Katanning (Kupara Park), Western Australia

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I’d established that Katanning’s main footy ground Quartermaine Oval didn’t have a traditional scoreboard and decided on a final scout around town. Footy had also been played at the showgrounds and the racecourse. Then I noticed something on the Katanning map in my UBD Gregory’s Street Directory Western Australia – Kupara Park – football oval.

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It took some finding with roads and tracks blocked but when I finally got to the chained up old main gate the scoreboard stood out proudly. Once alive with activity from footy, cricket and softball Kupara now sits empty slowly fading away.

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Kupara Park was the home of the Katanning Australs Football Club. Created after the Katanning Imperials and Rovers merged, the Lions were a founding club in the Central Great Southern Football League in 1960. Australs won premierships in 1970, 1971, 1972, 1975 and 1978.

One of Kupara’s most memorable days didn’t feature Australs. A huge hail storm during the grand final between Katanning Wanderers and Kojonup sent Kojonup captain-coach Graham Zilko to hospital and the game was abandoned. Wanderers won the replay.

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In 1990 they joined the Albany based Great Southern Football League where they remained until the end of 2000 when the club was suspended by the league. A Way of Life, a history of WA country football notes it was because “…they lacked leadership within the club”.

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