History

The Early Years: 1898  -  1919

This exciting formative era of the Club saw them play sixteen seasons with a record of five premierships, four times runners up, and a total of thirteen times in the top four, remembering that some years only four teams competed.

Some of the Club’s most famous names were in evidence during this period, with the Club being well served by Bocquets, Costins, Dunns, Fleggs, Graces, Hamiltons, Howards, Leahys, Lesebergs, Presnells and a Doolan.

1898_team

The Middle Years: 1920  -  1952

Howlong spent twenty-nine years in the Chiltern and District League, missing the finals on only five occasions.  They provided six League Best & Fairest winners (in addition to one in the Corowa and District League in 1930), won three premierships in succession, and competed in nine losing grand finals, three against Barnawatha and six against Chiltern.  They finished in third place ten times, but only once finished fourth.

Scan0008

The lack of success against Chiltern may have accelerated the decision to leave this League and try the Hume League next, as it did not feature Chiltern.  Howlong and Chiltern met seventeen times in finals in this period, with Chiltern ahead by eleven wins to six, but significantly Chiltern won their last ten encounters.    The Grand Final record stands at 6-2 in Chiltern’s favour.

The Hume League: 1953  -  Present

The Club has settled into the Hume League, having now competed for 61 years, for five premierships and three times runner-up. They have missed the finals on 26 occasions.  The Hume League Best & Fairest award, the Azzi medal has been won eighteen times by Howlong players and includes five in a row from 1956.

Terry O’Halloran is one of only two triple medal winners that the League has produced. Peter, Jack and Terry are the only set of brothers to win Azzi medals.

The Hume League has also hosted the Reserves, who have one premiership in 2012, have been three times runner-up, five times third and three times fourth with four best & fairest winners and four wooden spoons in 21 years since 1976.

The Thirds, formerly the Juniors, can boast seven Premierships, four times runner up, twice third and four times fourth, with four best & fairest winners and nine wooden spoons in 44 years. The Fourths have won two unofficial premierships and two further premierships as well as being runner up eight times in the twenty years since the competition became official.

_dsc0009

Overall

All in all the Club has competed for 106 seasons since 1898, being disbanded for three seasons and losing seven years to the wars.    The Club has the following record:

Premiers Runner up 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th 11th
14 times 16 times 16 22 15 11 3 1 2 4 2

The Seniors have won seven wooden spoons, with the first three before 1915, and the last four since 1985.  Howlong can claim twenty-five League or Association Best & Fairest winners since 1930.  Records prior to this time do not indicate if Best & Fairest awards were made, so 25 winners in 80 years is an incredible strike rate.   Also 70 times in the finals over 106 seasons is a record that any football club would be proud of.

A return of only 14 premierships from 30 Grand Final appearances is perhaps statistically disappointing, but as everyone knows, a Grand Final is the hardest game of all to win, and there are many clubs with worse records in Grand Finals than Howlong.