A Culcairn Football Club is recorded as engaging in local competition as early as the 1890s, but it is not until after the club commenced in the Albury and District Football League in the 1930s that clear details of its history begin to emerge. The club’s first known senior grade premiership was claimed in this competition in 1936, with three more later being added in successive years from 1952.
Between 1957 and 1980 the club competed in the Farrer Football League, winning two out of the four grand finals in which it competed. In 1981 it was anxious to obtain a transfer to the Hume Football League but ended up instead in the Tallangatta and District Football League. Its sole senior grade premiership in this competition was obtained in 1990. Two years later the club finally got its wish as an application to affiliate with the Hume Football League was accepted. In their very first year in the competition the Lions topped the ladder heading into the finals but in the final wash-up had to be content with second place as they lost the grand final to Osborne. Culcairn went on to face Osborne in the next three grand finals as well, but only in 1993 was the side successful.
After a decade or so of mediocrity the Lions have recently re-emerged as a force. The seniors reached the 2005 grand final, but lost to Osborne. However, two years later they avenged this defeat with a 15.8 (98) to 12.12 (840 grand final defeat of the same opposition. In 2008 they qualified for the finals in pole position only to bow out of the premiership race in straight sets, losing to Osborne in the second semi final by 3 points, and Jindera by 49 points in the following week’s preliminary final.
Over the past decade or so the Lions have experienced mixed fortunes, contesting the finals in 2011, 2012, 2017, 2018 and 2019 with other seasons providing more of a struggle.
John Devaney - Full Points Publications