ABOUT THE DEMONS

The Eastlake Demons were established 1991, via a merger of the Eastlake Football Club and the Manuka Football Club.

 

The Federal Territory Australian Rules Football League was just two years old when the Eastlake Football Club first emerged on the scene in 1926. The club comprised chiefly of local tradesmen, many of whom had moved to Canberra from the southern states.

During world war two, Eastlake combined briefly with Manuka, becoming known for a time as ‘City’.

Between 1962 and 1966 Eastlake dominated the Canberra football scene as no team, before or since, has done. Playing a strong, aggressive style of football, and boasting a formidable defence, the side was never severely tested in 5 consecutive grand finals. Future VFL champion Alex Jesaulenko was a member of three of these premiership winning Eastlake combinations.

After losing three consecutive grand finals between 1982 and 1984 the club began to struggle, and in 1991 the oldest surviving ACTAFL club entered into a merger agreement with Manuka which spawned the establishment of the Southern District Demons.

From the late 1960s through to the 1980s occasional social games were played by an Eastlake women’s team. 

In 1998 a nine-a-side Wednesday night competition was set up and Keren and Nicole McDonald, grand-daughters of Ken McDonald, formed an Eastlake women’s team.

In the initial years Nicole roped in some senior men’s players to help out with training. The team included a lot of women who had never played before.

The first few years were slow going with a lack of numbers and organised training. After finishing last (again) in 2011, the club embarked on some serious recruiting and convinced former Eastlake player Greg Lonsdale to coach the team with the assistance of dual Mulrooney Medallist Steve Wilson.

The transformation was remarkable, Lonsdale set about teaching individual and team skills. He embraced the challenge and ad the players training harder and with more purpose, and he encouraged the players to become part of Eastlake, not just an add-on.

Since 2002, the team has won nine premierships and is an integral part of the Eastlake Football Club.