History

In any writings of the history of our proud club, the outstanding work of Noel Serong must be acknowledged.  Noel is a club legend having been a player, administrator and holding numerous other positions.  He has been the club newspaper scribe for years and has given thousands of hours in researching the history of the club.  Without Noel's unstinting efforts, the club's recorded history would be severley reduced.  On behalf of the club we thank Noel for his efforts and acknowledge that most of the information below comes from various reports or pieces that Noel has written and published over many years.  Noel's Book on the history of the Club in the twentieth century "Up the Rebels" is still available from the Club. 

Other sources of information have come from John and Mandy Westwood who have also spent many hours gathering data on past players and finding and restoring photos that add so much to the club's history.  Their efforts are greatly appreciated.

 

The Alexandra Football Club is over 120 years old, having celebrated it’s centenary in 1984 and during that time the Football Club has played a very important part in the culture of Alexandra, as do football clubs in any country town.

The first record that one can find of the club appears in the "Standard" of the 5th October 1883 which informs of a meeting of the 14th April at which the club was formed.  Although some training runs were held that year, no official matches were played until 1884.  The first inter-town game was to have been held against Darlingford (an old township to the east of Eildon but inundated with water when the first Eildon Weir was constructed) but was ultimately held against a Combined Team on Mr. Barnewall's property at Upper Thornton on the 20th September 1884

At times, Alexandra had two sides with the U.T. Creek as the dividing boundary.  Many shifty deals were allegedly done in coaxing players from one side to the other, leading to many protests which left feelings at times fairly tense.  Football has mostly been played at the Showgrounds but the direction used to be different with the goals at 90 degrees to their current position.

Most of the pre 20th century games were challenges or “friendlies” arranged by various leading young men of the town against the likes of Thornton, Mansfield, Yea, Jamieson and othersand it was not until 1902 that the Alexandra club competed in the newly formed Alexandra – Yea Association against clubs like Yea, Thornton, Yarck and Kanumbra. Even Johnson’s Creek, Marysville and Taggerty had sides, with some matches played on a Wednesday afternoon.

Alexandra began playing at the Showgrounds in front of the newly constructed grandstand in 1905 (which stood until the 1970's). Teams came and went and football was hardly played at all in some years. After the Great War the Alexandra – Yea Association resumed with five teams with Eildon now fielding a team.Alexandra were runners-up in 1920, ‘21 and ’22 before winning the premiership in 1923 and 1925.

Alexandra first wore the red, white and black colours and entered the Waranga F.A. in 1927 and were runners up in 1930. They also entered a team (Alexandra Rovers) in a lesser more local competition. Alexandra’s first Waranga premiership came in 1931against Nagambie at Broadford. Special trains were scheduled to carry the locals there and back. Rail travel was the normal method to get to the games “down the line”.

In 1936 Alexandra withdrew from the Waranga and the two Alexandra teams played against each other in the local competition. This continued until 1939 when Alexandra was premier with Bill Wearne captain and the outbreak of the Second World War. Football resumed locally in 1946 but Alexandra did not re-enter the Waranga until 1947.Alexandra’s most successful era began with a premiership in ’52 under coach Jack Cotter followed by thee under Ian Alexander ’56, ‘60,and ’62 also losing the grand final in ’53 and ‘65.Alexandra remained in the Waranga until it’s demise in 1976 then played in the Yarra Valley Mountain District League for the next 9 years with the only success in 1980 (second division)

Alexandra joined the Tungamah F.L. in 1986 where they played until 2005 although the composition and name of the league altered. Alexandra were moderately successful in this competition winning premierships under John Tossol in ’88 and George Steiner ’97 and 2000, whilst also reaching the grand final in ’87 and ’98. During this time Alexandra has had to field netball teams and has changed it’s name to the Alexandra Football and Netball Club. Alexandra had success in the netball and junior football in the latter years of that competition.

Alexandra then were directed to rejoin YVMDFL in 2006 and have won premierships in both football and netball in division two, culminating in a very successful 2008 and promotion to first division.

Alexandra have fielded many fine players over the years with the following winning the Leagues Best and Fairest Jim Bradley (3) ‘Drew Coller. Harry Dundas (Waranga) John Tossol (2) Andrew Walker, George Steiner (3) Michael Bretherton, Neil Oakley (2), Damien Toomey and Stephen Steiner  whilst others such as Alan Jane (3), Jack Butler, Ron Cummings, Eddie Jackson, Rob Fox, John Cameron,Peter McKenzie (6) John Wallace and Doug Cooper along with those above are multiple winners of the Club B&F.

Names of the past that appear regularly in match reviews but before B&F awards were introduced are Fred Kilpatrick, Roy Payne, Vic Johnson, Bill Parsons, Alan Dobson, Tom Barton, Len Kidd, Herb Fitzroy Bernie O’Brien, Ernie Mawhinney Ken Bell, Ted Stillman, Bert Payne, Les McGorlick, Cyril Archer, Lyn Stillman amongst many others.

The 1990's and 2000's saw club success ebb and flow with premierships followed by less successful on field years but with the one constant of being a great family based community club providing the opportunity for young men and women to enjoy the comradeship associated with teams of football and netball.  The club has continually been recognised with League awards for sportsmanship and can be proud of its administrators led by people like Ray and Julie Steyger, Kevin and Kath Hedger, Dave McLaurin, Brian Green, Hughie and Liz Kidd and others too numerous to mention, who continually put in thousands of voluntary hours to ensure that the club continues to function efficiently and holding true to the club's mission statement.

The 2010 AFL draft saw North Melbourne recruit Braydon Norris in a great moment for the club.  Braydon is the son of club legend Peter Norris and wife Anne and he played in our 2008 senior premiership as a 16 year old before playing at the Murray Bushrangers in 2009.  Peter played over 300 games with the club and coached our junior teams and inter-league teams for numerous years. The Rebels look forward to Braydon having a successful AFL career and know that he will provide an inspiration to other juniors in showing that with hard work, success can come, and that the Alexandra Football Club has the ability to help young men and women reach higher levels in their sporting pursuits.

As much as the past tells the story of our club, we look forward to the future and further success for the Mighty Rebels.