A year-by-year account of the Airport West Football Club.

 

1961

The club begins. Under 17 team registered with the EDFL 3 weeks before the start of 1961 season. The team, which mainly consisted of 14 year old boys,  was coached by Graham Hill and captained by John Griffiths.

Matches were played on the severely sloped ground now known as Etzel Street Oval.

The original Etzel Street change/clubrooms were built by our members using voluntary labour & donated building materials; although primitive by today’s standards, they were adequate & many a good time enjoyed in them by our members.

These rooms were located where the old playground adjacent to Etzel Street currently resides.

1962

9/5/1962 : the date of our first victory. The Essendon Gazette reporting “Young team has first ever win”. That team being our U/17s defeating Broadmeadows 7.9.51 to 5.5.35

We finished mid-table in our 2nd season. Team coached by Frank Stubberfield.

1963

Club’s first Senior team is established playing in EDFL ‘C’ Grade, coached by ex-Richmond player Kevin Hogan, finishing mid-table.

1964

Under 17s team make finals in their 4th season, coached by Frank Stubberfield.
Under 15s team established.

1965

Senior ‘C’ Grade team play finals, finishing Preliminary Finalists in the team’s 3rd season. Coached by Ron ‘Strutta’ Carlton.
Under 15s (Division 2) win Premiership – the club’s inaugral Premiership. Team dubbed “The Killer Crew”, coached by Neil Jordan.
Under 13s team established.

1966

Senior ‘C’ Grade team finish 2nd – Grand Finalists, coached by Ron ‘Strutta’ Carlton.
Ray Phair wins EDFL ‘C’ Grade Best & Fairest.
Under 15′s (Division 2) go back-to-back & win the Premiership; “Killer Crew” again coached by Neil Jordan.

1967

Senior Grade team promoted to ‘B’ Grade after proving competitiveness in previous two seasons of ‘C’ Grade.
Ray Phair wins his 2nd club Senior Grade Best & Fairest.

1968

Club commences playing home matches on the new ground off Clydesdale Road (now known as Hansen Reserve).
Council build upgraded pavilion used for the new ground.
Senior Reserves team established.
Mike Walsh wins EDFL U/13A Best & Fairest.

1969

Malcolm ‘Cal’ Griffiths, much loved past President & Secretary, retires. Cal was instrumental in the club’s creation & development in its formative years.

1970

Gary Thomas wins EDFL ‘B’ Grade Best & Fairest.
U/13C’s win Premiership, co-coached by Gary Thomas & Chris Trevillian.

1971

Senior ‘B’ Grade team finish 2nd – Grand Finalists, coach by Gary Thomas.
Gary Thomas wins EDFL ‘B’ Grade Best & Fairest (his 2nd).

1972

Senior ‘B’ Grade team finish 2nd – Grand Finalists for the 2nd season running. Coach Gary Thomas.
U/15B’s win Premiership, coached by John Swale.
Under 11s team established.
Alan Quinton wins EDFL U/15B Best & Fairest.

1973

Senior Grade team promoted to ‘A’ Grade after proving competitiveness in previous two seasons of ‘B’ Grade.

Gary Thomas deemed ineligible winner of the EDFL ‘A’ Grade Best & Fairest (leading vote getter) due to “professional status” ruling.

U/13C’s win Premiership, coached by Chris Trevillian.
Kevin Swale retires after completing his 5th season as President (1969 – 1973). Kevin was instrumental in club improvements such as first floodlights, original honour boards, liquor license, general facility upgrades and introducing professional management.

1974

Under 9s team established.
Club’s first honour board established.

1975

U/17B’s win Premiership, coached by Craig Mitchell.
U/13B’s win Premiership, coached by Robin Baker.
Stephen Toy wins EDFL U/13B Best & Fairest.

1976

Senior ‘A’ Grade make finals for the first time, finishing 3rd – Preliminary Finalists, coached by Ken Kirk.


A Reserves win Premiership – the club’s 1st Senior premiership, coached by Tom Mackley.
Senior 3rds team established playing in ‘C’ Grade.

1977

Senior ‘A’ Grade again finish 3rd – Preliminary Finalists, coached by Ken Kirk.
Vin Caddy wins EDFL ‘A’ Grade Best & Fairest.
Vincent Brown wins EDFL U/17A Best & Fairest.
Airport West & St.Christophers senior football clubs merge.

1978

Senior 3rds team win the ‘A3′ Premiership, coached by John Paxton.
U/9B’s win Premiership, coached by Alan Kane.
Gary Thomas wins EDFL ‘A’ Grade Best & Fairest, his 3rd EDFL B&F honour.
Gary Thomas wins his 3rd club Senior Grade Best & Fairest.
Laurie Trevillian completes his 5th & final season as President (1974 – 1978); one of Airport West’s finest volunteers.

1979

Stewart Laxton wins his 2nd club Senior Grade Best & Fairest.
Gary Thomas finishes on equal votes compared with the declared EDFL ‘A’ Grade B&F winner but loses on countback system in place at the time.
Richard Brown wins EDFL U/15A Best & Fairest.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1980

U/17A’s win Premiership, coached by Bruce Dillon.
Mark Thompson wins EDFL U/17A Best & Fairest.
Bruno Romeo wins EDFL U/15A Best & Fairest.

1981

Senior ‘A’ Grade team finish bottom and are relegated to ‘B’ Grade in subsequent season.
Ray Phair plays his 300th match, the 1st Airport West player to achieve this milestone.
Matthew Johnston wins EDFL U/14A Best & Fairest.
Craig Jones wins OPSL U/9 Best & Fairest.

1982

Alan Dykstra wins his 2nd club Senior Grade Best & Fairest.

1984

Senior ‘B’ Grade team finish 3rd – Preliminary Finalists, coached by Bill Brewer.
Anthony Brown wins EDFL ‘B’ Grade Best & Fairest.
Russell Jones wins EDFL U/16B Best & Fairest.
Joe Tornese kicks 115 goals in the U/18s, the first Airport West player to kick 100 goals in a season.

1985

Senior ‘B’ Grade win Premiership, coached by Bill Brewer.
Craig Mackley wins his 2nd club Senior ‘B’ Grade Best & Fairest.
Paul Spicer wins EDFL U/18A Best & Fairest.

1986

The club proudly moves into modern, new clubrooms located between Hansen Reserve & Etzel Street oval.
Seniors return to ‘A’ Grade, finishing 8th.

1987

Senior ‘A’ Grade team finish 2nd – Grand Finalists, coached by Greg Towns.

1988

Russell Jones wins EDFL ‘A’ Grade Best & Fairest.
Justin Tyas wins EDFL U/18B Best & Fairest.

1989

U/18B’s win Premiership, coached by Eddy Murray.
Craig Jones wins EDFL U/18B Best & Fairest.

1990

Seniors win the pre-season night competition, coached by Mark Duncan.
Darren Lambert wins EDFL ‘A’ Grade Best & Fairest.
Lindsay Wilson retires after completing his 10th season as President (1980 – 1981, 1984 – 1990).

1991

Senior ‘A’ Grade team finish 3rd – Preliminary Finalists, coached by Des English.
Glen Jones wins EDFL U/16A Best & Fairest.
Brendan Jacobson wins EDFL U/14B Best & Fairest.

1992

Senior ‘A’ Grade win Premiership, our first A Grade flag – the ultimate prize. Team coached by Des English.
Russell Jones wins EDFL ‘A’ Grade Best & Fairest (his 2nd).
Darren Lambert plays his 300th match.

1993

Senior ‘A’ Grade win Premiership, back-to-back flags. Team coached by Des English.
A Reserves win Premiership, coached by Andrew Wilson.
Colin Gould wins EDFL A Reserves Best & Fairest.
Anthony Brown plays his 300th match.
Wayne Kirk plays his 300th match.

1994

U/12C’s win Premiership, coached by Richard Divers.
Russell Jones wins his 3rd club Senior ‘A’ Grade Best & Fairest.
Ron McLean plays his 300th match.

1996

Ian Butler retires after completing his 6th season as President (1991 – 1996). ‘Mr Butts’ overseeing the most succesful era in the club’s history.
John Nyhus retires after completing his 10th season as Treasurer (1978-80, 1982-86, 1995-96), and volunteering in numerous roles over 3 decades.
Stephen Butler plays his 300th match.

1997

Paul Spicer plays his 300th match.

1998

Seniors win the pre-season night competition, coached by Cameron Wright.
Wayne Kirk plays his 400th match, the 1st Airport West player to achieve this milestone.

1999

Senior ‘A’ Grade team finish 2nd – Grand Finalists, coached by Cameron Wright.
Cameron Eaton wins his 2nd club Senior ‘A’ Grade Best & Fairest.
Owen Dominick is awarded the prestigious Victorian Metropolitan Football Association award for his services to football, due recognition for a lifetime of service to the Airport West FC.

2000

Craig Jones plays his 300th match.

2001

Airport West & St.Christophers junior football clubs merge.
Leigh Irons wins EDFL U/14B Best & Fairest.
Zach DePetro wins EDFL U/10B Best & Fairest.

2002

U/16B’s win Premiership, coached by George Massouridis.

2003

Senior ‘A’ Grade team finish bottom (winless) and are relegated to ‘B’ Grade in subsequent season.
Mathew Gatt plays his 300th match.

2004

U/18B’s win Premiership, coached by Michael Muscat.
U/16B’s win Premiership, co-coached by Gavin Rogers & Ian Townsend.
Angelo Gentile plays his 300th match.
U/16s player Matthew Muscat kicks 110 goals in the season.

2005

Angelo Gentile wins his 6th club Senior Grade Best & Fairest.
John Divers plays his 300th match.

2006

Entrances to the Hansen Reserve sporting complex renamed Trevillian Way and Butler Way in honour of two of the Airport West Football & Cricket
Club’s greatest volunteers, Laurie Trevillian & Ian Butler.

2008

U/10s (Division 2) win Premiership, coached by Simon Iles.
Ethan McShanag wins EDFL U/10s (Division 7) Best & Fairest.

2009

B Reserves win Premiership, coached by Chris Daley.
U/10s (Division 2) win Premiership, coached by Matthew Mullins.
John Roumeliotis wins EDFL U/10s (Division 2) Best & Fairest.

2010

Airport’s inkwell runs deep

IT is not hard to notice Airport West’s name with a quick glance through the Essendon District Football League’s clearance list.

While the early favourite’s tag for the premiership and promotion to A Grade probably sits on the shoulders of Pascoe Vale, the Eagles have been active in their own recruiting to ensure they too won’t be far away come finals time.

Coach Ron Rooney, in his first season at the club, has a long list of signings. Headlining the bunch are key forwards Jason Clarke and Balraj Singh.  Clarke joins the club after a stint as captain-coach of Western Region Football League club Port Colts, while one-time Adelaide draftee Singh has been a noted goalkicker at local football level.

Backman Daniel Orr has signed from Hadfield and promising 18-year-old key defender Chris Christou, from Doutta Stars, has also moved to the Eagles.

Onballers Drew James and Matt Williams have been enticed from Broadford and running backman Matt Swindells shifts from Kilmore. Rooney raided Lara for key defender Chris Attard.

Playing-assistant Mark Anderson followed Rooney to the club, while former players Scott McAllister (ruckman-forward), John Gullazzo (forward) and Paddy O’Brien (backman) have returned.

Mark McBride (St Albans), Socs Kalas, Gerrard Farfoud (both Taylors Lakes), Steve Freeth, Daniel Khobyar (both Tullamarine) all joined before Christmas.

“We’ve recruited about 14 blokes and with the four coming back that’s 18, so there’s going to be a fair changeover of personnel,” Rooney said.

“We’ve played two finals in five years. Obviously we want to do better than that. We’re looking top three or four.

“It’s going to take time for these blokes to settle in, but I think we’ve got the depth. We’ve probably addressed the weaknesses of the last couple of years.”

Rooney said the Eagles had lost Leigh Fishenden (Sunbury Kangaroos) and Robert Cacopardo.

400 gamer just can’t stay away

SOME of his teammates are young enough to be his sons, but that has not stopped Airport West’s Angelo Gentile defying the odds in the Essendon District Football League.

The 39-year-old lined up for his 400th game when the Eagles met Westmeadows on Saturday, a decade after doctors had told him to retire.

“I actually retired in 2000 due to a head injury,” Gentile said.

“I had copped over a dozen concussions so the doctors told me to give it away. “I watched one year on sidelines in 2000 and I couldn’t do it anymore, so I had to come back.”

Gentile, who started playing for Airport West in the under-14s, made his senior debut at the age of 16 and never looked back, playing the vast majority of the matches that followed in the club’s seniors, with two reserves appearances.

Despite two short absences from Airport West the first due to a stint with Essendon’s reserves and under-19s, and the second with Western Bulldogs’ reserves he never considered a permanent move away from Hansen Reserve.

“On field we’ve been doing very well and off field even better, which is one of the main reasons I’ve stayed there.”

Back-to-back premierships in 1992-93 are an obvious highlight, he said, alongside six club best-and-fairest awards. He’s also captained the club.

Despite approaching the big 4-0, Gentile said he may yet play on in 2011. With the Eagles sitting fourth on the ladder heading into Round 12 and with an up-and-coming group of younger players, their form over the remainder of the season would play a part in his decision, he said.

“I do enjoy playing with the younger guys and it’s funny, because some of them are young enough to be my sons.”

  • Luke Macumber plays his 300th match.

2011

Club holds 50th Anniversary Gala dinner (1961-2011) – over 450 attendees. Team of the Half Century, Player & Volunteer of the Decades announced.
B Reserves win Premiership, coached by Chris Daley.
U/10s (Division 2) win Premiership, coached by Matthew Mullens.
U/10s (Division 6) win Premiership, coached by Bassam Srour.
Robert Gulifa wins EDFL B Reserves Best & Fairest.
Angelo Gentile plays his 416th match, breaking the club record of most matches played previously held by Wayne Kirk.
Marcus Pappa plays his 300th match.
Peter Tresidder retires after completing his 12th consecutive season in the key roles of President (2007-2011) & Treasurer (2000-2006)

2012

Division 1 (old B Grade) win Premiership, coached by Adam Contessa.
Division 1 Reserves (old B Reserves) win Premiership, coached by Chris Daley (3rd premiership in 4 seasons).
U/12s (Division 2) win Premiership, coached by Edi Candotti.
Marcus Kenny kicks 106 goals in Division 1 (old ‘B’ Grade), the first Airport West Senior Grade player to kick 100 goals in a season.
Luca Muratore wins EDFL U/10s (Division 2) Best & Fairest.
New floodlights installed on Hansen Reserve.
Record number of Junior teams (10) represent the Club.

2013

Club returns to EDFL Premier Division (old ‘A’ Grade) for the first time since season 2003, after 9 seasons in B Grade.
Capital works upgrade to Clubrooms pavilion. Refurbishment & extension to changerooms, incl. new boardroom, verandahs & social room entrances.
U/12s (Division 6) win Premiership, coached by Bassam Srour.
Sam Boyd, Marcus Kenny & Daniel Harris named members of EDFL Premier Division’s Team of the Year.
Tyson Young wins EDFL U/16s (Division 2) Best & Fairest.
Tom Muscat wins EDFL U/14s (Division 2) Best & Fairest.
Luca Muratore wins EDFL U/12s (Division 6) Best & Fairest.

2014

U/12s (Division 2) win Premiership, coached by Bassam Srour.
Grand Final: APW 6.4.40 def. Greenvale 5.7.37

U/12s (Division 7) win Premiership, coached by Edi Candotti.
Grand Final: APW 4.4.28 def. Keilor Park 3.4.22

Alex Penaluna plays his 300th match.
Gavin Urquhart named member of EDFL Premier Division’s Team of the Year.
Sam Boyd selected to represent Vic Metro in the AFL Victoria Community Cup.
Luca Muratore wins EDFL U/12s (Division 2) Best & Fairest.”

2015

U/12s (Division 2) win Premiership, coached by Edi Candotti.
Grand Final: APW 11.7.73 def. Oak Park 3.6.24]

Seth Robinson wins EDFL U/14 (Division 6) Best & Fairest
U/15s Womens team established, coached by John Psaltis”

2016

Ricky McVeigh plays his 300th match.
Senior ‘Premier’ Division team finish bottom (winless) and are relegated to Division 1 for subsequent season.

2017

U/11s (Division 5) win Premiership, coached by Peter Wood.
Grand Final: APW 2.1.13 def. Burnside 0.3.3

Senior Division 1 finish Grand Finalists, a fine achievement considering previous winless season. [also refer 2018]
Tyson Young, Clayton Rogers & Matthew Duggan named members of EDFL Division 1’s Team of the Year.
Tyson Young wins EDFL Senior Division 1 Best & Fairest (Hutchinson medal)
Koby Bewick wins EDFL U/11 (Division 5) Best & Fairest

2018

Senior Division 1 win Premiership, coached by Geoff Maddern.
Grand Final: APW 16.12.108 def. Tullamarine 13.16.94

Senior Division 1 Reserves win Premiership, coached by Daniel McLean. Grand Final: APW 19.14.128 def. Taylors Lakes 10.4.64

U/11s (Division 2) win Premiership, coached by Peter Wood.
Grand Final: APW 5.1.31 def. Hadfield 3.3.21

Bior Malual, Tyson Young & Jesse McVeigh named members of EDFL Division 1’s Team of the Year.
Luca Muratore wins EDFL U/17 (Division 5) Best & Fairest, his 4th EDFL season Best & Fairest player award.
Flynn Gentile wins EDFL U/15 (Division 3) Best & Fairest
Daniel McLean wins his 6th Premiership as a player – Club record : 2002 (U/16 D2), 2004 (U/18B), 2009 & 2011 (Snr B Res.), 2012 & 2018 (Snr Div 1)
Jesse McVeigh plays his 300th match.
Senior A3 team established, coached by Michael J. O’Dwyer

2019

EDFL Premier Division Reserves John Coleman Medal Winner – Trent Crawford

Seniors Best & Fairest – Damandeep Aujla

Reserves Best & Fairest – Trent Crawford

Thirds Best & Fairest – Jason Johnston

U/15’s Div 3 Premiership