Football Flashback: South Bendigo FC

The South Bendigo Football Netball Club was formed in 1893 after a meeting in the Union Hotel (Hargreaves Street Golden Square), having played in the previous season as the Golden Square Imperials in the local junior competition.  With Kangaroo Flat being separated Golden Square was in fact geographically South Bendigo.

Their admittance to the Bendigo Football Association was not smooth because two key requirements were that they needed to have come out of a junior team and that they had at least 30 members. Secretary of the club, Mr. J. Knight, had indicated that the Imperials finished second and looked to be in with a chance of the premiership, but the league threw them out for a late start.

At the time the club had 90 registered members, and he felt that the club complied with the requirements. The BFA agreed and the newly named South Bendigo was admitted and would use the Golden Square Reserve as their home ground. The Imperials would remain in the junior association for another two decades.

South’s first game was against reigning premiers Bendigo on the Showgrounds (Tom Flood centre) and they were led onto the ground by newly elected skipper S. Sampson. It demonstrated that it would be a tough team, pushing Bendigo to within two goals.

It was not long before the Bloods were pushing for premiership success and their flag in 1899 would see them dominated the Association for two decades.  Between 1899 and 1919 South took out ten premierships.

The only hiccup was in 1906 when South Bendigo, Long Gully and California Gully had a run in the with the Association and left to form their own competition.  Fortunately, the stand-off only lasted a year and the club would continue to dominate.

The club made the QEO (then Upper Reserve home base for up until the exciting new prospect of a new home at the Harry Trott Oval. Since it’s inception South Bendigo has been one of the BFNL’s most successful clubs, winning 24 senior premierships, 15 reserve and 17 Under 18 flags.  On the netball court the club has won 2 B Reserve flags but continues to look for further success.