Ross Gregory Oval
Victorian Amateur Football Association (VAFA) since 1947
Black, white and green
The Power House organisation was originally established in 1929 by Lord Somers, with its principal aims being to “bring together youth from all walks of life to develop greater tolerance and understanding”. As an adjunct to this, several affiliated sporting clubs were established, including the Power House Amateur Football Club which, after an aborted start in 1940, came into being as a fully fledged member of the VAFA in 1947.\n\nThe post-war VAFA comprised a total of three tiered sections or grades, A to C, with Power House initially being placed in C Section. Its early performances were far from impressive, and when the VAFA reintroduced a D Grade in 1948 that was where the club found itself. Over the next couple of seasons the standard of the team’s performances slowly improved, and in 1950 promotion back to C Grade was achieved as runner-up to East Malvern.\n\nIn both 1951 and 1952 Power House finished fourth in C Section before again securing promotion as runner-up, this time to Caulfield Grammarians. Three years later the side was in A Section following a narrow loss against Collegians in a tough, low scoring B Grade premiership decider. Demonstrating the often capricious nature of amateur football Power House then succumbed to two successive relegations so that the 1959 season saw it back in C Section.\n\nThe club’s first twelve seasons had produced plenty of excitement including three grand final appearances and a year amongst the elite company of A Section, but there is a sense in which a club cannot truly be said to have arrived until it wins its first premiership. For Power House, this seminal breakthrough, which occurred in 1959, was even more noteworthy than is usually the case as the side won that year’s C Grade premiership without losing a match, thereby earning itself the title of ‘champions’. Coached by John Layton, and with John McClure as captain, the side boasted an abundance of talent in players such as Ian Dakin, Leigh Grant, Harry South and Bob Adams. It emphasised its pedigree in B Grade by qualifying for the finals in both 1960 and 1961, but failed to attract the slice of luck necessary to procure promotion. By the mid-sixties Power House was back in C Section, contesting finals series in 1966, 1968 and 1969 before losing its way in the early seventies when it ended up in D Grade.\n\nThe club’s second senior grade flag was won in D Section in 1971 thanks to a 17.10 (112) to 14.13 (97) grand final defeat of Reservoir Old Boys. Promotion to B Grade followed two seasons later in highly controversial and indeed unprecedented circumstances. Scheduled to meet Fairfield in the grand final, the match was sensationally cancelled by the VAFA, and the premiership awarded to Power House after it emerged that Fairfield had been fielding an ineligible player, Allan Woodhead, virtually all season. Three years earlier, Woodhead had served as the paid coach of Ovens and King Football League Club Bright, and as a result had relinquished his status as an amateur, a fact which he had conveniently forgotten when signing his VAFA declaration form.\n\nWhen further investigations into Fairfield’s accounts revealed a number of other highly suspicious discrepancies, the club was expelled from the VAFA, leaving Power House to celebrate the easiest premiership any club is ever likely to win.\n\nUnfortunately, the club only lasted one season in B Section, and most of its time since has been spent in the intermediate and lower grades. It has continued to contest its fair share of finals series, however, and twice in recent years has added to its haul of senior grade premierships. In 2000 it won the D3 Section grand final in convincing fashion against Williamstown CYMS, while in 2006 it was even more emphatic in seeing off the challenge of Hawthorn Amateurs in D4 Section. In 2007, with 2006 premiership coach Robert Sarosi still at the helm, Power House celebrated its sixtieth anniversary with a competitive D3 Section campaign that saw the side manage 8 wins from 18 home and away matches to finish sixth. The 2008 season saw the club retaining its D3 status but the following year a 6-12 record was only good enough for ninth place, and, as a result, relegation to D4 Section.
John Devaney - Full Points Publications