2011 Great Club – Clarence Football Club

The district of Clarence, separated from Hobart by the Derwent River, has been a home of football for well over a hundred years. The first known game was in 1884 when local side, Bellerive, played a challenge match against VFA side Carlton. Over the next sixty years or so Bellerive continued to engage in matches against local opposition. During World War Two a floating bridge was built connecting the eastern and western banks of the Derwent. The Clarence region was now minutes from the centre of Hobart, and it was not long before major new housing developments sprang up and the population escalated.

At this time the Bellerive Football Club committee made the strategically astute decision to alter the club name to ‘Clarence District Football Club’ and achieved admission to the Tasmanian Football League (TFL) in 1947, along with New Norfolk. At the same time the Clarence District Football Club members decided to adopt the kangaroo emblem, on the grounds that “you never see a kangaroo going backwards”.

The Clarence District Football Club enjoyed their first premiership era in the early 1970s with three consecutive grand final appearances under the coaching of John Bingley and culminating with their first TFL flag in 1970. The Roos second premiership era was achieved between 1979 and 1985 with two victories over Glenorchy in some of the most memorable grand finals in Tasmanian football, including the 1979 TFL Centenary Grand Final.

With the arrival of the first statewide league in Tasmania in the mid-1980s, Clarence struggled for some years before emerging under the coaching of ex-Sydney Swans player, Steve Wright. Season 1993 began a truly ‘platinum era’ for the Roos. The Roos have played in every finals series since the drought breaking 1993 season with a total of 11 premierships achieved from 15 grand final appearances. The Clarence District Football Club deservedly takes its place amongst the ‘Great Clubs’ of Tasmanian football in the Tasmanian Football Hall of Fame.

Home ground: Bellerive Oval.
Formed: 1903.
Colours: Red and white.
Emblem: Kangaroo.


> Affiliated: TFL 1947-2000; STFL 2001-08; TSL 2009 to present.

> Premiership wins:

– Regional premierships: 1970, 1979, 1981, 1984, 1993, 1994, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2009, 2010

– State premierships: 1993, 1994, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2009, 2010.

Other achievements of the club have been:

> All Australians: Stuart Spencer 1958.

> William Leitch Medallists: H. Yaxley 1949; S. Spencer 1960; J. Richmond 1967; R. Lucas 1968; T. Sorrell 1976; S. Wade 1989; G. Williamson 1991; D. Noonan 1995 and 1996; M. Jones 1999; B. Geappen 2010.

> League leading goalkickers: J. Cooper (42) 1951; J. Mills (49) 1968; T. Wayne (74) 1971; A. Vanderfeen (66) 1981; P. Dac (94) 1994; S. Allen (80) 2000; M. Williamson (63) 2007.

> Highest score: 41.21 (267) vs. Brighton 5.4 (34) in round 5, 2005.

> Record home attendance: 5,075 on 13 June 1987: North Hobart 13.20 (98) vs. Clarence 8.8 (56).

> Record finals attendance: 24,968 for the 1979 grand final at North Hobart Oval: Clarence 12.11 (83); Glenorchy 11.14 (80).