Yass Roos AFC

Club History

Club History

Club History

The club first formed for the 2002 season and put a side together for the Canberra District Division 2 competition. A group of Aussie rules devotees decided it might be good fun to get up a team and go and play footy.

After lots of chasing around, generous sponsorship from the Royal Hotel, L&D Telephony, and ActewAGL the Yass Roos took the field under the coaching of Ian Willersdorf. Our first season surprised many with the team finishing in seventh place on the ladder with more wins than any would have admitted hoping for at the start. Aussie Rules had made a very successful comeback to Yass after a previous foray in the early eighties.

2003 saw the team again under coach Ian Willersdorf. With experience under our belt and a couple of new recruits we shot out of the blocks with five wins from our first six matches. Injuries and to a certain extent fitness slowed our charge but we still made it to our first finals playing in the elimination final against Murrumbidgee. They won but the team had improved to finish in fourth place.

2004 and we went one step further making it to the Preliminary Final where Belconnen ended our run. We defeated Cootamundra in the Semi Final but failed to stop Belconnen to finish third in the competition. Brendan Foran's first year as coach was very successful.

2005 was a tough one for the Roos. Numbers were always a problem with injuries and players moving on it was a week to week prospect of even naming a side and several times the team turned out without a full bench or even one at all in some cases! Despite this morale remained high and the team still finished a respectable seventh place out of 11 teams.

2006 saw a new coach in Terry Lemon (although not new to the club or the players as he had been assistant coach since 2003) and a lot of new players to the club and the game. This made Terry's job a real challenge and the fact that getting consistent availability of a squad was always difficult, 2006 was not a good year results wise. We finished 10th on the ladder.

2007 saw another new look squad of players with several newcomers to the team. Coach Terry Lemon took the reins again vowing to improve on the results of last year and that he certainly achieved. The Roos set a few new club records this year: Our highest score (39-13-247), our biggest winning margin (246 over Eastlake), Most goals kicked by an individual player (73, Liam Brandon also winning the league goal kicking award) and a win/loss record of 12/6. The Roos finished one game out of the finals in 5th spot with the second highest percentage in the division (224) in a 12 team competition. The crowning glory for 2007 was when Liam Brandon claimed the AFL Canberra Division 2 Best and Fairest player award.

2008 was the year of the Roos. Another club record; undefeated in the home and away season, minor premiers, a loss to Gungahlin in the major semi-final (the wake-up call), victory over Belconnen in the Preliminary Final at Manuka Oval and an emphatic victory over Gungahlin in the Grand Final at Ainslie Oval to take the Premiership. The team was outstanding. Terry Lemon continued on with his plan and coached the team to their most successful year so far. It was an outstanding effort and just reward for all those who had been invloved in making the Yass Roos a team. It was awesome to have people at the celebrations who were instrumental in starting the Yass Roos back in 2001. It was also gratifying for all those who had played for the club from the early days to finally go the distance to take the premiership. It was a totally dominant year for the Roos not only finishing undefeated home and away but also with the highest percentage of 257%. Brendan Foran captained the side and took the Division 4 goal kicking award as well. This was despite not playing the last two home and away games due to injury and not playing full forward regularly till Round 4! I could go on but I should stop: suffice to say it was a brilliant year for the Roos.

2009 was the year that almost wasn't! With many players moving on after the Premiership, a crisis meeting just before Round 1 almost saw the Roos disappear but with a last ditch effort by some would-be retirees and the promise of cameos from several other players the club soldiered on. Early wins with limited numbers raised hopes and new players kept appearing throughout the year. While gaining the new players was good, blending the new team and getting a consistent team was a major task for new coach Ben Serafin (himself stepping in to an unfamiliar role for the first time). If not for a couple of close ones that got away the Roos could have been in finals again but finishing in 5th place on percentage was probably an accurate reflection of the turmoil year that was 2009. Ben Serafin had a sterling year as Captain/Coach winning the League and Club Best and Fairest awards.

2010 saw Jason Anderson take over the coaching duties as well as play a role in the forward line on field. The team settled down after a slow start to string a seven win mid-season streak together and secure a top four finish. along the way the Roos were the only team to beat last year's premiers Goulburn (twice). Unfortunately eventual Premiers ANU ended the Roos run in the Elimination Semi final to see the Roos finish in fourth place for 2010.

2011 and another coach for the Roos. Shane Lees took on the role as a playing coach with assistance from Terry Lemon. Daniel Smith was captain. The Roos notched up 12 wins and played our first ever draw (against Goulburn) to finish the home and away rounds in third spot on the ladder. It was another year of struggling for numbers each weekend and training was generally poorly attended. Commitment or lack of it was bandied about a lot during the season. Unfortunately the Elimination Sem-Final was again our undoing and this year it was Cootamundra who inflicted the pain. It was fourth place again for the Roos in 2011; the tenth season for the club.

2012 had Terry Lemon back as coach and Shane Lees filled the Captain role. A consistent side was difficult to achieve this year and the Roos finished in seventh spot on the ladder with nine wins. A full side only graced the field for two matches this year so realistically it was a good performance.

2013 started badly with committed player numbers looking grim and pre-season training generally poorly attended. Coach Terry Lemon had stepped up again but it didn't look like he would have a team to coach. A late decision to battle on and see how things went after the first couple of rounds proved fortuitous as the club went on to recruit 13 new players and finish in second place for the season. Our second-only Grand Final appearance unfortunately resulted in a loss to ANU but a spectacular comeback win from six goals down at three quarter time in the Preliminary Final against arch rivals Goulburn Swans will be remembered for a very long time. A phoenix year dragging success from the face of adversity.

2014 saw the Roos under the coaching of Terry Lemon once again and out to do better than last year. A few retirements were ably replaced by some new recruits and the Roos had a very successful home and away season; the only two losses to eventual Premiers Cootamundra. This was a rare year when numbers were not a serious issue and there was a good selection of talent available for nearly every game. The Roos finished the home and aways second on the ladder but a loss in the Qualifying final to Goulburn meant it was do or die all the way to the GF. The Roos repeated last year's result by defeating Goulburn at the death in the Preliminary Final to face Cootamundra in the Grand Final. Unfortunately the Roos also came away with the same result as last year losing the Grand Final to finish second. Roll on next year.

2015 had the Roos in the new Regional Division with only five other teams. Ben Serafin stepped into the coaching role and the youngest ever Roos side got to fourth place after an Elimination Final loss to Cooma. It was a strange year competition-wise. With several byes and forfeits the season never really seemed to get going. Most teams were very dissatisfied with AFL Canberra's handling and planning of the Regional Division concept and hope for a better structure next year. It was a season of building a team with many new players to the game. The Roos did feel the loss of some experienced players but it was another year with a finals appearance and the experience will be valuable for the new players.

2016 was a very good year for the Roos. After a sabbatical year Terry Lemon was back for another tilt as coach and the team notched some early wins to gain momentum in the new fourth grade competition. With UC Magpies folding their grade three team mid-season the Roos picked up some handy recruits and some of the younger players in the team really showed some promise as the season went on. The Roos won the minor premiership with only one loss going into finals. With the numbers and depth of talent Terry had the tough task of settling on 22 players for the finals matches. The Roos made the Grand Final for the third year out of four but it stopped short of a great year when we failed to defeat ANU Griffins in the final match. Another second place. What will next year bring?