Victorian Football League

Photos by Competition and Team


The Victorian Football League (VFL, became the Australian Football League (AFL) and is the premier Australian Rules Football Competition in the country.

The AFL now has two clubs in each of Western Australia, South Australia, New South Wales and Queensland as well as the many Victorian teams.

This site focused on the work of Charles Boyles, roughly 1928-61, and therefore uses the historical term 'VFL' thoughout the site. During this time especially, South Austtralia and Western Australia had strong independant competitions.

There are many websites about club teams and football history. A good starting place is Wikipedia:

Brief History

The Victorian Football League (VFL) began in 1897 as a breakaway from the established VFA competition by some of the most successful clubs. The competition was originally between eight clubs.

Richmond, and Melbourne University joined the VFL in 1908. The biggest change to the VFL team list occured in 1925 when North Melbourne, Hawthorn and Footscray joined.

The 1980s the VFL broadened it's focus. The South Melbourne relocated to Sydney and became the Sydney Swans in 1982. In 1987 the Brisbane Bears and West Coast Eagles joined the competition. In 1990 the VFL renamed itself the Australian Football League (AFL) to reflect the national focus. Since 1990 there have been more interstate teams join the AFL, and the Fitzroy Team merged with the Brisbane Bears to form the Brisbane Lions.

Prior to the 1980s, all VFL games were played on a Saturday afternoon. During the 1980s the League began playing matches on Friday night and on Sunday afternoons.

The Argus 22-Apr-1950 p44
The Argus 22-Apr-1950 p44

1899 Onfield Players from 20 to 18
1924-25 Black knickers for Home team and White knickers for Away Team

1968 Introducion of country recruitment zones throughout Victoria Pre 1968 zones are Metro only

Interchange rules have changed over time. The Interchange rule can assist in identification of team photos as the player count in the photo will change, ie in the 1930s 18 + 1 substitute = 19 in most photos and from 1946, 18 + 2 substitutes = 20 in most photos.

Following for VFL only.
Prior to 1930 No Interchange, Team must play one player short
1930 allow one substitute
1946 allow two substitutes
1978 change from two substitutes to two interchanges
1994 allow three interchanges
1998 allow four interchanges
2011 allow three interchanges and one substitute

Also see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laws_of_Australian_rules_football


Teams list and team names as they existed 1928-61:
Carlton (VFL) 1897-
Collingwood (VFL) 1897-
Essendon (VFL) 1897-
Fitzroy (VFL) 1897-
Footscray (VFL) 1925-
Geelong (VFL) 1897-
Hawthorn (VFL) 1925-
Melbourne (VFL) 1897-
North Melbourne (VFL) 1925-
Richmond (VFL) 1908-
South Melbourne (VFL) 1897-
St. Kilda (VFL) 1897-

Other Teams

University (Melbourne University) 1908-1914

South Melbourne relocated to Sydney and is not known as the Sydney Swans. Fitzroy merged with the Brisbane Bears and formed the Brisbane Lions. Footscray are now known as the Western Bulldogs.

Expansion as part of the AFL has included a number of clubs including Adelaide, Port Adelaide, Fremantle, West Coast Eagles, Brisbane Bears, Gold Coast. Greater Western Sydney.

The Argus 23-Apr-1938 p8 - Note Carlton being represented by a Cockatoo and the 'shinboner' butcher bottom left
The Argus 23-Apr-1938 p8 - Note Carlton being represented by a Cockatoo and the 'shinboner' butcher bottom left


For Individual Ground Pages see Photos by Location


Reference_ Australian Football Hall of Fame
Reference_ Brownlow Medal - Best and Fairest in AFL Senior Competiton
Reference_ Brownlow Medal - 2nd Place - Best and Fairest in AFL Senior Competiton
Reference_ Leading Goalkicker (Coleman Medal) - Leading Goalkicker in AFL Senior Competiton
Gardiner_Medal - Best and Fairest in AFL Seconds Competiton


Reference_ VFL - 8 or more goals per game in VFL games (pre 1966 players)
Reference_ VFL_AFL Tribunal 1877-1980
http://www.afl.com.au/ (Official Site)

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Ken and Michael are proud members of the Australian Football Heritage Group (AFHG)
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