Details of Claremont’s early history are patchy, but the picture becomes clearer after the club commenced in the Tasmanian Amateur Football League’s Southern Division in 1949. That was also the year the club replaced its original colours of green and yellow with the black and white still worn to this day.
After reaching consecutive grand finals in 1950 and 1951, both of which were lost, Claremont’s fortunes underwent a prolonged decline. Finally, however, in 1965 the Magpies again contested a grand final, and this time they were successful, downing University by 27 points, 13.16 (94) to 8.19 (67). Three years later, they added a second flag with another grand final win over Uni, this time by the much closer margin of just 2 points. Shortly afterwards, they procured their first state title thanks to an 11.14 (80) to 10.13 (73) defeat of Northern Division premier Mowbray.
It was during the 1970s that Claremont really arrived as a competition power, winning five premierships from five grand finals. In 1974, 1978 and 1979 the side also won the state title.
Impressive though this was, things would get even better, as in the sixteen seasons between 1980 and 1995 the Magpies contested every grand final except one, winning ten of them. The state championship was no longer being contested every season by this time, but Claremont still managed to win it on six occasions, losing only once.
In 1996 the TAFL went into recess, and Claremont crossed to the Southern Football League. In 1997 the Magpies won all except one of their 19 roster matches only to put in a ‘shocker’ on grand final day and go under to Kingston by 25 points. Between 2002 and 2008 the Magpies competed in the SthFL’s regional league, getting within one game of the grand final in 2007 and finishing fourth the following year. Since the return to a single division system in 2009 the Magpies have gone from strength to strength. They made it through to their second grand final in 2013, only to lose to New Norfolk. Another grand final loss to New Norfolk followed in 2014 but the 2015 season was a case of third time lucky as the Magpies comfortably accounted for their erstwhile conquerors on grand final day with scores of 16.15 (111) to New Norfolk 6.11 (47). The 2016 season brought back to back grand final successes, this time at the expense of Lindisfarne by a margin of 8 points. The Magpies again qualified for the finals in 2017 and ultimately finished third, a result that was repeated a year later. In 2019 the team dropped down the list to sixth before an eminently forgettable 2020 campaign which produced eight losses from eight matches, and inevitably consigned the Magpies to the wooden spoon.
John Devaney - Full Points Publications