The history of Sturt Lions has its current foundation based upon three junior teams that were established at Karinya Reserve in 2003 and played as Adelaide Hills Hawks Soccer Club teams in a red and white Ajax Amsterdam strip following many of the football philosophies of that Dutch club. These teams were under 11s coached by John Vander Veeken and Mike Degenhart, under 12s coached by John Hood and an under 13 team coached by Jim Phillips and Peter Quinn.  This group continued to grow yearly and was significantly influenced by Raymond Blair who joined the coaching group in 2005

In 2008 the junior group had grown to 7 teams covering under 10s through to under 16s and changed its senior link to local South Australian Amateur Soccer League (SAASL) club Sturt Marion Thunder Soccer Club and changed its colours to the current orange and blue.

In 2011 the club entered its own senior teams in the Football Federation of SA (FFSA) State League. This development coincided with a break in the link with Sturt Marion Thunder Soccer Club and the incorporation of a new, standalone club, namely Sturt Lions Football Club. This inaugural senior team was coached by playing coaches Alan Paice and Mark Donk. The club now fielded teams from under 7 right through to senior mens.

In 2014 in order to provide continuing playing opportunities for the growing numbers of young players exiting the junior ranks not able to break into the FFSA Senior Mens teams, the club launched a daughter club in the Collegiate Soccer League (CSL). This community club is affiliated with the local Blackwood High School and plays under the name Blackwood Lions.

In 2015 player numbers broke the 400 barrier for the first time with 30 teams across all age groups and competitions.

In 2019, the Club nominated its first girls-only team with 9 players in U9 Girls. In 2023, we had grown to 150 players, across 11 teams including the introduction of our Women's State League (WSL) team - this provided a pathway to senior football for our MiniRoo and Junior Girls. After a successful inaugural season, our WSL team won the league and earned promotion to Women's National Premier League in 2024. 

Interwoven within this club fabric are the romantic threads of three past Federation clubs.  The orange and the Dutch lion within the current club logo represents the Orange Soccer Club, a club consisting of mainly Dutch migrants that started in 1954.  The blue within the current players strip represents the Sturt Soccer Club, a club that commenced in 1907 within the Mitcham Council area.  1963 saw the amalgamation of these two clubs into the Orange Sturt Soccer Club that played within the Mitcham Council area with that clubs' final season in 1983.  The third thread is the Blackwood Soccer Club which commenced in 1977 in the amateur league rising to the top Football Federation league in 1990 then closing at the end of 1991. Significantly, Blackwood developed Karinya Reserve into a football field for the local area under the leadership of then local businessman Alan Charman.

There are family threads across these former clubs within the Sturt Lions with many junior and senior players that have fathers and grandfathers that represented Sturt, Orange, Orange Sturt and Blackwood.

As recognition of these threads into the new club, Sturt Lions, there is the annual Bep DeVries Award for the most progressive junior player within the senior teams.  Bep DeVries is the son of a Dutch migrant who played senior football for both Orange Sturt and Blackwood. He is fabled within Orange Sturt history for being only 15 and regularly after playing in the under 18 and reserve teams would come off the senior team bench and play in his third game on the same day. This award reflects the aims of Sturt Lions to provide football opportunities for young players.

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