Founders A. Villanova Snr, B. Steele, R.G. Okely, C. Darch, N. Duffy
The Club was founded in 1947 & was then known as the Wanneroo Sportsman’s Club, being a combination of football, basketball & tennis. In 1948 the Club became known as the Wanneroo Football Club & played football on a social basis until it affiliated with the South Midlands Football Association in 1956. Wanneroo finished in the four in each year whilst playing in the S.M.F.A and in 1959 their most successful year, were runners up to Hearne Hill.
Ray Okely coached the side from 1956 to 1961 and in 1957 Ray was awarded the Fairest & Best (The Sunday Times Medal) in the S.M.F.A.
In 1960 the Club decided to affiliate with the Sunday National Football League, which was reputed to be the strongest competition outside the W.A.N.F.L. In their first year (1960) Wanneroo with a team with an average age of 19 years, under coaching of Ray Okely, finished in fifth position and in 1961 played in the finals.
In 1962 the team with Tom (Jumbo) James as coach, played in the Grand Final against North Perth and unfortunately went down by 2 points. North Perth disbanded the following year and their players joined Wanneroo. Bob Southern, Terry Robinson, Barry Emby, Bob Ring and the Carstairs brothers were a few players of mention to join Wanneroo. The following year until 1968 were topsy-turvy and the club finished down the ladder.
1968. We saw the appointment of former West Perth & state player Joe Fanchi. With sound recruiting Wanneroo went from last on the ladder to the top, but unfortunately the team was hit by injuries in the finals and after losing the second semi by 5 points and the preliminary final by 6 points the Club finished in 3rd spot.
1969. The year of our first premiership, Wanneroo downs arch rivals Osborne Park in a hard slugging affair; I think that’s how the headlines read. Joe Fanchi was the Lord Mayor of Wanneroo for the week. The Club recruited soundly that year and one player of mention who has gone from strength to strength, Ian McCulloch, now playing with the East Perth Club. With McCulloch, Madden & Brakyovich on the ball Wanneroo stormed home in the last quarter and ran out winners by 10 points.
We were then known as the Warriors. 1969 turned out to be a very good year for the club the league side as you know were Premiers, Reserves, R/up beaten by Metropolitans who were top team through the season. The finals in those days were played at the WACA. The reserves played a part in the finals for the next 2 years.
Our home games were played at Wanneroo show grounds and after games entertainment and drinks were held in our tin shed out the back many a good tune was rendered helpless out there
1970. After losing many top players through retirement and League recruiting Wanneroo faced a difficult year. However, the true Club spirit was evident and the Club was unfortunate in missing the four by percentage.
In 1970 it was suggested that those who wanted to go and could afford it, a trip to Singapore was planned and carried out
1971. The Club under the guidance of Joe Fanchi reached the finals and finished in 3rd position at the end of the qualifying rounds. Our Fairest & Best Geoff Watt created a record win in the “Steele” medal award.
1972. Through the loss of many players, including Geoff Watt who joined Perth Football Club, 1972 was a difficult year for the “Roos”. With a tight budget and recruiting limited because of large match payments offered by opposition clubs our coach Terry Robinson had little to work with and consequently the team finish down the ladder.
1973. We saw the return of an old coach Joe Fanchi and an enthusiastic assistant in Dennis Cometti. A mid season slump cost us a position in the finals, just missing the four by percentage.
1974. A very unlucky year for the Club, 12 minutes to go and the premiership is ours and then it happened. A couple of glaring mistakes by the central umpire and the flag slip’s through our fingers. We must pay tribute to our coach Bob Howat. A disastrous start to the season losing the 1st three games, nevertheless, the players & Bob stuck to their task and finished full of running to finish in 2nd spot.
1975. A premiership year for the Club. Under the astute coaching of Bob Howat the team brushed all opposition aside & won the Clubs 2nd flag. Crushing Midland in the second semi final by 42 points. Then defeating Osborne Park by 20 points in the Grand Final. A special mention to Peter Curley who was awarded the H.E Graham Medal for his tenacious display in the Grand Final.
1976. 1976 will be regarded as the year that the Club has come of age. Wanneroo did extremely well to make the 2nd spot on the ladder because the Club had a most unlucky year with injuries. It was only the strength of the Reserves team that saw the topside through, however it was at the expense of their own performances. The Reserves team did not make the finals but showed admirable Club spirit in trying their hearts out with sub standard teams and did perform well at times.
Off the field the Club has come of age as the progress of a new oval and its own licensed premises has now become a reality. The Wanneroo Shire has graciously given the go ahead & a new ground is already being developed for the Club at the Kingsway Sporting Complex. One could not give enough praise to the Shire for its untiring efforts in seeing that the Club is catered for. They must surely rank as one of the most progressive & farsighted Shires of all time.
1977. Runners Up. Steven Arnott took over as the coach of the club and despite losing four of the first five games; Wanneroo played Osborne Park in the Grand Final but went down by 2 points.
1978. League & Reserves Premiers. With Peter Burton at the helm Wanneroo begin their reign as the “SUPER ROO’S”. Burton & reserves coach Reg Hampson took their teams through to win the unique League & Reserves Premiership.
1979, 1980, 1981 & 1982. Greg Brehaut began his four-year term with Wanneroo and took the League to four consecutive Premierships under his guidance. In 1980 & 1981 Wanneroo again completed the League & Reserves double. 1982 the League was again successful. (NB: 1981 – 2001, Rob Steel’s 1st year at club – 350 games played)
1983. League Premiers. When many name players left the Club most critics wrote Wanneroo off as premiership contenders. New coach Stuart Hillier has taken Wanneroo to their 10th consecutive Grand Final appearance. Full forward Steve Finch ended the season as top goal scorer. Wanneroo Reserves team won the preliminary final to reach the grand final.
1984. Runners Up 1st year in the Sunday Football League Vs Kalamunda would have surpassed the Guinness Book of records for most consecutive grand finals & wins.
1985. Saw the introduction of the Final 5, Wanneroo just missed out and finished 8th along side 3 other sides on equal points.
1986. Losing the first semi saw the end of a solid year, ending the season 4th on the ladder.
1987. Ian McCulloch formally of East Perth & Fitzroy also a playing member of the 1st ever grand final team winners for Wanneroo in 1969. The team made the Preliminary Final going down to Maddington, ending the season 3rd. (NB: Darren Chapman’s 1st year at the club – 243 games played)
1988. The team only lost the last game of the season to Osborne Park by a point, then going on to win the grand final against Maddington by 16 points, after being down 14 points with ten minutes to go kicking 5 straight goals to take out a memorable win. The day was marred by numerous reports.
1989. Former South Fremantle/State of Origin player Gavin Carter took over the helm as playing coach, Gosnells paying big time to buy a premiership ended up doing just that; Wanneroo – League Runner Up’s. Also Gosnells nearly went undefeated all year; they drew against Wanneroo in the 2nd semi going on to win the GF. (NB: Rod Gibson’s 1st year at club – 226 games played)
1990. Losing the elimination final to Maddington ending up 5th.
1991. Les Fong delivered 2 consecutive grand finals 1991 going into the history books with a 104 point victory in the Grand Final V’s Armadale and the 1st ever club to go unbeaten winning every game during the season & finals, League (Champions) & Reserves Premiers under Tom Floyd who backed up to play league for a memorable performance.
1992. What many had thought impossible after losing 13 players from the 1991 grand final side, we beat old enemy Osborne Park by 23 points at Lathlain Park to record a great victory – League Premiers
1995 & 1996. Peter (Chippers) Rogers one of all time “Favourite Sons” returned to take up the League Coaching job; with a lack of quality players a rebuilding of stock was needed. Chippers helped strengthen the club which was evident with the FIRST ever Colts grand final win, and a Reserves Grand Final win, the league narrowly missed out and ended up 6th in 1995
1996. Colts Premiers 1st for Club
1997. Ray Witt formally of Kelmscott came to the club with a good base of players to work with; Ray had an interesting style of coaching which helped the Reserves go to Premiers. Although his coaching came under scrutiny of many while at the club his many quotes like “by hook or by crook” still get bandied around till this day!
1998. Reserves Premiers
1999. Brian Close former player of Swan Districts had been coaching at Bassendean came to the club with good credentials, this came apparent within the next few years; with reaching the Prelimination final 2 years in a row.
2000. Colts Premiers
2005. This year Rod Gibson, John Berent & Wayne Molloy have done an enormous job in reshaping the club to be both financially viable and to be competitive on field. The appointment of Kevin Caton as senior coach was what the club needed both in discipline & respect for both the Club and the individuals in the team.
The support of the past players has had a tremendous positive impact with the playing stock of the club, thus at the half way mark into the season the Reserves & League are both 4 wins -3 loses.
2006. Kevin Caton followed on from 2005, he set about restructuring the playing squad to be more streamline in it’s attack forward but falling short in the finals. The Colts at the club continued on their winning ways taking out the Grand Final in great fashion. The sad loss of Aubrey Ryder in a car crash was a loss felt by all in the club and community. Also the passing of Tom “Jumbo” James late in the season was a huge loss to the past players and the club, Jumbo was a past player & coach in the 60’s and was also an Ex West Perth President who had a hand in relocating West Perth to the Arena. Brad Trpchev took out the Steel Medal making him a Triple winner of the award & the first since the 1950’s.
2007. After accepting the coaching job for a third year Kevin Caton resigned from the job just weeks before the season start, the player base that was around left for “greener pastures” leaving the club without a full strength squad. Gibbo & the committee had to make a decision to leave the Sunday Football League and drop into Mercantile League also a Sunday based league, it was made knowing full well that the future of the club was more important than remaining in the Sunday League.
A Special General Meeting was called to look at the viability of the club and its future direction, a decision to apply for a team to be included in Amateurs in 2008 was reached and a steering committee was formed and a formal application was made. We got stonewalled by outside interests within the Community Football League but once more paperwork was provided the application got the nod in October of 2007.
The club is adamant that it can sustain both a Sunday presence and Amateur present well into the future. With Landsdale Juniors officially relocating to Kingsway in 2008 it will certainly be a club of strength in just a few years, with over 430 players in 2007 and the area growth expected the future of Wanneroo Football Club name based at Kingsway is assured.
Greg Hough stepped up to coach the side after Kevin stepped down, Greg approach to the game was just what the players needed “Structure”, Jason Lewis Joined him as assistant coach and Ron Treenfield and Mick Lewis senior were the men behind the coaching staff.
2007 was to be a Premiership season after the boys beat Midland by 19 points at Robinson Reserve, as always the boys celebrated well into the week!!!
AGM in December was Rod Gibson final AGM as president, the main topics was the renaming of the club to Kingsway Football Club, acceptance of the new joint jumper that was designed by both clubs and is currently in use by Landsdale under 17’s. New constitution to make sure the club reflects all the affiliated clubs now officially under the banner of the Kingsway Football & Sporting Club.
At the moment the club directly has under its financial umbrella, Bingo, Cricket, Superoos Dart Club, West Coast Darts Association.
All affiliated Clubs under this umbrella are helped financially to help them prosper at Kingsway increasing revenue for the Football Club throughout the year. They still remain independent clubs with their own committees and financials; they have “no voting rights” at the Kingsway Football & Sporting Club AGM.
Landsdale Rockets stay as an independent body with full use of facilities and oval usage after senior team allocations; they have full membership rights to the premises with “no voting rights” at the Kingsway Football & Sporting Club AGM.
Steering Committee interviewed coaches in October and Appointed Ex West Perth player and past Wanneroo Kingsway player Jamie Wynne who had been coaching at Coolbinia West Perth for the last 3 years. Greg Hough premiership coach from 2007 moved over to Saturday’s for the Reserves job and Jason Lewis has taken on the job with the Mercantile (Sunday) team along with Gavin Willey.
The Club in 2007 went on a controlled spending spree with only “one team” Jayson Bennett & Gibbo had a streamline sponsorship approach that increased the sponsorship enough to alleviate the financial restraints that seemed to pop up at the start of each year.
With the last 2 years with Cricket and Darts under the financial umbrella of the club we increased our summer turnover that previously was in the red, with the extra injected funds the club proceeded to upgrade the clubrooms with the introduction of new chairs and tables, new permanent stage and new lighting throughout the main room, more spending is underway with the help of affiliated clubs to replace carpets in 2008 (finally)
At the AGM it finally showed that the restructuring Gibbo & the committee started in 2001 is paying off with a healthy budget that is sustainable well into the future.
Whether you like the name change or the new joint jumper or the restructuring that had to occur! The club wont loose it history or it status, they will only be lost if you as a past player or supporter don’t continue to turn up to the club and support the current players.
2008. Well after many meetings over the last 6 years as president Gibbo finally got to see the City of Wanneroo sign off the Lease which had been scrutinised by many. To be fair – Shane Spinks & Murray Sparks & Mark Pritchard who sat down 5 years ago with Gibbo and Norm Bazzo to start negotiations have been very supporting of the club and it’s sometimes immovable position with certain clauses within the Lease.
New president Jayson Bennett with David Cooper, Mike Gray & Trish Kinnimont signed off on behalf of the club with Rod Gibson watching over proceedings.
More to come………………