Wisanger rules Kangaroo Island football from 1982 to 1987

The Wisanger Panther side of 1987 was the culmination of five years of dominance in the Kangaroo Island Football League.
The Wisanger Panther side of 1987 was the culmination of five years of dominance in the Kangaroo Island Football League.

Our Kangaroo Island football dynasty team this week revolves around a side that may not have been a team of champions, but they were certainly a champion team.

Wisanger made each Grand Final from 1982 to 1987, and were successful in all but 1984 where a David Stoeckel led Dudley side ran rampant.

The Wisanger team of 1982 started the 80's dynasty for the Panthers.

The Wisanger team of 1982 started the 80's dynasty for the Panthers.

In 1982, the Wisanger A Grade side had just the right amount of youth and experience, and while Dudley also had a pretty handy side and had a lead going into half time, the Panthers powered away in the second half to score a 47-point win.

Breaking a nine-year drought, you could forgive the Wisanger side for becoming complacent, especially after playing second fiddle to Parndana for most of 1983.

However, as we all know, it's the football in September that is remembered, and the Grand Final of 1983 was an absolute classic between two great teams.

The 1983 Wisanger Panther team continued the club's winning ways.

The 1983 Wisanger Panther team continued the club's winning ways.

The battle between Brian Peckover and Allan Howard was worth the admission price in itself.

This day was the day of Peckover's Panthers however, and despite their kicking for goal they managed to get over the line by two points - 9.12 to 10.4.

The year 1984 looked to be the year of the Panther once again. However, the Eagles had other ideas, and after a tight first half the Eagles just started to power away from their opponents.

They were seven goals up at the final break, but no one could have foreseen the final quarter demolition as they piled on 12 goals to win by 120 points!

Taking this hit to their pride would have stung over the summer, and Wisanger used this game as motivation for the next three years and were very rarely beaten in this time, as players like Peckover, Neave, Wooley, Thomas, Pease, Johnson and co. hit their peak

Recruits like Rabbit (1986 Mail Medallist), and Montgomerie (1987 Mail Medallist) complimented the side and made Wisanger a powerful unit.

In 1985, they avenged the 1984 loss to defeat the Eagles, who were still a very good side despite the loss of David Stoeckel, by 37 points.

1986 the Wisanger machine powered on, defeating Parndana by 44 points. However, 1987 may have been the sweetest victory overpowering rival Kingscote by 11 goals.

Kingscote hit the lead for the first time with two quick goals early in the third, but Montgomerie and Rabbitt were providing plenty of run out of the backlines.

Leading goal-kicker Neave finally out positioned his opponent and moved Wisanger back in front, not to be headed once again.

Paul Thomas was the premier ruckmen for the league, and dominated this day to win Best on Ground, and Wisanger completed their dynasty with a fifth Grand Final win from six appearances.

Wisanger were the best side of the 80's, and it would be 18 long years before their next premiership but they were recognised as definitely one of the better teams in Island history. - Jared McArdle

Are they the best? Have your say and vote in our best team in Island history!

The Islander and Jared McArdle have put together a list of KI football dynasties and ask readers, which team they think was the best:

  • Parndana 1956-1960 - 4 premierships won
  • Wisanger 1968-1975 - 4 premierships won
  • Western Districts 1976-1979 - 3 premierships won
  • Wisanger 1982-1987 - 5 premierships won
  • Western Districts 1990-1997 - 6 premierships won
  • Parndana 1997-2000 - 3 premierships won
  • Parndana 2008-2014 - 6 premierships won
  • Dudley United 2014-2017 - 3 premierships won

To comment, email: stan.gorton@theislanderonline.com.au

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