Supplied by Lawrie Canning (Club Historian) (Updated Nov 2020)
Beaconsfield Football Club History
On the 21 April 1890, at a public meeting held at Gissing’s Gippsland Hotel, Beaconsfield (now the Central Hotel), it was agreed to form a football club. A team representing the Town of Beaconsfield played a number of matches that year, the first against Cranbourne on the week ending 20 June 1890. This was held at the Beaconsfield ground, which was located in the centre of the racetrack adjacent to the Gippsland Hotel on the Princes Hwy. (Information courtesy of the Mornington Herald of that year; recently discovered information courtesy of the Dandenong Advertiser has confirmed this as the date when the event was reported on) . Cranbourne won that initial match 3.9 to 1.6 and the Beaconsfield team for that game was captained by Mr W Keating. The initial club secretary was Mr Mangen and the president Mr L.L.Smith M.P. In this initial game the team was referred to as the Yellow and Black men and the newspaper reported on the female supporters wearing these colours to support their team. A well known district name in the original Beaconsfield team was an Adamson and many of that family were represented in the football team during the first 70 years of the club’s history.
Beaconsfield then went on to play Berwick and Pakenham, and had return matches against these three clubs during 1890. The club did not win any of these “friendly” matches during this initial season. Details are very sketchy after this, but photos of Beaconsfield teams of 1909, 1926 & 1931 indicate that the club was competing during these early years playing in the Berwick Football Association and then the Beaconsfield & District Football Association. The 1909 team photo shows a number of the players wearing jumpers with a star in the centre and the team photo has the heading Beaconsfield Stars. A picture of young Beaconsfield footballers from the same era also shows them with jumpers with the star on them. In the Thirties the club played in the Dandenong & District Football Association against clubs as far flung as Pakenham, Gembrook, Clayton, Ferntree Gully and Belgrave. At this time the club's home ground was located just east of the Central Hotel with the racecourse bordering it.
After a recess during the war years, the club reformed in 1947 as Officer-Beaconsfield, competing in the Dandenong & District Football Association. In 1948 it reverted to the Beaconsfield Football Club playing at Beaconsfield Recreation Reserve, later known as Perc Allison Oval, and achieved its first premiership in 1953 when it defeated Keysborough in the B Grade Grand Final under Captain-Coach Mick Mears.In 1954 Beaconsfield was a foundation member of the South West Gippsland Football League, along with Rythdale-Cardinia, Cranbourne, Berwick, Tooradin-Dalmore, Narre-Hallam and Officer. It is interesting to note that in the initial year, the season only lasted from 1st May to the Grand Final on September 4th and a membership ticket at Beaconsfield was 10s (ten shillings).
Beaconsfield did not enjoy too much success in the 50's and 60's but the 70's saw them build up as a power. Premierships were achieved in 1974, 1980 and 1981(all under the late legendary Coach Jim Read, a member of St Kilda's only premiership). The club competed in 12 Senior final series over a 20 year period. Life Member Brian Southorn was a member of these three premierships, continuing the family tradition established by his father Dick Southorn, in the 1953 side.
In 1993 the club moved to the country atmosphere of the West Gippsland Football League and incorporated their U/15 & U/17 teams along with the revived Netball club into a busy family Saturday. The club enjoyed immediate success at Reserves and Junior team level but it had to wait until 1999 for their initial Senior premiership in West Gippsland under Coach Russell Rowe. It was followed up with another Senior premiership in 2001 when coached by Leigh Clifford. The club also won five Reserves, three U/17's & three U/15 premierships during this eight year period in the West Gippsland League.
A major VCFL restructure saw Beaconsfield join the Mornington Peninsula Nepean League in 2002 and Senior premierships were achieved in 2003/2004 under Leigh Clifford, as part of the Peninsula Division. The club is now part of the Casey Cardinia Division which closely resembles the area and clubs covered under the former South West Gippsland League, and won its first premiership in that division with the U/18's team in 2006.
The senior team returned to the finals after a 4 year absence in 2010 under Coach Austinn Jones who returned to Beaconsfield after a stellar AFL career, and a successful stint coaching Narre Warren & Gippsland Power. The club celebrated its 120th anniversary year in style with the Seniors, Reserves & U/18’s all making the Grand Final. The U/18’s were the only winners on the day, capping off an unbeaten season.
After 64 years at our home at Perc Allison Oval, the football club made the momentous move up the road to Holm Park Reserve in 2013, when state of the art facilities including 2 major ovals, enabled all of the club's teams to share the one great venue. Having played a wonderful season, the Seniors made the Preliminary Final and the club was hounoured to host that match.
The final year of the Casey-Cardinia FNL in 2014 saw Beaconsfield win its 9th Senior premiership against its first ever rivals in Cranbourne. The club then became part of the inaugural South East Football Netall League in 2015 featuring 9 clubs, and in 2016 fielded a women's senior football team that made the Grand Final in its first ever season.
Club great Scott Meyer achieved his fourth Senior Best & Fairest in a row while also taking out the League Best & Fairest (Norm Walker Medal) for the third time. The 2017 season saw the Beaconsfield Women's team premier in the South Eastern Division 2 competition, while our U/19's managed back-to-back premierships and our Seniors finished fourth.
Beaconsfield joined a new competition in 2019 known as AFL Outer East FNL. This comprised of 3 divisions made up of 7 teams from SEFNL and all 18 of the existing Yarra Valley MDFNL teams. Beaconsfield was in the Premier Division along with Berwick, Narre Warren, Cranbourne, Wandin, Woori Yallock, Epwey-Tecoma, Olinda-Ferny Creek and Healesville. Beaconsfield finished third with Narre Warren becoming the inaugural Premiers and our U/18's (Thirds) lost its Grand Final to Berwick.
Games Record Holder
Troy Cashman is the club's games record holder with 344 senior games along with 4 Senior premierships (1999, 2001, 2003, 2004). He also shares the record of 5 Senior Best & Fairest with Peter Smith.
In the initial match the Beaconsfield team was referred to as the Yellow and Black men but there is no description or evidence of the jumper design. The 1909 team photo shows a number of the players wearing jumpers with a star in the centre and the team photo has the heading Beaconsfield Stars. A picture of young Beaconsfield footballers from the same era also shows them with jumpers with the star on them. The team photos from the 1920’s show the players wearing a dark jumper with a sash but the colours are unknown. In the 1931 team photo the players are in a tri-coloured striped jumper. In the late 1940’s the club jumper was a royal blue with a gold Vee, and by the premiership year of 1953 this had changed to a royal blue jumper with a yellow BFC monogram. It then became royal blue and gold vertical stripes in the mid 1950's. The club changed to the Tiger's black with gold sash in 1965 when Richmond made two sets available as part of a player transfer deal. This stayed as the uniform for the rest of the club’s time in the South West Gippsland FL. The uniform had to change again when entering the West Gippsland League in 1993 and the club reverted to the royal blue and gold vertical stripes. The most recent change occurred in 2000 with the Navy, Gold & White West Coast Eagles jumper being adopted.
VFL/AFL Players League players to have graduated from the Beaconsfield club
Barry Allan (North Melbourne); Michael McKenna (Richmond/Footscray); Austinn Jones (St Kilda); Robert Taylor (Richmond); Chris Newman (Richmond); Brendan Fevola (Carlton), Shane Tuck (Richmond), Tomas Bugg (GWS/Melbourne), Aaron Siposs (St Kilda), Jimmy Magner (Melbourne), Tory Dickson (Western Bulldogs), Shane Boumann (Hawthorn), Levi Casboult (Carlton), Brandon White (St Kilda), Tom Jok (Essendon), Cody Weightman (Western Bulldongs) and Jake Aarts (Richmond).
The AFL Womens' launch in 2017 saw Ellie Blackburn drafted to the Western Bulldogs as a Marquee player and win their Best & Fairest in the inaugural season. Georgia Gee (Carlton) second AFLW graduate in 2018, Tylah Hanks (Melbourne) 3rd graduate in 2019 and Samantha Johnson (St Kilda) 4th graduate in 2020.
The club started up an U/13 team in 1968 through the efforts of John Bailey, and later Denis Griffin. They played against 4 other SWGFL teams in Berwick, Cranbourne, Rythdale-Cardinia & Narre-Hallam. These matches were played on a weekly basis and then, in 1972, a more formal competition involving all SWGFL teams was started up. This was known as the SWGJFL. At this stage Beaconsfield formed a separate Junior sub-committee to manage our teams in this competition. This expanded rapidly with the growth in the district and the club now fields 26 teams from U/8's through to U/17's, including 4 youth girls teams (created in 2013) of which 2 have won premierships.
1953 DDFA 1974 SWGFL 1980 SWGFL 1981 SWGFL 1999 WGFL
2001 WGFL 2003 MPNFL 2004 MPNFL 2014 CCFNL