1902; into recess 2002; reformed 2003
Oatlands District Football Association (ODFA) since 2003
Green and red
In 2001 the Lions defeated Kempton by 10 points, 9.13 (67) to 8.9 (57), in the Oatlands District Football Association grand final. The victory gave them their fourth consecutive flag and a competition record seventeen in all. Between 1989 and 2001 they contested all thirteen grand finals and won ten of them. Yet the 2002 season saw Woodsdale, which was financially secure, forced to go into recess because it did not have sufficient players to field a team.\n\nThankfully, this hiatus in the story of a remarkable club was only fleeting. In 2003 the Lions resumed, and it was almost the stuff of fairytales as they performed superbly all season, only to fall at the ultimate hurdle against Mount Pleasant, a team they had beaten a fortnight earlier in the second semi final.\n\nWoodsdale was a foundation member of the ODFA when the competition commenced in 1952. The club contested its first grand final in 1954, but lost to Mount Pleasant by 3 points. Between 1956 and 1960 it played off in every grand final, winning all but one of them. Another sequence of five straight grand final appearances followed between 1963 and 1967, but this time Woodsdale found the opposition sterner, and managed just two wins.\n\nThe 1970s was the nearest thing to a nadir in Woodsdale’s post-war history as the side failed to claim a single premiership, and only once made it through to a grand final.\n\nSince beating Tunnack in the 1986 grand final the Lions have been far and away the ODFA’s most consistently successful team. Although they have yet to add to their premiership haul since reforming in 2003, they remain a force to be reckoned with, and in 2007 they reached yet another grand final only to go down to Swansea by 20 points. A year later they claimed their eighteenth ODFA premiership before going ‘back to back’ in 2009.
John Devaney - Full Points Publications