Woodville Football Club

Woodville Football Club was an Australian rules football club that competed in the South Australian National Football League (SANFL) from 1964 to 1990, when it merged in 1991 with the West Torrens Football Club to form the Woodville-West Torrens Eagles.

Woodville Football Club
Full nameWoodville Football Club
Nickname(s)Woodpeckers (1963 - 1982)
Warriors (1983 - 1990)
1990 season
Leading goalkickerAllen Jakovich (101)
Best and fairestJohn Klug
Club details
Founded1938 (first SANFL season in 1963)
Colours     Green and      Gold
Ground(s)Woodville Oval (1941–1990)

Based in the western suburbs of Adelaide, South Australia, Woodville derived its name from the suburb it was located in.

The club's lack of success was unparalleled in the VFL or WAFL with the club receiving 9 wooden spoons in 24 years whilst only making the finals 3 times without a grand final appearance. St Kilda in the VFL have had 24 wooden spoons, Nth. Melbourne 13, Melbourne 12 and Hawthorn & Sth. Melb/Sydney Swans 11 a piece. Subiaco had 20 in the WAFL

Club historyEdit

There are newspaper references to a Woodville Football Club dating back to the 19th century, when Woodville and Adelaide were the only teams,[1] but the modern club was formed in 1938 to play in local amateur competitions. In 1959 the SANFL was looking to expand the competition from eight to ten teams and selected Woodville and Central District to enter the SANFL reserves competition on a five-year apprenticeship before gaining admission to the league competition in 1964. The team was then known as the "Woodville Woodpeckers".

Its inaugural season was an indicator of its success (or lack thereof) for the remainder of its existence. The club won just three matches, all against Central Districts. In its 27 seasons in the SANFL, Woodville reached the finals only three times: in 1979, 1986 and 1987; its best result was 3rd position in 1986.

Woodville's most successful player was Malcolm Blight, who won the SANFL's Magarey Medal and gained selection in the All Australian team in 1972. He would later play for North Melbourne Football Club in the Victorian Football League (VFL), winning the Brownlow Medal in 1978 and joining a select group of players who had won the highest individual honor in both the SANFL and VFL competitions.

Blight returned to Woodville in 1983 as Captain-Coach, leading the club through its most successful period. His first season back in Adelaide was unsuccessful, with the club finishing with the wooden spoon. From there the team started to gel and by 1986 was considered an outside chance of obtaining their first league premiership, but finished 3rd after losing to eventual premiers Glenelg in the Preliminary Final. They also made the finals in 1987, but came 5th, losing the Elimination Final to Glenelg.

Blight stood down at the end of 1987 and was replaced by Port Adelaide Football Club legend and four time Magarey Medallist Russell Ebert. Under Ebert's coaching, Woodville won the SANFL Night Competition in 1988, the Escort Cup, defeating Port Adelaide 14.12 (96) to 7.9 (51) at Football Park. It would be the last trophy the Woodville Football Club would win in the SANFL. Woodville had also won the Coca-Cola Cup series in 1972, a competition between clubs which did not make the final four.

As a struggling club with limited fans and finances, there were regular calls throughout the 1980s to merge Woodville with another club. In 1990, with the imminent entry of the South Australian-based Adelaide Crows into the national Australian Football League (formerly the VFL), it was decided to amalgamate Woodville with neighbouring West Torrens Football Club. In an apt moment, Woodville and West Torrens were drawn to play each other in their respective final games, with Woodville emerging victorious by 50 points, 24.10 (154) to 15.19 (104) at the Adelaide Oval. Before the game a number of legends from both clubs were introduced to the crowd.

Woodville's captain in their last game was popular veteran Ralph Sewer (regular captain Romano Negri was in the team but stepped aside for the last game to give Sewer the honor). The 38-year-old Sewer who was playing his 382nd and last game of SANFL football. "Zip Zap" as he was known, made his league debut with Woodville in 1969 and was playing his 325th game for the club. He was Woodville's leading goal kicker in 1975, and had won the club's best & Fairest award in 1978, the same year he was awarded with Life Membership from the club and Player Life Membership from the SANFL. Sewer, who had played 57 games for perennial contenders Glenelg from 1981–84, is the only player to have played in four decades of football in the SANFL.

The Woodville Warriors and the West Torrens Eagles merged after the completion of the 1990 season and have since participated in the SANFL as the Woodville-West Torrens Eagles, winning the SANFL premiership in 1993, 2006 and 2011.



  • SANFL League: Nil
  • SANFL Night Premierships: 1 - 1988. (Also, in 1972 they won the Coca-Cola cup, a competition between teams which did not make the final four).
  • SANFL Reserves: 2 - 1973, 1987
  • SANFL Under 19's: Nil
  • SANFL Under 17's: 5 - 1962, 1964, 1967, 1968, 1973

Magarey Medalists

SANFL leading goalkickers

South Australian Football Hall of Fame members

Club colours and emblemsEdit

  • Red and White (1938–1939)
  • Purple and White (1940–1946)
  • Green and Gold (1947–1990)

On entry to the SANFL, Woodville were known as "The Woodpeckers" but changed to "The Warriors" in 1983.

Club recordsEdit

Famous playersEdit


  1. ^ "Late Mr. Allen Martin". The Register. LXXXIX (26, 067). Adelaide. 14 July 1924. p. 11. Retrieved 26 December 2016 – via National Library of Australia.

External linksEdit