The original incarnation of Western Suburbs participated in the top tier of
organised football in Sydney between 1926 and 1929. We reached the grand
final in our debut year, losing to Eastern Suburbs. However, the club was
forced to disband at the end of the 1929 season when it was unable to meet
its running costs.
The club was reformed in November 1947 and took part in the NSWANFL the
following year, when it finished sixth in an eight team competition, as well
as providing the Phelan Medallist in the shape of its captain-coach Keith
Champion, who had won the same award the previous year with North Shore.
Western Suburbs’ improvement was gradual. The side finished 5th in 1949 and,
in 1950, reached the major round for the first time before going out in the
1st semi final. In 1951, however, the Magpies came of age with a 12 point
grand final defeat of an Eastern Suburbs side that would go on to dominate
most of the remainder of the decade. Western Suburbs reached four further
grand finals during the 1950s, losing them all.
During the 1960s and 1970s Western Suburbs was far and away the strongest
club in Sydney. Between 1963 and 1969 it was an ever present in the NSWANFL
grand final, winning four times and losing three. After dropping to 3rd in
1970 the Magpies eked out a similar tale of success in the ’70s, missing
only one further grand final for the decade (that of 1976) to annex another
four flags. However, since the last of these, in 1977, the club’s fortunes
have declined, with an isolated premiership in 1996 the only cause for
Over the years Western Suburbs has fielded a large number of high quality
players, with AFL stars Greg Stafford and Paul Bevan arguably the cream of
its recent products. It reached the finals in 2002, giving cause for
tentative optimism about the immediate future, but then slipped back into
the field the following year, finishing second from last, a result that was
repeated in 2004.
The 2005 season brought a marked improvement as the Magpies lost only 1 of
16 minor round matches to secure the minor premiership. This was followed by
a comfortable 43 point 2nd semi final defeat of Pennant Hills, earning the
side warm favouritism going into its grand final clash with North Shore.
Inexplicably, however, when the pressure intensified during the second half,
the Magpies found themselves unable to cope, and ended up slumping to a 41
The side again qualified for the finals in 2006, but hopes of a flag were
dashed at the preliminary final stage by Pennant Hills.
The last decade has seen a great deal of work redeveloping Picken Oval, as
well as three Under 19s Division 2 premierships from 2014-16.
The 2017 season sees Western Suburbs, under Premier Division coach Lindsay
Scown, full of enthusiasm and commitment for a strong campaign. The club is
also fielding teams in Divisions 2 and 5, as well as a joint venture U19s
Division 2 with Holroyd-Parramatta. As in recent years the annual Anzac Day
clash against Pennant Hills promises to be a highlight of the season.