Australian Football Hall of Fame
The Australian Football Hall of Fame was established in 1996, the Centenary year of the Australian Football League, to help recognise the contributions made to the sport of Australian rules football by players, media personalities and administrators. It was established with 136 inductees; as of 2014, this figure has grown to 257, including 27 "Legends". While those involved in the game from its inception in 1858 are theoretically eligible few outside the major leagues – the Australian Football League, the Victorian Football League, the West Australian Football League and the South Australian National Football League – have been recognised to date. A committee considers candidates on the basis of their ability, integrity and character. While the number of games played, coached or umpired, or years of service in the case of administrators and media representatives, is a consideration, it alone does not determine eligibility. Players must be retired from the game for at least three years before they become eligible for induction, while coaches, umpires and media representatives are eligible upon retirement.
The committee considers candidates from all the states and territories of Australia and from all Australian Football competitions within Australia. The following excerpt from the official Hall of Fame website highlights the main criteria used by the committee in selecting inductees to the Hall of Fame: The Committee shall consider a candidate's outstanding service and overall contribution to the game of Australian Football in determining a candidate's eligibility for induction into the Hall of Fame. Without limiting clause 5.1, the Committee may consider a candidate's individual record, integrity and character. The number of football games played, coached or umpired or the years of service provided shall only be a consideration and shall not be determinative in assessing a candidate's eligibility. A player, umpire, administrator or media representative involved at any level of Australian Football may be eligible for induction into the Hall of Fame. Candidates shall be adjudged on the basis of their overall contribution to Australian Football, as opposed to one specific aspect.
In 2010, several amendments were made to the selection criteria: The key criteria changes include: The maximum number of inductees in any single year reduced from eight to six, to increase the emphasis and honour for those inducted. The requirement to induct a minimum of three retired players reduced to a minimum of two, to ensure older players deserving of induction are represented in proportion; the requirement to have one inductee from the grouping of categories umpire/administrator/media every year changed to a minimum of one from this category every two years. The Hall of Fame selection committee to be independent from the AFL Commission; the wording in the charter has been changed so that the selection committee recommends to the commission for “endorsement” rather than for “approval”. Selectors would be appointed for an initial term of three years, with two further opportunities to be appointed for subsequent three year terms. At least 25 per cent of the selection committee to reside outside of Victoria.
The Legends category is reserved for those who are deemed to have had a significant impact on the game of Australian rules football. All "Legends" enshrined to date represent former players of the VFL/AFL, with the exception of Barrie Robran who played the whole of his career in the SANFL. Being named as a "Legend" of the Australian Football Hall of Fame is the highest honour which can be bestowed onto an Australian footballer. In 2010, several amendments to the Legends category were made to ensure the exclusivity and prestige of the Hall of Fame. Among them were: The Legends category remains for recognition of the most significant playing and coaching records The number of Legends that can be part of the Hall of Fame remains at a maximum of 10 per cent of the total inductees Criteria for elevating an inductee to Legend status requires that only ‘playing and coaching’ records be taken into account and not a candidate’s overall contribution to the game outside of playing and coaching People inducted into the Australian Football Hall of Fame on their coaching records.
John Acraman Charles Kingston Richard Twopeny Every year there is a special Hall of Fame dinner to announce and welcome the new inductees to the Hall of Fame. The Hall of Fame inductions started in Melbourne in 1996 to celebrate the VFL-AFL centenary season. Ceremonies have only been held outside of Victoria twice, once at Canberra in 2013 and once at Adelaide in 2017; the Hall of Fame has been criticised by football writers and historians for being biased towards figures from Victoria. The initial selection committee was made up of 11 Victorians, one South Australian and one Western Australian, with the current selection committee being made up of six Victorians, two Western Australians and one South Australian. Of the 136 inaugural inductees into the Hall of Fame, 116 played substantial parts of their careers in Victoria, with eleven of the thirteen "Legends" from Victoria. Criticism has been slated at the under-representation of pioneers and other early stars of the game. Adam Cardosi wrote in 2014: If we take the HOF at face value, footy legends only started to appear in number from the 1930s, reached a high point in the 1960s and 1970s....
Thus, according to the HOF’s reckoning, the first sixty five years of the game is worth one legend, while the next sixty five years is worth 24 legends. In 2018 the same criticism was levelled by ABC sport reporter James Coventry who cr
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
Nicole Joanne Cornes is a union legal officer, a former newspaper columnist and a former Australian Labor political candidate. She was the unsuccessful 2007 Australian Labor Party candidate for the division of Boothby, a marginal Liberal seat in the south of Adelaide. Nicole Cornes was born in Adelaide, she attended St Theresa's Primary School, Marymount College, Sacred Heart College, Somerton Park. She left school at 14 and held various jobs including as a receptionist at Adelaide radio station 5AA. At 19 she met her future husband 22 years her senior Graham Cornes, a radio presenter at 5AA and former notable Australian rules football player, she has completed a law degree at Flinders University, works as a legal officer for the Shop Distributive and Allied Employees' Association, SA Branch. She is completing a Master of Law. For several years she was a regular columnist for the Sunday Mail. Cornes' first political involvement began when she was approached by family friend and State Deputy Premier Kevin Foley to run as the Labor candidate for the South Australian Division of Boothby in the 2007 Federal election after her husband declined the nomination.
Cornes admitted at a press conference that she had voted for the Liberal party for political opponent Liberal John Howard, had written about him as a "fine PM" in her newspaper column. Cornes's early campaign was marked by several gaffes, such as when she admitted that she was not familiar with Labor policies; when Cornes was contacted for an interview by the Adelaide Advertiser, she said:"I won't have to answer any tough questions, no hard-hitting questions, will I? I've had just about enough of those questions." She was quoted as saying her difficult first interview would not have been better for more preparation:"I'm still going to lose my words, my thought patterns are still going to get jumbled. In a way, that's a bit of my personality too"; such comments generated intense public and media interest, unfavourable. Despite such negativity, Cornes resolutely conducted her campaign, concentrating on traditional methods such as door-knocking, train stations, street-corner meetings and public forums.
The electoral results for the Division of Boothby showed that Cornes obtained 30,501 votes first preference votes compared to long-time sitting member Andrew Southcott's 41,343. The two-party preferred result was a swing of -2.44 % from Southcott. This was in the context of a South Australian state swing of 6.76% to the Labor Party. Political journalist Alan Ramsey added some balance to her controversial canditature when he noted:"No candidate for any party in any state emerged with more dignity in "losing" on election night than Cornes." After the election, journalist Andrew Bolt apologised to Cornes for calling her a dill on the television show the Insiders, stating:"I still think she was no great candidate, but I much regret that insult after watching last night's Australian Story. From the show I learned that during her torrid campaign she was going through a emotional court case against a relative who had abused her when she was just five. I learned that the media coverage on which I'd relied in forming my opinion may not have been quite fair.
Given all that, I've found a new respect for her composure. And I'm cross with myself at having been unfair. I'm the real dill." After the election, Nicole Cornes was featured in an episode of the ABC's Australian Story program which focused on her unsuccessful campaign. During the episode it was revealed that she had been campaigning while appearing in court as the victim in a child abuse case; the accused was convicted and lost his appeal. The final appeal was dismissed. In 2011, Cornes sued the Network Ten television station for comments made on its AFL-themed panel discussion show, Before the Game, by comedian Mick Molloy. During the episode in question, Molloy made a joke implying that Hawthorn footballer Stuart Dew had slept with her; the joke was in reference to comments Cornes had made in her newspaper column praising Dew for having stated he would be prepared to walk away from his AFL career in order to support his then-girlfriend, actress Teresa Palmer, describing him therein as "a great catch".
Justice David Peek awarded Cornes $93,000 in damages and interest. Network Ten is appealing the decision She is the third wife of former Australian rules footballer and coach Graham Cornes, 22 years her senior, stepmother to his sons, high-profile footballers Chad and Kane, they have three children: Amy Nicole, Charlize Alice, Gia Alexzandra. Nicole Cornes - Candidate for Boothby
Kane Graham Cornes is a former professional Australian rules footballer who played for the Port Adelaide Football Club in the Australian Football League. A product of Sacred Heart College and Glenelg in the SANFL, he made his AFL debut in 2001 after being selected with pick 20 in the 2000 AFL Draft. Prior to his professional football career he attended Sacred Heart College, one of the most prolific schools in Australia in terms of producing Australian Rules footballers, his All Australian brother Chad Cornes attended Sacred Heart College and played for Glenelg in the SANFL. They are the sons of South Australian football identity Graham Cornes and stepsons of 2007 Federal Labor candidate Nicole Cornes, they have three younger half-sisters paternally. In 2001 and 2002, Cornes played in Port Adelaide's two pre-season competition winning teams. In 2004, the team made the step up, Cornes was in the team that won the 2004 AFL premiership, Port Adelaide's first in the AFL. 2004, Cornes' fourth season in the competition, saw him cement his position in the midfield, averaging 20 disposals a game.
Cornes continued his good form into 2005 becoming All Australian, in 2006 played his 100th game for the club in round 7, topped the AFL Dreamteam competition, despite his team Port Adelaide having a bad year. In 2007 Cornes won All Australian selection for the second time in a team otherwise dominated by Geelong players, he was the leading possession winner in the AFL, received the most Brownlow votes for the year for Port Adelaide, won their best and fairest, the John Cahill Medal, ahead of brother Chad. In 2010 Cornes took out his third John Cahill Medal and confirmed his reputation as the club's most consistent player through a new attacking role that went beyond his previous role of tagging the opposition's best players, his 36-possession, 2-goal game against the Western Bulldogs in Round 16 of that year was a highlight, in addition to a 38-possession effort against West Coast late in the year. Instrumental in the Power's late season fortunes, he was well-deserving of his third best and fairest merit and highlighted his durability as a mainstay of the Port Adelaide engine room.
In 2011 Cornes had a difficult season by his standards as he adjusted to a new role which took him further away from his traditional tagging duties. Before 2011, Cornes had not missed a single game since 2003, but round 4, 2011 saw his streak of 174 consecutive games come to an end when he was omitted from the side. Playing more on the wing and across halfback, he was sent back to Glenelg in the SANFL with a view to adapting better to the coaching panel's new expectations, he still managed to play 17 games out of a possible 23, despite spending time back at the SANFL Tigers, was serviceable in his ball-winning ability. Cornes made an impressive return to form in 2012, playing every game, playing an exceptional season as a setup midfielder, he won his fourth John Cahill Medal on the back of his season and polled again in the Brownlow Medal votes. He once again topped the disposals count for the season. Cornes received high praise for returning to his acclaimed tagging football with top performances on midfield heavyweights Brent Harvey and Gary Ablett.
Cornes reached his 250th game in Round 5 of 2013, where Port Adelaide came from 41-points down to win 12.12 to 10.19 at AAMI Stadium against the West Coast Eagles, taking the Power to a 5–0 start to the season. Shortly after, Cornes passed Warren Tredrea's record of 258 games to become the man who has played the most games for Port Adelaide in the AFL, in a match where Port thrashed Greater Western Sydney at Skoda Stadium, 19.11 to 6.14. Cornes has played a vital role under Ken Hinkley in reinventing Port Adelaide and getting the team back into finals in 2013, helping the Power to their best start to an AFL season in 2014, starting 10–1, before losing the 2014 preliminary final to Hawthorn, the eventual premiers, by three points. Cornes' 2015 season was short, he played the first two games of the season before being rested in round three. He played a further three games to take his career tally to 298 before announcing that the round 8 game against Richmond would be his 300th and last to join the South Australian Metropolitan Fire Service.
He finished his Port Adelaide career having played a total of 300 games, winning 4 best and fairests, two All Australian guernseys and a premiership. On 31 December 2004, Kane married long-time girlfriend who he met at Sacred Heart College, Lucy Cornes; the two have three children together, Raphael William, Sonny. Cornes was a member of the South Australian Metropolitan Fire Service, while trying to balance working in the media before leaving to take up a media based position, he has provided part-time coaching work at the Glenelg Football Club. Kane Cornes's profile on the official website of the Port Adelaide Football Club Kane Cornes's playing statistics from AFL Tables Kane Cornes at AustralianFootball.com
Melbourne is the capital and most populous city of the Australian state of Victoria, the second most populous city in Australia and Oceania. Its name refers to an urban agglomeration of 9,992.5 km2, comprising a metropolitan area with 31 municipalities, is the common name for its city centre. The city occupies much of the coastline of Port Phillip bay and spreads into the hinterlands towards the Dandenong and Macedon ranges, Mornington Peninsula and Yarra Valley, it has a population of 4.9 million, its inhabitants are referred to as "Melburnians". The city was founded on 30 August 1835, in the then-British colony of New South Wales, by free settlers from the colony of Van Diemen’s Land, it was incorporated as a Crown settlement in 1837 and named in honour of the British Prime Minister, William Lamb, 2nd Viscount Melbourne. In 1851, four years after Queen Victoria declared it a city, Melbourne became the capital of the new colony of Victoria. In the wake of the 1850s Victorian gold rush, the city entered a lengthy boom period that, by the late 1880s, had transformed it into one of the world's largest and wealthiest metropolises.
After the federation of Australia in 1901, it served as interim seat of government of the new nation until Canberra became the permanent capital in 1927. Today, it is a leading financial centre in the Asia-Pacific region and ranks 15th in the Global Financial Centres Index; the city is home to many of the best-known cultural institutions in the nation, such as the Melbourne Cricket Ground, the National Gallery of Victoria and the World Heritage-listed Royal Exhibition Building. It is the birthplace of Australian impressionism, Australian rules football, the Australian film and television industries and Australian contemporary dance. More it has been recognised as a UNESCO City of Literature and a global centre for street art, live music and theatre, it is the host city of annual international events such as the Australian Grand Prix, the Australian Open and the Melbourne Cup, has hosted the 1956 Summer Olympics and the 2006 Commonwealth Games. Due to it rating in entertainment and sport, as well as education, health care and development, the EIU ranks it the second most liveable city in the world.
The main airport serving the city is Melbourne Airport, the second busiest in Australia, Australia's busiest seaport the Port of Melbourne. Its main metropolitan rail terminus is Flinders Street station and its main regional rail and road coach terminus is Southern Cross station, it has the most extensive freeway network in Australia and the largest urban tram network in the world. Indigenous Australians have lived in the Melbourne area for an estimated 31,000 to 40,000 years; when European settlers arrived in the 19th-century, under 2,000 hunter-gatherers from three regional tribes—the Wurundjeri and Wathaurong—inhabited the area. It was an important meeting place for the clans of the Kulin nation alliance and a vital source of food and water; the first British settlement in Victoria part of the penal colony of New South Wales, was established by Colonel David Collins in October 1803, at Sullivan Bay, near present-day Sorrento. The following year, due to a perceived lack of resources, these settlers relocated to Van Diemen's Land and founded the city of Hobart.
It would be 30 years. In May and June 1835, John Batman, a leading member of the Port Phillip Association in Van Diemen's Land, explored the Melbourne area, claimed to have negotiated a purchase of 600,000 acres with eight Wurundjeri elders. Batman selected a site on the northern bank of the Yarra River, declaring that "this will be the place for a village" before returning to Van Diemen's Land. In August 1835, another group of Vandemonian settlers arrived in the area and established a settlement at the site of the current Melbourne Immigration Museum. Batman and his group arrived the following month and the two groups agreed to share the settlement known by the native name of Dootigala. Batman's Treaty with the Aborigines was annulled by Richard Bourke, the Governor of New South Wales, with compensation paid to members of the association. In 1836, Bourke declared the city the administrative capital of the Port Phillip District of New South Wales, commissioned the first plan for its urban layout, the Hoddle Grid, in 1837.
Known as Batmania, the settlement was named Melbourne in 1837 after the British Prime Minister, William Lamb, 2nd Viscount Melbourne, whose seat was Melbourne Hall in the market town of Melbourne, Derbyshire. That year, the settlement's general post office opened with that name. Between 1836 and 1842, Victorian Aboriginal groups were dispossessed of their land by European settlers. By January 1844, there were said to be 675 Aborigines resident in squalid camps in Melbourne; the British Colonial Office appointed five Aboriginal Protectors for the Aborigines of Victoria, in 1839, however their work was nullified by a land policy that favoured squatters who took possession of Aboriginal lands. By 1845, fewer than 240 wealthy Europeans held all the pastoral licences issued in Victoria and became a powerful political and economic force in Victoria for generations to come. Letters patent of Queen Victoria, issued on 25 June 1847, declared Melbourne a city. On 1 July 1851, the Port Phillip District separated from New South Wales to become the Colony of Victoria, with Melbourne as its capital.
The discovery of gold in Victoria in mid-1851 sparked a
Australian rules football
Australian rules football known as Australian football, or called Aussie rules, football or footy, is a contact sport played between two teams of eighteen players on an oval-shaped field a modified cricket ground. Points are scored by kicking the oval-shaped ball between behind posts. During general play, players may position themselves anywhere on the field and use any part of their bodies to move the ball; the primary methods are kicking and running with the ball. There are rules on how the ball can be handled: for example, players running with the ball must intermittently bounce or touch it on the ground. Throwing the ball is not allowed and players must not get caught holding the ball. A distinctive feature of the game is the mark, where players anywhere on the field who catch the ball from a kick are awarded possession. Possession of the ball is in dispute at all times except when mark is paid. Players can use their whole body to obstruct opponents. Dangerous physical contact, interference when marking and deliberately slowing the play are discouraged with free kicks, distance penalties or suspension for a certain number of matches, depending on the seriousness of the infringement.
The game features frequent physical contests, spectacular marking, fast movement of both players and the ball and high scoring. The sport's origins can be traced to football matches played in Melbourne, Victoria in 1858, inspired by English public school football games. Seeking to develop a game more suited to adults and Australian conditions, the Melbourne Football Club published the first laws of Australian football in May 1859, making it the oldest of the world's major football codes. Australian football has the highest spectator attendance and television viewership of all sports in Australia, while the Australian Football League, the sport's only professional competition, is the nation's wealthiest sporting body; the AFL Grand Final, held annually at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, is the highest attended club championship event in the world. The sport is played at amateur level in many countries and in several variations, its rules are governed by the AFL Commission with the advice of the AFL's Laws of the Game Committee.
Australian rules football is known by several nicknames, including Aussie rules and footy. In some regions, it is marketed as AFL after the Australian Football League. There is evidence of football being played sporadically in the Australian colonies in the first half of the 19th century. Compared to cricket and horse racing, football was viewed as a minor "amusement" at the time, while little is known about these early one-off games, it is clear they share no causal link with Australian football. In 1858, in a move that would help to shape Australian football in its formative years, "public" schools in Melbourne, Victoria began organising football games inspired by precedents at English public schools; the earliest such match, held in St Kilda on 15 June, was between Melbourne Grammar and St Kilda Grammar. On 10 July 1858, the Melbourne-based Bell's Life in Victoria and Sporting Chronicle published a letter by Tom Wills, captain of the Victoria cricket team, calling for the formation of a "foot-ball club" with a "code of laws" to keep cricketers fit during winter.
Born in Australia, Wills played a nascent form of rugby football whilst a pupil at Rugby School in England, returned to his homeland a star athlete and cricketer. His letter is regarded by many historians as giving impetus for the development of a new code of football today known as Australian football. Two weeks Wills' friend, cricketer Jerry Bryant, posted an advertisement for a scratch match at the Richmond Paddock adjoining the Melbourne Cricket Ground; this was the first of several "kickabouts" held that year involving members of the Melbourne Cricket Club, including Wills, Bryant, W. J. Hammersley and J. B. Thompson. Trees were used as goalposts and play lasted an entire afternoon. Without an agreed upon code of laws, some players were guided by rules they had learned in the British Isles, "others by no rules at all". Another significant milestone in 1858 was a match played under experimental rules between Melbourne Grammar and Scotch College, held at the Richmond Paddock; this 40-a-side contest, umpired by Wills and Scotch College teacher John Macadam, began on 7 August and continued over two subsequent Saturdays, ending in a draw with each side kicking one goal.
It is commemorated with a statue outside the MCG, the two schools have competed annually since in the Cordner-Eggleston Cup, the world's oldest continuous football competition. Since the early 20th century, it has been suggested that Australian football was derived from the Irish sport of Gaelic football, not codified until 1885. There is no archival evidence in favour of a Gaelic influence, the style of play shared between the two modern codes was evident in Australia long before the Irish game evolved in a similar direction. Another theory, first proposed in 1983, posits that Wills, having grown up amongst Aborigines in Victoria, may have seen or played the Aboriginal game of Marn Grook, incorporated some of its features into early Australian football; the evidence for this is only circumstantial, according to biographer Greg de Moore's research, Wills was "almost influenced by his experience at Rugby School". A loosely organised Melbourne side, captained by Wills, played against other football enthusiasts in the winter and spring of 1858.
The following year, on 14 May, the Melbourne Football Club came into being, making it one of the
Essendon Football Club
The Essendon Football Club, nicknamed the Bombers, is a professional Australian rules football club that plays in the Australian Football League, the sport's premier competition. Thought to have formed in 1872, the club played its first recorded game on 7 June 1873 against a Carlton Second 20, winning 1 goal to nil; the club played a senior club in the Victorian Football Association in 1878, one year after the VFA formed. It is associated with Essendon, a suburb in the north-west of Melbourne, Victoria. Since 2013, the club has been headquartered at The Hangar, Melbourne Airport, plays its home games at either Docklands Stadium or the Melbourne Cricket Ground. While it stopped playing games at the ground thereafter, Windy Hill remained its training and administration base until the end of 2013. Dyson Heppell is the current team captain. A founding member club of both the Victorian Football Association, in 1877, the Victorian Football League, in 1896, Essendon is one of Australia's best-known football clubs.
Essendon has won 16 VFL/AFL premierships, along with Carlton, is the most of any club in the competition. The club won four consecutive VFA premierships between 1891 and 1894, a feat unmatched in VFA/VFL history; the club was founded by members of the Royal Agricultural Society, the Melbourne Hunt Club and the Victorian Woolbrokers. The Essendon Football Club is thought to have formed in 1872 at a meeting it the home of a well-known brewery family, the McCrackens, whose Ascot Vale property hosted a team of local junior players. Robert McCracken, the owner of several city hotels, was the founder and first president of the Essendon Football club and his son, its first secretary. Alex became president of the newly formed VFL. Alex's cousin, Collier McCracken, who had played with Melbourne, was the team's first captain; the club played its first recorded match against the Carlton second twenty on 7 June 1873, with Essendon winning by one goal. Essendon played 13 matches in its first season, losing two.
The club was one of the inaugural junior members of the Victorian Football Association in 1877, began competing as a senior club from the 1878 season. During its early years in the Association, Essendon played its home matches at Flemington Hill, but moved to the East Melbourne Cricket Ground in 1881. In 1878, Essendon played in the first match on what would be considered by modern standards to be a full-sized field at Flemington Hill. In 1879 Essendon played Melbourne in one of the earliest night matches recorded when the ball was painted white. In 1883 the team played four matches in eight days in Adelaide: losing to Norwood, defeating Port Adelaide, a combined South Australian team, South Adelaide. In 1891 Essendon won their first VFA premiership, which they repeated in 1892, 1893 and 1894. One of the club's greatest players, Albert Thurgood played for the club during this period, making his debut in 1892. Essendon was undefeated in the 1893 season. At the end of the 1896 season Essendon along with seven other clubs formed the Victorian Football League.
Essendon's first VFL game was in 1897 was against Geelong at Corio Oval in Geelong. Essendon won its first VFL premiership by winning the 1897 VFL finals series. Essendon again won the premiership in 1901; the club won successive premierships in 1911 and 1912 over Collingwood and South Melbourne respectively. The club is recorded as having played at Glass' Paddock and Flemington Hill, it is that these are three different names for the one ground, given that McCracken's Paddock was a parcel of land that sat within the larger Glass's Paddock which in turn was situated in an area known at the time as Flemington Hill. In 1882 the club moved home games to the East Melbourne Cricket Ground, after an application to play on the Essendon Cricket Ground was voted down by Lord Mayor James Taylor on the basis that City of Essendon the mayor considered the Essendon Cricket Ground "to be suitable only for the gentleman's game of cricket",The club became known by the nickname "the Same Old Essendon", from the title and hook of the principal song performed by a band of supporters which occupied a section of the grandstand at the club's games.
The nickname first appeared in print in the local North Melbourne Advertiser in 1889, ended up gaining wide use as the diminutive "Same Olds". This move away from Essendon, at a time when fans would walk to their local ground, didn't go down too well with many Essendon people, it was known firstly as Essendon Town and, after 1905, as Essendon. After the 1921 season, the East Melbourne Cricket Ground was closed and demolished to expand the Flinders Street Railyard. Having played at the East Melbourne Cricket Ground from 1882 to 1921, having won four VFA premierships and four VFL premierships whilst there, Essendon was looking for a new home, was offered grounds at the current Royal Melbourne Showgrounds, at Victoria Park, at Arden St, North Melbourne, the Essendon Cricket Ground; the Essendon City Council offered the team the Essendon Cricket Ground, announcing that it would be pre