Geelong West St Peters Football Club
The Geelong West St Peters Football Club was an Australian rules football club that last competed in the Geelong Football League (GFL) from 1989 until the end of the 2016 season. Prior to its merger with St Peters Football Club in 1989, the club played in the Victorian Football Association (VFA) from 1963 until 1988. Geelong West, nicknamed the 'Roosters', wore white and red during its time in the Association. At the conclusion of the 2016 season, the Roosters merged with co-tenants Geelong West Sports Club to form a new entity, Geelong West Giants.
|Geelong West St Peters|
|Full name||Geelong West St Peters Football Club |
|Nickname(s)||Roosters, Red West|
|Colours||White and Red|
|Competition||Geelong Football League|
Victorian Football Association
Ballarat Football League
Formed in 1878, Geelong West began in the Geelong & District Football Association. The club with their red jumper and white monogram was not to be confused with the Geelong West Cricket & Football Club who wore a blue and white jumper – giving rise to local nicknames Red West and Blue West for the two clubs respectively. The Roosters and were a consistently strong club winning 25 premierships by 1945.
In 1946 the club joined the Ballarat Football League. Premiership success followed in the BFL, with the club winning four premierships in a row from 1956 to 1959. The Ballarat-based clubs in the BFL grew to dislike Geelong West's presence in their league, as it meant long travelling distances for away games, and weaker crowds for home games; and after 1962, the BFL was keen for Geelong West to leave. At the same time the Victorian Football Association was looking to expand, so the two agreed for Geelong West to join the VFA second division in 1963.
The club had to change its jumper as it clashed with the Preston Bullants, so reversed its colours to a white jumper with a red GWFC monogram. In their inaugural season they only missed out on the wooden spoon by percentage but took out the premiership the following year, thus earning promotion to the first division. Geelong West only spent one season at the top league before being demoted again, but reached the next three Grand Finals, losing in 1966 and 1967, then winning in 1968 to be promoted for the second time.
Once again, the club wasn't strong enough to compete in the first division, lasting three seasons before being relegated, but things changed in the 1970s. The club won its third premiership in 1972, completing a perfect season by winning all twenty games it played to be promoted back to the first division. On this occasion they deserved to be competing amongst the best teams and in 1975, under the coaching of Bill Goggin, Geelong West claimed a surprise first division premiership by defeating Dandenong in the VFA Grand Final.
By the time the 1980s came around the football club had run up a large financial debt that it struggled to manage. There was a significant reduction in support from the local community, in large part because there was strong growth of the Geelong Football League throughout the mid-1980s, which pushed player salaries up and attracted local sponsorship away from the club. There became a shortage of quality players willing to travel to Melbourne every second week, particularly at the Under-19s level, which led to the club's onfield position deteriorating through the 1980s. Faced with these problems, the club withdrew from the VFA after the 1988 season.
During the summer of 1988-89 the club discussed then agreed to a merger with the St Peters Football Club. the merged club was now called Geelong West St Peters Football Club. The St Peters club had a strong junior development that Geelong West didn't have, but Geelong West had a ground with facilities that St Peters lacked.
St Peters first entered a senior side in 1959 in the Evelyn Hurst Cup. The club was also part of the twelve clubs that broke away and founded the GFL. In 1980 the GFL reduced from 12 club to ten, St Peters were demoted to the GDFL. Time in the GDFL was brief they won the premiership in both years (1980 and 1981), in fact the club didn't loss a game in those two years, the closes they got was a drawn game in 1980. They were promoted into the GFL in 1982 and stayed until they merged in 1989.
The new club entered the Geelong Football League but progress was slow, wooden spooners in their second year. From 1992 to 1996 they played as West Saints. In 1996 they unsuccessfully played off for the premiership. In 1997 they club reverted to Geelong West St Peters.
The club made the finals four times and were wooden spooners twice during their 28 years in the GFL.
VFA 1st Division Premierships (1)
VFA 2nd Division Premierships (3)
- 1964, 1968, 1972
BFL Premierships (4)
- 1956, 1957, 1958, 1959
GDFA Premierships (25)
- 1880, 1882, 1884, 1885, 1887, 1889, 1890, 1892, 1894, 1896, 1909, 1914, 1915, 1927, 1931, 1932, 1933, 1934, 1935, 1936, 1938, 1945
- ABN Lookup
- Lachie Young (13 August 2016). "Geelong West Cheetahs back joint bid to become Geelong West Giants". Geelong Advertiser. Geelong, VIC. Retrieved 15 August 2016.
- "A Brief History…". Geelong West Cheetahs. Archived from the original on 18 August 2016. Retrieved 29 July 2016.
- Fiddian, Marc (2004), The VFA: a history of the Victorian Football Association, 1877–1995, p. 189
- Glen Quartermain (28 October 1988). "Local apathy causes proud Roosters to flounder". Geelong Advertiser. Melbourne, VIC. p. 16.