East Wagga was founded in 1959 in the central riverina football league. the hawks had an 18 season stint where they won three senior grade premierships and were runners-up on five occasions. They won their first Reserves Premiership in 1960 defeating Junee 7.6.48 to 2.3.15. The next Reserves Grand Final was in 1966 when the Hawks lost to Army 8.13.61 to 5.6.36. The Hawks played in the First Grade Grand Final, their first in 1967 when they were defeated by Army 16.18.124 to 4.5.29 before a record CRL Grand Final crowd of 2,000 at Junee. In 1968 the Allan Gray Coached East Wagga Hawks won their first CRL Premiership beating Junee 7.16.58 to 6.5.41 The First Grade Best & Fairest Player was Henry Miskiewicz. 1969 and 1970 were losses to the Army. The Reserves won the Grand Final in both these years. The Reserves also won the Flag in 1971, Coached by Bill Holmes with Neil Hewitt taking out the Reserves Best & fairest. 1972 was the Hawks second title again beating Army at Robertson Oval, Wagga. Max Sanbrook was Coach and Jim Absolum won the Best & Fairest. The Reserves also won another Flag under the guidance of Terry McGee with Neil Hewitt taking out the Best & Fairest again. 1973 the Hawks First Grade lost the Grand Final to Cootamundra, however the Reserves were victorious again. They also won the Flag in 1974 with Peter McKenzie as Coach and Neil Hewitt taking out his fourth consecutive Reserve Grade Best & Fairest. 1975 First Grade lost to Barellan and the Reserves were Premiers again coached by Russ Wilson. The Reserves Best & Fairest winner was Jim Maher. In 1976 the Hawks won their third Title beating Cootamundra in the first Grand Final Played at Maher Oval. Brian Quade was Coach and the First Grade Best & Fairest was won by Ron (Bully) Bourne. The Reserves continued on their winning way with another Grand Final victory. Russ Wilson was the Coach again.
(below is the combined 1976 premiership sides)
The 1977 season brought a move to the Farrer Football League where the Hawks spent five seasons, qualifying for the grand final twice. In 1979 the Hawks won another double in the First and Reserves Grand Finals. Greg Leech was First Grade Coach and Best & fairest for this season was Greg Smith. The Reserves were coached by Jim Bourne who also took out the Reserve Grade Best & Fairest. First grade won at the expense of Wagga, but the following year they lost to the same opposition. The 1980 season also saw a name change to East Wagga Kooringal after the club merged with Kooringal Junior Football Club.
(below picture of a victorius Greg Leech)
From 1982 to 2009 the Hawks were members of the newly formed Riverina Football League. 1982 was to be their most famous year as they were the first team to take out an RFL Premiership. They defeated Coolamon in a thriller by 5 points 12.8.80 to 10.15.75 before 6,500 people at Narrandera Sports Ground. Neville Lyons, Coached the side with Barry Suckling winning his second Club Best & Fairest in this year. When the same two sides contested the grand final again the following year it was an even closer affair, with the match ending in a draw. In the replay, however, Coolamon proved comfortably too strong, and won by nearly 7 goals.
In 1996 the Reserves won another Flag under the Guidance of Mark Mullen as Coach and Paul Bourne the Best & Fairest winner. The Hawks’ only other senior grade grand final appearance came in 2001 but it proved a day to forget as they lost by 100 points to Wagga Tigers.
(below is the 1996 reserve grade premiership side)
After a few difficult years on the field in the RFL the club was force to move to Farrer League in 2010 where the club has been a finalist every year since joining. The club has benefitted from this move as it has been able to become financially stable. In 2014 both 1st and reserve grade, as well as our a-reserve netballers participated on grand final day. 2014 was a big building year for the club as we look to the future, we saw a lot of new faces on and off the field, and welcomed back many old faces around the club. Grand final day was one of mixed emotions as our first grade, coached by Gavin McMahon went down against a Temora team that would go on to win a 3rd premiership in a row. Our reserve grade side coached by Luke Adams got one back over our Temora rivals in a thrilling come from behind 1 point victory in the dying stages. Big ruck man Drew Wood would go on to claim best on ground honours for the day. Our A-reserve netballers showed that we have both codes moving on well with a terrific win in the netball. 2015 looms as a big year for the club, we have now set the benchmark for where we want to be.
Bring it on!