The Ferntree Gully Falcons Basketball Club is the oldest club in the domestic competition run by Knox Basketball Inc, celebrating their 50th Anniversary in 2015.
During the last 50 years, the “Falcons” have established themselves as the “Family Club” providing a focus on fun, friendship and fairness.
From humble beginnings in 1965, when just one men’s team was entered in the Presbyterian Men’s Basketball Association, the Club has grown to now proudly 62 junior teams, of boys and girls aged from 5 years to 22 years old, for the current 2017 Winter Season.
Back in 1965, the Team colours were a Green Singlet with Red Stripe and White Numbers. Our current familiar “Blue on Blue” colours were adopted in 1975, along with our current name.
The Club has indeed come a long way….until 1974 the boys (there were no girls playing for the Club then!) were required to purchase their own white singlets, dye them green and sew a red number on the front and back! Then in 1975, Club Committee members made 75 singlets, outfitting every player in the Club.
As part of our 40th Anniversary celebration, and with help from our sponsors, the Club presented every registered player with a free uniform, comprising newly designed shorts and emblazoned with the Club’s new team logo, on the Club’s now familiar navy and sky blue colours. These distinctive colours were first introduced in 1975.
The Falcons name was adopted in 1979, when well before the days of Equal Opportunity, the newly formed girls teams held the day in the voting. There persists a rumour of vote rigging, but perhaps the boys just knew when to give sway. Admittedly, the FTG Mustangs does sound more like a car club!!
Over the years, the Falcons have had many highlights, and some “low” lights.
In 1969 the Club had 7 out of 8 teams reach the Grand Finals. In that same year, the then home of the Club, Ferntree Gully Technical School, burnt down, with the Club losing all its trophies, pennants, many records and its only training venue.
History repeated itself in 1973, with the school’s gymnasium being destroyed by fire.
In 1974 the Club sent 39 members to New Zealand, with the squad winning every game they played during the tour.
In 1978, the ability of our players was emphasised by a letter from the Knox Amateur Basketball Association requesting that the newly formed Under 14 Girls team play as an Under 16 team because they were too good!!
1979 saw girls representing the Falcons for the first time, in 5 separate teams.
In 1980 the Club grew from 12 to 24 teams, and in 1981 fielded 35 teams. A total of 42 teams (junior and adult) were fielded in the 1981-2 summer season.
The Ferntree Gully Falcons have provided a sound start to the careers of many renowned players,
- Cheryl Ferguson – the first girl from this area to make the State Team
- David Stiff – Melbourne Tigers and National Team
- Bradley Sheridan – Sydney Kings, prev. Captain Under 20 Australian Team
- Andrew Parkinson (ret) – East Side Spectres
- Kellie Smith – the first girl from this area to make the Australian Team, part of a medal winning Under 20 Team in the World Junior Championships
- Carrie Graf – Assistant Coach to Women’s Olympic Siler Medal Team, coached Canberra Capitals in the Women’s National League and coached Phoenix in USA Women’s National Basketball League.
The Falcons, along with other domestic Clubs of the day, have also been instrumental in establishing and maintaining some well-known local landmarks. The original construction of a 3 court stadium and the subsequent extension of the Knox Basketball Stadium at Boronia were supported by the efforts of the Falcons and other domestic Clubs working closely with the Knox Amateur Basketball Association.
In the mid 1990’s Carrington Park Leisure Centre was destined for demolition until the Ferntree Gully Falcons, in conjunction with a local trampolining group, took over its operation and maintenance. That Centre is now home of the Falcons, and through the Club, various other community and recreational groups have access to the many facilities offered. Unfortunately, in early 2015, Carrington Park Leisure Centre was temporarily closed due to structural issues, but we look forward to a time in the near future when the Falcons can return to their home base.
The Falcons are justifiably proud of their 50 year history and their long association with this strong local community.