THE Evandale Football Club will mark 125 up and down years on Saturday when the Eagles launch their 2017 campaign.
The Northern Midlands club was formed in 1892 and played their first game against a team of workers from The Examinercalled The Examiner Juniors, before becoming affiliated with the newly formed Esk Association in 1929.
Their maiden premiership came in 1933 and two more followed in 1955 and 1958.
Evandale’s most successful period was undoubtedly the 1970s – winning three senior flags and the reserves playing in eight grand finals for seven wins.
Hugh Boyd coached the seniors to victory in 1970, John Deckers in 1974 and John Jones in 1977.
After the Esk Association merged with the Deloraine Association to form the Esk-Deloraine Association, premierships in 1992 coached by Monty Grima and 1993 coached by Geoff Skeggs followed along with six more reserve success stories.
A rough patch for the club come after joining the NTFA with their only flag a reserves on in 2000.
From the turn of the century to 2010 Evandale’s seniors won 33 games at an average of 3.3 per year. The Eagles lost to Lilydale in the 2012 decider but added to their reserves collection.
Club stalwart Michael Rigby said Evandale in the past five years had grown from two teams to now running an Auskick program and adding women’s Weagles teams.
“Over the 125 year journey we’ve been lucky to have the volunteers that have made our club what it is today,” Rigby said.
“We’re a strong, proud club where we pride ourselves on making everyone feel welcome.”
He invited all past and present players, sponsors and supporters the this year’s season launch on Saturday at the Evandale Memorial Hall from 6pm with guest speakers including Tasmanian Football Council general manager Jackson Hills, NTFA president Ian Morrison and NTJFA president Dale Frazer.
Eagles veteran Gary Colgrave, legend Tommy Maloney and 1974 Esk Association best and fairest Doug Sing will be among those in attendance.
“The camaraderie we had back in the 60s and 70s was great and we are still best mate to this day – about 50 years later,” Maloney said.
Sing added: “We still support the club as much as we can because we had such good time when we were there, it is good to see them going alright again”.
- WHAT: Evandale Football Club 125th year season launch.
- WHEN: Saturday, from 6pm.
- WHERE: Evandale Memorial Hall.
- COST: $10 per person.