The Clubs History

Brief History of the Applecross Junior Football Club

Time Line 1952 - 2018

The Applecross - Mount Pleasant Junior Football Club (AMPJFC) has had a colourful 65 year history. Before 1985 it was two clubs – the Applecross Junior Football Club and the Mount Pleasant Junior Football Club. Between them, the AMPJFC has played in 53 grand finals for 28 premierships. The club has produced 43 VFL/AFL/WAFL players.

The Applecross Junior Football Club commenced in 1952 but did not field its first team until 1953 in the East Fremantle Junior Football competition which started as a U/16s competition. The club’s first premiership was won in 1959 by the U/18s side. Applecross JFC teams during the early years shared the Stock Road ground (where the Palmyra JFC is situated) with the Melville JFC. The U/16s and U/18s teams commenced playing at Shirley Strickland Oval in 1962. Shirley Strickland Oval (12s-17s teams) has been part of the club’s heritage along with the home base of Gairloch Oval (Auskick-11s) since this time. The club’s nickname in the junior competition was the “Bulldogs”.

In parallel to the U/16s-U/18s junior competition, a Fremantle District Sub Junior Competition commenced in 1957. A new Applecross Sub Junior Football Club was formed and joined the sub junior competition in 1959. The competition later extended to U/10s teams in 1973. The East Fremantle District formed its own sub junior competition in 1968. The sub junior competition and the junior competition operated separately until the two competitions merged in 1973.

History of the Hawks
1955 U/16s team
History of the Hawks
1959 U/18s premiership team

It was the sub junior club that commenced the relationship with Gairloch Oval after moving from the Applecross Primary School ground in 1965. Facilities at Gairloch Oval were scarce with a mobile canteen being brought to the ground from a nearby house which was set up on the Gairloch Street side. There was only a free standing toilet at the ground. Gairloch Oval itself was extended to the north in the mid-1970s and all teams played there for a period before the older grade teams moved back to Shirley Strickland Oval. Gairloch Oval’s change rooms were built in 1972 and the existing clubhouse and canteen extension was built in 1999.

The club has had a number of jumper strips commencing with the older junior club with a gold V on maroon which was replaced with the gold and maroon stripes. The single gold stripe on maroon was adopted in 1966. The sub junior club commenced with the gold and marone stripes but changed to the St Kilda jumper in the mid-1960s. At this point their nickname was the “Saints”. The junior and sub junior clubs merged into one in 1968 and the St Kilda jumper progressively replaced the single gold stripe jumper.

Mount Pleasant JFC commenced in 1960 as one club but fielding teams in the separate older and younger competitions. It was based at Shirley Strickland Oval although some of the sub junior teams occasionally played at Mount Pleasant Primary School. It wore a gold V on black and called itself the “Mounties”. Seven of the club’s 28 flags were won by Mount Pleasant JFC prior to merger.

In 1985, Applecross JFC and Mt Pleasant JFC voluntarily merged due to falling player numbers at both clubs. The name of the merged club became the Applecross JFC and the jumper was the Hawthorn gold and brown stripes. This was because the merged junior football club wanted to align itself with the senior Amateur Applecross “Hawks” Football Club in name and colours. The senior team was also based at Shirley Strickland Oval but unfortunately ceased in 1995. So the St Kilda styled jumper at Applecross JFC and the Richmond coloured jumper at Mount Pleasant JFC were retired. In 2001 a new jumper resembling the new style of Hawthorn jumper was adopted. This was replaced in 2014 with the current jumper design.

History of the Hawks
1971 U/16s team
History of the Hawks
2007 14s premiership team

After the writing of the history of the club was completed in 2012 the club considered changing its name and in 2016, it began proceedings to formally re-name the club the Applecross - Mount Pleasant Junior Football Club to recognise its heritage. This was completed at the beginning of 2017. The club retains its colours and nickname the “Hawks”. Player numbers have been increasing for some years and are beginning to outgrow Gairloch Oval. Concurrently, the Melville City Council is reviewing the use of Shirley Strickland Oval and there is the likelihood that the club will consolidate to Shirley Strickland in the next few years.

The history of the Applecross-Mount Pleasant Hawks has just been published.

Written by Drew Gaynor, The History of the Applecross-Mount Pleasant Junior Football Club is a not for profit publication that covers the club’s existence from its beginning in 1952 to the present. The 187 page book includes the histories of Applecross and Mount Pleasant JFCs prior to merging in 1985 and then as one club to 2022. It also reflects the history of the suburbs of Applecross, Mount Pleasant and Ardross. The book is an anecdotal and statistical account as well as providing many photos of past players, teams and volunteers throughout its 70 year history. The relationship with Shirley Strickland Reserve since 1960 and also Gairloch Reserve since 1965 up to the recent move of the club entirely to Shirley Strickland Reserve in 2022 is also told.

For a copy of the book, contact Drew Gaynor email: or Mobile: 0488 071 976.

The History of the Applecross-Mount Pleasant Hawks

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