2016 Great Club – Scottsdale Football Club

Established: 1889
Home Ground: Scottsdale Recreation Ground
Playing Colours: red and white (1889-1947), black and white (1948-Present)
Nickname: Magpies
Club Theme Song: ‘It’s a Grand Old Flag’
Affiliations: Various country associations (1889-1937), NEFU (1938-1947), NTFA (1948-1986), NTFL (1987-2000), NTFA Division One (2001-present)

Pre-NEFU Premierships: Six (1912, 1919, 1924, 1927, 1928,1937)
NEFU Premierships: Three (1939, 1946 and 1947)
NTFA Premierships: Ten (1964, 1965, 1968, 1970, 1971, 1973, 1977, 1982, 1984, 1986)
NTFL Premierships: One (1989)
NTFA Division One Premierships: One (2001)
Tasmanian State Premierships: One (1973)

Tasman Shield Trophy/Hec Smith Memorial Medal (NTFA Best and Fairest): Charlie Dennis (1952), Max Hadley (1972), Stephen Nichols (1977), Ricky Rattray (1978), David Noonan (1979), Jamie Dennis (1982, 1984)
Darrel Baldock Medal (NTFL Best and Fairest): Peter Roozendaal (1990), Ricky Hanlon (1992)
NTFA Div. One Best and Fairest: Michael Rainbow (2010)

Trevor Ranson (2005), Lerrel Sharp (2005), Greg Lethborg (2005), Athol Webb (2006), Ron Hall (2008), Kevin Symons (2009), Ricky Hanlon (2010), Peter Roozendaal (2011), Jamie Dennis (2013), Stephen Nichols (2014), Jim Leitch (2015), Ken Lette (2016)

B: Max Davidson, Chris Wood , Danny Hall
HB: Greg Lethborg, Don Millwood, Tim Gillespie
C: Jim Leitch, Mannie Goninon, Bob Taylor
HF: Stephen Nichols, Ron Hall, Max Hadley
FF: Rod Hughes, Ken Lette, Rex Lethborg
R: Peter Roozendaal, Jamie Dennis, Bob Wilson
I: Karl Beattie, Troy Milne, Graeme Millwood, Stan Wilson, Brian Donohoe, Kevin Symons
Coach: Bob Wilson

The 2016 induction into the ‘Great Club’ category of the Tasmanian Football Hall of Fame is the Scottsdale Football Club.

The Scottsdale Football Club was first formed in 1889 and spent the first few decades of its existence competing in various country associations in the north-east of Tasmania, including the Lilydale District Football Association and the old North-East Association. They met with moderate success, winning six senior premierships before the club became a foundation member of the North-East Football Union in 1938. Scottsdale’s first six seasons in the NEFU (either side of the WWII recess) brought three premierships, including back-to-back flags in 1946-47, and so when the NTFA decided to expand the competition from four teams to six, Scottsdale were one of the clear frontrunners. Ultimately, the club’s petition to join was successful, and in 1948 Scottsdale entered the premier competition in Northern Tasmania, a huge step in the club’s development. At this time, the club adopted new colours of black and white – as their previous colours of red and white would have clashed with City – and to match their new look the club adopted the nickname of the Magpies.

Scottsdale entered their inaugural season in the NTFA under captain-coach Trevor Ranson. Ranson, who started his career with Scottsdale in their pre-NEFU days, had tasted success as a six-time NTFA premiership player with the great Launceston sides of the 1930s, and therefore knew all about what it took to achieve success at NTFA level. His solitary season in charge resulted in just two wins and a wooden spoon, however it laid the foundation for what would become a very good side, something that was built upon by his successors Bob Chitty (who had captained Carlton to a VFL premiership in 1945) and Jervis Stokes. This continuing development culminated in the Magpies becoming the first of the ‘expansion’ clubs to make an NTFA grand final in 1952, a match in which they were defeated by City by 20 points. Unfortunately, this was to be Scottsdale’s only grand final appearance in their first 16 years of NTFA football.

The early 1960s would see a turning of the tide, and the gradual transformation of Scottsdale into not just a regional, but a state superpower. 1961 saw the appointment of former Essendon ruckman Brian Donohoe as captain-coach, a man who would have a significant impact on the club. The following year a fire destroyed Scottsdale’s original clubrooms, an event that galvanised everyone involved with club, as well as the community at large. The real catalyst for change, however, was taking place on the field with the Under 19s. In 1962-63 the side had won back-to-back NTFA Under 19 premierships without losing a single match, and by 1964 the core of this champion team was ready to make the transition into senior football. Among this group were names that would go on to become synonymous with the Scottsdale Football Club and in some cases become household names across the state, including Ron Hall, Ken Lette and Max Hadley.

The infusion of this terrific group of kids into a team already boasting established players such as Rex Lethborg, Stan Wilson, Don Millwood and Brian Donohoe himself was bound to have an impact. That impact was sudden and dramatic, and in 1964 Scottsdale celebrated their maiden NTFA premiership, defeating City-South by 20 points, 8.15 (63) to 6.7 (43). What made the win truly amazing was that the Magpies had finished the H&A season in third place, and went on to defeat Launceston, North Launceston and then City-South in consecutive weeks to snatch the flag. Just to make the victory even more special, three of Scottsdale’s previous coaches – Chitty, Stokes and Max Lethborg – were at York Park to watch the club they had guided through its NTFA infancy finally come of age.

The 1964 premiership was to be the catalyst for one of the greatest golden eras in Tasmanian football history. After claiming back-to-back flags in 1964-65, Scottsdale would go on to win another five NTFA premierships over the next 12 years, thanks in large part to the multitude of players and coaches during that time who would go on to achieve legendary status within the Tasmanian footballing fraternity, names like Greg Lethborg, Bob Wilson, Stephen Nichols, Ricky Rattray, Jim Leitch and Danny Hall. Despite all the domestic success however, there was still something missing from Scottsdale’s trophy cabinet: a state premiership. The club had had three cracks at winning one, losing the 1964, 1965 and 1968 finals to Cooee (eight points), Glenorchy (20 points) and New Norfolk (13 points) respectively, and despite all the NTFA pennants there had been no further state final appearances since.

That was all to change in the season when football in Scottsdale undoubtedly reached its zenith: the phenomenal campaign of 1973. After going through the entire Home and Away season undefeated – save for a draw against North Launceston – and easily accounting for the Robins again to take out the NTFA flag, the Magpies dispatched Hobart by 65 points in the state preliminary final at North Hobart Oval, setting up a state premiership showdown at West Park against their 1964 conquerors, Cooee, a team that featured seven past or future VFL players. In what would become one of the most memorable matches in Tasmanian football history, the Magpies rallied from 32 points down at three quarter time to boot 6.9 to two behinds in the final term, storming to a 16.20 (116) to 15.15 (105) victory. Captain-coach Bob Wilson praised his side’s resilience in the aftermath, quipping, “We were down, but we came back because we had twenty goers.”

One remarkable fact surrounding Scottsdale’s 1973 state triumph, aside from the fact that they had to travel twice to achieve it, was the innovative transport solution the club employed in getting the team to their matches. Club president Gordon Dilworth was instrumental in rallying the entire north-east community to donate funds in order for the club to charter an aeroplane to take the team to their matches in Hobart and Burnie; this was in an attempt to cut down on travel times, something that was thought to have seriously hindered Scottsdale in their previous state premiership campaigns.

With the elusive state premiership in their grasp, Scottsdale now had had the unprecedented honour of representing Tasmania at the short-lived ‘Champions of Australia’ tournament in Adelaide, where the Magpies would face the premiers of the three major mainland competitions: Richmond (VFL), Glenelg (SANFL) and Subiaco (WANFL). Scottsdale failed to win either of their two fixtures against Glenelg or Subiaco, but for a team from a small Tasmanian country town, they acquitted themselves admirably. So magnificent were the deeds of the Scottsdale 1973 wonder team, they were the inaugural ‘Legendary Team’ induction into the Tasmanian Football Hall of Fame in 2005.

The first half of the 1980s continued to bring success, with Scottsdale winning NTFA flags in 1982, 1984 and 1986 thanks to a new generation of great players such as ruckman Peter Roozendaal and dual NTFA Best and Fairest winner Jamie Dennis. The NTFA competition was disbanded after the 1986 triumph, and Scottsdale, along with several of their ex-NTFA counterparts, joined the newly formed NTFL competition. It did not take long for premiership glory to find them here either, with the Magpies defeating Smithton in the 1989 decider. It was soon clear, however, that the NTFL was a much more even competition than those they had previously been a part of, and a loss to Ulverstone in 1993 was to be Scottsdale’s only grand final appearance for the rest of the decade.

At the end of the 2000 season, Scottsdale decided for financial reasons to move into Division One of the new NTFA, which had been re-born five years earlier as an amateur country league. The Magpies settled into the more relaxed standard of football almost immediately, and in their first season in the competition another flag was claimed with a win over George Town, 14.6 (90) to 5.25 (55). This is to date the club’s last senior premiership, although there have been further unsuccessful grand final appearances in 2003, 2004 and 2010.

For a town boasting a population of only around 3,000 people, Scottsdale and their football club have left an indelible mark on the Tasmanian football landscape, providing us with some of the most memorable matches and most talented players ever seen in the state. They are therefore more than worthy of induction as one of the ‘Great Clubs’ of the Tasmanian Football Hall of Fame.

1964 NTFA GRAND FINAL: Scottsdale v City-South (12/09/1964)
Scottsdale 3.4 (22) 4.8 (32) 6.13 (49) 8.15 (63)
City-South 0.3 (3) 3.5 (23) 4.5 (29) 6.7 (43)

Scottsdale: C. Casboult 2, K. Beattie 2, R. Lethborg 1, B. Donohoe 1, R. Hall 1, R. Rattray 1
City-South: P. Luttrell 2, K. Breward 1, J. Connell 1, R. Crosswell 1, R. Peters 1

Scottsdale: Scottsdale B. Donohoe, K. Beattie, M. Millwood, D. Millwood, R. Hall, K. Symons
City-South: R. Taylor, G. Wilkinson, P. Luttrell, R. Johnson, B. Harper, J. Nankervis, M. O’Keefe

Attendance: 7,739 at York Park

B: Graeme Shearer, Robert Richman, Stan Wilson
HB: Terry Allanby, Murray Millwood, Barry Whish-Wilson
C: Rodney Rattray, Mannie Goninon, Max Hadley
HF: Kevin Symons, Ron Hall, Don Millwood
FF: Gerald Rawnsley, Charlie Casboult, Rex Lethborg
R: Brian Donohoe (c), David Fox, Karl Beattie
I: Ken Lette, Peter Millwood
Coach: Brian Donohoe

1973 STATE FINAL: Scottsdale v Cooee (29/09/1973) 
Scottsdale 6.5 (41) 8.9 (57) 10.11 (71) 16.20 (116)
Cooee 5.4 (34) 11.6 (72) 15.13 (103) 15.15 (105)

Scottsdale: S. Nichols 5, K. Lette 3, W. Burns 2, M. Hadley 2, R. Hall 1, G. Lethborg 1, S. Gillies 1, R. Rattray 1
City-South: A. Hodgetts 3, D. French 3, G. Towns 3, S. Beaumont 3, V. Drake 2, R. Deayton 1

Scottsdale: R. Hall, W. Burns, S. Nichols, G. Lethborg, G. Millwood, T. Taylor
City-South:G. Shephard, G. White, K. Beswick, G. Towns, H. Dowling, T. Lee

Attendance: 8,269 at West Park, Burnie
Gate: $6,515.60

B: John Williams, Danny Hall, Ron Hall
HB: Greg Lethborg, Graeme Millwood, Malcolm Crichton
C: Jim Leitch, Stephen Nichols, Ken Hall
HF: Max Hadley, Ricky Rattray, Rod Hughes
FF: Terry Taylor, Ken Lette, W. ‘Bill’ Burns
R: Tad Joniec, Bob Wilson, Kevin Egan
I: Sonny Gillies, Leon Ranson
Coach: Bob Wilson

B: Richard Crawford, Kerry Beswick, Harold Dowling
HB: Darrel Shephard, Hugh Strahan, Kerry Button
C: Barry Jarvis, Graeme Shephard, Geoff White
HF: Steven Beaumont, Warren McCarthy, Greg Towns
FF: Dexter French, Vern Drake (c), Don Corkery
R: Tom Lee, Athol Hodgetts, Peter Pettigrew
I: Stuart Tyson, Robert Deayton
Coach: Vern Drake