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Great Flinders Football League
& Great Flinders Netball Association

Football Club President: Craig (Bart) Higgins

Football Club Secretary: Danny Collins

Football Club Online Coordinator: Steve Milton

Football Club Treasurer: Carrie Calderwood

Netball Club President: Stacey Curtis

Netball Club Secretary: Kristy Modra

Netball Club Recorder: Nicole Challinger

Netball Club Treasurer: Kelly Barnett

Founded: 1906

GFFL A Grade Football Premierships: 4

GFFL B Grade Football Premierships: 16

GFFL Senior Colts Football Premierships: 14

GFFL Mini Colts Football Premierships: 20

Home Ground: Tumby Bay Oval

Colours: Navy Blue & White

Mascot: Blues

Tumby Bay

Club History

The Tumby Bay Football Club was formed in 1906 and the records show that it was initiated by Constable Simmons, Mr Syd Bawden and Mr A Garrett.The officials of the club were Mr. J. Lynch, Mr C.Neindorf, Mr. L. Brock and Mr W. Schrieber.


Matches in those days were arranged and played wherever possible, players and officials travelled by horse, buggies and drays. Playing conditions were fairly primitive, games were played on no recognised ovals, the best available paddocks were marked out, goal posts were erected and obstructions including stumps removed to give a clear playing area.


In 1907 Tumby Bay joined the Port Lincoln Football Association. Teams comprised of Waybacks, Boston Bay, Port Lincoln and an aboriginal team from Poonidie. Games played between Tumby Bay and Port Lincoln teams were played in a paddock belonging to Mr Goode on White River Station.


In 1908 Tumby Bay won its first premiership.


1910 - 1912 Tumby Bay, Lipson, Carrow and Moody formed a Warratta Football Association, Yallunda Flat also formed a team and joined at a later date.


In 1913 Tumby Bay defeated Railways to win the premiership in the Port Lincoln Association.

In 1915 – 1919 the club went into recession due to World War I


After the war in 1920 Tumby Bay defeated Lipson in the Grand Final when the Todd Reservoir was being built and a team was formed called White River, around the same time a team from Point Bolinbroke known as the 'Sandhill Savages' also competed. 


Tumby Bay claimed the premiership in 1922 and 1923 with L.Golding being crowned the association's best player in season 1922.


In 1925 Tumby Bay and Lipson joined the Eastern Eyre Peninsula Football Association which comprised of teams from Ungarra, Butler, Yallunda Flat, Carrow (Port Neill) and for a while Wharminda. The records show that Tumby Bay were premiers although it is not known who they defeated in the final. 


In 1926 White River reformed and became a part of this association and called themselves the Combines, but they only lasted a short time before they folded again.


In 1928 F.Kschenka was voted the Port Lincoln Times 'Most Popular Player' in the Eastern Eyre League after a poll was conducted. Tumby Bay team mates J.Drake and H.Davie were voted second and third respectively.


Tumby Bay had a very successful era in the mid to late thirties winning flags in the seasons of 1934, 1935, 1938 and again in season 1940 thanks due largly to Elders rep. Max Bray who became the first Tumby Bay footballer to win the Mail Medal in 1939 and again in 1940.


There was a short recession in 1941 – 1944 for the 2nd World War.


After the resumption of the league following the war Tumby Bay defeated Ungarra in the 1947 Grand Final, the first of five consecutive premierships, all of which were played against Port Neill. This was undoubtably the most successful era in the club's history and former West Adelaide and State player, Jack Connell who would later be honoured by being named  Tumby Bay's 'Coach of the Century' was at the helm for all five premierships.


In 1954 Tumby Bay ruckman William Provis won the Mail Medal, ten votes clear of his nearest rival.


In 1955 Tumby Bay defeated Ungarra to claim its seventeenth flag in its 50th year. Mr M.J. Morgan was the coach and Dean Dunn who recently moved to the town with his parents and younger brother Roger to take over the Tumby Bay Hotel licensee was the Club Captain. Both Dean and Roger were named in the best players for Tumby with Roger kicking 5 goals.


Tumby Bay remained a part of the Eastern Eyre Association up to and including 1961 when they won the premiership after defeating Port Neill in the Grand Final. Captain Coach, returning Sturt rover Roger Dunn won the first of his three Mail Medals to cap off a fine season for the Red and Whites. 


In 1962 Tumby Bay left the Eastern Eyre Peninsula League and headed south down the highway to compete against Waybacks, Lincoln South, Tasmans and Marble Range. With the change of League's came a change of colours with the club deciding to adopt the double blue guernsey worn by SANFL club Sturt. Doug Young a stock firm representative who had spent time at Sturt won the Mail Medal in 1962.


In 1963 Tumby Bay would be reaquainted with traditional rivals Ungarra, Lipson and Butler as they combined forces and entered the Port Lincoln Football League as Eyre United after it was decided to disband the Eastern Eyre Peninsula League.


Tumby Bay whilst being ultra competitive since joining the League had arguably its best opportunity in 1967 to win a flag. Bouyed by the return of Roger Dunn in the latter half of the season following his commitments with Sturt, the Double Blues seemed destined to qualify for the 1967 premiership decider until a last quarter fade out against Waybacks saw them surrender a six goals three quarter time lead. 

Amazingly enough Roger Dunn who polled first preference votes in all six minor round games that he played won his second Mail Medal. Later that month he returned to Adelaide to play a significant role in Sturt's second consecutive premiership.


In 1968 The Double Blues claimed their first flag since rejoining the Port Lincoln Football League. A goal kicked close to full time by emerging star John Lodge proved to be the match winner against Lincoln South. Captain Coach Roger Dunn was again awarded the League's highest award wining back to back Mail Medals. Roger was once again invited back to compete in SANFL finals with Sturt but was unfortunately injured on the Thursday night at training. 


Tumby Bay Football Club joins Great Flinders Football League

The Tumby Bay Football Club ended its 19 year affiliation with the Port Lincoln Football League at the end of season 1980 and joined the Great Flinders Football League in 1981 the same year that the club celebrated its 75th year.


In its very first season the club proved to be dominant force with the senior side winning through to the Grand Final after dropping just one minor round game before losing by a solitary point to perennial grand finalists Ramblers in a thrilling match. That season Captain Coach Brenton Lamshed won the Mail Medal as the association's best & fairest player.

In 1982 Tumby coached by Tom Tierney again progressed to the Grand Final only to be outclassed by Ramblers  who claimed their 15th straight grand final victory. Tumby Bay ruckman Peter Burton was awarded  the Mail Medal in that year.

After the retirement and movement of several key players the club, under the guidance of new coach Tony Higgins (1985-1988) entered into a rebuilding phase in the mid eighties and finals appearances were few and far between.

During this time the club through the hard work of its members and the generous support from local tradesmen demolished the old grandstand and built new changeroom facilities and canteen. In more recent years the club has built their own clubrooms adjacent to these facilities.

Doug Murphy who had previously been at the helm in the 1970’s during the club’s time in Port Lincoln was appointed coach for seasons 1989 and 1990. 


In 1991 under the guidance of former Woodville rover Bill Ruth the Blues qualified for the Grand Final but were no match for the highly skilled Kapinnie outfit.

Former Kapinnie star Neil Phelps was appointed coach of the Blues for season 1993 replacing Tony Higgins from the year before. Phelps won the club’s Best & Fairest award and guided the team to another grand final. He was named best afield for the Blues but his efforts were in vain as his former team triumphed in a closely contested final.


In 1995, fourteen years after joining the GFFL the club finally tasted premiership success with first year coach Rex Whittaker in his role as captain coach, leading the club to its first flag since 1968. In wet and slippery conditions the Blues were too strong for a determined Lock outfit with former South Adelaide player Joe Cross being named best on ground.


The season of 1999 would prove to be a great year for the club not only winning the Grand Final but providing the Mail Medalist with Brian Coad in a tie with Ashley Warner from Ramblers taking out the honour as did his team mate Shaun McInerney the year before him. Tim Leehane was captain coach of the Blues.

In season 2000 Craig Curtis became the club’s third Mail Medalist in as many years sharing the honour in another tied count with Cougars onballer Guy Bagshaw. Clint Giradi booted 116 goals for the Blues, a club record at the time.

In 2005 Craig Curtis became the club’s first dual Mail Medalist since Roger Dunn and only the third Captain Coach in the club’s history to win a Mail Medal after being appointed coach at the start of the 2004 season.

In 2006 the club would celebrate its 100th year and no stone was left unturned as it strived for success securing a berth in the grand final  against arch rivals Ramblers with the Magpies dashing the Blues hopes of premiership glory in its Centenary year with a commanding victory. This would be the first of four consecutive grand finals that would be contested between the two clubs. The club’s 100th year was marked by a weekend of celebrations including a match against Ramblers with players wearing a commemorative guernsey that were auctioned later that night at the reunion dinner.

A ‘Team of the Century’ was announced with ex Sturt champion and SA State representative Roger Dunn being named captain of the side and Brenton Lamshed his deputy. The late Jock Connell was honoured by being named coach of the team.

16 year old Jay Shannon capped off a fine season by winning the 2006 Mail Medal and in doing so became the youngest footballer to win the medal in the history of the Great Flinders Football League.

The Blues turned the tables on the Magpies in the 2007 decider winning by a decisive margin. In a year in which they were undefeated the club provided both the League’s Best & Fairest player and Leading Goal kicker in the form of ex Norwood full forward Chris Prime who booted fourteen goals in the grand final, the last of which was his 150th for the season. The side was well coached by Richard Horgan in his second year of a four year term.

In 2008 the club continued its dominance, stretching its unbeaten run to thirty three games before falling at the last hurdle against a more determined Ramblers outfit. Playing host to the Magpies the Blues came from behind in the grand final to hit the lead mid way through the last term but Ramblers steadied in the last few minutes to claim a gutsy win that few would have thought possible. Chris Prime kicked another century of goals and claimed his second Mail Medal in as many years.


The Blues gained revenge in 2009 easily accounting for the Magpies in a one sided Grand Final with 2008 Club Champion Paul Jefferson at his dominant best and 2009 Mail Medalist and captain Michael Curtis showing why he was a 100 game player for Sturt in the SANFL. Senior Coach Richard Horgan was honoured by being named ‘Country Coach of the Year’


In 2010 the club although crippled with injury to key players was competitive and made its way through to another finals series before making an early exit in the elimination final against a younger and fitter United Yeelanna side.


In 2011 the club narrowly missed playing finals footy for the first time in many seasons.


As the club enters the 2012 season it remains an organization as strong as it was when it first joined the GFFL 30 years ago, both on and off the field with good administration, experienced coaching staff and healthy membership.


Since joining the Great Flinders Football League the Tumby Bay Football Club and its hard working committees have developed facilities that are second to none and with a playing surface widely regarded as one of the best on Eyre Peninsula.


With the recent addition of an upgraded oval lighting system the club is now able to host night games, which is a first for the Great Flinders Football League.

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