North East Australian Football League

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North East Australian
Football League
NEAFL Logo.png
SportAustralian rules football
Founded2010; 9 years ago (2010)
Inaugural season2011
No. of teams10
Country Australia
ConfederationAFL NSW/ACT
AFL Queensland
Most recent
champion(s)
Brisbane Lions
(2019)
Most titlesBrisbane Lions
(4)
TV partner(s)NITV
Level on pyramid2
Promotion to(none)
Relegation to(none)
Official websiteneafl.com.au

The North East Australian Football League (NEAFL) is an Australian rules football league in New South Wales, Queensland and the Australian Capital Territory. The league was formed in November 2010, and its inaugural competition was in 2011.[1] It is a second division 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.

History[edit]

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]

At the end of the 2019 season, AFL Northern Territory announced the disbanding of the NT Thunder, citing financial and logistical difficulties. The competition scope therefore decreased to capture Queensland, New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory.[9]

Clubs[edit]

Current clubs (2020)[edit]

Club[10] Nickname Location Home ground Founded First
season
Premiers Premiers years
Aspley Hornets Brisbane, Queensland Graham Road 1964 2011 1 2014
Brisbane Lions [note 1] Lions Brisbane, Queensland South Pine SC 1997 2011 4 2012, 2013, 2017, 2019
Canberra Demons Canberra, Australian CT Manuka Oval 1926 2011 0
GWS Giants [note 1] Giants Sydney, New South Wales Spotless Stadium 2011 2011 1 2016
Gold Coast [note 1] Suns Gold Coast, Queensland Metricon Stadium 2010 2011 0
Redland Bombers Brisbane, Queensland Tidbold Park 1966 2011 0
Southport Sharks Gold Coast, Queensland Fankhauser Reserve 1961 2011 1 2018
Sydney [note 1] Swans Sydney, New South Wales Sydney Cricket Ground 1982 2011 0
Sydney University Students Sydney, New South Wales Henson Park 1863 2012 0
Notes
  1. ^ a b c d Competes with reserve teams with the senior squad competing in the AFL

Former clubs[edit]

Club[10] Nickname Location Home ground First season Last season
Ainslie
Tricolours
Canberra, Australian Capital Territory
Alan Ray Oval
2011
2015
Broadbeach
Cats
Gold Coast, Queensland
H & A Oval
2011
2013
Belconnen
Magpies
Canberra, Australian Capital Territory
Kippax Oval
2011
2014
Labrador
Tigers
Gold Coast, Queensland
Cooke-Murphy Oval
2011
2013
NT Thunder
Thunder
Darwin, Northern Territory
TIO Stadium
2011
2019
Morningside
Panthers
Brisbane, Queensland
Esplen Oval
2011
2013
Mount Gravatt
Vultures
Brisbane, Queensland
Dittmer Park
2011
2013
Queanbeyan
Tigers
Queanbeyan, New South Wales
Dairy Farmers Park
2011
2014
Sydney Hills
Eagles
Sydney, New South Wales
Bruce Purser Reserve
2012
2014
Tuggeranong
Hawks
Canberra, Australian Capital Territory
Greenway Oval
2011
2013

League awards[edit]

Current league awards have been instituted since 2014.[11]

Premiers[edit]

Season[10] Premier Runner-up Score Margin Venue City/Town State/Territory
2011 Northern Territory Ainslie 16.18 (114) – 13.14 (92) 22 points Traeger Park Alice Springs Northern Territory
2012 Brisbane Lions Queanbeyan 11.9 (75) – 22.12 (144) 69 points Manuka Oval Canberra Australian Capital Territory
2013 Brisbane Lions Sydney Swans 12.9 (81) – 10.13 (73) 8 points Graham Road Oval Brisbane Queensland
2014 Aspley Sydney Swans 15.12 (102) – 15.10 (100) 2 points Graham Road Oval Brisbane Queensland
2015 Northern Territory Aspley 11.15 (81) – 11.14 (80) 1 point Marrara Oval Darwin Northern Territory
2016 WSU Giants Sydney Swans 11.16 (82) – 11.12 (78) 4 points Blacktown International Sportspark Sydney New South Wales
2017 Brisbane Lions Sydney Swans 12.13 (85) – 10.22 (82)[12] 3 points Sydney Cricket Ground Sydney New South Wales
2018 Southport Sydney Swans 14.6 (90) – 5.5 (35) 55 points Fankhauser Reserve Gold Coast Queensland
2019 Brisbane Lions Southport 20.15 (135) – 8.11 (59) 76 points Fankhauser Reserve Gold Coast Queensland

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
2018 Matthew Payne Aspley 95

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
2018 Matt Hammelmann Redland 60


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
Southport
NT Thunder
23
2012 Ryan Davey
Fraser Pope
Tom Salter
Labrador
Southport
Redland
14
2013 Haydn Kiel[13] 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
16
2012 Shane Harris Belconnen 16
2013 James Bennett[14] 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[15] Broadbeach
2013 Josh Smith[13] 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[16] Eastlake
2013 Brent Macleod[17] 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[13] 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
North East Australian Football League: 2018

22
Canberra 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

19
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

9
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

7
Brisbane Lions (reserves) 1998 QAFL 1998–2010

NEAFL 2011–

Queensland Australian Football League: 2001

North East Australian Football League: 2012, 2013, 2017, 2019

5
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

4
Sydney Swans (reserves) 1874 VFL 1877–1990

VSFL1991–1999
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]

References[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. Archived from the original on 29 January 2016. Retrieved 23 January 2016.
  9. ^ "Thunder no more: AFLNT confirms no NEAFL and VFLW teams". AFL.com.au. 12 September 2019.
  10. ^ a b c "NEAFL Overview". Australian Football.
  11. ^ "North East Australian Football League: NEAFL awards night wrap". Neafl.com.au. 25 August 2014. Retrieved 29 August 2015.
  12. ^ "North East Australian Football League Match Centre - SportsTG". SportsTG. Retrieved 10 September 2017.
  13. ^ a b c "North East Australian Football League: Southport's Kiel wins Grogan". Neafl.com.au. Retrieved 29 August 2015.
  14. ^ "Bennett wins Mulrooney Medal". Afl Nsw/Act. Retrieved 29 August 2015.
  15. ^ "North East Australian Football League: Boston to make AFL debut". Hosting4.sportingpulse.com. Retrieved 29 August 2015.
  16. ^ "North East Australian Football League: Shane Harris Caps of an Impressive first NEAFL Season". Neafl.com.au. Retrieved 29 August 2015.
  17. ^ "North East Australian Football League: Hawk Brent Macleod wins NAB Rising Star Award". Neafl.com.au. 17 September 2013. Retrieved 29 August 2015.

External links[edit]