Our football club was formed in the new suburb of Tolland after the opening of the primary school in 1970. The club was founded by Barry Sadlier with support from Les Irvine (Principal of Tolland Primary School -TPS) and sports master of the same school Barry McColl.
The first committee consisted of Michael Brain (President), Greg Cameron (Vice President), Barry Sadlier (Secretary) and Jack Greghan (Treasurer). The club’s first home ground was in Bruce Street (Tolland) before quickly moving onto the Mount Austin High School Grounds (MHS). The club started with just two junior sides, an under eights and under nines.
It wasn’t until 1975 that the club formed our first senior side who played in the second division of the local men’s Wagga Association’s Competition with our home ground being the South Campus Oval of the College of Advanced Education (RCAE and now Charles Sturt University – CSU). This team won the minor premiership coached by John Owen. By 1978 the club had thirteen teams including two senior men’s side our first ladies side and ten junior sides.
Barry Sadlier always named his A teams Tolland Wolves (after his beloved Wolverhampton Wanderers an English side) and his B teams Tolland Cubs who Barry knew would eventually progress to a Wolves side. Hence the club’s name and the term Tolland Cubs. These names are still used today as well as several others such as Lobos, Artic, Grey, Red, Timber etc. that had to be created to cater for our many junior sides. The word wolves or wolverines (female teams only) are always linked to our club teams
As the cub expanded we moved onto Jubilee Park (unsurfaced in those early days) then onto French’s Field for match days while still training at MAHS and later to our current home Kessler Park (Tolland). For many years in the 1980s the club only had junior teams. Senior football recommenced in 1989 with this team playing in the Northern Riverina Soccer League with this team winning the Wright Cup in the same year coached and formed by Gary Marshallsea.
In the late 1990’s Tolland joined with Kapooka to form Tolland – Kapooka and won their first ever senior grand final in 1999. The club’s third grade side also won the premiership the Friday night before and hence were the first club side to win a senior premiership. The club has gone onto win four Pascoe Cups, (first grade men’s) one Madden Shield & Leonard Cup, (women’s competitions), several Gardiner Shields (second grade men’s) and numerous third grade men’s or Nankivell Cup competitions plus many junior grand finals in all age divisions.
The club has had woman’s side in numerous female competitions over the years and like the men combining with Kapooka for a while. Our woman’s side went into recess for a while during the late naughties but this team was reintroduced in 2009 through the efforts of Stephanie Scott, David Antill and Steven Wait with the club entering a side in the Madden Shield Division of the local competition. This side mainly comprised CSU students with some Tolland juniors and they won the premiership in their return year and the higher Leonard Cup competition the following year. The club now has a regular side in the two women’s competitions (Madden & Leonard) and are now officially known as the Tolland Wolverines a term introduced by Sam Gray (senior women’s coach for many years).
In 2009 the club held its inaugural Black Tie Gala Dinner to celebrate the 20th anniversary since the club’s re-entry into the senior competition and the tenth year since winning its first senior grade grand final. The 2009 season was also one of the club’s most successful winning three senior premierships and the under sixteen’s grand final. This coincided with the clubs most successful period when between 2007 and 2012 the club won 3 first grade men’s competitions, several reserve grade men’s competitions and had a run of 5 third grade premierships, mostly under the guidance of Pat O’Brien.
The club has recently developed Kessler Park installing lighting for training and night competition matches. Currently the senior club has a team in all six local Association Competitions and over thirty junior teams (twelve – sixteen divisions) and mini – roos sides (five to eleven years’ divisions and non-competitions). This equates to over ninety senior players and well over three hundred juniors/mini – roos players. Quite a remarkable achievement from our two junior sides in 1970.
Our club has an excellent reputation for supplying quality coaching and looking after all our players. Club policies ensure all our players are given ample playing time as we are about developing skills and providing enjoyment. Participation is everything and winning is just a bonus. The club colours have always remained royal blue and white although there have been a variety of styles over the years particularly in the juniors where there can be more than two Tolland teams in any one age division. New players/ helpers, coaches, volunteers and committee members are always needed and wanted. Please see contact details on the home page.
Writing a club’s brief history is always going to be a challenging task. It’s not practical to include everybody who has made a significant contribution to our club nor mention every historical moment. This summary is the best balanced historical record of our club for the space provided, a complete history would not suit this website. My apologies for any noticeable names or events not included. Without question the greatest contributors to our club are the life members. For this reason, their names have been placed on the new website to rightly acknowledge their great contribution to our club. Past, present and future members of Tolland Football Club are forever in their debt.
History Source “The Beautiful Game” by Sherry Morris and various club stalwarts all life members and mentioned in the appropriate drop down menus on the website.
Club President M Hogan 2017