At the 1996 AGM, John Gannan was elected as president for season 1997, with Warren Adam: Vice President, Bob Penzer: Secretary and Karen Wooldridge: Treasurer. The previous committee all left the club. It was decided that a new emblem be adopted. A “Viking” was selected and the team’s nickname would be “The Raiders”. At first there was only one O/35 team but that was expanded to 3 teams for this season. We had 2 x O/35(Superules) teams in Division 2 because another team folded before the season began. We filled the space with our 2nd team. We also fielded an O/40(Masters) team. The Masters competition was played for the first time this season. The Superules teams were both in Division 2. The Superules teams wore the navy & gold panelled jumper with gold socks. They were given separate identities. The first O/35 team were called “Bass” and wore navy shorts. Phil Corn was appointed coach and Colin Bambrook captain. The second O/35 team were called “Flinders” and wore gold shorts. Alan Sutherland was appointed coach and Mark Woodruff captain. When they played each other the away side wore the Masters jumpers. The Masters team wore a Navy Jumper with a gold sash, navy shorts and gold socks. John Jones was appointed Masters Coach and Andy Dinnage captain. The Masters competition was not played for points and there are no finals. Bass finished 5th on the ladder and missed the finals narrowly by percentage only. Flinders finished 10th. They kicked their highest score of 113pts in round 4 verses Sunshine to win by 106pts. Mark Grills won the Division 2, League Superules (O/35) Best and Fairest Award. Bill Rutherford was the club’s first All Australian player after the National Carnival held in Geelong. He won selection in the Seniors(O45) age group. The club song of the time was to the tune of “The Marseillaise” Fitzroy FC theme. The words were written by a player, Ian Wheeler.
We are the boys from Mornington,
We wear the colours of Blue and Gold,
We will always fight for victory,
We will always see it through,
Win or lose we’ll do or die,
In defeat we’ll always try,
Go Raiders, Go Raiders,
The team that loves a beer,
Premiers we’ll be this year.