North Shore Australian Football Club

North Shore Football Club, known informally as the North Shore Bombers is an Australian rules football club competing in the Sydney AFL Premier League and based out of the Sydney suburb of St Leonards, New South Wales. Formed in 1903 it remains one of only three foundation clubs still in existence and generally recognised as one of the more successful clubs of Sydney AFL. The club's current home ground is Mortgage Choice Oval (also known as Gore Hill Oval) in St. Leonards, next to the Royal North Shore Hospital. Gore Hill Oval will be closed for redevelopment in 2018, and the club will play most of their home games at Blacktown International Sportspark this year before returning to Gore Hill in 2019.

North Shore Bombers
Full nameNorth Shore Australian Football Club
2018 season
Club details
Colours     Black and      Red
CompetitionSydney AFL
PresidentJohn Goode
CoachRyan Meldrum
Captain(s)Teddy Strudwick & Kyle Devlin
Ground(s)Mortgage Choice Oval (Gore Hill Oval)
Other information
Official websiteNorth Shore Bombers official website

Previously nicknamed the Bears, the club has the same playing strip and now logo as the Essendon Football Club in the AFL. The 2018 Senior Coach at North Shore is Ryan Meldrum and the club's President is John Goode. The club fields nine teams in the Sydney AFL league. The seniors compete in the Premier Division; the reserves are in the Premier Division Reserves. Under AFL Sydney's revised divisional structure, North Shore will field their third grade team in Division One, their fourths in Division Two and their fifths in Division Three. The Under 19s compete in the top Division One competition, in which they have appeared in four Grand Finals in a row from 2014–17, winning premierships in 2015 and 2016. They field a team in the Under 19s Division Two competition. North Shore fielded a Women's team for the first time in 2017, playing in the Women's Division One competition. Growth in the numbers of players in women's footy has seen the club nominate a second women's team, who will play in the new Women's Division Two competition in 2018.


The club formed in 1903, one of only three remaining foundation clubs, and since then has won thirteen senior premierships. The Bombers competed in 6 Grand Finals in a row from 2000–2005, winning premierships in 2001, 2004 & 2005. Although the Bombers failed to qualify for the finals in 2006, they bounced back in 2007 to take their 13th premiership. In 2008, after a slow start to the season, the Bombers finished strongly to qualify for the final five, but were eliminated in the first finals match. They failed to qualify for the finals in 2009, but finished fifth in 2010 and fourth in 2011, 2012 and 2013. After missing the finals in 2014 and 2015; they returned to finals action in 2016 and 2017, finishing third in both those seasons.

With strong junior numbers coming through the ranks, from 2006 to 2008 North Shore fielded two teams in the Under 18s Premier Cup, Sydney AFL's strongest under-18s competition. One of their teams, the Bombers, took out the premiership in 2006 and 2008; while their other team, the Wildcats, took out the 2007 title undefeated. In 2008, the Wildcats changed their name to the Bears. However, the introduction of a divisional structure in the Sydney AFL competition, with a limit of one team per club in each division, saw North Shore only field one under 18s team from 2009 onwards. Strong player numbers coming through the junior pathway saw the club field a second Under 19s team in the Division Two competition from 2016.

North Shore have always fielded seniors and reserves teams. With solid growth in player numbers, a third open-age team was entered in 2011; competing in Division Three under the league's divisional structure. The thirds team was relegated after its first season, and now competes in Division Four. Continued growth in numbers saw a fourth open-age team entered in Division Five in 2014 and a fifth team in 2018.

Senior premierships: 1904, 1910, 1921, 1952, 1961, 1978, 1979, 1985, 1991, 2001, 2004, 2005, 2007.

Reserve premierships: 1912, 1913, 1950, 1976, 1977, 1981, 1982, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1993, 1998, 2000, 2001, 2003, 2004, 2017.

Division 1 premierships: 2017.

U19/U18 premierships: 1978, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1984, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1991, 2006, 2007(Undefeated Premiers), 2008, 2009, 2015, 2016.

The mighty Division 3A mens took home the bread in 2019 under coach Craig Tidemann.


Premier Division

11904Balmain5.13 (43)2.8 (20)
21909YMCA7.5 (45)5.5 (35)
31921Newtown11.5 (71)7.12 (52)
41952Western Suburbs11.7 (73)9.12 (66)
51961Sydney Naval11.15 (81)4.11 (35)
61978Western Suburbs17.17 (119)13.12 (90)
71979Western Suburbs13.17 (95)9.22 (76)
81985Campbelltown18.19 (127)14.12 (96)
91991Holroyd-Parramatta10.13 (73)7.9 (51)
102001Campbelltown12.12 (84)10.9 (69)
112004St George10.11 (71)7.4 (46)
122005Western Suburbs13.9 (87)6.10 (46)
132007St George12.15 (87)9.12 (66)

Premier Division Reserves

11912Balmain1.6 (12)0.2 (2)
21913Paddington5.5 (35)3.6 (24)
31950Newtown7.9 (51)5.11 (41)
41976East Sydney15.9 (99)13.11 (89)
51977Western Suburbs10.16 (76)8.13 (61)
61978Western Suburbs17.17 (119)13.12 (90)
71982Western Suburbs8.5 (53)2.10 (22)
81987Campbelltown16.19 (106)13.13 (91)
91988East Sydney9.14 (68)5.8 (38)
101989St George11.8 (74)11.7 (73)
111990Holroyd-Parramatta7.12 (54)7.10 (52)
121993Western Suburbs11.5 (71)10.7 (67)
131998Balmain8.9 (57)8.8 (56)
142000Pennant Hills9.8 (62)8.13 (61)
152001St George9.9 (63)7.6 (48)
162002Pennant Hills12.14 (86)6.8 (44)
172004Pennant Hills12.8 (80)6.8 (44)
182017Western Suburbs9.4 (58)6.4 (40)

Division 1

12017Camden13.15 (93)6.8 (44)

Under 18/19

11978St George13.15 (93)14.8 (92)
21979St George16.20 (116)6.2 (38)
31980East Sydney17.18 (120)1.6 (12)
41981St George15.8 (98)10.17 (77)
51984Pennant Hills16.7 (103)7.16 (58)
61986Pennant Hills10.20 (80)7.7 (49)
71987Campbelltown8.8 (56)8.6 (54)
81988St George13.3 (81)9.9 (63)
91991St George10.10 (70)4.6 (30)
102006Pennant Hills9.10 (64)1.1 (7)
112007Pennant Hills10.11 (71)5.7 (37)
122008East Coast15.11 (101)8.11 (59)
132009St George8.9 (57)6.9 (45)
142015UNSW/ES7.15 (57)7.4 (46)
152016UNSW/ES15.8 (98)10.7 (67)

Division 3(A)

12019UNSW-ES3.10 (28)3.6 (24)

Past Players

The club has produced AFL players such as Ryan Davis, Russell Morris, Lewis Roberts-Thomson, Henry Playfair, Phil Bradmore, Andrew Bomford, Simon Davies, Michael Byrne and Will Sierakowski. Former North Shore Bombers Sam Naismith and Callum Mills are currently playing for the Sydney Swans. The club has also had a number of players admitted onto senior club rookie lists with Ed Clarke, Tom Hill and Mark Livy all listed with the Sydney Swans at one point throughout their careers. Most recently Callum Mills was drafted with the third pick in the 2015 AFL Draft when the Sydney Swans matched Melbourne Demons bid on Mills.

Tennis champion Pat Rafter played a number of games for the reserves in 2004.

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