North East Australian Football League

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North East Australian Football League
Current season, competition or edition:
Current sports event 2017 NEAFL season
NEAFL Logo.png
Sport Australian rules football
Founded November 2010
Inaugural season 2011
No. of teams 10
Country  Australia
Most recent
Brisbane Lions
Most titles Brisbane Lions (3)
TV partner(s) NITV
Official website

The North East Australian Football League (NEAFL) is an Australian rules football league in New South Wales, Queensland, the Northern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory in Australia. The league was formed in November 2010, and its inaugural competition was in 2011.[1] It is a second tier league, sitting below the national Australian Football League (AFL) and features the reserves teams of the region's four AFL clubs playing alongside six non-AFL affiliated NEAFL senior teams.


The NEAFL was formed at the end of 2010 primarily as an amalgamation of the two major football leagues in Australia's north-east - the Queensland Australian Football League, based in South-East Queensland and including one team from the Northern Territory, and AFL Canberra, based around ACT, and including one team from Sydney (the reserves team of the AFL's Sydney Swans). The two leagues were converted to NEAFL conferences: the Northern Conference, serving Queensland and the Northern Territory, and the Eastern Conference, serving New South Wales and the ACT. Teams from the two conferences played matches against each other throughout the home-and-away season, before each conference staged a separate finals competition to determine both a northern premier and an eastern premier. The two premiers then played each other in the NEAFL Grand Final.

Two new teams also joined the competition for its inaugural season in 2011: the reserves team of Gold Coast Football Club (whose senior team joined the AFL in the same season); and the senior team of the Greater Western Sydney Giants, which was preparing to join the AFL in 2012. These two clubs would have joined the QAFL and AFL Canberra respectively, had the NEAFL not been formed.

In 2012, two more clubs joined the Eastern Conference from the AFL Sydney competition: Sydney Hills and Sydney University. With Greater Western Sydney's senior team joining the AFL, its NEAFL side became a reserves team in partnership with, and under the name of the University of Western Sydney.

On 11 May 2013, the NEAFL Northern Conference played an interstate game against South Australia who represent the South Australian National Football League (SANFL). The game, played at the City Mazda Stadium in Adelaide resulted in a 21.14 (140) to 9.4 (58) win over the NEAFL North, with SA's higher fitness level the main difference between the two sides.

On 8 June 2013, the NEAFL Eastern Conference played an interstate game against Tasmania who represent the TSL (Tasmanian State League). Tasmania won 15.11 (101) - 8.13 (61).

A major restructure of the league was announced for the 2014 season. Five clubs left the competition and the conference system was abolished. Broadbeach, Labrador, Morningside and Mt. Gravatt joined a re-constructed Queensland Australian Football League, while Tuggeranong went back to the AFL Canberra Division One competition.[2] The possibility of a North Queensland side entering the competition for 2014 was considered but ruled out.[3]

Due to the financial challenges of participating in the competition and a proposal from the AFL for the existing Canberra clubs to contribute to a single Canberra team, Belconnen, Queanbeyan and the Sydney Hills Eagles chose to leave the NEAFL at the end of the 2014 season.[4][5] The ongoing desire by the AFL for a single Canberra team led Ainslie to withdraw at the end of the 2015 season. Both Canberra clubs - Ainslie and Eastlake - had a NEAFL licence until the end of 2016, but Ainslie withdrew from the competition after the AFL rejected their proposal to be Canberra's sole team from 2017. The AFL wanted Canberra's team to be either a combined Ainslie-Eastlake side or a representative team funded largely by all the local clubs in the Canberra area.[6]

Two teams changed their names prior to the 2016 season. Eastlake's NEAFL side started to play as the Canberra Demons in an attempt to be seen as Canberra's representative team in the NEAFL competition. The club wishes to provide a clear AFL pathway for local talent and to get rid of the baggage between other clubs in the ACT. As part of this decision the team also adopted a blue and gold guernsey for home games, reflecting the territory's traditional colours. The team still wears Eastlake's red and black colours in away matches.[7] The Greater Western Sydney reserves team became known as the Western Sydney University Giants to reflect the re-branding of the University of Western Sydney.[8]


Current clubs[edit]

Club Nickname Location Home ground Formed First season Premierships
Brisbane, Queensland
Graham Road
Brisbane Lions *
Brisbane, Queensland
South Pine Sports Complex
2012, 2013, 2017
Canberra, Australian Capital Territory
Manuka Oval
Gold Coast *
Gold Coast, Queensland
Metricon Stadium
NT Thunder
Darwin, Northern Territory
TIO Stadium
2011, 2015
Brisbane, Queensland
Tidbold Park
Gold Coast, Queensland
Fankhauser Reserve
Sydney *
Sydney, New South Wales
Sydney University
Sydney, New South Wales
Henson Park
Western Sydney University *
Sydney, New South Wales
Spotless Stadium

*AFL reserves team

Former clubs[edit]

Club Nickname Location Home ground First season Last season
Canberra, Australian Capital Territory
Alan Ray Oval
Gold Coast, Queensland
H & A Oval
Canberra, Australian Capital Territory
Kippax Oval
Gold Coast, Queensland
Cooke-Murphy Oval
Brisbane, Queensland
Esplen Oval
Mount Gravatt
Brisbane, Queensland
Dittmer Park
Queanbeyan, New South Wales
Dairy Farmers Park
Sydney Hills
Sydney, New South Wales
Bruce Purser Reserve
Canberra, Australian Capital Territory
Greenway Oval

League awards[edit]

Current league awards have been instituted since 2014.[9]


Season Premier Runner-up Score Margin Venue
2011 NT Thunder Ainslie 16.18 (114) – 13.14 (92) 22 points Traeger Park, Northern Territory
2012 Brisbane Lions Queanbeyan 11.9 (75) – 22.12 (144) 69 points Manuka Oval, Australian Capital Territory
2013 Brisbane Lions Sydney Swans 12.9 (81) – 10.13 (73) 8 points Graham Road Oval, Queensland
2014 Aspley Sydney Swans 15.12 (102) – 15.10 (100) 2 points Graham Road Oval, Queensland
2015 NT Thunder Aspley 11.15 (81) – 11.14 (80) 1 point Marrara Oval, Northern Territory
2016 WSU Giants Sydney Swans 11.16 (82) – 11.12 (78) 4 points Blacktown International Sportspark, New South Wales
2017 Brisbane Lions Sydney Swans 12.13 (85) – 10.22 (82)[10] 3 points Sydney Cricket Ground, New South Wales

NEAFL MVP award[edit]

Season Player Club Votes
2014 Matthew Payne Aspley 102
2015 Tom Young Sydney University 86
2016 Matthew Payne Aspley 87
2017 Jordan Keras Southport 78

NEAFL Rising Star[edit]

Season Player Club
2014 Paul Hunter Redland
2015 Matt Uebergang Redland
2016 Hayden Bertoli-Simmonds Redland
2017 Adam Sambono NT Thunder

NEAFL leading goal kicker[edit]

Season Player Club Goals
2014 Cleve Hughes Redland 79
2015 Darren Ewing NT Thunder 87
2016 Darren Ewing NT Thunder 63
2017 Darren Ewing NT Thunder 61

NEAFL coach of the year[edit]

Season Player Club
2014 Xavier Clarke NT Thunder
2015 Brett Hand UWS Giants
2016 Rhyce Shaw Sydney Swans
2017 Tom Morrison Sydney University

Former league awards[edit]

Grogan Medal (2011–2013)[edit]

Awarded to the best and fairest players in the Northern Conference.

Season Winner Club Votes
2011 Matthew Payne
Cameron Ilett
NT Thunder
2012 Ryan Davey
Fraser Pope
Tom Salter
2013 Haydn Kiel[11] Southport 21

Mulrooney Medal (2011–2013)[edit]

For the best and fairest players in the Eastern Conference.

Season Winner Club Votes
2011 Daniel Currie
Jarred Moore
Sydney Swans
Sydney Swans
2012 Shane Harris Belconnen 16
2013 James Bennett[12] Belconnen 21

NEAFL (Northern) Rising Star award (2011–2013)[edit]

Awarded to an outstanding young player in the Northern Conference.

Season Winner Club
2011 Ross Tungatalum NT Thunder
2012 Andrew Boston[13] Broadbeach
2013 Josh Smith[11] Morningside

NEAFL (Eastern) Rising Star award (2011–2013)[edit]

Awarded to an outstanding young player in the Eastern Conference

Season Winner Club
2011 Hayden Armstrong Eastlake
2012 Liam Flaherty[14] Eastlake
2013 Brent Macleod[15] Tuggeranong

Ray Hughson Medal (2011–2013)[edit]

Highest goalkicker award for player in Northern Conference

Season Winner Club Goals
2011 Darren Ewing NT Thunder 115
2012 Tom Kavanagh Queanbeyan 92
2013 Darren Ewing[11] NT Thunder 94

Most successful clubs[edit]

Club Year established Leagues Premiership years Premierships (total)
Southport Football Club 1961 GCAFL 1961–1982

QAFL 1983–2010
NEAFL 2011–

Gold Coast Australian Football League: 1961, 1962, 1966, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1979, 1980

Queensland Australian Football League: 1983, 1985, 1987, 1989, 1990, 1992, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2005, 2006, 2008

Eastlake Football Club 1926 CANFL 1926–1974

ACTFL 1975–1999
AFLC 2000–2010
NEAFL 2011–

Canberra Australian National Football League: 1928, 1930, 1933, 1934, 1937, 1942, 1945, 1948, 1957, 1960, 1962, 1963, 1964, 1965, 1966, 1972

Australian Capital Territory Football League: 1976, 1978
AFL Canberra: 2001

Aspley Football Club 1964 SQAFA 1964–1992

BAFL 1993–2008
QAFL 2009–2010
NEAFL: 2011–

South Queensland Australian Football Association: 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1992

Brisbane Australian Football League: 2002
North East Australian Football League: 2014

Sydney University Football Club 1948 NSWANFL 1948–1957, 1962–1968

SFA 1971–1987, 1995–2006
SFL 1988–1994
SAFL 2007–2011
NEAFL 2012–

Sydney Football Association: 1981, 1986, 1987, 1997, 2003, 2005

Sydney Football League: 1992

Brisbane Lions (reserves) 1998 QAFL 1998–2010

NEAFL 2011–

Queensland Australian Football League: 2001

North East Australian Football League: 2012, 2013, 2017

Redland Football Club 1966 SQAFA 1966–1992

BAFL 1993–1999
QAFL 2000–2010
NEAFL 2011–

South Queensland Australian Football Association: 1975, 1987

Brisbane Australian Football League 1998, 1999

Sydney Swans (reserves) 1874 VFL 1877–1990

SAFL 2000
AFLC 2003–2010
NEAFL 2011–

AFL Canberra: 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 4
Northern Territory Football Club 2008 QAFL 2009–2010

NEAFL 2011–

North East Australian Football League: 2011, 2015 2
Gold Coast Football Club (reserves) 2011 NEAFL 2011– nil 0
Greater Western Sydney Giants (reserves) 2011 NEAFL 2011– North East Australian Football League: 2016 1

See also[edit]


  1. ^ [1] Archived 14 November 2010 at the Wayback Machine.
  2. ^ "New look NEAFL announced". North East Australian Football League. 16 August 2013. Retrieved 17 August 2013. 
  3. ^ "No North Queensland team for NEAFL". North East Australian Football League. 30 September 2013. Retrieved 4 October 2013. 
  4. ^ "Three teams to leave the NEAFL". North East Australian Football League. 6 August 2014. Retrieved 7 September 2014. 
  5. ^ Gaskin, Lee (5 August 2014). "Canberra down to two teams in the NEAFL after Queanbeyan and Belconnen pull out". The Canberra Times. 
  6. ^ Polkinghorne, David (17 September 2015). "Ainslie withdraws from NEAFL". The Canberra Times. 
  7. ^ Polkinghorne, David (15 January 2016). "Eastlake back Canberra Demons as ACT's only NEAFL team". The Canberra Times. 
  8. ^ "Western Sydney University GIANTS". GWS Giants. Retrieved 23 January 2016. 
  9. ^ "North East Australian Football League: NEAFL awards night wrap". 2014-08-25. Retrieved 2015-08-29. 
  10. ^ "North East Australian Football League Match Centre - SportsTG". SportsTG. Retrieved 2017-09-10. 
  11. ^ a b c "North East Australian Football League: Southport's Kiel wins Grogan". Retrieved 2015-08-29. 
  12. ^ "Bennett wins Mulrooney Medal". Afl Nsw/Act. Retrieved 2015-08-29. 
  13. ^ "North East Australian Football League: Boston to make AFL debut". Retrieved 2015-08-29. 
  14. ^ "North East Australian Football League: Shane Harris Caps of an Impressive first NEAFL Season". Retrieved 2015-08-29. 
  15. ^ "North East Australian Football League: Hawk Brent Macleod wins NAB Rising Star Award". 2013-09-17. Retrieved 2015-08-29. 

External links[edit]