The Western Derby is the name given to the Australian rules football match between the Fremantle Dockers and the West Coast Eagles, who both participate in the Australian Football League. As both teams are based in Perth, the capital city of Western Australia, the term "derby" is used to describe the match, it has become one of the most important matches for football in Western Australia, with former South Fremantle and West Coast player, former West Coast coach John Worsfold claiming that in the week before a derby that it is the main topic in Perth. It's different to the build-up of any normal game... We don't care what else is happening in the country, great." In 2004, during the 175th-anniversary celebrations of the establishment of the Swan River Colony, the Western Derby was named as one of 12 "Heritage Icons", in recognition of "football's key social and historical importance to the State". Referring to a melee during the Round 21, 2000 Derby, Channel Nine sports reporter Michael Thomson said the match had divided Western Australia and the "football landscape in WA has been changed forever."There are two Western Derbies every year during the home and away season.
From 1995 until 2017 the derbies were held at Subiaco Oval. From 2018, all derbies will be held at Perth Stadium. There has never been a Western Derby finals match. West Coast were the dominant team during Fremantle's early years winning the first nine derbies. Fremantle won their first Western Derby in July 1999 and since the turn of the century, it has been an 19 wins to both clubs. West Coast are the current holders of the Western Derby Trophy after defeating Fremantle by 58 points in round 20 of the 2018 AFL season; the player adjudged best on ground in each derby match is awarded the Glendinning–Allan Medal, named after the inaugural captains of the clubs Ross Glendinning and Ben Allan. An infamous derby occurred in round 21, 2000. Both clubs were out of finals contention, the derby earlier in the year had recorded the biggest margin—, in the lead-up both teams were talking down the importance of the game with the standard line of "it's only worth four points". However, Clive Waterhouse indicated that something different might happen by saying that "blood would be spilled".
Before the first bounce, West Coast, through Michael Gardiner, went on the attack and shoving first-year player Matthew Pavlich. The umpires awarded a free kick to Pavlich. However, West Coast settled and led by four goals at quarter time with goals to Phillip Read, Andrew Embley and three to Phil Matera. Fremantle's forward line was struggling, with only four goals to half time, including two to Waterhouse, singles to midfielders Heath Black and Troy Cook, while two goals to Mitchell White, a fourth goal for Matera and one to Chad Morrison in the second quarter saw West Coast go to the half-time break 32 points in front. During the break, a brawl broke out which cleared both teams' benches and resulted in one of longest tribunal records in recent times. In the third quarter, Phil Matera kicked his fifth goal, bringing the Eagles lead to 42 points, but Fremantle surged to cut the margin to 18 points at three-quarter time with three goals to Clive Waterhouse and singles to Pavlich and Daniel Bandy.
The last quarter saw Phil Matera carried from the ground on a stretcher after a hard collision with umpire Steven Handley, a solid but legal shirtfront by Troy Cook saw Mitchell White carried from the ground on a stretcher. A six-goal to three final quarter, including another two to Waterhouse and singles to Koops and Kickett and Dodd saw Fremantle hit the lead by two points. With only seconds to spare the Eagles pushed forward and a loose ball was unable to be gathered in by makeshift forward Darren Glass, resulting in a rushed behind and a one-point victory for Fremantle, only their second in a Western Derby; the following suspensions and fines were handed out as a result of the brawl: Dale Kickett was suspended for a total of nine matches for striking Phillip Read twice and striking Andrew Embley once. Michael Gardiner was suspended for two matches for striking Matthew Pavlich. Brad Dodd was suspended for two matches for attempting to strike Phillip Read, while Read was suspended for two matches for striking Dodd in retaliation.
Seven players from Fremantle and five players from West Coast were reported for melee involvement. Embley was found not guilty; the following week both teams were well beaten, with Fremantle beaten by Brisbane by 107 points at the Gabba and Melbourne winning by 70 points over the Eagles at Subiaco. The round 3, 2007 match will be remembered as one of the most controversial and spiteful derbies played. Nearing three-quarter time, Fremantle's Des Headland was reported by umpire Stuart Wenn for striking and wrestling with West Coast's Adam Selwood, who made an inappropriate comment about a tattoo on Headland's arm which depicted the Fremantle player's six-year-old daughter; the case was heard on 18 April, with Selwood cleared of using abusive language towards Headland. Headland was found guilty of both striking and wrestling with Selwood, but was not suspended because of "exceptional and compelling circumstances by way of provocation". West Coast won this match by 31 points, Michael Braun was awarded the Ross Glendinning Medal, ending his acceptance speech with "Let's have a fucking good year", broadcast to 550,000 viewers on live television and to the 42,551 in attendance.
West Coast Eagles
The West Coast Eagles known as West Coast or the Eagles, is a Australian rules football club playing in the Australian Football League. Based in Perth, Western Australia, it represents the Perth metropolitan region. Though this makes no sense because there is no place in Perth called West Coast, it trains at Lathlain Park and plays its home games at Perth Stadium known as Optus Stadium, in Burswood, having played at Subiaco Oval and the WACA Ground. The club is one of two AFL clubs based in Western Australia, the other being its main rival, the Fremantle Football Club. Andrew Gaff is a player of the Eagles and called a criminal by many after punching a Fremantle Dockers player in the face, breaking his jaw and ruining many opportunities for that season. West Coast was founded in 1986 as an expansion team, it entered the AFL known as the Victorian Football League, in 1987 along with Queensland's Brisbane Bears. It reached the finals series for the first time in 1988, won its first premiership in 1992, having been defeated in the grand final the previous year.
It is the first non-Victorian team to win a grand final. The Eagles have since won three more premierships, in 1994, 2006 and 2018; the club is coached by Adam Simpson and captained by Shannon Hurn. From 2013 to 2018, the East Perth Football Club, which competes in the West Australian Football League, served as West Coast's reserves team. From 2019 the Eagles will field a reserves team in the WAFL; the Eagles have won the second most premierships in the AFL era and are one of the most supported and financially dominant clubs in the league. The West Coast Eagles were selected in 1986 as one of two expansion teams to enter the Victorian Football League the following season, along with the Brisbane Bears. Ron Alexander was appointed as the team's inaugural coach in September 1986, with the inaugural squad, comprising a majority of players from the West Australian Football League, unveiled in late October. Ross Glendinning, recruited from North Melbourne, was made the club's first captain as one of the few players with previous VFL experience.
The team's first senior match in the VFL was played against Richmond at Subiaco Oval in late March 1987, with West Coast defeating Richmond by 14 points. Having won eleven games and lost eleven games for the season, the club finished eighth out of fourteen teams. At the end of the season, John Todd, the coach of Swan Districts in the WAFL, replaced Alexander as West Coast's coach; the club made the finals for the first time in 1988, but lost form the following season, winning only seven games to finish 11th on the ladder. Todd was sacked at the end of the 1989 season, was replaced by Michael Malthouse, who had coached Footscray. With the competition having rebranded itself as the Australian Football League at the start of the 1990 season, West Coast finished third on the ladder at the conclusion of the home-and-away season, progressed to the preliminary final before losing to Essendon, having been forced to play four consecutive finals in Melbourne. John Worsfold replaced Steve Malaxos as captain for the 1991 season, the club finished the season as minor premiers for the first time, losing only three games.
In the finals series, West Coast progressed to the grand final, but were defeated by Hawthorn by 53 points. Peter Sumich kicking 111 goals during the season, becoming the first West Coast player to reach a century of goals, as well as the first-ever left-footer. In 1992, West Coast finished fourth on the ladder, but again progressed to the grand final, defeating Geelong by 28 points to become the first team based outside Victoria to win a premiership. Having slipped to third in 1993, the club finished as minor premiers the following season, went on to again defeat Geelong in the grand final to win its second premiership in three years. In 1995, a second AFL team based in Western Australia, the Fremantle Football Club, with the two clubs' subsequent rivalry branded as the "Western Derby". West Coast made the finals in every year that remained in the 1990s, but failed to reach another grand final, with a fourth-place finish in 1996 their best result. Worsfold retired at the end of the 1998 season, was replaced by his vice-captain, Guy McKenna, who served as captain until his retirement two seasons later.
Malthouse left West Coast at the end of the 1999 season to take up the senior coaching position with Collingwood, was replaced by Ken Judge, coach of Hawthorn. The 2000 and 2001 seasons were marked by a rapid decrease in form after the loss of several key senior players, culminating in a 14th-place in 2001, at the time the worst in the club's history. Round eighteen of the 2000 season marked the club's final match at the WACA Ground, used concurrently with Subiaco Oval since the club's inception. Judge was sacked at the end of 2001, replaced by the club's former captain John Worsfold, serving as assistant coach at Carlton; the club made the finals in 2002, 2003, 2004, but each time failed to progress past the elimination final. Ben Cousins was made sole captain of the club in 2002, having shared the role with Dean Kemp the previous season. During this time, the team was boosted by a number of high picks in the AFL Draft gained as a result of the previous poor finishes. Chris Judd, taken with pick three in the 2001 National Draft, won the Brownlow Medal as the best player in the competition in 2004, becoming the first West Coast player to win the award.
In 2005, the Eagles finished second on the ladder after the regular season, progressed to the grand final against Sydney, where the
West Australian Football League
The West Australian Football League is an Australian rules football league based in Perth, Western Australia. The WAFL is the third-most popular league in the nation, behind the nationwide Australian Football League and South Australian National Football League; the league consists of nine teams, which play each other in a 24-round season lasting from March to September, with the top five teams playing off in a finals series, culminating in a Grand Final. The league runs reserves and colts competitions; the WAFL was founded in 1885 as the West Australian Football Association, has undergone a variety of name changes since re-adopting its current name in 2001. For most of its existence, the league was considered one of the traditional "big three" Australian rules football leagues, along with the Victorian Football League and South Australian National Football League. However, since the introduction of two Western Australia-based clubs into the VFL – the West Coast Eagles in 1987 and the Fremantle Football Club in 1995 – the popularity and standard of the league has decreased to the point where it is considered a feeder competition to the AFL.
Although payments are made to players, it is considered to be a semi-professional competition. A salary cap of A$200,000 per club is in place; the league is affiliated with the two Western Australia-based AFL clubs. Players who are not selected to play with their respective AFL clubs instead play for allocated clubs in the WAFL; the competition is governed by the West Australian Football Commission, based at Subiaco Oval. There are ten teams that compete in the WAFL: a Claremont played at the Claremont Showgrounds from 1925 to 1927 and again from 2014 until 2016 when Claremont Oval was closed for re-development, at Subiaco Oval from 1945 to 1947 when Claremont Oval was being rebuilt after a grandstand fire in 1944. B East Fremantle played at Fremantle Oval from 1898 to 1952, excluding a period in 1906 where home games were played at East Fremantle Oval. C East Perth played at Wellington Square from 1902 to 1909, at Perth Oval from 1910 to 1987 and from 1990 to 1999, at the WACA Ground during 1988 and 1989.
D Perth played at the WACA Ground from 1899 to 1958 and during 1987 and 1988. E Subiaco played at Shenton Park between 1901 and 1905, at Mueller Park in 1906 and 1907, at Subiaco Oval from 1908 to 2003. F West Perth played at Leederville Oval from 1915 to 1993. Ten other clubs competed in the competition: Fremantle Football Club was known as Unions Football Club from 1886 to 1889.a Up until the turn of the century, there were a limited number of grounds available for use by the clubs, with all clubs sharing the different grounds. As such, the Esplanade Park and Fremantle Park in Fremantle, the Old Recreation Ground and the New Recreation Ground in Perth were all used as "home" grounds by the above teams. B The High School withdrew from the competition due to lack of players two rounds into the inaugural season. C Rovers were a "wandering" team – they had no home ground, drew players from all over the metropolitan area. D West Australian Football Club merged with Victorians in 1889 to form the Metropolitan Football Club, which in turn became the West Perth Football Club.
The WAFL has a salary cap in place. In 2016 the Total Player Payments cap is $294,000 for the non-AFL aligned clubs, while the cap for East Perth and Peel Thunder is $191,100. In January 2015, the WAFL executive announced. Under the arrangement, Seven agreed to a three-year deal involving the telecast of 18 home and away matches as well as all Finals matches, broadcast throughout Western Australia; the WAFL match of the round was broadcast on ABC throughout Western Australia every Saturday afternoon during the regular home and away season. Matches were replayed nationwide on-demand from the ABC iView service and re-broadcast on the ABC2 channel early Friday morning at 2.30 am local time. Radio stations which cover the competition include 720 ABC Perth, ABC Grandstand Digital, 91.3 SportFM, 107.3 HFM and KIX Country Digital. Since 2015, the current major sponsor of the WAFL Premiership is Telecommunications Company Optus. Prior to that, AAMI were major sponsors of the league. Attendance at WAFL matches dropped when each of the two Western Australian based AFL teams entered the league.
In recent years, however the attendances have increased with 2009 recording the first combined annual attendance of more than 200,000 since 1994. A largest recent crowd was 24,638 at the 2010 WAFL Grand Final between Swan Districts and Claremont at Subiaco Oval; the all-time attendance record is 52,781 in 1979 for East Fremantle v South Fremantle at Subiaco Oval. Patrons at the WAFL pay at the gates; the following are the most recent attendance figures. Organised football in the Perth/Fremantle region of Western Australia dates back to 1881. Back though rugby union was the dominant football code, with only one senior club, "Unions", playing Australian Rules. In 1883 a second club, "Swans", but Australian Rules' growth remained much subdued compared to that of Victoria and South Australia. However, in those days many young men of Perth's wealthier families were educated in Adelaide, the capital of South Australia. On returning home from there they wished to play the sport they'd grown up with and no doubt exerted some influence on their less affluent peers as to such.
Coincidentally, the press at the time reported there was a growing dissatisfaction with rugby as a spectacle. During the 1880s, the discoveries of gold
Matthew James Lloyd is a former professional Australian rules footballer, who played for the Essendon Football Club in the Australian Football League. A decorated full-forward, Lloyd's AFL's honours include being the seventh all time leading goalkicker in the history of AFL, seventh-highest, with three Coleman Medals as leading goalkicker in the league, AFL life membership, as well as winning both the Mark of the Year and Goal of the Year awards. Among his representative honours are five All-Australian selections, three times representing the Victoria State of Origin team, as well as twice representing Australia in International rules football. Lloyd has kicked over 100 goals in a season – twice, he belongs to the small group of players whose first kick in the AFL resulted in a goal. Matthew Lloyd was born in Melbourne in 1978 to Bev Lloyd; the Lloyds moved to Scotland for three years because of John's work, it was there that Matthew picked up rugby and soccer playing for his Currie club. Lloyd attended St Martin De Porres Parish Primary School in Avondale Heights before moving to St. Bernard's College, Melbourne.
He supported the Fitzroy Football Club when he was young because in the first game he attended, Fitzroy player Bernie Quinlan kicked nine goals. Lloyd was drafted into the AFL as a 16-year-old in the 1995 Pre-season Draft as a "compensatory selection", awarded to Essendon by the AFL in return for losing Todd Ridley to the newly formed Fremantle Football Club; the Bombers picked up what would be one of their all-time greats for a relative pittance in the draft. Lloyd was heralded as a future football star after his AFL debut in Round 14, 1995, where he scored a goal with his first kick in league football and three for the match; the key features of Lloyd's game were his powerful marks on the lead, his use of his body in a defensive capacity and accurate goal kicking from set shots on his left foot. He converted a large majority of set shots inside the 50-metre arc and kicked further than 50 metres on a regular basis. Lloyd was known for his ritual; every time he took time to go far back on the mark, pull both his socks up grab some grass and throw it into the air to measure the wind and take a long run up before kicking.
In 2006, the AFL introduced a "shot clock" to limit the amount of time that players had to take set shots. Lloyd adjusted his ritual to fit into the new rule, still retained the most famous aspect until the end of his career. Lloyd's goalscoring ability enabled him to top the Essendon goal scoring every year from 1997 to 2009, except for 2006 when he only played three games due to a serious hamstring injury. Lloyd was selected in the All-Australian team on five occasions, won the Coleman Medal for kicking the most goals in the regular season three times and twice kicked more than 100 goals in a completed season. Lloyd was a member of Essendon's 2000 premiership team and was captain of Essendon from 2006 to 2009, he was recognised for his achievements at Essendon in 2002 when he was ranked the 22nd greatest player to play for the club in the "Champions of Essendon" list. Lloyd was appointed Essendon captain ahead of the 2006 season, after James Hird elected to stand down following the side's disappointing 2005 season.
Lloyd's first match as Essendon captain resulted in a 27-point win over the defending premiers Sydney, where he kicked eight goals. It would be the only win that Essendon would enjoy under Lloyd's captaincy until a year later; as well as being the top all-time goal scorer and life member at Essendon, Lloyd was part of its 2000 premiership team. In 2013 Lloyd was inducted as a member of the Australian Football Hall of Fame and as a Legend in the Essendon Football Club Hall of Fame. Lloyd had a successful State of Origin career, he first played for Victoria in 1997, against South Australia, kicking 3 goals, including a snap kick along the ground from near the boundary line, which went one way curved back another. In 1998 Lloyd kicked two goals in Brisbane. Lloyd last played for Victoria in 1999 against South Australia in the second-last State of Origin game, kicking 3 goals and being named in the best players. In Round 20 2007 Lloyd kicked a backheel goal whilst surrounded by opponents and was awarded the 2007 Goal of the Year.
In Round 18 against the Melbourne Demons, Lloyd took a spectacular mark above five players to win the 2008 Mark of the Year. A haul of eight goals in that match gave Lloyd his best return since Round 1, 2006. In Round 3, 1999, aged just 21 at the time, kicked a record 13 goals against the Sydney Swans at the MCG, kicking the first goal of the game and breaking John Coleman's record for most goals kicked by an Essendon player against the Swans. In his first game as Essendon captain playing against the Sydney Swans, Lloyd kicked eight goals He kicked a total of 69 goals playing against the Swans, including the aforementioned 13 in 1999 and eight in the first round of the 2006 season. During Essendon's 1996 preliminary final against the Sydney Swans in Sydney, Lloyd ruptured his spleen, he spent 10 days in intensive care in a Sydney hospital. In Round 6, 20
Graham Vivian "Polly" Farmer, MBE is a retired Australian rules football player and coach. Born in Western Australia, he joined the East Perth Football Club as a ruckman in 1953, where he won several awards and contributed to the team winning three premierships, he was recruited to the Victorian Football League league in 1962 for the Geelong Football Club, where he played 101 games and captained the team for three seasons. Farmer returned to Western Australia and became the captain/coach of the West Perth Football Club in 1968, leading the club to premierships against East Perth in 1969 and 1971. After retiring as a player, he coached Geelong, East Perth and Western Australia's first state of origin team. Farmer is an official Legend of Australian rules football, he revolutionised ruckwork and handballing; the Graham Farmer Freeway in his hometown of Perth is named in his honour. Farmer is the patron of the Graham Farmer Foundation, an educational not-for-profit founded in 1995. Farmer was born in Hillcrest Hospital, North Fremantle and brought up at Sister Kate's orphanage in Queen's Park.
Farmer said, "If it had not been for Sister Kate's, I would have had an ice block's hope in hell of leading a normal life. I owe her and all her dedicated helpers everything – for giving me the chance to make something of myself. I was one of the lucky ones." A bout of poliomyelitis left Farmer with his left leg shorter than his right leg. According to Farmer, he was nicknamed "Polly the Parrot" as a six-year-old because people thought he chattered away like a parrot. At high school, Farmer was spotted by talent scouts for East Perth Football Club, joined the team. Farmer began his top-level career with the East Perth Football Club in the West Australian National Football League in 1953. Farmer played 176 games from 1953 to 1961 with East Perth. During this time he won the club's Fairest and Best award seven times, was a member of their 1956, 1958 and 1959 Premiership teams. In 1956, he was awarded a Simpson Medal for his performance against South Australia in the Perth Carnival, he awarded the Tassie Medal for being judged best in the Carnival overall.
He was awarded the WANFL's highest individual honour, the Sandover Medal, in 1956 and 1960. He tied for the medal in 1957 with East Fremantle's Jack Clarke but lost on a countback. In 1959 he was awarded the Simpson Medal for being best on ground in the Grand Final, he was awarded another Simpson Medal in 1961 for his game against Victoria in the Brisbane Carnival. Farmer attracted interest from Victorian clubs, he was recruited by Bob Davis to the Geelong Football Club in the VFL in 1962. In the opening moments of his debut for Geelong in 1962, Farmer injured his knee, causing ligament damage, missing the rest of the season. Farmer returned in 1963, winning a Premiership with Geelong and coming equal-second in the Brownlow Medal behind winner Bob Skilton. Farmer played 101 games for Geelong from 1962 to 1968, won the team's Fairest and Best in 1963 and 1964, captained the team from 1965 until 1967. For 1968, Farmer desired to return home to Western Australia. Although he had trained with East Perth during 1967 as part of a testimonial to retired Royal teammate "Square" Kilmurray, accepted the role of captain/coach with the West Perth Football Club, rivals to his former club, East Perth.
He led West Perth to premierships in 1969 and 1971, both times defeating East Perth in the Grand Final. In 1969, Farmer received his fourth Simpson Medal during the AFC Championships in Adelaide, he retired after 79 games with West Perth. Not involved in top level football in 1972, Farmer returned to the VFL as coach of the Geelong Football Club from 1973 to 1975. Farmer and the club's committee had an strained relationship, Farmer quit in 1975, he returned to the WANFL, coaching East Perth from 1976 to 1977 with some success, he coached the first Western Australian state of origin team in 1977. Farmer was sacked as coach of East Perth in 1977 due to conflict, replaced by Barry Cable in 1978. Farmer said, "When the going gets tough a club should fight to beat it, but some people chip and chip at the ground underneath you in trying to find someone to blame. I do my best in football and I have no time to protect my back, so it's left wide open. Maybe that's a lot of my trouble."During his career, Farmer played a record 31 games for Western Australia, five games for Victoria, was selected in the All-Australian team in 1956, 1958 and 1961.
He played 356 league games in total, including 30 finals, 10 grand finals and six premierships: in fact the team for which he played contested the finals every season from 1956 to 1969. Farmer was a strong and mobile ruckman. At 191 centimetres tall and weighing 94 kilograms, Farmer had a high leap that helped him to win ruck contests easily. Farmer practiced handballing through car windows at the car yard where he worked, one of his football legacies is changing handballing from a last-resort option to a "dangerous offensive weapon". According to Geelong player Sam Newman, "without speaking one word he taught. I watched how a man overcomes not the physical, not the mental, but the spiritual – that's the most important – he was an absolute star, about one decade, one century ahead of his time". In 1956, Farmer met a Tasmanian woman holidaying in Perth named Marlene, they ma
Australian Football League
The Australian Football League is the pre-eminent professional competition of Australian rules football. Through the AFL Commission, the AFL serves as the sport's governing body, is responsible for controlling the laws of the game; the league was founded as the Victorian Football League as a breakaway from the previous Victorian Football Association, with its inaugural season commencing in 1897. Comprising only teams based in the Australian state of Victoria, the competition's name was changed to the Australian Football League for the 1990 season, after expanding to other states throughout the 1980s; the league consists of 18 teams spread over five of Australia's six states. Matches have been played in all states and mainland territories of Australia, as well as in New Zealand and China to promote the sport abroad; the AFL season consists of a pre-season competition, followed by a 23-round regular season, which runs during the Australian winter. The team with the best record after the home-and-away series is awarded the "minor premiership."
The top eight teams play off in a four-round finals series, culminating in the AFL Grand Final, held at the Melbourne Cricket Ground each year. The grand final winner is termed the "premiers", is awarded the premiership cup; the current premiers are the West Coast Eagles. The Victorian Football Association was established in 1877 and went on to become Victoria's major Australian rules football competition. During the 1890s, an off-field power struggle occurred between the VFA's stronger and weaker clubs, the former seeking greater administrative control commensurate with their relative financial contribution to the game; this came to a head in 1896 when it was proposed that gate profits, which were always lower in matches involving the weaker clubs, be shared amongst all teams in the VFA. After it was intimated that the proposal would be put to a vote, six of the strongest clubs—Collingwood, Fitzroy, Geelong and South Melbourne—seceded from the VFA, invited Carlton and St Kilda to join them in founding a new competition, the Victorian Football League.
The remaining VFA clubs—Footscray, North Melbourne, Port Melbourne and Williamstown—were given the opportunity to compete as a junior sides at a level beneath the VFL, but rejected the offer and remained for the 1897 VFA season. The VFL's inaugural season occurred in 1897, it made several innovations early on to entice the public's interest, including an annual finals tournament, rather than awarding the premiership to the team with the best record through the season. Although the VFL and the VFA continued to compete for spectator interest for many years, the VFL established itself as the premier competition in Victoria. In 1908, the league expanded to ten teams, with Richmond crossing from the VFA and University Football Club from the Metropolitan Football Association. University, after three promising seasons, finished last each year from 1911 until 1914, including losing 51 matches in a row; as a result, the club withdrew from the VFL at the end of 1914. Beginning sporadically during the late 1890s and from 1907 until World War I, the VFL premier and the premier of the South Australian Football League met in a playoff match for the Championship of Australia.
South Australia's Port Adelaide was the most successful club of the competition winning three titles during the period along with an earlier victory. In 1925, the VFL expanded from nine teams to twelve, with Footscray and North Melbourne each crossing from the VFA. North Melbourne and Hawthorn remained weak in the VFL for a long period. Although North Melbourne would become the first of the 1925 expansion sides to reach a Grand Final in 1950 it was Footscray that adapted to the VFL with the most ease of the three clubs, by 1928 were well off the bottom of the ladder. Between the years of 1927 and 1930, Collingwood became the first, only VFL team, to win four successive Premierships. In 1952, the VFL hosted ` National Day'. Matches were played at the Sydney Cricket Ground, Brisbane Exhibition Ground, North Hobart Oval, Albury Sports Ground and Victorian country towns Yallourn and Euroa. Footscray became the first of the 1925 expansion teams to win the premiership in 1954. Melbourne became a powerhouse during the 1950s and early 1960s under coach Norm Smith and star player Ron Barassi.
The club contested seven consecutive grand finals from 1954 to 1960, winning five premierships, including three in a row from 1955 to 1957. Television coverage began with direct telecasts of the final quarter permitted. At first, several channels competed through broadcasting different games. However, when the VFL found that television was reducing crowds, it decided that no coverage was to be allowed for 1960. In 1961, replays were introduced although direct telecasts were permitted in Melbourne. In 1959, the VFL planned the first purpose built mega-stadium, VFL Park, to give it some independence from the Melbourne Crick
Steve Marsh (footballer)
Stephen William "Steve" Marsh is a former Australian rules footballer who represented South Fremantle and East Fremantle in the West Australian National Football League during the 1940s and 1950s. Marsh was regarded as one of the finest rovers of his era. Quick off the mark, courageous, a leader and skilled by hand or foot – he was famed for his drop kicks to position. Born in Kalgoorlie, Western Australia Marsh first played with the Kalgoorlie Railways Football Club, kicking four goals in their 1943 premiership win, he was on leave from the Air Force at the time. He arrived in Fremantle before the 1945 WANFL season and upon arriving at Fremantle Oval, he was invited into the South Fremantle Football Club rooms first, so chose to play for them, rather than East Fremantle who trained at the same oval; the recited myth that he accidentally entered the wrong rooms is incorrect. Here he played 226 games over 12 seasons, which included being a player in six premiership teams from nine grand final appearances.
South Fremantle made the finals in all the twelve years he played with the club. He won the Simpson Medal as best on ground in the club's 1953 grand final win, he was the winner of the 1952 Sandover Medal as the league's best and fairest and won the South Fremantle Fairest and Best award four times. He was a member of the inaugural All-Australian Team in 1953 after the Adelaide carnival. Somewhat controversially he moved to East Fremantle Football Club in 1957 as Captain/Coach for two years on the unheard of fee of £300, he was captain/coach of East Fremantle's 1957 premiership win. He played 39 games for East Fremantle and in 1960, having amassed a career total of 284 games, he retired as a player. Marsh played 19 games for Western Australia, was captain of the side in 1954. Marsh was known as an inspirational player whose courage in a contest would motivate his teammates, his impact as a player and motivator was reinforced emphatically in 1957 with the new captain-coach leading the East Fremantle Sharks to their first flag in 11 years on his way to receiving a premiership pay'bonus', while his former club South Fremantle missed the finals for the first time since the end of World War II.
His vocal playing characteristic however may have cost him some personal glory. During his career Marsh only won a single Sandover Medal, but fellow Hall of Fame member John Todd opined that Marsh's fondness for backchatting umpires cost him a couple of medals. Marsh himself is on record as stating that he did not lead the South Fremantle Bulldogs during their golden era because "I had too big a mouth to be captain". Marsh was made an inaugural member of the Fremantle Football Club created Fremantle Football Hall of Legends in 1995. In 2005 he was elevated to Legend Status in the West Australian Football Hall of Fame, he is a member of the Western Australian Institute of Sport Hall of Champions. The Steve Marsh Entrance to Subiaco Oval is named in his honour. In June 2006 he was inducted into the Australian Football Hall of Fame in the player category. East, Alan; the Sandover Medal Men. ISBN 0-9775813-0-6. Full Points Footy Bio at the Wayback Machine