The newly formed St Pauls Old Scholars Football Club, after finishing third in season 2016, is looking away from their somewhat unknown history to build a strong club and climb the SAAFL ranks.
The Saints have established themselves as solid competitors in the SAAFL with two finals campaigns in their first two seasons.
Senior coach, Darren West said it was going to be a slow process after his club re-enetred the SAAFL, but said a “successful” 2016 would go a long way in the development of the club.
“We wanted to improve on last year after the A and B grade lost their first finals,” he said.
“We’ve definitely done that with the A’s losing in a preliminary final and the B’s making the grand final.”
Despite not earning promotion to division six for the 2017 season, there have been positive signs around the St Pauls OS Football Club.
The A grade fell only in the preliminary final to Prince Alfred Old Collegians by 52 points, and the B grade lost its grand final by 57 points to the same opponents.
Back in 1993 when St Pauls entered the SAAFL for the second time, the club climbed to division four.
And now, at the end of the 2016 season, with applicants welcome for the senior coaching roles at the Saints, West looks the man to take the club back to the heights of SAAFL football.
“I knew we wouldn’t win a grand final in our first year,” he said.
“If I’m appointed as coach again in 2017 my goal is to get the club into the grand final and then promoted.
“It’s common knowledge that we want to be a successful club and go as high as we possibly can.”
However, that sometimes proves difficult for an emerging club as players, support and facilities can be hard to come by.
But establishing a strong connection with St Pauls College, St Pauls OS has a direct path for old scholars wishing to continue with their football and reunite with old classmates.
“Obviously we have the connection with the first 18’s at the college and once they’ve finished their school football, we will look to recruit from that situation,” West said.
“But we are also looking for new players who we would welcome to our club instantly.”
Although creating a new identity for the St Pauls Old Scholars Football Club in 2015, their history in the SAAFL may have some influence on proceedings in the future.
In 2009 the old St Pauls OS began playing home matches at Mawson Lakes Oval and changed its name to Mawson Lakes Football Club.
In 2015 St Pauls re-emerged in the SAAFL, creating their own identity away from the Mawson Lakes Football Club who sits firmly in division six.
With St Pauls OS looking to burst through the SAAFL divisions, a match between the old friends seems likely in the coming seasons and West said it was “only natural” for a rivalry to be born if the two clubs do eventually meet.
With solid foundations, a strong connection to quality college players and clear plans for the future, St Pauls Old Scholars Football Club has established itself as a quality club and a great place to play football.
Written by Michael Lorenzoni