Darebin Women’s Sports Club
The Darebin Women’s Sports Club has Australian football, soccer, cricket, eight ball and Gaelic football teams. It is one of the strongest and best supported women’s sporting clubs in Victoria. It is a member driven club, managed by a group of dedicated women who make up the Board of Management. The Club has received strong support from local council since 1991 when McDonell Park was set aside by then Northcote Council as a women’s sporting ground. The Club’s resources were further boosted as a consequence of an upgrading of sporting facilities around Melbourne in the lead up to the Commonwealth Games. The Club now has its own purpose built venue at AH Capp Reserve in Preston of which it is the sole tenant.
The Darebin Women’s Sports Club are nicknamed the Falcons. The Club was born out of another women’s football club, the Fairfield Falcons. In 1990, Fairfield was on the verge of folding after three seasons in the Victorian Women’s Football League (VWFL). Fairfield had lost virtually all their players, but a group of Northcote women, who had come together due to a common desire to play football, resurrected the Fairfield Falcons and after a year of training moved the club to Northcote’s McDonell Park and rejoined the VWFL. The team improved steadily on the field, while building membership and a strong club culture off the field. The effort was rewarded in 1996 when the Falcons topped the league ladder and progressed to the Grand Final. Despite being 36 points down to Sunshine at half-time, the Falcons rallied, showing tremendous spirit and ended up winning the game by 13 points.
In 1997 the Fairfield Falcons added a soccer team, becoming the first women’s sports club in Australia to field both Australian rules and soccer teams. The team played in the second division of the Victorian Women’s Soccer Association. Despite varying levels of experience in the team, they won a shield final in their first season. By the year 2000 the Falcons were fielding two soccer teams and the Club was enjoying the off field benefits of having attracted more players and members to the Club. This was also the year that the Club changed its name from Fairfield to the Darebin Women’s Sports Club due to a desire to offer more sports to members and also to more accurately reflect its geographic location.
True to the Club’s expressed desire to expand, 2001 saw the Darebin Falcons take to the cricket field in the Victorian Women’s Cricket Association’s B West competition. After only a few seasons this team won the B grade Premiership and are now entrenched in A grade. In recent seasons the Falcons have begun fielding a team in a Women’s Eight Ball Association competition and have also become affiliated with a Ladies Gaelic Football Team. In 2005 the Club moved from McDonell Park to upgraded facilities at AH Capp Reserve which include a two storey social and change room building as well as football and soccer grounds.
In summer months the Falcons run a variety of competitions for club members to maintain fitness levels. The Club has over 160 registered playing members and 30 more non playing social members. All are volunteers.Darebin Women’s Sports Club (Falcons) (n.d.). History: About the Darebin Women’s Sports Club (n.d.). Retreived 28 July, 2006 from http://www.falcons.org.au/default.aspx?s=historydisplay&aid=97409