P.O. Box 6741, Upper Mt Gravatt 4122
Corner Clump & Logan Roads, Upper Mt Gravatt
QAFL 1994-6; QSFL 1997-9; AFL Queensland 2000-present
Blue, black and white
Since its admission to Queensland football’s state competition in 1994 Mt Gravatt has enjoyed remarkable success. Competitive from the start, the Vultures reached their first grand final in 1996, only to succumb badly to a combination of finals nerves and a ruthless opponent in West Brisbane, which won with ease by 9 goals. Another grand final the following year brought an even more emphatic reversal, with perennial power club Southport running riot to win by a record margin of 94 points, 26.13 (169) to 11.9 (75).
That ultimate hurdle is often the hardest one to surmount, and so there will have been great relief in the Vultures’ camp when, on their next appearance in a grand final, they not only won, but did so with an ease and a conviction that was completely unexpected. The fact that the grand final opposition was provided by the club’s 1997 nemesis, Southport, only reinforced the satisfaction gleaned from an emphatic 20.11 (131) to 10.10 (70) triumph.
In 2003 the side was struggling to recapture anything remotely approximating to its premiership form of the previous year when a mid-season appointment of Michael Gibson to the senior coaching position inspired a sudden and seismic upsurge in fortunes. The side not only reached the finals, but made it through to the ‘big one’ to defend its title. Unfortunately, however, Morningside proved to have the Vultures’ measure when it counted, and won an unexpectedly one-sided grand final by 63 points.
The 2004 season brought an unexpected decline in fortunes as the side slumped to fifth position on the ladder, although Mick Stinear’s Grogan Medal triumph afforded some consolation.
Things got even worse in 2005 in what was the Vultures’ inaugural season as members of the newly constituted state league division one. With a mere 5 wins from 18 minor round matches, they finished just one place off the bottom in an eight team competition.
After that, qualification for the finals in fifth place in 2006 represented a significant improvement, even if Mt Gravatt’s premiership hopes were immediately dashed in the elimination final by Morningside. Then, in 2007, things finally came together perfectly as the Vultures proved beyond any question that they were the leading team in the competition. After winning 14 and drawing 1 of their 19 home and away matches to top the ladder they cruised to premiership glory on the strength of a 17.19 (121) to 13.11 (89) second semi final defeat of Morningside, and a 16.12 (108) to 10.10 (70) win over Southport in the grand final.
John Devaney - Full Points Publications