Australian football League (AFL)

Australian football League (AFL)

The Australian Football League (AFL) is the largest competition of Australian football. The AFL Commission, the governing body of the Australian football, operates the AFL. It was called the Victorian Football League (VFL) when the competition was formed in 1896. All the league member teams were based in the state of Victoria. The league expanded in 1980s and the name was changed to the Australian Football League (AFL) in 1990. There are 18 AFL teams across Australia today.

 

Home & Away Season:

The best performed team in the home and away series receives the “minor premiership”. The top 8 teams progress to the play-off, and 2 teams play the AFL Grand Final at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) every season.

 

AFL Grand Final:

The AFL Grand Final is the Australian football match held annually at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) in Melbourne, Australia. The AFL Grand Final is the biggest match and compete for the Australian Football League (AFL) premiers. The traditional AFL Grand Final match day is the final Saturday in September.

 

The grand final parade has been held on the Friday just before the AFL Grand Final since 1977. The players from both teams participate in the grand final parade.

 

The North Melbourne Grand Final Breakfast has been held since 1967, where many icons from football and politics attend ahead of the AFL Grand Final. Various Australian football clubs have Grand Final Breakfasts as well.

 

The AFL Grand Final winner team receives the AFL’s premiership flag and premiership cup. The winning players are awarded gold premiership medals.

 

The AFL Grand Final is Australia’s biggest sport event, attracting the largest attendance, TV audience and interest among all the sport events in Australia.

 

The AFL Grand Final is the highest attended club championship in the world. The largest attendance record of the AFL Grand Final is 121,696 when the game between Collingwood and Carlton was played in 1970.

 

 

Teams:

Team name: Adelaide Football Club

Nickname: Crows.

Established: 1990

Joined the VFL/AFL: 1991

Home stadium: Adelaide Oval (Capacity: 53,500)

Address: War Memorial Drive, North Adelaide, Adelaide, South Australia, SA 5006, Australia.

 

Team name: Brisbane Lions Australian Football Club

Nickname: Lions.

Established: 1996

Joined the VFL/AFL: 1897

Home stadium: The Gabba, The Brisbane Cricket Ground (Capacity: 41,974)

Address: Vulture Street, Woolloongabbam, Queensland, QLD 4102, Australia.

 

Team name: Carlton Football Club

Nickname: Blues, The Blue Baggers, Old Dark Navy Blues.

Established: 1864

Joined the VFL/AFL: 1897

Home stadium: MCG, The Melbourne Cricket Ground (Capacity: 100,024)

Address: Yarra Park, Jolimont, Melbourne, Victoria, VIC 3002, Australia.

 

Team name: Collingwood Football Club

Nickname: Magpies, Pies, Woods, Woodsmen.

Established: 1892

Joined the VFL/AFL: 1897

Home stadium: MCG, The Melbourne Cricket Ground (Capacity: 100,024)

Address: Yarra Park, Jolimont, Melbourne, Victoria, VIC 3002, Australia.

 

Team name: Essendon Football Club

Nickname: Bombers, Dons, Same Olds.

Established: 1871

Joined the VFL/AFL: 1897

Home stadium: Docklands Stadium (Capacity: 53,343)

Address: 740 Bourke Street, Docklands, Melbourne, Victoria, VIC 3008, Australia.

 

Team name: Fremantle Football Club

Nickname: Dockers, Freo.

Established: 1994

Joined the VFL/AFL: 1995

Home stadium: Perth Stadium (Capacity: 60,156)

Address: 333 Victoria Park Drive, Burswood, Western Australia, WA 6100, Australia.

Home stadium: Fremantle Oval (Capacity: 17,500)

Address: Parry Street, Fremantle, Western Australia, WA 6100, Australia.

 

Team name: Geelong Football Club

Nickname: Cats.

Established: 1859

Joined the VFL/AFL: 1897

Home stadium: Kardinia Park Stadium (Capacity: 36,000)

Address: LaTrobe Terrace, Geelong, Victoria, VIC 3220, Australia.

Home stadium: MCG, The Melbourne Cricket Ground (Capacity: 100,024)

Address: Yarra Park, Jolimont, Melbourne, Victoria, VIC 3002, Australia.

 

Team name: Gold Coast Suns

Nickname: Suns.

Established: 2009

Joined the VFL/AFL: 2011

Home stadium: Carrara Stadium (Capacity: 22,500)

Address: Nerang-Broadbeach Road, Carrara, Gold Coast, Queensland, QLD 4211, Australia.

 

Team name: Greater Western Sydney Giants

Nickname: GWS, Giants.

Established: 2009

Joined the VFL/AFL: 2012

Home stadium: Giants Stadium, Sydney Showground Stadium (Capacity: 23,500)

Address: Grand Parade, Sydney Olympic Park, Sydney, New South Wales, NSW 2127, Australia.

 

Team name: Hawthorn Football Club

Nickname: Hawks, The Family Club.

Established: 1902

Joined the VFL/AFL: 1925

Home stadium: MCG, The Melbourne Cricket Ground (Capacity: 100,024)

Address: Yarra Park, Jolimont, Melbourne, Victoria, VIC 3002, Australia.

Home stadium: University of Tasmania Stadium, York Park (Capacity: 19,000)

Address: Invermay Road, Launceston, Tasmania, TAS 7250, Australia.

 

Team name: Melbourne Football Club

Nickname: Demons, Dees.

Established: 1858

Joined the VFL/AFL: 1897

Home stadium: MCG, The Melbourne Cricket Ground (Capacity: 100,024)

Address: Yarra Park, Jolimont, Melbourne, Victoria, VIC 3002, Australia.

 

Team name: North Melbourne Football Club

Nickname: Kangaroos, Roos, North, Kangas, Shinboners.

Established: 1869

Joined the VFL/AFL: 1925

Home stadium: Docklands Stadium (Capacity: 53,343)

Address: 740 Bourke Street, Docklands, Melbourne, Victoria, VIC 3008, Australia.

 

Team name: Port Adelaide Football Club

Nickname: Power.

Established: 1870

Joined the VFL/AFL: 1997

Home stadium: Adelaide Oval (Capacity: 53,500)

Address: War Memorial Drive, North Adelaide, Adelaide, South Australia, SA 5006, Australia.

Home stadium: Alberton Oval (Capacity: 11,000)

Address: Brougham Place, Alberton, Adelaide, South Australia, SA 5014, Australia.

 

Team name: Richmond Football Club

Nickname: Tigers.

Established: 1885

Joined the VFL/AFL: 1908

Home stadium: MCG, The Melbourne Cricket Ground (Capacity: 100,024)

Address: Yarra Park, Jolimont, Melbourne, Victoria, VIC 3002, Australia.

 

Team name: Saint Kilda Football Club

Nickname: Saints, Sainters.

Established: 1873

Joined the VFL/AFL: 1897

Home stadium: Docklands Stadium (Capacity: 53,343)

Address: 740 Bourke Street, Docklands, Melbourne, Victoria, VIC 3008, Australia.

 

Team name: Sydney Swans

Nickname: Swans, Bloods.

Established: 1874

Joined the VFL/AFL: 1897

Home stadium: SCG, The Sydney Cricket Ground (Capacity: 46,817)

Address: Driver Avenue, Moore Park, Sydney, New South Wales, NSW 2021, Australia.

 

Team name: West Coast Eagles

Nickname: Eagles, West Coast.

Established: 1986

Joined the VFL/AFL: 1987

Home stadium: Perth Stadium (Capacity: 60,156)

Address: 333 Victoria Park Drive, Burswood, Western Australia, WA 6100, Australia.

 

Team name: Western Bulldogs

Nickname: Bulldogs, Doggies, Dogs, Bullies, Pups, The Scray, Scraggers.

Established: 1877

Joined the VFL/AFL: 1925

Home stadium: Docklands Stadium (Capacity: 53,343)

Address: 740 Bourke Street, Docklands, Melbourne, Victoria, VIC 3008, Australia.

Home stadium: Eureka Stadium (Capacity: 11,000)

Address: 725 Creswick Road, Wendouree, Victoria, VIC 3350, Australia.

 

 

Former teams:

Team name: Brisbane Bears

Nickname: Bears.

Established: 1986

Joined the VFL/AFL: 1987 (Last in the VFL/AFL: 1996)

Home stadium: The Gabba, The Brisbane Cricket Ground (Capacity: 41,974)

Address: Vulture Street, Woolloongabbam, Queensland, QLD 4102, Australia.

 

Team name: Fitzroy Football Club

Nickname: Gorillas, Lions, The Reds.

Established: 1883

Joined the VFL/AFL: 1897 (Last in the VFL/AFL: 1996)

Home stadium: The Brunswick Street Oval, The WT Peterson Community Oval, The Fitzroy Cricket Ground (Capacity: 15 000), Closed.

Address: Brunswick Street, Fitzroy North, Melbourne, Victoria, VIC 3068, Australia.

 

Team name: Melbourne University Football Club

Nickname: Students, Blacks, Blues, MUGARS.

Established: 1859

Joined the VFL/AFL: 1908 (Last in the VFL/AFL: 1914)

Home stadium: University of Melbourne Main Oval (Capacity: Unknown)

Address: Union Street, Parkville, Melbourne, Victoria, VIC 3052, Australia.

Home stadium: Crawford Oval (Capacity: Unknown)

Address: 121 Princes Park Drive, Carlton North, Melbourne, Victoria, VIC 3054, Australia.

Home stadium: Princes Park (Capacity: 24,568)

Address: 400 Royal Parade, Princes Hill, Melbourne, Victoria, VIC 3054, Australia.

 

 

History:

The Victorian Football Association (VFA) was founded in 1877 and the competition became popular in the state of Victoria.

 

In 1896, Collingwood, Essendon, Fitzroy, Geelong, Melbourne and South Melbourne seceded from Victorian Football Association (VFA). These teams and newly joined Carlton and Saint Kilda formed the Victorian Football League (VFL). Footscray, North Melbourne, Port Melbourne, Richmond and Williamstown remained with VFA.

 

The league expanded to ten teams in 1908 as Richmond moved from the VFA and the Melbourne University Football Club joined from the Metropolitan Football Association.

 

The Melbourne University Football Club left the VFL in 1914. Many players in the competition were professional while the Melbourne University Football Club remained amateur and played beside studies. It caused a gap with other teams. The Melbourne University Football Club is the only team who withdrew from the league since the formation of the competition in 1897.

 

In late 1890s, the premier of the Victorian Football League and the premier of the South Australian Football League had the play-off match for the Championship of Australia.

 

In 1925, Footscray, Hawthorn and North Melbourne joined from the VFA, and the VFL teams expanded from 9 teams to 12.

 

The National Football League (NFL), which was the national administrative body for Australian football at the time, replaced the NFL Night Series for the Championship of Australia in 1976.

 

The VFL left the NFL Night Series later in 1976, and commenced the own Night Series, featuring only the VFL teams in 1977. The VFL would gradually gain the administrative control of the Australian Football across the entire Australia.

 

The South Melbourne Swans moved to Sydney in 1982 and became the first VFL team to make the interstate relocation. The team name was modified to the Sydney Swans in the following year.

 

The West Australian Football League and Queensland Australian Football League got licences to form new teams, and the West Coast Eagles and the Brisbane Bears joined the VFL in 1987.

 

The competition name was changed to the Australian Football League in 1990 as it was involving the teams across Australia.

 

The AFL signed the first Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) outlining wages and conditions with AFL Players Association (AFLPA), which is the union of current and former players in 1990.

 

The AFL transferred the administration capacity for lower competitions within the state of Victoria to the Victorian State Football League (VSFL) in 1991. AFL clubs continued to field reserve teams in the Victorian State Football League. The regional administration body of Victoria changed to the AFL Victoria in 1999.

 

The Adelaide Crows joined the AFL in 1991 as the fourth team based outside of the state of Victoria. The Fremantle Football Club joined the AFL in 1995 as the fifth team from outside of the state of Victoria.

 

The Victorian Football Association started using the name, “Victorian Football League” in 1996. In order to distinguish 2 Victorian Football Leagues in different times of the history, they can be called the VFL/AFL and the VFA/VFL respectively.

 

The Fitzroy and the Brisbane merged and became the Brisbane Lions due to the financial hardship at the end of 1996. The vacated place in the league was filled by the Port Adelaide in 1997. The Port Adelaide became the sixth team based outside of the state of Victoria and the only pre-existing non Victorian team of the VFL/AFL.

 

The Gold Coast Suns joined the AFL in 2011. The Greater Western Sydney Giants joined the AFL as the eighteenth team in 2012.

 

The Australian Football League match was played outside of Australia for the first time on 25th of April 2013. 22,183 spectators watched the game between Saint Kilda and Sydney at the Westpac Stadium in Wellington, New Zealand.

 

 

AFL Women’s:

AFL Women’s (AFLW) began in 2017 with 8 founding teams, namely Adelaide, Brisbane Lions, Carlton, Collingwood, Fremantle, Greater Western Sydney, Melbourne and the Western Bulldogs. AFL Women’s (AFLW) has rapidly expanded since the establishment.

 

 

Author: Takuya Nagata

Once played soccer for one of the biggest football clubs in Japan. Retired at young and voyaged alone to England and graduated from the UK’s university. Established careers as football journalist, football coach, football consultant, etc. across Europe such as Spain. Played rugby union since moving to the UK and investigated various codes of football. Knowledgeable in creative and online industries as well. The founder of “Propulsive Football (PROBALL)“, the world’s first ever competitive mixed football facilitating diversity and spirits for equal participation of the society. The founder of Tact Nexus Group.

 

 

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