Local football rivals Yea and Kinglake meet on Monday, April 25, for an ANZAC Day clash in Round 2 of the AFL Yarra Ranges Division 2 competition.
Local historians note that the Kinglake club was in operation between 1925 and 1980, reforming in 1990.
Its premiership pedigree includes wins in 1939 and 1940 (Panton Hill District Football League); and 1994 (Yarra Valley Mountain District Football League).
The Kinglake club also has a strong record of being runners-up in 1933, 1935 and 1936; as well as more recently in the YVMDFL.
Guernsey colours have been:
■ Light blue (until 1940);
■ Green with Yellow “V” (1946-1981);
■ Yellow with Green “V” (1990-2000);
■ Green with three yellow “Lightning Bolts” (2002-2007); and
■ The “Three Mountain” design showing one large and two small green mountains rise from bottom of the jumper to chest area with a yellow background, representing Kinglake East, Central and West.
Details of the Kinglake club’s early history is scarce. One of the early players and officials
was John McMahon, born 1876.
He played football for Kinglake in his youth and in his later years acted as goal umpire and timekeeper.
McMahon supplied transport for the team for quite a few seasons.
Kinglake F.C. joined the Bourke-Evelyn Football League in 1930.
The Kinglake team collected two flags in this era, at a time when the Club and the Panton Hill District Football League were in recess for two seasons, 1937-38.
The competition was also in recess from 1941-46, due to World War II.
Club history documentation says that a new local league was formed in 1947 by Andy Duff of Panton Hill, Col Sinclair of Hurstbridge, and Jeff Ashton of Kinglake, and known as
the Panton Hill Football League (PHFL) and consisted of seven teams – Panton Hill, Wallan East, Plenty Rovers (Mernda), Hurstbridge, Kinglake, Whittlesea and St Andrews.
Kinglake F.C. competed in this league until the club folded at the end of 1980 season.
The Panton Hill league folded in 1987.
Behind-the-scenes moves were made in 1989 to re-form the Kinglake Football Club, and the organisation was incorporated on April 10, 1990.
The Club says: “For the first time since August 1980, the Kinglake Football Club took to the field in the Yarra Valley Mountain District (Division 2) against local rival Panton Hill.
“It had been nine years since we played them in the now-disbanded league our clubs formed, the Panton Hill Football League.”
In May 1992, Peter Hale (Senior Squad), Adam Wolfenden (U/18 Squad) and Darren McCumber (U/18 Squad) were selected to represent the YVMDFL representative
side in the inter-league match against the SWGFL.
In 1994, a flag was returned to the mountain when Kinglake 15.14 (104) defeated South Belgrave 11.10 (76) to win the club’s first YVMDFL premiership.
On New Year’s Eve 1994, the Kinglake Scout Hall (which was also used as football club social rooms was burnt to the ground.
It would be several years before Kinglake FC had club rooms again, only to be confronted with the horrific Black Saturday fires in 2009.
Kinglake had briefly joined the Diamond Valley Football League in 1996.
In 1999, the DVFL introduced the ‘Kinglake Rule’ to take into account the unique weather on the mountain.
The rule stipulated that both clubs would take two points from any match that was abandoned before half-time.
The leading team’s score would count towards percentage only after Kinglake vs Lower Plenty match was called off by the umpires due to a “pea soup” fog.
Kinglake Football Club was in recess for season 2001 due to low numbers at pre-season training.
By October 2001, Kinglake FC General Manager Leigh Dunscombe announced a return to the DVFL for season 2002.
In 2003, for the first time in 27 years, Kinglake 13.3 (86) defeated Whittlesea 12.12 (84) by two points.
“The response was overwhelming with supporters spilling onto the ground, hugging players and jumping for joy.”
“Kinglake coach, Glen Hanlan, told the Whittlesea Post: “It was like they had won a Grand Final.”
The Whittlesea coach was sacked in response to their loss to Kinglake.
Kinglake FC played its last NFL (DVFL) game on August 18, 2007, losing 4.6.30 to Mernda 30.24 204 at Mernda.
Senior Coach, Michael ‘Moccha’ Egan retired.
On April 12, 2008, Kinglake made its second debut in the YVMDFL with a home game against Yea.
Brent Gallichio kicked 12 goals for the Lakers to lead the VCFL goal kicking for Round 1.
The seniors made the YVMDFL finals in first year back in that competition,
finishing fifth on the ladder, to play in the next weekend’s Elimination Final at Yarra Junction.
Brad Wilkinson is continuing as Kinglake Senior Coach in 2016.
Cam Arnott is Assistant Coach and Nathan Booker Reserves Coach.
Cameron Caine has been appointed Under 18’s Football Coach.
A letter from ‘Willie Winner’ announced the formation of the Kinglake Football Club.
The cheeky letter was published in the Hurstbridge-based Advertiser newspaper, published by Decimus H. Mott, on Friday, May 2, 1930.
The editor announced: “We have received the following letter from Kinglake, and think it may be of great interest to readers:- “Dear Brother,-We have now formed a football. team, which will be known as the “Wiregrass Wanderers.
“The club has joined the Bourke-Evelyn Association and is drawn to play Mernda in one of the local paddocks next Saturday.
“This will be the first match to be played in public, and we all hope not the last.
“I have not seen football played before our boys started, but I am convinced that they play, the game just as it should be played.
“We have been playing against ourselves lately, but next Saturday we will all be playing on the one side, and, a great side it will be!
“We expect to do much better at football than cricket because we will be playing eighteen men instead of eleven. An extra seven players will mean a big thing to the team.
“Blue and white jerseys, with white knicks, are to be the colours at the start of every match, although the first, match may be played in our working togs should our parcel arrive late.
“The captain has not been picked yet, and for the position, I expect fully eighteen or more applicants. – I hope our local cricket umpire will be selected as dispute umpire because he
is very fair.
“Should this be arranged we should win the championship.
“If other teams follow our methods in the game. the standard of football (by them) will be greatly improved.
“Everyone here is very excited over the future.
“I myself, am too excited to write any more.
“P.S.-Will let -you know how much we beat Mernda by next week.W.W.”
In the next week’s issue, Willie said: “We suffered our first defeat by 7 points, the scores at knock-off time being: Mernda, 10 behinds -6 goals and our team 9 behinds 5 goals.
“We are claiming half a win because we were winning when the bell rang for smoke-o.”
First published at https://websites.sportstg.com/club_info.cgi?c=1-6211-81060-0-0&sID=92099 in 2008. (See for a full credit of original sources).
Later re-published by The Local Paper, Vol. 1, No. 8, 13 April 2016, pp.23-4.