A sign next to a gate opening onto a football oval reads

Country footy club hopes AFL star’s homecoming can break 50-year premiership drought

It has been a long 50 years for the Kybybolite Football Club.

Key points:

1974 was the last time the club’s men’s senior A-grade team won a premiership
It’s hoped the arrival of former Melbourne Demons captain Jack Trengove will change that
Former Glenelg South Australian Football League captain Andrew Bradley is also joining the team

The men’s senior A-grade team has not won a premiership since 1974, but new additions to this year’s team could provide a light at the end of a long tunnel.

Among them is retired former Melbourne Demons captain Jack Trengove, 32, who is coming home to the club after more than a decade in the professional league.

The midfielder made history in 2012 when he became the youngest captain in VFL/AFL history, aged 20 years and 211 days.

Now, he is excited to return to the club that helped inspire his love of the game.

“I grew up in Naracoorte and played for Kyby all through my junior days, it’s probably been a dream that’s sat there to one day return to play senior footy,” Trengove said.

“If you reflect back to when I was that 12-year-old kid that would do anything just to run the water for the A-grade players and be involved, I never thought I’d get a chance to play senior footy.”

Trengove is one of several big drawcards for the team this year.

Former Glenelg South Australian Football League captain Andrew Bradley, who also grew up playing for Kybybolite, will be another big name on the team’s roster in 2024.

Not a certain win

Trengove said the Kowree Naracoorte Tatiara Football League, in which the Kyby Tigers played, was a competitive one.

He warned the team’s new appointments were not a guaranteed silver bullet to fix its premiership drought.

Kybybolite’s A grade men’s team last won a premiership in 1974.(Supplied: Paul Russell)

“It’s been a long time since Kyby was successful, and my dad keeps reminding me that as well,” Trengove said.

“I don’t think one or two recruits will necessarily change that, but it’s a really young and hungry group and the boys are really excited and motivated to do the best we can.

“I’ll be doing everything I possibly can to make sure we hopefully bring home some success for the club because it’s very much deserved.”

‘Great football to watch’

Club president Paul Russell said he was very excited to bring Trengove and Bradley back to their home club.

“It just brings it around in a circle,” he said.

“[From] small country towns like we are … you can take your football to the highest level in Australia and be successful.

“We’re lucky enough to get the boys back.”

A sign next to a gate opening onto a football oval reads

The Kyby Tigers’ home is the Kybybolite Memorial Sports Club in south-east SA.(ABC South East SA: Isadora Bogle)

He said the A-grade team’s 50-year premiership drought had almost been broken multiple times over the years.

“It’s not like we haven’t tried, we have been in [the final] seven or eight times but we just haven’t come home with the cup at the end of the day,” he said.

“We brought it right up to all the sides last year — even the premiership side … our last round game, we only lost by two goals to them.

“It’s a very competitive league, it’s great football to watch and it’s exciting for the club and the league to have this quality of players represent us.”

The first round for the Kowree Naracoorte Tatiara Football League kicks off on April 13 when the Kyby Tigers will take on the Lucindale Roos.

Get our local newsletter, delivered free each Friday

Source: AFL NEWS ABC

    

Author: Russell White