Celebrating the ’97 awesome foursome

This weekend the Roopena Football Club will celebrate the 20 year anniversary of the 1997 season when they created history by becoming the first club in Whyalla football to win all four premierships on the day.

In Roopena circles it is commonly referred to as the awesome foursome.

This feat is made all the more remarkable because the year before, in 1996, the club played in all four grand finals losing them all.

Fast forward a year later to 1997 and the club played in all four grand finals but winning them all.

The A grade side was coached by Grant ‘Fatty’ Sleep, his coach adviser was the former North Whyalla champion Paul Abraham.

The team would go through the season undefeated, the only A Grade premiership side in the RCF to achieve this.

Phil Smith would kick 121 goals, only the third player in the history of Whyalla football to kick 100 goals or more in an A grade season and still holds the record for the most goals kicked.

Jeff Ewings, who played that day, would become the first player in the club to play 300 senior games and in two weeks will become the first to achieve 400 senior games.

Justin Crompton, Waylon Nielson who also played in the senior team would also go on the achieve 300 games along with Shannon Tomney who played senior colts and the present club president Stuart Wood who played reserves.

Harry Marks coached the reserves to their first ever flag.

Newly arrived from Westies, Allan Tetlow coached the senior colts assisted by David Wade.

Ray Trezise coached the junior colts assisted by Justin Crompton.

Everyone is invited to the Roopena Football Club this weekend to help celebrate this great achievement, no invitations are required.

The weekend kicks off on the Friday night with an impromptu get together at the club.

Then on the Saturday Roopena take on South Whyalla at Bennett Oval, then back to the club for the official part of the weekend followed by a barbecue on the Sunday.