Australian rules football in South East Queensland

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Australian rules football in
South East Queensland
Taringa versus Wests Australian Rules football game at Perry Park, Bowen Hills, Brisbane (27443050170).jpg
Taringa v West, 1940
Governing bodyAFL Queensland
First played1866; 153 years ago (1866) [1]
Clubs46 (divided in 5 divisions)
Club competitions
QFA (Division 1 to 5)

Australian rules football in South East Queensland has a varied history and many changes were made especially in the 21st century. Ruled and organised by the AFL Queensland, the region had a total of 46 teams playing in different divisions.[2]

Occasionally inter-zone matches are held with separate South East Queensland representative sides taking part, they include the "Gold Coast Stingrays", the "Suncoast Power", the "Western Taipans", and the "Northern Raiders". Additionally when the South East competes together they are known as the "South East Bushrangers".


Early beginning[edit]

The Queensland state team who played Melbourne in 1888

The earliest known record of Australian rules football commencing in Queensland was in May 1866, when the Brisbane Football Club was formed,[1] with the aim of keeping cricketers fit in the winter months.[citation needed] The club played its first match on Saturday 9 June 1866 at Queen's Park (now part of the Brisbane City Botanic Gardens).[3] By 1870 four more clubs had been created: Volunteer Artillery, Brisbane Grammar School, Civil Service and Ipswich, all adopting Victorian Rules over rugby football.

The original Brisbane Football Club disbanded in the late 1880s and has no direct relationship to the modern Brisbane Bears or Lions clubs.

The first schoolboys match was between Brisbane Grammar played matches against Ipswich Grammar in 1870 – the outcome was a draw. Early games in Queensland were exceptionally long – one match between IGS and Brisbane Grammar in 1876 commenced at 10.30am and ended at 2.30pm, at which time IGS had scored 6 goals to Brisbane Grammar's nil.

During this era, no local governing body for the game was established. All rules and decisions about the rules and competitions were still made from Melbourne and was known in Queensland as "Victorian Rules".

However Victorian rules was growing rapidly and was the most popular football code in Queensland by 1880.[citation needed] Queensland sent delegates to the Intercolonial Football Conference in 1883.[citation needed]

By the early 1880s, there may have been as many as 300 players in the Brisbane and Ipswich region, as contemporaneous newspaper records show that there were at least six active clubs (Brisbane, Excelsiors, Grammars, Wallaroos, Rovers and Athenians (Ipswich)), each of which had at least two teams ('senior' and 'junior' 20s). Matches were played at the Albert Ground, Kedron Park, Grammar School and Ipswich, with occasional matches at Queen's Park.[4][5]

In 1887, one of the most significant events in the history of the code occurred at this time. Independent Schools headmasters voted by 1 vote to adopt rugby football.[6] The decision was influenced by the recent creation of a Queensland-based governing body to govern rugby, and the majority of councillors objected on the basis that the reference of "Victorian" in the name of the sport did not represent the interests of Queenslanders. This dealt a significant blow to the sport and advantage to rugby union.

Despite the advances made by Queensland football, it was clear that Victoria was progressing faster than any other state. On 21 June 1890, South Melbourne Football Club toured, playing against Queensland on Albion Park. The result of the match was a complete 6-17 to 1-0 humiliation (behinds were recorded in the scores at the time but did not actually count until 1897). The humiliation was obviously felt by the players as when Queensland defeated a New South Wales Rugby Union team shortly afterwards many of the former rugby players receded from the Australian football ranks and formed clubs of their own.[7] Over the next few years, rugby union's popularity in South East Queensland would swamp Victorian Rules.

Modern era[edit]

In 1969, the "South Queensland Australian Football Association" (SQAFA) was established with the purpose of developing players for the Queensland Australian Football League (QAFL). Most of the players were amateurs. In 1992, the league changed its name to the "Brisbane Australian Football League" (BAFL) and included clubs from the Sunshine Coast.

Another name change in 2000 brought about AFL South Queensland. In 2006, AFL South Queensland was taken under the umbrella of AFL Queensland and rebranded as the Queensland State Association. In 2012, it was renamed South East Queensland AFL.[8] Finally in 2014 the local level was divided into two leagues, the Queensland Football Association (QFA) and the Queensland Amateur Football Association (QAFA). Again in 2017 the name will change again to the Queensland Football Association (QFA), now covering five (5) divisions and the re-introduction of two (2) regional based leagues (AFL Northern Rivers & AFL Sunshine Coast / Wide Bay).

Current South East Queensland structure[edit]

Since 2017 to present:

Queensland Football Association (QFA) league system
Level Leagues [2] N° of teams ↑ Promotion ↓ Relegation
1 QFA Division 1 10 (Seniors & Reserves) 0 1 **
2 QFA Division 2 10 (Seniors & Reserves) 1 * 1 **
3 QFA Division 3 10 (Seniors & Reserves) 1 * 0
4 QFA Division 4 9 (Seniors) 0 1 **
5 QFA Division 5 9 (Seniors) 1 * 0

* Premiers
** Wooden spooners

QFA clubs[edit]

Clubs for the 2019 season:

Division 1[edit]

Club Colours Moniker Location Ground Formed
Aspley          Hornets Brendale, Brisbane South Pine Sports Complex 1964
Burleigh [note 1]          Bombers Burleigh Waters, Gold Coast Bill Godfrey Oval c. 1979
Caloundra                  Panthers Golden Beach, Sunshine Coast Carter Park, North Street 1973
Coorparoo [note 2]          Kings Coorparoo, Brisbane Giffin Park 1996
Maroochydore          Roos Maroochydore, Sunshine Coast Multisports Complex 1970
Mayne          Tigers Enoggera, Brisbane Enoggera Memorial Park 1924
Noosa              Tigers Noosaville, Sunshine Coast Weyba Rd 1970
Park Ridge              Pirates Park Ridge, Logan Park Ridge High School Oval 2013
Springwood          Pumas Underwood, Brisbane Lowe Oval 1972
University of Queensland          Red Lions St Lucia, Brisbane UQ Oval No.7 1956
  1. ^ The club website indicates that its first president was appointed in 1979, with no more data about its foundation.[9]
  2. ^ Established in 1996, one year after the original Coorparoo FC folded.

Division 2[edit]

Club Colours Moniker Location Ground Formed
Alexandra Hills          Bombers Alexandra Hills, Brisbane Keith Surridge Oval 1980
Beenleigh          Buffaloes Beenleigh, Logan Dauth Park ?
Bond University          Bullsharks Robina, Gold Coast Bond University 2011
Carrara              Saints Carrara, Gold Coast Alan Nielsen Park 2012
Coolangatta Tweed Heads          Blues Coolangatta, Gold Coast Len Peak Oval 2012
Coomera          Magpies Coomera, Gold Coast Coomera Sports Park 2009
Kenmore          Bears Chelmer, Brisbane Akuna Oval 1967
Robina          Roos Robina, Gold Coast Scottsdale Reserve 1996
Victoria Point          Sharks Victoria Point, Redland City E.M. Dowling Sportsfield Oval 2014
Yeronga South Brisbane          Devils Yeronga, Brisbane Leyshon Park 1929

Division 3[edit]

Club Colours Moniker Location Ground Formed
Griffith Moorooka          Roosters Moorooka, Brisbane Alexander Park 2009 -
Gympie          Cats Glanmire, Gympie Ray Warren Oval
Ipswich              Eagles Ipswich, Queensland Limestone Park 2001
Kedron              Lions Wooloowin, Brisbane Melrose Park 1937
Moreton Bay              Lions Burpengary, Brisbane Central Sports Complex 1987
Redcliffe          Tigers Rothwell, Brisbane Rothwell Park 1974
Pine Rivers          Swans Strathpine, Brisbane Rob Akers Reserve 1970
Wynnum          Vikings Wynnum West, Brisbane "300 Kianawah Rd." 1971'

Division 4[edit]

Club Colours Moniker Location Ground Formed
Collingwood Park              Power Redbank Plains, Ipswich Moreton Avenue Redbank 2012
Jimboomba          Redbacks Jimboomba, Logan City ?
Maroochydore          Roos Maroochydore, Sunshine Coast Multisports Complex 1969
Mayne          Tigers Enoggera, Brisbane Enoggera Memorial Park 1924
Morningside              Panthers Hawthorne, Brisbane Jack Esplen Oval 1947
Ormeau              Bulldogs Ormeau, Gold Coast Ormeau Sports Park 2008
University Of Queensland          Red Lions St Lucia, Brisbane Oval n° 7 1956
Western Magpies          Magpies Chelmer, Brisbane Sherwood AFC 1991
Zillmere          Eagles Zillmere, Brisbane O'Callaghan Park 1923

QFA Division 5[edit]

Club Colours Moniker Location Ground Formed
Aspley [note 1]          Hornets Carseldine, Brisbane Graham Rd. 1964
Bribie Island          Bulldogs Bongaree, Bribie Island Bribie Ground
Coorparoo [note 1] Template:Color gbox     Blues Coorparoo, Brisbane Giffin Park 1996
Ferny Grove          Falcons Ferny Grove, Brisbane Ferny Grove Ground
Ipswich Cats          Cats Amberley, Ipswich Ipswich
Jindalee          Jags Jindalee, Brisbane Jindalee
Springwood [note 1]          Pumas Underwood, Logan City Lowe Oval 1972
Wilston Grange              Gorillas Stafford, Brisbane Hickey Park 1945
Yeronga          Devils Yeronga, Brisbane Yeronga Ground 1928
  1. ^ a b c Reserve teams.

Clubs in other competitions[edit]

Several clubs from SE Queensland do not take part of local competitions, giving priority to QAFL or NEAFL competitions where they compete. Other clubs have teams in both, QFA and QAFL/NEAFL.

Club City QFA Other competition
Aspley Carseldine Green tickY NEAFL
Brisbane Lions Coorparoo AFL, NEAFL [note 1]
Redland Victoria Point NEAFL
Southporth FC Southport NEAFL
Broadbeach Mermaid Waters QAFL
Labrador Tigers Labrador QAFL
Morningside Hawthorne Green tickY QAFL
Mount Gravatt Upper Mount Gravatt QAFL
Palm Beach Currumbin Palm Beach QAFL
Sandgate Taigum QAFL
Surfers Paradise Benowa QAFL
Western Districts Chelmer Green tickY QAFL
Wilston Grange Stafford QAFL
  1. ^ Professional team competes in AFL, while reserve team competes in NEAFL

Notable QFA clubs in recess or defunct[edit]

As of 2018 season:

Club Colours Moniker Location Ground Formed
Banyo          Bloods Banyo, Brisbane Nudgee Recreation Reserve 1967
Calamvale              Leopards Calamvale, Brisbane Calamvale Sportsfield ?
Glasshouse Hinterland              Lions Landsborough, Sunshine Coast Landsborough Sports Complex 1997
Marsden          Hawks Marsden, Brisbane Mudgee Street Park 1992
Murri              Mavericks Kedron, Brisbane Melrose Park 1998
Northshore              Jets Mudjimba, Sunshine Coast North Shore Community Centre 1999
Pomona          Demons Pomona, Sunshine Coast Reserve Street Oval 1973

Premiers: 1970-present[edit]

Year SQAFA Division 1 SQAFA Division 2 SQAFA Division 3
1970 Sherwood Deagon ?
1971 Mt Gravatt University Queensland Stafford
1972 Mt Gravatt Banyo Mt Gravatt
1973 Sherwood Banyo Stafford
1974 Mt Gravatt Wynnum Aspley
1975 Sherwood Banyo Redland
1976 Sherwood RAAF Deagon
1977 Sherwood Deagon Beenleigh-Slacks
1978 Sherwood Oakleigh Everton
1979 Sherwood Ipswich RAAF
1980 Sherwood Beenleigh (No competition)
1981 Sherwood Everton (No competition)
1982 Sherwood Banyo (No competition)
1983 Mt Gravatt Ashgrove (No competition)
1984 Acacia Ridge University Queensland (No competition)
1985 Aspley Beenleigh (No competition)
1986 Aspley Jindalee (No competition)
1987 Aspley Redland (No competition)
1988 Aspley Redcliffe (No competition)
1989 Aspley Springwood (No competition)
1990 Aspley Everton (No competition)
1991 Strathpine Ipswich (No competition)
Year BAFL Division 1 BAFL Division 2 BAFL Division 3
1992 Aspley Moorooka Uni
1993 Maroochydore Sandgate Ipswich
1994 Maroochydore Sandgate Marsden
1995 Maroochydore Marsden
1996 Maroochydore Alexandra Hills Toowong
1997 Noosa Wilston Grange Kenmore
1998 Redland Moorooka Kenmore
1999 Redland Caboolture Redland
Year AFLSQ Premier Division AFLSQ Division 1 AFLSQ Division 2 AFLSQ Division 3 AFLSQ Division 4
2000 Palm Beach-Currumbin Coorparoo Kings Gympie ? ?
2001 Coolangatta Burleigh Heads Coorparoo Kings Gympie ?
2002 Aspley Springwood Redcliffe Kenmore Wilston Grange
2003 Coolangatta Strathpine Wynnum (No competition) ?
2004 Burleigh Strathpine Robina (No competition) ?
2005 Burleigh Redcliffe Robina (No competition) ?
Year AFLQ State League Div 2 AFLQ State Assoc'n Div 1 AFLQ State Assoc'n Div 2 AFLQ State Assoc'n Div 3 North AFLQ State Assoc'n Div 3 Central
2006 Western Magpies Yeronga Kenmore (No competition) ?
2007 Palm Beach-Currumbin Yeronga Kedron Gympie Western Magpies
2008 Western Magpies Wynnum Redcliffe Nambour Strathpine
2009 Palm Beach-Currumbin Wynnum Beenleigh Nambour Woodsmen
2010 Noosa Caloundra Robina ? ?
2011 Noosa Coorparoo Kings Nambour & Hinterland Pomona Jimboomba
Year SEQAFL Division 1 SEQAFL Division 2 SEQAFL Division 3 SEQAFL Division 4 North SEQAFL Division 4 Central SEQAFL Division 4 South
2012 Western Magpies Coorparoo Kings Redcliffe Caloundra Pine Rivers Tweed Coast
2013 Springwood Coorparoo Kings Coomera Pomona Zillmere Tweed Coast
Year QFA North QFA South QAFA A Grade QAFA B Grade North QAFA B Grade Central QAFA B Grade South
2014 Mayne Springwood Griffith Uni/Moorooka Bribie Island Woodsmen Bond Uni
2015 Mayne Springwood Bond Uni Gympie Kedron Tweed Coast
2016 Mayne Coorparoo Kings Southeast Suns Maroochydore Zillmere Byron Magpies
Year QFA Division 1 QFA Division 2 QFA Division 3 QFA Division 4 QFA Division 5
2017 Maroochydore Aspley Hornets Victoria Point Zillmere Mayne
2018 Maroochydore Park Ridge Carrara Maroochydore Yeronga South Brisbane

Former AFL South Queensland Divisions[edit]

Notable former QFA regional Divisions

2003 Bundaberg-Wide Bay Hinterland Division[edit]

All four AFL Bundaberg-Wide Bay Clubs from 2002, Hervey Bay Bombers, Across the Waves Bundaberg Eagles, Brothers Bulldogs and Maryborough Bears were joined by teams further south, Gympie Cats, Pomona Demons, Glasshouse and Bribie Island to play one season against each other before reverting to their various regional leagues in 2004 once again.

Finals summary:

  • Elimination Final - Maryborough 13.8-86 defeated Glasshouse 10.7-67
  • Qualifying Final - Across the Waves 13.12-90 defeated Bribie Island 11.11-77
  • First Semi Final - Maryborough 15.14-104 defeated Bribie Island 12.6-78
  • Second Semi Final - Hervey Bay 18.15-123 defeated Across the Waves 9.7-61
  • Preliminary Final - Across the Waves 14.15-99 defeated Maryborough 4.10-34
  • GRAND FINAL - Hervey Bay 8.8-56 defeated Across the Waves 6.17-53

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Brisbane Courier 25 May 1866
  2. ^ a b SEQ teams and competitions on AFLQ website
  3. ^ Brisbane Courier 16 June 1866
  4. ^ Brisbane Courier 5 May 1883
  5. ^ Brisbane Courier 7 June 1884
  6. ^ Ronald Lawson, University of Queensland Press, 1973, page 203
  7. ^ 'Queensland Australian National Football League Official Souvenir Programme of Collingwood v South Melbourne', dated Saturday 27 July 1935
  8. ^ "SEQAFL". Australian Football. Archived from the original on 5 October 2015. Retrieved 5 October 2015.
  9. ^ History on Burleigh Bombers site

External links[edit]