The Woodsmen Australian Football Club was founded in September 2008 with Laurie ‘Skinny’ Nipperess, Scott ‘Keano’ Keane and Jason ‘Monster’ Cook as the main driving force behind the establishment of the club. Other foundation committee members included Bails, Thommo, Danbo and Knackers.
Born from the Ashes of social footy sides like the ‘Low Rollers’ of 2006 and the Sherwood Old Boys (SOBS) of 2007 and 2008, the Woodsmen AFC was formed and incorporated when we found ourselves homeless at the completion of the 2008 season when the Western Magpies were promoted to the State League for the 2009 Season.
Bails made an approach to Wests/Sherwood legend William ‘Electricity Bill’ Pierce to be the inaugural coach for 2009, and what a year it was! (outline below in “The Story”)
The Woodies (as they are affectionately known to their supporters and players) cater for a wide range of blokes from all backgrounds. There are clear links to the Western Magpies with many senior premiership players from the Magpies ’06,’08 and ’12 Premiership sides, as well as the 2006 Division 1 U18 Premiership side. In addition the Woodies encourage participants new to the game and from other sporting backgrounds and one of the most sought after trophies on Presentation Night is that of the “Rising Woody” awarded to the best first year player who had not previously played Australian Rules Football before. Inaugural winner, Jeffson “Buddha” Fehr-Smith is now a club legend and automatic selection in any Woodsmen side!
We run on the blood sweat and tears of our volunteers like Craig “Knackers” Nipperess and have a strong ‘no dickheads’ policy at the club. We’ve sometimes taken the field with 22 stars, and other times taken the field with 14 misfits for a complete belting – but always done it with a smile and well earned post match beer.
We are….. “The Woodies!”
Nos ludos nam amor cervesia!
“The Story…” – 2009
In our first season, we finished 2nd after a long and tough H&A season with a dominant Southern redbacks side finishing top of the ladder undefeated. The Woodsmen however, were confident that a fairytale premiership was attainable and traveled down the Mt Lindsay Highway to take on the all conquering Redbacks on their home turf in the major semi-final. The Woodsmen were a little too confident that the first time they had fielded a full strength side for the year would result in an easy victory, and were jumped early by the fired up Redbacks with some quality late season inclusions – falling behind by 6 goals at quarter time…
The Woodies fought back hard and gradually clawed their way back into the match before running over the top of them in the last quarter to register a memorable 20 point win.
With a week off to rest some sore old bodies, expectation was high in the Woody Camp. Peely managed to take out the League Medal on the Monday leading up to the big day (despite only playing 7 matches) and after an intense fitness test from Keano and Princess, Bails was able to force his way back into the side after 6 weeks out with a knee problem. After a tough night at match committee, where President Skinny was forced to pull rank to get Thommo a reprieve- the Woodsmen were off to Zillmere for the final showdown.
Conditions were blustery and an early brainfade from Gilly, resulting in 15 minutes on the sidelines, again saw this mighty Woodsmen outfit give the Redbacks a healthy start. However, now with a full compliment of players – the Woodsmen were full of confidence with their mixture of old heads, big bodies, outside run and a star studded forward line consisting of junior star Nipper, experienced Western Magpies senior premiership player Gilly and big Leroy the former Redlands goalkicking ace from the 90’s!
Bartso was dominant in the ruck feeding first possession to Peely, the evergreen Mousey and the bullocking Princess and Robbo in the centre and at the stoppages. Tranny was doing a superb job quelling the influence of the Redbacks giant full-forward with his athleticism and Greeny was marking everything across half back.
Kicking with the wind in the 3rd quarter, the Woodies failed to capitalise and the 3/4 time break came with the scores on an even keel. It would take a mighty effort from the weary Woodies to run out winners into the wind. Big Leroy snagged 2 crucial last quarter goals after strong marks to take his match tally to 5 and the Woodsmen were looking the goods with Mousey now starting to turn the clock back with his superb work around the stoppages and precise delivery.
The Redbacks came again, and with the game in the balance – there was a stoppage on the Woodsmen attacking 50m line. It was a scrappy contest, and after a rare Peely fumble the ball somehow found its way into the hands of Thommo who panicked like only a big man with limited skills can, and threw it on the boot heading in the general direction of goal. There was nobody at home for the Redbacks and the ball landed a good 25m from goal and took an orgasmic first bounce, gaining momentum as it tumbled end over end, seemingly headed for what could be a crucial behind. With a Redback speedster in pursuit, the ball sat up for a moment for him to gather, then dipped and took a final sharp right turn tumbling over the line for match winning goal!
The Woodies gathered in celebration, while Skinny was quick to point out that it was him that ensured this event occurred with his brave stance at selection!