Full name Darwin Football Club
Nickname(s) Buffaloes
2011 season
Home and away season 15th
Pre-season Cup Round two
Leading goal kicker Darryl White (31)
Best and fairest Darryl White
Club details
Founded 1917
Colours Navy Blue Navy Blue Blue Blue
Competition Australian Football League
Chairman Peter Knights
Coach Marck Mickan
Captain(s) Darryl White
Premierships 0
Ground(s) Marrara Stadium (capacity: 15,000)

The Darwin Football Club, nicknamed the Buffaloes, is a Australian Football Rules club playing in the national competition, the Australian Football League (AFL). It entered the competition in 2007 after two years of debate, coming from the NTFL (Northern Territory Football League). The club so far is the only team originating from the Northern Territory.

Before it joined the AFL it was considered one of the best clubs to come from the North, winning 23 premierships. When the need for a 16th club arose, many people turned to the north, seeing its sizable AFL supporting population, and its Darwin team. After a vote, Darwin as transferred from the NTFL to the national league. The NTFL Darwin team is now the Darwin Youngs.


Foundation and Rise (1917-1927)

The Darwin football club arose in 1917 under the name the Warriors FC. It, along with two other clubs founded the NTFL, and quickly became one of, if not the best club in the league. In 1918, the club changed its name to Vesteys, after a local meat plant were most of it's players were employed off season.
1921 Darwin Premier Team

The 1921 "Vesteys" premier team.

It then had a run-in with the Wanderers Football Club in the 1921 NTFL grand final, and won their first premiership. It then continued into the 1920's winning two further premierships in 1924 and 1925.

In the 1926 season, the club debuted with a new name, the Buffaloes Football Club. The Buffaloes would continue into the 1926 season winning their fourth premiership in the grand final.

The power house team (1928-1990)

The Buffaloes entered the 1930's with high hopes of premiership wins. This came about in the 1931 season were they won all but 2 games, both against the Waratah FC. In the grand final, they took on Waratah, and won their fifth premiership. They would continue into the 30's, winning the premierships of 1933, 1934, and 1935. This three in a row win for the Buffaloes solidified the notion that they were the powerhouse team of the NTFL. By the 1940's, most of the teams best players had left to fight in World War Two, and that left a power gap. This gap was filled by the Buffaloes bitter rivals, Waratah. But this gap didn't last long, because with the return of the their best players, they came back in the competition, winning the 1948 and 1949 premierships.

The next decade was then a reverse of the former, with the club winning in 1950 and 1951, but failed to win several grand finals in between the years of 1952 and 1961.
Newspaper clipping 1972

A newspaper clipping from the 1972 NTFL grand final.

In the 1962 season, the team came out with another new club name, the Darwin Football Club, however the Buffaloes emblem was retained. Also in the 1962 season, they finally managed to get a premiership for the first time since 1951, and then the rest of the decade was history. In the 60's the team had won 5 premierships, 1962, 63', 67', 68' and 69'. These wins gave the club the ability to restore their old "nickname", the power house team.

This was almost the same story in the 1970's, where the club won 4 out of 5 grand final appearances, losing to a new rival, St. Mary's. The last grand final they had won in the 20th century was the 1988 grand final where they won against their old rivals, Waratah.

Second Billing (1990-2005)

The 1990's came as an era of unease for the club, as the decade rolled around, most of their great stars of the past had faded away, leaving amateur teens and young adults. Their new rivals, St. Mary's were the new power houses of the leagues, winning most of the grand finals throughout the 1990's. This changed when in the late 90's the Saints (St. Mary's) began to fall into decline as well.

Darwin saw this as an opportunity, and in the 2000 season, they finally managed to push through to the final. This final was called the "lightning strike" final, because of its fast paced play and the amount of violence on the field. The club ended the day with no victory, coming 12 points behind the premiers, Palmerston. Another large blow to the clubs prestige came in the spring of the 2002 season, were St. Mary's managed to overhaul Darwin's then 22 premiership record.

By the end of the 2004 season, many representatives of the Australian Football League (AFL) began searching for a new, 16th club for the national competition, as the 15 club seasons were beginning to be handled roughly and there were bi's (a round were one team is out of play). This gave hope for the struggling Darwin team, and in 2005 the began to be seen as a contender as the 16th club. The year 2005 also shown that the Darwin Buffaloes weren't gone from the competition completely, because in the grand final, they finally won their 23rd premiership and last for the NTFL.

The National Competition (2006-present)

By the 2006 season, the club began to work harder in the race to become the 16th club, and it was shown in their effort in the NTFL that year. The Buffaloes won only 3 games out of 19 matches, and "won" their first wooden spoon in a decade. After the wooden spoon, the chairmen for the AFL began to question the ability of Darwin's inclusion into a national league.

However, in September 2006, the club put on a large marketing campaign for the AFL, and following a vote in December, the club was accepted as the 16th club of the AFL. The teamed entered into the NAB cup in the 2007 season, losing all of their games. In the season, the ability of their captain Darryl White managed to steer them clear from getting the wooden spoon, getting 14th position atop of Richmond and Fremantle.
Darwin Buffaloes vs Sydney 2008

The Darwin Buffaloes take on the Sydney Swans, Round 2, 2008

This was not seen in the next two seasons however, as the club won 5 in 2008 and 7 in 2009, but it was a sign of improvement for the team.

In 2010, the team managed to get 8th position, but lost to Melbourne in the elimination round. Their most recent season, the 2011 AFL season, showed their new found ability in keeping the scores as low as possible (eg. Round 4, Western Bulldogs 35 to Darwin 31). This would help them begin win, but cost them, giving them the 15th position in the season, just atop of Collingwood.

Club Symbols


The Darwin Buffaloes home jumper consists of a light blue top portion which is separated by a V cut, all of which bellow is of navy blue colour.

The clubs' away jumper consists of a colour change to the top portion of the jumper, replacing the light blue with white, while keeping the "sleeves" navy blue. The cut between white and navy blue is also changed, with the point of the v cutting off.

Home Jumper Away Jumper
DarwinBuffaloesJumper 263px-Darwin Buffaloes Away Jumper

Club Song

The Darwin Buffaloes' club song is the song "It's our Territory", originally recorded by Peter Barnes, it became the Darwin Buffaloes Song in the late 2007 AFL season.
"It's our Territory"03:24

"It's our Territory"

The Darwin Buffaloes FC song

Membership Base

Year Members Finishing position
2007 13,249 14th
2008 16,341 15th
2009 16,102 14th
2010 16,873 8th
2011 14,346 15th
2012 15,315

Club Honours

Premiership Record Premiership Record
Competition Level Wins Year Won
AFL Premiers 0 NaN
AFL Runners Up 0 NaN
AFL Pre-Season Premierships 0 NaN
AFL Reserves 1 2010
VFL/AFL Under 19s 1 2009
AFL McClelland Trophy 0 NaN
VFL/AFL Minor Premiers 0 NaN
AFL Wooden Spoons 0 NaN

Match Records

  • Highest score: Round 7, 2011 (Marrara Stadium) – Darwin 19.12 (126) v Essendon 23.3 (141)
  • Lowest score: Round 1, 2007 (Marrara Stadium) – Darwin 1.3 (9) v West Coast Eagles 24.15 (159)
  • Highest losing score: Round 7, 2011 (Marrara) – Darwin 19.12 (126) v Essendon 23.3 (141)
  • Lowest winning score: Round 17, 2009 (MCG) – Darwin 3.2 (20) v Melbourne 2.5 (17)
  • Biggest winning margin: 98 points – Round 20, 2010 (Docklands Stadium) – Darwin 19.4 (118) v St. Kilda 3.2 (20)
  • Biggest losing margin: 174 points Round 12, 2008 (Kardinia Park) – Darwin 3.12 (30) v Geelong 32.12 (204)
  • Record attendance (home and away game): 93,249, Round 4, 15 April 2011 at MCG v Collingwood
  • Record attendance (finals match): 94,364, Elimination Match, 5 September 2010 v Melbourne


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