The departure of no less than eleven premiership players was to put the Magpies on the back foot over the 1979/80 off-season. The biggest loss was triple Best and Fairest winner Zane Taylor to VFL club Geelong. It was a case of exit one club hero and enter another with the arrival of Ballarat fireball Gavin McGuane. McGuane won the first of his Best and Fairest’s in 1980. He was one of many new faces to reinvigorate a new look Magpies. Recruiting was completed with the mid season arrival of former Oakleigh (VFA) champion Ron Stewart (Photo). The ability of the Magpies administration to recruit the right sort of people was once again evident.
Off the field the club announced its first major sponsor with the signing of Gold Coast identity Mike Gore’s, Fuji Moto Datsun Dealers.
The Bill Ryan coached Magpies entered another finals series as favourites with only three losses during the home and away series. Palm Beach Currumbin, Surfers Paradise and Coolangatta were to all challenge strongly during the year and the competition was decidedly more even than previous years. The season looked somewhat shaky however when on Second Semi Final day all three grades lost by a combined total of nine points. It all turned around in the Preliminary Final when a Sel Short (Photo) inspired Magpies triumphed over Coolangatta and the reserves and colts won as well. It set up a highly anticipated Grand Final with Palm Beach Currumbin who had prevailed over the club in both 1971 and 1973. In another tense finale the Magpies were starring defeat in the face until the club’s undoubted spirit surfaced again to take out a fifth flag in the space of six years.