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Robins hit 120

Saturday, 16th May, 2020

West Football Club President Wincen Cuy and the rest of the Robins are still celebrating the 120th anniversary of the club. PICTURE: Emily Ferguson West Football Club President Wincen Cuy and the rest of the Robins are still celebrating the 120th anniversary of the club. PICTURE: Emily Ferguson

By Emily Ferguson

Yesterday marked 120 years of the West Football Club and despite the pandemic resulting in a lack of football, the Robins are proud of this anniversary.

 On May 15, 1900, footballers from the West Broken Hill electorate division held a meeting on Saturday night at the Criterion Hotel.

The meeting resulted in the forming of a club that was to be called the West Broken Hill Football Club and the colours chosen were Red and Black. Since that day 120 years ago the West Football Club has grown and persevered. 

Club President Wincen Cuy said he and the club as a whole were proud of its incredible history. 

“It shows that football in Broken Hill is and has been over the years a strong institution in our community and the West Football Club has been a part of that,” said Cuy.

“We take a great deal of pride in our continual 120-year history of flying the red and black flag in the Railwaytown area.”

While there is currently no AFL games being played across the country, the WFC had plans to celebrate the anniversary and were looking at utilising the 120th year for greater exposure of the football club.

“We’re already undertaking a refurbishment of the football club and we’re wishing to take that a little bit further so we’re looking at some drives for fundraising to be able to continue working on the refurbishment of the club,” said Cuy. 

“The main hall was built in the early sixties and really hasn’t had a great deal of refurbishment since then so we’re looking into upgrading the internal, the toilets and getting them it to modern expectations.”

Cuy said had football been played as scheduled the Robins would have celebrated the milestone year during their Saturday games.

“We were hoping to maybe return to our old uniform with the big V, whilst that wasn’t our original guernsey it represents many, many years of success at the West Football Club.”

The WFC was a club full of silverware in their early years and Cuy said that is something to acknowledge.

“We have grown over the years, we were a very, very successful club up until probably the mid-sixties, unfortunately we’ve only won three (league) premierships in the past 54 years,” he said. 

“So in the first sixty years we were successful during that period of time, the last fifty-odd years haven’t been that successful but we were hoping to be able to right those wrongs this year when celebrating our 120 years.”

Cuy says off field the club has grown quite well and they pride themselves on the clubrooms. 

“We’ve come from a very small change room to a club, which I think is one of the best smaller venues in town, hence the push to have an upgrade of the facility which we are still working on this year and into next year. We have undertaken a fair amount of work over the past few months and we’re hoping for that to continue this year and into next year.”

The aim of WFC moving forward is to earn the respect of the town, as a playing group and the club as a whole. Their hopes are to once again become a club of great success in the near future. 

“We want to provide a facility for our youth, to play the game of Australian Rules and just to be I think the word is respected both on and off the field would be a goal that I would like to achieve,” said Cuy. 

“We’ve always been respected off the field as a very much family orientated club, I’ve had that reported back to me over the time of my involvement,” he said. “The club has always been very social, it has always been a very inviting environment and we’re hoping that will continue into the future.”

Cuy recognised the historical impact of the West Football Club on the game at a national level through the Mosquito Fleet.

“One of the biggest successes we’ve had is through George Merrett and the introduction of the Mosquito Fleet system, the 50th celebration of that was in roughly 2011,” he said. 

“Through George Merrett the West Football Club was the first in Australia to basically run a series of Mosquito Fleets training our juniors, a systematic way to come through and that is now what the modern Auskick is based on,” said Cuy.

“So from a development point of view and a national significance point of view, we can take a great deal of pleasure in that that was orientated at the West Football Club.”

While the local AFL is on hold, the West Football Club are still offering memberships and selling merchandise. The club encouraged members to support the Jubilee Oval Upgrade and buy a WFC picket or post to be displayed on the fence of the Jubilee Oval. 

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