1903 VFA season

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1903 premiership season
Teams 10
Premiers North Melbourne
(1st premiership)
Minor premiers Richmond
(1st minor premiership)
1902
1904

The 1903 Victorian Football Association season was the 27th season of the Australian rules football competition. For the first time in its history, the VFA introduced an annual finals series to determine the premiership. The premiership was won by the North Melbourne Football Club, after defeating Richmond in the challenge final; it was the first premiership in the club's history, after having competed in the Association since its inaugural season in 1877.

Association membership[edit]

The size of the association was increased from nine to ten teams in 1903, with the Preston Football Club – which had won the previous three Victorian Junior Football Association premierships – elevated to senior level and admitted to the competition.[1]

Premiership[edit]

The Association introduced a finals system to determine the major premiership for the season. Finals had been used by the rival Victorian Football League since its establishment in 1897, but this was the first time it had been used by the Association. The finals were played according to the amended Argus system – the system which had been in use in the League since 1902, except with a slight variation that the League would not adopt until 1907; in summary:[1]

  • The top four clubs after the eighteen home-and-home matches qualified for the finals
  • In the first week of finals, 1st played 3rd and 2nd played 4th
  • In the second week, the winners from the first week played against each other
  • In the third week, the minor premier (i.e. the club atop the ladder after the home-and-home matches) played against the winner from the second week to decide the major premiership – unless the winner from the second week was the minor premier, in which case the premiership was awarded automatically.

Ladder[edit]

1903 VFA Ladder
TEAM P W L D PF PA PTS
1 Richmond 18 16 2 0 941 351 64
2 North Melbourne (P) 18 15 2 1 1017 444 62
3 Footscray 18 14 4 0 954 457 56
4 West Melbourne 18 11 7 0 924 488 44
5 Williamstown 18 10 7 1 814 620 42
6 Brunswick 18 8 10 0 727 692 32
7 Preston 18 6 12 0 686 825 24
8 Port Melbourne 18 6 12 0 555 824 24
9 Prahran 18 3 15 0 596 979 12
10 Essendon Town 18 0 18 0 334 1233 0
Key: P = Played, W = Won, L = Lost, D = Drawn, PF = Points For, PA = Points Against, (P) = Premiers, PTS = Premiership points Source[2]

Finals[edit]

Semi Finals
Saturday, 5 September North Melbourne 8.8 (56) def. West Melbourne 4.4 (28) Port Melbourne Cricket Ground [3]
Saturday, 5 September Richmond 4.5 (29) def. by Footscray 9.11 (65) North Melbourne Recreation Reserve [3]
Preliminary Final
Saturday, 12 September North Melbourne 7.11 (53) def. Footscray 4.9 (33) East Melbourne Cricket Ground [4]


1903 VFA Grand Final
Saturday, 19 September Richmond def. by North Melbourne East Melbourne Cricket Ground (crowd: 18,000 – 20,000) [5][6]
0.0 (0)
1.4 (10)
1.4 (10)
 3.9 (27)
Q1
Q2
Q3
 Final
3.4 (22)
3.4 (22)
7.6 (48)
 7.6 (48)
Umpires: O'Loghlen
Johnston, Maine, Watson Goals Considine 3, Londrigan, McCann, Noonan, O'Brien
  • Owing to a very strong wind blowing during the game, neither team scored to the railway end of the ground.

Notable events[edit]

  • Mr James Hall, who had served as Association president since 1901,[7] retired from his position prior to the start of the season. Footscray president, Mr Jason Cuming, was initially elected president in the annual general meeting in April 1903,[8] but he declined the position; in a second election on 1 May, Essendon Town president Cr John George Aikman was elected president.[9] Aikman served as president until his death in 1928.[10]

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Football". The Argus. Melbourne. 28 March 1903. p. 18. Retrieved 18 February 2015 – via National Library of Australia. 
  2. ^ Observer (31 August 1903). "The Association Clubs". The Argus. Melbourne. p. 9. 
  3. ^ a b Observer (7 September 1903). "Football". The Argus. Melbourne. p. 7. 
  4. ^ Observer (14 September 1903). "Association Semi-Final". The Argus. Melbourne. p. 7. 
  5. ^ Observer (21 September 1903). "Football – The Association Premiership". The Argus. Melbourne. p. 7. 
  6. ^ "Victorian Football Association – Final Match". North Melbourne Gazette. North Melbourne. 25 September 1903. p. 3. 
  7. ^ "Short and sharp". Williamstown Chronicle. Williamstown, VIC. 20 April 1901. p. 2. 
  8. ^ "Victorian Football Association – Opinions on the Game". The Argus. Melbourne. 18 April 1903. p. 15. 
  9. ^ "Victorian Football Association". The Argus. Melbourne. 2 May 1903. p. 18. 
  10. ^ Onlooker (30 July 1928). "Association – All leaders win well". The Argus. Melbourne. p. 6.