Club History

 

Southern District Oilers Gridiron

 

The game of American Football was first played competitively in South Australia in 1985, at Norwood Oval. The Southern District Oilers, then known as the Longhorns, were one of the four founding clubs in 1985, along with the East Side Razorbacks, Port Adelaide Spartans and the Brighton Breakers. The Oilers faced off against the Spartans in the first ever game of the South Australian Gridiron Association. After 4 years, the league expanded by three teams - The Hectorville Eagles, South City Chiefs and the North Side Lions. In 1989, the Longhorns (then wearing orange, black and white) changed nicknames to the "Southern District Oilers Gridiron Club" (now wearing white and navy).

The first season as the new Oilers, consisting of a core of hardened Longhorn veterans, recruited well, matured quickly and went on to be a very competitive club. Making back-to-back final appearances in the first two seasons, the Oilers lost out by few points each year on the ultimate goal. In the 2002/2003 season, the Oilers finished Minor Premiers, not taking the Grand Final, but setting the bench mark as the team to beat. However in 2004/2005, the Oilers were successful in taking the prestigious award of South Australian Champions. With its lowest numbers (15 players), the Oilers took on a strong Razorback team on a two-year unbeaten streak. Down by two scores at halftime, the "Ironman" Oiler squad came out strong. Motivated by key veterans Ken Gaudette, George Williams and Brett Hegarty, rising players Ben Stevens, Rob West-Mcinnes and Jared Anderson and the muscle of Michael "Fabs" Snell, Dan Reeves and James Sprules, the Oilers made two strong drives and used a turnover to help complete their goal and snapped a league record winning streak. The Oilers won the Grand Final by three points.

Over the years the Oilers have been very successful in the All-Star Awards, averaging 10 nominations each season. Oilers also have good representation in the State Championships, where 2010 saw its biggest contribution of 10+ players making the trip to Melbourne. The Oilers have also had players selected for the Australian side. Jared Anderson and Shawn Garner played against New Zealand in 2003 and Rob West-Mcinnes and Brad Bennett travelled to the UK to play against Great Britain and Sweden (Brad selected as Captain).

Today, the Oilers train at the Port Noarlunga Oval where they share a facility with the Port Noarlunga Football Club and play their games at City Mazda Stadium. The current coaching staff includes Rob West-McInnes, Matthew Whaites, Ken Getsinger, Nick Preece and Paul Snelling. The Club President is Nathan Schutcheon. Current Player Representative is Micheal Tedmanson.