Drouin Football Club has been in existence for more than a century, during which time it has participated in several different competitions. The club enjoyed particular success during the 1940s, contesting five grand finals in half a dozen seasons - all against Pakenham - for wins in 1941, 1946 and 1949.
The 1950s brought three further grand final appearances, with the Hawks enjoying success in 1958 against Pakenham.
Having competed in the West Gippsland competition between 1941 and 1959 (apart from the war years), Drouin crossed to the Latrobe Valley Football League in 1960, and remained there for six seasons. On returning to the WGFL Drouin promptly qualified for two consecutive grand finals, losing to Garfield in 1966, but overcoming Longwarry the following year.
The 1970s saw the Hawks regularly participating in the September action, but only once, in 1978, did they manage to claim a premiership, thanks to a grand final defeat of Cora Lynn. Between 1978 and 1987 Drouin never failed to contest the finals, but they were unable to add to their haul of flags. They reached three consecutive grand finals from 1981 to 1983, only to go under to Koo Wee Rup, Pakenham and Garfield.
After missing the finals in 1988 Drouin embarked on another concerted flirtation with success which saw it engage in finals football for six straight seasons for finishing positions of second, second, first, first, third and third. The grand final successes were achieved at the expense of Cora Lynn in 1991 and Garfield in ‘92.
At the end of the 2001 season the West Gippsland Football League merged with the Latrobe Valley Football League, and Drouin was a founder member of the resultant competition, the imaginatively-named West Gippsland La Trobe Valley Football League. Between 2002 and 2004 the competition was split into a premier division and a western division, with the Hawks competing in the latter. In 2005 a streamlined single division competition - known as the Gippsland Football League - was initiated, in which Drouin won 5 of 16 matches to finish seventh (of nine). The 2006 season was rather forgettable for the Hawks as they slumped to the wooden spoon after managing just 2 wins all year, a tally that was doubled a year later to propel them two places up the ladder to seventh. However, in 2008 they again plummeted to last place, albeit with the same number of victories as in 2007.
After that there was some improvement and the Hawks made finals appearances in 2009, 2010 when they lost the grand final to Maffra, 2011 when they were losing grand finalists against Traralgon, and 2016. There have also been some disappointing seasons, most noticeably in both 2014 and 2017 when they lost all 18 matches contested en route, inevitably, to wooden spoons. They enjoyed a slightly better season in 2018 when they managed four wins and a draw from 18 games to finish eighth of 10 teams. This was followed by a promising 2019 campaign which saw the Hawks qualify for the finals in fifth place, which was where they ultimately finished after an elimination final defeat at the hands of Moe.
John Devaney - Full Points Publications