Welcome to Lismore Swans AFC
Going strong since 1984
The video above is the Goonellabah/Alstonville Swans (now the Lismore Swans) who won the inaugural local league Premiership (Summerland League). Watch them sing the club song with gusto with the famous John Chadwick Shield.
The idea of an independent Australian Rules Football League started from a meeting at the Lismore Sports Club on 19th August 1983. At this point Lismore was the only Australian Football Club on the Far North, playing in the Gold Coast League. It was then that E. Meagher suggested a General Meeting to discuss staying in the Queensland competition.
The General Meeting was held nearly two months later on 6th September where the newly elected president of the Lismore Australian Football Club John Witty and his committee decided to withdraw from the Gold Coast League. The Lismore club was then split into four clubs; Lismore Roos, Goonellabah Swans, Ballina Bombers and Byron Bay Magpies. The Summerland Australian Rules Football League was created.
The Swans first game in the new league was held in Lismore v North Coffs Harbour. Although going down by 16 points the Swans showed great promise and many Lismore supporters commented on the threat from the hill.
Shortly after it was decided that the Goonellabah Swans become the Goonellabah/Alstonville Swans.
Peter Stephens took over as Captain/Coach in the first year and led the Swans to the inaugural Premiership.
This was a huge boost for the club profile with the Swans moving to Clifford Park in 1985. Starting with nothing the club later purchased and erected lights, poles, an electrical box, scoreboard, built change rooms with showers and an awning with a level canteen area supported by a rock wall.
Murwillumbah Hawks joined the SAFL in 1986, folding in 1999 due to lack of numbers.
Nimbin Demons joined the SAFL in 1988 folding to on an off the field pressures in 1994 before restarting in 2001 with an absence in 2006.
Grafton Tigers joined the SAFL in 1994 and resigned in 2002 to play in the Mid North Coast League.
Lismore Roos folded in 1999 due to bankruptcy.
The Goonellabah/Alstonville Swans moved to their new home at Mortimor Oval in 2003 and became the Lismore Swans.
Casino Lions joined the SAFL in 2003 and folded in 2008. They have rejoined again in 2021.
Tweed Coast Tigers joined the SAFL in 2009.
A new and improved Swans led by influential captain George Massa rejuvenated the Club in 2009 & 2010 with its exciting running game never seen before in the SAFL providing brilliant grand final matches in both years.
In 2011 new club president Philip Tsourlinis set-out to use the committees strengths and reward the club's years of hard work to instil a belief in the club with the 2011 motto of 'Believe'. The Lismore Swans broke their premiership drought against all odds with an outstanding performance to defeat the Tweed Coast Tigers and win their first premiership in 27 years. Captain Simon Howard and coach Stephen Huckerby ensured all plans worked to perfection, and inspirational and hard worker club leader George Messa was rewarded with a premiership after years of hard work for the club on/off the field.
In early 2016 the Swans set-out an ambitions aim of forming the first women's team between the Gold Coast and Newcastle, and by the end of 2016, the Swans had an official women's team playing various practice games. On a fantastic September 9th day 2017, the Swans women led by Captain Laura Cahill (Small) and inspired on by coach Carl Merrison won the Inaugural Grand Final against the Ballina Bombers winning by 8 points playing inspiring football. The Swans club culture changed forever with the introduction of the women's side, and today the club is stronger for their arrival.
In July 2018, the swans moved to their new home at Oakes Oval, after it received a $2.5m upgrade, and a second stage upgrade is expected. Also, their current venue Mortimer Oval is due for an upgrade with brand new change rooms and beautification of the precinct starting in 2019.
At the end of 2019, after serving a record seven years as President Philip Tsourlinis stepped down and Laura Cahill was voted as new President for 2020 & beyond. Her hard work as both women's captain and secretary was rewarded with the honour of club president.
At the start of 2021, the Lismore Swans committee voted to join AFLNSW North Coast and start a new chapter in their journey by going SOUTH and joining AFL North Coast NSW teams. It's a break from the previous 37 Years having always played alongside Ballina Bombers, Byron Magpies and more recently Tweed Tigers. Since 2011 all those four clubs were administered by AFL QLD.
In 2021, all eyes shift south as the Lismore men & women prepare to take on Grafton Tigers, Coffs Harbour Breakers, Sawtell/Toormina Saints AFL Club, the Northern Beaches Blues (Woolgolga) and the return of the Casino Lions.
What new stories can the Swans add to the history books in 2021?
Join us to find out. Click here to get in touch.
The club is now entering a new era, and an exciting future, and the club is asking for anyone who believes they can help the club reach its aims, to enquire within.