The Tiny Teams league was formed in 1945 when four clubs Wolves, Sharks, Chargers and Rebels came together to create a highly competitive Aussie Rules Football competition. The league expanded to 6 teams in 1948 and then to 9 teams in 1952. In 1982 a merger between Buffaloes and Cougars saw the league go back to 8 teams.
The history of the Tiny Teams league is rich in fierce rivalries, legendary players, and epic battles.
|1945 - Chargers def Wolves||1965 - Chargers def. Flyers||1985 - Chargers def. Wolves||2005 - Wolves def. Sharks|
|1946 - Wolves def. Rebels||1966 - Rebels def. Flyers||1986 - Wolves def. Flyers||2006 - Pumas def. Cougars|
|1947 - Wolves def. Sharks||1967 - Rebels def. Rovers||1987 - Sharks def. Wolves||2007 - Rovers def. Flyers|
|1948 - Wolves def. Rebels||1968 - Rovers def. Flyers||1988 - Wolves def. Chargers||2008 - Wolves def. Chargers|
|1949 - Chargers def. Wolves||1969 - Cougars def. Pumas||1989 - Wolves def. Cougars||2009 - Chargers def. Rebels|
|1950 - Rebels def. Chargers||1970 - Chargers def. Sharks||1990 - Rebels def. Rovers||2010 - Chargers def. Rebels|
|1951 - Chargers def. Rovers||1971 - Flyers def Chargers||1991 - Wolves def. Cougars||2011 - Rebels def Sharks|
|1952 - Chargers def. Rebels||1972 - Rebels def. Buffaloes||1992 - Cougars def. Pumas||2012 - Sharks def Chargers|
|1953 - Flyers def. Chargers||1973 - Flyers def. Cougars||1993 - Flyers def. Chargers|
|1954 - Flyers def. Rovers||1974 - Flyers def. Rebels||1994 - Cougars def. Sharks|
|1955 - Flyers def. Pumas||1975 - Flyers def. Chargers||1995 - Cougars def. Pumas|
1956 - Rovers def. Pumas
|1976 - Sharks def. Chargers||1996 - Cougars def. Pumas|
1957 - Pumas def. Wolves
1977 - Chargers def. Flyers
|1997 - Rebels def. Cougars|
1958 - Chargers def. Sharks
|1978 - Sharks def. Wolves||1998 - Pumas def. Rovers|
1959 - Pumas def. Flyers
|1979 - Cougars def. Rovers||1999 - Chargers def. Rebels|
1960 - Sharks def. Wolves
|1980 - Rovers def. Rebels||2000 - Pumas def. Wolves|
1961 - Sharks def. Rovers
|1981 - Chargers def. Pumas||2001 - Wolves def. Flyers|
1962 - Wolves def. Sharks
|1982 - Pumas def. Rovers||2002 - Pumas def. Sharks|
1963 - Sharks def. Wolves
|1983 - Chargers def. Sharks||2003 - Rebels def. Cougars|
1964 - Rebels def. Flyers
|1984 - Wolves def. Chargers||2004 - Sharks def. Pumas|
The Sharks originated from the Docklands district of Southbridge. Originally called The Bloods, they were known as a no-nonsense, hard at the ball team proud of their docklands, working class heritage.
Formed in 1938 as a working mans and sporting club, The Sharks were one of the four founding clubs of the Tiny Teams League when it was formed in 1945.
The Sharks did not win a premiership until 1960 when the club experienced a purple patch winning 3 premierships in four years; 1960, 1961, and 1963. This success was largely due to the leadership of legendary Shark “Buster” McCabe, who as captain-coach, took a bunch of part-time, bedraggled footballers and moulded them into a cohesive unit of dedicated footballers, proud of the “Bloods” creed where teammates stand by teammates no matter what. The Sharks team song chorus “One for all and all for one” summarises the “Bloods creed” of old.
Sharks have a fierce rivalry with Wolves who they consider to be “Bluebloods”. Sharks always seem to lift when playing against Wolves and their legendary encounters include the “Showdown of ’63” Grand Final in which they prevailed by a solitary point.
The Wolves are from the affluent Bayside region of Queensbay. They are considered by some to be the team for the “Chardonnay Set”. They are a very successful and proud club with the second highest number of premierships under their belt and they are rarely far away from being one of the best teams of the competition.
Wolves were a founding club of the TTL having formed in 1940 under the name of the “Queensbay Sporting and Social Club”. This name was changed to “Wolves Football Club” upon the formation of the TTL in 1945.
Wolves have had a great deal of success over the years with Triple premiership success in 1946-1948 under the tutelage of inaugural coach “Gentleman Jack” Jones, who coach the club for 15 years from 1945 to 1958. The Wolves were a league powerhouse in the 1980’s winning six Grand Final appearances in 7 years from 1984 – 1991, of which they won 4 premierships. Wolves are also the current TTL Premiers.
Wolves rivalry with Sharks is renowned; including the 1 point loss in the 1963 Grand Final loss which is now known as the “Showdown of ‘63”.
The Rebels are Black and White through and through. There is no grey with the Rebels – people either love them or hate them. There are plenty who love them though as they consistently hold the top two or three numbers of members and supporters.
Rebels are the oldest club in the TTL, having evolved out of the Carwood Worker’s Club which was formed in 1928 to give local workers a place to meet after a hard day’s work. On weekends they would field a football team against other University and Social club teams. The soon earned the nickname “Rebels” for their ferocious playing spirit and disregard for the rules.
In 1945 they met with 3 other successful local teams to form the TTL. They tasted immediate success becoming inaugural TTL Premiers. They also developed an immediate rivalry with Chargers. They defeated Chargers in the first TTL Grand Final, only to lose to them the following year. In 1950 the Rebels and Chargers drew in the grand final, with the Rebels emerging victors by 3 points in a bruising encounter the following week.
Rebels are both feared and respected by the other clubs for their hard-nosed approach to the game both on and off the field. Their most successful era was the 1960’s where they won 3 premierships in 4 years including back-to-back wins in 1966 and 1967.
Rovers are a hard working, passionate club originating from the working-class Western Suburb of Westview. Originally known as the “Westies”, Rovers have only tasted premiership success 4 times, the lowest of any TTL club. However what they lack in the trophy cabinet they make up for in passion, loyalty and commitment. Rovers supporters are widely regarded as the most passionate of fans, ready to defend their club at any cost.
Rovers were formed in 1930 as the Westview Sportsmen’s club. When the TTL was formed in 1945 the “Westies” applied for admission but were rejected for what was considered a lack of funding and club facilities. The Club resolved to do whatever it took to realise their dream. They changed their name to Rovers the following year and set about rallying community support.
Rovers were admitted to the TTL in 1948, along with Flyers, the club that they most passionately despise. To Rovers supporters, Flyers represent the complete opposite of their own hard working, never say die ethic. Many of the club’s most memorable wins have been against Flyers, including the 2007 Premiership where they were rank outsiders and came back from a three quarter, 20 point deficit to win by 2 goals and end a 27 year premiership drought.
Flyers were formed in 1946 by a group of influential businessmen who became aware of the TTL’s intention to expand the league from 4 to 6 teams. Intent on forming their own TTL team, they put their collective wealth and influence together to ensure they gained one of the two spots on offer.
Flyers are considered by some to be the “toffees” of the competition. Historically they have been known to undertake “chequebook” football, spending up big to ensure on field success. The most widely recognised example of this was after the 1964-1968 period in which the club lost four premierships in five years. This was followed a huge recruitment drive, during which many of the best players of the league were headhunted, resulting in the club’s golden era from 1971-1975 when they when 4 premierships.
The majority of Flyers’ success has come in patches of sheer domination. This includes the 1953-1955 triple premiership era, and the complete domination of the early 1970’s.
Some if the TTL’s greatest players have worn the Flyers jumper. These include the high-flying “Hanger” McBain, legendary ruckman “Sticks” Cowley, and the TTL’s highest goalscorer John “The Dominator” Johnson who, in 1973, kicked 180 goals including 18 goals against Buffaloes in the Semi Finals.
With the most premiership wins of any TTL club, Chargers have a rich and proud heritage. With 13 premierships and a further 10 grand final losses, Chargers are never far away from success. They are proud to be one of only two teams never to have “won” a wooden spoon (the other being Wolves).
The other source of the club’s pride is their migrant history. Chargers were formed in 1935 by a group of affluent Italian migrants. They formed the Springston Social Club and ditched their native round ball football in preference to the local code in order to form a team against other local social clubs. They were originally known as the “Blue Boys” due the blue sash on their guernseys. In 1945 they were accepted as one of the four founding clubs of the TTL and changed their name to “Chargers”.
Chargers have a long and often fierce rivalry with Rebels. This goes right back to the very first TTL Grand Final which they lost. They made amends the following year and went on to back-to-back wins in 1945.
Chargers’ darkest days came in 1990 when the TTL investigated the club for breaching league rules and undeclared player payments were uncovered. Despite severe penalties the club made the Grand Final in 1993 only to lose to Flyers. However Chargers did not fully recover until 1999 when they won their 13th premiership.
The origins of the Pumas are a little unclear but it is known for certain that they have evolved out of a number of different University teams that competed against various social, sporting and workers clubs prior to the formation of the TTL. Pumas are still based in the University district of North Point.
Despite a history that has links back before the formation of the TTL, Pumas did not join the league until 1952. They were immediately competitive and took only 4 years to make their first grand final; in 1955 against Flyers. This was the start of 4 grand final appearances in 5 years, winning in 1957 and 1959.
Pumas have been one of the modern era’s most successful clubs with 7 grand final appearances for 3 premierships since 1992. Throughout this time their legendary captain “Nugget” Reeves has etched his name in the club’s history as its favourite son. His 45 possession, best on ground performance in the 1998 premiership win is regarding by most as the stand out grand final performance of all time.
Today Cougars TTL Footy Club is the result of the only club merger in the history of the TTL, that of the original Cougars and the Buffaloes in 1982. While both clubs struggled with on and off field success, the Cougars were by far the stronger club. Their proposal to Buffaloes was accepted in 1981 and the newly amalgamated club took the field as the Cougars in 1982.
Cougars were formed in 1950 in response to a TTL interest in a side representing the leafy Outer Eastern Suburbs. The Cougars set up their base in Green Gully and were accepted into the TTL in 1952.
Cougars found it difficult to have an impact on the TTL, taking 17 years to win their first premiership in 1969. In 1979 they won their second premiership but rising costs and dwindling supporter numbers meant that action was required to ensure their long-term future. The club approached Buffaloes, a club close to extinction, and put a merger proposal to them. After negotiations lasting more than a year, a merger deal was brokered and the revamped Cougars was born. While the club name was retained, a new club song and a combination jumper of the Cougars original green with white sash, and Buffaloes blue with brown V was designed to keep Buffaloes fans content.
The clubs on field fortunes gradually improved, with the club making the grand final in 1991 and winning its third premiership in 1992. This was the beginning of an era of league domination for the club, with the triple premiership sides of 1994, 95 and 96 considered among the best in history. Cougars made the grand final again in 1997 but were beaten by a younger, faster and fitter Rebels team.