The term culture gets mentioned a lot when talking about clubs and teams, it has many different meanings and it’s something that is sometimes misunderstood. Culture, in sport, for me is something that is created by people or persons and is used to help galvanise a team, a club. Sometimes it’s pre conceived, planned and worked towards and sometimes it just happens.
At our club culture is mate-ship and through this a culture of winning was born. Now a culture of mate-ship is not uncommon we’re definitely not on our own in that respect however where our culture differs from the others is ours was not manufactured, nor was it planned and it’s one that over time has changed and morphed into what we see today.
When the club was first formed, like other clubs, there was a group of like minded people all working towards a common goal, pretty standard so far. As a new club we were a very successful junior club right from the outset and have continued that trend for many decades. Success in junior football has many different meanings, levels and outcomes but what we see today, our highest number of junior teams is a result of hardworking people continuing to uphold the values and beliefs of the club. As for the seniors, from day one of senior football we didn’t have that immediate success on the field, our success was off the field, the mate-ship, the togetherness that was needed to continue to build a senior club and never give up on what will eventually change unbeknown to the men and women at the time.
The club had its first taste of senior success in 1992, when our women won the clubs first ever senior Grand final led by coach Jim Lalor, a single goal by Glenda Cobby was all that was needed to create what was a great day, a momentous occasion and our first trophy but not only that a reward for all the women and men that have worked hard, in and off the field up to this point.
In 1993 our women went back to back and our men also had a taste of finals fever playing in their first ever Grand final, led by coach Ken McLean they went down to the powerhouse of football on the coast at the time, Beegees, 3-1 with the goal scored by Les “Casper” Fleming a name that will become prominent in years to come. Again this was a huge achievement for such a small club, a young club but club that was on the way up, moving in the right direction, for want of a better cliche but I don’t think anyone at the club or in the Sunshine Coast football community had any idea of what was about to happen.
On a training night in 1997, a line in the sand moment happened that would evidently go on to change the landscape of our club, from a club with potential to arguably the most successful first grade men’s club of the 21st century to date. This moment happened when the head coach Les “Casper” Fleming and his side had, up to that point, a decent season, a few wins, a few losses and we’re sitting mid table, decent enough and we’re only a few wins from potentially playing finals football. The group was enjoying themselves, again on and off the pitch, the mate-ship was strong and the potential was there for them to make a run at the finals and Casper could see this however the season was also on a knife edge, it could easily be consumed by the good times that these boys were having and that’s when the line in the sand moment happened.
It was open forum with his players and it came to head with we either have a real crack at this competition, as they realised if they kept winning it was possible to play finals or continue to have a good time and whatever happens it’s ok because a good time will be had doing it. From that night on the team went on a winning run that would see them beat some very good sides, more fancied opponents and eventually make it to the Grand final. The belief that was born from this moment, this run, was one that would ultimately see them go on and win the cubs first ever Men’s premier Grand final and as soon as that golden goal from Scott Dixon went in there was a sense of accomplishment and a goal that would wake a sleeping giant.
Since that historic day in September, at the then home of Grand finals and ironically the home of the most successful premier men’s club up to that time, Beegees, the club and its premier men went on a run of winning trophies, second only to the great Beegees sides of the 70s, 80s and 90s. From 1997 to 2021, a run of 25 years our premier men’s sides have won 24 trophies, something that could only be dreamt about in the early eighties as the club was forming, finding its feet and building a culture.
The changing landscape
As mentioned earlier, culture is formed but can change as it did in the case at our club, while the underlying aspects remained the same, something changed after winning in 1997, something was added to the mix, that has continued to this day, winning. A winning culture is a hard culture to maintain for a long period of time especially in our society, the commonly know Australian tall poppy syndrome, of wanting to cut down the best put a target on the clubs back and made us public enemy number one for a long time. Some clubs have been at the top at times in this 25 years but none have been able to maintain it and win like we have.
A big contributing factor in the success and longevity of the winning culture happened when Alex Murphy was appointed head coach. Alex bought a sense of professionalism to the group and a ruthless, relentless style of football that changed how the team played and with it bought a new found belief that they could win any game which resulted in 6 premierships in a row (4 under Alex and 2 under Horst Rocker), with 2 of those going undefeated. This new found confidence and belief coupled with a new sense of professionalism had a huge effect, not only on the club but on the league its self. All of a sudden clubs took themselves a little more seriously, started looking like teams that cared and doing everything they could to beat us.
The effect Alex and the success of the first team had on the club and it’s new found winning culture started to flow through the entire club and all of a sudden we, as a club, started having success in all our senior grades and the winning culture of the top side was now the winning culture of the club. For example our reserve grade played in 8 grand finals in a row and won 4 premierships, our Friday night teams we’re winning premierships and grand finals our women won their first ever premierships and went back to back as well as 2 more grand finals and our juniors we’re continuing to win and thrive from this championship winning club.
The years that followed
In the years that followed Alex’s departure in 2004 the club and particularly the first team squad continued to thrive and in 2005 the club achieved something only done once before and won the premiership and Grand final double in both the first team and the reserves, the double double as we have called it. This was a big day for the club and with our juniors representing in many Grand finals on that day it will have to go down in our history as one of the best days for our club. This was soon becoming the norm and all our grades were winning, enjoying and sharing the success and when one coach would leave another would come in and have the same amount of success. When one player would leave there was another waiting in the wings to step up and continue what had gone before them. This is what a winning culture is all about, no one person bigger than the club. Wether it be a star player (we’ve had plenty of those), a coach or a board member, it was and still is an environment where your ego is checked at the door and your mission is to do what’s best for the club, a sentiment that has remained to this day and a reminder that hard work is all that matters because it’s not easy, any aspect of the club and it never will be and the day people start forgetting that will be the day our clubs culture changes again.
So to this day we, as a club, owe a great deal of gratitude to all these players, coaches and committee members that have gone before us. Those who have set the standards, those who have continued to uphold the standards and culture we now adhere to and to those who have continued to give back to the club. A club that has held in a great deal of respect amongst its members, the football community and the greater Kawana community. A club that will forever be a hard working club with a culture the changes with time but a culture the has the foundations of those that have come before them.
Women’s First grade trophies
1992 Grand final
1993 Grand final
2000 Grand final
Mens First grade trophies
1997 Grand final
1999 Grand final
2000 Qantas Cup
2002 Sunshine Coast Cup, Premiership
2003 Sunshine Coast Cup, Premiership, Grand final
2004 Charity Shield, Premiership
2005 Premiership, Grand final
2006 Charity Shield, Premiership , Grand final
2007 Charity Shield
2014 Johnny Warren Cup, Premiership
2015 Grand final
2016 Grand final
2019 Grand final
2021 Grand final
24 trophies in 25 years.
Grand finalist/runner up
1992, 2001, 2002, 2012, 2014, 2018, 2022
Johnny Warren cup runner up