Formed in 1995 by Dan Eastwood and Bevan Vahland, the team was originally known as the 'Sharks'. The original team colours were grey and royal blue. The team first played in competition at the Corio Leisuretime Centre. The inaugural lineup consisted of: Dan Eastwood, Bevan Vahland, Andy Eastwood, Brad Lowne, Tim Eastwood and Duane Butcher.
In the early days, with a young and inexperienced team, and little in the way of coaching and gameplan, success was hard to come by. The Sharks had to wait until late in that first year to register their first win. This era marked the first appearances of many famous Ertmen faces, including Phill Parker, Warren Butcher, Mike Rau, Ben Kucharski and Allan V Watt.
At the end of 1995 competition ceased at Corio Leisuretime Centre, and the Sharks joined the Corio Bay Basketball Association at South Geelong's 'Life Be In it' Centre. The summer of 1995-96 saw an aggressive recruiting campaign which netted a number of future Ertmen regulars, including Miles Farrell, Adam White and Jason Hunt. Bevan Vahland retired from the team about this time.
During 1996 the team was renamed the 'Dodgy Fluffy Guppies', and throughout the early years at 'Life Be In It' battled through a number of mid-table appearances in the lower divisions of the Wednesday night mens competition before finally cracking a semi-final berth. A typo by the administration at CBBA led to the team spending a season known as the 'Dodgy Fluffy Puppies', before adopting the 'Ertmen' moniker in 1998. New players joined the team, including Andre Brohier, Todd Downey, Mark Graham, John "The Glove" Matthews and Matt Fletcher. In fact so plentiful were the playing stocks at this time, that a second string team, the 'Ertmen Rejects' was formed. By this stage the Ertmen were a regular in the semi-finals but just couldn't seem to take the next step. Ironically the 'Rejects' team won the Division 6 Grand Final in only their second season, having finished last the season before. Following their premiership the 'Ertmen Rejects' folded.
Finally in the Winter season of 2000 the Ertmen broke through into their first Grand Final. Their opponents on the day were red-hot favourites, and lived up to the tag accordingly, easily accounting for the Ertmen, though Matt Fletcher was awarded the MVP award for best player in the game.
Following the 2000 season, the Ertmen were offered sponsorship by Geelong's Clarendon Hotel. Fitted out in new uniforms in the hotel's colours of navy blue and white, the team became officially known as the 'Clarendon Hotel Ertmen', and the hotel became the team's new base for after-match functions.
The summer season of 2000/01 brought with it a promotion to Division 5, but the Ertmen picked up where they left off, storming through all the way to the Division 5 Grand Final. This time the Ertmen were the favourites, but in a cruel twist of fate the underdogs came back from a big half time deficit to claim the crown. Ross Cook, a member of the winning team, joined the Ertmen the following season.
Following the two near misses in 2000 and 2001,player stocks were overflowing at the start of the winter 2001 season, so much so, that the Ertmen decided to run two teams. One team remained in the Wednesday night competition, and the second team joined the Thursday night competition. A number of players competed in both teams. The Wednesday team was cruelly denied a third consecutive Grand Final berth, going down in overtime in the semi-finals. The Thursday night team went one step better and again played off in another Grand Final, but unfortunately for the same result.
After this the player stocks began to dwindle. A number of players relocated out of town, and the Thursday night team ceased. The Wednesday night team continued but with mixed results. Semi-final apperances were occasional, but with a number of temporary players the team would often lose points for late registrations. Indeed one of the teams best win/loss records over this period did not result in a finals appearance because of points lost due to late registration fees. The Clarendon Hotel also changed owners at this point and the sponsorship arrangement ended, although the team retained the navy and white colours.
Over a number of seasons a stable playing list emerged, and the team began to rise back up the ladder. By 2005 the team had changed to the Thursday night competition and was again a regular finalist. The summer season of 2005/06 was a relatively successful one for the team, andby seasons end the Ertmen had again qualified for the semi-finals, having finished in 4th position.
In the semi-final the team overran the strong 1st placed team, and qualified for their fourth Grand Final. In almost a reverse of the Summer '01 decider, the Ertmen trailed at half time, only to overrun their opponents in the second half. The Premiership team consisted of: Dan Eastwood (capt), Miles Farrell, Adam White, Jason Hunt, Andre Brohier, Mark Graham, Ross Cook and Leon Guthridge.
Following the premiership in 2006 player availability again became a concern. Captain Dan Eastwood missed a significant portion of the season, and without stable management the team suffered. Following the Winter 2006 season the Ertmen decided to withdraw from competition, only 6 months after their premiership victory, ending 23 consecutive seasons of competition.
But you can't keep a good team down. Late in 2007, having missed 2 seasons, the Ertmen name was resurrected, largely through the efforts of Andy and Dan Eastwood. With the rebirth came new uniforms, in the original grey and royal blue colours. A number of the old faces returned, including Andre Brohier, Mark Graham and Jason Hunt. The stalwarts were supplemented by new faces, Matt Humphries, Darren Powell, Tom Murphy, Andy Watson, Dave Doran and Joel Jenkins.
The reborn team started very slowly, it took almost the entire first season to gel, but gradually the results came. The team qualified for semi-finals in the 2008/09 period, before injuries began to take their toll on the team. A terrible ankle injury to Humphries put him out of action for almost a year. Dan Eastwood suffered a broken arm, Powell was plagued by a persistant calf problem, Brohier sidelined with a neck injury. With numbers again severely diminished, the Ertmen had no other option but to withdraw from the competition following the Winter 2010 season.
A number of former Ertmen continue to participate in various basketball competitions throughout the region, and maybe someday the famous Ertmen name will rise again.
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