Victorian Junior Football Association

Last updated
Victorian Junior Football Association
Sport Australian rules football
Founded1883
Ceased1932
Replaced by VFA Second Eighteens
CountryAustralia
Most titles Yarraville (7)

The Victorian Junior Football Association (VJFA) was an open age Australian rules football competition and administrative body. It was the first successful junior football competition in Melbourne, and was in existence from 1883 until 1932. For most of its history it was a competition of independent junior level clubs, before it eventually transitioned to become the second eighteens competition for the senior Victorian Football Association.

Contents

History

During the 1870s in Victoria, junior football – which was the term used at the time for open age football of a lower standard than senior football, rather than for under age football – was mostly administered on an ad hoc basis. A couple of short-lived junior associations had been attempted, but none were successful until the Victorian Junior Football Association was established in April 1883. [1] Clubs represented at the inaugural meeting were Star of Carlton, South Yarra, South Park, Footscray, Brunswick, Emerald-hill, Albion, Richmond, Fortrose, Waverley and North Park. [2]

The VFJA, in addition to serving as an administrative body for junior football, ran the junior premiership. At its peak in the early 1890s when it was the only top junior football competition, more than twenty-five clubs competed, [3] and from 1892 until 1894 the competition ran in two divisions to manage its numbers. The establishment of other junior football competitions – including the Victorian Second-Rate (1890), [4] Third-Rate (1892) [5] and Fourth-Rate (1893) [6] Junior Football Associations and the Metropolitan Junior Football Association (1892) – saw numbers in the VJFA premiership decline rapidly through the 1890s, and by 1899 only seven clubs competed in the VJFA. [7] Eight to twelve teams typically contested the premiership thereafter.

The competition typically featured smaller clubs from districts already represented in senior football, or the top clubs from other districts. Four successful VJFA clubs from growing districts – West Melbourne, Preston, Northcote and Yarraville – ultimately went on to play senior football in the Victorian Football Association. In 1905, John Wren donated a silver shield to serve as a semi-perpetual trophy for the VJFA premiers; like many trophies of the era, it was held temporarily by the reigning premiers, then won permanently by the first team to win it three times. A total of five Wren Shields were awarded during the trophy's history. [8]

Strong rivalries resulted in some rough and controversial finals. Two notable finals were played out between Yarraville and Port Melbourne Railway United in the early 1910s. In 1910, with Railway leading by ten points in the final quarter, the primary ball (provided by Yarraville) burst, and was found to have been stabbed with a pen-knife by a spectator; the back-up ball (provided by Railway) could not be inflated because the pump could not be found – and Yarraville lodged a protest, which was quickly dismissed, arguing that it should be awarded the game by virtue of Railway not having provided a ready-to-use ball. [9] Yarraville won the replay, but Railway won a challenge final which was condemned for its violence. [10] Then in 1912, Railway originally won the final by three points, but Yarraville successfully protested one of Railway's second quarter goals on the grounds of goal umpire error, and the match was reversed to a three-point Yarraville victory; [11] as minor premier, Railway still had the right to challenge for the premiership, but refused as its own act of protest, forfeiting the premiership to Yarraville and almost being kicked out the association as a result. [12]

The VJFA eventually transitioned to become the VFA Second Eighteens during the 1920s. This began in 1924, when the competition expanded from twelve teams to eighteen in two divisions – one division set aside for clubs who played on the same grounds as their senior VFA counterparts, and one for clubs with their own grounds. All Melbourne-based senior VFA clubs were required to affiliate with a junior team in the VJFA, and an agreement was put in place to lift some restrictions on in-season player movements between the senior or junior clubs, making the affiliated junior clubs functionally closer to seconds teams. [13] [14] In 1926, after the 1924 player transfer agreement ended, the VFA moved to convert its affiliated junior clubs into genuine second eighteens controlled by the senior clubs; [15] and, starting from 1928, all other clubs were excluded and the VFJA served wholly as a VFA seconds competition, with free player interchanges between senior and junior level permitted until 1 August each year. [16]

The VFJA can be considered to have ceased to exist, replaced by the VFA Second Eighteens, starting from the 1928 season; however, the VJFA name and the Wren Shield as a premiership trophy were both retained until the end of 1932. It was only at this point that competition was formally renamed the VFA Second Eighteens [17] and the Wren Shield was discontinued. [18] The VFA Second Eighteens and its successors, continued to operate until the end of the 2017 season.

Premierships

The premiers of the VJFA from 1883 until the discontinuation of the Wren Shield in 1932 are given below. Premierships between 1928 and 1932 are included, but overlap with the commonly recognised VFA seconds premierships.

Wren Shield permanent winners

Related Research Articles

Victorian Football League Australian rules football league

The Victorian Football League (VFL) is the major state-level Australian rules football league in Victoria and, starting from 2021, New South Wales and Queensland. The league evolved from the former Victorian Football Association (VFA), and has been known by its current name since 1996. For historical purposes, the present VFL is sometimes referred to as the VFA/VFL, to distinguish it from the present day Australian Football League, which was known until 1990 as the Victorian Football League and is sometimes referred to as the VFL/AFL.

Yarraville Football Club

Yarraville Football Club was an Australian rules football club founded in 1903 and played in the VJFA until 1927. In 1928, the club joined the Victorian Football Association where it played until 1984 when the club went into recess. In 1996, the Kingsville Football Club in the Western Region Football League who by this time had taken over the Yarraville ground changed their name to Yarraville. In 2007 the Yarraville Football Club merged with the Seddon Football Club to become the Yarraville Seddon Eagles.

The 1883 Victorian Football Association season was the seventh season of the Australian rules football competition. The premiership was won by the Geelong Football Club. It was the club's fifth VFA premiership in just six seasons, and was the second in a sequence of three consecutive premierships won from 1882 to 1884.

1884 VFA season

The 1884 Victorian Football Association season was the eighth season of the Australian rules football competition. The premiership was won by the Geelong Football Club. It was the club's sixth VFA premiership in just seven seasons, and was the third in a sequence of three consecutive premierships won from 1882 to 1884.

The 1886 Victorian Football Association season was the 10th season of the Australian rules football competition. The premiership was won by the Geelong Football Club. It was the club's seventh VFA premiership, and the last won by its senior team.

1887 VFA season

The 1887 Victorian Football Association season was the 11th season of the Australian rules football competition.

Camberwell Football Club was an Australian rules football club which formed around the mid 1880s, with a published match in 1886 and competed in the Victorian Football Association (VFA) between 1926 and 1990. Nicknamed the Cobras, Camberwell wore blue, white and red club colours. They were based in the Melbourne suburb of Camberwell.

1906 VFA season

The 1906 Victorian Football Association season was the 30th season of the Australian rules football competition. The premiership was won by the West Melbourne Football Club, after defeating Footscray in the close final by eleven points. It was the first and only premiership won by West Melbourne during its nine-season stint in the VFA.

1907 VFA season

The 1907 Victorian Football Association season was the 31st season of the Australian rules football competition. The premiership was won by the Williamstown Football Club, after it defeated West Melbourne in the final by eighteen points. It was the first premiership won by Williamstown, in its 24th season of senior competition.

The 1924 Victorian Football Association season was the 46th season of the Australian rules football competition. The premiership was won by the Footscray Football Club, after it defeated Williamstown by 45 points in the Final on 20 September. It was the club's ninth and last VFA premiership before it, along with North Melbourne and Hawthorn, joined the Victorian Football League the following year; this marked the end of a long period of dominance for Footscray, which had seen it win five minor premierships in a row and four major premierships in six years.

The 1928 Victorian Football Association season was the 50th season of the Australian rules football competition. The premiership was won by the Coburg Football Club, after it defeated Port Melbourne by seven points in the final on 8 September. It was the club's third VFA premiership, achieved in only its fourth season of senior competition, and was the third in a sequence of three premierships won consecutively from 1926 until 1928.

The 1929 Victorian Football Association season was the 51st season of the Australian rules football competition. The premiership was won by the Northcote Football Club, after it defeated Port Melbourne by 42 points in the Grand Final on 12 October. It was the club's first VFA premiership.

The 1935 Victorian Football Association season was the 57th season of the Australian rules football competition. The premiership was won by the Yarraville Football Club, after it defeated Camberwell by nine points in the Grand Final on 7 September. It was the club's first VFA premiership, won in its eighth season of competition.

The 1942 Victorian Football Association season was not played owing to World War II, which was at its peak at the time.

1945 VFA season

The 1945 Victorian Football Association season was the 64th season of the Australian rules football competition, and it was the first season played since the Association went into recess during World War II. The premiership was won by the Williamstown Football Club, which defeated Port Melbourne by 37 points in the Grand Final on 6 October. It was the club's fourth VFA premiership.

The 1952 Victorian Football Association season was the 71st season of the Australian rules football competition. The premiership was won by the Oakleigh Football Club, after it defeated Port Melbourne by 21 points in the Grand Final on 4 October. It was Oakleigh's fourth VFA premiership.

1953 VFA season

The 1953 Victorian Football Association season was the 72nd season of the Australian rules football competition. The premiership was won by the Port Melbourne Football Club, after it defeated Yarraville by 60 points in the Grand Final on 3 October. It was Port Melbourne's seventh VFA premiership, and it was the only premiership that the club won during a sequence of eight consecutive Grand Finals played from 1950 until 1957, and five consecutive minor premierships won from 1951 until 1955.

Robert "Bob" Bonnett was an Australian rules footballer who played with the Port Melbourne Football Club in the Victorian Football Association (VFA) in the 1950s and 1960s.

The 1984 Victorian Football Association season was the 103rd season of the top division of the Australian rules football competition, and the 24th season of second division competition. The Division 1 premiership was won by the Preston Football Club, after it defeated Frankston in the Grand Final on 23 September by 54 points; it was Preston's fourth Division 1 premiership, and its second in a row. The Division 2 premiership was won by Box Hill; it was the club's first premiership in either division since joining the Association in 1951.

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