Premierships myth busted

New Norfolk footballers, 1908

WITH the Eagles preparing for their third grand final appearance in as many seasons, I thought it would be a good time to set the record straight on how many senior premierships New Norfolk has won. In recent times it has been reported that New Norfolk has won only four premierships in 130-odd years. This couldn’t be further from the truth – in fact the Eagles have a record that any club would love to have when it comes to premierships. Twenty-three premierships from 38 grand final appearances, yes 23! It sure is a far cry from four or five.

Having now traced New Norfolk to playing football as far back as 1863, it seems the first premiership was won in 1891 in the Southern Country Championship, this was when the club was known as the Derwent Football club. They won again in 1892. The Derwent name was in use from the late 1880s to the late 1890s. With the name reverting to New Norfolk they again won the Southern Country Championship in 1904. During this time New Norfolk played for various shields and trophies, winning the Brown Trophy in 1906, the Ellis Dean in 1908 and 1909 and the Corumbene Trophy in 1910 and 1913.

World War I interrupted from 1914-18 and it seems New Norfolk went into recess. In 1920 New Norfolk defeated Molesworth to win the Derwent Valley Football Association Premiership. Then came the Cyril Nash Trophy in which New Norfolk defeated Scottsdale by three points at York Park in 1921 and Clarence in 1922.  The club’s next three premierships came in the Southern Tasmanian Country Football Association in 1928, 1930 and 1933.

In 1934 the club entered the Southern Tasmanian Districts Association and won the premiership in 1939. With World War II starting, roster football was on hold and New Norfolk played challenge matches against teams for various cups and trophies. In 1943 they won the Storr Cup and the Red Cross Cup. In 1945 New Norfolk was again playing roster games in the Southern Districts Football Association, winning the premiership over Clarence by 73 points.

The club entered the Tasmanian Football League in 1947, but didn’t taste success until 1968 when it defeated North Hobart by 29 points. The next premiership in the big time came in 1982, defeating arch rival Glenorchy by 11 points. The club played its last season in the TFL in 1999 and then joined the Southern Football League in 2000. After 23 long years the club tasted premiership glory in 2005, the drought was over. Then in 2009 and 2010 they won back-to-back premierships. If the club wins this year it will achieve the “three-peat” for the third time.

Since the 1960s the Reserves have won nine premierships from 20 grand finals; the colts (Thirds) have won nine from 16 while the Under 17s (Fourths) have won six from 15 attempts. I would like to thank my good friend Adrian Collins for his help in compiling this history.


New Norfolk footballers, 1892
New Norfolk footballers, 1910
New Norfolk footballers, early 1900s

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