The Nelson Bay Marlins football club was formed in 1980 and entered into the NAFL in the reserve grade competition and lost their first grand final. The following year under 17s were also entered with the seniors going one better and wining the GF. 1982 saw the side move to 1st grade for 2 years, then had to move back to reserve grade in 1984 due to a lack of numbers but saw the team go through undefeated and win the grand final.
Promoted back into 1st grade in 1985, with also a reserve grade and under 17s taking the field and teams being fielded in the juniors comp. 1987 took the club into the grand final (losing) but were to play in finals nearly every year up to 2001, playing in 8 grand finals and wining 4 first grade premierships along the way.
2000 saw the now large number of juniors playing form their own committee and to date have won flags in various age groups. 2000 also resulted in the BDAFL being formed and a divisional system introduced with Nelson Bay in premier div till 2008 when due to mixed results the club moved back to 1st and 2nd division and consolidate player numbers. 2012 resulted in playing and losing the grand final but 2013 saw a win moving the club back to premier division for 2014.
A women’s comp was introduced in 2015 with Nelson Bay fielding a team that resulted in a grand final appearance in their 1st year. Two players from the bay have played in the AFL- Troy Luff (Sydney Swans) and Craig Bird (Sydney Swans & Essendon). Three players have won the league best & fairest Elliot medal – Wes Phillips, Pat White and Andy Thomas.
Nelson Bay Marlins
Port Stephens Examiner
Dick Burwell Oval, Nelson Bay Road, Nelson Bay
Nelson Bay is a suburb of the Port Stephens local government area in the Hunter Region of NSW. It is located on a bay of the same name on the southern shore of Port Stephens about 60 km north-east of Newcastle. It is a major tourism centre, particularly for dolphin and whale watching, surfing, diving, fishing and other recreational aquatic activities.
1994, 1996–97, 1999