1991 through the merger of Belconnen and West Canberra
P.O. Box 96, Kippax 2615, ACT
AFL Canberra 2000-present
Black, white and teal
After finding the going difficult initially, the Belconnen Magpies have recently emerged as one of AFL Canberra’s strongest and most consistent sides. However, they found the task of actually breaking through for a premiership enormously difficult, losing three grand finals (in 1998, 1999 and 2001) before finally forcing their way to the top of the tree in 2002. In what was expected to be a tough, closely fought grand final, the Magpies got the jump on their opponents Queanbeyan early, and thereafter, apart from a brief period during the second term, never looked to be in any danger. After leading by 22 points at the long break, they played all over the Tigers in the second half to win running away by more than 12 goals. Final scores were Belconnen Magpies 24.19 (163) to Queanbeyan 14.6 (90). One premiership does not make a champion team, of course, and the challenge was therefore on for Belconnen to transform the long sought after winning experience into a regular habit. In 2003, the side took a major step towards doing precisely that by again claiming the flag at Queanbeyan’s expense, albeit with somewhat more difficulty on this occasion by just a single straight kick. Then, in 2004, fans of the club could start talking in terms of a premiership dynasty, after Queanbeyan was again put to the sword on grand final day, this time to the somewhat more conclusive tune of 47 points, 14.20 (104) to 8.9 (57).
The 2005 season brought a fifth successive grand final appearance, but on this occasion, despite enjoying more of the play, the Magpies ultimately succumbed by 17 points to a fitter, faster Sydney Swans reserves side. It was a similar story when the same two sides met in the 2006 grand final, albeit that, after the opening term when scores finished level, the Swans were probably a little more comfortable than in 2005, ultimately winning by 33 points, 10.16 (76) to 6.7 (43). If these losses were disappointing, they certainly did nothing to suggest that Belconnen’s days as a force in Canberra football are over, although the 2007 season brought a marginal decline as the side was ousted from premiership contention by Queanbeyan at the preliminary final stage.
John Devaney - Full Points Publications