1913- 1919 BUILDING THE FOUNDATIONS
After not competing in 1912, after a year of absence the club re-entered the FFA in 1913 and 1914 finishing both seasons with six wins from sixteen games.
The Andrews brothers, Cecil, Arthur and Charlie, were well regarded as being among the club’s better players though some of their tactics were questionable, given that Charlie was recorded, on one occasion, as having marked the ball on the opposition’s goal line while wearing a coat. The field umpire gave the ‘all clear’ but reversed the decision when he discovered that Charlie was, in fact, a Carrum-Chelsea player. Charlie removed his coat and took his kick thereby denying Mentone the goal. Other skilled performers during these times were Newbald, Howard, Bond, Steward and Graham (who later played alongside his brother at Edithvale).
It wasn’t long, however, before the ‘dogs of war’ were baying and the Federal Football Association went into recess between 1915 and 1918.
Resuming competition in 1919 with things beginning to return to normal after the ‘Great War,’ the Federal Football Association reformed, with seven teams including Chelsea, who were about to compete as a club in their own right.
George Featherstone came to the club to join brother Bill who was a committeeman. George was to play a significant role in the establishment of the club in coming years and was instrumental in bringing his nephew Clarrie Featherstone to the club a little later. Clarrie would fill the role of coach, a position that was becoming more common during these times. Others who became more active were W. G. ‘Bill’ Oliver and son Stanley who had both been involved in the patriotic games played in 1917.
The Chelsea team was only able to win one match during the 1919, season and that on forfeit from Moorabbin.
CFC LADIES’ COMMITTEE FORMED
23rd June 1917.
A Ladies’ Committee has been formed to support the newly formed Chelsea Football Club.
Office Bearers are as follows:
President: Mrs Fricke. Secretary: Mrs A. A. Walker. Treasurer: Mrs Dennington.
President: W. Williamson: Secretary: J. J. Smith.
Mr Hocking donated one pound for the purchase of a ball and Mr Callanan donated ten shillings and six pence.
In 1916, after selling our hotel in Collingwood, we moved to Chelsea. My father, being a member of the Collingwood Football Club at the time, was surprised to find that Chelsea did not have a football team.
My mother and father organized a meeting to be called among local residents to form the Chelsea Football Club. They wanted the black and white colours of the Collingwood Football Club, but Moorabbin Football Club were already using them. The colours of navy with white hoops were chosen by my mother who went to Foy and Gibson’s in Collingwood and brought the guernseys for the Chelsea Football Club. From then on Chelsea had a team and they entered in the Federal District Association. At that time Heatherton, Wells Road, Brighton, Sandringham and Black Rock were in the Federal Association.
We used to follow Chelsea. When we played Black Rock, we used to go in carrier wagons and would go around to where the Mentone hotel is. That was the end of the bitumen road so the ladies would stay on the van and the men and boys had to walk to Black Rock through the sand. That would have been about 1917.
In 1921 I was going to Chelsea State School and was picked in the Victorian side which went to Sydney for a week. We played against NSW and Queensland in Sydney, then the Sydney boys came to Melbourne for a week and we played them again here.
Later I played for Chelsea juniors and they also had another team called the Chelsea Stars, but it was more of a family affair. They were a bit cliquey, so a lot of the boys played in a separate team that wore the Chelsea Stars colours—blue with a white star. The Stars disbanded but the Chelsea Juniors kept going and we had a good side.