Woodville-West Torrens
Woodville fc logo.png
Names
Full nameWoodville-West Torrens Football Club
Nickname(s)Eagles
2021 season
Leading goalkickerDaniel Menzel, Tyson Stengle (44)
Best and fairestJames Tsitas
Club details
Founded1991; 31 years ago (1991)
Colours  Blue,   green and   gold
CompetitionSouth Australian National Football League
PresidentChristine Williams
CoachJade Sheedy
Captain(s)Luke Thompson
Premierships5 (1993, 2006, 2011, 2020, 2021)
Ground(s)Woodville Oval (capacity: 15,000)
 Thebarton Oval (capacity: 15,000)
Uniforms
Home
Other information
Official websitewwtfc.com.au

Woodville-West Torrens Football Club is an Australian rules football club playing in the South Australian National Football League (SANFL). It was formed in 1990 from an amalgamation of the neighbouring Woodville and West Torrens football clubs and played its inaugural game in 1991. Since 1993, the Eagles have played most of their home games at Woodville's home ground of Woodville Oval, having previously used Football Park. They also play two or three games per season at their pre-season base of Thebarton Oval, a ground which has six light towers that the club has upgraded in 2012 to allow night games at the ground for the first time since the 1983 Escort Cup Grand Final (a game won by West Torrens).

History

West Torrens had competed in the SANFL since the 1895 SAFA season, when it was originally known as the Port Natives[1] (who wore Blue and Gold) and renamed to West Torrens for the 1897 SAFA season,[2] while Woodville entered the competition for 1964 SANFL season. However, a third western suburbs team in the competition West Adelaide proved too much to handle with both sides struggling on the field following Woodville's inception.

Heading into 1964, West Torrens had won four premierships in the previous forty seasons, and were a highly competitive club, regular finalists, and played off in 8 Grand Finals - the last one being the 1953 victory over Port Adelaide.

Woodville did not win a premiership or play in a grand final in their twenty-seven seasons (1964–90), usually being close to or on the bottom of the ladder. West Torrens were also dragged down to this level by the 1970s.

Whispers had grown throughout SA football circles that a merger would save these clubs throughout the 1980s.

In 1990, the imminent admission of the Adelaide Crows into the AFL placed both club's futures as separate entities in serious doubt: West Torrens was technically insolvent, with debts of $1.1 million, and while Woodville was financially viable, club officials realised that it would be difficult, if not impossible, for the club to be competitive in the foreseeable future.

It was decided at the end of the season to merge the two sides to form the Woodville-West Torrens Eagles, effectively returning to how things were prior to 1964. The club would play their home games at Woodville's home ground, Woodville Oval, and use the West Torrens Eagle emblem. The new club proved immediately competitive, and won their first premiership in 1993.

In accepting the Thomas Seymour Hill Trophy for the first time for the Eagles, captain Peter Schwarz jubilantly proclaimed:

"This is a very sweet moment – the end result of two clubs that made a lot of tough decisions three years ago. This is for Woodville and for West Torrens. Now we are one club."

The club colours of blue, gold and green incorporate the club colours of West Torrens (blue and gold) and Woodville (green and gold). The Eagle logo of the West Torrens Football Club was adopted as the official emblem of Woodville West Torrens. It was also agreed that blue would be the primary colour of the merged club.

It took 27 years, but order was finally restored for SANFL clubs in the western suburbs in 1991.

By 2018, the Woodville-West Torrens Football Club officially surpassed Woodville's total existence as it entered its 28th SANFL season, and interestingly, the club's on-field record read very similar to that of West Torrens prior to Woodville entering the competition in 1964.

Woodville-West Torrens entered a team in the SANFL Women's League in 2019 and, as of 2021 SANFL season, are the only club to have never won a wooden spoon

Premierships

After having merged only 3 years prior, Woodville-West Torrens claimed the Holy Grail of SANFL footy, The Thomas Seymour Hill Trophy, with a convincing 73-point victory over Norwood. It would, however, prove to be the Eagles only premiership success during 1994–2005 in which they lost 5 Grand Finals – 1994 to Port Adelaide and 2000, 2001, 2004 and 2005 all to Central District. After losing yet another Grand Final to their arch rivals in 2005, the Eagles bounced back and got their first premiership in 13 years, and after 6 attempts, with a thumping 76-point victory over the Bulldogs.

In 2011, the Eagles became the only club since the turn of the century to defeat Central District in two grand finals, with a thrilling 3-point win – 81 to 78 on 9 October 2011. The Eagles went in as the underdogs but coach Michael Godden (in only his second year with the team and in a senior coaching position) believed his Eagles could overcome the Dogs.

Ruckman Craig Parry was named the Jack Oatey Medalist for Best on Ground for 2011.

Godden became the third coach to win a Premiership for Woodville-West Torrens, following Bruce Winter (1993) and Ron Fuller (2006). He became the second to win one at his first attempt (Winter 1993).

The Eagles became the first side to win the Premiership from a Qualifying Final loss since Sturt did so in 1976, and the only club in the competition to have won Premierships in each of the last 3 decades.

In 2015 the Woodville West Torrens Football Club celebrated their 25th season in the SANFL, and dominated the competition in U/18s, Reserves and League, taking out each Minor Premiership (the only club to ever do so) dropping just 4 games across all 3 grades throughout the minor round season. The league team with a 16–2 record from their 18 games.

Each club progressed straight through to their respective Grand Finals, and the Reserves completed a remarkable undefeated season (first team to do so since West Torrens in 1919) to take out their 8th flag. Unfortunately the League team were dealt with 3 major season ending injuries in their 2nd semi-final victory, ripping out their engine room including Magarey Medal Runner-up and eventual 2015 Club Champion Angus Rowntree, as well as number 1 ruckman Marc Borholm and former Reserves Magarey Medalist Angus Poole.

It proved too much to cover for the Eagles in the Grand Final, falling short to West Adelaide by 30 points. The U/18s also lost their decider.

It was a bitterly disappointing end for Michael Godden and his men after a near perfect season, cruelled by injury at the final hurdle.

The Jade Sheedy Era & Back-to-Back

Before the start of the 2020 SANFL season, the club hired a new coach: former Sturt premiership player and Magarey Medalist Jade Sheedy. In Sheedy's first year in charge, the club finished minor premiers and advanced to the 2020 SANFL Grand Final where the club overcame North Adelaide by 39 points to win their first premiership in 9 years. This was the first premiership against North Adelaide. West Torrens had previously played North Adelaide in the 1949 SANFL Grand Final.

During the 2021 SANFL season, the Eagles finished 2nd behind minor premiers Glenelg who had lost only one game all season. They defeated Glenelg in the 2021 SANFL Grand Final by a margin of 67 points to claim their 5th premiership and became only the second team all year to defeat Glenelg. In doing so, the club went back-to-back for the first time in their history. Not even West Torrens had managed the feat previously.

West Torrens won 4 Premierships pre-1991, in 1924, 1933, 1945 and 1953.

Player Development

In 2011, a study commissioned by the AFL identified Woodville-West Torrens as the most effective developer of AFL talent in the country.[3] From 1998–2010, the Eagles had 19 selected at the AFL Draft.

Notable AFL Listed Players

Club details

Formed: 1990
League History: SANFL League 1991–
Colours: Blue & Green with Gold Eagle.
Nickname: The Eagles
Current Coach: Jade Sheedy
Current Captain: Luke Thompson
Home Ground: Woodville Oval (1992–)
Alternative Facilities: 2 or 3 night home games per year are played at Thebarton Oval (Former home of West Torrens) which is also the club's pre-season base.
Previous Grounds: Football Park (1991–1992)

Club song

The Woodville-West Torrens Football Club song is called "We're the mighty flying Eagles" and is to the tune of The Battle Hymn of the Republic

(Verse)

We're the mighty Eagles
And we always battle through
The mighty flying Eagles
Wearing Gold and Green and Blue
Sound the Siren, turn us loose
And watch the Feathers fly
And you'll see what we can do

(Chorus)

We're the mighty flying Eagles
We're the mighty flying Eagles
We're the mighty flying Eagles
In Gold and Green and Blue

(Home Run)

In Gold and Green and Blue

Coaches

italics current coach
* Premiership Coach

Captains

italics current captain
* Premiership Captain (Justin Cicolella was acting captain for the 2006 Premiership)

Current playing list

Senior list Coaching staff
  • 1 Jesse Lonergan
  • 2 Jimmy Toumpas
  • 3 Jake Comitogianni
  • 4 Jake Johansen
  • 5 Jared Petrenko
  • 6 Luke Thompson
  • 7 Nick Hayes
  • 8 Tom Gray
  • 9 Rhyan Mansell
  • 10 Chris Hall
  • 11 Jake Weidemann
  • 12 Jack Hayes
  • 13 Ethan Haylock
  • 14 Nick Moore
  • 15 Louis Sharrad
  • 16 James Rowe
  • 17 Jackson Lee
  • 18 Luke Beecken
  • 19 Liam Buxton
  • 20 Jake Westbrook
  • 21 Jordan West
  • 23 Jordan Foote
  • 24 Sam Rowland
  • 25 Tom Schmusch
  • 26 Mitch Mead
  • 27 Pierce Seymour
  • 28 Jacob Wehr
  • 29 Matthew Goldsworthy
  • 30 Zane Williams
  • 31 Isacc Brill
  • 32 Ryan Bruce
  • 33 Damien Hill
  • 34 Lachlan Jones
  • 35 Joseph Sinor
  • 36 Harrison Morgan
  • 37 Kai Pudney
  • 38 Will McPherson
  • 39 Jack Firns
  • 40 Tristian Carcuro
  • 41 Sam Michael
  • 42 Rory Lehmann
  • 43 Connor McLeod
  • 44 Jake von Bertouch
  • 45 Patrick Giuffreda
  • 46 Aron Asfaha
  • 47 Ben Jungfer
  • 48 Lachlan Hoile
  • 49 Ryan Langcake
  • 50 Shaun McNeilly
  • 51 Lachlan McNeil
  • 52 Angus Poole
  • 53 Luke Barnett
  • 54 Deakan Jackson
  • 55 Jarrad Redden
  • 56 Dale Pearce
  • 57 Jamie Coff
  • 58 Rupert Peake

Head coach



Legend:
  • (c) Captain(s)
  • (vc) Vice captain(s)



Honours

Club achievements

Premierships
Competition Level Wins Years Won
SANFL Seniors 5 1993, 2006, 2011, 2020, 2021
Reserves 9 1992, 1993, 2000, 2001, 2004, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2020
Under 19s (1937–2008) 3 1996, 1998, 2000
Under 17s (1939–2008) 4 1993, 1998, 1999, 2000
Under 18s (2009–present) 5 2012, 2013, 2018, 2019, 2021
Under 16s (2010–present) 0 Nil
Other titles and honours
Stanley H Lewis Trophy Multiple 7 1993, 2000, 2013, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2020
SANFL Night Series Senior 2 1993, 1994
Finishing positions
SANFL Minor premiership 8 1993, 1994, 2000, 2006, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2020
Grand Finalists 12 1993, 1994, 2000, 2001, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2011, 2015, 2016, 2020, 2021
Wooden spoons 0 Nil
SANFL Women's League Minor premiership 0 Nil
Grand Finalists 0 Nil
Wooden spoons 1 2021

League placings

Magarey Medallists

Fos Williams Medallists

Presented to best on ground for South Australia in a State match

Jack Oatey Medallists

Presented to best on ground in an SANFL Grand Final

Reserves Magarey Medallists

Tomkins Medallists (U/19's)

McCallum-Tomkins Medallists (U/18's)

Bob Lee Medallists

Presented to best on ground in an SANFL Reserves Grand Final

Alan Stewart Medallists

Presented to best on ground in an SANFL U/18's Grand Final

Ken Farmer Medallists (SANFL Leading Goalkickers)

Bob Quinn Medalists

Presented to best on ground in an ANZAC Day match (Grand Final replay)

R.O. Shearman Medalists

Presented to best SANFL player as voted by League coaches

Best and Fairest

Life Governors

The highest individual honour that is bestowed by the club

Club records

Home Grounds

The Woodville-West Torrens Eagles first home ground was SANFL league headquarters Football Park in their inaugural season of 1991. In 1992 the new club moved permanently to the Woodville Oval (former home of the Woodville Warriors). Due to Woodville Oval also being the home of the Woodville Cricket Club who play in the South Australian Grade Cricket League, the Eagles use West Torrens' former home ground Thebarton Oval as their pre-season training base. Thebarton, which had lights installed for night games since the 1950s (the lights were upgraded in 2011–12), is occasionally used as an alternative playing venue for the club, with the team having played a handful of games at the venue since 2006.

References

  1. ^ "27 Oct 1896 - FOOTBALL. - Trove".
  2. ^ "20 Mar 1897 - FOOTBALL. - Trove".
  3. ^ afl.com.au
  4. ^ SANFL – History of the Woodville-West Torrens Football Club