20 years ago the South Australian Women’s Football League was born, thus enabling for the first time an opportunity for women to play Australian Rules Football competitively. And so it goes with the leagues inception in 1991, so too was the Hectorville Football Club – the club Greenacres Women would ultimately arise from. Hectorville went on to play in 8 Grand Finals from 1991 to 1999 and enjoyed lengthy dominance and success, with premierships in 1994 and 1995.
In 2000, Hectorville Football Club moved to Prospect Oval taking on the North Adelaide name, colours and uniform. The Roosters claimed both the 2000 and 2001 Premierships, and contested a Grand Final in 2003 – continuing a winning tradition.
However, as successful the early years between Hectorville and North Adelaide would be remembered for, there would be a dry patch in 2005 as the former club was once again forced to realign – this time with Greenacres. The period between 2005 – 2007 was a particularly trying time for the club, battling week in to week out for survival. Although these years were steeped heavily in hardship and adversities, it would be these very tribulations that would define the Dragon character as fierce, determined – “battlers” and played true in every sense of the clubs motto “Nuncum Victus” – Never Beaten.
Always remembering its past, Greenacres Women's Football Club would not be the club it is today, without the combined founding and pioneering strength of the Hectorville and North Adelaide Football Clubs. To this day Greenacres still has a close strong affiliation with North Adelaide, and original players from Hectorville.
In 2005, Deb O’Reilly was appointed the inaugural Dragon’s women’s coach, and along with a handful of foundation players, strived valiantly to keep the club afloat. Special mention must also be made to men’s club legends, Lloydie & Fester and President of the time Chris Nicholas – whose keen participation on the training track and off field will always be fondly remembered. As a result, Greenacres early years between 2005 and 2006 were largely formative and developmental seasons, with a heavy focus on recruiting and club promotion. During 2005 the Dragons would fail to record a single victory, and future hard work and commitment were required for the clubs very survival.
Nick Cornell “Space” - a long times Men’s player for the Dragons, took the head role from 2006. Under his guidance, the club finally recorded their first win, a victory over Port Adelaide at home mid season.
The 2007 season started off rocky with a mid year swap of coaches, this time with the help of State coach Steve Baxter, joining the Dragons as head coach along with John Leicester. This combined duo helped ignite the awakening of the Dragon. Managing to climb the ladder swiftly and for the first time, securing a place in the SAWFL Grand Final. With the premiership within grasp, the Dragons fell short by a 3 point deficit, however making a grand final alone, capped the Dragons rapid rise – and created a fear and rumble heard within the league.
2008 saw the Greenacres Football Club make the Grand Final for the 2nd year in a row. Whilst still considered under-dogs, the pressure appeared all too much and reflected with another loss to the Eagles – who were fast becoming their arch nemesis. Whilst still unable to steal premiership glory, the year was as a whole was solid and saw for the first time a Greenacres player take out honours as the Leagues Best & Fairest.
From the days of 200 point thrashings, to the rounding up of mothers in jeans - just to field a side, the Dragons had come along way. By 2009 the club was moving places and was a year that saw the unimaginable happen. In fitting form against the undefeated Eagles, the Dragons captured their first premiership. It was a proud moment in the clubs history, a premiership that will forever be remembered and for future years chased. The year and the flag was just a reminder that things in life are possible, however not without hard work, determination, risk and foremost – perseverance.
The next few years would see the club grow stronger and stronger, reaching multiple Grand Finals and capturing the flag again in 2013 under the guidance of coach John Leicester and President Jenny Slack. A great year for our club.
The next two years saw us go through another two great coaches in long time player Lia Sioukas taking over for the season and Lloyd Rigny coming back out to support us again in the coaching role for 2015. With the connection Lloydy gave us to our men's teams, 2015 and continued onto 2016 saw Greenacres football club embrace the 'one club' culture between men's and women's football at a whole new level.
Now with the 2017 season apon us, we are continuing with our 'one club' culture and getting ready for an exciting new season, with Women's AFL around now there is much more publicity and much more support in the sport. Keep updated with the latest news on our club by joining our Facebook Page or following the Latest News section of this website.
With the Dragon spirit - never one to back down to a challenge - the future will be bright for a team that strives to be “Nuncum Victus”... "Never Beaten"!