Hamilton Kangaroos Football Club

The Hamilton Kangaroos Football Netball Club is an Australian rules football and netball club which based in the city of Hamilton in south-western Victoria. The club teams currently compete in the Hampden Football League.[1]

Hamilton fnc logo.png
Full nameHamilton Kangaroos Football Netball Club Inc
Club details
Founded2012; 10 years ago (2012)
CompetitionHampden FNL
Ground(s)Melville Oval


The club was formed by merging the Hamilton Football Club and the Hamilton Imperials Football Club in October 2012. After almost 50 years as fierce rivals, the Magpies and Imperials opted to merge after the recommendation was made in the Southern Border Review.[2] The two clubs members decided on a vote for the new name. A popular idea was the Giants, but this was rejected through copyright issues. The options were Hamilton united Kangaroos, Hamilton United Power, Hamilton United Hawks, Hamilton Kangaroos, Hamilton Hawks and Hamilton Power. The Hamilton Kangaroos won with 35% of the votes and the Hamilton Power finished second with 31%.

Hamilton's inaugural year in the Hampden resulted in four senior wins, two against Port Fairy and South, finishing 8th. The Kangaroos had success in the under 18s winning the minor premiership, and in reserves they finished 5th.


The Hamilton Football Club was formed in 1874, regularly playing friendly matches against other towns along the railway line. After many years playing for medals and donated cup the club went into recess around 1910. Football continued in the town and it was a church aligned competition that also included teams from Penshurst and Dunkeld. After a football carnival held in Hamilton in October 1925 and a combined Hamilton team, (made up from players from the local Hamilton and District FA) defeated the premiers of the Western District Football League (Port Fairy) a petition was circulated and a Combined Hamilton side was admitted into the Western District Football League for 1926 . Their admittance caused founding club Camperdown to leave and play in a local Colac competition.

The drama that lead to the rivalryEdit

The drama began early in the 1947 season, when the Hamilton FC was languishing near the foot of the Western District league ladder. The club's administrators decided to sack the coach, Ken Block, and replace him with former Melbourne ruckman Jack O'Keefe, who was appointed caretaker coach for the rest of the season.

O'Keefe worked wonders with the team; Hamilton not only made the finals, it won the premiership with a one-point victory in the grand final. Ted Kenna, who had won the Victoria Cross two years earlier for his bravery during a Second World War battle in Papua New Guinea, booted the winning behind.

Not surprisingly, O'Keefe, who had originally declared he would not be returning to Hamilton in 1948, changed his mind. But during the season Hamilton's vice-president, Pat Condon, had approached star Melbourne full-forward Fred Fanning, with a view to him being appointed the Magpies' coach for their 1948 campaign. Fanning had married a girl from Hamilton and was planning to set up a business in the town. He was promised £12 a game, a big increase on the £3 a game he had been receiving at the Demons.

But O'Keefe's success resulted in Condon also having a change of heart. Three days after the grand final, he proposed that O'Keefe be reappointed coach. Condon's push was summarily dismissed. The key reason: Fanning had been promised money to play, yet the rules at the time stated only the coach could be paid. So enraged by the situation was Condon that he decided to start a new club, Hamilton Imperials, which set up its base on the opposite side of Melville Oval to Hamilton's change rooms. O'Keefe was appointed the inaugural coach. It didn't take long for the rivalry between the Imps (nicknamed the Bulldogs and regarded as the Catholic working man's club) and Hamilton (regarded as the club of the Protestant graziers and toffs) to spark up. [3]

Hamilton Football ClubEdit

Jumper Club Nickname Years in comp Premierships Premiership Years
Hamilton Magpies WDFL 1926 - 1963
WBFL 1964 - 2012

1930, 1932, 1933, 1934, 1935, 1946, 1947, 1948, 1950, 1951, 1957, 1958,
1968, 1970, 1981, 2004
Competition Active Total games Wins Losses Draws Percentage wins Flags
Western District Football League 1926–1963 602 377 220 5 62.62%* 12
Western Border Football League 1964–2012 973 507 461 5 52.11% 4
Total 1926-2012 1575 884 681 10 56.12% 16

Hamilton Imperials Football ClubEdit

Formed in 1948 after a split from the Hamilton club.

Jumper Club Nickname Years in comp WBFL Premierships Premiership Years
Hamilton Imperials Bulldogs 1964 - 2012
1977, 1978, 1980, 1993, 1995, 2001
Competition Active Total games Wins Losses Draws Percentage wins Flags
Western District Football League 1948–1963 317 156 159 2 49.21% 0
Western Border Football League 1964–2012 991 535 451 5 53.99% 6
Total 1948–2012 1308 691 610 7 52.83% 6

VFL/AFL playersEdit


  1. ^ "Hamilton Kangaroos hopping to a HFNL ground near you | The Standard | Warrnambool, VIC".
  2. ^ http://www.weeklytimesnow.com.au/article/2012/10/19/546107_country-footy.html[dead link]
  3. ^ "Hamilton rivals to join forces".

External linksEdit