History

Some history about the North Ryde Dockers Club...

A document presented to the 2006 Committee read:

"Minutes of the inaugural meeting of the North Ryde Australian Junior Football Club, Thursday November 4th 1965". Accepted as a true and correct document, the timing of AFL football was established in the Ryde district 40 years ago by Mr & Mrs Ted Barden. Mr Reg Yaldwyn was the club's first Chairman. During this period in time the club has progressed and diminished in administration and participation.

The present Committee are now setting about to find the gaps in our past history to complete the full picture. In March 1997 local Ryde resident Andrew Moylan reformed the club under the Constitution of the North Ryde RSL and Youth Club. Andrew’s efforts with his wife Cathy re-established the club, playing competition games at ELS Hall Park in Marsfield and making the Ryde community aware AFL was back on the local sporting agenda as a new alternate winter sport for young children's participation.

The AFL now successfully competing the code nationally in all states of Australia with improved media coverage and participation at junior levels launched a new program called "Auskick" which became the successful club recruitment program and is still today the new backbone of AFL in junior and school levels.

North Ryde won "Club of the Year" for the efforts in 1997 and again in 1998. Numbers in the club grew over the next few years, A break away group formed and went to Drummoyne Oval and established the Drummoyne Australian Football club to further enhance the code on our district shores. In 2002 Andrew and Cathy Moylan departed from the club as their boys progressed onwards in their sports. Both were awarded the clubs first inaugural "Life Memberships" for the efforts re establishing the club successfully.

In 2004 the Best and Fairest award to the player in the most senior team fielded by the club would receive the "Moylan Medal". The inaugural winner was Daniel Brian followed by Daniel Baskett in 2005. Also in 2005 boys who had played over 100 junior games representing the club were awarded "Player Life Memberships" of the North Ryde Football Club.

Local primary schools adopted AFL as a new school sport with the Paul Kelly Cup and Friday afternoon PSSA competitions at ELS Hall Oval. Marist College Eastwood continued with AFL for the senior boys with a new north west Sydney Thursday afternoon competition. 2005 - Local Member for Lane Cove Anthony Roberts accepts the nomination to become the clubs patron, Local sporting establishment "Next generation" is the Club's new home for training and meetings with a new sponsorship arrangement. President Mark Lee and Drummoyne senior coach Darren Lewtas form the "Power Roos" a combination of North Ryde and Drummoyne under 16 players. They then form a pathway agreement for future junior football players at senior level with local Sydney Football League club Balmain. The Power Roos travel to Melbourne for the inaugural "Melbourne Challenge" against the Macleod Football Club. Daniel Basket and Chris Glover are named best players.

North Ryde Kangaroos were awarded the "Club of the Year" by the Northside Association for 2005 and the Sydney Swans also awarded them the "Junior Club of the Year". In 2006 the Committee adopted the motion to move away from the North Ryde RSL Youth Club and set the Club as an "Incorporated Club" with more freedom to set our own agendas in the code of AFL. Mark Lee was elected President and continued with the past committee to re establish the club. February 22nd 2006 the Club is incorporated, as the "North Ryde Australian Football Club", fielding six teams for the season in the newly formed "Greater Sydney Junior AFL" competition.

ELS Hall oval Marsfield remains the only dedicated AFL ground in the municipality of Ryde and were presented new AFL goalposts by the AFL on Tuesday 23rd May 2006 to establish the true identity and the future home of the AFL code in Ryde

2008 saw North Ryde reach the Grand Finals in 3 Divisions with the Under 13 team winning a Premiership. The Under 15 team combined with Concord Cats and against all odds also secured a Premiership. The Under 16 team combined with Holroyd Parramatta Goannas and contested the Grand Final and were unsuccessful."

Further information has been provided in an email from Jack Dare.


"I was a Balmain junior back in 1957 when we all (seniors & juniors) wore the Collingwood strip, & stayed with the club until the end of my playing days. Around 1964 things were grim at the club and finding enough bodies to field teams was a constant struggle. In 1965 a few members got together and came up with the Balmain Junior Association, comprising four clubs. They were Annandale, based at Glebe, Ermington, North Ryde, and Pennant Hills. After a difficult start we got a competition up and running, after a fashion.

As you know, Ted and Reg founded the North Ryde club, using the ELS Hall ground, while John Coles & I got the Annandale club going, playing initially, at Federal Park, Glebe - a story in itself. Bill Murphy, a former player, and Bill Carey, a player, were the founders of the Ermington and Pennant Hills Clubs, respectively. Ermington used a sloping ground at Ermington and the ground at Pennant Hills was a good "made" oval. Ermington was always hard to beat and, from memory, won the first two premierships, both, probably, against North Ryde and both, probably, at ELS Hall.

Reg was a stalwart for both junior and senior clubs. Ted seem to take a back seat after the death of his wife soon after we got the association going. It was a shock to us all. North Ryde and Annandale were fairly evenly-matched teams, with two or three stand-outs in each. Our best was Bruce Arndell,
who went on to play senior football and become a life member of the Balmain club, and Thomas Watts. Pennant Hills was to go on on to much bigger things.

By the time we began the association the Balmain club had gone through several changes of uniform. From the old & much loved Magpies to the Black & Gold similar to the Rugby
League Tigers. We held a competition for a new uniform, based on the Black & Gold district colours, and Michael Fortey's design was selected. That was a mostly black body with gold features. I think it was used until the change to the Richmond strip - possibly for economic reasons more than anything else - as St George had long since changed to their red & white district colours.

North Ryde club were in a blue & gold strip, and Annandale kept the Magpie tradition alive for several years. Try as I might, I cannot even picture the Ermington or Pennant Hills colours, although the latter may have been dark green(?).

I trust this sheds a little light on the circumstances surrounding the formation of your club. The time frame might be a year too early - memory not the best!"

And more, contributed by Mick Banning:


"I played for the then North Ryde Hawks in 1967 and 1968, I'm pretty sure we were the first of the North Ryde Aussie Rules team but not 100% sure if any other teams preceded us.

Firstly, I've attached a photo of the team 1968 North Ryde Hawks Aussie Rules Team, later to become the Kangaroos and now the Dockers. I don't remember all the players names but have listed the ones I can remember. The photo was taken on the day of the Grand Final in 1968, the location is ELS Hall Park, the same home ground used today. If you look closely you can see the goal posts in the background.

The names of the players and coaching staff are;

BACK ROW (L to R): Barney Vokler (Manager), Phil Banning, Robert Kelly, Unknown, Dennis Eade, Peter Dymock, Mick Banning, Dave Smyth, Dennis Robinson, Unknown, Unknown, Mr Eade (coach), Mrs Eade (Asst Manager).

MIDDLE ROW (L to R): Unknown, Unknown, Unknown, Unknown, Fred Rey, Chris Duncan, Robert Cox.

FRONT ROW (L to R): Unknown, Rodney Morgan, Unknown, Peter Poole, Unknown, Unknown.

As it was a struggle to fill a AFL team in those days due to the dominance of Rugby League in Sydney it was hard to field a team of 17 plus reserves. As a result of this a lot of players played above their age. We also played Rugby League and soccer after the Aussie Rules on the same day.

In relation to the 1968 Grand Final the story goes like this. There were four teams in the competition, North Ryde, Ermington, either Greenacre or Green Valley and not sure who the fourth team was. We went through the season without a win finishing in last place, however as there were only four teams in the competition we finished fourth and made the finals. We won the minor semi final and the final and had to play Ermington in the Grand Final. Ermington were undefeated and were very short price favourites to win. Our coach had booked an interstate holiday for he and his wife prior to the commencement of the finals, however when we made the Grand Final they cancelled their holiday. The Grand Final went to script and we lost by about 5 goals, but the beautiful thing was that Mr & Mrs Eade (Coach & his wife) were overjoyed at us making the Grand Final and said it was better that any holiday. We went back to their house for a celebration of party pies and soft drink.

Anyway, that's a little bit of history about the North Ryde Hawks/Kangaroos/Dockers, hope it helps."

To Update Our History

Please contact the President if you have further information or if there are any inaccuracies with the above history.