List of Australian rules football clubs by date of establishment

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This is a chronological list of Australian rules football clubs since their formation.

Note that some of these football clubs that formed before 1866 (see Laws of Australian football) may not have originally played the game known today as Australian rules football. It is more than likely that most of these clubs were influenced the Melbourne Rules of 1859 which were the dominant rules of the day. However many played by their own rules and often compromised rules when playing against other clubs.

Australian rules football clubs by date of establishment[edit]

Year Date Club (original name) City State/Country Status/League Note
1858 10 July Melbourne Football Club Melbourne Victoria Australian Football League Origins can be traced to an 1858 letter in which Tom Wills calls for the formation of a "foot-ball club" with the need of a "code of laws".[1][2][3] Oldest club in the Australian Football League.
1859 <30 May St Kilda Football Club Melbourne Victoria defunct Not related to the current St Kilda Football Club (see South Yarra entry below). [4]
15 June Castlemaine Football Club* Castlemaine Victoria Bendigo Football League possibly dormant for periods [5]
18 July Geelong Football Club Geelong Victoria Australian Football League One of the founding members of both the VFA and VFL.
Melbourne University Football Club* Melbourne Victoria VAFA disbanded for some time after World War I, leaving the VFL, then reformed with multiple teams in the VAFA.
1860 26 April Adelaide Football Club Adelaide South Australia defunct Disbanded in 1893. Not to be confused with the present Adelaide Football Club.
20 May Ballarat Football Club* Ballarat Victoria Ballarat Football League established as junior club. Senior club established in 1862[6]
1861 3 June Sandhurst Football Club Bendigo Victoria Bendigo Football League [7] Alleged to have been founded by J.B. Thompson, one of the inventors of Australian rules football
1862 Modbury and Teatree Gully Football Club* Adelaide South Australia South Australian Amateur Football League Played its first game against Adelaide at Modbury in 1862. Some dispute as to whether the current Modbury FC and Tea Tree Gully District FC's are separate continuations of this original club, or new entities. [8]
Williamstown Club Melbourne Victoria defunct The first of two Williamstown clubs
1863* Sydney University Australian National Football Club Sydney New South Wales Sydney AFL SUANFC claims to be a spin-off of Australia's oldest rugby union club, Sydney University Football Club, which experimented with Australian rules in its early years. If the claim is accepted, this would make SUANFC the oldest Australian rules football club in NSW, although it did not play an inter-club fixture until 1887.
1864 South Yarra Football Club Melbourne Victoria defunct Merged with the St Kilda Cricketers' Club in 1873 to form the present-day St Kilda Football Club.[2]
Williamstown Football Club Melbourne Victoria Victorian Football League
July Carlton Football Club Melbourne Victoria Australian Football League [9]
1866 18 April Kapunda Football Club Kapunda South Australia Barossa Light & Gawler Football Association
22 May Brisbane Football Club* Brisbane Queensland defunct Club disbanded in the late 1880s (precise date uncertain). No connection to Brisbane Bears or Brisbane Lions [10]
1868 Woodville Football Club Adelaide South Australia defunct Club disbanded in 1877. Club with same name later formed in 1938.
Wharehousemen Football Club Melbourne Victoria defunct
1869 Gawler Football Club Gawler South Australia defunct Founded in 1869. Disbanded in 1890 to form the precursor to the Barossa Light & Gawler Football Association.
North Melbourne Football Club Melbourne Victoria Australian Football League Founded as the North Melbourne Football Club in 1869. Amalgamated with Albert Park to form Albert Park-North Melbourne in 1876. Reformed as the Hotham Football Club in 1877. Reverted to the name North Melbourne Football Club in 1888.
1870 12 May Port Adelaide Football Club Adelaide South Australia Australian Football League Played in the SANFL until 1997 when it entered the AFL.[11] Only pre-existing non-Victorian club to be competing in the league.
Volunteer Artillery* Brisbane Queensland defunct
Brisbane Grammar School Football Club'* Brisbane Queensland defunct New junior club established in 2005 to participate in Queensland Independent Schools Australian Football League
Civil Service Football Club* Brisbane Queensland defunct
Ipswich Football Club* Ipswich Queensland defunct
1871 Kensington Football Club Adelaide South Australia defunct Integral club to the codification of Australian rules in South Australia. Folded in 1881
Ararat Football Club* Ararat Victoria now Wimmera Football League
1872 Lilydale Football Club Lilydale Victoria 1st Div Eastern Football League Formerly Yarra Valley Football League, Mountain District Football League, Eastern Districts Football League
1873 Essendon Football Club Melbourne Victoria Australian Football League 16 VFL/AFL premierships
2 April St Kilda Football Club Melbourne Victoria Australian Football League [12]
Hawthorn Football Club* Melbourne Victoria Australian Football League The continuity of clubs with this name is disputed. The existing Hawthorn Football Club is purported to have formed in 1901.
1874 29 May Willunga Football Club Willunga South Australia Great Southern Football League 1877 foundation member of SAFA – which became SANFL.[13]
8 June Rochester Football Club Rochester Victoria Goulburn Valley Football League
South Melbourne Football Club South Melbourne Victoria Australian Football League now Sydney Swans
Port Melbourne Football Club Melbourne Victoria Victorian Football League
Penshurst Football Club Penshurst Victoria Mininera & District Football League
1875 Victorian Football Club Adelaide South Australia defunct Folded in 1884.
16 July Launceston Football Club Launceston Tasmania Tasmanian Football League [14]
1876 South Adelaide Football Club Adelaide South Australia SANFL Merged with a club of the same name to form the modern club in 1876
Inglewood Football Club Inglewood Victoria Loddon Valley Football League [15]
Heidelberg Football Club Melbourne Victoria Northern Football League
Winchelsea Football Club Winchelsea Victoria Geelong & District Football League
1877 Britannia Football Club Collingwood Victoria defunct Colours were blue, red and white. Played their first games in 1878. Played out of Victoria Park from 1882 and were a precursor to the Collingwood Football Club's formation in 1892.
Bankers Football Club Adelaide South Australia defunct Weak fledgling club that was a founding member of the SAFA. Folded at the end of 1877.
Beechworth Football Club Beechworth Victoria Tallangatta & District Football League
1878 Norwood Football Club Adelaide South Australia SANFL
West Melbourne Football Club Melbourne Victoria defunct merged with North Melbourne Football Club
New Norfolk District Football Club New Norfolk Tasmania Southern Football League (Tasmania)
1879 27 March Reform Football Club Wellington New Zealand defunct
1881 Murchison Football Club Murchison Victoria Kyabram District Football League
North Hobart Football Club Hobart Tasmania Tasmanian Football League
1882 April Rovers Football Club Perth Western Australia defunct Started as a rugby club but switched to Australian rules in 1885. Inaugural premiers of the WA competition in 1885 and again in 1891. Disbanded in 1899.
April Fremantle Football Club* Fremantle Western Australia defunct No relation to the present-day club by the same name. Formed as a rugby club but switched to Australian rules in 1885. Disbanded at the end of 1886.
Unions Football Club* Fremantle Western Australia defunct formed as a rugby club in 1882, Unions switched to Australian rules in 1885 and would win 10 premierships in the early days of the WA league. Its remnants were eventually folded into South Fremantle
September Fitzroy Football Club Melbourne Victoria VAFA playing operations merged with the Brisbane Bears in 1996, but the club continues to trade as standalone entity
1883 / pre 1877 Footscray Football Club Melbourne Victoria Australian Football League The clubs name remains the Footscray Football Club Pty Ltd but now trades & is known as "Western Bulldogs". The letter FFC can still be located near the neck on the back of the jumpers identifying the clubs true name.

In 1879 Prince Eugene Louis Napoleon, the ‘Prince Imperial’ and heir to the French throne, was ambushed and killed by Zulu warriors during the Anglo-Zulu war in Africa. Out of respect to him, the Footscray Football Club changed their name to the prince Imperials Football Club. In 1882 it decided to revert to the name ‘Footscray’ and therefore 1883 can not have been its formation date. The following websites suggest that its formation date must have be pre 1877 ... (http://www.westernbulldogs.com.au/club/history/timeline/1880s) and (http://www.westernbulldogs.com.au/club/history/timeline/pre-1880s)

1885 Richmond Football Club Melbourne Victoria Australian Football League Currently known as the Richmond Tigers.
Victorians Football Club Perth Western Australia West Australian Football League In 1889, the club merged with the West Australian Football Club and became Metropolitans. In 1891 it became West Perth, the name by which it is still known.
Rosewater Football Club Adelaide South Australia South Australian Amateur Football League [16]
1887 Kermandie Football Club Geeveston Tasmania Huon Football Association
1888 Healesville Football Club Healesville Victoria Yarra Valley Mountain District Football League
1889 Cranbourne Football Club Cranbourne Victoria Casey Cardnina Football League
1892 12 February Collingwood Football Club Melbourne Victoria Australian Football League VFA 1892–1896; VFL/AFL 1897– 15 VFL/AFL Premierships

A meeting was held at the Collingwood town hall on Friday 12 February 1892 to announce the foundation of the Collingwood Football Club. from "A Century of the Best" – Michael Roberts 1991.

Corryong Football Netball Club* Corryong Victoria Upper Murray Football League UMFL: 31 Premierships (1893–1915; 1918–1940; 1945–present)
Cudgewa Football Netball Club* Cudgewa Victoria Upper Murray Football League UMFL: 29 Premierships (1893–1915; 1918–1940; 1945–present)
Federal Football Netball Club* Corryong Victoria Upper Murray Football League UMFL: 26 Premierships (1893–1915; 1918–1940; 1945–present)
1893 North Adelaide Football Club Adelaide South Australia SANFL SAFA/SANFL (1893–present): 13 premierships, Champions of Australia (1972)
1896 Albury Football club Albury New South Wales Ovens and Murray League
1897 South Bunbury Football Club Bunbury Western Australia SWFL South West Football League
1898 East Fremantle Football Club* Fremantle Western Australia West Australian Football League WAFA/WAFL/WANFL (1898–present): 29 premierships)
1900 20 April[17] South Fremantle Football Club Fremantle Western Australia West Australian Football League WAFL 1900–current 13 WAFL Premierships
1901 Walkerville Football Club Adelaide South Australia South Australian Amateur Football League
1903 North Shore Football Club Sydney New South Wales Sydney Australian Football League
1910 Yeronga Football Club Brisbane Queensland AFLQ State Association Originally known as South Brisbane[3]
1911 Carrum Football Club Carrum Victoria defunct Went into recess in 1996. Reformed in 2013 as the Carrum Patterson Lakes Football Club (See entry below)[4]
1913 Heatherton Football Club Heatherton Victoria Southern Football League Originally named the Heatherton Freighters they are now known as the Tunners[5]
1918 Murrumbeena Football Club Melbourne Victoria Southern Football League The club began as an Under 18 team in 1918, playing in the Caulfield-Oakleigh-Dandenong Junior Football League. [6]
1921 Oxford University Australian Rules Football Club Oxford United Kingdom [18]
1924 Mayne Australian Football Club Everton Hills Queensland AFLQ State Association (division 2) formed as a junior club and became senior club in 1925
1926 Colonel Light Gardens Football Club Mortlock Park Colonel Light Gardens South Australia SAAFL
1935 April Coorparoo Australian Football Club Brisbane Queensland QANFL, QAFL Seniors folded in 1995 but the Junior club still operate out of Giffin Park.
1947 Morningside Australian Football Club Brisbane Queensland AFLQ State League [7]
1956 University of Queensland Australian Football Club Brisbane Queensland AFLQ State Association [8]
1961 Southport Australian Football Club Southport Queensland AFLQ State League [9]
1970 4 October Coolaroo Football Club Toowoomba Queensland AFL Darling Downs 1971–present: AFL Darling Downs (8 Premierships: 1975, 2001-2005, 2009, 2013)
Broadbeach Australian Football Club Broadbeach Queensland AFLQ State League [10]
Mount Gravatt Australian Football Club Brisbane Queensland AFLQ State League
1971 Dysart Australian Football Club* Dysart Queensland Central Queensland Highlands AFL Defunct League Club still continues but has no league to play in
1972 West Bundaberg Bulldogs AFC Bundaberg Queensland AFL Wide Bay Now known as Brothers Bulldogs Bundaberg (1996-)
1977 Hervey Bay AFC Hervey Bay Queensland AFL Wide Bay Started as Seahawks – now Bombers (1985-)
Maryborough AFC Maryborough Queensland AFL Wide Bay Started as Tigers – now Bears(1995-)
1981 Brothers Rockhampton Roos AFC Rockhampton Queensland AFL Capricornia
1986 Brisbane Bears Brisbane Queensland Australian Football League 1987–1996, then merged with Fitzroy to form the Brisbane Lions
West Coast Eagles Perth Western Australia Australian Football League 1987–current, 3 premierships
1990 Adelaide Football Club Adelaide South Australia Australian Football League 1990–current, 2 premierships
1995 Fremantle Football Club Fremantle Western Australia Australian Football League 1995–current
1996 Brisbane Lions Brisbane Queensland Australian Football League 1997–current, merger of Fitzroy and the Brisbane Bears
Cincinnati Dockers Cincinnati United States United States Australian Football League
Louisville Kings Louisville United States United States Australian Football League
Peel Thunder Mandurah Western Australia West Australian Football League 1997–current[19]
1997 Across The Waves Bundaberg Eagles Bundaberg Queensland AFL Wide Bay Merger of Norths and Souths
Boston Demons Boston United States United States Australian Football League
Nashville Kangaroos Nashville United States United States Australian Football League
North Carolina Tigers Raleigh United States United States Australian Football League
Saint Louis Blues St. Louis United States United States Australian Football League
San Diego Lions San Diego United States United States Australian Football League
2004 Bay Power Hervey Bay Queensland AFL Wide Bay Replacement Club for Fraser Coast
2009 Greater Western Sydney Giants Sydney New South Wales Australian Football League Formed in 2009, but the team did not officially make its debut into AFL until the start of season 2012.
Gold Coast Suns Gold Coast Queensland Australian Football League 2009-current
2013 Carrum Patterson Lakes Football Club Carrum Victoria Southern Football League Takes on the history of the Carrum Football Club Est. 1911. Now named 'Carrum Patterson Lakes' to incorporate the suburb of Patterson Lakes which was developed adjacent to Carrum in the 1970s[11]

* = defunct, disputed, poorly documented or dormant for a period.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Bell's Life in Victoria, 10 July 1858
  2. ^ The Footballer An annual Record of Football in Victoria, 1875
  3. ^ 100 Years of Football, The Story of the Melbourne Football Club, 1958
  4. ^ The Argus 30 May 1859
  5. ^ "AFL News, Scores, Stats, Transfers – Real Footy". The Age. Melbourne. 
  6. ^ Ballarat Football Netball Club – Club History
  7. ^ The Argus, 5 June 1861
  8. ^ Modbury Football Club History
  9. ^ [1]
  10. ^ Other Comps
  11. ^ South Australian Register, 13 May 1870.
  12. ^ The Argus, 14 April 1873
  13. ^ site home page
  14. ^ The Examiner, 17 July 1875
  15. ^ Inglewood Football Club
  16. ^ "FOOTBALL.". South Australian Register (Adelaide, SA : 1839 - 1900). Adelaide, SA: National Library of Australia. 20 May 1885. p. 6. Retrieved 8 July 2015. 
  17. ^ "FOOTBALL.". The West Australian. Perth: National Library of Australia. 23 April 1900. p. 7. Retrieved 16 March 2011. 
  18. ^ "Australian Rules Football". Oxford University. 
  19. ^ Peel Thunder

External links[edit]