Currently a member of Tasmania’s Southern Football League, the Huonville Lions were created from a merger in 1998 between long time Huon Football Association (HFA) rivals, Huonville (Bulldogs) and Franklin Lions. Both those clubs had enjoyed a long history in the HFA which yielded sixteen premierships between them. Success in the new competition has proved harder to attain.
In 2005, the Lions qualified for the finals in fifth place, before overcoming Sorell and Dodges Ferry in successive weeks. However, eventual premier Kermandie proved too strong in the preliminary final, winning 14.13 (97) to 12.6 (78).
The 2006 season again brought finals qualification in fifth position, but elimination final opponents Lindisfarne on this occasion proved too marginally strong, winning a hard fought game by 9 points.
The Lions qualified for their first Regional League grand final in 2007, but lost a hard fought game against Kermandie by 10 points.
Twelve months later they broke through for their first Regional League flag following an unexpected but highly meritorious grand final defeat of Lindisfarne. The Two Blues went into the grand final in seemingly unstoppable form having won their previous 19 matches but when it mattered most they could not cope with the Lions’ ferocity in close, nor their indomitable team spirit. At three quarter time in the grand final scores were level but Huonville then made light of an arduous four match finals campaign to run all over their much vaunted opponents, adding 7 last term goals to 1 to win by 37 points, 16.9 (105) to 9.14 (68). The match attracted a respectable attendance of 4,397.
The Lions qualified for the finals in 2015 when their bid for premiership honours was brought to an end at the preliminary final stage by New Norfolk who won a tightly contested encounter by 3 points. They finished sixth in both 2016 and 2017 on what is currently a nine team premiership ladder before making it as far as a losing grand final against Lindisfarne in 2018.
John Devaney - Full Points Publications