Club History

Club History

The Lyndale Senior Football Club was finally formed after years of trying in 1986 by the then committee of the Lyndale Junior Football Club, whose history pre-dates the seniors by 25 years. The first teams took to the ground in 1987 in the 2nd division of the South East Suburban Football League (SESFL). Under the coaching of Merv Brown for the first two seasons wins were scarce and with a change to the Eastern Suburban Churches Football Association (ESCFA) the fledgling club became much more competitive. In 1989 new coach Mick Metherall guided the boys to finish middle of the ladder. 1990 saw the appointment of a rugged no-frills coach by the name of Roger Andrew and by 1993 the club competed in its' first finals, though was unfortunately knocked out in the first semi. At the seasons' end tragedy struck on the boys' footy trip to Tasmania. Lyndale lost 6 club members when a plane carrying 10 crashed as it attempted to land at Launceston Airport in atrocious weather.
Killed were:

Mark Baxter, gun ruckman and dual B&F winner
Lance Baxter, former captain of the club and rugged full back, although he enjoyed runs on the ball
Kevin Connor, a young center half back who rarely gave an inch
Glenn King, former player and longtime supporter of the club
Dean Prendegast, a tall emerging ruckman just starting to get regular senior games
and Scott (Yobbo) Young, B&F winner the typical cheeky rover.

Also injured in the crash and never to again play were
Scott Blakley, playing attacking footy at half forward and a booming kick; Alan Fisher, a reserves B&F winner and no-frills, hard at it half back; Roger Rodrigues, a nippy rover type and Kenny Stewart, a hard as nails little man who would run all day on the ball.

Season 1994 saw a big influx of players keen to help the club after the previous years tradgedy. Among them were former club junior and Richmond U19 captain Jason (Pudda) Young, who would later win a B&F, become a premiership captain and also go on to coach the club towards the end of his distinguished career; Peter Shannahan, who went on to coach the Reserves and also become President of the Club; Peter Arnott, a classy onballer; Graeme Nixon, a handy ruckman and also the Gregorio brothers, Arthur and George.

The season showed the Seniors knocked out in the Preliminary Final, beaten by a strong East Bentleigh side. The Reserves made the Club's first appearance in a Grand Final with the Peter Shukosky-led side going down to a very slick Carrum Downs. It was a kick in the guts but it made the Club even more determined for future success, which was to be just around the corner...

A hard pre season and recruiting drive in 1995, with the inclusion of high flying forward Steve Nichol and a lump of a lad in Matt Caples, had the Club confident of premiership success. A flashy side from Boronia Park tried hard to spoil the party though. Come the last day of the year both the Senior and Reserve sides made the Grand Final. The Seconds lead all day against Black Rock, only to get over run in the last quarter. The Seniors dominated most of the day and won the Clubs' first premiership. Coach Roger Andrew and long time Captain Terry King hold the cup aloft before a week of celebrations not likely to be seen again for some time. Wayne Mould was judged BOG for the day. It was a good team effort by all involved on that historic day which incidentally, was to be Roger Andrews last as coach. Having moved south to Wisleigh in Gippsland he's known to have played a few games well into his 50’s!

1996 saw the appointment of Steve Osborne as coach and Murray Collard as captain after Terry King decided to concentrate on playing, although he’s still running around in 2005 as I write this, and the club finished mid ladder for the first year in the higher division. The appointment of Steve Reiger for the 1997 season, along with Jason “Pudda” Young as the clubs captain was a good move which once again bought success to “our little club” as the old coach used to say with a Divison 4 flag against old rival Carrum Downs. In the side that day was some gun recruits including: Simon Ponter up forward, Clint Gwin a no holes barred CHF, Darren Ruston a silky onballer, Grant Morison a skilled onballer and Jason Old a pacy rover along with a young rover type named Brett Colbert who would captain the club years down the track. Also in the side were some stalwarts of the club in King, Collard, Mould, Sasch, Hagiogolou, Matt Caples and Clappers. The club missed the finals the following year by percentage in the end, but saw some long term players finally rewarded with Cameron (worm) Womersley leading the clubs reserves to their first Premiership against Tooronga-Malvern. 1999 was a trying year with the club being forced up a division to the second grade a found itself completely outclassed on numerous occasions. With Reiger to step down from coaching and move to the administration side as President, taking over from John Chessum, he and Mick Byrne appointed former club junior and Dandenong VFA player John Kannourakis to the helm, having an immediate impact on the whole club with both senior and reserve sides winning the 3rd Division titles against Tooronga-Malvern. The senior side included both Caples brothers, Matt and Tristan(bubs), Gwinn and Ruston, Paul Cichinni, JJ Abou Jaber as well as Rod Helyard, Matt Turner and Andy Clappers.

Kannourakis saw both sides through to the deciding game in Division 2 in 2001, only for both to be soundly beaten by a determined Ashwood club.
The following 3 years saw the club compete in finals each year, with Jason Young taking over the senior coaching job in 2003. It was a trying time for the club when 6 or 7 quality players walked out, but also showed its fighting spirit with the side again fighting out finals and more former junior’s in Steve Coats & Peter Sruk leading the way. 2005 saw the side depleted again with injury, unavailability and retirements and the club barely shrugged off relegation. Young retired at the seasons end, joining the committee, whilst the club saw a whole new committee appointed, former assistant coach Danny Scott appointed to the senior coaching job and a whole new freshness around the club. Training numbers are excellent at present and the club is confident of regaining some lost ground. The club however struggled to convert this into wins and the seniors finished 9th.
From season 2006 the club has experienced very few highs as the club has found it difficult to compete with some of the more powerful clubs in division 2. At the start of the 2010 season Murray Collard moved aside as President for the past 4 years with Danny McEwan taking over the reins. In season 2010 the seniors failed to win a game, the 1st time in the club's history that this has taken place. Season 2011 sees the club go back to division 3 for the 1st time since the 2000 Grand Final and with the prospect of taking on local rivals such as Dandenong, Sandown and the Doveton Eagles excites those who have been placed in charge of our once proud club.

The selection of Rodney Benstead as Senior Coach for the 2013 season proved to be a masterstroke with the former player able to recruit heavily from the surrounding leagues and clubs in the SFL. This culmintaed in an impressive run in the 2014 finals series where the Pumas played some fantastic, exciting football. Unfortunately they were unable to overcome Mt Waverley in the Preliminery Final and finished 3rd for the year.
The Reserves led by Ivan Lajoie and skippered by Justin King were able to bring home some silverware in 2014 when they took out the premiership with an impressive display against Carrum-Patterson Lakes. David "Tinny' Luong was everywhere on the day and it was an easy decision by the umpires to award him Best on Ground.

Beanie made the decision to finish up his coaching stint with a young family and work commitments that made the commitment hard to make.
In 2015 the club was unable to retain a core of senior players who decided to test themselves at varying levels and they fell down the ladder to 8th. Whilst disappointing the results do not show the heart and determination that this group displayed on a weekly basis under the tutelage of Ivan Lajoie who stepped up into the Senior Role after the decision to replace Rodney Bensteads replacement.