD Zone Selection
1997 Marc Woolnough Geelong Cats 29th
2000 Nick Riewoldt St Kilda Saints 1st
2002 Daniel Merrett Brisbane Lions 30th
2003 Andrew Raines Richmond Tigers 76th
2004 Brad Moran North Melbourne Kangaroos - 58th
2004 Leigh Ryswyk Brisbane Lions - (rookie)
2005 Sam Gilbert St Kilda Saints 33rd
2005 Wayde Mills Brisbane Lions 25th
2006 Haydn Kiel Brisbane Lions 48th (rookie)
2006 Brent Renouf Hawthorn Hawks 24th
2006 Joel Tippett Brisbane Lions 57th (rookie)
2006 Kurt Tippett Adelaide Crows 32nd
2006 Jesse White Sydney Swans 79th
2008 Dayne Beams Collingwood Magpies 29th
2009 Broc McCauley Brisbane Lions 78th (rookie)
2010 Joseph Daye Gold Coast Suns QLD Zone Selection
2010 Marc Lock Gold Coast Suns QLD Zone Selection
2010 Jack Stanlake Gold Coast Suns QLD Zone Selection
2010 Rory Thompson Gold Coast Suns QLD Zone Selection
2014 Lachie Weller Fremantle Dockers 13th

AFL/VFL players[edit]

There are list of past and present Southport players who have played at AFL/VFL:

External links[edit]