Mark Anthony Ricciuto is a former Australian rules footballer who played for the Adelaide Football Club in the Australian Football League. From Waikerie, South Australia, Ricciuto started as a junior with the local Waikerie Magpies Football Club, he joined the West Adelaide Football Club in the South Australian National Football League, making his debut at the age of 16, before being recruited by Adelaide as a zone selection prior to the 1993 season. Playing as a midfielder, he established himself in Adelaide's side, receiving a nomination for the AFL Rising Star in 1993, his debut season, being named in the All-Australian team the following season, the first of eight selections overall. Having played in Adelaide's premiership side in 1998 winning the Malcolm Blight Medal as the club's best and fairest, Ricciuto replaced Mark Bickley as the club's captain prior to the 2001 season. Considered one of the best midfielders in the competition during the early 2000s, Ricciuto shared the 2003 Brownlow Medal with Nathan Buckley and Adam Goodes, was selected in the All-Australian team for four consecutive seasons between 2002 and 2005, captaining the side in both 2004 and 2005.
Having played more of a forward role in his last two seasons, Ricciuto retired at the end of the 2007 season, having played a total of 312 games for Adelaide, kicking 292 goals. Representing South Australia in interstate football and Australia in the International Rules Series, Ricciuto was inducted into the Australian Football Hall of Fame in 2011, the South Australian Football Hall of Fame in 2012. Ricciuto was born in South Australia, he was recruited by SANFL team West Adelaide and soon after – as a 16-year-old high schooler – was recruited by the Adelaide Crows in 1992. He debuted in the AFL in 1993. Ricciuto earned his first All Australian selection as a 19-year-old in 1994. After a stellar year in 1997 he ended up missing the 1997 premiership due to a late season injury. Despite this setback, he rallied in 1998 to again be an All Australian, win the club best and fairest and play in his only premiership, he was appointed as the Adelaide captain in 2001. In 2003, he was joint winner of the league's highest individual honor, the Brownlow Medal, with Collingwood's Nathan Buckley and Sydney's Adam Goodes.
In 2004 he came second in the Bronwlow medal. In 2004 and 2005 he earned his eighth All-Australian guernsey; however at the end of the 2005 season Ricciuto was suspended following an incident in the Crows' final regular season match against West Coast. Indeed, the Crows lost this match by just eight points, the Crows finished one match short of the 2005 decider. Late in the 2006 season, Ricciuto was ruled out of the Crows' final few matches due to a "mystery ailment", found to be parvovirus B19. Ricciuto led the Crows to their second straight top-two finish in 2006 and thus a more direct path to the preliminary final, again against the West Coast Eagles where again the Crows finished one match short of the decider, losing the preliminary final by just 10 points. Ricciuto played his 300th AFL game on 21 July 2006 against North Melbourne, he kicked 5 goals in a game. He was quicker than any other player in AFL history to this milestone, in 13 years and 83 days, some 11 days quicker than Carlton's Craig Bradley.
Ricciuto announced his retirement on 16 August 2007 due to persistent injuries. During his career he amassed an incredible eight All Australian selections, a record matched in the AFL era only by St Kilda's Robert Harvey as well as Lance Franklin. Ricciuto was twice named All Australian captain in 2004 and 2005, joining Wayne Carey and Michael Voss as the only multiple All Australian Captains in the AFL era. Ricciuto is noted for his Italian heritage, bears a large tattoo of his family name on his back, his grandfather was born in the small Italian town of Fragneto Monforte. On 19 January 2008 Ricciuto married Sarah Delahunt, they have four sons. In 2009, he played for Prince Alfred College Old Collegians in division 4 of the South Australian Amateur Football League. Ricciuto played in the ANZAC day clash 2008 with Waikerie A grade against Loxton. Waikerie won the match by 38 points. Ricciuto played in the 2008 Riverland Grand Final with Waikerie against Renmark. In time on in the final quarter with not much time left on the clock, Ricciuto kicked the 12th goal for Waikerie to seal back-to-back Premierships for Waikerie.
Ricciuto now works in the media is an AFL commentator for both Triple M and Fox Footy and hosts the weekday TripleM breakfast show with former Australian world number 1 squash player Chris Dittmar. Ricciuto was inducted into the Australian Football Hall of Fame in 2011, into the South Australian Football Hall of Fame in 2012. In March 2014, a section of the Eastern Stand at Adelaide Oval was named after Ricciuto. Team AFL Premiership: 1998 McClelland Trophy: 2005 Individual Brownlow Medal: 2003 All-Australian: 1994, 1997, 1998, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2004-2005 Malcolm Blight Medal: 1998, 2003, 2004 Adelaide F. C. Leading Club Goalkicker Award: 2006 Adelaide F. C. Captain: 2001-2007 AFLPA Best Captain Award: 2005, 2006 Showdown Medal: 2000, 2004, 2005 Australian Representative Honours in International Rules Football: 2000 Italian Team of the Century - Ruck Rover Australian Football Hall of Fame inductee: 2011 SA Football Hall of Fame Inductee: 2012 AFL Rising S
The Brisbane Lions is a professional Australian rules football club which plays in the Australian Football League. The club is based in Brisbane, Australia; the club was formed in late 1996 from the merger of the Brisbane Bears. The Lions are one of the most successful AFL clubs of the 21st century, having appeared in four consecutive AFL Grand Finals from 2001 to 2004 and winning three premierships; the club is based at the Gabba. The team is coached by Chris Fagan; the Brisbane Lions were launched on 1 November 1996, joining the national competition in 1997. In their first year as a combined club the Lions made the finals, finishing in eighth position after being defeated by the St Kilda Football Club in a qualifying final; the following year, they finished in last position, despite boasting a talented playing list. As the Brisbane Lions, the club won its first AFL premiership in the 2001 AFL Grand Final, defeating Essendon 15.18 to 12.10. Lions utility player Shaun Hart won the Norm Smith Medal as best on ground in the Grand Final.
In 2002, the Lions won back-to-back premierships when they defeated Collingwood 9.12 to 10.15 in the 2002 AFL Grand Final in cold and wet conditions at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. Early in the contest the Lions lost both ruckman Beau McDonald and utility player Martin Pike to injury and had to complete the match with a limited bench. In 2003, the Lions would win their 3rd premiership in a row, second in a row against the Collingwood Magpies. With a number of players under an injury cloud – and having lost to Collingwood in a qualifying final at the Melbourne Cricket Ground three weeks – the Lions went into the game as underdogs. However, they sealed their place in history as an AFL dynasty by thrashing the Magpies in cool but sunny conditions. At one stage in the final quarter the Lions led by 80 points before relaxing when the match was well and won, allowing Collingwood to score the last four goals; the final score of 20.14 to 12.12 saw the club become only the fourth in VFL/AFL history to win three consecutive premierships and the first since the creation of the AFL.
Simon Black claimed the Norm Smith Medal with a dominant 39 possession match, the most possessions gathered by a player in a grand final. The 2004 season saw. Reaching the finals in second position, Brisbane controversially had to travel to Melbourne to play against Geelong in the preliminary final, due to a contract between the Melbourne Cricket Ground and the Australian Football League that required one preliminary final to be played each year at the MCG. Port Adelaide hosted the other preliminary final in Adelaide. Despite this setback, Brisbane beat Geelong and reached the AFL Grand Final for the fourth consecutive year, their opponents, Port Adelaide, playing in their first grand final, were too good on the day and recorded a 40-point win. The Lions began the 2006 season optimistically, but injuries again plagued the club, whose players recorded an AFL record total of 200 matches lost to injury for the season; the Brisbane Lions finished runner up in the 2007 NAB Cup and went on to create history by being the first team in the history of the AFL to have five co-captains.
That year, the Lions failed to make the finals for a third successive year in 2007. The Lions began the 2008 NAB Cup shakily; the team struggled for the season and missed out on the finals with a 10–12 record, losing 3 games despite having at least 5 more scoring shots in each of those games. Coach Leigh Matthews resigned at the end of the season after 10 seasons and 3 premierships with the club; the Lions made a good start in the 2009 NAB Cup under new senior coach Michael Voss by registering a 9-point win over St Kilda. However this was followed by a series of losses in the pre-season to Essendon and Richmond, their season ended with a 51-point loss to the Western Bulldogs. The 2009/2010 off-season was dominated by the arrival of Brendan Fevola from Carlton, the hype was focused on Fevola and Jonathan Brown in the sense that the Lions could capitalise on their strong 2009 season. Indeed, the Lions won their first four matches of the 2010 season to be top of the ladder after four rounds, but they would only win three more games after that to crash to a lowly finish by season's end.
One of those wins however, was against eventual premiers Collingwood. The Lions' 2010/2011 off-season was disrupted by the sacking of Fevola after just one season at the Lions, following repeated off-field indiscretions which included getting drunk in the Brisbane streets during New Year's Eve celebrations. On the field, the Lions won only four games for the year, but only one against any Victorian team, and, North Melbourne, in Round 9. Despite their worst season since 1998, coach Michael Voss was granted a contract extension after the board recommended that Voss was the best man to take the club forward into the future. Leading into season 2012, only two players from the triple-premiership winning team of 2001–2003 remained: Simon Black and Jonathan Brown; the 2013 season started well for Brisbane, defeating Carlton in the final of the NAB Cup, with Daniel Rich winning the Michael Tuck Medal for best on ground and Aaron Cornelius showing some good form. However, things began to decline from with losses to the Western Bulldogs and Adelaide.
However, in the 5th QClash match against Gold Coast, the Lions won by two points, with Jonathan Brown winning the Marcus Ashcroft Medal. Injuries were beginning to take a toll, with
2003 AFL Grand Final
The 2003 AFL Grand final was an Australian rules football game contested between the Brisbane Lions and the Collingwood Football Club, held at the Melbourne Cricket Ground in Melbourne on 27 September 2003. It was the 107th annual Grand Final of the Australian Football League, staged to determine the premiers for the 2003 AFL season; the match, attended by 79,451 spectators, was won by Brisbane by a margin of 50 points, marking that club's third consecutive premiership victory and third premiership overall. Brisbane had appeared in the AFL Grand Final for the past two years. Collingwood had competed against Brisbane in the previous year's Grand Final, losing by a margin of 9 points. At the conclusion of the home and away season, Port Adelaide had finished first on the AFL ladder with 18 wins and 4 losses, winning their second successive McClelland Trophy. Collingwood had finished second with 7 losses; the 2003 Grand Final had a unique build-up. History repeated itself this year as Anthony Rocca, a Collingwood forward and thought to be one of the most important players in the team, was suspended during the week for an elbow to the head of a Port Adelaide player during the Preliminary Final.
This suspension was considered a major blow to the Magpies' chances. Brisbane's had numerous key players under injury clouds, including captain Michael Voss with an injured knee, Nigel Lappin with broken ribs and both Alastair Lynch and Martin Pike with hamstring injuries; the build-up was further magnified due to the Lions' chance of being the first team since Melbourne in the 1950s to win three successive premierships. Collingwood had achieved this feat, winning four successive premierships from 1927-30. Attention was focussed on whether the Magpies would avenge their close loss to the Lions in the previous year's Grand Final. In the week leading up to the Grand Final, Collingwood's Nathan Buckley was awarded the Brownlow Medal, tied between Buckley, Sydney's Adam Goodes and Adelaide's Mark Ricciuto; the match attendance of 79,451 spectators was the smallest Grand Final attendance at the MCG since the 1946 VFL Grand Final, owing to the construction of new seating at the ground for the 2006 Commonwealth Games.
The Lions dominated the Magpies and led throughout the match, leading 5.5 to the Magpies' 3.3 at quarter time. They stretched their lead in the second quarter. Collingwood fought back early in the third quarter, kicking the first two goals after the main break, but could not maintain their intensity and still had a long lead ahead of them at the last break, trailing 9.7 to Brisbane's 14.12. The Magpies were at risk of being humiliated as the Lions piled on six goals during the last quarter, but Collingwood saved face by scoring three late goals, reducing the margin to 50 points. Final scores: Brisbane 20.14 defeated Collingwood 12.12. Simon Black of the Lions was awarded the Norm Smith Medal for being judged the best player afield. Jason Akermanis kicked 5 goals for Brisbane. With this win, Brisbane became AFL Premiers for the third consecutive year, the fourth club and fifth team in VFL/AFL history to do so and earned a place as one of the greatest teams of the modern era. Hawthorn would be the next club to win three flags in a row.
Brisbane would go on to contest a fourth consecutive Grand Final in the 2004 AFL Grand Final, but would lose that game to Port Adelaide. 2003 AFL season
Docklands Stadium known by naming rights sponsorship as Marvel Stadium, is a multi-purpose sports and entertainment stadium in the Docklands precinct of Melbourne, Australia. Construction started in October 1997, under the working name "Victoria Stadium", was completed in 2000 at a cost of A$460 million. Built as a replacement for Waverley Park, the stadium is used for Australian rules football and is the headquarters of the Australian Football League which, since 7 October 2016, has had exclusive ownership of the venue. Headquartered in the stadium precinct is Seven Network's digital broadcast centre; the stadium hosts a number of other sporting events, including some domestic Twenty20 cricket matches, Melbourne Victory soccer home matches, one-off rugby league and rugby union matches as well as number of special events and concerts. The stadium was announced on 31 October 1996 as a replacement for the much larger Waverley Park as a headquarters for the Australian Football League. Developed by the Docklands Stadium Consortium and thereafter controlled by the Seven Network, the remaining leasehold interest in the stadium was sold to James Fielding Funds Management on 21 June 2006 for A$330 million.
Under the terms of the agreement governing construction and operation of the venue, in 2025 the AFL were to win ownership of the stadium for a $30 fee. The stadium, like Waverley Park, was built for Australian rules football, unlike most grounds of a similar size in Australia which were designed for cricket; the first match to be played at the ground was between Essendon and Port Adelaide, before a crowd of 43,012, in Round 1 of the 2000 AFL season. Essendon won the match by 94 points, with Michael Long kicking the first goal at the ground; the first game, played with the roof closed was between the Western Bulldogs and the Brisbane Lions the following weekend. Docklands Stadium was the first stadium in Australia to have movable seating. All four level-one tiers of the stadium can be moved up to 18 metres forward into a rectangular configuration, it was first used for a Melbourne Storm game in July 2001. Despite the seating being a key feature of the stadium, it has been used, citing damage to turf, time to deploy the seats and a reduced capacity.
Docklands Stadium first featured rugby league football when it was used as the Melbourne Storm's home ground for one season in 2001. The Storm continued to play home games at the ground sporadically in the following years. Docklands was the venue for the third and deciding game of the 2006 State of Origin series and Australia's home game against New Zealand in the 2006 Tri-nations series. During the 2008 Rugby League World Cup Australia played England at the stadium and the opening games of the 2009 and 2012 State of Origin series were played here, the latter attracting 56,021, a new record for rugby league at the stadium. In 2015, LED electronic advertising was added around the perimeter of the ground on level 1 and 2. On 24 October 2015, the stadium hosted motorcycle speedway when it played host to the 2015 Speedway Grand Prix of Australia, the twelfth and final round of the 2015 Speedway Grand Prix World Championship season, it was the first time Australia had hosted a round of the SGP event since the final round of the 2002 season in Sydney.
With stadium capacity capped at 42,000 for the event, 26,609 fans saw 45 year old American rider Greg Hancock take out his 20th SGP Final. Danish rider Niels-Kristian Iversen finished second with Poland's Maciej Janowski finishing third; the reigning Australian Champion, Jason Doyle, qualified for the final but was outed in a crash in the first turn in which he suffered neck and chest injuries. A conscious Doyle was transported to the Royal Melbourne Hospital for observation. Doyle managed to win the 2017 meeting and that season's world title after he was forced to miss the 2016 meeting after he was injured in the previous meeting in To run, Poland which many thought cost him the 2016 title. In March 2016, it was announced that Collingwood president Eddie McGuire had taken a proposal to the state government for the stadium to be sold for redevelopment when the AFL gain ownership of the stadium in 2025, with a new similar size stadium built within the Melbourne Sports and Entertainment Precinct.
The plan was rejected by the AFL. Prior to the start of the 2016 AFL season the seats in the Medallion Club were replaced; the old seats in the Medallion Club section were relocated to other areas in the ground. On 7 October 2016, the AFL Commission announced that the league had acquired exclusive ownership of the stadium; the league elected to buy out the owners'share for a figure believed to be $200 million, rather than wait until 2025 when the league would automatically acquire ownership of the venue for $30. At the end of the 2016/17 Big Bash, the stadium was rated the most entertaining venue for T20 cricket in Australia; the stadium was constructed by Baulderstone Hornibrook and opened on 9 March 2000 as "Colonial Stadium". Colonial State Bank paid $32.5 million for 10 years of naming rights. In 2000, Commonwealth Bank took over Colonial State Bank and sold the naming rights to Telstra for about $50 million; the name was changed to "Telstra Dome" on 1 October 2002. During this time it was colloquially referred to as "The Dome", including by clubs which are sponsored by rival telecommunications companies.
On 1 March 2009, when the naming rights transferred to Etihad Airways, the ven
Hawthorn Football Club
The Hawthorn Football Club, nicknamed the Hawks, is a professional Australian rules football club in the Australian Football League. The club, founded in 1902, is the youngest of the Victorian-based teams in the AFL and has won thirteen VFL/AFL premierships, it is renowned as the only club having won premierships in each decade of the 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, 2000s and 2010s. The team play in gold vertically striped guernseys; the club's Latin motto is spectemur agendo, the English translation being "Let us be judged by our acts". The Hawks' origins are in the inner-eastern Melbourne suburb of Hawthorn and at Glenferrie Oval, the club's former administrative and training base and social club. Matches, have not been played there since 1973. In 2006, Hawthorn's training and administration facilities were relocated to Waverly Park, located 27.8 km from the CBD and in the middle of the club's major supporter base in Melbourne's outer-eastern region. The mascot of Hawthorn FC is a hawk. Since 2007 Hawthorn have played four games a year at their second ground of York Park in Launceston, with the remaining games played at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, the club's current playing home ground.
Hawthorn's current Victorian Football League affiliate team is the Box Hill Hawks Football Club. The official club history books and many supporters believe that the club's origins date back to its founding in 1873 at a meeting at the Hawthorne Hotel. Although a Hawthorn Football Club did indeed form at this time—and the region has since continuously been represented by a football team—it was not the Hawthorn which competes at AFL level today, it is that today's club is the third club to carry the name'Hawthorn Football Club'. In The Daily Telegraph of 12 May 1883 it is stated that "The Hawthorn Club having disbanded, all engagements for the ensuing season have been cancelled." In 1889 the Riversdale Football Club is reported to have changed its name to the Hawthorn Football Club. This club ceased in 1890. No Hawthorn club existed from 1890 to 1892. A new representative club, called the'Hawthorn Football Club', was formed in 1893, it competed in the Victorian Junior Football Association until 1898.
Without a ground to play on, the club was disbanded in 1899. In March 1902, Alf Kosky formed a club from the various district clubs under the banner of Hawthorn Football Club to compete in the Metropolitan Junior Football Association; the club merged with Boroondara in 1905 and adopted Boroondara's colours of a black guernsey with red sash but retained the name of Hawthorn. In 1906 Hawthorn merged with successful junior club the Hawthorn Rovers to form the Hawthorn City Football Club as a result of Glenferrie Oval opening; the club opted to change the gold guernsey with a blue V of the Hawthorn Rovers. The council applied to the Victorian Football Association for inclusion, granted in 1914 when Hawthorn replaced the disbanded Melbourne City club; the first task for the club was to decide on club colours, their jumper of blue and gold was taken by Williamstown so a change was required. At a Special General Meeting held on 17 February 1914, a Mr J. Brain proposed brown and gold as the new colours and the motion was carried.
The Mayblooms won three games and a draw in their first season in the VFA. The effect of World War I with players enlisting caused the club to finish last in 1915; the VFA went into recess in 1916 and 1917, Hawthorn did not compete when resumption occurred in 1918. Upon Hawthorn's resumption in 1919 it was more competitive winning eight games and finishing sixth out of ten teams. Hawthorn dropped to eighth in 1920 but in 1921 they won seven games and finished sixth. Bill Walton was appointed captain-coach of Hawthorn in 1922, he was, refused a clearance by Port Melbourne and as a result spent the season playing for them, while coaching Hawthorn during the week. Twice that season, he had the unusual situation of playing a VFA game against the club that he coached. In one of those matches a Port Melbourne teammate had to be restrained from striking Walton over Walton's vocal support for the player's opponent. In 1922 the club missed the finals by percentage and Hawthorn set a new record score in the VFA scoring 30.31.211 to Prahran 6.9.45.
In 1923 Walton was granted his clearance and the club made the finals finishing in fourth place and losing to Port Melbourne in the first semi-final. 1924 the club finished fifth. Since 1919 the VFL had nine clubs; the VFL was keen to do away with this bye via the admission of a tenth club. In 1924 a group calling itself the Hawthorn Citizens' League Campaign Committee began gathering support for the football club admittance to the VFL. Other representations came from Brighton, Footscray, North Melbourne, Prahran and Caulfield. On 9 January 1925 a committee meeting of the VFL, chaired by Reg Hunt of Carlton, examined the question of expanding the competition from nine clubs to twelve; the Mayblooms, as they were known became the perennial whipping boys of the competition. Hawthorn had an casual attitude towards playing football and, lying remote from major industrial areas and devoid of the business or political patrons available to Carlton and Collingwood, were not able to pay their players the match payment allowed by the Coulter Law.
Despite the presence of a number players of true class such as Bert Hyde, Bert Mills, Stan Spinks, Alec Albiston and Co
Melbourne Cricket Ground
The Melbourne Cricket Ground known as "The G", is an Australian sports stadium located in Yarra Park, Victoria. Home to the Melbourne Cricket Club, it is the 10th largest stadium in the world, the largest in Australia, the largest in the Southern Hemisphere, the largest cricket ground by capacity, has the tallest light towers of any sporting venue; the MCG is within walking distance of the city centre and is served by Richmond and Jolimont stations, as well as the route 70 tram and the route 246 bus. It is part of the Melbourne Sports and Entertainment Precinct. Since it was built in 1853, the MCG has been in a state of constant renewal, it served as the centrepiece stadium of the 1956 Summer Olympics, the 2006 Commonwealth Games and two Cricket World Cups: 1992 and 2015. It is famous for its role in the development of international cricket; the annual Boxing Day Test is one of the MCG's most popular events. Referred to as "the spiritual home of Australian rules football" for its strong association with the sport since it was codified in 1859, it hosts Australian Football League matches in the winter, with at least one game held there in most rounds of the home-and-away season.
The stadium fills to capacity for the AFL Grand Final. Home to the National Sports Museum, the MCG has hosted other major sporting events, including international rules football matches between Australia and Ireland, international rugby union matches, State of Origin games, FIFA World Cup qualifiers. Concerts and other cultural events are held at the venue, with the record attendance standing at around 130,000 for a Billy Graham evangelistic crusade in 1959. Grandstand redevelopments and occupational health and safety legislation have limited the maximum seating capacity to 95,000 with an additional 5,000 standing room capacity, bringing the total capacity to 100,024; the MCG is listed on the Victorian Heritage Register and was included on the Australian National Heritage List in 2005. Journalist Greg Baum called it "a shrine, a citadel, a landmark, a totem" that "symbolises Melbourne to the world". Founded in November 1838 the Melbourne Cricket Club selected the current MCG site in 1853 after playing at several grounds around Melbourne.
The club's first game was against a military team at the Old Mint site, at the corner of William and Latrobe Streets. Burial Hill became its home ground in January 1839, but the area was set aside for Botanical Gardens and the club was moved on in October 1846, to an area on the south bank of the Yarra about where the Herald and Weekly Times building is today; the area was subject to flooding, forcing the club to move again, this time to a ground in South Melbourne. It was not long before the club was forced out again, this time because of the expansion of the railway; the South Melbourne ground was in the path of Victoria's first steam railway line from Melbourne to Sandridge. Governor La Trobe offered the MCC a choice of three sites; this last option, now Yarra Park, had been used by Aborigines until 1835. Between 1835 and the early 1860s it was known as the Government or Police Paddock and served as a large agistment area for the horses of the Mounted Police, Border Police and Native Police.
The north-eastern section housed the main barracks for the Mounted Police in the Port Phillip district. In 1850 it was part of a 200-acre stretch set aside for public recreation extending from Governor La Trobe's Jolimont Estate to the Yarra River. By 1853 it had become a busy promenade for Melbourne residents. An MCC sub-committee chose the Richmond Park option because it was level enough for cricket but sloped enough to prevent inundation; that ground was located. At the same time the Richmond Cricket Club was given occupancy rights to six acres for another cricket ground on the eastern side of the Government Paddock. At the time of the land grant the Government stipulated that the ground was to be used for cricket and cricket only; this condition remained until 1933 when the State Government allowed the MCG's uses to be broadened to include other purposes when not being used for cricket. In 1863 a corridor of land running diagonally across Yarra Park was granted to the Hobson's Bay Railway and divided Yarra Park from the river.
The Mounted Police barracks were operational until the 1880s when it was subdivided into the current residential precinct bordered by Vale Street. The area closest to the river was developed for sporting purposes in years including Olympic venues in 1956; the first grandstand at the MCG was the original wooden members’ stand built in 1854, while the first public grandstand was a 200-metre long 6000-seat temporary structure built in 1861. Another grandstand seating 2000, facing one way to the cricket ground and the other way to the park where football was played, was built in 1876 for the 1877 visit of James Lillywhite's English cricket team, it was during this tour. In 1881 the original members' stand was sold to the Richmond Cricket Club for £55. A new brick stand, considered at the time to be the world's finest cricket facility, was built in its place; the foundation stone was laid by Prince George of Wales and Prince Albert Victor on 4 July and the stand opened in December that year. It was als
The Sydney Swans are a professional Australian rules football club which plays in the Australian Football League. Established in Melbourne as the South Melbourne Football Club in 1874, the Swans relocated to Sydney in 1982, thus making it the first club in the competition to be based outside Victoria. Playing in the Victorian Football Association, the Swans joined seven other clubs in founding the breakaway Victorian Football League in 1896, it won premierships in 1909, 1918 and 1933 before experiencing a 72-year premiership drought—the longest in the competition's history. The club broke the drought in 2005 and won another premiership in 2012; the club has proven to be one of the most consistent teams in the nationalised AFL, failing to make the finals in only three seasons since 1995, playing the most number of finals matches and winning the second-most matches overall since 2000 and boasting a finals winning record of over 50% in the same time period. The Swans' headquarters and training facilities are located at the Sydney Cricket Ground, the club's playing home ground since 1982.
The inauguration date of the club is 19 June 1874, it adopted the name "South Melbourne Football Club" four weeks on 15 July. In 1880, South Melbourne amalgamated with the nearby Albert-park Football Club, which had a senior football history dating back to May 1867. Following the amalgamation, the club retained the name South Melbourne, adopted the club's now familiar red and white colours from Albert-park. Nicknamed the "Southerners", the team was more colourfully known as the "Bloods", in reference to the bright red sash on their white jumpers; the colorful epithet the "Bloodstained Angels" was in use. The club was based at Lake Oval home of the South Melbourne Cricket Club. South Melbourne was a junior foundation club of the Victorian Football Association in 1877, attained senior status in 1879. Over its first decade as an amalgamated club, South Melbourne won five VFA premierships – in 1881, 1885, three-in-a-row in 1888, 1889 and 1890 – and was runner-up to the provincial Geelong Football Club in 1880, 1883 and 1886.
At the end of the 1896 season and South Melbourne finished equal at the top of the VFA's premiership ladder with records of 14–3–1, requiring a playoff match to determine the season's premiership. The match took place on 3 October 1896 at the East Melbourne Cricket Ground. Collingwood won the match, six goals to five, in front of an estimated crowd of 12,000; this grand final would be the last match South Melbourne would play in the VFA, as the following season they would be one of eight founding clubs forming the breakaway Victorian Football League. The other clubs were St Kilda Football Club, Essendon Football Club, Fitzroy Football Club, Melbourne Football Club, Geelong Football Club, Carlton Football Club and Collingwood Football Club. South Melbourne was one of the original founding clubs of the Victorian Football League, formed in 1897; the club had early success and won three VFL premierships in 1909, 1918 and 1933. The club was at its most successful in the 1930s, when key recruits from both Victoria and interstate led to a string of appearances in the finals, including four successive grand final appearances from 1933 to 1936, albeit with only one premiership in 1933.
The collection of players recruited from interstate in 1932/1933 became known as South Melbourne's "Foreign Legion". On grand final eve, 1935, as the Swans prepared to take on Collingwood, star full-forward Bob Pratt was clipped by a truck moments after stepping off a tram and subsequently missed the match for South; the truck driver was a South Melbourne supporter. It was during this period; the nickname, suggested by a Herald and Weekly Times artist in 1933, was inspired by the number of Western Australians in the team, was formally adopted by the club before the following season 1934. The name stuck, in part due to the club's association with nearby Albert Park and Lake known for its swans. After several years with only limited success, South Melbourne next reached the grand final in 1945; the match, played against Carlton, was to become known as "the Bloodbath", courtesy of the brawl that overshadowed the match, with a total of 9 players being reported by the umpires. Carlton won the match by 28 points, from on, South Melbourne struggled.
In the following years, South Melbourne struggled, as their traditional inner-city recruiting district emptied as a result of demographic shifts. The club missed the finals in 1946 and continued to fall such that by 1950 they were second-last on the ladder, they nearly made the finals in 1952, but from 1953 to 1969, they never finished higher than eighth on the ladder. By the 1960s it was clear that South Melbourne's financial resources would not be capable of allowing them to compete in the growing market for country and interstate players, their own local zone was never strong enough to compensate for this; the introduction of country zoning failed to help, as the Riverina Football League proved to be one of the least profitable zones. Between 1945 and 1981, South Melbourne made the finals only twice: under legendary coach Nor