1969 VFA season

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1969 VFA Premiership season
Division 1
Teams10
PremiersPreston
(2nd premiership)
Minor premiersPreston
(2nd minor premiership)
Division 2
Teams10
PremiersWilliamstown
(1st D2 premiership)
Minor premiersSunshine
(2nd D2 minor premiership)
← 1968
1970 →

The 1969 Victorian Football Association season was the 88th season of the top division of the Australian rules football competition, and the ninth season of second division competition. The Division 1 premiership was won for the second consecutive year by the Preston Football Club, after it defeated Dandenong in the Grand Final on 21 September by 12 points; it was Preston's second Division 1 premiership. The Division 2 premiership was won by Williamstown, in its second season since being relegated from Division 1.

Clearance disputes[edit]

There had been open conflict on clearances between the Association and the Victorian Football League since the Association introduced transfer fees on its players in April 1967. League clubs were forbidden from paying transfer fees by the League's player payment rules (the "Coulter Laws"),[1] and so the League terminated the 1949 clearance reciprocity agreement with the Association, allowing Association players to transfer directly to the League without a clearance, and vice versa,[2] and it also had a ban on approving clearances to the Association in place during much of the dispute.

Despite the opportunity to transfer without a clearance, only three players had made this move to the League between 1967 and 1969: Terry Alexander, and future Hall of Fame players Kevin Sheedy and Peter Bedford – in no case was the transfer fee paid. All were suspended from the Association for five years, and the severity of this suspension is thought to have deterred others – particularly those who were not guaranteed to win a regular senior place in the League – from risking the move.[3] The only player whose transfer fee was officially paid was 1967 Liston Trophy winner Jim Sullivan, who in 1968 attracted a $1,000 transfer fee to move to Claremont in the West Australian National Football League, a league which did not have the same payment restrictions as the VFL.[4] On the other hand, more than sixty players from the VFL, mostly reserves and fringe senior players, made the cross to the Association without a clearance in the same time.[5]

In November 1968, the Australian National Football Council intervened in an attempt to end the clearance dispute, by mandating that the two competitions were required to recognise the other's clearances;[6] the ANFC had long-standing rules requiring reciprocal recognition of clearances between interstate competitions, but a loophole meant that these rules had not applied to two competitions within the same state.[7]

In April 1969, the disagreement played out in the controversial case of Geoff Bryant. The Association approved the clearance of Bryant from Box Hill to the VFL's North Melbourne, and had set a transfer fee of $2,000 for Bryant's clearance. It was initially reported that the clearance had been approved without the transfer fee being paid, which could have occurred only if the Association had broken its own rules requiring the transfer fee. Association secretary Fred Hill responded to the press that this was not the case: that North Melbourne had indeed paid the transfer fee, and had done so secretly in defiance of the VFL's rules.[8] Box Hill president Reg Shineberg described to the press the clandestine circumstances under which he had allegedly received the fee – in $10 and $20 notes, under cover of darkness outside VFA House, from a man he did not know.[9] The VFL arbitrators investigated North Melbourne over the alleged breach of its payment rules, but the charges were dropped after the Association did not provide any written corroborating evidence to the investigation. Whether or not the illegal transfer fee was actually paid was never proven.[10]

On 11 April 1969, while the Bryant case was ongoing, the Association Board of Management agreed by a 41–2 majority to drop its transfer fee rule; but, it did not reinstate a clearance reciprocity agreement, and in Round 1, two League players were permitted to play in the Association without a clearance: John Ibrahim (from North Melbourne, fielded by Sunshine) and Alan White (from St Kilda, fielded by Caulfield).[11] The ANFC issued an ultimatum to the Association reinstate a clearance agreement with the League, but the Association refused, and yet more players crossed without a clearance (including Fred Cook, who went on to become the Association's all-time leading goalkicker); as a result, the Association was excluded from sending a team to the 1969 Interstate Carnival, which was held in Adelaide in June,[12] and was then finally expelled altogether from the ANFC in March 1970[13] – ending its twenty-year affiliation with the national body which had started in August 1949.

Division 1[edit]

The Division 1 home-and-home season was played over 18 rounds; the top four then contested the finals under the Page–McIntyre system. The finals were held at the Punt Road Oval, in Richmond.

Ladder[edit]

1969 VFA Division 1 Ladder
TEAM P W L D PF PA Pct PTS
1 Preston (P) 18 17 1 0 2158 1407 153.3 68
2 Dandenong 18 14 4 0 2085 1784 116.9 56
3 Sandringham 18 13 5 0 1851 1684 109.9 52
4 Port Melbourne 18 11 7 0 1808 1526 118.5 44
5 Yarraville 18 9 9 0 1882 1760 106.9 36
6 Prahran 18 9 9 0 1793 1743 102.9 36
7 Waverley 18 6 12 0 1582 1743 90.7 36
8 Geelong West 18 5 13 0 1402 1907 73.5 20
9 Oakleigh 18 3 15 0 1395 1886 73.9 12
10 Brunswick 18 3 15 0 1357 1971 68.8 12
Key: P = Played, W = Won, L = Lost, D = Drawn, PF = Points For, PA = Points Against, Pct = Percentage; (P) = Premiers, PTS = Premiership points Source[14]

Finals[edit]

Semi-finals
Sunday, 31 August Sandringham 14.20 (104) def. by Port Melbourne 16.18 (114) Punt Road Oval (crowd: 10,000) [15]
Sunday, 7 September Preston 10.18 (78) def. Dandenong 11.9 (75) Punt Road Oval (crowd: 8,000) [16]
Preliminary Final
Sunday, 14 September Dandenong 15.16 (106) def. Port Melbourne 13.15 (93) Punt Road Oval (crowd: 6,000) [17]


1969 VFA Division 1 Grand Final
Sunday, 21 September Preston def. Dandenong Punt Road Oval (crowd: 10,000) [18]
5.5 (35)
7.9 (51)
9.11 (65)
 12.11 (83)
Q1
Q2
Q3
 Final
3.0 (18)
5.4 (34)
7.8 (50)
 10.11 (71)
Umpires: Brewer
Joyce 3, Reid 2, Clark, Dalton, Dea, Heard, Leslie, McLean, Telford Goals Miller 7, Guinane, Sheehan, Stedwell

Awards[edit]

Division 2[edit]

The Division 2 home-and-home season was played over eighteen rounds; the top four then contested the finals under the Page–McIntyre system.

Ladder[edit]

1969 VFA Division 2 Ladder
TEAM P W L D PF PA Pct PTS
1 Sunshine 18 17 1 0 2362 1423 166.0 68
2 Coburg 18 16 2 0 2344 1445 162.2 64
3 Williamstown (P) 18 15 3 0 2017 1259 160.2 60
4 Box Hill 18 9 9 0 1667 1869 89.2 36
5 Northcote 18 8 9 1 1438 1633 88.1 34
6 Caulfield 18 8 10 0 1787 1830 97.7 32
7 Werribee 18 7 11 0 1702 1686 100.9 28
8 Frankston 18 5 13 0 1767 2055 86.0 20
9 Mordialloc 18 3 15 0 1425 2017 70.6 12
10 Camberwell 18 1 16 1 1178 2460 47.9 6
Key: P = Played, W = Won, L = Lost, D = Drawn, PF = Points For, PA = Points Against, Pct = Percentage; (P) = Premiers, PTS = Premiership points Source[20]

Finals[edit]

Semi-finals
Sunday, 24 August Williamstown 26.17 (173) def. Box Hill 7.11 (53) Toorak Park (crowd: 6,000) [21]
Sunday, 31 August Sunshine 19.17 (131) def. Coburg 18.13 (121) Toorak Park (crowd: 4,000) [22]
Preliminary Final
Sunday, 7 September Coburg 8.5 (53) def. by Williamstown 14.12 (96) Toorak Park (crowd: 4,200) [23]


1969 VFA Division 2 Grand Final
Sunday, 14 September Sunshine def. by Williamstown Toorak Park (crowd: 6,000) [24]
4.3 (27)
7.5 (47)
11.12 (78)
 12.12 (84)
Q1
Q2
Q3
 Final
2.2 (14)
8.8 (56)
10.9 (69)
 15.14 (104)
Umpires: McMaster
Allen 4, Ibrahim 2, Bean, Dean, Goold, Kennedy, Rosser, Russell Goals Jackman 4, Papley 3, Smith 3, Hayward, Lane, Mulligan, Page, Patterson
Darul, for striking Smith in the second quarter Reports

Awards[edit]

  • The leading goalkicker for Division 2 was George Allen (Sunshine), who kicked 89 goals in the home-and-away season,[20] and 99 goals overall.[24]
  • The Division 2 Best and Fairest, which was now known as the J. Field Medal, was won by Jim Sullivan (Coburg), who polled 44 votes. Sullivan had won the Liston Trophy two years earlier, and was also a former winner of the Thirds Best & Fairest, making this Sullivan's third Association Best and Fairest award.[25]
  • Williamstown won the Seconds premiership. Williamstown 16.8 (104) defeated Sunshine 11.13 (79) in the Grand Final, held as a stand-alone match on Saturday 6 September at Skinner Reserve.[17]
  • Williamstown also won the Thirds premiership to become the first club to win the premiership in all three grades in one season.[26]

Notable events[edit]

  • In the week leading up to the Division 2 Grand Final, Williamstown captain-coach Max Papley and team-mates Dallas Patterson and Bert Johnson were involved in a car accident. Papley suffered bruised ribs and Patterson suffered head lacerations, but both played in the Grand Final victory against Sunshine.[27]

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Ron Barassi (17 April 1968). "'Laughable' price fixing". The Sun News-Pictorial. Melbourne. pp. 67–68.
  2. ^ "'Open go' now on transfers". The Sun News-Pictorial. Melbourne. April 1967. p. 64.
  3. ^ Rex Pullen (9 April 1969). "$2000 paid for North star". The Sun News-Pictorial. Melbourne. pp. 67–68.
  4. ^ Noel Pascoe (19 April 1968). "His price: $1000". The Sun News-Pictorial. Melbourne. p. 46.
  5. ^ Noel Pascoe (11 May 1968). "No problems for VFA teams". The Sun News-Pictorial. Melbourne. p. 53.
  6. ^ Scot Palmer (7 May 1969). "ANFC president hits back". The Sun News-Pictorial. Melbourne. p. 63.
  7. ^ Kevin Hogan (18 June 1966). "Transfer rule averts "war"". The Sun News-Pictorial. Melbourne. p. 55.
  8. ^ Rex Pullen (9 April 1969). "$2000 paid for North star". The Sun News-Pictorial. Melbourne. pp. 67–68.
  9. ^ Kevin Hogan (19 April 1969). "North, secretary to face charges". The Sun News-Pictorial. Melbourne. p. 52.
  10. ^ Bob Crimeen (29 April 1969). "Joseph, club get all clear". The Sun News-Pictorial. Melbourne. pp. 55–56.
  11. ^ Noel Pascoe (12 April 1969). "Transfer fee rule dropped". The Sun News-Pictorial. Melbourne. p. 56.
  12. ^ "VFA takes out a writ". The Sun News-Pictorial. Melbourne. 4 June 1969. p. 66.
  13. ^ Scot Palmer (17 March 1970). "Permits: VFA is expelled". The Sun News-Pictorial. Melbourne. p. 62.
  14. ^ a b Noel Pascoe (25 August 1969). "Preston scores, but only just". The Sun News-Pictorial. Melbourne. p. 53.
  15. ^ Mike Smith (1 September 1969). "Tenacious Port earns 10-point VFA semi win". The Age. Melbourne. p. 23.
  16. ^ Mike Smith (8 September 1969). "Preston gets in by 3 points". The Age. Melbourne. p. 21.
  17. ^ a b Mike Smith (15 September 1969). "Dandenong wins after great game by Morrow". The Age. Melbourne. p. 21.
  18. ^ a b c d Mike Smith (22 September 1969). "Preston wins final for second year". The Age. Melbourne. p. 29.
  19. ^ Noel Pascoe (28 August 1969). "Hill takes Liston in a photo-finish". The Sun News-Pictorial. Melbourne. p. 64.
  20. ^ a b Noel Pascoe (18 August 1969). "See-saw game goes to Sandy". The Sun News-Pictorial. Melbourne. p. 48.
  21. ^ Mike Smith (25 August 1969). "Record score in VFA". The Age. Melbourne. p. 21.
  22. ^ Mike Smith (1 September 1969). "Sunshine has third win over Coburg". The Age. Melbourne. p. 23.
  23. ^ Mike Smith (8 September 1969). "Seagulls too good". The Age. Melbourne. p. 21.
  24. ^ a b Mike Smith (15 September 1969). "Seagulls back in top Div". The Age. Melbourne. p. 21.
  25. ^ Noel Pascoe (21 August 1969). "Sullivan top in three divisions". The Sun News-Pictorial. Melbourne. p. 59.
  26. ^ Fiddian, Marc (2004); The VFA; A History of the Victorian Football Association 1877-1995; pp. 300-302
  27. ^ Fiddian, Marc (2003), Seagulls over Williamstown, Williamstown, VIC: Williamstown Football Club, pp. 121–122