Claremont Football Club
The Claremont Football Club was formed as the amateur Cottesloe Beach Football Club in 1906, and joined the peak amateur competition, the Western Australian Football Association, the following year. The club dominated the WAFA from the outset, winning premierships from 1907–1910.
Applications by the club to join the West Australian National Football League were rejected for many years. In 1919, the Cottesloe Beach club merged with a consortium from Claremont to gain entry to the WANFL, with the use of the Claremont Showgrounds as a home ground. In 1921, the club was admitted to the WANFL “B” Grade competition, as Claremont-Cottesloe, using the same blue and gold colours as the local swimming club.
Claremont/Cottesloe was finally admitted to the senior league in 1926. The inaugural captain-coach was Norm McIntosh, who was the only player with senior experience, and McIntosh’s young squad could only win one game in their first season.
In 1927, the club moved to Claremont Oval, where it has been the club’s home ground, with the exception of 1945 and 1946, where, due to the grandstand burning down in 1944, and the condition of the playing surface, the club shared at Subiaco Oval.
Between 1926 and 1935 Claremont/Cottesloe won just 40 and drew 2 of 183 games.
In 1935 the club officially dropped ‘Cottesloe’ from its name, becoming simply ‘Claremont’, and with the return of George Moloney in 1936 following his five seasons with Geelong Football Club in the VFL, Claremont enjoyed its best WANFL season to date, winning 12 and losing 8 of its home and away matches to qualify for the finals in 2nd place.
In 1938 the club appointed Johnny Leonard, a former Sandover Medallist, who had already coached successfully at Ballarat, Geelong and West Perth. The club finished in 2nd place and won the second semi. The grand final against East Fremantle however resulted in a draw, only the second time in WA(N)FL history. In the subsequent grand final replay Claremont won by 22 points, 14.17 (111) to 11.13 (79), breaking their premiership drought.
1939 saw the club win its second premiership. In a grand final re-match with East Fremantle, Claremont went on to win 14.11 (95) to 11.10 (76).
1940 saw Claremont again the grand final where Claremont went on to beat South Fremantle obtaining their third successive premiership.
Between 1942 and 1944, owing to the demands of World War II, the WANFL operated on a limited, under age only basis and after open age competition returned in 1945 Claremont commenced its longest period in the football wilderness
After claiming the wooden spoon in 1962 and 1963 Claremont appointed a complete outsider, former East Fremantle rover Jim Conway as coach for 1964. At the end of that season Claremont scraped into the finals in 4th place. The club went on to beat Subiaco in the 1st semi-final, Perth in the preliminary final, with Claremont winning the exciting grand final 14.18 (102) to 15.8 (98) against East Fremantle and securing the club’s fourth premiership.
Claremont failed to follow this meteoric rise, and between 1966 and 1978 participated in the finals only twice.
When Graham Moss returned in 1977 as captain-coach (after being WA’s first player to win the Brownlow Medal in 1976) he gradually moulded one of the most individually talented teams in WAFL history. In 1981 they kicked an Australian record 3,352 points in 21 matches, and won their fifth flag over South Fremantle. Between 1979 and 1994 Claremont played in the finals every year bar 1985 and 1992, and under Gerard Neesham’s extremely innovative coaching methods they won twenty and drew one of their last 21 games in 1987. Neesham’s skill was such that Claremont reached five successive grand finals for three flags despite the loss of most key players to the VFL (later AFL).
Record attendances were recorded in this halcyon period of Claremont and WAFL. 1982 Grand Final vs Swan Districts at Subiaco Oval – 50,883. 1983 home-and-away game vs South Fremantle at Claremont Oval – 18,268.
After 1994, Claremont’s fortunes declined somewhat, and financial difficulties threatened their existence in the middle 1990s. The 1996 Premiership somewhat revitalised the club.
Claremont’s resurgence as a competitive league club again started in 2007.
Claremont ended the season strongly, claiming the minor premiership, but lost to Subiaco in the WAFL Grand Final. Claremont also won the 2007 Rodriguez Shield (the team which has the best League, Reserves and Colts record combined).
Claremont capped off a fantastic season in 2010, claiming the Minor Premiership. The Reserves also claimed the minor premiership.
Claremont played Swan Districts in a Grand Final for the ages between by far the 2 best sides in the competition in 2010. A classic contest it turned out to be too with the match swinging from one side to the other for the entire day, a pack mark by David Crawford deep into time-on was converted and seemed to give Claremont the flag for the first time in 14 years. But as the match wore on into the 33rd minute of the final quarter Sandover Medallist Andrew Krakouer popped up to put Swans back in front. This time there was no reply from the Tigers and they went down in one of the finest ever WAFL Grand Finals 14.16 (100) to 14.15 (99).
The Reserves won the Grand Final over East Perth.
In 2011 the club were once again the dominant side in the competition completing the season at the top of the league ladder winning 14 from 19 games and this time were successful in claiming the premiership. In the Grand Final Claremont defeated Subiaco by 56 points, 19.13 (127) to 10.11 (71).
2012 was another extremely successful season for the Claremont Football Club with the League and Reserves sides both winning premierships and the Colts side coming within 2 points of a Grand Final berth. The Club won its 15th Rodriguez shield as a result.
After many years of negotiations, the club secured funding to demolish their well-worn premises and to rebuild a new state-of-the-art complex on freehold land. During construction the Club moved their operations to nearby Showgrounds, where they operated from 2014-16.
Midway 2017 saw the club return to the redeveloped Claremont Oval, with magnificent facilities that would secure the financial future for the Claremont Football Club.
Sponsored by Lotterywest
About The Project
With the support of Lotterywest, Media on Mars and many CFC volunteers, this project is about capturing the history of the Claremont Football Club in digital form. A first in West Australian Football.