Marshall Football Club was established in 1946, and competed in the Geelong and District Football League under that name until 1955, when it became known as Marshall Grovedale. The club’s inaugural premiership was claimed in 1963 in the Jarman Cup, which was in effect the G&DFL’s third tier competition. The Tigers downed Leopold in the grand final by a margin of 27 points, 12.17 (89) to 9.8 (62).
In 1970 the club was renamed Grovedale. Since winning the Jarman Cup flag in 1963 the side had been competing in the G&DFL’s second tier competition, known as the Woolworth Cup. In 1973 the Woolworth Cup was re-christened Division Two, and the Tigers seemed to appreciate the name change as they promptly reached the first of five consecutive grand finals. In both 1973 and 1974 they lost to Modewarre, as they would do again in 1976. In between they procured their second senior grade premiership after overcoming Modewarre in the 1975 grand final by 5 points, 14.8 (92) to 12.15 (87). The last of their five successive grand final appearances in 1977 produced another triumph, this time at the expense of St. Joseph’s, whom Grovedale defeated by three straight kicks, 19.19 (127) to 17.13 (115).
With this victory came promotion to Division One, but after just one season competing at that level all the Division One clubs seceded to form a new competition, the Geelong Football League. The Tigers have competed in this league ever since without as yet making it through to a senior grade grand final. There has been success in the other grades, however, with the reserves going top in 1997, and the club’s various under-age teams a total of half a dozen times.
The seniors have performed strongly of late, contesting the finals in 2013, 2015 and 2016. The 2017 season brought a marginal decline as the Tigers dropped to eighth on the 12 team premiership ladder, a result that was repeated in 2018, before a drop of one place in 2019.
An earlier incarnation of the Grovedale Football Club emerged out the Germantown club which commenced in 1908. Because of anti-German sentiment during world war one the club was renamed Grovedale, and after the war it competed in the Freshwater Creek District Football Association between 1920 and 1925 before disbanding. In both 1923 and 1925 it played off for the premiership, losing to Belmont in the former year and to Barrabool in the latter.
John Devaney - Full Points Publications