The Club without a town …
Approximately 24,000 applicants from Victoria and New South Wales took part in the Brookong Land Ballot of 2nd February 1900 for 45 Blocks. These people wanted to start a new life of farming, south of the township of Lockhart.
The new community around Gum Holes Creek came together and organised a social game of football against Lockhart. This team was called ‘Napier South’.
The game was played on some cleared land on Fraser’s farm near the present day Uniting Church. Even though Napier South only scored one goal, they thought it was a good attempt against a regular team from Lockhart.
Names of players in that first social game were Frank Hallahan, Dinny Lane, Walter Yates, Matt Hehir, Moss Gorman, the Gleeson’s, the Mansell’s, O’Connell, B McIsaac, F D’Able, Bill Davenport, August Schneider, Charles Douglas, Tom and Gordon Carn, R Hensley, David Kelly, Jim Banfield and Jack Swannell.
So began a football club in a farming district …
In 1901 Napier South fielded a team in the Line Football Association, a four team competition (including Lockhart, The Rock, Milbrulong and Napier South). The team finished bottom of the ladder, only winning two games for the season. 1902 saw Napier South finish premiers of the Line Association, and in 1903 there was no competition due to the drought. 1904 Napier South won their second premiership playing in the Milbrulong and District Football Association. In 1905 another change of association to the Lockhart Football Association and another premiership in a play off, Napier South 2.5 (11) defeating Boree Creek 0.6 (6).
The team wore jumpers of Black and Gold hoops with a Gold collar from 1901 – 1929.
Over the next few years in the Lockhart Football Association there would be premierships in 1908 and 1911. During the war years of 1914 – 1918, no football was played, although social games were organised and the proceeds went to the repatriation of returned soldiers. In 1915 the Gum Holes School was granted a change in name to Osborne, so when the football club reformed in 1919, after the war, it became Osborne Football Club.
The ‘Roaring Twenties’ saw the football club play in the Urangeline and District, Pleasant Hills and District, Osborne and District and Lockhart Lines competitions. During this time Osborne Football Club won six premierships in succession, from 1922 – 1927, were runners up in 1928 and premiers again in 1929. The location of the football ground was on Moss Gorman’s property (now owned by Roger Schneider).
A change of jumper and a change of association to The Rock and District occurred in 1930. The new jumper was Black with a Gold ‘V’ and Gold collar. This was due to the Mangoplah colours being Blue and Gold hoops. Premierships were won in 1937 and 1938.
The football field was just a clearing with cut pine trees as posts and super bags were used for change facilities and toilets - no shed or other facilities.
The 1940’s were tough years due to World War II. After winning the premiership in 1940, no football was played from 1941 – 1944. With the war almost over in 1945, clubs began to reassemble and a temporary league known as Milbrulong and District was formed. Participating teams were Osborne, Mittagong, Yerong Creek, Milbrulong, The Rock and Lockhart. Osborne was runners-up in three consecutive years 1945, 1946 and 1947. In 1949 the Milbrulong and District League became the Central Riverina National Football League.
During the 1950’s, the Osborne Football Club played in five grand finals, winning in 1950, 1957 and 1958 and being runners-up in 1951 and 1955. A Reserve Grade or Second Eighteen team was introduced in the late 1950’s.
1960 saw a change in Guernsey to Black with a Gold sash, front and back and the Club fielded First and Second Grade teams in the CRNFL. Only one premiership was won during this time – 1961. The Club applied to join the Hume League in 1965 and 1968, only to be unsuccessful.
Approval to join the Hume League was finally granted in December 1969 when the Eastern Riverina and Joint Appeals Board upheld the appeal of the Central Riverina League’s refusal to grant Osborne and Boree Creek’s clearance to the Hume League.
With great enthusiasm the Club entered the Hume League in 1970 fielding a First Grade and a Juniors team, and two grades, A and B, of basketball in the Hume Basketball Association.
The 1970’s were lean years for the Football Club with the First Grade team failing to play in any grand finals, although the Juniors were runner-up in 1973. The Reserve Grade competition was introduced in 1976.
In 1981, under coach Wayne Styles, the Club played in its first grand final in the Hume League. Unfortunately, they were defeated by Walla Walla. The first premiership in the Hume League came in 1985 when Osborne defeated Henty in the Grand Final 16.11 (107) to 13.10 (88).
The formation of the Osborne Thirds in 1982 and the Fourth Grade in 1984, was to mark the beginning of the success of the Osborne Football Club. The Under 17’s won premierships in 1985 and 1987, and were runners-up in 1982 and 1984.
The 1990’s saw the Osborne Football Club become “the powerhouse of the Hume League” with the First Grade team playing in eight grand finals. Premierships resulted in 1991, 1992, 1994, 1995, 1998, and the most memorable, the one-point win over Lockhart in the 1999 Grand Final. The Club was runner-up in 1993 and 1997.
A new century saw the Club continue with success and celebrate its Centenary in July 2001. Premierships were won in 2000, 2001, 2005, 2006 and 2009, 2012 and runners-up in 2002, 2004, 2007 and 2008. During this period, the Reserve Grade team won premierships in 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2008, and 2016 with the Under 17’s being Premiers in 2005, 2013, 2014 and 2015 and the Under 14’s in 2003, 2011 and 2012.