1903; merged with Central Western 1913; disbanded 1926; reformed 1947
2 Hythe Street, Drummoyne, Sydney 2047
Drummoyne Oval, Bayswater Street, Drummoyne
Sydney AFL 1994-present
NSWA(N)FL 1903-9, 1913-17, 1919-25; SFL 1948-87; SFA 1987-93
Purple, green, red and white (formerly black and yellow)
Dockers (formerly Tigers)
The Balmain Football Club was formed in 1903 and was an inaugural member of New South Wales’ first senior football competition.
Balmain was a force during the early years of the Sydney-based New South Wales Australian Football League, reaching the grand final in the competition’s second year, 1904, and contesting the finals in 1905 (fourth) and 1906 (third). The club was again prominent during the first world war when a grand final defeat by Paddington in 1916 was interspersed between third and fourth place finishes in 1915 and 1917. However, at the end of the 1925 season the league was restructured along district lines and Balmain was excluded. The club did not reform until 1947 when it again competed in the top grade Sydney competition, known at this time as the New South Wales Australian National Football League. However, it struggled, only contesting the finals twice in four decades. On the second of these occasions in 1983 the Tigers as they were nicknamed at the time made it all the way to the grand final, but an all conquering East Sydney side proved too strong, and it was not until the 1990s that Balmain rose to prominence once again. After a concerted period of success in the Sydney Football Association the side resumed participation in New South Wales football’s senior competition, the Sydney Football League, in 1994, and after struggling initially finally secured a long awaited flag in 1997. A second flag the following year appeared to confirm that the Tigers had ‘arrived’.
With a strong social base, and football currently enjoying an unprecedented boom in Sydney, the future of the club looks rosy. Nevertheless, it will be anxious to improve on recent finishes of eighth (of eight) in 2003, sixth (of eight) in 2004, eighth (of nine) in 2005, and dead set last in both 2006 and 2007.
In 2007 Balmain became known as the Dockers following the negotiation of a partnership arrangement with AFL club Fremantle.
John Devaney - Full Points Publications