|History of the Eastern Park Football Club.|
From the Beginning, By Barry (Bones) Warren
The Eastern Park Football Club was formed and competed in the Central Districts Football Association for the first time in 1962 season fielding teams in the A and B grade Senior, and Under 12 and Under 14 in the Junior competition.
The clubs home ground was then the newly developed Spruance Road Oval at Elizabeth East and the "change room" facilities consisted of two ex-army tents while canteen facilities were catered for in a smaller tent utilised the heating facilities of neighbouring houses to keep up a steady supply of hot foods.
On field performances were not as successful as was expected and the Club did not register its first victory in the Senior competition till mid way through the 1963 season when all powerful Elizabeth Club became its first victim.
A strong recruiting program during the summer of 1963 saw a completely revitalised team for the 1964 season and having made the finals for the first time went on to be runners up to Elizabeth North and the Association A grade medal went to Captain Coach, Arthur Travena who again won the medal in 1966.
1964 also saw the Club successful for the first time in Junior ranks with Joey Uzzle winning the medal in the Under 12's.
From the mid sixties through to the mid seventies the Club continued to strive for success in the Senior grades but with lack of numbers of better players, success always managed to escape the struggling Demons.
This same period however produced much better results in the Junior grades with Premierships in the Under 12's in 1965, Under 17's in 1969, under 9's in 1970, Under 15's in 1970 and 1973 and under 11's in 1972.
This period also produced Association medal winners in Jim Scully, Under 16's in 1963. Danny Callahan, Under 10's in 1970 and Under 13's in 1973 and the much coveted Under 17's medal to Colin Graham in 1974.
This period also produced some very talented footballers such as the Graham boys. Phillips, Brenton and Colin later distinguished themselves in League ranks.
After a couple of years with no senior teams at all and with our Junior ranks becoming depleted the Committee of the day decided to move home to the Dwight Reserve at Elizabeth Park and to compete once again in Senior ranks.
With the fast growing areas of Elizabeth Park and Elizabeth Downs to draw on, 1978 saw the emergence of a new era in Club history as it went on to win premierships in the A2 grade in 1978, 1980 and 1981. George Schallehn and Alan Lornie won the Association Medal in 1978 and 1980 respectfully and Tim Jardine won the A2 leading goal kicker in 1980 and 1981.
The junior grades were taking a little longer to establish than was anticipated when the first venues and successes were few and far between. The highlights being a premiership in Under 11's in 1985 and the success of Shaun Sellars in winning the Association Medals in Under 9's in 1983, under 11's in 1985 and under 12's in 1986.
After some rather disastrous years in the A1 competition the Senior teams again went back to the A2 grade in 1987 and were again in capturing the premiership flag in this grade and being runners up in 1988.
1988 also saw Shane Gursanksy win the Under 9's Association Medal and Tim Jardine win the A2 grade for leading goal kicking in excess of the 100 goals for the year.
1989 saw the Club return to the A1 grade competition and while retaining most of the previous years players and recruiting a few new faces and while the club did not make it to the finals the dedication and determination of the players, supporters and the small but hard working Committee certainly won the respect of other Clubs in the competition, and laid a foundation for a successful future.
After considerable hard work by the small but able Committee, supported by the ladies in the canteen, 1989 saw the start to the long awaited extension to the Clubrooms.
TO BE CONTINUED