Clubs in Sydney have used many different grounds throughout their history. As well as the home grounds set out below, there are also many other neutral grounds that clubs have used over the years.
Manly Warringah have used Weldon Oval at Curl Curl for nearly all of their history. The only exception to this was for two years from 2009 to 2010 when Pittwater Oval was used. During those years, Weldon Oval was being redeveloped, and was out of commission.
Pennant Hills have also had a reasonably stable ground tenancy. Ern Holmes Oval, previously called Pennant Hills Oval No 2, has been used for almost all of its history. The narrow shape of the ground was the main factor leading to Pennant Hills recent relocation to Mike Kenny Oval at Cherrybrook.
The Western Suburbs Club is another case altogether. They have used several grounds throughout their history. In the early years after their formation in 1947/48 Wests firstly played their home games at Henson Park Marrickville. They then moved to St Lukes Oval, Concord. Matches were also possibly played at the nearby, Concord Oval. In 1957, Wests moved to Picken Oval at Croydon Park. That was a privately owned ground by Bill Picken, a trotting trainer. A trotting track surrounded the ground where the horses were used in training. Wests built their licensed club adjacent to the ground. Unfortunately, a dispute between the licensed club and a member of Mr Picken’s family led to the club losing the use of the ground.
The then club set about redeveloping a disused brick pit at Ashbury, which was to become W H Wagener Oval. Many hours of volunteer labour were put into the new ground, but several years were to pass whilst the surface settled after its being filled. During that period, Wests used Macquarie University Oval for its home games. The club found that crossing the Parramatta River was just too far for the club’s supporters, and no doubt fewer people ventured back to the licensed club. so the Club then moved its home games for one season to Outer Jensen Oval at Sefton. That was the home ground of Bankstown Sports Club (who later moved to Kelso Oval).
At last W H Wagener Oval became West’s ground , although a relatively short distance from Wests Licensed Club it was still a reasonable barrier to patrons returning to the clubrooms. In more recent years, Picken Oval reverted to Council ownership, and the juniors played their games there. An upgrade to Picken, including the building of an amenities area, led to Western Suburbs returning to their home at Picken Oval not that long ago.
St George in its earliest years mainly used the grounds arranged by the league including SCG No 2, Erskineville Oval and Trumper Park. Home games were played occasionally at Kogarah Jubilee Oval. Hurstville Oval became St George’s home ground for several years, before Olds Park at Mortdale became their home in 1965. Some matches have been played at Olds Park No 2, but mainly for lower grades. Redevelopment of Olds Park led St George to also play some games at Bankstown Memorial Oval as well as Kelso Oval, Panania.
Most of Sydney Uni’s games have been played at University Oval No 1. The adjacent University Oval No 2 has also hosted games. Recently several games have also been played at St Paul’s Oval which is also on the University campus with then entry off City Road.
Both of the founding clubs of University of NSW- East Sydney have had several home grounds. For this discussion, Eastern Suburbs for most of their existence played at Trumper Park, Paddington. Easts also played some home games in the 1950s at Waverley Oval, Bondi and slightly earlier at The Sydney Sports Ground. The Sports Ground no longer exists, but it was in Driver Avenue, Moore Park, next to the also demolished, SCG No 2. This was basically where the SCG car park is today.
University of NSW originally played on neutral grounds such as Trumper Park and Erskineville Oval. In the late 1970s they used the Little Bay Sports Complex, part of the Uni of NSW Sports Fields. The land was later sold off and used for housing. The facilities at Little Bay were quite good, but the ground was often subject to strong winds, being very close to the coast. Uni of NSW moved to the Village Green at the main campus at Kensington. Village Green is the home ground of the new unified club.
North Sydney Oval was, for a long period, used as North Shore’s ground. Chatswood Oval was also used in the 1930s.
The church across the road from North Sydney Oval in Miller Street used to object to the sounds of the whistle, and the bell or siren to mark the quarter start or endings, whilst their services were conducted on Sunday Mornings. This forced their Under 19s games during the 1960s and 1970s to be played at the desolate, Gore Hill Oval, whilst Reserve and First Grade were played at North Sydney Oval No 1.
The ground was really too small for Australian Football and costs became prohibitive when the council redeveloped the ground building extensive and historic grandstands. North Shore then relocated to Gore Hill Oval at St Leonards. During their relocation era, a number of home games were also played at Macquarie University Oval.
UTS, despite being the most recently formed club participating in Premier League, have already played at two different home grounds. Trumper Park was no longer used for senior football when East Sydney merged with Uni of NSW, so UTS secured the long term AFL ground. UTS adopted the Bats emblem from the fruit bats that occupy the large trees surrounding Trumper Oval. More recently, Waverley Oval, with its newly constructed grandstand is now shared with Trumper Oval for UTS home games.
When the Campbelltown club first entered the senior competition in Sydney in the mid 1970s, they played at the Ingleburn Army Base ground. Then they relocated to Memorial Oval, Ingleburn. Upon their promotion to what is now Premier League they moved to Macquarie Fields Oval, originally called Edelsten Oval after Dr Geoffrey Edelsten. The ground has since had several name changes.