The town of Birdwood was originally known as Blumberg, but altered its name during the first world war owing to anti-German sentiment. Unlike many other such towns it did not revert to its original name once these feelings had abated.
Blumberg began engaging in challenge matches against teams from nearby towns during the 1880s but its competitive history did not begin in earnest until after the first world war. In 1921 the Birdwood Football Club was a founder member of the Torrens Valley Football Association in which it would compete until transferring to the Hills Football Association in 1967. The club reached its first TVFA grand final in its third season in the competition, but went down by 3 points to Tweedvale. This proved to be Birdwood’s only inter-war grand final appearance, and indeed it was thirty long years before the club once again fronted up for the ultimate game of the season, this time against Lobethal, which won convincingly by 55 points.
The Roosters’ breakthrough finally arrived in 1954 courtesy of a resounding 20.20 (140) to 17.11 (113) grand final defeat of Lobethal. The remainder of the decade brought two further grand final appearances which resulted in a loss by the narrowest of margins to Mannum in 1958 and an emphatic 18.20 (128) to 9.11 (65) triumph over Gumeracha the following year.
Birdwood performed strongly during its final seven seasons in the TVFA, contesting a total of four senior grade grand finals, although only that of 1965, against Stirling, was won. Between 1967 and 1971 the Roosters competed, without achieving senior grade premiership success, in the Hills Football Association. The 1972 season saw the club lining up in Division Two of the Hills Football League (later renamed the Country Division) where it had a pronounced and immediate impact, contesting grand finals in each of its first half a dozen seasons, four of which resulted in victories.
The ensuing three decades saw the Roosters regularly contesting the finals, including seven grand finals, but only twice, in 1992 and 1994, were they successful in "bringing home the bacon". Nevertheless, the club’s overall tally of six second and Country Division premierships was, at the time of its elevation in 2007 to the HFL’s elite Central Division, unequalled.
The Roosters’ debut season in Central Division produced a perhaps predictable wooden spoon but there was considerable improvement in 2008 when, besides being generally much more competitive, they managed 4 wins, good enough for eighth place on the ten team ladder. They survived in Central Division until 2012. Since returning to Country Division (or Division Two as it was renamed in 2016) they have been regular finalists, including a losing grand final appearance against Ironbank Cherry Gardens in 2020.
John Devaney - Full Points Publications