Kangaroo Flat was originally known as YANKEE BOOT FLAT - this was because of the footwear worn by miners in the area.
Kangaroo Flat as it is now known derived its name after Miners found and trapped a Kangaroo within the diggings.
Hence now the name Kangaroo Flat.
Kangaroo Flat Football Club
(According to a brief note in the Bendigo Advertiser a football club was formed at Kangaroo Flat in the middle of 1862. What became of it is not known. Ed.).
The formation off of our Club is believed to have taken place in the 1890's. Kangaroo Flat being the oldest established Club from within the Golden City Football League to be incorporated within the newly structured Bendigo Football League of 1981/82. It has been suggested that the Club colours of emerald green and white came from the many Welsh miners in the early days within the district, who wished to remember their own colours of home.
Players were recruited mainly from district miners, and many a tale has been told of the cabs going to the mines each Wednesday afternoon to bring the miners direct to the ground. It would appear that mining was indeed thirsty work, and the temptation to quench this thirst could delay the players arrival unless transport was provided for them.
The Club was re-formed following the First World War, and for a short time the uniform worn was of a navy blue jumper, complete with white emblem of the ever—present kangaroo. It is interesting to note the various positions the Kangaroo emblem has occupied over the years — head erect, head looking backwards, in full flight etc. Possibly, at times, the future of the Club compared to the position of the emblem.
The 1920's appear to have been a most successful era for our Club, from the records available. A premiership in 1923 resulted in all players receiving a suitably inscribed gold medallion, together with a framed photograph of the team. A further premiership (undefeated) was won in 1926 whilst in both 1927 and 1929 the team was narrowly defeated in the Grand Final. Teams of this era included Albions, (known at the Bridge Street Mob), Railways, Huntly, Long Gully, St. Kilians etc. Early photographs bear testimony to the fine performances and the outstanding personalities of the day. It is reported that banquets held over these years to celebrate various victories were first rate affairs, and a source of great satisfaction and enjoyment to those fortunate enough to participate in this very successful period of Club history
It would appear from records that the 1930's were not years of any marked success. In fact the reformation-of the Club in 1946, following a break in competition due to the Second World War, meant a great deal of hard work for the committee of that time. On March 23, 1946 a meeting of 47 interested persons was held at the fire station to undertake this daunting task. The election of Mr. Arthur (Parky) Dower as President, and Mr. Gordon Rusbridge as Hon. Secretary together with magnificent support from within the community assured the Club of greatness to come. Mr Vic Smith was appointed Senior Coach in an honorary capacity for 1946 season. The committee must have been well satisfied with his efforts in this formative year, as at the end of the season a resolution was adopted that Mr. Smith receive a gift to the vale of ten pound 10 shillings, ($21.00) a rather substantial amount in those days. Similarly a two pound two shilling trophy was awarded to the crack forward of the day Mr. Bill Bailey for his goal kicking prowess.
The true spirit of the Kangaroo Flat of that period is clearly expressed in the minutes recorded of those early meetings. The list of officials and patrons reads like a Whose—Who of the history of Kangaroo Flat with five vice presidents being elected and a total of 27 patrons named.
The appointment of Richie Lee, a local Football Great in 1947 saw continued success with the team making the finals. However 1948 results were a fitting reward for the effort expended to rebuild the Club following the War. In a magnificent display of power football Kangaroo Flat completed the season as undefeated Champions and Premiers. This team is still regarded by many astute judges as the complete football team and arguably the best to have played in the competition. Reserves were narrowly beaten by three points to deny the Club dual honours.
The early 1950's were transitional years as many who had seen active service reached retiring age.
However, in 1955 with Ron Lee Snr. as non-playing Coach, and with Mr Andy Danson providing splendid off-field leadership, success was again ours, when we defeated North Bendigo by thirty points in the Grand Final. It was fitting that our coach, Ron Lea, was also the Vice-Captain and an outstanding ruckman, in our undefeated side of 1948 and had returned to bring further honours to the Club. A regular semi finalist, it was not until 1960, when, coached by Alan Rohde, we narrowly defeated White Hills by seven points in a real cliff hanger to take the flag.
Unfortunately this was to be our last major success for some years, and although often taking part in the final series, grand final participation eluded us for many years. It was left to our Junior League side of the under 12's to break the ice with a courageous win in the grand final of 1976. A re-union committee was formed in 1977and during an August week-end the Club played host to probably the greatest gathering of former players and officials ever assembled. A source of great pride was the attendance of 12 members of our 1920 side. All of these gentlemen being in their 80's. It was at this re-union dinner, held at the Belvoir Park Golf Club, that the late Mr P. J. Hynam presented the 1926 undefeated Premiership Cup back to the Club for safe keeping. The cup had been in the custody of a daughter of the then Club President, the late Mr Horrie Bath.
The late seventies were a period of mixed success, as although the seniors were not able to win the coveted premiership, Reserve and third eighteen Premierships were won in 1979.
The appointment of a former member of our junior teams, Peter Hinch, as Senior Coach for 1981 culminated in this being the most successful year in Club history with triple premiership honours. Peter had played with Golden Square , Carlton and Geelong , but due to a number of injuries late in the season moved to Geelong West in the V.FA. before returning to his former Club as coach. Peter was ably assisted by Rob Gartside as reserves coach and Ron Monro as under 18's coach.
Reserves again coached by Rob Gartside were also successful in 1982 and 1983 and have the unique record of having won successive premierships in three different competitions — namely Golden City Football League, Golden City Bendigo Football League and then with the altered structure of football in this area at that time, the Bendigo Football League.
The appointment of Phillip Carman, one of the outstanding football personalities of the V.F.L. as playing Coach in 1985 created great excitement within the area. The interest created by his appointment can be gauged from the record gate of $3,500.00 when he played his first game for the Club. Dower Park was packed to capacity for this game against South Bendigo . The team managed to make the final five, but due to a number of injuries late in the season resulted in a year of outstanding potential ending on a dismal note losing the elimination final to Golden Square by a wide margin.
The years from 1985 to 1992 did not really seen the success that-football clubs seek — finishing fourth in 1990 and fifth in 1992.
1993 - 2006
Kangaroo Flat Football Club must be proud of the achievements attained over a long period of time. Not only have we helped provide first class facilities at Dower Park , but have occupied a position within the community of offering assistance to other lesser sporting bodies and community groups.
The provision of financial assistance to all major projects at Dower Park , culminating in the donation of $65,000.00 toward the magnificent sporting complex recently erected should be a source of gratification. The Club certainly would, face the future with confidence because of the pride displayed in past achievements.
Click Here For More History Written by Richard Jones
Kangaroo Flat Football Club (Vic)
Guernseys & Nicknames :
Kangaroo Flat are known as the Kangaroos, and wear green and white colours, in a theme with wings and a kangaroo motif.
1919-24 - Bendigo DFA : Kangaroo Flat participated.
1925-28 - Bendigo JFA : Kangaroo Flat participated.
1929-31 - Bendigo DFA : Kangaroo Flat participated.
1936 - Bendigo DFA : Kangaroo Flat participated.
1938-39 - Bendigo DFA : Kangaroo Flat participated.
1946-59 - Bendigo FA : Kangaroo Flat participated.
1960 - Golden City FL Grand Final : Kangaroo Flat 6.9.45 defeated White Hills 6.8.44.
1961-80 - Golden City FL : Kangaroo Flat participated.
1981 - Bendigo-Golden City FL Division 2 : Kangaroo Flat participated.
1982 - Bendigo-Golden City FL Division 1 : Kangaroo Flat participated.
1983-94 - Bendigo FL : Kangaroo Flat participated.
1995 ( Bendigo FL ) :
Kangaroo Flat were 4th after H&As.
Elimination Final - Maryborough defeated Kangaroo Flat.
1996 - Bendigo FL Grand Final : Kangaroo Flat 18.18.126 defeated Kyneton 15.20.110.
1997 - Bendigo FL (April 28) : Golden Square 15.13.103 defeated Kangaroo Flat 13.13.91.
1998-99 - Bendigo FL : Kangaroo Flat participated.
2000 ( Bendigo FL ) :
August 12 - Kangaroo Flat 19.10.124 defeated Sandhurst 16.8.104.
Grand Final - Castlemaine 12.11.83 defeated Kangaroo Flat 9.17.71.
2001 ( Bendigo FL ) :
Qualifying Final - Kangaroo Flat 15.19.109 defeated South Bendigo 12.9.81.
Second Semi-Final - Sandhurst 16.9.105 defeated Kangaroo Flat 6.11.47.
Preliminary Final - Golden Square 11.6.72 defeated Kangaroo Flat 8.11.59.
2002-Current Bendigo FL : Kangaroo Flat participated.