Swan Valley AFC was formed in 1965 as the Young Christian Workers Football Club, playing in the Hills Football Association. The Club won the premiership in its first year, defeating Parkerville in the Grand Final. Winning quickly became something of a habit with the Club, having won 24 premierships with the First team in their 45 years of existence. Indeed, the Clubs First team made the finals in each one of its first 19 seasons.
Over the years the Club has fielded teams in the Hills FA, the WA Football Association, the Sunday Football League and now the WA Amateur Football League.
The Club plays at the Swan Valley Sporting Club located at 766 Gt Northern Hwy Herne Hill, currently fielding teams in the WAAFL C3 League and Reserves and West Coast Eagles Colts.
The League teams Fairest & Best medal is struck in honour of the late Keith “Foss” Butler, a founding member of the Club. The Reserves medal is named the Durnin-Bearham Medal after two long serving players and Life Members in Trevor Durnin and Des Bearham. Likewise, the Colts medal is named for Neil Sumich, another long serving player, committee person and Life Member. Arguably the Club’s most sought after award is the Santos Caratozzollo Medal, named for the late player and Life Member who lost his brave fight with cancer. It is awarded each year to the player from any grade considered the Clubs Most Courageous.
The Club has over 40 Life Members, most of which are players who earned the right by playing the required 150 Club games. Administrators and lady volunteers have also been recognised.
Former players of note include Ian Williams who played in a premiership with the Club before winning another with Swan Districts and then moving on to Footscray (now the Western Bulldogs for those too young!) in the VFL. Ian returned to the Club and player coached it to three consecutive premierships in the mid 90’s. He won four Club Fairest & Bests in his 141 games for The Valley.
Mike Richardson also played in a premiership with The Valley, winning the Fairest & Best before going to Swan Districts, and playing in a premiership there. He then went on to a successful VFL career with Collingwood, Essendon and Brisbane.
Max George, the former Swan Districts and Fitzroy forward played for and coached the Club in 1985.
Highly decorated community footballer Ric Ellard coached the Club to four premierships, playing in three of them. This included a hat trick of wins including an undefeated season. He won three Club Fairest & Bests and two Hills FA Association Fairest & Bests in his 116 games for The Valley. Ric played in two Sunday FL premierships with Kalamunda, winning the competition Fairest & Best the Bowden Medal. He also played in a premiership with Albany Royals, also winning the Gt Southern FL association Fairest & Best. Before returning to The Valley he player coached in premierships with Mundijong Centrals, again winning the Metropolitan FL association Fairest & Best. For the last 5 years he has been coach of Guilford Grammar Schools First XVIII and was an assistant coach with the WA State U16’s football team in the 2007-8 seasons.
The Club has selected a “Team of the Decade” four times. Eligibility is generally at least 50 Club games in that time and a player can only be selected in one team if their career spanned two such periods. A plaque of each team is on the Club’s Trophy wall and each selected player is given a smaller version in recognition.
In the home change rooms each jumper peg is marked with a numbered plaque, every player to play 100 games in that number gets his name on the plaque.