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Victorian Football Association (An Earlier World Cup of Football)

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Victorian Football Association
Upcoming season or competition:
31px 1939 VFA season (An Earlier World Cup of Football)
Sport Australian rules football
Founded 1877
Inaugural season 1877
No. of teams 10
Country Australia
Level on pyramid 1

The Victorian Football Association is a major Australian Rules Football league which was formed in 1877.

History

Before the Split

The first competition was held in 1877 with 11 teams; Albert Park, Carlton, Hotham, Melbourne and St Kilda, Geelong, Barwon, Ballarat, Beechworth, Castlemaine, Rochester and Inglewood. During the early season, the schedule was hectic with teams playing against junior teams. During those early years many teams joined and folded. That would be until 1889 with twelve clubs competing in the first stable season of the VFA. Carlton, Essendon, Fitzroy, Footscray, Geelong, Melbourne, North Melbourne, Port Melbourne, Richmond, St Kilda, South Melbourne and Williamstown. In 1892, Collingwood joined the league and struggld, finishing bottom of the league in the first two seasons. In 1896, Essendon won the title as the split between the strong clubs and weak clubs came the next season. This then formed the Victorian Football League.

Split doesn't do any damage to the competition

After 1896, six teams split to join the Victorian Football League with Collingwood, Essendon, Fitzory, Geelong, Melbourne and South Melbourne. Only two of the premierships that didn't win by the clubs that joined the league with Carlton (1887) and Williamstown (1888) being the clubs. Depsite the split into two competitions, the VFA stayed strong and soon the VFL struggled to get the crowd to support the competition as it folded in 1904 with only four clubs surviving the end with Essendon and Geelong heading back to the VFA in 1900 and 1902 respectively. While the split was happening, two clubs joined in 1899 with Prahran and West Melbourne making the league go up to 10. Essendon returned with a title in 1900 and 1901. Geelong then returned in 1902 with a title which put the league count up to 12. With Preston joining in 1903 and the other four teams of Collingwood, Fitzory, Melbourne and South Melbourne rejoining in 1905. Talks started on possibly splitting the competition into two divisions.

Two Divisions

Beginning

With the VFA spiting into two divisions, the nine teams that was in Division one were Carlton, Collingwood, Essendon, Fitzory, Geelong, Melbourne, Richmond, St Kilda and South Melbourne. The format was for one team to drop down while the winner of Division two would go up to the top division. In the first season, Melbourne took home their first title after they defeated Fitzory in the final. While for Port Melbourne they would replace Carlton in the top division after winning Division two.

In 1908, their was an expansion in the top division with Footscray and Brunswick joining the top division while relegated team, Geelong dropped to the second division. Division One teams stayed strong all the way until World War I when the league was cancelled for four years with all of the top men heading to war.

Decline

With the war over, top football came back in 1919 with Footscray becoming the first team to win the top division from a lower division as they defeated Collingwood in the final by 15 points. But teams in the lower division were starting to suffer with Preston withdrawing in 1920 and then North Melbourne and University the year after. This gave the VFA a problem they didn't want with the dwindling numbers of Division Two and in 1922 it ended with Melbourne and Hawthorn taking the final two spots in the twelve team league. Brunswick though would be the last team to be relegated in the two division system.

Steady at 10

When Hawthorn could field a team for the 1923 season, the amount of teams playing was at 10. This would be the number until 1960 where Coburg and Williamstown would join the competition. In the first season, Essendon took their 12th VFA title when they defeated Port Melbourne by 21 points. They defended the title before falling to even the make the finals in 1925. Port Melbourne then caused a massive upset in 1926 when they defeated Essendon in the final. This though was the start of a four title winning streak which involved only losing six matches for the whole four years with Collingwood being the unlucky one on three of those occasions.

Heading into the 1930 season, everyone was predicting a Port Melbourne/Collingwood final. For Port Melbourne though they didn't make the grand final after a shock upset in the elimination semi final against Geelong before going on to lose to Collingwood in the final. Richmond then took home their first division one premiership when they defeated Collingwood in the final by over 52 points which at the time was the biggest margin in history. Before the second world war, the premiership was won by Collingwood (three times), South Melbourne (three times) and Melbourne (winning their first division one trophy since 1905).

Clubs

Current Clubs

Team Location Founded Premierships
Carlton Princes Park
Collingwood
Essendon
Fitzory North Fitzroy
Footscray
Geelong Geelong
Melbourne
Port Melbourne
Richmond
South Melbourne

Defunct Clubs

Champions

Year PREMIER RUNNER-UP THIRD FOURTH
1877 Carlton Melbourne Hotham Albert-park
1878 Geelong Melbourne Carlton Hotham
1879 Geelong Carlton South Melbourne Melbourne
1880 Geelong South Melbourne Carlton Melbourne
1881 South Melbourne Geelong Carlton Melbourne
1882 Geelong Essendon South Melbourne Carlton
1883 Geelong South Melbourne Carlton Melbourne
1884 Geelong Essendon Hotham South Melbourne
1885 South Melbourne Essendon Geelong Carlton
1886 Geelong South Melbourne Carlton Port Melbourne
1887 Carlton Geelong South Melbourne Williamstown
1888 Williamstown South Melbourne Geelong Carlton
1889 South Melbourne Carlton Port Melbourne Essendon
1890 South Melbourne Carlton Essendon Fitzroy
1891 Essendon Carlton Fitzroy South Melbourne
1892 Essendon Fitzroy Geelong Melbourne
1893 Essendon Melbourne Geelong South Melbourne
1894 Essendon Melbourne South Melbourne Fitzroy
1895 Fitzroy Geelong Melbourne Collingwood
1896 Essendon South Melbourne Collingwood Melbourne
1897 North Melbourne Footscray Port Melbourne Carlton
1898 Port Melbourne Footscray North Melbourne Williamstown
1899 Footscray North Melbourne Port Melbourne Carlton
1900 Essendon Footscray Carlton Richmond
1901 Essendon Port Melbourne North Melbourne Prahan
1902 Geelong Essendon Port Melbourne Richmond
1903 Geelong Essendon Footscray Richmond
1904 Footscray Geelong Essendon Port Melbourne
Year Division PREMIER RUNNER-UP THIRD RELE
1905 1st
2nd
Melbourne
Port Melbourne
Fitzory
Williamstown
Richmond
North Melbourne
Carlton
None
1906 1st
2nd
Essendon
Carlton
Fitzory
North Melbourne
Collingwood
Footscray
St Kilda
None
1907 1st
2nd
South Melbourne
Williamstown
Collingwood
St Kilda
Geelong
West Melbourne
Port Melbourne
None
1908 1st
2nd
Essendon
Footscray
Carlton
Brunswick
South Melbourne
Port Melbourne
Geelong
None
1909 1st
2nd
South Melbourne
Prahran
Essendon
Geelong
Melbourne
St Kilda
Footscray
None
1910 1st
2nd
Collingwood
Geelong
Carlton
North Melbourne
South Melbourne
Port Melbourne
Prahran
None
1911 1st
2nd
Essendon
North Melbourne
South Melbourne
Prahran
Fitzory
Port Melbourne
Brunswick
None
1912 1st
2nd
Essendon
Footscray
Carlton
Brunswick
Geelong
Northcote
Richmond
None
1913 1st
2nd
South Melbourne
Richmond
Fitzroy
Port Melbourne
North Melbourne
Brunswick
Melbourne
None
1914 1st
2nd
South Melbourne
Brunswick
Fitzroy
Port Melbourne
Geelong
St Kilda
Richmond
None
1915 World War I
1916
1917
1918
1919 1st
2nd
Footscray
Richmond
Collingwood
Northcote
North Melbourne
Hawthorn
Geelong
None
1920 1st
2nd
Collingwood
Geelong
Brunswick
Port Melbourne
Richmond
Northcote
North Melbourne
None
1921 1st
2nd
Brunswick
Port Melbourne
Richmond
Hawthorn
Footscray
Prahran
Williamstown
None
1922 1st
2nd
Fitzory
Melbourne
Essendon
Hawthorn
Port Melbourne
Northcote
Brunswick
None
Year PREMIER RUNNER-UP THIRD FOURTH
1923 Essendon Port Melbourne Fitzory Collingwood
1924 Essendon Richmond South Melbourne Geelong
1925 Geelong Melbourne Fitzory Port Melbourne
1926 Port Melbourne Essendon Geelong Carlton
1927 Port Melbourne Collingwood Geelong Richmond
1928 Port Melbourne Collingwood Melbourne Essendon
1929 Port Melbourne Collingwood Richmond Carlton
1930 Collingwood Geelong Carlton Port Melbourne
1931 Geelong Port Melbourne Carlton South Melbourne
1932 Richmond Collingwood Carlton Essendon
1933 South Melbourne Richmond Fitzory Carlton
1934 South Melbourne Richmond Port Melbourne Geelong
1935 Collingwood South Melbourne Geelong Footscray
1936 South Melbourne Carlton Port Melbourne Melbourne
1937 Collingwood Geelong Melbourne Port Melbourne
1938 Collingwood Geelong Melbourne Footscray
1939 Melbourne Port Melbourne Collingwood Richmond

Notes

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