Darley Club History

A breakdown of the club’s history, spanning over 100+ years.


The Inception

The Darley Football Club was formed in 1919 when it was known as the Magpies, playing in the Melton and Bacchus Marsh District Football League where the club was successful winning nine Premierships between 1934 and 1957


Golden Era

The club progressed into the newly-formed Bacchus Marsh Football League, and was successful with premierships in 1959 and a golden era of four consecutive Premierships from 1969 – 1972.


Riddell District League

Darley moved into the Central Highlands Football League and again found success in 1984 before moving into the Riddell District Football League in 1986. Ruckman and local club legend Peter Keep, won an amazing four consecutive league Best & Fairest awards whilst in the CHFL. The Committee of Management at the time saw this as a positive move of the club wanting to test itself and its players at a higher standard.


Magpie Emblem

Upon entering the Riddell League, Darley was forced to change its club emblem from the Magpies as another club in the league (Wallan) was already known by the same name. Consequently the club voted to change its emblem to that of a Devil which remains to this day. During the time spent in the Riddell League, our club participated in finals football in every year except 1996, and then only missing out by percentage. Success was again attained with premierships in both 1989 and 1995, with Mick Hewat successful in winning the Bowen Medal as the league best & fairest in 1988, and Lex Miller winning the same award in 1989.


Ballarat Football League

With the depth of football standard in the RDFL on the decline, together with considerable opposition from former second division clubs on the formation of one division, our club voted to make the move to the highly rated Ballarat Football League with Sunbury, Melton and Melton South clubs for the commencement of the 1997 playing season. For a league that was widely regarded as being of a higher standard than anything our club had experienced, Darley has done its football reputation no harm by being part of the September action every year except one.


Professional Players

Darley participated in its first Ballarat Football League Grand Final in 2008. Shayne Ward was also successful as the BFL Henderson Medallist in 1999 while current players Rob Cheevers and Brad Miller finished 2nd and 3rd in the 2008 count.

The club has also produced many fine players who have gone to play at higher levels, these include Collingwood Brownlow Medallist Marcus Whelan, Wayne Closter a 191 game player with Geelong, and more recently the drafting of Heath Scotland, (now playing with Carlton), to Collingwood in 1999.


Grand Final Appearance

The Darley Football Club enjoyed a successful year in 2008 with both the Senior and Reserve teams making the Grand Final, unfortunately both sides were unable to get across the line. 2009 shaped up to be an exciting time for the Devils with the club able to keep most of its playing list from 2008 while adding some talented new players. Both the Senior and Reserve sides made it to the 2009 Final series. The seniors after finishing second after the home and away series, we’re knocked out of Premiership contention in the Semi Finals. The Reserves had success going through to the Grand Final but missing out with minutes to spare after leading most of the game.


Netball Inclusion

The Devils Senior and Reserve Netball sides made the finals in 2009 for the first time after being cellar dwellers for a number of seasons. The commitment of all the girls and the recruitment of some players will see them progress further into the finals next season.

The Annual General Meeting held on the 24th November 2009 was an historic occasion. A motion was passed that the club name be changed to the Darley Football Netball Club Inc. This is a great time for the club, the future looks bright for such a proud, family club.


Maiden Flag

Darley win their first ever Premiership in the Ballarat Football League under the coaching or Jarrod “Tuddy” Edwards and Captain Shane Page.


Dual Premiership

Former Carlton Footballer Heath Scotland returns to his local football club to coach the Seniors Football to a flag. The rReserves team also capture the premiership in the same year.


COVID Halts Seasons

The pandemic requires the season to be cancelled.


Essendon VFL Coach Arrives

Ex-AFL Essendon Asst Coach Dan Jordan comes on board as our Senior Coach for the new Season.


Become a Darley Devil today

Free entry into all home games at Darley Oval as well as other discounts on other certain products and events.