Victorian Football League

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This article is about the present day Victorian state football league. For the league known as the Victorian Football League until 1990, see Australian Football League.
"VFL" redirects here. For other uses, see VFL (disambiguation).
Victorian Football League
Current season, competition or edition:
2014 VFL season
VFL Football Logo.svg
Formerly Victorian Football Association (1877-1995)
Sport Australian rules football
Founded 17 May 1877 Melbourne, Victoria
Inaugural season 1877
No. of teams 16
Country Australia
Most recent champion(s) Box Hill
TV partner(s) ABC
Official website www.vfl.com.au

The Victorian Football League (VFL) which evolved from the former Victorian Football Association (VFA), taking its new name as from the 1996 season, is the major state-level Australian rules football league in Victoria. For historical purposes, the present VFL is sometimes referred to as the VFA/VFL, to distinguish it from the present day Australian Football League (AFL), which was known until 1990 as the Victorian Football League. The VFA was formed in 1877, immediately after the foundation of a similar body in South Australia and is the second-oldest Australian rules football league, replacing the loose affiliation of clubs that had been the hallmark of the early years of a game which was first played as early as the 1850s.

Today, the VFL is one of many regional Australian semi-professional competitions. It comprises 16 teams from throughout Victoria, nine of which have a continuous VFA heritage. Many Victorian-based clubs in the fully professional AFL are affiliated with VFL clubs, and as a result, the league partly serves as a reserves competition for the AFL.

History[edit]

Formative years[edit]

Former VFL Logo (1996-2012)
Brunswick during the early 1900s. The highlighted section in the bottom right-hand corner shows the future Australian Prime Minister John Curtin

The Victorian Football Association (VFA) was founded in 1877 on 17 May. The new governing body replaced an earlier system where club delegates met informally to decide on the rules, the selection of the winner of the Challenge Cup, the division of clubs into Senior and Junior status, and other matters of mutual interest. The VFA continued to list its teams as being of either Senior or Junior status.

Foundation senior clubs of the VFA in the Melbourne metropolitan area were Albert Park, Carlton, Hotham, Melbourne and St Kilda; regional senior clubs including Geelong, Barwon, Ballarat, Beechworth, Castlemaine, Rochester and Inglewood also competed.[1] Foundation junior clubs included Essendon, Hawthorn, Northcote, South Melbourne, Standard, Victoria United, Victorian Railways and Williamstown. During its early years, many clubs dropped in and out and there were erratic promotions between the Senior and Junior sections.

Scheduling was chaotic. Based on a system that had evolved before the emergence of the Association, the compilation of fixtures was not done by the VFA but was the responsibility of each club secretary. In a typical season a club would play against other VFA teams, both Senior and Junior, non-VFA Victorian clubs, and even interstate teams. At the end of each season, the VFA announced the Premier team. This was usually the club with the most wins, but there were some seasons where the VFA judged the leading team had had too many wins against junior clubs, and awarded the Premiership to the club with the second-highest number of wins.

From 1878 the Association recorded the number of behinds, but with only goals counting towards a win, thus the number of draws was much higher than under the modern scoring system. The number of players on the field was usually twenty but when a Senior and Junior team met, the Junior club was usually allowed to field extra players; there were no reserves and if a player was injured the team was a man short.

After 1889, the often-changeable collection of clubs in the VFA became settled at twelve consistent clubs: Carlton, Essendon, Fitzroy, Footscray, Geelong, Melbourne, North Melbourne, Port Melbourne, Richmond, St Kilda, South Melbourne and Williamstown; they were joined by a thirteenth club, Collingwood, in 1892.

Split[edit]

After the 1896 season, eight of the thirteen clubs broke away to form the Victorian Football League (VFL): Carlton, Collingwood, Essendon, Fitzroy, Geelong, Melbourne, St Kilda and South Melbourne. All twenty VFA premierships to that stage had been shared by six of those eight clubs. The VFA continued to be an independent body, with only five of its original clubs – Footscray, North Melbourne, Port Melbourne, Richmond and Williamstown – but within five years it had expanded to ten clubs, a size it maintained until the 1920s. Although its size was constant, its membership was not, with many new clubs lasting only a few years before leaving, and four clubs switching to the VFL: Richmond in 1908, and North Melbourne, Footscray and Hawthorn (who joined the VFA in 1914) in 1925.

A number of rule changes were adopted during the last years of the 19th Century and the first years of the 20th:

  • From 1897 behinds (1 point) were counted towards the score. (The VFL also changed its scoring system in the same year.)
  • The 'little mark' was abolished in 1897. A 'little mark' was taken when a player passed the ball by foot at least two yards (1.83 m) generally from a pack of players. It was difficult for umpires to pick out 'little marks' in scrimmages. It was abolished to open up play. (The VFL also abolished it in the same year.)
  • Also in 1897 the number of players was reduced from 20 to 18. This worked well as it gave players more freedom around the packs. Since then there have been a few modifications to the VFA's on-field numbers: 1908 – to 17; 1912 – to 16; 1918 – reverted to 18; 1959 – to 16; 1992 – reverted to 18. (The VFL changed from 20 to 18 two years after the VFA [1899] and has had 18 players on the ground ever since.)
  • An order-off rule was also introduced in 1898 but only lasted for two seasons as it was not popular with either players or umpires. Umpires were never sure how rough things had to get before they could order a player off, rather than awarding a free kick to an opponent. (The VFL has never had an order-off rule.)
  • In 1903 the VFA introduced its first finals. Prior to this, the four teams at the top of the ladder at the end of what are now called home-and-away games made up the 'final four'. (The VFL had introduced finals in 1897.)

A number of clubs competed for short lengths of time in the late 19th and early 20th centuries:

  • Essendon Town 1900-1921, Name changed to Essendon (Association) in 1905;
  • Geelong 1922-1927. Officially the Geelong Football Club, the team was known as Geelong (Association) or as Geelong A.
  • Hawthorn 1913-1925;
  • Melbourne City 1912-1913. The club lost all of the 36 games played;
  • West Melbourne 1879-1880 and 1899-1907.

Between at least 1900 and 1902, there was a short-lived VFA 2nd Division consisting of junior clubs such as Heidelberg.

In the late 1920s, the VFA expanded to twelve teams, including six new clubs, and those twelve teams remained unchanged for several decades thereafter. Those clubs were: Port Melbourne; Williamstown; Brunswick (joined 1897); Prahran (1899); Brighton (1908); Northcote (1908); Coburg (1925); Camberwell (1926); Preston (1926, after a temporary period between 1903-1911); Yarraville (1928); Oakleigh (1929); Sandringham (1929).

The first regular radio broadcasts of VFA games were made by 3XY, a little after the station commenced operations in 1935. The commentator was Wallace ("Jumbo") Sharland who had earlier been the first to describe VFL matches, that being on 3AR in 1923. (Jumbo Sharland was a former Geelong player and, at one time, a newspaper football reporter.) In 1954 3AK began broadcasting VFA games, albeit only for a season or two. In 1966 Network Ten began to televise Sunday games. The 1970s also saw broadcasts on 3UZ, while local Geelong station, 3GL, broadcast all Geelong West matches. In 1982, the then-dominant Melbourne sports radio station, 3AW, broadcast the Grand Final. In 2003 3AK evolved into sports radio station SEN 1116, and provided a coverage of VFL matches, but this was discontinued after they won the rights to broadcast the AFL (Australian Football League), as from the 2007 season. In the 2007 and 2008 seasons, Radio 1611 Double X began broadcasting VFL matches. The station was the first to podcast replays. (Details of current broadcasts are found below – "Radio".)

Northcote's 1929 premiership side. Second from right, front row, is Doug Nicholls.
Oakleigh's 1950 premiership side ([3]; [4]).

In 1938, the VFA made a bold rule change by legalising throwing of the football in general play, provided the throw was underarm with both hands below shoulder height. The throw-pass helped to speed up the game, and coupled with aggressive recruiting of stars from the VFL, it made the late 1930s and 1940s one of the most successful times in the VFA's history. The throw-pass was legal in the VFA between 1938 and 1949.[2][3]

During the 1940s, there were talks between the VFA and VFL towards an amalgamation of the two bodies with the VFA initially forming a second division of the VFL. The negotiations broke down over the issue of promotion and relegation. The VFA wanted an automatic promotion of each Division Two premier, while the bottom Division One team at the end of each season, would have been automatically relegated. On the other hand, the VFL wanted these two teams to play off for promotion and relegation.

Expansion[edit]

During the 1950s and 1960s, as Melbourne expanded geographically, the VFA embarked on a deliberate plan to establish its presence in new areas by expanding the number of teams, most of these coming from the newer, outer suburbs. By 1960, the league had expanded to seventeen teams; when the eighteenth club joined in 1961, the VFA was split into First and Second Divisions, the First Division originally having 10 teams, and Second Division eight. There was a promotion and relegation system between the two Divisions, with one team promoted and one relegated each season. The league was constant at twenty teams during the 1970s, and expanded again into the outer eastern suburbs in the 1980s. At its peak in 1983, there were 24 teams competing across two divisions in the VFA.

In 1960, the VFA first allowed premiership matches to be played on Sundays. After years of losing ground to the VFL, the VFA's launch of Sunday games was a turning point for the better, as it allowed matches to be played without competing the VFL for spectators. Within a few years, clubs found that Sunday matches were as much as three to four times more lucrative than Saturday games.[4] Eventually, most games were played on a Sunday, while the VFL played its games on Saturdays. This was similar to the College/Pro football day divide still present in the US. The Victorian Government supported the VFA's new-found vigour, and banned the VFL from holding games on Sundays.

Decline[edit]

The decline of the VFA is often said to have commenced in 1982 when the VFL's struggling South Melbourne Swans moved to Sydney, as all Sydney Swans home games were played on Sunday and televised, ending the VFA's monopoly on Sunday football; and, Network Ten ended its weekly VFA coverage in the same year.[5] However, this was not the sole cause for decline, which had started a few years before 1982: changing demographics meant that many traditional clubs had slowly found themselves in areas with high migrant populations, which either made it difficult to compete with soccer for local for fans and players, or simply brought a level of cultural apathy towards the sport in general; VFA historian Marc Fiddian also noted a decline in the number of ex-VFL players signing with VFA clubs through the late 1970s, which reduced the Associations drawing power, and an increasing gulf in quality between the best and worst clubs.[6] Player payments increased through the 1980s, and declining financial support and sponsorship began to force clubs to out of the Association, with some leaving voluntarily, some folding, and some expelled for failing to meet the VFA's minimum standards. With fifteen teams remaining at the start of 1989, the VFA reverted to a single division.

Network Ten began broadcasting VFA finals and late-season matches again in 1984,[7] before the role was taken on by the ABC in 1987.[8] The ABC expanded its coverage to include match of the round throughout the season starting from 1988,[9] and has been the primary broadcaster since.

The early 1990s continued to be a difficult period for the Association, with many sides, including stalwart sides such as Oakleigh, Prahran and Dandenong leaving the competition or becoming defunct, and others, such as Williamstown, on the verge of folding. At its nadir in 1995, only nine teams remained. These clubs had joined in various eras. Two (Port Melbourne and Williamstown) had been in the VFA prior to 1897, three (Preston, Coburg and Sandringham) represented the 1920s expansion, and four (Box Hill, Frankston, Springvale and Werribee) were admitted during the last few decades.

In 1990, the original VFL renamed itself the Australian Football League and in 1996 the VFA was renamed the Victorian Football League, a change which caused much debate at the time due to the sometimes bitter rivalry that had existed between the VFA and the original VFL since the split of 1896. The new VFL adopted the original VFL logo, but featured a gold "V" (instead of white) and football so as to reflect the colours of the former VFA logo. The logo reverted to the original VFL's dark blue and white, a few years later.

In 1996, the VFL began a period of expansion into regional areas, with existing powerhouse country clubs North Ballarat and Traralgon joining the nine existing teams. Traralgon's tenure was short-lived but they were soon replaced by another regional club, Bendigo.

Since 2000: affiliation with the AFL[edit]

After the 1999 season, the VFL merged with the Victorian State Football League (VSFL), the latter of which was a reserves competition for the AFL's Victorian clubs (and Sydney). This new configuration received much media attention at the season launch. The main point of interest was that there were matchups that had not occurred since the 1896 VFA season. The resulting competition contained a mixture of existing VFL clubs, reserves teams of AFL clubs, and affiliation arrangements between VFL and AFL clubs (whereby reserves players for the AFL would join the senior team of the VFL when not playing in the AFL). The affiliation deals greatly improved the financial viability of the clubs in question, but they diluted their ability to represent their suburb. There have been many changes to the affiliation arrangements in the decade since the VFL and VSFL merged. At its peak between 2003-2006, nine of the ten Victorian AFL clubs were involved in a VFL-affiliation, with only Geelong fielding its own reserves team. Many clubs have since migrated away from this model, and from 2014 there will be five AFL clubs fielding stand-alone reserves teams in the VFL.[10]

Also notable, but short-lived was the playing of feature matches on Monday nights, a time when no AFL matches were played. However, these matches were not shown on free-to-air television, but on Channel 7's C7 Sport subscription channel. This was at a time when pay TV penetration was very poor; there was no access to this channel in most of Melbourne, and in the parts of Melbourne that could receive it there was a much more popular competing subscription platform, Foxtel.

There was also a small continuation of the expansion of the league into regional areas, with the Murray Kangaroos Football Club representing the Ovens & Murray Football League and an expansion into Tasmania, although both of these teams have since folded.

These days the VFL is moderately popular in Victoria, although not nearly as well-supported as the dominant Australian Football League. Matches now attract both traditional fans of the VFA/VFL clubs, and fans of affiliated AFL clubs keen to watch their reserves players in action.

Awards[edit]

Best and fairest[edit]

Main article: J. J. Liston Trophy

The first award for the Association best and fairest player was the Recorder Cup, first awarded in 1923. Starting from 1933, a second award, the V.F.A. Medal, was awarded concurrently; the awards were both based on the votes of the umpires, but were based on different voting systems. In 1940, the Association dispensed with the Recorder Cup voting system, and awarded both trophies to the same player based on the same set of votes.[11]

Since 1945, the award for the best and fairest player in each VFA/VFL season has been the J. J. Liston Trophy, named after long-term Association president John James Liston, who died in 1944.[12]

Other awards[edit]

Salary cap[edit]

The VFL is classed as a semi-professional competition.

In 2007 the league had a salary cap of $185,000 excluding service payments. There are a significantly higher number of AFL reserves due to affiliations with Victorian clubs, but player payments for these appearances is apparently not included in the VFL's salary cap. Following the 2013 VFL season, it was revealed that several clubs were lobbying VFL executives to increase the salary cap in a bid to keep high-level players who had relieved themselves of participating in the league in order to accept more attractive financial offers in local football competitions, where such caps are far less regulated.[13]

Attendance[edit]

Attendances are small by AFL standards, and generally less than the SANFL and WAFL, with an average of between 1,000–2,000 in attendance.

The VFL does not publish home and away attendance figures as some games are played as AFL curtain raisers, however various sources quote attendances for some games of the stronger clubs that maintain home records of their own.

Recent Grand Finals[edit]

Season Premier Result Runner up Result Venue Crowd Norm Goss Memorial Medal
2013 Box Hill Hawks 14.15 (99) Geelong 11.12 (78) Etihad Stadium 15,100 Jonathan Simpkin (Box Hill)
2012 Geelong 14.24 (108) Port Melbourne 11.9 (75) Etihad Stadium 14,536[14] George Horlin-Smith (Geelong)
2011 Port Melbourne 22.12 (144) Williamstown 13.10 (88) Etihad Stadium 11,804[15] Toby Pinwill (Port Melbourne)
2010 North Ballarat 20.13 (133) Northern Bullants 13.8 (86) Etihad Stadium 11,000[15] Myles Sewell (North Ballarat)
2009 North Ballarat 14.7 (91) Northern Bullants 10.8 (68) Etihad Stadium 14,026[16] Orren Stephenson (North Ballarat)
2008 North Ballarat 18.12 (120) Port Melbourne 11.9 (75) Telstra Dome 11,641[17] Josh Smith (North Ballarat)
2007 Geelong 17.24 (126) Coburg 7.10 (52) MC Labour Park 13,842[18] Tom Lonergan (Geelong)
2006 Sandringham 13.13 (91) Geelong 11.7 (73) Optus Oval 6,000 Phillip Read (Sandringham)
2005 Sandringham 11.17 (83) Werribee 11.8 (74) Optus Oval 9,000 Daniel Ward (Sandringham)
2004 Sandringham 9.13 (67) Port Melbourne 9.9 (63) Optus Oval 8,196 Guy Rigoni (Sandringham)
2003 Williamstown 13.14 (92) Box Hill 9.9 (63) Optus Oval 10,500 Adrian Fletcher (Williamstown)
2002 Geelong 15.15 (105) Port Melbourne 12.11 (83) Optus Oval 11,500 James Rahilly (Geelong)
2001 Box Hill Hawks 13.13 (91) Werribee 7.12 (54) Optus Oval 11,500 John Baird (Box Hill)
2000 Sandringham 15.18 (108) North Ballarat 11.11 (77) Waverley Park 8,652[19] Richard Maloney (Sandringham)

Media coverage[edit]

Television[edit]

ABC Victoria (branded ABC) broadcasts the match of the round live from 1pm on Saturday afternoons during the home and away season, as well as broadcasting two week 1 finals matches, both semi and prelimanary finals and the Grand Final. In 2012 and 2013 ABC replayed the match fully to national audience during the early hours of Wednesday.[20] This was previously done in 2006 and 2007 during the early hours of Thursday on ABC2.[21] The VFL can also be viewed each week on the ABC's catch up TV service ABC iview.

Radio[edit]

VFL Radio is produced by BPM Media who broadcast live at least one game a week during the regular season plus each day of the finals series. The coverage is broadcast on the Vision Australia Radio network throughout Victoria on analogue radio, by Aussie digital radio (SEN 2) and on the internet at vfl.com.au or bpmmedia.com.au.[22]

In 2008, 3WBC 94.1 FM began broadcasting Box Hill Hawks home games and from 2009 to today they broadcast all Box Hill Hawks games. In 2013 This began with the Round 2 game between Box Hill Hawks and Tasmania. This coverage can also be heard on the web at www.3wbc.org.au.[23]

During the football season each Thursday night from 8.30pm to 9pm, 1116 SEN broadcasts the Peter Jackson VFL Show. Hosted by Mark Fine and Mark Stone the show features news from around the VFL and includes special guests and a preview of the upcoming round of football.[24] SEN 1116 broadcasts the VFL Grand Final and any finals matches that do not conflict with its AFL broadcast schedule. The station had previously broadcast matches on a regular basis from 2004 to 2006.

Commencing in 1993, 3SER-fm (Casey FM) has broadcast at least one VFL match per weekend. It was the only radio station to cover both the VFL reserves and seniors Grand Finals. Their coverage can be picked up on radio on 97.7 FM or on the internet at www.3ser.org.au.

Details of earlier broadcasts are listed in the History section (above).

Clubs[edit]

Current clubs[edit]

From 2014, the VFL will be contested by sixteen teams.

Club Nicknames Location Home Ground AFL Affiliate
Bendigo Gold Bendigo, Victoria Queen Elizabeth Oval none
Box Hill Hawks Box Hill, Victoria Box Hill City Oval Hawthorn
Casey Scorpions Cranbourne, Victoria Casey Fields Melbourne
Coburg Lions Coburg, Victoria Coburg City Oval none
Collingwood Magpies Collingwood, Victoria Victoria Park Collingwood
Essendon Bombers Essendon, Victoria Windy Hill Essendon
Footscray Bulldogs Footscray, Victoria Whitten Oval Western Bulldogs
Frankston Dolphins Frankston, Victoria Frankston Park none
Geelong Cats Geelong, Victoria Kardinia Park Geelong
North Ballarat Roosters Ballarat, Victoria Northern Oval North Melbourne (partial)[25]
Northern Blues Blues, Bullants Preston, Victoria Preston City Oval Carlton
Port Melbourne Borough Port Melbourne, Victoria North Port Oval none
Richmond Tigers Richmond, Victoria Punt Road Oval Richmond
Sandringham Zebras Sandringham, Victoria Trevor Barker Beach Oval St Kilda
Werribee Tigers Werribee, Victoria Chirnside Park North Melbourne (partial)[25]
Williamstown Seagulls Williamstown, Victoria Burbank Oval none
Magnify-clip.png
Current VFL clubs (regional Victoria)

Guernseys[edit]

Home guernseys[edit]

Clash guernseys[edit]

Former clubs[edit]

The VFL has undergone significant format changes since its induction which means several clubs have either left the league or changed identity for different reasons.

Club participation timeline[edit]

Season results[edit]

VFA 1877–1994[edit]

From 1888, the VFA published a list of the final four clubs at the end of what are now called home-and-away matches. The listings (below) for 1877 to 1887 are based on various newspaper reports as researched by Graeme Atkinson and published in his book Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Australian Rules Football ... (1982, The Five Mile Press, Melbourne).

Finals series (initially the Argus system, and from 1933 the Page-McIntyre system) were introduced in 1903 and, therefore from that date, the listing (below) reflects that situation after the finals.

The VFA conducted a Page-McIntyre Final Four from 1933 to 1988 (including both Division One and Division Two from 1961 to 1988) with the exception of 1960 when a Final Six for the single Division of 17 teams was held.

In 1989 the VFA reverted to a single Division with a Final Five.

Year PREMIER RUNNER-UP THIRD FOURTH
1877 Carlton Melbourne Hotham Albert Park
1878 Geelong Melbourne Carlton Hotham
1879 Geelong Carlton South Melbourne Melbourne
1880 Geelong South Melbourne Carlton Melbourne
1881 South Melbourne Geelong Carlton Melbourne
1882 Geelong Essendon South Melbourne Carlton
1883 Geelong South Melbourne Carlton Melbourne
1884 Geelong Essendon Hotham South Melbourne
1885 South Melbourne Essendon Geelong Carlton
1886 Geelong South Melbourne Carlton Port Melbourne
1887 Carlton Geelong South Melbourne Fitzroy
1888 South Melbourne Geelong Williamstown Carlton
1889 South Melbourne Carlton Port Melbourne Essendon
1890 South Melbourne Carlton Essendon Fitzroy
1891 Essendon Carlton Fitzroy South Melbourne
1892 Essendon Fitzroy Geelong Melbourne
1893 Essendon Melbourne Geelong South Melbourne
1894 Essendon Melbourne South Melbourne Fitzroy
1895 Fitzroy Geelong Melbourne Collingwood
1896 Collingwood South Melbourne Essendon Melbourne
1897 Port Melbourne North Melbourne Footscray Williamstown
1898 Footscray North Melbourne Port Melbourne Richmond
1899 Footscray North Melbourne Port Melbourne Williamstown
1900 Footscray Williamstown Richmond Prahran
1901 Port Melbourne Richmond North Melbourne Williamstown
1902 Richmond Port Melbourne North Melbourne Williamstown
1903 North Melbourne Richmond Footscray West Melbourne
1904 North Melbourne Richmond Footscray Port Melbourne
1905 Richmond North Melbourne Williamstown Port Melbourne
1906 West Melbourne Footscray Richmond North Melbourne
1907 Williamstown West Melbourne Richmond Footscray
1908 Footscray Brunswick Essendon Association Williamstown
1909 Brunswick Prahran Essendon Association Footscray
1910 North Melbourne Brunswick Essendon Association Prahran
1911 Essendon Association Brunswick North Melbourne Prahran
1912 Essendon Association Footscray North Melbourne Brunswick
1913 Footscray North Melbourne Essendon Association Brunswick
1914 North Melbourne Footscray Essendon Association Williamstown
1915 North Melbourne Brunswick Williamstown Port Melbourne
1916 In recess – WW1
1917 In recess – WW1
1918 North Melbourne Prahran Brunswick Port Melbourne
1919 Footscray North Melbourne Brunswick Northcote
1920 Footscray Brunswick North Melbourne Port Melbourne
1921 Williamstown Footscray Port Melbourne Brunswick
1922 Port Melbourne Footscray North Melbourne Williamstown
1923 Footscray Port Melbourne Williamstown Hawthorn
1924 Footscray Williamstown Northcote Brunswick
1925 Brunswick Port Melbourne Northcote Coburg
1926 Coburg Brighton Northcote Port Melbourne
1927 Coburg Brighton Port Melbourne Preston
1928 Coburg Port Melbourne Brighton Preston
1929 Northcote Port Melbourne Preston Brunswick
1930 Oakleigh Northcote Williamstown Yarraville
1931 Oakleigh Northcote Preston Port Melbourne
1932 Northcote Coburg Camberwell Preston
1933 Northcote Coburg Port Melbourne Yarraville
1934 Northcote Coburg Preston Prahran
1935 Yarraville Camberwell Northcote Coburg
1936 Northcote Prahran Brunswick Camberwell
1937 Prahran Brunswick Brighton Yarraville
1938 Brunswick Brighton Northcote Prahran
1939 Williamstown Brunswick Prahran Northcote
1940 Port Melbourne Prahran Williamstown Preston
1941 Port Melbourne Coburg Prahran Preston
1942 In recess – WWII
1943 In recess – WWII
1944 In recess – WWII
1945 Williamstown Port Melbourne Coburg Camberwell
1946 Sandringham Camberwell Williamstown Port Melbourne
1947 Port Melbourne Sandringham Williamstown Prahran
1948 Brighton Williamstown Brunswick Northcote
1949 Williamstown Oakleigh Brighton Northcote
1950 Oakleigh Port Melbourne Brighton Williamstown
1951 Prahran Port Melbourne Oakleigh Sandringham
1952 Oakleigh Port Melbourne Coburg Yarraville
1953 Port Melbourne Yarraville Williamstown Prahran
1954 Williamstown Port Melbourne Northcote Moorabbin
1955 Williamstown Port Melbourne Preston Moorabbin
1956 Williamstown Port Melbourne Box Hill Brunswick
1957 Moorabbin Port Melbourne Williamstown Preston
1958 Williamstown Moorabbin Port Melbourne Box Hill
1959 Williamstown Coburg Sandringham Oakleigh
Year PREMIER RUNNER-UP THIRD FOURTH FIFTH SIXTH
1960 Oakleigh Sandringham Williamstown Yarraville Coburg Moorabbin
Year Division PREMIER RUNNER-UP THIRD FOURTH
1961 1st
2nd
YARRAVILLE
Northcote
WILLIAMSTOWN
Dandenong
MOORABBIN
Camberwell
SANDRINGHAM
Preston
1962 1st
2nd
SANDRINGHAM
Dandenong
MOORABBIN
Prahran
COBURG
Preston
WILLIAMSTOWN
Box Hill
1963 1st
2nd
MOORABBIN
Preston
SANDRINGHAM
Waverley
YARRAVILLE
Prahran
COBURG
Sunshine
1964 1st
2nd
PORT MELBOURNE
Geelong West
WILLIAMSTOWN
Sunshine
COBURG
Mordialloc
SANDRINGHAM
Brighton-Caulfield
1965 1st
2nd
WAVERLEY
Preston
PORT MELBOURNE
Mordialloc
DANDENONG
Northcote
SANDRINGHAM
Sunshine
1966 1st
2nd
PORT MELBOURNE
Prahran
WAVERLEY
Geelong West
PRESTON
Northcote
YARRAVILLE
Sunshine
1967 1st
2nd
DANDENONG
Oakleigh
PORT MELBOURNE
Geelong West
SANDRINGHAM
Frankston
PRESTON
Sunshine
1968 1st
2nd
PRESTON
Geelong West
PRAHRAN
Williamstown
SANDRINGHAM
Sunshine
DANDENONG
Werribee
1969 1st
2nd
PRESTON
Williamstown
DANDENONG
Sunshine
PORT MELBOURNE
Coburg
SANDRINGHAM
Box Hill
1970 1st
2nd
PRAHRAN
Coburg
WILLIAMSTOWN
Box Hill
WAVERLEY
Sunshine
PORT MELBOURNE
Brunswick
1971 1st
2nd
DANDENONG
Sunshine
PRESTON
Brunswick
SANDRINGHAM
Caulfield
OAKLEIGH
Yarraville
1972 1st
2nd
OAKLEIGH
Geelong West
DANDENONG
Caulfield
WILLIAMSTOWN
Yarraville
PRESTON
Brunswick
1973 1st
2nd
PRAHRAN
Caulfield
OAKLEIGH
Brunswick
DANDENONG
Waverley
PORT MELBOURNE
Camberwell
1974 1st
2nd
PORT MELBOURNE
Coburg
OAKLEIGH
Brunswick
GEELONG WEST
Waverley
DANDENONG
Camberwell
1975 1st
2nd
GEELONG WEST
Brunswick
DANDENONG
Camberwell
PORT MELBOURNE
Sunshine
COBURG
Frankston
1976 1st
2nd
PORT MELBOURNE
Williamstown
DANDENONG
Mordialloc
PRESTON
Frankston
CAULFIELD
Northcote
1977 1st
2nd
PORT MELBOURNE
Mordialloc
SANDRINGHAM
Yarraville
C0BURG
Camberwell
BRUNSWICK
Oakleigh
1978 1st
2nd
PRAHRAN
Frankston
PRESTON
Camberwell
PORT MELBOURNE
Oakleigh
DANDENONG
Yarraville
1979 1st
2nd
COBURG
Camberwell
GEELONG WEST
Oakleigh
PORT MELBOURNE
Mordialloc
PRAHRAN
Williamstown
1980 1st
2nd
PORT MELBOURNE
Brunswick
COBURG
Yarraville
GEELONG WEST
Waverley
SANDRINGHAM
Williamstown
1981 1st
2nd
PORT MELBOURNE
Camberwell
PRESTON
Waverley
SANDRINGHAM
Mordialloc
FRANKSTON
Werribee
1982 1st
2nd
PORT MELBOURNE
Northcote
PRESTON
Caulfield
COBURG
Oakleigh
GEELONG WEST
Brunswick
1983 1st
2nd
PRESTON
Springvale
GEELONG WEST
Brunswick
PORT MELBOURNE
Mordialloc
SANDRINGHAM
Oakleigh
1984 1st
2nd
PRESTON
Box Hill
FRANKSTON
Oakleigh
GEELONG WEST
Brunswick
CAMBERWELL
Caulfield
1985 1st
2nd
SANDRINGHAM
Brunswick
WILLIAMSTOWN
Oakleigh
COBURG
Sunshine
PRESTON
Caulfield
1986 1st
2nd
WILLIAMSTOWN
Box Hill
COBURG
Sunshine
FRANKSTON
Prahran
PRESTON
Oakleigh
1987 1st
2nd
SPRINGVALE
Prahran
PORT MELBOURNE
Waverley
WILLIAMSTOWN
Werribee
FRANKSTON
Sunshine
1988 1st
2nd
COBURG
Oakleigh
WILLIAMSTOWN
Sunshine
PRESTON
Werribee
PORT MELBOURNE
Dandenong
Year PREMIER RUNNER-UP THIRD FOURTH FIFTH
1989 Coburg Williamstown Box Hill Springvale Frankston
1990 Williamstown Springvale Preston Coburg Werribee
1991 Dandenong Werribee Box Hill Springvale Port Melbourne
1992 Sandringham Williamstown Prahran Box Hill Werribee
1993 Werribee Port Melbourne Springvale Prahran Frankston
1994 Sandringham Box Hill Springvale Dandenong Redlegs Frankston

VFL 1995–present[edit]

Year PREMIER RUNNER-UP THIRD FOURTH FIFTH (SIXTH) (SEVENTH) (EIGHTH)
1995 Springvale Sandringham Port Melbourne Frankston Werribee
1996 Springvale Frankston Werribee Williamstown Port Melbourne
1997 Sandringham Frankston Springvale Port Melbourne Werribee
1998 Springvale Werribee North Ballarat Frankston Preston
1999 Springvale North Ballarat Sandringham Frankston Williamstown
2000 Sandringham North Ballarat St Kilda Carlton Geelong Williamstown Box Hill Hawks Springvale
2001 Box Hill Hawks Werribee Springvale Murray Kangaroos Carlton Frankston Coburg Tigers Essendon
2002 Geelong Port Melbourne Werribee Coburg Tigers Murray Kangaroos Sandringham Box Hill Hawks Williamstown
2003 Williamstown Box Hill Hawks Port Melbourne Sandringham Tasmania Werribee Springvale Geelong
2004 Sandringham Port Melbourne Tasmania Box Hill Hawks Werribee North Ballarat Coburg Tigers Bendigo Bombers
2005 Sandringham Werribee Northern Bullants Bendigo Bombers Port Melbourne Tasmania Frankston Box Hill Hawks
2006 Sandringham Geelong Northern Bullants Williamstown North Ballarat Frankston Werribee Coburg Tigers
2007 Geelong Coburg Tigers Williamstown North Ballarat Sandringham Port Melbourne Casey Scorpions Bendigo Bombers
2008 North Ballarat Port Melbourne Williamstown Werribee Casey Scorpions Frankston Coburg Tigers Northern Bullants
2009 North Ballarat Northern Bullants Port Melbourne Collingwood Williamstown Box Hill Hawks Casey Scorpions Geelong
2010 North Ballarat Northern Bullants Williamstown Box Hill Hawks Casey Scorpions Port Melbourne Collingwood Bendigo Bombers
2011 Port Melbourne Williamstown Werribee Northern Bullants North Ballarat Casey Scorpions Bendigo Bombers Box Hill Hawks
2012 Geelong Port Melbourne Werribee Williamstown Casey Scorpions Box Hill Hawks Sandringham Bendigo Gold
2013 Box Hill Hawks Geelong Williamstown Werribee Casey Scorpions Port Melbourne Collingwood Essendon

VFA/VFL All-Time Final Placings (Single Division 1877 to 1960 and 1989 to 2013; VFA Division One 1961 to 1988)[edit]

Team PREMIERS RUNNERS-UP 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th TOTAL
Port Melbourne 16 21 15 13 3 3 - - 71
Williamstown 13 11 17 12 2 1 - 1 57
Sandringham 10 5 6 8 1 1 1 - 32
Footscray (VFA) 9 5 3 2 - - - - 19
Geelong (VFA) 7 4 3 - - - - - 14
Coburg / Coburg Tigers 6 8 7 6 1 - 3 1 32
Hotham / North Melbourne 6 6 8 2 - - - - 22
Oakleigh 6 3 1 2 - - - - 12
Prahran 5 5 3 9 - - - - 22
South Melbourne 5 4 4 3 - - - - 16
Northcote 5 2 6 4 - - - - 17
Springvale / Casey Scorpions 5 1 4 2 4 1 3 1 21
Preston / Northern Bullants / Northern Blues 4 6 10 11 1 - - 1 33
Essendon (VFA) 4 3 2 1 - - - - 10
Brunswick 3 7 4 7 - - - - 21
Dandenong / Dandenong Redlegs 3 4 2 4 - - - - 11
North Ballarat 3 2 1 1 2 1 - - 10
Geelong (VFL) 3 2 - - 1 - - 2 8
Carlton (VFA) 2 4 5 3 - - - - 14
Richmond (VFA) 2 3 3 1 - - - - 9
Box Hill / Box Hill Hawks 2 2 3 4 - 2 2 2 17
Moorabbin 2 2 1 2 - 1 - - 8
Yarraville 2 1 1 6 - - - - 10
Essendon Association 2 - 5 - - - - - 7
Werribee 1 4 4 2 5 1 1 - 18
Brighton 1 3 4 - - - - - 8
Geelong West 1 2 3 1 - - - - 7
West Melbourne 1 1 - 1 - - - - 3
Fitzroy 1 1 1 3 - - - - 6
Waverley 1 1 1 - - - - - 3
Collingwood (VFA) 1 - - 1 - - - - 2
Melbourne (VFA) - 4 1 6 - - - - 11
Frankston - 3 1 5 3 3 1 - 16
Camberwell - 2 1 3 - - - - 6
Carlton (VFL) - - - 1 1 - - - 2
Tasmania - - 1 - 1 1 - - 3
Albert Park - - - 1 - - - - 1
Caulfield - - - 1 - - - - 1
Hawthorn (VFA) - - - 1 - - - - 1
Murray Kangaroos - - - 1 1 - - - 2
Bendigo Bombers / Bendigo Gold - - - 1 - - 1 4 6
St Kilda (VFL) - - 1 - - - - - 1
Essendon (VFL) - - - - - - - 2 2
Collingwood (VFL) - - - 1 - - 2 - 3

VFA/VFL All-Time Final Placings (VFA Division Two 1961 to 1988)[edit]

Team PREMIERS RUNNERS-UP 3rd 4th TOTAL
Brunswick 3 4 1 3 11
Geelong West 3 2 - - 5
Oakleigh 2 3 2 3 10
Camberwell 2 2 2 2 8
Prahran 2 1 2 - 5
Williamstown 2 1 - 2 5
Box Hill 2 1 - 2 5
Northcote 2 - 2 1 5
Preston 2 - 1 1 4
Coburg 2 - 1 - 3
Sunshine 1 4 4 5 14
Mordialloc 1 2 4 - 7
Caulfield 1 2 1 2 6
Dandenong 1 1 - 1 3
Frankston 1 - 2 1 4
Springvale 1 - - - 1
Waverley - 3 3 - 6
Yarraville - 2 1 2 5
Werribee - - 2 2 4
Brighton-Caulfield - - - 1 1

AFL Victoria Development League / AFL Victoria VFL Football Academy[edit]

The VFA and VFL have operated a seconds or reserves competition since the 1920s. From the beginning of the 2012 season, this has taken the form of the AFL Victoria Development League, a move that coincided with the introduction of the AFL Victoria Development Academy which provides development opportunities for up to 25 selected VFL players per year.[26] In 2014, nine of the sixteen VFL clubs will field a team in the Development League. These are the nine clubs from metropolitan Melbourne with a continuous VFA heritage: Box Hill, Casey, Coburg, Frankston, Northern Blues, Port Melbourne, Sandringham, Werribee and Williamstown.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ The Footballer, 1877
  2. ^ "Association joins ANFC". The Argus, Supplement (Melbourne, VIC). 9 August 1949. p. 20. 
  3. ^ Rover (16 April 1938). "Crowds will be attracted by new rules". The Argus (Melbourne, VIC). p. 22. 
  4. ^ Scot Palmer (8 May 1961). "Sunday games "pay off" for VFA". The Sun News-Pictorial (Melbourne, VIC). p. 37. 
  5. ^ Marc Fiddian (6 February 1982). "Channel 10 axes VFA". The Age (Melbourne, VIC). p. 38. 
  6. ^ Marc Fiddian (18 June 1981). "Association drifts as options run out". The Age (Melbourne, VIC). p. 32. 
  7. ^ Dennis Jose (18 August 1984). "VFA back in the ratings game". The Age (Melbourne, VIC). p. 39. 
  8. ^ Paul Cunningham (13 August 1987). "ABC to cover VFA finals games". The Sun News-Pictorial (Melbourne, VIC). p. 82. 
  9. ^ Linda Pearce (11 March 1988). "Port in focus for TV coverage". The Sun News-Pictorial (Melbourne, VIC). p. 76. 
  10. ^ d'Anello, Luke (21 September 2012). "Seagulls and Bulldogs cut ties". Leader. Retrieved 22 September 2012. 
  11. ^ Percy Taylor (16 September 1940). "Exciting V.F.A. semi-final". The Argus (Melbourne, VIC). p. 11. 
  12. ^ "Wind spoils game". Williamstown Chronicle (Williamstown, VIC). 29 June 1945. p. 2. 
  13. ^ Stand-alone VFL clubs want increase in salary cap (The Age December 2013)
  14. ^ Wojcinski's perfect exit as Cats claim VFL flag
  15. ^ a b http://www.austadiums.com/sport/comp.php?sid=25
  16. ^ http://www.austadiums.com/sport/event.php?eventid=9523
  17. ^ http://www.austadiums.com/sport/event.php?eventid=8348
  18. ^ Australian Stadiums :: VFL GF: Geelong v Coburg
  19. ^ [1]
  20. ^ VFL - ABC News
  21. ^ ABC TV Guide
  22. ^ Broadcast Partners - VFL
  23. ^ 3WBC - Local footy in 2013
  24. ^ SEN SportsSENtral > Programs > Evenings With Finey
  25. ^ a b Link to Roos, but Tigers not in the hunt
  26. ^ [2]

External links[edit]