South Woden Football Club
1968 – Founded as Eastlake/Woden Football Club
1969 – 1975 South Woden Football Club
1976 – 1982 Sutherland Football Club
1983 – 1992 Tuggeranong Football Club “Bulldogs”
1993 – 2002 Tuggeranong Football Club “Cowboys”
2003 – 2019 Tuggeranong Football Club “Hawks”
In late 1967 and early 1968 the Department of Supply moved their employees from Melbourne to Canberra, transporting a large number of young men and their families to an unknown environment. Because the vast majority of these people had no family in Canberra, a number of the men decided that they would play Australian Rules Football as a means of staying together and make friendships for their wives and families. Once the group had formed a football team, the Eastlake Football Club showed their support and provided a set of football jumpers and our club was born.
Our chosen name was “Eastlake Woden” and we played in red and white striped jumpers. In that year and the next few years, with a core group of Department of Supply people, some of the following players formed part of this club:
Darryl McLindin, Warren Casey, Peter Blanche, Peter Badger, Bob Groves, Steve Hodges, Ray Holdsworth, Jim Crennan, Felix Goodyear, Robbie Knowles, Ron Cross, Greg Williams, Ian Douglas, Les Douglas, Alan McLeod, Tony Shepherd, Billy O’Brien, Hedley Rowe, Geoff Lean, Roger McAleer, Dennis Hinten, Ted Kruger, Phil Hazel, Tino Pollini, Keith Crabbe, Len Wilson, Doug McIvor, Jimmy Harper, Gavin Williamson, Bobby Hughes.
The inaugural President was Joe Heales, who held the title for many years and among our trainers and managers were Lionel Williamson, Les Butler and Stewie Harmer. Our training ground was originally North Curtin Oval and we were later moved to the Southlands Oval (now the Southlands playing fields).
During our evolution, we changed our name and colours a number of times. From Eastlake Woden, we became South Woden, then Sutherland, then Tuggeranong Bulldogs, then Tuggeranong Cowboys then finally Tuggeranong Hawks. Our colours were, at different times, red and white stripes, red white and blue (Bulldogs colours), red, gold, and black (Adelaide Crows), and lastly brown and gold (Hawks colours).
As we didn’t have a club of our own, each week one of the wives of the footballers would take it in turns to make a huge vat of soup and the players and their families and children would all go back to that person’s place after the game for eats and drinks. This was a great bonding exercise and ensured that everyone would feel welcome.
Early in the years of the South Woden Football Club, the government allocated us a block of land at Southlands for building of a club. This block stood undeveloped for many years and because we didn’t have enough backing or money to go ahead with this, the department rescinded the offer. Later we did build a small club in Comrie St Wanniassa.
In 1976 Sutherland were admitted to the ACTAFL at the Under 19 Level before adding Reserves in 1977 and First Grade in 1979.
As the Tuggeranong Valley began to expand, a name change to Tuggeranong in 1983 recognised the biggest growth area of Canberra. Tuggeranong’s First Senior ACTAFL premiership was won in 1986 in a thrilling one-point win over Queanbeyan. Hans Heystraten was the Club’s captain-coach.
Kevin “Cowboy” Neale was appointed coach in 1993 and the Club adopted the “Cowboys” emblem/nick-name. The Club formed an affiliation with Hawthorn in 2003 and changed names to the Tuggeranong Hawks. We are now the Tuggeranong Hawks which as a club is as united as upon our birth.
The Tuggeranong Valley has long been known as a nursery for junior footballers and has produced numerous quality footballers over its lifetime. AFL recruits such as Justin Blumfield, Aaron Hamill, Brett Howman and James Meiklejohn and many many others have succeeded in higher level competitions across the country.
In addition to fielding sides in the AFL Canberra senior men’s competition, the Hawks’ Women’s side joined the ACTWAFL in 1999.
Following the inaugural ACTWAFL Season a couple of young teenagers, Jen Tyler and Helen Jones, decided to organise a team from Tuggeranong. The team was called the Thunder and it was originally coached by Barry Ransom. The team was immediately successful with a set of twins being its best players, Jane Baker and Pam Housenlogge, who were also named in the All-Australian Team after representing the ACT at the 1999 Nationals.
Since joining the ACTWAFL in 1999, the Tuggeranong women have the proud record of regularly competing in the final series. This proud record had been over shadowed by a series of finals disappointments, including four consecutive Grand Final defeats from 1999-2002, until the Thunder finally broke through for their maiden premiership by defeating two time Premiers Eastlake in the 2004 ACTWAFL Grand Final.
The Tuggeranong Thunder changed their name to the Tuggeranong Hawks Women’s team in 2008.
The Bulldogs, Lions and Swans junior organisations continue to grow a great base of players, coaches and parental support that will ensure a very bright future for the Senior Club.
The Tuggeranong Football Club appointed Jimmy Rice as the Head Coach of Senior Football for the 2020/21 AFL Canberra seasons. Jimmy has played more than 300 First Grade/NEAFL games, including over 200 with the Tuggeranong Football Club. Jimmy brings a wealth of playing experience, including three recent senior premierships with the Ainslie Football Club. Jimmy has extensive Senior coaching experience in Canberra and Narrandera, including coaching the Narrandera Imperial Eagles Football Netball Club to a premiership in 2012 and being named the 2017 AFL Canberra Senior Coach of the Year More recently Jimmy was the Senior Assistant Coach during Ainslie’s 2018 and 2019 First Grade premierships. Jimmy has also been an Assistant Coach with the GWS Giants Academy for the past five years demonstrating a strong commitment to developing young AFL players in the ACT and South Coast NSW Regions.
Games Record Holders (to end 2019 season)
Gerrit “Chief” Wanganeen holds the club record games played. He is currently on 396 and is followed by Peter Ashcroft (376); Jay Kickett (301), Jim Rice (279), Peter Balshaw (267) and Ashley Pocock (263).
The First Grade games record holders are Ashley Pocock (256),Jay Kickett (239), Jim Rice (233), Ben Funnell (217) and Luke Jess (211).
The Women’s games record holders are: Amy Currie (226), Kerry Hayes (211), Kathryn Ghirardello (165) and Angela Ballerini (146) .
AFL Canberra 1st GRADE – 1986
ACTWAFL – 2004, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2013, 2014
AFL Canberra Reserve Grade – 1998, 2015
AFL Canberra Colts/Under 21/Under 19/Under 18 – 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 2007
AFL Canberra 4th Division – 2000, 2001, 2011