BRIEF HISTORY OF THE PALMERSTON MAGPIES FOOTBALL CLUB
NTFL 1972-presentClub Patron:
Keith KempClub Address: Home Ground:
University Oval. Charles Darwin University, Palmerston Campus.Previous Names:
Internationals;1971-72: North Darwin;1972-95: North Darwin/Palmerston Magpies;1995-96: Palmerston Magpies;1997 - PresentColours:
Black and whiteEmblem:
1980/81, 2000/01, 2001/02.Nichols Medallists:
Ian Wallace 1977/78; Troy Lehman 1982/83;
Originally known as the Internationals, the club was formed in 1971 by a group which consisted primarily of soccer players intent on keeping fit during their off season. After showing some promise as semi-official members of the NTFL Reserves competition in the 1971/72 season the club was admitted to senior ranks the following year and changed its name to North Darwin.(*)
North Darwin approached Keith Kemp to be the Club Patron(a position he has held since 1971..) and adopted the playing strip of The Collingwood Football Club, maybe hoping that the success of the famous Magpies would set the stage for success within the local competition. Unfortunately the first couple of seasons, 1972/73 & 1973/74 were by no means, stand-out years for the developing Club and this was clearly shown by finishing at the foot of the NTFL ladder on both occasions. However, when the competition resumed following the devastation of Cyclone Tracy in 1974, North Darwin returned a remarkably different prospect. From 1975/76 through to 1980/81, the side took part in every single finals series reaching the Grand Final decider on 4 occasions. This golden era could be attributed largely to an astute recruiting drive with several high-profile southern players being added to the developing group of local players based in Darwin and surrounds. Of the 4 Grand Final appearances throughout this period, the first 3 were disappointing losses to the Darwin Buffaloes in 1975/76, St Marys in 1977/78 and again the Darwin Buffaloes in 1979/80 before finally breaking through with a win against the Wanderers in 1980/81 in what was a memorable finale to the season. After leading the match by an extraordinary 52 points at three-quarter time North Darwin managed to hold on by just 6 points at the final siren after Wanderers rallied throughout the frantic final quarter making this inaugural Premiership even more memorable for every player involved. Ian Smith was North Darwin's first ever Premiership coach. He also went on to coach the Darwin Buffaloes to their 22nd Premiership in 1988/89.
The Palmerston Magpies Football Club was borne initially from the re-location of the North Darwin Football Club to the city of Palmerston, south of Darwin in 1995/96. We were first known as North Darwin/Palmerston Magpies before dropping off the name of North Darwin to become the Palmerston Magpies Football Club in 1996/97.
The move to Palmerston paid almost immediate dividends with the appointment of Territory born ex-AFL star, and 1992/93 NTFL Premiership winning coach, Russell Jeffrey to the head coaching role. Jeffrey played for both St Kilda and Brisbane for a total of 50 AFL games, winning State selection for Victoria in 1990, the first Territory player to do so in the halcyon days of the State of Origin before returning to the Northern Territory. Not ignoring that, he has also represented the Northern Territory on 17 occasions over an illustrious playing career spanning more than 20 years.
In 1999/2000, the Magpies faced off against Waratahs in the season decider to fall short by 40 points but regrouped in 2000/01 to defeat the Darwin Buffaloes in what was the second Premiership earnt by the Black and Whites over their relatively short history. This became a preview for the following two seasons as the Magpies for the first time went back to back in 2001/02, defeating Nightcliff and again appearing in a fourth consecutive Grand Final, this time against the famed St Marys, only to be defeated by 11 points at the hands of the Damian Hale led Saints in 2002/03.