Berwick Football Club
The Berwick Football Club is an Australian rules football club which plays in the Outer East FL. The club used to play in the Mornington Peninsula Nepean Football League but left at the end of 2014. The club is based at the Edwin Flack Reserve in Berwick, Victoria. The club is most notable for its five-year stint in the Victorian Football Association second division during the 1980s.
|Berwick Football Club|
|Full name||Berwick Football Club|
|Colours||Navy blue, White|
|Competition||AFL Outer East|
|Ground(s)||Edwin Flack Reserve|
A football match was recorded having been played in 1879 by the 'Berwick (combined)' club with Dandenong. Two weeks later another match was played by a 'combined team from Berwick and Pakenham'. In 1880 a team is recorded as the 'Berwick and Harkaway United club'. The club, then recorded as Berwick from 1881, is shown to have played annual matches against Dandenong through the 1880s. Its first known premiership success came in the Berwick District Football Association in 1910, and it won one more premiership in its time in that competition, in 1925. The club later competed in the Dandenong District Football Association. It then joined the South-West Gippsland Football League in 1954, winning the premiership in its first season. It became one of the SWGFL's most powerful clubs during the 1970s, and by 1982 it had contested eleven consecutive finals series and won two more premierships – back-to-back in 1977 and 1978.
On 19 November 1982 Berwick was admitted to the Victorian Football Association's second division for the 1983 season, as part of the VFA's restructuring and expansion in the early 1980s. The SWGFL did not want to lose Berwick, and it refused to endorse clearances for its players to the VFA; but Berwick went to the Supreme Court of Victoria, which, in a decision which was finalised only four days prior to the start of the season, found that clearances were not legally required in a case where a club switched leagues. The club spent five seasons in the VFA, without achieving any significant success; it struggled to recruit local players, in large part because the players preferred to play SWGFL games on Saturdays than VFA games on Sundays; and it found that its VFA attendances were no larger than its SWGFL crowds had been.
The club elected to leave the VFA after the 1987 season, and returned to the SWGFL in 1988. Since 1995, the club has competed in the Casey-Cardinia Division of the Mornington Peninsula Nepean Football League, which absorbed the SWGFL that season. The club won one premiership in that competition, in 1999.
In 2015 Berwick along with eight other clubs in the Casey-Cardinia Division left to found the South East FL. The club won the new league's inaugural senior premiership in 2015, and won the premiership in all four football grades (senior, reserves, under-19s and under-18s).
In 2019 Berwick became one of the founding clubs of the AFL Outer East as a result of the merger of the South East FNL and AFL Yarra Ranges.
The club wears a navy blue guernsey with a white monogram, and is known by the nickname 'Wickers. While in the VFA, the club reversed its design to a white guernsey with navy blue monogram, and later a white guernsey with navy blue hoops near the waist and gold trimmings, due to a VFA requirement that its clubs not wear the same guernseys as Victorian Football League clubs (Berwick's design was the same as Carlton's, except with a different monogram).
Until 1984, the club played its games at the Arch Brown Reserve in Buchanan Rd. After a fire destroyed the pavilion in December 1984, the club moved to the newer Edwin Flack Reserve in Manuka Rd, where it remains today.
- 1910, 1925, 1954, 1977, 1978, 1999, 2015, 2017
- "Football". The South Bourke and Mornington Journal. Melbourne, VIC. 27 August 1879. p. 2.
- "Football". The South Bourke and Mornington Journal. Melbourne, VIC. 3 September 1879. p. 2.
- "Football". The South Bourke and Mornington Journal. Melbourne, VIC. 30 June 1880. p. 2.
- "Football". The South Bourke and Mornington Journal. Melbourne, VIC. 29 June 1881. p. 2.
- "Football". The South Bourke and Mornington Journal. Melbourne, VIC. 17 August 1910. p. 3.
- John Devaney. "Berwick". Australian Football. Retrieved 23 June 2014.
- Marc Fiddian (23 November 1982). "30 VFA teams?". The Age. Melbourne, VIC. p. 42.
- Prue Innes (31 March 1983). "Football may need govt control: judge". The Age. Melbourne, VIC. p. 22.
- Dennis Jose (3 August 1985). "Saturday trial is worth a punt". The Age. Melbourne, VIC. p. 39.
- "Berwick votes to quit VFA". The Age. Melbourne, VIC. 13 November 1987. p. 32.
- Paddy Naughton (22 September 2015). "Four Mclardy brothers share premiership glory in four different Berwick Football Club teams". Berwick Leader. Berwick, VIC. Retrieved 22 September 2015.
- Marc Fiddian (14 April 1984). "Hard start for Springvale". The Age. Melbourne, VIC. p. 33.
- Meike Ruotsalainen (5 May 2014). "Berwick (VFA and CCNFL, Victoria)". Scoreboard Pressure. Retrieved 23 May 2014.