Western District Hockey Club

History - Wests Men

The History of Western Districts Hockey Club - Men

The Early Years

In 1969 Wests entered a men's team in the B1 (4th) grade competition where they were the undefeated minor premiers, but lost the grand final 1-0 to Woden. The team was Paul Koch (GK), Andy Wischusen, Keith Hill, Matthew Butlin, Graham Lovegrove Snr, Terry Monroe, Darryl Erbacher, Tony Barley, Max Whitten, Jim Donaldson, Tony Hall.

Wests entered a team in the first grade competition for the first time in 1973, with three of the Foundation Members in the team - Tony Barley, Keith Hill, ???.

The first Wests player to represent the ACT at senior level was Trevor Sherman.

In the early years Wests struggled to be competitive against the more established teams in the local competition, Central, St Pats, United, Old Canberrans and ANU.

This did not stop them from producing some outstanding juniors, in particular Mark Barley, who made a mark with ACT junior and U21 representative teams before moving to Western Australia. David Carter was also a notable junior that progressed through the junior representative grades during this time, ultimately captaining the U21 and then the inaugural Canberra Lakers team in 1991.

The 1980's

In the early 1980's Wests made a push to become a more competitive team in the men's first grade competition by recruiting a number of prominent players from other teams and outside of Canberra, in particular, Parkes.

This desire to be competitive led Wests to making their first Grand Final in 1987 against St Pats.

The starting team for that final was:

GK Mick Chew
FB Trevor Sherman, Jim O'Shea
HB Cameron Bayldon, David Carter, Stuart Miller
Fwd Steve Carter, David Powter, Chris Powter, Phil Hunter, Brian Feltham

This led to the honour of Wests playing StPats in a grand final re-match as the first official 1st grade match at the newly established Hockey Centre in 1988, on the 'Beach' as it was known (now known as the Watt Field).

The 1990's

Wests then began its climb to become one of the dominant men's clubs in the ACT.

1992 saw the club play in the finals for the sixth straight year, unfortunately losing in the preliminary final. However club captain David Carter won the Brophy Medal - a first for the club.

In 1993 Wests were leading with 90 seconds in the clubs second only grand final appearance. A freak goal and a loss in extra time was a painful way to miss out on a first premiership in the top grade for the club.

The following year the club won its first minor premiership, but also experienced an unsuccessful finals campaign. Steve Carter won the Brophy Medal and it was the first time that brothers had won this award.

The 1990's saw the men's first grade team evolve to consist largely of players who had graduated from Wests juniors.

The 00's

This period has been the most successful in the club's history, with the first grade team winning their first premiership in 2005 and then following this up with a hat-trick of premierships in 2006 & 2007. The team also played and just lost the 2008 & 2009 grand finals.

There were two more Brophy Medallists for the club through this period - Jonathan Stebbings & Anthony Farry.

Preceding the 2005 premiership the clubs reserve grade team won the 2004 premiership too.

We also won our first ever Hockey ACT Club Championship in 2006.

Recent years

The club depth has continued to grow during these years and a highlight has been the premierships of the reserve grade (CL2) team from 2013 to 2015 and again in 2017 with minor premierships from 2013 to 2017

In 2013 the club achieved another first in having both the first grade (CL1) and reserve grade teams playing in their respective grand finals, unfortunately the first grade team lost 2-3 after leading 2-0 at half time.

Additionally 2013 saw the club have its sixth Brophy Medal winner in Todd Devlin, this followed Adam Baxter winning the award in 2012.

The 2017 season was one of the most successful ever with premierships in reserve grade and 3rd grade (with a majority of the team being under the age of 19) and 5 of our 6 men's teams making the finals.  The consistent performances across the club saw us awarded with another Hockey ACT Club Championship for 2017.

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