Playing long balls into empty space since 2012.

Saturday 13 December 2014

At least they don't do this any more . . .

Vandals at Oval

By Morrie Buckner

Vandals tried to burn down the grandstands at Middle Park soccer stadium on Friday night. Several rows of seats were charred. The vandals also chopped down both sets of goal posts. These had to be replaced before yesterday’s Hakoah-Lions match. Anti-soccer slogans were daubed on walls and terraces in letters 18 inches high. These included ‘Down with soccer’. ‘Go home wogs’. South Melbourne police have questioned two youths.

Sun, 24 May 1965, p. 33.

Monday 24 November 2014

FIFA and World Cups 2018 and 2022

by Roy Hay

Surprise, surprise. The FIFA inquiry into corruption in the bidding process for the World Cups in 2018 and 2022 has now been completed. The two countries whose media have been most vociferous in alleging improprieties in the bidding process, England and Australia, are castigated for engaging in nefarious practices, while of the two successful bidders, Russia, gets a slap on the wrist and Qatar is completely exonerated from any involvement. The full report on what FIFA believes went on is not released for legal reasons, so all we have is a very longwinded statement by the head of the adjudicating body, Hans Joachim Eckert, which considered the report and selected the items to be discussed.

The treatment of Russia is almost laughable. Apparently the Russian football authorities hired the computers on which the work was done, then returned them to the suppliers at the conclusion of the process and they have since been destroyed. So no evidence there. Then Google, which might have had some of the Russian data on its Gmail accounts ‘had not responded request’ (sic) to release it. Why an investigative body with no coercive powers should think it could get to the bottom of the behaviour by a country whose football body is overseen by a former official of the KGB is hardly a puzzle.

American lawyer Michael Garcia, who conducted the two-year inquiry on behalf of FIFA, said the Eckert commentary on his report ‘contains numerous materially incomplete and erroneous representations’. Michael Garcia has been banned from entering Russia. He plans to appeal to FIFA though for precisely what is not clear. Several influential people have argued that his report should now be published in full.

In the case of Qatar all the financial shenanigans engaged in by Mohamed bin Hamman are attributed to his abortive campaign to run against Sepp Blatter in the election for President of FIFA in June 2011 and have nothing to do with the Qatari bid for the World Cup hosting, which is squeaky clean. Bin Hamman refused a request to speak to the Investigatory Committee. But the Committee found that Bin Hamman encouraged and offered to pay for an appeal against his suspension from football activities by the representative of Oceania, Reynald Temarii. Temarii had been instructed to vote for Australia by Oceania, but was not able to vote because of his suspension, or be replaced because he had appealed against the suspension. If that is not influencing the voting process then what is it? As it was that would only have given Australia two votes in the first round, and it needed four to have any chance of taking part in the subsequent rounds of voting.

Australia on the other hand is said to have been involved in dodgy deals with those well-known conmen Fedor Radmann and Peter Hargitay. Australia also tried to buy the support of Jack Warner, an Executive Committee member who was later suspended from football related activities for corruption. Australia was also complicit in deals to improve football facilities in Africa which were tied to the bid process in a way that was deemed inappropriate. Much of the evidence against Australia was already in the public domain and the whistleblowing of Bonita Mersiades, formerly part of the Australian bid team, but later sacked, was sidelined because she went public with her issues. There is no doubt that dealing with Radmann, Hargitay and Warner was a serious error of judgment on the part of Frank Lowy and his team and there may be repercussions, but the report concludes that the ‘potentially problematic facts and circumstances identified by the report regarding the Australia 2022 bid were, all in all, not suited to compromise the integrity of the FIFA World Cup 2018/2022 bidding process as a whole’!

The England bid is also said to have involved corrupt behaviour by Warner and other members of the Executive Committee which the English bid team ‘accommodated, or at least attempted to satisfy’ in two cases. Most of the evidence relating to these matters came up in the House of Commons commissioned inquiry by James Dingemans, though the FIFA Committee claimed to have supplemented Dingemans’ findings. Again the overall conclusion is that despite jeopardising the integrity of the bidding process, the English facts and circumstances were not suited to comprise the process as a whole!

So that’s all right then.

Wednesday 29 October 2014

Rohan Connolly: 100 years too late?

Barely over 100 years ago, the Melbourne Argus published a report (below left) on the growth of soccer in Melbourne. Written by an habitual follower of VFL, it acknowledged that soccer was going through a growth period, with more and more players and spectators being attracted to the game. The report spoke about the attractiveness of the game and the enjoyment of the spectators. It praised the skills of the players and suggested that VFL footballers might have something to learn from soccer's technical qualities. The article also put VFL in a poor light when comparing the 'gentlemanly' nature of soccer with the corruption suspected of inhabiting Australian rules at that time. 
Two days ago: 100 years later, Age footy journalist Rohan Connolly wrote an article (below right) that was remarkably similar in both rhetorical terms and in the way it noticed the rise of soccer and the suggestion that AFL might have something to learn from it. As I said to Connolly on twitter, it was both thoughtful and respectful. It also refused to take the anti-sokkah knee-jerk line that others journos have when confronted with the 'evil' of flares. The articles do exhibit some differences of course. The Argus piece is focused largely on the soccer played at Middle Park in 1914 whereas Connolly's interest is in fan engagement. Another difference is that the first piece is followed by the local league results of the day. Hell will freeze over before Connolly's employer reports on state soccer again.
What I find most interesting though is that Connolly is able to write this kind of article; as if this crazy, funny game has only just started to emerge in this town; as if this is a game without local precedent, without local history. I'd love to take Connolly on a ride in my time machine, to Middle Park and Olympic Park and even the Fitzroy Cricket Ground and show him a real, existing, passionate soccer culture across Melbourne's history. I'd like to show him why articles like his, however positive and respectful, are re-inventions of a wheel that started turning in 1883 and has hardly stopped since.
I'd just love to know when we will stop seeing gobsmacked non-soccer writers writing about our long-standing culture as if it has just dropped in from planet UnAustraya. Articles like Connolly's are ultimately about the writer's own lack of knowledge and familiarity and not the phenomenon which he is observing. Good on him for taking this first step. Let there be more of them.


Argus, June 29, 1914

Organised by a few enthusiasts from England, who found the Australian game, even as it was played several years ago, not at all to their liking, British Association football now draws from 2,000 to 4,000 people to Middle Park every Saturday. That the internal growth of the Victoria Amateur Football Association now affiliated with the governing body in England, has been equally steady is shown by the fact that there are 22 clubs in Victoria, with a roll of about 500 playing members, while New South Wales has 130 clubs. Most of those who are satisfied to stand in the open all the afternoon, threatened by batteries of artillery and stray horses, were keen followers of the game before they reached Australia, but there is a growing percentage of local "barrackers" who come down as curious sceptics, and soon find themselves fascinated by what is one of the prettiest and cleverest games in the world to watch. A game that will attract 100,000 Englishmen must necessarily have some good features, and these are beginning to be more and more recognised by many who are disgusted at the present condition of the Australian game. It might be thought that some of the supporters are won by the prospect of a free show, but no suggestion of that can be found in the appearance of the men and women round the side lines. To a great extent it is a family outing, and renewal of home ties.

Men who have seen the game at its best laugh when asked how the standard of play here compares with that in England, but the things that are done with the ballat Middle Park are eye-openers to followers of League football. The principles underlying British Association are the prevention of handling of the ball and the reduction of rules, and consequently interference by the umpire or referee, to minimum. The playing area is smaller than ours, and there are only eleven men a side, who stand all in their own half of the ground at the kick-off and play largely in their places, the attack being made by the five forwards—centre and inside and outside left and right. The goalkeeper is the only player allowed to handle the ball, and he may not run with it. This formation and the use of a spherical ball make the game clean and open. Passing becomes a feature of the play, and even the mediocre player seems able to direct the ball to any angle with any part of the foot, toe, or heel while running. Naturally, the round ball is easier than the oval to deal with but the precision with which it is got under control from the air and 'dribbled' along a few inches in front of the feet at top speed is only less surprising than the use made of the opposite end of the body. Meeting the ball on the full a player will "head" it across to the wing with the front of his skull farther than an Australian would pass with his hand. A man prominently connected with a sport once as popular as football, but killed by corruption, was keenly interested in the play on Saturday, and speculated as to the result if first-class League players acquired the same control over the ball as these amateurs. As he spoke an incident capped his remark. The ball flew high to the wing. A man "headed" it back. An opponent headed it out again. and a fellow of the first smothered it with his foot as it landed, and swung it hard towards the goal.

After the skill of the players the insignificance of the referees part is the most striking feature. Imagine a league umpire in boots and blazer, walking about the centre of the ground most of the time! The only penalties he has to inflict are for handling the ball or the man, charging in the back, tripping and kicking, and "offside." But when he speaks he speaks with authority. Any player can be ordered off the ground. An incident on Saturday showed the spirit of the game. A player was tripped and he turned and kicked his opponent. Shouts of "Play the game" came from both teams and as the referee merely warned the kicker and gave a penalty against him, a burly spectator growled "And he didn't order him off. No wonder the game doesn't get on in the colonies."

Still, it does get on and its supporters even prophesy that it will solve the problem of universal football. Australians are not yet excelling as players, for their speed is counteracted by a lack of restraint. That is why Victoria won all four matches against New South Wales recently. One has only to listen to the shouts of the players and the keenest supporters to discover where they hail from. But they hold that the morals of the game will win a way for it. Already the round ball has made its appearance in school playgrounds. The prime advantage claimed for British Association is that to achieve corruption one must buy most of the team. The referee has so little to do in comparison with the Australian umpire that he is a valueless asset.

What the AFL could learn from the A-League

Rohan Connolly

Age, October 27, 2014

In purely scoreboard terms, Saturday night's A-League derby between Melbourne Victory and Melbourne City was, in the finish, a bit of a rout. Yet the post-game talk universally was of a stunning night for local soccer. Why? It was the atmosphere.

I've been to something like 1500 AFL games in my lifetime and only a handful of A-League fixtures, but the different feel at Etihad Stadium on Saturday night was remarkable. The place simply buzzed.

The derby drew 43,729, more than for all but two of the 48 AFL games played at Etihad Stadium this year, but this was about more than numbers. It was about the noise, the colour and the excitement generated.

Which, heading towards 2015, and a season the AFL has unofficially dubbed "the year of the fan", is an example the indigenous code needs to study very carefully.

Soccer has always had it over the indigenous game for the quality of its crowd chants and singing, but this wasn't just about clever quips and taunts to opposition fans.

There were banners and waving flags aplenty, mass twirling of coloured scarves, and a constant wall of noise generated by the fans, not by ear-splitting and intrusive advertising booming across the PA system at the breaks, a staple of AFL on this occasion thankfully absent.

It was a salient reminder for us older football types of how AFL used to be as a live experience, and perhaps the extent to which the commercialisation and homogenisation of our own code has chipped away at it.

Watch any clips from the old VFL days and you're reminded again. For starters, there were up to eight or nine different venues, each with their own character and quirks, compared with just two in Melbourne now.

Have a look at any home-and-away game from the 1970s or '80s, let alone finals at the MCG or Waverley, and you'll see grounds decked out in club-coloured banners stretching around most of the stands.

They were works of art, slogans that borrowed from old verse or simpler rhymes, the lettering bold or in some memorable cases in Old English script.

Then there were the cheer squads, whose floggers stretched around the fence further than you'd ever see today. They threw copious amounts of crepe paper streamers and ripped up phone directories. Each week, the area behind each team's goals resembled a sea of colour and movement.

The reason you don't see these things any more is in most cases the same: overly draconian health and safety measures and corporatisation of the game to within an inch of its life.

First it was players tripping on streamers and a couple of silly escapades where floggers caught on fire, which led to restrictions on their size. Then came the complaints from sponsors about the streamers covering up the perimeter advertising that began to encase grounds. Good luck finding a square inch of an AFL ground these days not sold off to sponsorship.

There are a lot more AFL games per season than there were 30 years ago. But a lot less differentiation, too, as will happen when roughly 100 games are scheduled for just two multipurpose stadiums that a large contingent of clubs all call "home", though the term regarding Etihad and the MCG should be used loosely.

Social clubs remain anchored at the old suburban bases of those still retaining some connection with them. The grounds of today may have post-match function rooms for the clubs hosting games there, but there's a transient feel, the lack of club culture palpable.

Even beyond that, I hear consistent complaints from football fans about the "nanny state" intruding on their football-going experiences. Signs any more provocative than "Go Pies" being frowned upon or confiscated. And, believe it or not, supporters being warned by security staff for barracking too loudly.

The AFL has had enough trouble this year, amid confusing ticketing systems and unfriendly scheduling, convincing followers to actually turn up to games. The last thing it can afford is to make them feel like naughty schoolchildren when they do.

Which is why, for a hard-core AFL supporter, last Saturday night felt something like a trip back in time. Real passion and involvement, unstymied by over-officiousness. Loads of colour and movement. And lots of noise actually generated by fans rather than speaker stacks.

Of course soccer has its own cultural nuances, its own vibe. But occasions such as the Melbourne Victory-Melbourne City derby just serve to reinforce that, at this critical juncture in the AFL public's relationship with the game, it's a feel those running the show could do a lot worse than reacquaint themselves with. 

Monday 29 September 2014

Soccer registrations reach 600 in pre-WW1 Melbourne

This article is from The Winner, 5 August 1914, only just over 100 years ago. It demonstrates a number of things. First it shows the value of The Winner as an historical source for soccer historians and our good fortune that it has been digitised on Trove. The article also suggests that soccer in Melbourne in 1914 is a game in rude health - with: 600 players, a competitive Dockerty Cup competition, a strong league, a budding junior competition, willing and able officials and administrators and interstate representative trips. The only dull note is the complaint of limited availability of grounds (something that echoes down the years).

‘The Victorian Amateur British Football Association Is now well established, and I can assure you that the game of 'soccer' has come to stay in Victoria, and this with all due respect to other branches of football.' Thus spoke a prominent official to the writer in the course of a recent interview. 'It is not generally known, I feel sure, that we have no fewer than600 players on our register, all connected with clubs in Melbourne and district.' I may point out that the Victorian British Football Association is under strictly amateur auspices, and that it has at its head a body of sportsmen whose one and only desire is to further the interests of this branch of athletics.
Their love for 'soccer' is full of enthusiasm, and bids well for the welfare of the game. Though to an extent hampered for the want of official playing grounds, the Association has surmounted many formidable obstacles, in the course of its efforts to bring the code to the forefront. And it is well to know that they promise to 'make good.'
Of all winter pastimes, 'soccer' has made great and rapid strides in England and Scotland, particularly having made wonderful progress in veritable hotbeds of Rugbyism. In fact, I number amongst some of my best football friends persons who are now well known officials with British Association clubs in the North of England, who years ago held high positions in Rugby circles. When I cast my mind's eye back, it seems almost perplexing to note the intense popularity the 'soccer' game enjoys where once only 'rugger' was spoken of.
It would truly seem as if when one becomes thoroughly initiated into theintricacies of British Association football, it possesses such a wonderful fascination that there is no forsaking itfor any other branch of the winter game. I well remember an old football acquaintance of mine, one of England's finest goal-keepers — J. W.Sutcliffe — remarking to me that 'soccer' was the ideal game so far as scientific football is concerned. Itcould not be well said that this illustrious player had a prejudiced mind, seeing that Sutcliffe is one of the few footballers in the world who enjoys the distinction of having represented his country at both 'soccer' and 'rugger.' He gained his Rugby international honor on the occasion of the first visit of the Maories to England, Sutcliffe being then a mere youth. After further successes inclass 'rugger,' he joined Bolton Wanderers, and whilst with that famed Lancashire organisation gained thecoveted blue riband of the 'soccer' football— an international cap, and a place in the English team! I simply make reference to the above as an in-stance of a crack player's love for this particular game after securing the highest possible honors at the sister code.
To revert, however, to our local clubs, it is interesting to note that the Victorian B. F. A. is affiliated with theparent body in England, no more powerful organisation that which exists in British sport. Victoria is represented on the Council of the v English F. A. by Mr E. Gibb, a player of the olden days, who is not altogether unknown in New Zealand football circles.
Chatting the other day with an enthusiast, he told me that there, was some hope in the not far distant future of organising a tour to Australia of acouple of 'crack' teams from England and Scotland respectively as a missionary enterprise to exhibit the niceties of the game. The undertaking would, of course, be a costly one, butat the same time, it might be money well spent.

It is well to know that the Victorian Council have secured Government sanction from the Defence Department toformulate a scheme for the institution of a 'Soccer' league on behalf of the cadets. The project seems to be a commendable one. Mr R. C. M. Strachan, of Prahran, has made the Association an offer of either a challenge cup or shield to be put up for competition among the cadets.
I am told also, officially, that thecode is making rapid headway in theYarraville district, and in Footscray and Spotswood a lot of enthusiasm is being shown. It is well, too, to knowthat the V.B.F.A. has no lack of efficient referees, which is a most important factor nowadays. The Referees' Association has as president Mr J. G. Hawes, an indefatigable worker in the interests of 'soccer.' Mr W. B. Gilbert is secretary and treasurer, and the examining council comprises Messrs Cummings, Palmer, and Gilbert.
All this goes to show that local 'soccer' is booming, and must eventually make that headway which has characterised its progress in Great Britain.
The finalists for the Dockerty Cup competition is not as yet settled. At the second time of asking, the St. Kilda and Thistle teams failed to decide the issue, another pointless draw being played. The other semi-final, that between Wonthaggi and N. and D., saw a keen, strenuous game, with the last-named coming out on top by a goal to nothing. The game was brimful of incident, each side in turn being seen to advantage. The win may be said to have been of a somewhat flukey character, the winners' goal which gave them the victory being the result of an unlucky piece of play by one of the Wonthaggi backs, who turned the ball into his own goal.
In the concluding stages of the game excitement was intense, Wonthaggi testing the defence of the opposition to its utmost. Thevisitors had certainly a bad share of the luck of the afternoon.
The other games resulted:— League (Division I.) : Birmingham, 2; Burns,The goal-scorers were Taylor, Dodds, Anderson andRuddiman re spectively. Yarraville, 2 ; Prahran, 1.this game, Earthey (through owngoal), Blackburn and Staniforth werethe scorers. Spotswood and Preston scored a draw of a goal each, with Mobbs and Purcell as the respective goal-getters.
The present is a red-letter week for 'Soccerites.' Today (Wednesday) thefollowing players leave Melbourne by the s.s. Manuka for Hobart, under the management of Mr. E. Harvey: — Hamilton, H. Jones, Stranger, M. Gardiner, Woods, Rumbol, Fleming, Marsden, Jeffereys, G. Brown, and Weston.
Seeing that this issue of 'The Winner' contains the first official publication of the teams for next Saturday's international match — England v. Scotland — at Fitzroy, there will be some disappointment amongst those players whose names do not appear. The Football Council sat until a late hour, giving the many claims their most careful consideration.
In accordance with the traditions of international football, all the selected are of English or Scottish birth.
England — Robinson (N. and D.),Hyde (capt., Birmingham), F. Jones(Burns), Lamb (St. Kilda), Riley(Spotswood), Goodson (Thistle), Fisher(Thistle), Walsh (Spotswood), Kendall (St. Kilda), Dowker (Yarraville),Slade (St. Kilda), Allen (Birmingham), Church (St. Kilda), and Golding (Birmingham).
Scotland — Russell (Thistle), Kelly(Albert Park), Raith (Thistle), Tray-nor (Preston); M'Milian (capt., St.Kilda), Cox (Albert Park), Turner (Thistle), Lowe (St. Kilda), Spencer(St. Kilda), Hogg (Thistle), Guthrie(Thistle), Ruddiman (Burns), T. Anderson (Burns), W. Anderson (AlbertPark).
Mr C. R. Williamson is to officiate as referee, with Messrs Dempster and Meens as linesmen. The Football Council hold anothermeeting tomorrow (Thursday) evening, and finally decide on the two elevens to take the field.

Saturday 27 September 2014

Soccer's regeneration in Melbourne 1907[1908]. The First Committee

This photo and attached text are great material. They give us a sense of organisational energy and commitment to the game upon its regeneration in Melbourne. However, the article also shows the problem of memory, even relatively recent memory (Harrison is writing in 1914). In all likelihood the photo is from 1908 and not 1907. Unfortunately there is no corroborating evidence from 1907 to suggest these men had formed a committee at that stage. I'll keep an eye out though.

This fine looking group of gentlemen represents the first committee formed in soccer's regeneration
in Melbourne in 1907. It was published as a retrospective by the Winner on Aug 12, 1914.
Click to enlarge.


Soccer players, will be interested in the above illustration, representing the original committee formed to propagate the game in Victoria in 1907. Those in the group are, front row, reading from left to right:— H. H. Wood (sec.), H.L. Dockerty (president); H. Miller (Treasurer); back row: J. Holford, E. Harvey, W. Pitt, L. Fifer, A. Phillips, D. Evans, and P. Fraser. Of these gentlemen Mr Dockerty retains the presidential chair, Mr B. Harvey is now treasurer, while Mr L. Fifer has been secretary of the St. Kilda club since its inception. At the date of the formation of the committee there were only six clubs, which were formed into a league, in the State, comprising Carlton, St. Kilda, Prahran, Williamstown, Melbourne, and Fitzroy. The trophies consisted of one shield, held annually by the league premiers, and the Dockerty Cup being awarded on the 'knock-out' principle. There are now 22 clubsin the Melbourne district alone, while other clubs are Ballarat, Bendigo, Warrnambool, Wonthaggi, and other towns. There are two league trophies, for the first and second divisions, and there is further a junior cup to be played for on the same terms as the Dockerty Cup. Of the original players E. Forbes is still an active member, and J. Kerr, one of the most enthusiastic councillors.

Soccer Player Enlistments 1915. A vital founding document.

This is the article I've been searching for  a kind of foundation point for the database of Victorian soccer soldiers in WW1. Of the 500 or so who enlisted, 114 are named below, alongside their clubs, As the article suggests, the list is incomplete at the time. Also there are OCR errors and literal errors that need to be accounted for. Nonetheless it's a great starting point. 
The article is in the Winner on the April 28, 1915 (3 days after the carnage of Gallipoli but before the facts were known). The fixtures referred to in the the article are here. The Winner has only recently been digitised and as Mark Boric suggested, it is a real boon for soccer historians. This was a paper that took the game seriously and gave it substantial coverage.




The Victorian Amateur British Football Association, which opens its campaign on Saturday afternoon next has had both its playing and ordinary members' ranks seriously depleted by the call to arms since the outbreak of war. In consequence, the executive of the association have passed through a rather serious ordeal since the close of last season, but the clubs have rallied well to the occasion, and the prospects for season 1915 are by no means of the gloomy order. Though the list of those soccerites who have volunteered for active service with the Expeditionary Forces are not quite complete, the following names to be placed on The Winner's roll of honor, for which I am indebted to Secretary E. C. Crawford, will prove of interest : —

  • N. and D. — R. Martin. W. Knox, T. Norton. W. Richardson, J. Wallace, J. Maughan [?], J. Morgan. — Hutchinson, — Thompson, H. Weston, F. Harper, — Finch, J. Stubbs, —Derbyshire, P. Grogan.
  • Burns. — W. Lycett. 
  • Preston. — R. C. May, . Geo. Hew...? Phelps, P. Minter, Geo. Latimer. F. Williams, Geo. Rumbol. 
  • Yarraville. — R. Hamilton, E. Jones. ?.Vaughan. 
  • St. Kilda. — F. Hopwood, H. Lowe, H. A. Lowe, T. E. Lowe, F. Waterhouse, F. Garwood, T. Spencer, J. Vass, J. Kemp[?]rey.
  • Thistle. — J. Guthrie, J. Parkinson, W. M'Laughlin, T. Jones, J. M'Kenzie, R.M'Lardy.
  • Albert Park. — G. Jeffrey, G. Fraser, J. Cox, H. Weston. T. Jennanway, T. Millar, W. Morrison, W. Fairweather, A. Dewar, J. Knight, T. Knight, T. Flowers, A. Stirrup, C. Price, H. Kelly.
  • Hawthorn. — H. Matthews, W. Matthews, G. Matthews, A. — Simmons, G. Foster, W. Foster.
  • Birmingham Victoria. — G. Talbot, F. Heywood, A. Hyde, D. Walker, L. Dymond, B.Golding, G. Sheppard, S. Dethridge, Jas. Greaves. 
  • Footscray Thistle. — D. Smith, A. Stephens, J. Malcolm, D. M'Donald, B. Gow.
  • Prahran City. — C. Gray, — Impy, F. Helps, A. Baker, — Stretton, J. Brown, F. Wright,— Gottschild, — Asdown, F. Keating. —Witham, — Roberts, — Shalders, — Kennedy. — Lane, T. Hutton.
  • Spotswood. — W. Cattrall, R. Linn, — Price.H. Mobbs, — Thorpe, A. Taunton, H. Lomax, G. Catchpole, R. Catchpole, — Chorley, R.Blair, B. Issard.
  • Cambrian United. — J. M'Pettigrue, W. Glenister. F. Piggott, J. Lewis, H. Lewis, J. Evans, O. Thomas, W. Manderson, H. Jones, J.Roberts.

There are 19 entrants for the League this season, and, as will be seen from the fixture list given below, two new clubs — the H.M.A.S. Cerberus and Windsor — figure in the list. Thirteen entries were received for the first division of the League, which the Association management decided to divide into two sections as follows: —

Section A. — Spotswood, Northumberland and Durham United, Footscray Thistle, Yarraville, Albert Park and H.M.A.S. Cerberus.

Section B. — Burns, Birmingham Vics., St. Kilda, Thistle, Preston, Sandringham and Prahran.

It has been resolved that to decide the premiership, the first and second in the above sections shall do battle at the end of the season, and there is every promise of a big fight for the blue riband of Victorian Soccer. Clubs in the second division of the League are Cambrian United, Hawthorn, Spotswood A., Thistle A., St. Kilda A., and Windsor. Though the various teams have indulged in practice games of late, and many of the players have shown promising form. I do not intend so early in the season to attempt to forecast the prospects of the individual clubs. I know, however, that there have been transfers of some good players to clubs which will have a tendency to considerably weaken those organisations from which they have seceded. In the near future, I may have something to say on this important matter.

The Football Council, under the presidency of Mr H. C. Dockerty, are determined to further the interests of the soccer code in the metropolitan area, and the indefatigable hon. secretary —Mr B. C. Crawford — seems to have a lot of hard work in front of him. I regret that the calls of business has necessitated the withdrawal of Mr W.B. Gilbert from the Council, as thatgentleman was a thorough and conscientious worker in the interests of the game.

Telling Fibs for Footy

John Silvester's piece in today's Age reminded me of the following piece I published in March 2013. Silvester spews out his usual self-loathing-pommy soccerphobic bile by making up stories about crowd segregation in Victorian soccer and bizarrely using examples of verbal and physical violence in footy to show that AFL crowds do indeed get on without verbal and physical violence.
The Victorian sports media has been ever thus. With a few honourable exceptions it has been the VFL/AFL's full-time shepherd and part-time attack dog.
Even as Victorian soccer entered the 1930s in a sorry state the VFL press remained wary of the threat the game had represented in the late 1920s, taking every opportunity to remind its readers what a weak and passionless game soccer was. For example, in a truly astounding piece of journalism, the VFL saw fit to publish G. Cathie’s withering epistolary account of English soccer in (of all places) its 1934 Grand Final edition of the Football Record.‘Australian Game Vastly Superior’ is a fabricated (if not delusional) reminder for readers that Australian Rules is truly the game for Australia.
Some interesting and illuminating comments on the soccer code of football as played in England, compared with our own Australian game, is contained in a letter received this week from Mr G Cathie, a life member of the League, who is at present in England. The letter runs as follows:—
‘Whilst in Newcastle I saw the opening match of the soccer season and to say I was disappointed is to put it very mildly. Believe me, soccer is not in the same street as our game and it made me feel proud to belong to an organisation that plays the Aussie code. There was little enthusiasm amongst the crowd, which numbered about 14,000, and the deliberate ‘kicking-out’ was atrocious and a blot on their game.
‘The full backs are the only players allowed to touch the ball with their hands, and they are afraid, when in possession, to leave the goal by more than 15 yards. Then they punt the ball with a kick which as often as not goes in the opposite direction to where it is intended. What salaries would await some of our Aussie rules full backs if they were to come over here.
‘They could learn all there is in the code in a week or two, and would become champions in a month!
‘Think of players like Jack Regan, Frank Gill, Maurie Heahan, Ron Hillis, ‘Jacka’ Todd, Jack Vosti, and Bill Tymms and Bert Hyde in their prime, coming out with the ball from the goal mouth like a streak of lightning, vigorous, pacy, spectacular – and generally with only one man to pass. Then footing the ball to the other end – it would create a sensation in England. If we could only teach our English cousins the great charm and exhilaration of our national sport, it would be wonderful.’

The article claims that soccer is an inferior game for a number of reasons. It is less exciting and exhilarating. The crowd numbers are low and those who attend are not enthusiastic towards the game. The players are afraid to be adventurous and they are incompetent at what they do. The writer assumes (like Jack Dyer afterhim) that with a little bit of training VFL footballers would take soccer by storm. Ultimately Cathie’s complaint is simply that soccer is guilty of the crime of not being Australian Rules football.

Significantly, the letter shifts mood midstream. Starting out as a hardnosed and prejudiced critique of soccer’s faults, it suddenly transforms into a fantasy of Australian Rules internationalism. Coveting the salaries of the English game for Australian Rules champions and decrying the failure of ‘English cousins’ to be taught the merits of the game, the piece becomes a resentful hymn to the game’s failure to belong anywhere beyond the southern half of Australia. Beneath the triumphalism lies a self-loathing xenophobia.

It seems unnecessary to go beyond one word – ‘silly’ – to summarise the article. However, when it is realised that the author is inventing material as well as leaving out crucial information then the piece shifts from the realms of silliness to propaganda.

Cathie can be forgiven for calling the goalkeepers full-backs, but he can’t be forgiven for calling them cowardly for refusing to handle the ball illegally outside of the penalty area. Yet the more serious errors are ones of detail. The author claims to have gone to the opening game of the season in the Newcastle area. Problematically, Newcastle United were playing away on this day, hammered 5–1 by Nottingham Forest. The professional teams in the area who played at home on that day were Gateshead and Darlington (3rd division) and 1st division Sunderland who beat Huddersfield Town 4–1 at Roker Park – a game at which there would have been a few more than 14,000 given that Sunderland were in the upper echelons of English football in the mid-1930s. If the author is referencing a game he saw Newcastle United play (possibly their first home game on 1 September, beaten 5–2 by Brentford), he really needed to point out their 2nd division status. He might also have added that the club was in a shambles, having been relegated the previous season and only just avoiding relegation in 1934–35 on goal average. As he rightly pointed out, they weren’t very good!

However, accuracy in reporting was not at the forefront of the writer’s mind. The important work to be done on Grand Final day 1934 was simply to remind Australian Rules spectators that soccer was an illegitimate and uninspiring game compared with what they were about to receive, fare that deserved to be served to the world. The great tragedy of such propaganda is that in the 1930s there was almost no contradictory source for information on English football for readers of the Football Record. Such dishonest propaganda therefore found easy entry into the realm of ‘truth’ for generations of Victorian football aficionados and the stories they held and told.

The effect of this propaganda cannot be underestimated historically or politically. The process creates collective or social memory grounded in historical exclusion, marginalisation and untruth. Such social memory becomes an important tool for cultural-political elites to enhance legitimacy and control. In this way hegemony is achieved or solidified. The stories told about soccer in the name of the VFL are very much part of this process of maintaining cultural hegemony. While the dominance of Australian Rules football at this time is not in question, the lies it tells itself and its supporters about the world of sport point to a severe case of anxiety and insecurity.

The Footy Record could get away with this kind of propaganda then because there was no other source of information on English football for its readers. Imagine the flurry of refutations that would happen today if such blatant lies were told. While the propaganda remains as per Silverster's piece, it is far more subtle today.

Wednesday 3 September 2014

Gallipoli Veteran Stuck With Soccer

This is a nice piece passed on by Roy Hay.

Keith Gilmour, ‘Gallipoli veteran stuck with soccer’, Soccer World, 7 October 1966, p. 2.

Saturday 30 August 2014

A new reason not to play soccer, from 1905

The Murrurundi Times and Liverpool Plains Gazette in 1905 found a reason to object to soccer that I have not seen before. It dilutes the strength of the other codes!
Sure it uses the old 'foreign money', 'poaching schoolboys', 'forcing the game on us' arguments, but this represents a new angle.
Once again I wish to protest against the attempt that is being made to force the 'Soccer' game down our throats. The endeavor has been a strenuous one, and what with the introduction of star Victorian teams to show us the trick, must cost the enthusiasts who are at the back of it no small amount of money. Even in our public schools there is a vigorous canvass to wean the youngsters from Rugby and run them on to the sister game. The idea is that in the next generation 'Soccer' will be the only game.That may be all right for the next generation, but it is hard on the present one. We were always a soft snap for any Rugby team that cared to come from any other country for the purpose of taking our scalps. But now that half of our best men are playing the other game we are not able to put a decent team in the field.The result is that both games are ruined. The Rugby play this season is not worth mentioning.

Sunday 24 August 2014

NPLVIC Round 24 and 22


  • Bentleigh Greens SC 1 Oakleigh Cannons FC 4(HT 1-3)
  • Pascoe Vale SC 0 Dandenong Thunder SC 0(HT 0-0)
  • Green Gully SC 1 Port Melbourne Sharks SC 2(HT 0-0)
  • Ballarat Red Devils SC 1 Werribee City FC 2(HT 0-0)
  • Hume City FC 0 Heidelberg United SC 2(HT 0-0)
  • Melbourne Knights FC 3 Goulburn Valley Suns FC 0(HT 3-0)  

  • Springvale White Eagles FC 2 FC Bendigo 1(HT 0-1)
  • Dandenong City SC 0 Avondale Heights SC 2(HT 0-1)
  • North Geelong Warriors FC 2 Whittlesea Ranges FC 0(HT 1-0) 
  • Brunswick City SC 1 St Albans Saints SC 2(HT 0-1)
  • Box Hill United SC 2 Sunshine George Cross SC 2 (HT 1-0)  



Pos Team                    P   W L D  F  A  GD PTS     

1   South Melbourne FC      23 19 2 2 51 18  33 59      
2   Oakleigh Cannons FC     23 17 2 4 57 16  41 55      

11  Dandenong Thunder SC    24 7 12 5 27 4  -17 26      
12  Werribee City FC        24 8 14 2 28 49 -21 26      
13  Ballarat Red Devils SC  22 6 14 2 37 48 -11 20      
14  Goulburn Valley Suns FC 23 2 17 4 22 61 -39 10      


Pos Team                  P  W  L D  F  A  GD PTS     

1   Avondale Heights SC   22 16 3 3 43 21  22 51      
2   North Geelong W FC    21 14 6 1 49 25  24 43      
3   St Albans Saints SC   22 13 5 4 40 25  15 40      


10  Kingston City FC      21 8 11 2 42 38  4  26      
11  Springvale WE FC      22 7 12 3 40 52 -12 24      
12  FC Bendigo            21 5 12 4 33 46 -13 19      
13  Whittlesea Ranges FC  22 5 13 4 30 53 -23 19      
14  Brunswick City SC     22 3 18 1 24 79 -55 10      

Friday 15 August 2014

Daniel Orbach, rising football media star?

Daniel Orbach, a year 12 student in Melbourne, has put together this short documentary video about the perception of soccer in the media and society generally. Technically it is excellent with great editing and very high quality footage. It moves from interview to interview in a smooth fashion without ever having to adopt a controlling narrative voice. The interviewees and footage used are allowed to tell the whole story.

The doco is probably not hard enough on the wannabee hool culture that still infects the game. But it does historicise the problems pretty well. (I would say that given that I am one of the interviewees!).

Have a look at the video and comment below if you see fit.

10,000 people at the footy, July 1875

One thing that has always puzzled me is the assertion that high scoring leads to excitement and the popularity of a sport. This is an argument used against soccer (in which the average goals-per-game total is around 3). In Melbourne, high scoring is put forward as an explanation for the immense popularity of Australian rules football.

Yet, when we look back at the origins of the game we see a confusing fact. The scoring in the first 20 years or so of Australian rules tended to be similar to the scores in English Association football of the time. Indeed, it is possibly the case that more goals were scored in English football matches in the 1870s than there were in Australian rules matches around the same period.

This article, published in the Queenslander 31 July 1875, makes it clear that Victorian rules was a very popular code of football. The reported game between Melbourne and Carlton attracted a crowd of 10,000. Yet it resulted in the narrowest of 1-0 victories to Carlton. This fact did little to deter the writer from predicting 20,000 at the next week's game.
The principal football match of the season ; between the two crack clubs of the colony— Melbourne and Carlton—which I alluded to in my last as about to take place, resulted in a splendid game. There were about 10,000 persons present, who evinced the greatest degree of excitement in the struggle. The only goal obtained during the afternoon was kicked by Carlton in the first twenty minutes' play, and though this gave that club the victory, the Melbourne men had by far the best of the fight. The return match comes off next Saturday on the Melbourne ground, when there is bound to be 20,000 persons present. The Melbourne men have been hard at work practising since their defeat, and they are confident they will turn the tables on the victors in the next match.
It seems to me that a grievous historical error is made when the relatively high-scoring games of today or the recent historical past are used as an explanation of why footy became so popular. It was something else: the tussle; the opportunity to gather in support of your local team; the spectacle of violent contact—maybe all of these and more. One thing it was most definitely not was the game's reputedly high-scoring nature.

Monday 11 August 2014

NPL results and tables Rounds 22 and 20



  • Bentleigh Greens SC 2 South Melbourne FC 1(HT: 0-0)  


  • Port Melbourne Sharks SC 0 Melbourne Knights FC 1 (S. Andrijasevic 1)(HT: 0-0)
  • Green Gully SC 0 Hume City FC 1(HT: 0-1)
  • Heidelberg United SC 2 Bentleigh Greens SC 2(HT: 0-0)
  • Ballarat Red Devils SC 0 Dandenong Thunder SC 1(HT: 0-0)
  • Goulburn Valley Suns FC 1 Northcote City FC 3(HT: 1-2)
  • Oakleigh Cannons FC 3 Pascoe Vale SC 0(HT: 1-0) 



  • Richmond SC Seniors  0 Avondale Heights SC 1(HT: 0-1)
  • Springvale White Eagles FC 2 FC Bulleen Lions 2(HT: 1-1)
  • Dandenong City SC 4 FC Bendigo 1(HT: 0-0)
  • North Geelong Warriors FC 2 Sunshine George Cross SC 1(HT: 0-0)
  • Brunswick City SC 3 Moreland Zebras FC 2(HT: 2-0)
  • St Albans Saints SC 3 Whittlesea Ranges FC 0(HT: 1-0)
  • Box Hill United SC 1 Kingston City FC 0(HT: 0-0) 



Pos Team                                    P       W       L       D       F       A       GD      PTS    

1   South Melbourne FC               21      17      2       2       46      18      28      53     
2   Oakleigh Cannons FC              21      15      2       4       52      15      37      49     
3   Heidelberg United SC              22      11      4       7       53      31      22      40     
4   Bentleigh Greens SC                21      11      5       5       40      27      13      38     
5   Hume City FC                          21      11      9       1       28      27      1       34     
6   Northcote City FC                   22      8       8       6       35      36      -1      30     
7   Green Gully SC                        22      8       11      3       38      43      -5      27     
8   Melbourne Knights FC             21      8       11      2       31      31      0       26     
9   Pascoe Vale SC                       21      7       9       5       23      31      -8      26     
10  Dandenong Thunder SC          22      7       11      4       27      43      -16     25     
11  Port Melbourne Sharks SC      22      6       11      5       29      39      -10     23     
12  Werribee City FC                    21      7       12      2       26      43      -17     23     
13  Ballarat Red Devils SC             20      5       13      2       35      46      -11     17     
14  Goulburn Valley Suns FC         21      2       15      4       22      55      -33     10     


Pos Team                                    P       W       L       D       F       A       GD      PTS    

1   Avondale Heights SC               20      15      2       3       41      18      23      48     
2   North Geelong Warriors FC     19      12      6       1       44      25      19      37     
3   Box Hill United SC                   20      11      6       3       37      18      19      36     
4   St Albans Saints SC                  20      11      5       4       36      24      12      34     
5   FC Bulleen Lions                       20      9       6       5       47      36      11      32      
6   Richmond SC Seniors                19      10      7       2       43      34      9       32     
7   Moreland Zebras FC                 19      9       8       2       34      28      6       29     
8   Dandenong City SC                   20      8       7       5       38      35      3       29     
9   Sunshine George Cross SC        20      7       9       4       31      44      -13     25     
10  Kingston City FC                      20      7       11      2       38      37      1       23     
11  Springvale White Eagles FC      20      6       11      3       37      47      -10     21     
12  FC Bendigo                              19      5       11      3       31      43      -12     18     
13  Whittlesea Ranges FC               20      4       12      4       26      48      -22     16     

14  Brunswick City SC                    20      3       16      1       23      69      -46     10      

Sunday 3 August 2014

NPLVIC Round 21/20/19



  • Pascoe Vale SC 0 Werribee City FC 2(HT: 0-1)
  • Dandenong Thunder SC 1 Northcote City FC 1(HT: 1-1)
  • Port Melbourne Sharks SC 3 Ballarat Red Devils SC 1(HT: 0-0)
  • Green Gully SC 1 Heidelberg United SC 1(HT: 0-1)


  • Pascoe Vale SC 0 South Melbourne FC 3(HT: 0-1)
  • Green Gully SC 2 Ballarat Red Devils SC 1(HT: 1-0)
  • Bentleigh Greens SC 2 Goulburn Valley Suns FC 2(HT: 2-0)
  • Werribee City FC 2 Dandenong Thunder SC 1(HT: 0-0)
  • Northcote City FC 1 Oakleigh Cannons FC 3(HT: 1-1)
  • Melbourne Knights FC 0 Heidelberg United SC 2(HT: 0-0)
  • Hume City FC 2 Port Melbourne Sharks SC 1(HT: 1-0



  • Whittlesea Ranges FC 1 Moreland Zebras FC 2(HT: 1-0)
  • Avondale Heights SC 2 St Albans Saints SC 2(HT: 1-1)
  • Sunshine George Cross SC 0 Richmond SC Seniors  6(HT: 0-3)
  • Springvale White Eagles FC 4 Brunswick City SC 2 (M. Tancevski 1, S. Mazzolini 1)(HT: 1-2)
  • FC Bendigo 0 North Geelong Warriors FC 2(HT: 0-1)

Monday 28 July 2014

NPL VIC Round 19/18


Port Melbourne Sharks SC 1 Green Gully SC 1(HT: 0-0)
Northcote City FC 1 South Melbourne FC 1(HT: 0-0) 
Goulburn Valley Suns FC 1 Melbourne Knights FC 1(HT: 0-0) 
Dandenong Thunder SC 1 Pascoe Vale SC 2(HT: 1-2) 
Werribee City FC 1 Ballarat Red Devils SC 3(HT: 0-1) 
Heidelberg United SC 2 Hume City FC 0(HT: 2-0)
Oakleigh Cannons FC 2 Bentleigh Greens SC 1(HT: 2-0) 


Springvale White Eagles FC 1 Box Hill United SC 2(HT: 0-0) 
Dandenong City SC 2 FC Bulleen Lions 1(HT: 0-0) 
North Geelong Warriors FC 2 Kingston City FC 1(HT: 0-0)
Moreland Zebras FC 1 Avondale Heights SC 0(HT: 0-0) 
Brunswick City SC 2 (A. Kromah 1, S. Mazzolini 1) Whittlesea Ranges FC 0(HT: 1-0)
St Albans Saints SC 1 Sunshine George Cross SC 0(HT: 0-0)
Richmond SC Seniors  3 FC Bendigo 3(HT: 0-0)  



Pos Team                                    P       W       L       D       F       A     GD      PTS    

1   South Melbourne FC                19      16      1       2       42      16      26      50     
2   Oakleigh Cannons FC               19      13      2       4       46      14      32      43     
3   Heidelberg United SC                19      10      4       5       48      28      20      35     
4   Bentleigh Greens SC                  18      10      5       3       34      22      12      33     
5   Hume City FC                           19      9       9       1       25      26      -1      28     
6   Pascoe Vale SC                        18      7       6       5       23      23      0       26     
7   Northcote City FC                     19      7       7       5       30      31      -1      26     
8   Melbourne Knights FC               19      7       10      2       30      29      1       23     
9   Green Gully SC                          19      7       10      2       35      40      -5      23     
10  Dandenong Thunder SC            19      6       10      3       24      40      -16     21     
11  Port Melbourne Sharks SC        19      5       9       5       25      35      -10     20     
12  Ballarat Red Devils SC               17      5       10      2       33      40      -7      17     
13  Werribee City FC                      19      5       12      2       22      42      -20     17     
14  Goulburn Valley Suns FC           19      2       14      3       19      50      -31     9      


Pos Team                                  P       W       L       D       F       A     GD      PTS    

1   Avondale Heights SC              18      14      2       2       38      16      22      44     
2   Box Hill United SC                  18      10      5       3       36      16      20      33     
3   North Geelong Warriors FC    17      10      6       1       40      24      16      31     
4   St Albans Saints SC                18      10      5       3       31      22      9       30     
5   Richmond SC Seniors              17      9       6       2       37      33      4       29     
6   FC Bulleen Lions                     18      8       6       4       43      34      9       28     
7   Moreland Zebras FC               17      8       7       2       30      24      6       26     
8   Sunshine George Cross SC      18      7       7       4       30      36      -6      25     
9   Kingston City FC                     18      7       9       2       38      33      5       23     
10  Dandenong City SC                18      6       7       5       31      34      -3      23     
11  FC Bendigo                             17      5       9       3       30      37      -7      18     
12  Springvale White Eagles FC     18      5       11      2       31      43      -12     17     
13  Whittlesea Ranges FC              18      4       10      4       25      43      -18     16     
14  Brunswick City SC                  18      2       15      1       18      63      -45     7      

Friday 25 July 2014

Soccer in Otago 1875

Recorded games of soccer in NZ are a little earlier than those in Australia. This is from Otago in 1875.
The third football match this season took place at the South Recreation Ground, on Saturday afternoon, when the sun shone out beautifully. The Oval, however, was rather wet, from the recent showers. The sides, each numbering ten, were captained by Messrs A, K. Smith and H. Rose. The former won the toss, and chose the western goal, commencing play with a capital kick from touch. After an hour's vigorous contest, the second goal of the season fell to the same player (H. Rose), who had the honour of scoring the first. He impelled the ball along capitally for some distance. Two other goals were obtained by Rose's side, one being spiritedly taken by Sampson before time was called, at 4.45 p.m. Smith's side was doubtless much the weaker of the two. The English Football Association Rules, as determined in February, 1867, allow no hacking, knocking over, or tripping. They have been revised, printed, and distributed amongst the members of the local club, and therefore it is scarcely probable that accidents will happen. Of course courage, and a disregard of the chance of a little danger, are required to make an efficient player. We adhere to our former opinion that, when possible, an umpire should be appointed. 
Otago Witness 22 May 1875 Page 16

Monday 14 July 2014

NPL VIC Round 17/16


ROUND 17: 

  1. Bentleigh Greens SC 4 (D. Stirton 3, W. Wallace 1) Werribee City FC 0 (HT: 2-0)  , 
  2. Ballarat Red Devils SC 5 (P. Harvey 2, S. Murphy 1, S. Harding 1, D. O'Donnell 1) Heidelberg United SC 5 (D. Heffernan 2, D. Vasilevski 2, J. Williams 1) (HT: 2-2)  , 
  3. Green Gully SC 1 (O. Ederaro 1) Oakleigh Cannons FC 5 (D. Piemonte 3, G. Zoric 1, D. Bosnjak 1) (HT: 1-2)  , 
  4. Port Melbourne Sharks SC 1 (L. Prelevic 1) Goulburn Valley Suns FC 0 (HT: 0-0)  , 
  5. Northcote City FC 1 (W. Dekker 1) Pascoe Vale SC 1 (L. Santilli 1) (HT: 1-1) 


ROUND 16: 

  1. Richmond SC Seniors  5 (T. Cahill 4, A. Quinn 1) FC Bulleen Lions 2 (J. Katebian 2) (HT: 1-0)
  2. Whittlesea Ranges FC 1 (T. Trbuhovich 1) Sunshine George Cross SC 1 (M. Sadik 1) (HT: 0-0) 
  3. Dandenong City SC 0 Box Hill United SC 0 (HT: 0-0)
  4. North Geelong Warriors FC 3 (J. Julardzija 2, M. Paleka 1) Springvale White Eagles FC 2 (V. Milojevic 2) (HT: 3-0)
  5. Brunswick City SC 1 Avondale Heights SC 2 (D. Campelj 1) (HT: 0-2)
  6. St Albans Saints SC 1 Kingston City FC 1 (M. Etheridge 1) (HT: 1-1)
  7. Moreland Zebras FC  FC Bendigo (HT: 0-0) (Washed Out)



Pos Team                                    P       W       L       D       F       A       GD      PTS    

1   South Melbourne FC              16      14      1       1       35      12      23      43     
2   Oakleigh Cannons FC            17      12      1       4       43      11      32      40     
3   Heidelberg United SC             17      9       4       4       46      28      18      31     
4   Bentleigh Greens SC               16      9       4       3       32      20      12      30     
5   Hume City FC                        16      8       7       1       23      21      2       25     
6   Pascoe Vale SC                      17      6       6       5       21      20      1       23     
7   Northcote City FC                  17      6       7       4       26      29      -3      22     
8   Green Gully SC                       17      7       9       1       32      36      -4      22     
9   Dandenong Thunder SC          16      6       7       3       22      33      -11     21     
10  Melbourne Knights FC           16      6       9       1       22      23      -1      19     
11  Port Melbourne Sharks SC    17      5       9       3       24      34      -10     18     
12  Werribee City FC                  17      5       10      2       20      36      -16     17     
13  Ballarat Red Devils SC           16      4       10      2       28      39      -11     14     
14  Goulburn Valley Suns FC        17      1       14      2       15      47      -32     5      


Pos Team                                    P       W       L       D       F       A       GD      PTS    

1   Avondale Heights SC                16      14      1       1       38      15      23      43     
2   FC Bulleen Lions                      16      8       4       4       40      27      13      28     
3   Richmond SC Seniors               15      9       5       1       33      27      6       28     
4   Box Hill United SC                   16      8       5       3       29      15      14      27     
5   North Geelong Warriors FC     15      8       6       1       33      21      12      25     
6   St Albans Saints SC                  16      8       5       3       27      21      6       24     
7   Sunshine George Cross SC       16      7       6       3       28      33      -5      24     
8   Moreland Zebras FC                 15      7       7       1       27      22      5       22     
9   Kingston City FC                       16      6       8       2       34      30      4       20     
10  FC Bendigo                              15      5       8       2       26      31      -5      17     
11  Dandenong City SC                  16      4       7       5       27      33      -6      17     
12  Springvale White Eagles FC      16      5       9       2       30      39      -9      17     
13  Whittlesea Ranges FC               16      4       9       3       25      41      -16     15     
14  Brunswick City SC                    16      1       14      1       16      58      -42     4