The rise of the Houghton Districts Football Club

Houghton Districts are one of the most iconic clubs in state amateur football; they are described as a country club playing in the city league.


At the conclusion of the 1994 season the Banksia Park Football Club underwent a major change.


They were, from the 1995 season, known as the Houghton Districts Football Club, recognising the relationship the club had within the local area.


The Raiders also made the switch to the South Australian Amateur Football League.


They won their first premiership since 1980 at the conclusion of 1999 – a three-point win over Brahma Lodge enough to claim the division seven title.


Houghton Districts have played home to eight SAAFL Association Medal winners in the past – Ian Havelberg has won the award twice along with club record games holder Aaron Musolino.


The club has quite a bit of history behind it and although they have not won a premiership since 1999, it is the tightness of the community that the Raiders thrive on.


The area in which the club is situated in is home to many players that used to play in the country football leagues.


The club’s football director Dave Keetch believes that it is because of this experience of playing in the country, that his club has players who ignite the great culture.


Keetch has been a part of the Raiders culture since 2004 and in 2011 the club needed to endure some changes, and the previously non-existent football director’s position at the club opened up.


He took the role and ever since the club has been on the rise, searching for that first premiership in over 15 years.


Keetch stated that since beginning in the role, the best moments have been the off-field successes of the club.


Houghton Districts have developed a great culture and feel around the area, with it becoming more than just a football club, with great people everywhere within, which continually amazes Keetch.


“Since I arrived at the club it has developed and now it has the best culture,” said Keetch.


“So many of the boys at the club have had experience of playing in the country and in a tight-knit community so that has helped improve the culture here.”


He continued by claiming that although there are off-field successes from within the club, the Raiders have a plan on moving forward on the field.


“We haven’t won a premiership since 1999 and we would like to bring more success to Houghton Districts,” Keetch said.


“The club just missed out on finals this year by two points and it would be great if we could be even more competitive next year.


“A short-term goal would be to play finals next year, but to even go further and make the grand final and earn promotion would be great.”


Houghton Districts continue to be one of the most tight-knit clubs and communities inside the SAAFL.


The club’s culture generated by its players and spectators along with its board is committed to improving the side in the future, and it is only a matter of time until this culture pays off on the field and the Raiders become a SAAFL powerhouse.


Written by Michael Barbaro

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