Ovens & Murray Football Netball League

Last updated

Ovens & Murray
Football Netball League
Ovens murray football league logo.png
    • Rutherglen And District Football Association (1893–1913)
    • Ovens And Murray Football Association (1914–25)
    • Ovens And Murray Football League (1926–92)
    • Ovens And Murray Football Netball League (1993–present)
Sport Football (1893–present)
Netball (1993–present)
Founded1893;130 years ago (1893) in Rutherglen, Victoria
No. of teams10
CountryFlag of Australia (converted).svg Australia
Confederation AFL Victoria Country (2012–present)
Netball Victoria (1993–present)
Level on pyramid3
AFL North East Border
Established 2012
Ovens & Murray
Tallangata & District
Ovens & King
Upper Murray
Wangaratta & District Junior
Albury Wodonga Junior
AFLNEB Youth Girls

The Ovens and Murray Football Netball League (O&MFNL) is an Australian rules football and netball competition containing ten clubs based in north-eastern Victoria, the southern Riverina region of New South Wales and the Ovens and Murray area. The name comes from the Ovens River, the river in the part of north-eastern Victoria covered by the league, and the Murray River, which separates Victoria and New South Wales.


The league features three grades in the Australian rules football competition, with these being First-Grade, Reserve-Grade and Under 18s. In the netball competition, there are four grades, with these being A-Grade, B-Grade, C-Grade and Under 16s.

Currently a home and away season consisting of eighteen rounds is played. The best five teams then play off according to the McIntyre System, culminating in the O&MFNL Grand Final, which from 1995 to 2017 was held at the Lavington Sports Ground in the Albury suburb of Hamilton Valley.


Beginnings of the O&MFA

Organised competition in the area started as the "Ovens & Murray Football Association" in 1893, with the following foundation clubs – Beechworth Wanderers, Chiltern, Eldorado, Rutherglen, Wangaratta City and Wangaratta West End, [1] with Beechworth Football Club winning premierships in 1893 and 1894 and Rutherglen winning thirteen O&MFA flags between 1895 and 1915. [2]

In 1910, the O&MFA had only three teams – Albury, Excelsior and Rutherglen with Rutherglen winning the premiership. [3]

Then in 1911, both Excelsior and Rutherglen applied to enter the Rutherglen and District Football Association. As a result, the O&MFL folded, with local teams attempting to apply to play in the Rutherglen & DFA. A ballot took place at a Rutherglen & DFA meeting on 29 April at Mackay's Hotel, Rutherglen which resulted in Balldale, North Albury, Rutherglen, South Albury and Wodonga being refused admission to join the association. Corowa, Excelsior and Lake Rovers were club's that were admitted. [4] In 1911, the Albury Football Club was planning to divide the club into South Albury and North Albury teams, but as they were not admitted into the Rutherglen & DFA, the club went into recess in 1911. Rutherglen FC also went into recess in 1911. [5]

Albury FC and Rutherglen FC were admitted into the Rutherglen & DFA in 1912. [6]

In 1913, the Rutherglen & DFA consisting of the following teams – Albury, Balldale, Border United, Howlong, Lake Rovers and Rutherglen, [7] with Albury defeating Rutherglen in the grand final at the Albury Sportground. [8]

The competition reformed under the Ovens & Murray Football Association banner again in 1914, involving the following five teams: Albury, Border United, Howlong, Lake Rovers and Rutherglen. Balldale FC entered the Coreen & District Football League in 1914. [9]

In 1915, Beechworth Football Club and Wangaratta Football Club returned to play in the O&MFA. Howlong Football Club entered the Chiltern & District Football Association and went onto win the premiership, while Rutherglen defeated Lake Rovers in the O&MFA grand final played at Rutherglen. [10]

After a three-year break due to World War I, the O&MFA reformed for the 1919 season with only four clubs, Border United Football Club (Corowa based), Howlong, Lake Rovers and Rutherglen. [11] Albury Football Club was reformed in early 1919 and played in the Albury Senior Football Association with two teams – South Albury and North Albury, [12] with St. Patrick's FC defeating South Albury Football Club in the grand final on the Albury Sportsground. [13]

In 1920 the O&MFA didn't reform; "It seems strange that the O&MFA has apparently been allowed to die a natural death" with only two club's present at the O&MFA – AGM., [14] [15] with some clubs moving to play in the Chiltern & DFA and Coreen & DFA.

The competition reformed in 1921 with Lakes Rovers, Rutherglen, St Patricks, Corowa, Springhurst and Wahgunyah. In 1922, larger town clubs Benalla and Wangaratta joined the OMFA whilst Wahgunyah and Springhurst moved to the Chiltern DFL.

In 1924, Lake Rovers Football Club amalgamated with the Rutherglen Football Club. [16] and Albury FC and the Diggers FC also decided to amalgamate in 1924 and apply for admission into the Ovens and Murray Football League as Albury Football Club. [17]

In 1926, the O&M name was changed from an association to a league, its present form. Around this time the clubs contesting the league included Wangaratta, Hume Weir (which drew many of its players from workers constructing the Hume Dam at the time), Yarrawonga and two clubs from the town of Albury, St Patricks and Albury club). These two clubs were largely divided amongst sectarian lines, St Patricks being Roman Catholic and Albury being Protestant and, after much tension, in 1929 the two clubs agreed to disband and form two new clubs, East Albury Football Club and West Albury Football Club, with the player base to be drawn geographically.

In 1930, Haydn Bunton was recruited from the West Albury Football Club by Victoria Football League (VFL) club Fitzroy, where he became regarded as one of the best VFL players in the Depression-era and would go on to win three Brownlow Medals. Bunton Park, where North Albury Football Club is based, was not named after Haydn, but rather his brother Cleaver Bunton, who was elected president of the O&MFL in 1930 and would serve in that role until 1969. (Cleaver would also later serve as mayor of Albury for 30 years.)

In 1930 Hume Weir Football Club and Ebden Rovers Football Club merged to become the Weir United Football Club.

East Albury Football Club and Weir United Football Club merged in 1933 to become the Border United Football Club (Albury based) and wore green and white jumpers. [18] In 1933 West Albury Football Club changed its name to the Albury Football Club and remained in the West Albury colours of maroon and blue. [19]

At the O&MFA's 1936 Annual General Meeting, it was announced that the Border United FC would merge with the Albury Football Club as both clubs were in debt and also due to a lack of players. The newly merged team took on the name of the Albury Football Club. [20] This left the City of Albury with only one football team.

Post-World War II

In 1940, the league went into recess after round 10 for the duration of World War II, before full competition resumed in 1946. In 1945, Rutherglen, played in the Chiltern & District Football Association and Wodonga played in the Albury Border Football Association in 1945. In 1947 North Albury was admitted, followed by Wangaratta Rovers and Myrtleford, who were admitted from the Ovens & King Football League in 1950. Wangaratta won four consecutive premierships between 1949 and 1953, under captain coach, Mac Holten.

The Wangaratta Rovers would go on to dominate the O&M for the remainder of the 20th Century, winning fifteen premierships to date, a number only recently overhauled by Albury with their own streak of flags.

Throughout the 1950s and 1960s the league began to gain a reputation within Victoria as being the strongest competition outside the then VFL and VFA. The best players were often recruited from the O&M to play for one of the "city" clubs, but it was not uncommon for a VFL player to retire from the "big" league and play in the O&M or another country league, and perhaps start a coaching career there as well, often at the same time as a playing coach. One notable example of this, as far as the O&M was concerned, was Bob Rose, who left Collingwood as a player in 1955 and became captain coach of the Wangaratta Rovers and lead them to two premierships in 1958 and 1960, after which he returned to Collingwood to continue his coaching career.

1970s and 1980s

In 1968, the VFL introduced country recruitment zones throughout Victoria and Riverina, which limited the areas from which each VFL club could recruit. The O&MFL was allocated to North Melbourne, and thus quite a few of the better players from the O&M came to play for the Kangaroos, contributing in part to that club's rise to success in the 1970s. These included Mick Nolan, Xavier Tanner, Gary Cowton, Peter Chisnall and John Byrne and later John Longmire, who had a good season with Corowa-Rutherglen as a goal kicking forward in O&M seniors in 1987. The zoning system was discontinued in the late 1980s as the VFL/AFL introduced a draft system.

The Wangaratta Rovers dominated the 1970's, playing in ten grand finals between 1970 and 1980, winning seven premierships and finishing third in 1973.

In 1974 the O&MFL was disaffiliated by the Victorian Country Football League (VCFL) when the O&MFL refused to accept an application from the Lavington Football Club to join the league. By this stage the football club was based at the Lavington Sports Club, an established licensed club, and was strong enough to field teams in both the Tallangatta League and Hume Football League the following year.

The makeup of the competition remained stable until 1979, when Corowa and Rutherglen merged into Corowa-Rutherglen, and the Lavington Football Club was finally admitted from the Farrer Football League, so the number of clubs remained at ten.

Lavington's home ground, the Lavington Sports Club Oval, provided an ideal venue for many sports as the sports club gradually developed it after its construction in the 1970s. The league has designated it as the venue for most of the league's grand finals since the 1980s. Recently, added assistance for the staging of the grand final through regional promotion and in-kind sponsorship has been provided by the Albury City Council.

In 1983, after an unsuccessful debut season playing for Hawthorn the previous year, Gary Ablett played for Myrtleford in the O&M for a year, before he was recruited by Geelong where he recommenced his career in the VFL/AFL and established himself as one of the code's best players, being inducted into the Australian Football Hall of Fame in 2005.

By the late 1980s, the Wodonga Demons of the Tallangatta League had made a number of bids to join the O&M, and in 1989 were accepted into the competition to serve the west of the city of Wodonga, based at Birralee Park. They changed their name to the Wodonga Raiders Football Club so as to not cause confusion with the Benalla Demons and the long established Wodonga Football Club.

The 1990 Bloodbath Grand Final

Shortly after the commencement of the 1990 grand final between Wodonga and Lavington, played at the Albury Sportsground, most of the players of the two teams became involved in a bench-clearing brawl. As the game was televised by a local TV station, the footage received sensationalistic national media coverage where the brawl was generally described as a shocking indictment on the code. Even though over a decade had elapsed, comparisons to this incident were made after the 2004 AFL Cairns Grand Final descended into a similar fracas. [21]

Wodonga eventually won the match by 20 points and thus the premiership, and the league tribunal handed out a number of lengthy suspensions to players from both sides for the following season. Incidentally, the result marked the second premiership for Wodonga's coach of that time, Jeff Gieschen, his first for the club being in 1987, before he went on to coach West Perth and then a stint at Richmond in 1997–1999.

Recent years

In 1998, after a string of unsuccessful seasons in the O&M, Benalla moved to the Goulburn Valley Football League. In 2000 the Penrith Panthers Leagues Club, financiers of the Penrith Panthers National Rugby League team, merged with the Lavington Sports Club. As a result, the Lavington Football Club changed their nickname from the Blues to the Panthers, added "Panthers" to their title, and adopted a guernsey in the same colours as the NRL Panthers, but in the Port Adelaide AFL pattern.

Also around this time, the Wagga Tigers Football Club, which had dominated the Riverina Football League, made a bid to join the O&MFL; however, partially due to concerns from the league's southern clubs about travel times, the bid was rejected. The Wagga Tigers then successfully bid to join the AFL Canberra.

In 2000 the O&MFL, in an association with the AFL North Melbourne Football Club, fielded a team in the Victorian Football League called the Murray Kangaroos, playing home games between Coburg and Lavington. However, due to concerns from O&M clubs about player availability, the Kangaroos about travel time, and poor attendances compared with O&M league games, the venture was discontinued after three seasons and the Kangaroos subsequently set up an affiliation with the established VFL club Port Melbourne.

Current finals system

Since 1972 the OMFL has used the "McIntyre System". The final series is played over four weekends, with the Grand Final traditionally being played on the third weekend of September. Also normally there is no home ground advantage is awarded any teams, instead the O&M board deems where the finals will be held, with all finals for both Football & Netball are played at the one venue during each final day. The Grand Final since 1995 has been held at Lavington Sports Ground (formally "Lavington Panthers Oval") in the Albury suburb of Hamilton Valley.

Qualifying finalMajor Semi FinalPreliminary finalGrand Final
"C"1st on LadderHome"F"Winner Major Semi-FinalHome
Winner Qualifying FinalAwayWinner Preliminary FinalAway
"A"2nd on LadderHome"E"Loser Major Semi-FinalHome
3rd on LadderAwayMinor Semi FinalWinner Minor Semi-FinalAway
"D"Loser Qualifying FinalHome
"B"4th on LadderHomeWinner Elimination FinalAway
5th on LadderAway

O&MFL Representative Match Results

Senior Football

Percy Rowe, 1926 O&MFL captain Percy Rowe 1922.jpg
Percy Rowe, 1926 O&MFL captain
Mac Holten, 1953 O&MFL captain MacHolten1969.jpg
Mac Holten, 1953 O&MFL captain
Bob Rose: 1957 O&MFL captain / coach Bob Rose.jpg
Bob Rose: 1957 O&MFL captain / coach
Brendan Fevola: 2014 & 2015 O&MFL coach FevolaBrisbane.JPG
Brendan Fevola: 2014 & 2015 O&MFL coach

The first known representative match was in 1914 when a team from the Albury, Corowa and Howlong clubs (O&M - NSW) played against a team made of Lake Rovers, Mount Ophir and Rutherglen (O&M - Vic), with the Victorian side defeating NSW by two points on the Albury Sportsground, in the State of Origin match.

In 1958, the O&MFL picked two separate teams, with one team playing the Farrer Football League and the other team playing the Riverina Football League, with both games played on the weekend of the 4 and 5 July 1958.

Caltex had the naming rights of the Victorian Country Championships matches in the 1960's. The 16 league series would run over a two year period, with knock out matches in the first season, followed by semi finals and a grand final in the following season. [22]

In 1974, the O&MFL were disaffiliated with the VCFL, when the O&MFL refused to accept an application from the Lavington Football Club to join the league and were not allowed to compete in the Victorian Country Championships in 1974. The VCFL Country Championships was put on hold from 1975 to 1977. The O&MFL were re-affiliated with VCFL in 1976.

In 1998, the VAFA defeated the O&MFL at Waverley Park to win the Smokefree Victorian Challenge match, as a curtain raiser to the AFL Ansett Cup Pre season grand final, then the O&MFL turned the tables on the VAFA the following year in the same challenge match at the same venue. [23]

From 2004 to 2006 the championships were decided at a carnival round-robin competition at one venue over a single weekend, with each of the four sides playing the others in matches of two twenty-minute halves. The team on top of the ladder, after these three matches, were declared the winner. Leagues not represented in the top four pools of four participated in other inter-league matches organised by the VCFL.

In 2007, there was no statewide VCFL Championships, just a rivalry round was played between close by leagues, (with the O&MFL playing the GVFL), with the round robin format returning in 2008.

The O&M have gone onto win the first division of the Victorian Country Football League interleague championship fourteen times, the most recent victory being in 2009.

The O&MFL representative teams wears a gold guernsey, emblazoned with a monogram-style black "O&M" initials, with black shorts and black socks. [24] \

VCFL League Rankings

In 2009 the VCFL decided to rank each country football league, with the O&MFL initially ranked number one.

The Metropolitan and Country Football Championships merged in 2016 to create a statewide competition, with the rankings reorganised to include metropolitan leagues in 2017.

The O&MFL were ranked number five in Victoria in the 2019 VCFL Country Championships. [25]

As of 2020, AFL Victoria decided to scrap it's traditional interleague competition, but leagues could decide amongst themselves, if they wish to play or not. [26]

The Ash Wilson Trophy

The Ovens & Murray Football League and the Goulburn Valley Football League have played for this trophy since 2001, to honour two long serving players - GVFL's Stephen Ash and OMFL's Mick Wilson, but the league's have been competing against each other in inter league football matches since 1930, when they first met at the Wangaratta Showgrounds, with the OMFL winning 17 and the GVFL winning 10 matches. [36]

VCFL Championships

YearCaptainCoachVenueO&M ScoreMatch ResultO&M OppositionMatch ScoreComments
1914Albury Sportsground12.9 - 81 (Vic)defeatedO&MFA - NSW10.16 - 76O&M Vic v O&M NSW [39]
1922Wangaratta8.6 - 54lost toCarlton14.14 - 98Gate: £114 [40] [41] [42]
1926 Percy Rowe Albury Showground13.13 - 91lost toVictorian FL16.11 - 107Gate: £185 [43] [44] [45]
1928 Harry Hunter Wang Showgrounds15.14 - 104lost toVictorian FL16.15 - 111Gate: £86 [46] [47]
1930 Ernie Loveless Wang Showgrounds15.13 - 103lost toGoulburn Valley FL16.14 - 110 [48]
1933Albury Showground21.16 - 142lost toRichmond FC24.16 - 160 [49]
1934Frank ClearyTatura11.10 - 76defeated Goulburn Valley FL 7.14 - 56Gate: £16 [50] [51]
1946Albury Sportsground4.7 - 35lost toFootscray FC25.22 - 172June'46 [52] [53]
1946Albury Sportsground10.7 - 67lost toRichmond FC29.18 - 192 [54]
1949 Bill King Bill KingCorowa18.10 - 118lost toEssendon FC8.5 - 53 [55] [56]
1952 Mac Holten Leeton Showgrounds24.16 - 160defeated SWDFL 7.10 - 5210/6/52 [57]
1952 Mac Holten Trumper Park, Sydney17.24 - 126defeatedSydney FL7.15 - 5714/6/52 [58]
1953 Mac Holten Park Oval, Echuca11.13 - 79defeatedBendigo FL11.11 - 77 [59]
1954 Marty McDonnell Marty McDonnellBallarat9.18 - 73defeatedGoulburn Valley FL5.7 - 37 [60]
1954 Greg Tate [61] Marty McDonnellEastern Oval, Ballarat11.11 - 77defeatedBendigo FL8.21 - 69VCFL Champions [62]
1954Marty McDonnellMarty McDonnellAlbury Sportsground8.9 - 57lost toEast Perth FC13.13 - 9118/7/1954 [63] [64]
1954Mac Holten ?Wangaratta Showgrounds7.10 52lost toMelbourne FC20.19 - 139 [65] 2/10/1954
1955 Tim Robb Tim RobbWangaratta Cricket Ground15.20 - 110defeatedMurray FL10.8 - 68
1955Tim RobbTim RobbAlbury Sportsground29.20 - 194defeated Benalla Tungamah FL 13.12 - 90Semi Final
1955Tim RobbTim RobbAlbury Sportsground14.18.102defeatedBallarat FL10.13.73G Final. VCFL Champions [66]
1956 Doug Palmer Doug PalmerBendigo29.18 - 192defeatedSunraysia FL14.12 - 96
1956Doug PalmerDoug PalmerQEO, Bendigo8.6 - 54lost toBallarat FL9.13 - 67Grand Final [67]
1957 Bob Rose Bob RoseAlbury17.24 - 126defeatedSunraysia FL15.14 - 104
1957Bob RoseBob RoseAlbury14.21 - 105defeatedBallarat FL10.16 - 76VCFL Champions [68]
1958Bob RoseBob RoseLeeton, NSW21.11 - 137defeatedRiverina FL14.15 - 995/7/58 [69]
1958 Des Healey Des HealeyAlbury, NSW23.25 - 163defeatedFarrer FL10.13 - 734/7/58
1959No rep football
1960No rep football ?
1961Bob RoseBob RoseNarrandera13.21 - 99defeatedSouthern Riverina FL10.13 - 73Rd.1 10/6/61
1961Bob RoseBob RoseWang Showgrounds13.11 - 89defeatedGoulburn Valley FL8.8 - 56Rd.2 12/6/61
1961Corowa, NSW10.15 - 75lost toEssendon18.11 - 11917/9/1961
1962Bob RoseBendigo9.12 - 66lost toBendigo FL12.8 - 80Semi Final
1962Corowa, NSW13.13 - 91lost toCollingwood19.21 - 136
1963 Lionel Ryan Bill Stephen Albury, NSW13.12.90lost to SWDFL 15.18.108Rd.1
1964No games in 1964
1965 John Hoiles John HoilesShepparton9.16 - 70defeatedGoulburn Valley FL8.5 - 53Rd.1. 13/6/65
1965John HoilesJohn HoilesAlbury, NSW13.11.89defeated SWDFL 9.11.65Rd.2. 24/7/65
1966 Murray Weideman Ken Boyd Albury Sportsground17.20 - 122defeatedBendigo FL8.10 - 58S Final. 11/6/66
1966 John Hoiles Ken BoydWang Showgrounds12.16 - 88lost toHampden FL14.7 - 91Grand Final. 7/7/66
1967 Murray Weideman Murray WeidemanWang Showgrounds15.18 - 108defeatedWarranga North East FL7.6 - 48Rd.1
1967Murray WeidemanMurray WeidemanCity Oval, Wangaratta16.15 - 111defeatedGoulburn Valley FL10.12 - 72Rd.2
1968 Mick Bone Mick BoneYallourn15.13 - 103defeatedLa Trobe FL9.15 - 69S Final. [70]
1968Mick BoneMick BoneHorsham City Oval15.13 - 103defeatedWimmera FL10.8 - 68VCFL Champions
1969Mick BoneMick BoneAlbury Sportsground19.22. - 136defeated SWDFL 10.14 - 7413/7/69. Rd.1 [71]
1970 Mick Bone Mick BoneCity Oval, Wangaratta15.14 - 104defeatedBendigo FL13.10 - 88Semi Final
1970Mick BoneMick BoneReid Oval, Warrnambool3.12 - 30lost toHampden FL9.19 - 73Grand Final
1971 Martin Cross Martin CrossYerong Creek, NSW30.15 - 195defeatedFarrer FL12.7 - 79Rd.1
1971Martin CrossMartin CrossYerong Creek, NSW18.14 - 122defeatedFarrer FL No.2 team12.8 - 80No.2 teams
1971Martin CrossMartin CrossWangaratta Showgrounds22.4 - 136defeatedGoulburn Valley FL8.10 - 58Rd.2
1972Neville HoganNeville HoganQE Oval, Bendigo7.15 - 57lost toBendigo FL16.13 - 109S Final. 10/6/72
1973Neville HoganNeville HoganYarrawonga25.18.168defeatedMurray FL14.10.94Rd.1
1973Neville HoganNeville HoganCorowa, NSW15.2.92defeated SWDFL 11.15.81Rd.2
1974Were due to play in S FinalO&M barred from VCFL in '74
1975City Oval, Wangaratta24.23 - 167defeatedVictorian FA17.9 - 111
1976Martin Park, Wodonga7.9 - 51lost toNorth Melbourne22.10 - 1427/3/76
1976Bill SammonBunton Park, Nth Albury17.14.116lost toVictorian FA19.11 - 12525/4/76
1977Phil NolanGaimain, NSW15.19 - 109defeated SWDFL 13.14 - 9215/5/77
1978Neville HoganMartin Park, Wodonga18.26 - 124defeatedSouth Western FL11.10 - 76 [72]
1978Neville HoganBenalla Showgrounds15.8 - 98lost toGoulburn Valley FL17.12 - 114
1979 Peter Chisnall Wang Showgrounds12.19 - 91defeatedTungamah FL6.9 - 45Rd.1
1979Peter ChisnallShepparton12.14 - 86defeatedGoulburn Valley FL11.10 - 76Zone Final
1979Peter ChisnellNorth Albury11.17 - 83lost toLaTrobe Valley FL16.14 - 110Semi Final
1980Daryl SmithDaryl Smith19.11 - 125defeatedGoulburn Valley FL14.9 - 93
1980Daryl SmithDaryl SmithSale15.13 - 103lost toLaTrobe Valley FL19.17 - 131Grand Final
1981Col TravaskisCol Travaskis19.11 - 125defeated SWDFL 14.19.10310/5/81 [73]
1981Col TravaskisCol TravaskisShepparton14.19 - 103defeatedGoulburn Valley FL12.11 - 83Zone Final
1981Col TravaskisCol TravaskisWang Showgrounds12.23.95lost toWestern Border FL15.11 - 101Semi final
1982 Noel Long 14.29 - 113defeatedBendigo FL12.19 - 91
1982Noel Long23.20 - 158defeatedNorth Central FL21.16 - 142
1982Noel Long8.20 - 68lost toBallarat FL13.18 - 96Grand Final
1983Deakin Reserve, Shepparton10.12 - 72lost toGoulburn Valley FL13.18 - 96Rd.1
1983Lavington, NSW15.15 - 105defeatedBendigo FL14.11 - 95Rd.2
1984O&M did not compete
1985 Rod Coelli John Byrne Narrandera, NSW24.21 - 165defeatedRiverina FL8.6 - 54Rd.1 19.5.85 [74]
1985Rod CoelliJohn ByrneDonald, Vic21.16 - 142defeatedNorth Central FL13.8 - 86S Final 8/6/85
1985Rod CoelliJohn ByrneWangaratta20.21 - 141defeatedBallarat FL13.7 - 85G Final VCFL Champions
1986Denis SandralJohn ByrneAlbury19.16 - 130defeatedDiamond Valley12.17 - 8725/4/86
1986Denis SandralJohn ByrneBendigo14.17 - 101lost toBendigo FL20.15 - 135Rd.1, 11/5/86
1987John ByrneAlbury Sportsground21.16 - 142defeatedGoulburn Valley FL12.15 - 87Rd.1 10/5/87
1987John ByrneTraralgon25.23 - 173defeatedLaTrobe Valley FL14.8 - 92S Final 5/6/87
1987John ByrneMildura22.13 - 145defeatedSunraysia FL11.15 - 81G Final VCFL Champions
1988Rod CoelliJohn ByrneWang Showgrounds14.7.91lost toGeelong FL16.17 - 1137/5/88
1989Denis SandralJohn ByrneMorwell14.14 - 98defeatedLaTrobe Valley FL14.11 - 95Rd.1. 7/5/89
1989Denis SandralJohn ByrneLavington7.12 - 54lost toBendigo FL10.10 - 70S Final. 10/6/89
1990Denis Sandral Kevin Neale Wang Showgrounds19.13 - 127defeatedGoulburn Valley FL15.11 - 101Rd.1. 6/5/90
1990Denis SandralKevin NealeLavington, NSW14.14 - 90lost toBendigo FL17.6 - 108S Final. 9/6/90
1991Albury16.22.118defeatedLaTrobe Valley FL16.10 - 106
1992 Peter Tossol 13.7.85defeatedBendigo FL10.11.71
1992Peter TossolGeelong11.15 - 81lost toGeelong FL17.17 - 119
1993Rob Walker9.12 - 66lost toGoulburn Valley FL21.12 - 138
1994Peter Tossol17.9.111defeatedRiddell FL6.13.49Relegated to Div 2 in '94
1994Peter Tossol15.14.104defeatedMornington Peninsula10.9.69
1994Peter Tossol12.8.80defeatedNorth Central FL9.15.69Div 2: VCFL Champions
1995Peter Tossol11.10.76defeatedBendigo FL9.14.68
1995Peter Tossol5.6.36lost toGippsland LaTrobe9.9.63
1996Rob WalkerPeter Tossol18.16.124defeatedHampden FL10.12.72
1996Rob WalkerPeter Tossol18.14.122defeatedMid Murray FL15.18.108
1996Rob WalkerPeter TossolMartin Park, Wodonga15.12 - 102defeatedGeelong FL14.10 - 94VCFL Champions
1997Craig FruendBob Craig17.20.122defeatedFootscray & DFL7.8 - 50
1997Craig FruendBob Craig19.16.130defeatedBendigo FL19.7.121
1997Craig FruendBob CraigGeelong8.18 - 66defeatedGeelong FL6.4 - 40VCFL Champions
1998Bob CraigAFL Park, Waverley11.12 - 78lost toVictorian Amateurs FL12.9 - 81
1998Bob Craig21.20 - 146defeatedCentral Murray FL14.11 - 95
1998Bob Craig12.13.85defeatedMurray FL7.12.54June'98
1998Bob CraigWodonga14.13 - 97defeatedGeelong FL12.17 - 89VCFL Champions
1999Bob CraigAFL Park, Waverley9.9 - 63defeatedVictorian Amateurs FL8.7 - 55 [75]
1999Mick WilsonBob CraigJ C Lowe Oval, Yarrawonga12.16 - 88defeatedMurray FL8.15 - 63 [76]
1999Mick WilsonBob CraigMoe10.16 - 76defeatedGippsland LaTrobe FL11.9 - 75VCFL Champions
2000Bob Craig9.10 - 64defeatedEastern FL5.12.42
2000Mick WilsonBob Craig15.9 - 99lost toGoulburn Valley FL14.27 - 111
2001 Paul Spargo 16.12.108defeatedMurray FL9.6.60Rd.1
2001Paul Spargo22.16 - 148defeatedHampden FL13.12 - 90S Final
2001Paul SpargoLavington Sportsground22.18 - 150defeatedGoulburn Valley FL14.9 - 93G Final. VCFL Champions
2002Brad ThompsonPeter SeymourYarrawonga17.18 - 120defeatedWest Gippsland LaTrobe FL9.13.67Rd.1
2002Brad ThompsonPeter SeymourWarrnambool13.14.92lost toHampden FL14.12.96Semi Final
2003 Tim Hargreaves Mick WilsonW J Findlay Oval, Wang4.14 - 38lost toGoulburn Valley FL8.5 - 53wet day/low scores
2004Mick WilsonShepparton6.9 - 45lost toGoulburn Valley FL9.4 - 582 x 20 min halves
2004Mick WilsonSheppartondefeatedMornington Peninsula FL2 x 20 min halves
2004Mick WilsonShepparton2.5 - 17lost toGeelong FL9.2 - 562 x 20 min halves
2005Mick WilsonGeelong3.4 - 22lost toGoulburn Valley FL11.8 - 742 x 20 min halves
2005Mick WilsonGeelong7.2 - 44lost toGeelong FL7.8 - 502 x 20 min halves
2005Mick WilsonGeelong?defeatedBallarat FL?2 x 20 min halves
2006Dale CarmodyRichard BenceLavington, NSW?defeatedWest Gippsland FLby 28 points2 x 20 min halves
2006Dale CarmodyRichard BenceLavington, NSW11.5 - 71defeatedGoulburn Valley FL2.4 - 162 x 20 min halves
2006Dale CarmodyRichard BenceLavington, NSW8.11 - 59defeatedBallarat FL7.8 - 50VCFL Champions
2007 Tim Hargreaves Richard BenceWang Showgrounds12.10 - 82defeatedGoulburn Valley FL12.7 - 79No VCFL Championships in '07
2008Corey LambertDeakin Reserve, Shepparton10.2 - 62defeatedHampden FL3.4 - 2230/05/08
2008Corey LambertDeakin Reserve, Shepparton6.5 - 41lost toGoulburn Valley FL6.6 - 4231/05/08
2008Corey LambertDeakin Reserve, Shepparton6.10 - 46defeatedBallarat FL6.4 - 401/6/08. VCFL Champions
2009Robbie JacksonDeakin Reserve, Shepparton20.7 - 127defeatedGoulburn Valley FL12.8 - 80VCFL Champions [77]
2010Robbie JacksonLavington Sportsground9.10 - 64lost toGoulburn Valley FL12.16 - 88 [78]
2011Matt PendergastFrankston Park13.13 - 91lost toMornington Peninsula FL13.15 - 93 [79]
2012Matt PendergastPrinces Park, Carlton18.6 - 114defeatedHampden FL10.6 - 66 [80]
2013 Craig Ednie Matt PendergastPrinces Park, Carlton7.13 - 55lost toPeninsula FL15.10 - 100 [81]
2014Craig Ednie Brendan Fevola Wang Showgrounds29.16 - 190defeatedHampden FL10.5 - 65 [82] [83]
2015Craig Ednie Brendan Fevola Albury Sportsground10.10 - 70lost toPeninsula FL11.14 - 80 [84] [85]
2016Jon Henry &Reid Oval, Warrnambool20.14 - 134defeatedHampden FL9.14 - 68 [86]
Darren Spencer
2017Jon Henry &Martin Park, Wodonga12.14 - 86defeatedGoulburn Valley FL11.13 - 79 [87] [88]
Darren Spencer
2018Jon Henry &J C Lowe Oval, Yarrawonga21.14 - 140defeatedWestern Region F L9.10 - 64 [89] [90]
Brad Murray
2019Jon Henry &Olympic Park, Rosebud10.11 - 71lost toMornington Peninsula Nepean FL16.16 - 112 [91] [92]
Brad Murray
2020O&M in recess Damian Sexton AlburyO&M were to play Hampden FLNo rep football>COVID-19
2021Damian SextonO&M were to play GVFNLNo rep football>COVID-19 [93]
2022Damian SextonMooroopna Main Oval18.11 - 119defeatedGoulburn FL9.10 - 64
YearCaptainCoachVenueO&M ScoreMatch ResultO&M OppositionMatch ScoreComments

The Norm Minns Medal

Norm Minns - Born: 08/01/1925 Died: 29/12/1987.

Norm Minns was a former Wangaratta and O&MFL player and captain / coach of Benalla and Corowa. He was also a long time O&MFL selector and life member.

The Norm Minns Medal is awarded to the O&MFL best player in senior representative football and was first awarded in 1997.

The Peter Johnston Medal

Peter Johnston was a former North Albury FC and O&MFNL official and life member of both organisations.

This medal is awarded to the best Under 18 O&MFNL footballer in representative matches.


Current clubs

ClubColoursMonikerHome ground(s)EstablishedJoined O&M
AFL Richmond Icon.jpg
Tigers Albury Sportsground 18761896
AFL North Melbourne Icon.jpg
Roos John Foord Oval [note 1] 1979 [note 2] 1979
Port Adelaide Football Club colours.jpg
Panthers Lavington Sports Ground 1880s1979
AFL St Kilda Icon.jpg
Saints McNamara Reserve 18961950
North Albury
North Albury Football Club colours.jpg
Hoppers Bunton Park 19431947
Ivanhoe Amateur football club colors.jpg
Magpies Norm Minns Oval 18771893
Wangaratta Rovers
Hawthorn Football Club colours.jpg
Hawks W.J. Findlay Oval 19221950
Wodonga bulldogs icon.svg
Bulldogs John Flower Oval
Wodonga Raiders
Melbourne Football Club colours.jpg
Raiders Birallee Park 1953 [note 3] 1989
Geelong Football Club colours.jpg
Pigeons J.C. Lowe Oval [note 4] 18891929

Former clubs

ClubColorMonikerHome ground(s)Estab.TenureCurrent
Balldale  ? ? Balldale Cricket Ground 19061909, 1912 & 13 [note 5]
AFL Richmond Icon.jpg
Tigers Havelock Street Recreation Reserve 1894 [94] 1911 TDFL (1958–)
Albert Park football club colors.jpg
Bushrangers Baarmutha Park 18611893–98, 1900–02, 1907, 1915, 1924-28 TDFL (2004–)
Warrandyte Football Club.jpg
Demons Benalla Show Grounds 18961922-1928, 1946–1997 GVFL (1998–)
Benalla Rovers
Upwey Tecoma Football Club colours.jpg
Rovers Benalla Show Grounds 19201929 & 1930- [note 5]
Border United FC (Corowa / Wahgunyah)
 ? Morris Park 18761895-1905, 1913–15, 1919, 1946-47 [note 5]
Border United FC (East Albury / Weir United)
Greens Albury Sportsground 19331933–1935 [note 5]
Swans Chiltern Football Ground 19061893–1903 & 1906–1908 TDFL (2003–)
Spiders John Foord Oval 18771908-12, 1921–40, 1948-78 [note 6]
East Albury FC  ?Rovers Alexandra Park  ?1929–1932 [note 5]
Eldorado  ? ? Eldorado Recreation Reserve  ?1893 [note 5]
Collingwood icon.svg
MagpiesThe Freehold [95] 19081896–1906, 1908-1912 [note 5]
Great Southern  ? ?Southern Ground, Rutherglen  ?1898-1902, 1905 - 07 [note 5]
Spiders Howlong Oval 18981911–1914 & 1919 HFL (1953–)
Hume Weir
Collingwood icon.svg
Magpies Wodonga Racecourse 19211924–29 [note 5]
Lake Moodemere  ?Rovers Lake Moodemere Recreation Reserve  ?1903-06, 1909-10 [note 5]
Lake Rovers blue & redRovers Barkly Park  ?1911 [96] -15, 1919, 1921-23 [note 5]
Lilliput ? ?Lilliput Recreation Reserve18891894 [note 5]
Rutherglen (1893)
Rutherglen fc monogram.svg
Redlegs Barkly Park 18931893-1910, 1912–15, 1919, 1921-78 [note 6]
South AlburyNo evidence of Sth Albury playing in the O&M ? Waites Park  ?1898-1907 [ citation needed ] [note 5]
Springhurst red, white, blue [97]  ? Springhurst Recreation Reserve 18931921 [note 5]
St. Patrick's (Albury)
Saints Xavier High School Oval 19191921–29 [note 5] [note 7]
United Miners  ?Gold SeekersPrentice Freehold Mine, Rutherglen18941894–95, 1911-12 [note 5]
Wahgunyah Lions Wahgunyah Football Ground 19081908; 1921 TDFL (2008–)
Collingwood icon.svg
MagpiesWangaratta Cricket Ground, Wangaratta, Victoria 18771893-97, 1899-1902, 1915, 1922–29, 1933–40, 1946-2019, 2021
Weir United  ? ? Hume Dam 19301930–32 [note 5]
West Albury
Moe Football Club colours.jpg
 ? Uiver Park  ?1929–32 [note 5]
West End (Wangaratta)  ? ? Wareena Park 1892 [98] 1893 [note 5]
  1. Played at the Barkly Park on few occasions.
  2. From the merger of Corowa + Rutherglen clubs.
  3. As Kergunyah FC.
  4. The club has also used the Lonsdale Reserve in few occasions.
  5. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 Folded
  6. 1 2 Merged in 1979 to form Corowa-Rutherglen FC
  7. The club still has a Juniors team playing in the O&M League since the early 1930s.

The club monikers listed above for former clubs are the ones they currently use and may not be their monikers used when playing in the Ovens and Murray league.

Club Mergers


Football: Seniors Best and fairest

Football: Reserves Best and Fairest

The Reserves Leo Burke Medal is awarded for the best and fairest seconds football player in the O&MFL during the home and away season. This award was originally called the Ralph Marks Award from 1953 to 1963. Marks was a former president of North Albury and an O&MFL official. Marks was the O&MFL Secretary from 1970 to 1975. This award was then called the Les Cuddon Award from 1964 to 1975, who was an O&MFL official from Rutherglen. Leo Burke from Burke's Hotel, Yarrawonga then took over as the award donor in 1975. [109]

Football: Under 18 / Thirds Best and Fairest

The Thirds / Under 18 competition commenced in 1973 and the Leo Dean Medal is awarded for the best and fairest thirds football player in the O&MFL during the home and away season. This award was originally called the 3NE Award from the Thirds competition inaugural year in 1973 to 1984.

Leo Andrew Dean was a talented young former Wangaratta player who tragically died on Monday, 3 September 1984, at 20 years of age [117] and this award is in memory of him. [118]

Leading Football Goal Kicker

Most times leading goalkickers
Most centuries of goals kicked
Most career goals kicked

O&MFL Grand Final – Best on ground

O&MFNL - Rising Star of the Year

The O&MFNL Rookie of the Year was first awarded in 1987.

O&MFNL - Club Championships

The Clever E. Bunton Football Championships

From 1953 to 1972 total points were based on the most ladder points across the seniors and reserves grades of O&MFL football. Unsure what year this award was first given.

From 1973 onwards, this award is based on the most ladder points across all three grades of O&MFL football.



Football: Seniors

  • Most flags in a row:
    • 4, St. Patrick (1921, 1922, 1923, 1924).
    • 4, Wangaratta (1949, 1950, 1951, 1952).
  • Most grand finals in a row:
    • 10: Albury: 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018.
    • 7: Wangaratta Rovers: 1970, 1971, 1972, (1973 - 3rd), 1974, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1980.(10 grand finals in 11 years)
    • 5: Wangaratta: 1922, 1923, 1924, 1925, 1926.

(bold: premiership years)

2007 to 2020 season senior football ladders

Ovens & Murray Hall of Fame

The Ovens & Murray Hall of Fame was established in 2005, to recognise and promote the outstanding achievements of some of the league's greatest players, dedicated administrators and club support staff and long serving media representatives.

As of the 2022 ceremony there have been 87 inductees, including three netballers.

Only six people have received the additional honour of being promoted to "Legend" status.

O&MFNL Players / Stawell Gift Winners

The following O&MFNL footballers have won the prestigious Stawell Gift. The year below indicates what year each O&MFNL player won his Stawell Gift.

Stawell Gift - Hall of Fame Inductees



The netball competition's were added to the Ovens & Murray Football League from the 1993 season, with A and B. Grade. The C. Grade competition was established in 1996, with the 17 and under competition commencing in 2012.

O&MFNL - Netball Best & Fairest Awards

The Toni Wilson Medal is awarded for the best and fairest A-Grade netball player in the OMFNL during the home and away season. [155] Wilson (the older sister of Mick Nolan) was the first President of the O&M Netball Association and instrumental in getting the netball competition formed in 1993. [156]

Minor grades

Junior development

More successful has been the Murray Bushrangers TAC Cup Under 18s side, who play their home games in Wangaratta; prior to the AFL national draft and the inception of the TAC Cup, young players in the area would usually play through the grades with their local club, with less likelihood of being scouted by the recruitment staff from AFL clubs. Although there has been some concern from clubs about these players being removed from the local competition, the ones that do not get drafted usually return to their home clubs to play locally once they come of age.

Even in that case, there is some chance that a late-maturing "older" player in their early 20s will be drafted by an AFL club. Several notable examples to be drafted directly from the O&MFL include, Guy Rigoni (Myrtleford/Melbourne), Brett Kirk (North Albury/Sydney Swans) and Karl Norman.

All clubs field sides in the under 18s competition, aside from Myrtleford, which fields a joint team with the "Bright Football Club" wearing navy blue and gold colours & the club will be known as the "Alpine Eagles", and they would also field an under 18s joint team in the "Ovens & King Football League" also wearing navy blue and gold colours & the club will be known as the Alpine Eagles. However the Alpine Eagles alliance between Myrtleford and Bright had strained over the last few seasons before finally after the 2013 season The Myrtleford under-18s announced that they will stop wearing navy blue and gold colours of the "Alpine Eagles" and will be returning to the red, white and black colours & the club will be known as the "Myrtleford Saints", ending their almost 10-year partnership with Bright, in place since the early 2000s.

Albury Wodonga Junior Football League

Albury Wodonga Junior Football League
League Website
ClubMonikerHome ground(s)Under 16Under 14
Cup / Shield
Under 12
Albury Juniors
Club Website
AFL Richmond Icon.jpg
Tigers Albury Sports Ground (Albury)Yes check.svgYes check.svg/Yes check.svgYes check.svg
Corowa-Rutherglen Juniors
Club Website
AFL North Melbourne Icon.jpg
RoosJohn Foord Oval (Corowa)Yes check.svgYes check.svg/Red x.svgYes check.svg
Lavington Juniors
Club Website
Port Adelaide Football Club colours.jpg
Panthers Lavington Sports Ground (Lavington)Yes check.svgRed x.svg/Yes check.svgYes check.svg
North Albury Juniors
Club Website
North Albury Football Club colours.jpg
HoppersBunton Park (North Albury)Yes check.svgRed x.svg/Yes check.svgYes check.svg
Scots School Juniors FC
Club Website
ScotsScots School Oval (Albury)Yes check.svgRed x.svg/Yes check.svgRed x.svg
St Patricks Juniors FC
Club Website
SaintsXavier High School Oval (Albury)Yes check.svgYes check.svg/Red x.svgYes check.svg
Wodonga Juniors
Club Website
Wodonga JFC colours.jpg
BulldogsJohn Flower Oval (Wodonga)Yes check.svgYes check.svg/Yes check.svgYes check.svg
Wodonga Raiders Juniors
Club Website
Melbourne Football Club colours.jpg
RaidersBirallee Park (Wodonga)Yes check.svgYes check.svg/Yes check.svgYes check.svg
Yarrawonga Juniors
Club Website
Geelong Football Club colours.jpg
PigeonsJ.C. Lowe Oval (Yarrawonga)Yes check.svgYes check.svg/Red x.svgYes check.svg

Notes: Team field by club for that age group; "Yes check.svg=Yes" & "Red x.svg=No".

Wangaratta & District Junior Football League

The W&DJFL was established in 1938 and currently has three divisions of football in the Under 12's, Under 14's and Under 16's. All the Wangaratta based club's in the Wangaratta & District Junior Football League club's are independent incorporated local community sports club's and are not affiliated with any O&MFNL or O&KFNL clubs.

Some of the former W&DJFL players that went onto play VFL / AFL senior football were - John Brady, Lance Oswald, Ian Rowland, Sam Kekovich, Mick Nolan, Mark Browning, Dennis Carroll, Darren Steele, Chris Naish, Steve Johnson, Alipate Carlile, Ben Reid, Sam Reid and Jack Crisp.

AFLNEB Youth Girls League

The competition age group is from 12-17.

AFL North East Border Youth Girls
League Website
ClubMonikerHome ground(s)201520162017
Alpine Lions Youth Girls [note 1]
Club Website
Alpine Lions Football Club colours.jpg

[colour 1]
LionsWhorouly Recreation Reserve (Whorouly)Red x.svgYes check.svgYes check.svg
Lavington Youth Girls
Club Website
Port Adelaide Football Club colours.jpg

[colour 2]
Panthers Lavington Sports Ground (Lavington)Yes check.svgYes check.svgYes check.svg
Murray Felines Youth Girls [note 2]
Club Website
Doveton colours.png
FelinesBarkly Park (Rutherglen)
Wahgunyah Recreation Reserve (Wahgunyah)
John Foord Oval (Corowa)
Red x.svgYes check.svgYes check.svg
Thurgoona Youth Girls
Club Website
Western Bulldogs AFLW icon.png
BulldogsThurgoona Oval (Thurgoona)Red x.svgRed x.svgYes check.svg
Wodonga Raiders Youth Girls
Club Website
Melbourne Football Club colours.jpg
RaidersBirallee Park (Wodonga)Yes check.svgYes check.svgYes check.svg
Yarrawonga Youth Girls
Club Website
Geelong Football Club colours.jpg
PigeonsJ.C. Lowe Oval (Yarrawonga)Red x.svgRed x.svgYes check.svg

Notes: Team field by club for that season; "Yes check.svg=Yes" & "Red x.svg=No".

  1. The Alpine Lions Youth Girls Football Club is supported by the Whorouly Football Netball Club.
  2. The Murray Felines Youth Girls Football Club is supported by the Rutherglen Football Netball Club, Wahgunyah Football Netball Club, and Corowa-Rutherglen Football Netball Club.
  1.     – Alpine Lions club jumpers are pink with a top third blue and a white lion on the front.
  2.     – Lavington Panthers club jumpers are black with twin white and pink vee's.


  • 2015: Lavington [157]
  • 2016: Lavington [158]
  • 2017: Wodonga Raiders

See also

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