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5. Australian Football League Clubs

This FAQ has detailed information on each of the current and historical AFL clubs. Eighteen clubs compete in the Australian Football League. Only two clubs have ever folded in the AFL (or VFL): University was merged into Melbourne in 1914, and Fitzroy into Brisbane in 1996. In 1982, South Melbourne relocated to Sydney. A list of details for each AFL team follows.


  • The phone numbers below are listed for dialing from international locations outside Australia and use the standard format for international phone numbers. Users on some phone systems in North America may need to dial 011 before the listed number.
  • The jersey descriptions include full sleeves and collars; however, the sleeveless versions are favored by most footballers. Aussie winters are relatively mild by comparison to many parts of North America; Melburnians will complain about the cold and break out heavy coats, club scarves and beanies (read "stocking caps" or "toques") when game-time temperatures dip below 10C (50F).  (Average overnight winter temperatures in Melbourne are 7 to 10C (44 to 50F) which would be considered warm for many locations where American football is played in the USA or Canada.  Daytime temperatures average 14 to 17C (57 to 63F) in winter in Melbourne hence the ability to wear sleeveless jerseys.) 
  • Web links to each club with an official Website are included. The AFL offers information and news items for each club at 
  • Information on club songs is now in its own section: Footy FAQ: AFL Club Songs and no longer included here. The new section includes videos for each song. 

Current or historical AFL Clubs and Club facts:


Postal Address: PO Box 10, West Lakes, SA 5021, Australia
Phone: +61-8-8440-6666
Email: crows[at)afc[ dot }com[ dot }au
Founded: 1991
Joined AFL: 1991
Home Ground: Adelaide Oval, Adelaide, South Australia. Train at AAMI Stadium, West Lakes.
Ground Dimensions: 167m by 123m. Goals run north to south.
Senior Coach: Don Pyke
Official Colors:  
Jersey Navy blue, red and gold hoops
Shorts Navy blue
Socks Navy blue, red and gold hoops
Clash/Alternate Jersey White with red, yellow and blue horizontal midrift hoops
Clash/Alternate Shorts White
Clash/Alternate Socks Navy blue, red and gold hoops
Nickname: Crows
Premierships: 1997-98
Brownlow Medalists: Mark Ricciuto, tied 2003
Prime Sponsors: Toyota 

Adelaide was the first South Australian team admitted to the AFL as part of a continued expansion of the league. They were admitted four years after the league expanded to include a team from Brisbane, in Queensland, and Perth in Western Australia. The team was a new team specifically created for the AFL. In their first two seasons they reached 9th place on the premiership ladder. In their third season they played in the finals and beat Hawthorn, but were eliminated by Carlton the following week. The team missed the finals for the next three seasons and then stunned the football traditionalists by winning two consecutive Grand Finals - their first from 4th position on the ladder and the next year from 5th position. Their new coach Malcolm Blight had achieved remarkable success in two years, but after the team finished 13th in his third year, he resigned. Since 1999 they have appeared in 8 finals series but have only progressed to a Grand Final once, in 2017, the same year they finished top of the ladder. They previously achieved 1st position on the ladder in 2005 , but were beaten a the preliminary final by West Coast. There have been only six other coaches and two stand-in coaches, when coaches have ended contracts mid season. The longest serving coach is Neil Craig, who coached for almost 8 years. Adelaide have never won a "wooden spoon", by finishing last in the competition. In recent times Phil Walsh replaced Brendan Sanderson to start the 2015 season. Tragically, the highly regarded Walsh was killed during his first season as coach; and Scott Camporeale took over the reins until the end of 2015. Adelaide performed reasonably well after the loss of Walsh, but they appeared to be an emotionally strained team at the end of an extremely challenging season. Former West Coast premiership player Don Pyke has coached the team since 2016. In recent years there has been the view that Adelaide have under-performed. They have threatened to become a powerful team but have not been consistent.  The loss of quality players such as Tippett, Dangerfield, Cameron, Jenkins and recently McGovern, has not helped their cause. They continue to field quality players such as Sloane, Laird, the Crouch brothers, and (Tex) Taylor to provide impetus. The Crows Women's team were the Premiers in the inaugural year of the AFLW competition in 2017.


Postal Address PO Box 1535, Coorparoo DC, Qld 4151, Australia
Phone: +61-7-3335-1777
Email: club[at)lions[ dot }com[ dot }au
Founded: 1987
Joined AFL: 1987
Home Ground: Woolongabba Ground (The Gabba), Brisbane, Queensland
Ground Dimensions: 156m by 138m. Goals run east to west.
Senior Coach: Chris Fagan
Official Colors: Maroon and gold
Jersey Maroon with gold chevron in white trim
Shorts Maroon with gold and white trim
Socks Maroon with gold and white pencil stripes around the top.
(1997 on)  
Jersey Maroon with gold lion logo, blue yoke, gold sleeve and collar trim
Shorts Maroon with gold and white trim
Socks Maroon with gold and white pencil stripes around the top.
Clash/Alternate Jersey White with lion logo on chest
Clash/Alternate Shorts White
Clash/Alternate Socks Maroon with gold and white pencil stripes around the top.
Nickname: Bears (before 1997) (Brisbane removed the koala from their shield logo in 1995 and replaced it with a stylized form of the team name.)
  Lions (1997 on)
Premierships: 2001-2003
Brownlow Medalists: Michael Voss, 1996, Jason Akermanis, 2001, Simon Black 2002. 
Prime Sponsors: Oaks Hotels & Resorts, Vero (insurance company)

Brisbane was established to bring Australian football to Rugby-dominated Queensland. They achieved limited success until they merged with Fitzroy and former Hawthorn champion, Leigh Matthews, was appointed coach in 1999. Matthews took the club to the top and kept them there for several years. They made the finals in 1999 and 2000 before becoming the dominant team of the competition over the next three seasons, although they never finished the regular season in first place. They continued that strength into 2004 and were favorites to equal Collingwood's record of four consecutive premierships but were defeated by Port Adelaide. Injuries savaged the team in 2005 and they fell to 11th. Injury and age took its toll again in 2006 and the club struggled early in the season, but hit a modicum of form over the second half of the year. They finished ninth in 2007 and 10th in 2008. At the end of 2008, Matthews resigned as coach with former club champion Michael Voss replacing him. Under Voss, the team did not make significant progress and he was replaced by Justin Leppitsch in 2014. Since then, the Lions have struggled with injuries to experienced players; and several promising young players leaving the club for greener pastures. Since 2016 the Lions have concentrated on developing and retaining young talent. In 2017 Chris Fagan was appointed senior coach. Under Fagan, the club  'won' its first wooden spoon in 2017, by finishing last in the competition. In 2018 the team gave indications that its fortunes would change as a group of talented young players began to jell into a team with potential. The Lions Women's team played in the first two AFLW Grand Finals but is yet to win a premiership.


Postal Address: PO Box 83, Carlton North, Victoria 3054, Australia
Phone: +61-8-9389-1400
Email: blues[at)carltonfc[ dot }com[ dot }au
Founded: 1864
Joined AFL: 1897
Home Ground: Marvel Stadium & MCG, Melbourne;  Training Ground is Ikon Park (formerly Optus Oval). 
Ground Dimensions: Marvel 159.5m by 128.8m. Goals run north to south. MCG 160m by 141m.Goals run north to south.
Senior Coach: Brendon Bolton
Official Colors: Dark navy blue and white
Jersey Dark navy blue with white "CFC" monogram
Shorts Dark navy blue
Socks Dark navy blue
Clash/Alternate Jersey White with navy blue CFC monogram on front
Clash/Alternate Shorts White
Clash/Alternate Socks Dark navy blue
Nickname: Blues, Dark Blues, Blueboys, Bluebaggers, Navy Blues
Premierships: 1906-7-8, 1914-15, 1938, 1945, 1947, 1968, 1970, 1972, 1979, 1981-82,1987, 1995
Brownlow Medalists: BJ Deacon - 1947, J James - 1961, G Collis - 1964, Greg Williams - 1994, Chris Judd - 2010
Prime Sponsors: Hyundai, Virgin Australia

Carlton was considered the most successful club in the competition with 16 premierships and never finishing last in its history, until 2002. Years of poor management and recruiting from the administration and penalties for salary cap cheating, saw the club take a dramatic slide on and off the field. They recovered by 2009 where they made the finals from 2009-2011 but the highest they achieved was 5th spot on the ladder. Since then it has been all downhill, culminating with them picking up 'the wooden spoon' in 2015. This was only the 4th time they have achieved last place in the competition. During that disastrous year coach Mick Malthouse was sacked mid-season and John Barker took over as care-taker coach. Brendon Bolton, former assistant coach of the highly successful Hawks took the reins for 2016. Under Bolton the club moved off the bottom of the ladder for two seasons, only to return there in 2018. The Carlton Women's team was established 2017 and has had limited success in the first two years of the AFLW competition. A great site for Carlton history is: Blueseum which has thousands of images and a complete match by match history.


Postal Address: PO Box 165, Abbotsford, Victoria 3067, Australia
Phone: +61-3-8412-0000
Email: info[at)collingwoodfc[ dot }com[ dot }au
Founded: 1892
Joined AFL: 1897
Home Ground: Melbourne Cricket Ground, Yarra Park, Jolimont, Victoria
(Training) Holden Center, Olympic Boulevard, Melbourne CBD (central business district)
Ground Dimensions: 160m by 141m. Goals run north to south.
Senior Coach: Nathan Buckley
Official Colors: (Home) Black & white
Jersey Black and white vertical stripes on body, center stripe is white. Horizontal stripes on sleeves.
Shorts Black
Socks Black
Clash/Alternate Jersey White and black vertical stripes, center stripe is black. Magpie logo at center; black numbers in white field on back.
Clash/Alternate Shorts White
Clash/Alternate Socks Black
Nickname: Magpies, Pies, Woodsmen
Premierships: 1902-3, 1910, 1917, 1919, 1927-28-29-30, 1935-36, 1953, 1958, 1990, 2010.
Brownlow Medalists: Syd Coventry - 1927, A Collier - 1929, Harry Collier - 1930, M Whelan - 1939, Desmond Fothergill - 1940, Len Thompson - 1972, P Moore - 1979, Nathan Buckley (tied) - 2003, Dane Swan 2011.
Prime Sponsors: Emirates Airlines, CGU (insurance),

Collingwood is arguably the AFL's most famous club. The Collingwood theme song had its musical origins in the United States of America during the Spanish-American War of 1898, in a marching song "Goodby Dolly Gray", written by Will D. Cobb and Paul Barnes. In 1906 the music of that song was used as the basis for the team song "Good Old Colling Forever". Until recently, Collingwood had the largest membership but by 2018 they had dropped to fifth in the membership stakes. The Pies have played in 180 finals and 44 Grand Finals, winning 15 Premierships. Collingwood had a long period between 1959 and 1989 when they played in 21 finals series without winning a premiership. This was the origin of the word "Colliwobbles", which refers to nervousness and the loss of form during finals. In 1999 Tony Shaw resigned at the end of his original three-year contract after "winning" the mythical Wooden Spoon as last-place finishers in 1999. Mick Malthouse was not achieving success at West Coast Eagles and returned to Melbourne. He signed on with "the Pies" and after two years of rebuilding, took them to consecutive Grand Finals in 2002-2003, losing narrowly in a heart-breaker to Brisbane and getting thumped in 2003. The next two years were disappointing, but from 2006 to 2013 the Pies were in every final series. Winning the premiership in 2010. In 2011 they were top of the ladder but lost in the Grand Final to Geelong. After that, they have slipped down the ladder to finish 12th in 2015. Nathan Buckley took over from Malthouse in 2012 and the team's ladder position declined each year he coached until 2016 when the team's fortunes began to improve. American import, Mason Cox, made his debut for Collingwood in 2016 and became an important member of the team. The development of other young players progressed quickly with the Pies finishing third on the ladder and losing a thrilling Grand Final to West Coast by just five points in 2018. The Collingwood Women's team was established 2017 and has been competitive in the first two years of the AFLW competition but is yet to appear in a Grand Final. The Collingwood club website has a history section under "Collingwood Forever".


Postal Address: PO Box 17, Essendon, Vic 3040, Australia
Phone: +61-3-8340-2000
Email: generalenquiries[at)essendonfc[ dot }com[ dot }au
Founded: 1873
Joined AFL: 1897
Home Ground: Marvel Stadium, Melbourne, Victoria.
(Training) True Value Solar Centre, Melrose Drive, Melbourne Airport , Victoria
Ground Dimensions: 159.5m by 128.8m. Goals run north to south 
Senior Coach: John Worsfold
Official Colors: Red & black
Jersey Black with a red sash
Shorts Black
Socks Red with black hoops
Clash/Alternate Jersey Red with black borders on a red sash
Clash/Alternate Shorts White
Clash/Alternate Socks Red with black hoops
Nickname: Bombers
Premierships: 1897, 1901, 1911-12, 1923-24, 1942, 1946, 1949-50, 1962, 1965, 1984-85, 1993. 2000
Brownlow Medalists: Dick Reynolds - 1934, 1937, 1938, Bill Hutchinson - 1952, 1953, G Moss - 1976, Gavin Wanganeen - 1993, James Hird - 1996 (tied),
Prime Sponsors: Kia and Fujitsu

A proud club with a long history of success. Essendon have won the equal highest number of Premierships (14) and have appeared in 129 finals series and played in 29 Grand Finals. Their last Grand Final success was in 2000 under legendary coach Kevin Sheedy. His team dominated the competition at the turn of the century topping the ladder in 1999, 2000 and 2001. In 2000, the team lost only 1 game. Since those heady days the team has struggled to have an impact with the highest places achieved 7th (once) and 8th (four times). In 2013 they hit the headlines for the wrong reasons. 34 players were charged with using a banned substance as a result of the the club implementing a injection program of unapproved supplements. After drawn out legal proceedings, all players were later found guilty by the World Anti Doping Authority and banned from playing.  In 2016, 12 of the players who remained at the club were banned for the season, as were 5 who had moved on to other AFL clubs. Players who moved to other leagues, were also banned. Essendon were granted 10 'top-up' players to replace their 12 banned players. Current coach John Worsfold accepted the unenviable task of trying to field a competitive team in 2016 when they won the wooden spoon. Under Worsfold the team has gathered strength to finish around the middle of the ladder in 2017 and 2018. Essendon do not have a team in the AFLW (women's competition).


(merged into Brisbane in 1996)

Founded: 1883
Joined AFL: 1897  (Merged with the Brisbane Bears in 1997 to become the Brisbane Lions)
Home Ground: EJ Whitten Oval, Barkly St, Footscray, Victoria
Ground Dimensions: 176m by 127m. Goals run north to south
Official Colors:  Royal blue, gold and red
Jersey Red, royal blue collar, cuffs and yoke, gold "FFC" monogram
Shorts Royal blue
Socks Red with royal blue top
Clash/Alternate Jersey Red, royal blue collar, cuffs and yoke, gold "FFC" monogram
Clash/Alternate Shorts White
Clash/Alternate Socks Red with royal blue top
Nickname: Lions (previously the Gorillas)
Premierships: 1898-99, 1904-05, 1913, 1916, 1922, 1944.
Brownlow Medalists: Haydn Bunton - 1931,1932,1935, W Smallhorn - 1933, D Ryan - 1936, Allan Ruthven - 1950, Kevin Murray - 1969, Bernie Quinlan - 1981

Fitzroy Football Club formed in 1863 and was admitted to the AFL in 1897. The club played in 13 Grand Finals and won 8. The played in 57 finals series with a winning percentage of 58%  Players at the club won 8 Brownlow medals. They struggled as a club since their last finals appearance in 1986. For the next ten years there were frequent talks of mergers with, either Footscray or North Melbourne.  On 4th  July 1996,  they merged with the Brisbane Bears and were based at the home ground of the Gabba (Brisbane). Eight Fitzroy players were selected by Brisbane before the 1996 National draft, giving the merged club a powerful base to launch a future assault on the Premiership. Fitzroy still field a team in the Victorian Football League using the traditional club colors. Brisbane uses the traditional Fitzroy lion on its playing jerseys along with a more modern lion logo as its club logo. When playing in Victoria, the Brisbane Lions wear the traditional Fitzroy red rather than the Brisbane maroon colors.   


Postal Address: PO Box 381, Fremantle, WA 6959, Australia
Phone: +61-8 9433-7000
Email: fremantlefc[at)fremantlefc[ dot }com[ dot }au
Founded: 1995
Joined AFL: 1995
Home Ground: Optus Stadium, Perth, Western Australia. Training: Cockburn ARC, Cockburn Central.
Ground Dimensions: Subiaco - 165m by 130m. Goals run east to west.
Senior Coach: Ross Lyon
Official Colors: (Home) Purple & white
Jersey Purple background featuring white chevrons on chest purple background on back
Shorts Purple
Socks Purple 
Clash/Alternate Jersey White background featuring purple chevrons on chest white background on back
Clash/Alternate Shorts White
Clash/Alternate Socks Purple with white hoops
Nickname: Dockers and Freo
Premierships: None
Brownlow Medalists: Nathan Fyfe - 2015
Prime Sponsors: Programmed (industry support), Woodside (petroleum)

The port city of Fremantle has a strong football history. In 1882 Unions formed which then became known as Fremantle in 1890. In 1897 a new club, East Fremantle, was formed, which has since won 28 WAFL Premierships.  In 1898 the Fremantle club folded and most players moved to another new club, South Fremantle, and some moved to East Fremantle. In 1995 the AFL were keen to establish a second AFL team in Western Australia and formed Fremantle. The AFL were wary of establishing another team like West Coast, which was given generous drafting concessions and developed into a powerhouse team by 1994. Fremantle thus was required to start from scratch, with no relationship to the two dominant WAFL teams. They were given one concession, which was to draft champion Hawthorn player Ben Allen, who captained a team mostly made up of state-league players who had not been drafted by other VFL/AFL clubs. Ben Allan retired due to knee problems two years later. As a consequence Fremantle struggled to attract and retain quality players. In 2001 they "won" the "wooden spoon". It was not until 2003 that they made their first finals appearance, in which they were trounced by Essendon. In a rare sight, the losing team on leaving the field, was given a standing ovation by their long-suffering supporters, to recognize their season of achievement. The Dockers made the finals again in 2006 and 2010 without significant success. From 2012 to 2015 they have become a powerful unit, appearing in the 2013 Grand Final and topping the ladder in 2015. Since that peak,  the Dockers have been in re-building mode with a focus on drafting young talent and attracting successful WA-born players from other AFL clubs. The Fremantle Women's team was established 2017 and has attracted a strong following in the first two years of the AFLW competition. In 2018, an Australian record crowd of 41,975 watched the women play the Collingwood Magpies at Optus Stadium.


Postal Address: PO Box 461, Geelong, Victoria 3220, Australia
Phone: +61-3-5225-2355
Email: events[at)geelongcats[ dot }com[ dot }au
Founded: 1858
Joined AFL: 1897
Home Ground: GMHBA Stadium in Kardinia Park, Moorabool St, Geelong, Victoria (nee Kardinia Park)
Ground Dimensions: 170m by 117m. Goals run north to south.
Senior Coach: Chris Scott
Official Colors:(Home) Navy Blue & white
Jersey Navy blue and white hoops
Shorts Navy
Socks Navy blue and white hoops
Clash/Alternate Jersey Navy blue and white hoops
Clash/Alternate Shorts White
Clash/Alternate Socks Navy blue and white hoops
Nickname: Cats
Premierships: 1925, 1931, 1937, 1951-52, 1963, 2007, 2009, 2011.
Brownlow Medalists: Edward "Carji" Greeves - 1924, B Smith - 1951, Aaron Lord - 1962, Paul Couch - 1989, Jimmy Bartel - 2007, Gary Ablett, Jr - 2009, Patrick Dangerfield 2016.
Prime Sponsors: Ford Motor Company

Geelong is a port city 74 kilometers (46 miles) south-east of Melbourne. Geelong were first called the Seagulls. Later they were known as the Pivotonians because of the town's "pivotal" role as a seaport. Their first home was Corio Oval, near the Corio Bay. Corio Oval had to be abandoned in 1940 because of the war and the team went to their current home, originally known as Kardinia Park. The Pivotonians became the Cats when a black cat ran onto the ground during the half time break of a juniors game. It was thought this event brought luck to the senior team which began to win games in a poor season. The team then became known as the Cats. Geelong have played in 115 finals with 50 wins and 1 drawn game. They have played in 17 Grand Finals and won 9 premierships. Old supporters claim 1961 was their golden era. A more recent golden era has been from 2007 to 2014 when they played finals every year and won 3 Grand Finals as a dominant team in the competition. 2015 was the first year they have not played finals since 2006. In 2016 and 2017 they finished second on the ladder but premierships eluded them. In 2018 they finished eighth on the ladder.

Gold Coast

Postal Address: PO Box 4952, Gold Coast MC, Queensland 7926, Australia
Phone: +61-7- 1300 784 436
Email: info[at)goldcoastfc[ dot }com[ dot }au
Founded: 2008
Joined AFL: 2009
Home Ground: Metricon Stadium (formerly Carrara Stadium).
Ground Dimensions: 161m by 134m Goals run north to south.
Senior Coach: Stuart Dew
Official Colors:(Home) Red and Gold
Jersey Red with gold sides GC emblem in front panel
Shorts Red
Socks Red with gold hoop at top
Clash/Alternate Jersey Blue shoulders with three vs gold, light blue, and  grey. Stylised GC on chest
Clash/Alternate Shorts Blue
Clash/Alternate Socks Blue with gold hoop at top
Nickname: Suns
Premierships: None
Brownlow Medalists: None
Prime Sponsors: Hostplus (Superannuation) Cover More (Insurance)

Gold Coast was established by the AFL to make further inroads into the Rugby-dominated state of Queensland. The area was chosen due to the large number of retired Victorians living on the Gold Coast and the vibrant business and tourism industry of the area. Former West Coast premiership player, Guy McKenna, was the inaugural coach and molded a team which consisted of the cream of young Australia talent, courtesy of generous drafting concessions. The team was not expected to achieve significant success until the young players had matured. They finished last and second last in their first two years, despite attracting the enormously talented Gary Ablett to captain the club. In 2013 and 2014 they showed signs of development by moving to 14th and then 12th place. They were expected to make the finals in 2015 but fell back to 16th place with a run of serious injures, including those to Ablett and young tyro Jaeger O'Meara. Off-field indiscretions by a number of young stars led to the board seeking a new direction. McKenna was sacked and their champion player, Harley Bennell, was told he was not required and was subsequently traded to Fremantle. Experienced coach Rodney Eade was appointed in 2016 and the club has retained a significant number of young and highly talented players who are keen to make amends. The team did not reach its full potential under Eade and he was replaced in 2017 by Stuart Dew. At the end of 2017 former club captain and original marquee player Gary Ablett Jr left the Suns and returned to Geelong. Young stars Tom Lynch and Steven May were appointed co-captains in 2017 and 2018 but both asked to be traded out of the club at the end of 2018. Their departure cemented the Suns' reputation as a 'development club', which regularly receives high draft picks but is unable to retain its first pick choices, once those players develop into quality footballers. The club indicated a change in recruiting policy in 2017 by trading second pick for the developing Docker midfielder Lachie Weller. Weller actually requested a trade to the Suns, who thought it better to have a young player who wants to stay rather than a more highly credentialed draftee who would quit the club once his initial contract finished. In the 2018 draft, the Suns hold three of the first 10 picks, and appear to be placed in the position of again drafting the best young high-end talent of the competition. Time will tell if the Suns will be able to retain this talent, or whether the AFL will give up on the 'Gold Coast experiment' and move the club to Tasmania where the club would be able to generate a stronger fan base. The Suns will enter a team in the AFL Women's competion in 2020.

Greater Western Sydney

Postal Address: PO Box 7112, Silverwater, New South Wales 2128, Australia
Phone: +61-2-8736-4200
Email: info[at)gwsgiants[ dot }com[ dot }au
Founded: 2009
Joined AFL: 2011
Home Ground: Sydney Showgrounds Stadium (formerly Spotless Stadium, Western Sydney) and UNSW Canberra Oval (formerly known as Manuka Oval). Training Tom Wills Oval, Sydney Olympic Park
Ground Dimensions: Spotless 164m by 127.5m. Goals run north to south;  Manuka 162.5m by 138.4m Goals run north to south
Senior Coach: Leon Cameron
Official Colors:(Home) Orange and grey
Jersey Orange Chest, Dark Grey lower two thirds with stylized slanting white G on left hand front
Shorts Dark Grey
Socks Orange, dark grey hoop at top.
Clash/Alternate Jersey White with angling grey lower half from Right arm to bottom of jersey, stylized orange sliding G on left hand front
Clash/Alternate Shorts White
Clash/Alternate Socks Orange, dark grey hoops at top
Nickname: Giants
Premierships: None
Brownlow Medalists: None
Prime Sponsors: Toyo Tires, Virgin Australia.

Greater Western Sydney were established as the second team in the Rugby-dominated state of New South Wales. The AFL hopes that they will achieve the sustained success of their cross-town rivals and tap into the large migrant population of Western Sydney. The club was given generous draft concessions to establish a team. Although they did not attract a marquee player, such as Gold Coast's Gary Ablett, Jr., they developed a formidable list of players consisting of arguably the best young players in the country. Coached by legendary AFL coach Kevin Sheedy, they played their first AFL game in 2012. In their first two years the young team sat in 18th position. In 2014 Jeremy Cameron took the role of head coach and the developing team moved to 14th. The lowly positions allowed them to continue to draft the best young talent available. In 2015 they won 7 of their first 10 games and served notice of their enormous potential. In that year they overtook Gold Coast who had entered the league a year ahead of them. Injuries to key players in the latter half of the season slowed them to just 4 more wins, to finish agonizingly close to achieving their first final series. In 2016, under coach Leon Cameron, the Giants finished fourth on the premiership table and reached a preliminary final after defeating the reigning premiers, Hawthorn. The arguably had their best season in 2017 when they sat in first or second position on the ladder for nine of the 23 weeks. Eventual premiers, Richmond, ended their season in a preliminary final. 2018 saw the Giants slip down to seventh position after a plague of injuries swept through the club. They lost a semi-final to eventual Grand Finalists, Collingwood, by 10 points. Salary cap pressures forced the Giants to trade out some of their better players at the end of 2018, but they still retain a formidable list of young and skillful players. In 2018, the club indicated it would be primarily be known as the GIANTS in a partial re-branding which moved away from the longer name of Greater Western Sydney Giants. The Giants entered a team in the women's AFL women's competition in 2017. The women have been competitive but are yet to play in a final.


Postal Address: PO Box 829, Mount Waverley, Victoria 3122, Australia
Phone: +61-3-9535-3000
Email: hawthorn[at)hawthornfc[ dot }com[ dot }au
Founded: 1874
Joined AFL: 1925
Home Ground: Melbourne Cricket Ground, Yarra Park, Jolimont, Victoria
University of Tasmania Stadium - formerly known as Aurora Stadium, Launceston, Tasmania. Training: The Ricoh Centre, Waverly Park, Mulgrave, Victoria
Ground Dimensions: MCG 160m by 141m. Goals run north to south.  Aurora Stadium 170m by 140m Goals run north- /NE to South/SE.
Senior Coach: Alistair Clarkson
Official Colors: Brown & gold
Jersey Brown and gold vertical stripes on front, plain gold back.
Shorts Brown
Socks Gold
Clash/Alternate Jersey White with HFC monogram center front
Clash/Alternate Shorts White
Clash/Alternate Socks White with one orange and one grey hoop at shin.
Nickname: Hawks
Premierships: 1961, 1971, 1976, 1978, 1983, 1986, 1988-89, 1991, 2008, 2013, 2014, 2015.
Brownlow Medalists: Col Austen - 1949, Robert "Dipper" Dipierdomenico - 1986, John "Rat" Platten - 1987 (tied), Shane Crawford - 1999, Sam Mitchell - 2012 (tied), Tom Mitchell - 2018
Prime Sponsors: Tasmania (state tourism body)

Hawthorn have won the second highest number of premierships (13), but significantly all of these have been since 1961. They were a dominant force in the 1980s and have repeated the dose in the last decade where they have won four premierships. Astute tactician, Alistair Clarkson, has guided the club from last place to the position of the dominant team in the competition. Clarkson introduced the tactic of a rolling zone (similar to basketball's 2-3 zone, but it spreads across the field and follows the ball up and down the field) and was successful in defeating the then dominant team Geelong in the 2008 Grand Final. Hawthorn continue to trade for experienced players to keep their premiership window open. They employ an aggressive brand of football which is intended to intimidate opponents, the coach terms this "unsocial football". This, combined with their rolling zone and precise kicking, allows them to play a highly successful form of possession football, where the opposition are denied use of the ball to attack. In 2016, they finished third on the ladder and they attempted to win a fourth consecutive Premiership, a feat only done once before (by Collingwood in 1927-1930). The dream ended when they were defeated in a semi-final by the eventual Premiers, the Western Bulldogs. They finished twelfth in 2017 before bouncing back to fourth position on the ladder in 2018, only to be bundled out of the finals with consecutive losses to Richmond and Melbourne. The Hawks have applied for a women's team license but are yet to be granted one.


Postal Address: PO Box 254, East Melbourne, Victoria 3002, Australia
Phone: +61-3-9652-1111
Email: info[at)melbournefc[ dot }com[ dot }au
Founded: 1858 (possibly the oldest club of its kind on Earth)
Joined AFL: 1897
Home Ground: Melbourne Cricket Ground, Yarra Park, Jolimont, Vic. Training at AAMI Park.
Ground Dimensions: 160m by 141m. Goals run east to west
Senior Coach: Simon Goodwin
Official Colors: Blue and red
Jersey Navy blue with red yoke
Shorts Navy blue
Socks Red
Clash/Alternate Jersey Royal blue with red yoke across shoulders forming a V on the chest.
Clash/Alternate Shorts White
Clash/Alternate Socks Red
Nickname: Demons
Premierships: 1900, 1926, 1939-40-41, 1948, 1955-56-57, 1959-60, 1964
Brownlow Medalists: IP Warne-Smith - 1926, Dr Don Cordner - 1946, B Wilson - 1982, P Moore - 1984, Jim Stynes - 1991, Shane Woewodin - 2000 
Prime Sponsors: Zurich, iSelect

Melbourne are the traditional tenants of the MCG and have a proud history of winning 12 premierships. They have played in 87 finals and won 51 of those games. They have appeared in 18 Grand Finals. Unfortunately since their last premiership (in 1964) they have struggled to have an impact. Their last Grand Final appearance was in 1988 when they lost to a free-running Hawthorn (where players used a new tactic of running in waves, or groups, to handball over opponents and create free space for attacking the goals). From 1987 to 2006 they were considered "an average team", that appeared in 7 of a possible 15 finals series. Since the consecutive "wooden spoons" of  2008-2009 they have been consistent cellar dwellers and have chewed through 7 coaches and flirted with bankruptcy. In 2014 the highly respected former Sydney premiership coach, Paul Roos, accepted a position as coach and the club moved from 17th position in that year to 13th in 2015 with 7 wins. Before Roos arrived, the club struggled to retain some of its top young draft picks, as players headed to more successful teams or higher salaries. However, after many years of frustration the club built a strong nucleus of talented players. In 2016 they finished eleventh. Simon Goodwin took over as coach in 2017and the Demons missed the finals by percentage, having been knocked down to ninth in the last game of the season. In 2018 they finished fifth and won two finals games before going down in a preliminary final to eventual Premiers the West Coast Eagles. The immediate future for Melbourne is brighter than it has been for a long time. Melbourne entered a team in the first year of the AFL Women's competition in 2017. The women have been competitive but have yet to play in a final. The DemonWiki website offers additional history information on the club including matches and players.

North Melbourne

Postal Address: PO Box 158, North Melbourne, Victoria 3051, Australia
Phone: +61-3-9320-2400
Email: info[at)nmfc[ dot }com[ dot }au
Founded: 1869
Joined AFL: 1925
Home Ground: Marvel Stadium, Docklands. Blundstone Arena, Hobart, Tasmania.
(Training) Arden Street Oval, North Melbourne.
Ground Dimensions: Marvel: 159.5m by 128.8m. Goals run north to south. Blundstone: 160m by 124m. Goals north to south.
Senior Coach: Brad Scott
Official Colors: Royal blue & white
Jersey (Traditional) Royal blue and white vertical stripes
(Alternative) Traditional stripes above running kangaroo in royal blue silhouette on white
Shorts Royal blue
Socks Royal blue
Clash/Alternate Jersey Royal blue shoulders and chest with short vertical blue lines underneath which reach to royal blue kangaroo logo on a white background
Clash/Alternate Shorts White
Clash/Alternate Socks Royal blue
Nickname: Kangaroos or just "Roos"
Premierships: 1975, 1977, 1996, 1999
Brownlow Medalists: Noel Teasdale - 1965, Keith Greig - 1973,1974, Malcolm Blight - 1978, Ross Glendinning - 1983
Prime Sponsors: Mazda, Spirit of Tasmania (ferry)

North Melbourne tasted ultimate success in the mid-70s and 90s. The Kangaroos became the first "traveling team" in football history. They proposed the concept to the AFL during the 1998 season, and played five "home games" at the Sydney Cricket Ground in 1999. As part of the initiative, they dropped the "North" from their name and became simply the Kangaroos. They then shifted their alternative "home" to Manuka Oval in Canberra, the Australian capital. In 2008, the AFL offered the Kangaroos a lucrative deal to relocate from Melbourne to the Gold Coast in Queensland, but the club refused. In 2016 the club listed Hobart in Tasmania as their alternative "home" ground, and have scheduled 3 home games at Blundstone Arena. Their most recent 'successful' year was 2007 when they finished 4th. After that year they have hovered around the twilight zone of being just in or just out of the top eight. This is considered a horror position for clubs, as they neither achieve significant success, or get the top draft picks; leading to a continuance of mediocrity. Brad Scott has coached the team since 2010. In 2015 they were good at times, but inconsistent to finish 8th. They appeared in Preliminary Finals in 2015 and 2016, but were unable to progress into the final game of the year. In 2016 they finished eighth and were knocked out of the finals in the first week. A raft of stars retired, or were delisted, and in 2017 the Roos fell to fifteenth on the ladder. In 2018 their younger squad showed improvement to bounce back to ninth position. However, the Roos are still floating in that twilight zone of neither being very weak or very strong. North Melbourne will enter a team in the AFL Women's competition for the first time in 2019.

Port Adelaide

Postal Address: PO Box 379, Port Adelaide, SA 5015, Australia.
Phone: +61-8-8447-4044
Email: email[at)pafc[ dot }com[ dot }au
Founded: 1870
Joined AFL: 1997
Home Ground: Adelaide Oval, Adelaide, South Australia. Training at Alberton Oval and Adelaide Oval.
Ground Dimensions: 167m by 123m; Goals run north to south.
Senior Coach: Ken Hinkley
Official Colors: Black, teal & white
Jersey Teal blue, white and black bands with "lightning bolt" contrast strokes at the left shoulder
Shorts Black
Socks Black
Clash/Alternate Jersey Light grey with a white V inside a black V that extends from shoulders to reach just below the chest.
Clash/Alternate Shorts White
Clash/Alternate Socks Black
Nickname: Power
Premierships: 2004
Brownlow Medalists: None
Prime Sponsors: Oak Plus

On December 13 1994, the SANFL (South Australian National Football League) announced that the Port Adelaide Football Club (currently playing in the SANFL) would become South Australia's second team in the AFL when a new license became available.

The SANFL was told to prepare a possibility for a 2nd South Australian team as early as 1996. (The Adelaide Crows had a 5 year market exclusivity deal in SA until then.) Debate then arose as to when/if Port Adelaide would be admitted, as the AFL was not keen to expand to a 17 team competition. It had been previously foreseen that a Victorian club would fold or merge thus providing the way for a license being made available; Fitzroy's failure and merger with Brisbane in 1996 finally made it possible.

Another issue to be resolved was that of Port Adelaide's jersey design and logo. Unlike the other expansion teams, Port had an already existing history in the SANFL - the Port Adelaide Magpies, with a black and white vertically striped jersey. The name and colors, however, were already 'owned' by Collingwood in the AFL. Port had already registered 6 names as possibilities, including the Pirates, and the Raiders, and were considered likely to retain black and white as their colors but add silver in addition. But within weeks of their admission in 1996, Port Power introduced a new organization with entirely new uniforms incorporating teal blue instead of silver (either of which bothered traditionalists to no end). There remains a Port Adelaide Magpie team in the SANFL. They have played in 22 finals games, winning 11. They have played in two Grand Finals. After their first (and only) Premiership in 2004, the Power ventured as low as 16th in 2011 and spent some time building their list. Ken Hinkley was appointed coach in 2013 and the Power moved back into the top eight to finish 7th and then 5th in 2014. At the start of 2015 they were premiership favorites but were hit by injuries and retirements of senior players. Their best was as good as any team but they lacked consistency and unexpected losses to two weak teams, resulted in Port Adelaide missing the finals and finishing 9th. They missed the finals again in 2016 when they finished tenth. In 2017 they finished in fifth position but were knocked out in the first week of the finals by West Coast, who kicked a goal after the siren courtesy of a controversial free kick. Port recruited several experienced players to boost their 2018 chances but finished in 10th position on the ladder. Their immediate focus is now on recruiting young South Australian talent through the draft. Port Adelaide have not applied to enter a team in the AFL Women's competition.


Postal Address: PO Box 48, Richmond, Vic 3121, Australia
Phone: +61-3-9426-4400
Email: info[at)richmondfc[ dot }com[ dot }au
Founded: 1885
Joined AFL: 1908
Home Ground: Melbourne Cricket Ground, Yarra Park, Jolimont, Vic.
(Training) Punt Road Oval in Yarra Park, Punt Road, Richmond, Vic.
Ground Dimensions: 160m by 141m. Goals run east to west
Senior Coach: Damien Hardwick
Official Colors: Yellow & black
Jersey Black with yellow sash
Shorts Black
Socks Black and yellow hoops
Clash/Alternate Jersey Yellow with Black sash
Clash/Alternate Shorts White
Clash/Alternate Socks Black and yellow hoops
Nickname: Tigers
Premierships: 1920-21, 1932, 1934, 1943, 1967, 1969, 1973-74, 1980
Brownlow Medalists: Stan Judkins - 1930, JW Morris - 1948, Graeme Wright - 1952,1954, Ian Stewart - 1971, Trent Cotchin - 2012 (tied), Dustin Martin - 2017
Prime Sponsors: Jeep, Nib (health insurance)

Richmond has a long history and has played in 22 Grand Finals to win 11 premierships. Richmond was one of the glamor teams during the early 1980s winning a premiership in 1980. They lost the 1982 Grand Final to Carlton and spent many years in the doldrums before making inroads into the finals in 1995 and 2001. However, in 2007 the "won" the "wooden spoon" for coming last in the competition. They  then have lingered around second-last position (2 years) and then 12th position (2 years). They  broke through to the finals again from 2013-2015, finishing 5th, 8th and 5th in the respective years. However, in all three years they failed in the first week. Hardwick is a clever tactician and rescued last year's poor start to the season by moving from a free-flowing (running and handball) 'corridor-based' (along the center spine of the field) game to a 'tempo' game when required. He mostly used the 'tempo' game, whenever the opposition looked like scoring a series of successive goals; so slowing the tempo with players retaining possession of the ball - rather than attacking - gave his team time to settle for their next attack. In 2016 the team fell back to finish in thirteenth place. In 2017, Hardwick and the team grew in strength had a number of quality key players at his disposal, including Martin, Cotchin, Rance and Jack Reiwoldt. The team finished third and then won the flag by defeating Adelaide in the Grand Final. In 2018 they finished two games clear at the top of the ladder but in a surprise result, lost a preliminary to Collingwood. Richmond will enter a team in the AFL Women's competition in 2020. The Tigerland Archive provides extensive historical information on the club.

St Kilda

Postal Address: PO Box 2109, Seaford, Victoria 3198, Australia
Phone: +61-1300-467-246
Email: reception[at)saints[ dot }com[ dot }au
Founded: 1873
Joined AFL: 1897
Home Ground: Marvel Stadium, Docklands, Melbourne, Victoria
(Training) Moorabbin Oval, Moorabbin, Victoria
Ground Dimensions: 159.5m by 128.8m. Goals run north to south
Senior Coach: Alan Richardson
Official Colors: White, black, & red
Jersey (Home) Red, white and black vertical stripes, crest on left breast, black back and sleeves, red cuffs on sleeves, white collar
Shorts Black
Socks Red, white and black hoops.
Clash/Alternate Jersey White with red shoulders. large black cross reaches from neck to centre of waist.
Clash/Alternate Shorts White
Clash/Alternate Socks Red, white and black hoops.
Nickname Saints
Premierships: 1966
Brownlow Medalists: C Watson - 1925, B Gleeson - 1957, N Roberts - 1958, Verdun Howell - 1959, Ian Stewart - 1965, 1966, R Smith - 1967, Tony Lockett - 1987, Robert Harvey - 1997, 1998
Prime Sponsors: Dare (iced coffee) Pepper money (financial services)

St Kilda is one of the foundation clubs of the AFL. They have played in 8 Grand Finals for 6 losses one draw, with their only win ( a famous 1 point win) in 1966. Their cruelest result was in 2010, when in the dying seconds the ball bounced in an improbable fashion in front of their goals - to score a point instead of a goal - and created a draw. Distraught, they easily lost the replay the following week to Collingwood. Since the turn of this century they have mostly been considered a mostly competitive, but unlucky, team. Unfortunately they have finished last in the competition a stunning 27 times. Their collection of "wooden spoons" far exceeds the collection of the next "biggest loser", North Melbourne, who have gathered 13. In more recent times, St Kilda finished 3rd, 4th and 6th from 2004-2006. At the end of 2006 the new board sacked autocratic coach Grant Thomas and installed a highly rated assistant-coach from Sydney, Ross Lyon. In 2007 the team just missed out on the finals, but from 2008 to 2011 they finished in 4th, 1st, 3rd and 6th position on the ladder. They played in the 2009 and 2010 Grand Finals without success. Late in 2010, the board at St Kilda delayed renewing Lyon's contract; and Fremantle controversially swooped to appoint Lyon to Fremantle, hours after sacking their popular coach Mark Harvey. Since then St Kilda have been near the bottom of the ladder, collecting yet another "wooden spoon" in 2014. Replacement coach Scott Watters was sacked at the end of 2013 and Allan Richardson (a former Collingwood defender) was appointed in 2014. In 2015 the Saints were in re-building mode, but showed a new determination; and despite some big losses had six wins and a significant round 21 draw against Geelong. In 2016 the Saints finished ninth and missed playing in the finals by percentage. Since then they have slipped back to 11th in 2017 and 16th in 2018. St Kilda will enter a team in the AFL Women's competition in 2020.


Postal Address: PO Box 173, Paddington, NSW 2021, Australia
Phone: +61-2-1300 663 819
Email: swansmembership[at)sydneyswans[ dot }com[ dot }au
Founded: 1874 as South Melbourne
Joined AFL: 1897; relocated to Sydney in 1982
Home Ground: Sydney Cricket Ground, Sydney, New South Wales
Ground Dimensions: 155m by 136m. Goals run north to south
Senior Coach: John Longmire
Official Colors: Red & white
Jersey White with red "V" yoke, with Opera House roof in silhouette at base; red back, red cuffs and collar
Shorts Red
Socks Red
Clash/Alternate Jersey White with light red "V" yoke, with Opera House roof in silhouette at base; white back, light red cuffs and collar
Clash/Alternate Shorts white
Clash/Alternate Socks Red
Nickname: Swans
Premierships: 1909, 1918, 1933, 2005, 2012. 
Brownlow Medalists: Herbie Matthews - 1940, R Clegg - 1949, FW Goldsmith - 1955, Bob Skilton - 1959, 1963, 1968, Paul Bedford - 1970, Graham Teasdale - 1977, Barry Round - 1981, Greg Williams - 1986, Gerard Healy - 1988, Paul Kelly - 1995, Adam Goodes  - 2003 (co-winner with Nathan Buckley and Mark Ricciuto), Adam Goodes - 2006
Prime Sponsors: QBE Insurance

Sydney originally formed as South Melbourne in 1874 and joined the AFL in 1897 as a foundation team. During the 1920s they took on the nickname of "the Swans" due to the large number of Western Australians playing for them. (The black swan appears on the WA flag.)  In 1982 the club relocated to Sydney. The team has won 5 premierships and has been runners-up 11 times. Their most successful era has been since they moved to Sydney. As a result of the move, the AFL expanded the club's salary cap with a "cost-of-living-allowance" (based on Sydney being a more expensive place to live); which the club used to attract star players from other teams. This allowance ceased at the end of 2015. The team has appeared in the finals series every season from 1995 to 2018, except for 2000, 2002 and 2009. No other club has matched this consistency. In that period the Swans have played in Grand Finals in 1996, 2005, 2006, 2012,  2014 and 2016, and won three premierships. 2015 was a relatively disappointing year for Sydney, the team played inconsistently and exited the finals with two consecutive losses. They improved in 2016 by finishing top of the ladder but lost the Grand Final to the Western Bulldogs. In 2017 they finished 6th on the ladder and were knocked out of the finals by a semi-final loss to Geelong. They finished 6th again in 2018 but were beaten convincingly in the first week of the finals in an elimination final with their cross-town rivals, the GWS Giants. Sydney have not applied for permission to enter a team in the AFL Women's competition.


Joined AFL: 1908
Home Ground: 1908-10 East Melbourne Cricket Ground, Jolimont, Vic. (The EMCG was located in what is now a railyard next to the MCG.)
1911-14 Melbourne Cricket Ground, Jolimont, Vic.
Ground Dimensions: East Melbourne Cricket Ground (dimensions not recorded), MCG 160m by 141m
Official Colors: Blue and black
Jersey Black with blue V neck and cuffs
Shorts White
Socks Black with blue tops
Nickname: Students
Premierships: None
Brownlow Medalists: None

University had trouble retaining players due to the transitory nature of students and their schedules of exams and holidays. The advent of World War One and the large number of young men joining the army to fight in Europe, exacerbated the problems and the club folded. While some players crossed to Melbourne, there is no evidence that University actually merged with Melbourne as some believe. One hundred and twelve players are recorded as having played with the University club.

West Coast

Postal Address: PO Box 508, Subiaco, WA 6008, Australia
Phone: +61-8-9381-1111
Email: westcoasteagles[at)westcoasteagles[ dot }com[ dot }au
Founded: 1986
Joined AFL: 1987
Home Ground: Optus Stadium, Perth, Western Australia. Training Lathlain Park, Perth
Ground Dimensions: 175m by 122m. Goals run east to west.
Senior Coach: Adam Simpson
Official Colors: Navy and yellow, ochre and blue eagle, yellow panels
Jersey Royal blue with yellow, ochre and blue eagle with yellow panels
Shorts Navy with gold trim
Socks Navy with gold hoop at top
Clash/Alternate Jersey Royal blue with yellow, ochre and blue eagle with yellow panels.
Clash/Alternate Shorts White with blue trim
Clash/Alternate Socks Royal blue with gold hoop at top
Nickname: Eagles
Premierships: 1992, 1994, 2006, 2018
Brownlow Medalists: Chris Judd - 2004, Ben Cousins - 2005, Matt Priddis - 2014.
Prime Sponsors: Hungry Jacks (Hamburger chain); Lendi (Home loans)

From the time they were admitted to the AFL, West Coast were a powerful club. Generous draft concessions gave them the best young talent in Western Australia including seven players who were under-age All Australians. By their second year they had sacked their foundation coach, former Fitzroy ruckman Ron Alexander, and appointed WA legend John Todd and played their first final, which they lost by 2 points to Melbourne. The next year they missed the finals and Todd was replaced by former dour Footscray defender, Mick Malthouse. Malthouse brought a tough defensive attitude to the club and they missed only two final series between 1990 and 2007. In the early days, some Victorian clubs complained the Eagles were effectively a state team playing in the Melbourne suburban competition. In that golden period they won their first two premierships and then a third in 2006. Malthouse had run out of support by by the end of 1999 and was replaced by former Hawthorn midfielder Ken Judge in 2000. In the two years Judge coached, they failed to make the finals, so he was replaced by dual premiership captain and club legend John Worsfold. Worsfold again had the Eagles playing in finals from 2002 until 2007. This period included two epic Grand Finals against Sydney, in 2005 and 2006, where both teams won a premiership, by just 1 point . West Coast finished third in 2007; but then the club entered its darkest period. Former champion wingman Chris Mainwairing died from a cocaine overdose, their champion player Ben Cousins was sacked and later admitted to cocaine addition. Several other players were charged with offenses relating to illicit drugs. By 2008, Captain Chris Judd had resigned to return to Melbourne and play with Carlton. The Eagles slumped on the ladder to 15th and 11th in 2008 and 2009 respectively and then "won" their first and only "wooden spoon" by coming last on the ladder in 2010. Worsfold engineered a mini revival in 2011 and 2012, when the team finished 4th and 5th respectively. However, in 2013 they slumped to 13th and he resigned. Former North Melbourne player, Adam Simpson was appointed in 2014 and the team moved up to 9th place, just missing out on the finals. 2015 saw a stunning improvement with the team finishing 2nd on the ladder. During the year only Fremantle, North Melbourne and Hawthorn were able to get within 50 points of the Simpson coached machine. They played their worst game of the year in the Grand Final where they were obliterated by Hawthorn. In 2016 they have recruited well, adding Jack Redden from Brisbane and the speedy Lewis Jetta from Sydney, but were bundled out of the finals in the first week by eventual Premiers, the Western Bulldogs. In 2017 they recruited Hawthorn legend Sam Mitchell and they scraped into the top eight in the last minutes of the season by defeating the top team, Adelaide. They continued in the first week of the finals with a controversial free kick and goal kicked after the siren to defeat Port Adelaide by two points. The next week they were soundly thrashed by the GWS Giants and exited the finals. With serious injury to Nic Naitanui, the retirement of Jack Priddis and Sam Mitchell the Eagles were expected to drop further down the ladder in 2018. The Eagles re-grouped and spent most of the season in second place on the ladder behind a powerful Richmond combination. When Richmond were unexpectedly defeated in the Preliminary Final by Collingwood, the Eagles defeated Melbourne in Perth and only had Collingwood standing between them and an unexpected flag. The Grand Final between the two teams became a modern epic, with the Eagles trailing all day and then snatching victory in the last minutes of the game after a controversial non-decision by an umpire, which led to the Eagles thrilling last goal. West Coast will field a women's team in 2020.

Western Bulldogs

(formerly Footscray)

Postal Address: PO Box 4112, Delivery Center, Footscray West, Victoria 3012, Australia
Phone: +61-1300- 463-647
Email: godogs[at)westernbulldogs[ dot }com[ dot }au
Founded: 1883
Joined AFL: 1925
Home Ground: Marvel Stadium, Docklands. Training Whitten Oval, University of Victoria.
Ground Dimensions: 159.5m by 128.8m. Goals run north to south 
Senior Coach: Luke Beveridge
Official Colors: Blue, white & red
Jersey Royal blue, red & white chest hoop with stylized bulldog
Shorts Royal blue (home, white (away)
Socks Royal blue with red & white band at top
Clash/Alternate Jersey White with broad horizontal red hoop around midrift over narrow white hoop and broad horizontal royal blue hoop
Clash/Alternate Shorts White
Clash/Alternate Socks Royal blue with red & white band at top
Nickname: Bulldogs
Premierships: 1954, 2015
Brownlow Medalists: Allan Hopkins - 1930, N Ware - 1941, P Box - 1956, John Schultz - 1960, Gary Dempsey - 1975, K Templeton - 1980, Brad Hardie - 1985, Tony Liberatore - 1990, Scott Wynd - 1992, Adam Cooney - 2008.
Prime Sponsors: Mission Foods (produces flour and flatbreads)

In just over 90 years the Bulldogs have one just two Grand Finals (defeating Melbourne in 1954 and Sydney in 2016). Their history has not been littered with success, but equally they have rarely "won" the "wooden spoon" for finishing last on the premiership table. They have only been awarded "the spoon" on four occasions which compares very favorably with one-premiership-team St Kilda's 27. Their second last appearances in a Grand Final were in 1961 against Hawthorn, which they lost and 2016 which they won. Since entering the competition their overall winning ratio is 45%  In more recent times they have had more success. In 1997 they changed their name from Footscray to The Western Bulldogs, in an attempt to attract neighboring Fitzroy supporters, who perhaps had become disenchanted with their club's move to Brisbane. Under coach Terry Wallace, the Western Bulldogs appeared in the finals from 1997 to 2000. Wallace was replaced by Peter Rhode in 2003 and "won" their 4th wooden spoon and then finished 14th the year after. In 2005, new coach Rodney Eade added a new toughness to "the dogs" and finished just outside the top eight; and then reached 8th in 2006. They had a minor hiccup in 2007 and dropped back to  back to 13th, before achieving 3rd position the next two years and 4th in 2010. Eade's era ended in 2011 when the team dropped back to 11th. Brendan McCarthy took over for the next three years, but to no avail, with the team finishing 15th twice and then 14th in 2014. New coach Luke Beveridge was enticed from his position as defensive coach of the highly successful Hawks; but with a number of quality players leaving the Bulldogs and one of their best (Tom LIberatore) injured, it was expected that the weakened dogs would dish up "more of the same". Beveridge soon proved the critics wrong by teaching the young dogs to "take the game on" by playing 'fast footy' and back themselves to take risks. The tactic worked, as better credentialed clubs found themselves struggling with the furious pace that the Bulldogs applied to the game. This fast ball movement resulted in the Bulldogs beating every club in 2015, except Fremantle and Geelong, to finish in 6th place with 14 wins. This was a stunning turnaround in form, and Beveridge was judged the 2015 Coach of the Year. Liberatore returned in 2016 and the Bulldogs finished seventh and then defied history to go on to a remarkable Grand Final win over Sydney, who had finished top of the ladder. In the following season they fell to tenth spot on the ladder and missed the 2017 final series. In 2018 they fell further down the ladder finishing in 13th position and entered rebuilding mode. The Western Bulldogs entered a team in the inaugural year of  AFL Women's competition in 2017 and won a Premiership in their second season, 2018.

Statistical Trivia from the AFL (and VFL)

Most Premierships:

16 - Carlton (most recent 1995)
16 - Essendon (most recent 2000)

Most "Wooden Spoons" (Last Place):

26 - St Kilda (most recent 1988)

Highest Score in an AFL match:

37.17 239 points - Geelong defeated Brisbane Round 7, 1993

Lowest Score in an AFL match:

0.1 1 point - St Kilda lost to Geelong in Round 3 of the Section B Finals, 1899

Most Goals by a player:

Game: 18 - Fred Fanning (Melbourne) vs St Kilda, Round 19, 1947
Season: 150 - Bob Pratt (South Melbourne), 1934
  150 - Peter Hudson (Hawthorn), 1971
Career: 1360 - Tony "Plugger" Lockett (St. Kilda/Sydney)

Lockett kicked his 1300th VFL/AFL goal for the Swans after the quarter-time siren against Collingwood in Round 10, 1999 at the SCG, breaking a 62-year-old record. Gordon "Nuts" Coventry scored 1299 goals in 18 seasons at Collingwood (1920-37).

Most Consecutive Wins:

23 Games - Geelong Round 12,1952 to Round 13, 1953
Technically, and it is a point of debate, the streak could actually be considered as 26 without a loss, as there was a draw in that mix. 

Most Consecutive Draws:

2 Games - Carlton Round 4 and Round 5, 1921 against Fitzroy (later merged with Brisbane) and then South Melbourne (now Sydney Swans);

GWS Giants Round 15 and Round 16, 2017 against Geelong and then Hawthorn.

Most Consecutive Losses:

51 Games - University Round 4, 1912 to Round 18, 1914

Longest Premiership Drought:

72 years: Sydney (1933-2005)

Yet to win a Premiership:

Fremantle (joined 1995)
Gold Coast Suns (joined 2011)
Greater Western Sydney Giants (joined 2012)

Yet to 'win' the Wooden Spoon:

Adelaide (joined 1991)
Port Adelaide (joined 1997)

Oldest Player:

43 years - Vic Cumberland, St Kilda, 1920

Youngest Player:

15 years 287 days - Kevin Bromage, Collingwood, 1953

Most Consecutive Matches by a player:

244 - Jim Stynes, Melbourne, Round 16, 1987 to Round 4, 1998

Longest Finals Absence:

32 Years - Hawthorn, 1925 - 1957

Worst team:

Debatable. University has the longest losing streak of 51, but St Kilda's opening few years were pretty bad. From Round 1 1897 (the first VFL matches) to Round 5 1903, St Kilda's record was 2 wins - 101 losses - 1 draw . In fact, St Kilda's first win was actually a draw against Melbourne, which they later won on protest to break a losing streak of 48. Only University's demise prior to WW I produced something to match St Kilda's form.

Best Goal Kicking Average:

5.63 goals/game - Peter Hudson (Hawthorn) (727 goals in 130 games)

Origin of St Kilda's Uniform Crest

Round 5, 1933 St Kilda vs North Melbourne:

Nine Saints players were seriously injured during the game. They eventually finished the game with only 15 men on the ground, many still injured (there was no interchange bench in those days). Despite this, St Kilda managed to hang on for a 97 to 83 win. Emotional officials pinned badges of recognition on the survivors' jerseys. The badge is now incorporated into the uniform.

Fitzroy Win Wooden Spoon AND Premiership in Same Year

1916 - Five of the nine VFL clubs went into recess due to the continuation of World War I. This left only Carlton, Collingwood, Richmond and Fitzroy to play a 12 round season. Fitzroy ended the season on the bottom of the Premiership Ladder with a 2-9-1 record. A Final Four system was in use, so Fitzroy still got to play in the Finals. Producing a remarkable form reversal, Fitzroy won all three finals matches to become Premiers, defeating Carlton in the Grand Final 85 to 56.

Old or Alternate Club Nicknames

Many AFL clubs have not always played under their current nicknames. Some examples:

Brisbane Bears
Carlton Navy Blues, Brewers, Bulldogs, Cockatoos
Collingwood Colliwobbles (not complimentary)
Essendon Same Olds, Dons (still in everyday use)
Fitzroy Maroons, Gorillas
Footscray Tricolors
Geelong Pivotonians (Geelong is "Pivot of the Colony (Victoria)," as Boston is "Hub of New England")
Hawthorn Mayblooms, Mustard Pots
Melbourne Redlegs (still seen occasionally), Fuchsias
North Melbourne Shinboners (still seen occasionally)
Port Adelaide Magpies (present SANFL counterpart nickname)
Richmond Yellow and Black Angels, Wasps
St. Kilda Seagulls, Panthers
South Melbourne Southerners, Bloods (still in everyday use), Blood Stained Angels
University Professors, Students

NOTE: "Camrys" is an often-used, but sarcastic, nickname for the Adelaide Crows. The Toyota Camry brand name has appeared on Crows jerseys since day one.

AFL Attendances

Change and expansion in the AFL certainly haven't hurt attendance figures. Crowd figures have risen steadily over the years with 2019 recording an all time high of 6,951,304 fans attending home and away matches. The pandemic greatly reduced attendance in 2020 and 2021. Only in 2023 are attendances returning fully to the annual growth seen in the previous decade. The highest attendance for a single match in 2019 (before finals) was at the MCG when 92,241 fans witnessed the Round 6 match between Essendon and Collingwood. 

Year Total Attendance**
2022 6,112,431
2021 3,976,228*
2020 826,458*
2019 6,954,187
2018 6,894,772
2017 6,732,601
2016 6,306,333
2015 6,351,578

*Attendances reduced or restricted during COVID pandemic. 
**Numbers are for "home and away" or regular season attendance only. Finals are not included. 

The record crowd for an Australian Rules Football Game was the 1970 VFL Grand Final between Carlton and Collingwood at the MCG. It drew a crowd of 121,696. Subsequent modifications to the MCG (the building of the Great Southern Stand reduced capacity to just under 100,000, and Cricket Club members with reserved seats in their pavilion always stay away in numbers). However, in 2004, a new redevelopment plan saw the demolition and reconstruction of several sections of stands which brought the capacity back up to a potential 6 figure number. The work was completed in time for the 2006 Commonwealth Games. 

The all-time record for a round of matches was Round 1 of 2017, with attendance of 400,401. Rounds 1 and 2 combined are the best totals for the opening two rounds of an AFL season by a wide margin. 

Attendance Round and Year
400,401 Round 1, 2017
393,537 Round 3, 2018
392,248 Round 1, 2023
391,980 Round 5, 2017
381,880 Round 5, 2018
380,789 Round 1, 2019
379,564 Round 1, 2018
373,541 Round 2, 2023

Top 5 Game Attendances in 2019:

Round Match Venue Attendance
6 Essendon vs Collingwood MCG 92,241
23 Collingwood vs Essendon MCG 85,405
10 Carlton vs Richmond MCG 85,016
1 Richmond vs Essendon MCG 80,176
19 Collingwood vs Richmond MCG 78,722

Top Game Attendances by State or Territory in 2019

State / Territory Round Match Venue Attendance
Victoria 6 Essendon vs Collingwood MCG 92,241
Western Australia 4 West Coast vs Fremantle Optus Stadium 58,219
South Australia 16 Adelaide vs Port Adelaide Adelaide Oval 50,544
New South Wales 12 Sydney vs West Coast SCG 36,640
Queensland 22 Brisbane vs Geelong Gabba 35,608
Tasmania 6 Hawthorn vs Carlton UTAS Stadium 15,888
Aus. Capital Ter. 7 GWS vs St Kilda UNSW Canberra Oval 12,633
Northern Ter. 11 Melbourne vs Adelaide TIO Stadium 10,634

Average attendances vary dramatically on a club by club basis. The clubs with larger memberships and in states where the AFL does well, have larger attendances.

Club Average Attendance
Per Match (2019)
Richmond 59,994
Collingwood 58,975
West Coast 53,513
Essendon 47,732
Carlton 46,755
Adelaide 44,514
Fremantle 40,900
Port Adelaide 33,950
Geelong 33,405
Hawthorn 31,077
Sydney 31,070
Melbourne 28,968
Western Bulldogs 26,755
St Kilda 25,096
Brisbane 24,741
North Melbourne 20,809
GWS 12,267
Gold Coast 11,417

Top Home Game Attendances in 2019 (by club, sorted by attendance):

Club Round Opponent Venue Attendance
Essendon 6 Collingwood MCG 92,241
Carlton 1 Richmond MCG 85,016
Richmond 10 Essendon MCG 80,176
Collingwood 23 Essendon MCG 75,405
Hawthorn 16 Collingwood MCG 66,407
Geelong 7 Essendon MCG 63,527
West Coast 4 Fremantle Optus 58,219
Fremantle 16 West Coast Optus 56,358
Melbourne 3 Essendon MCG 52,475
Adelaide 16 Port Adelaide Adelaide 50,544
Port Adelaide 8 Adelaide Adelaide 49,675
North Melbourne 5 Essendon Marvel 48,278
St Kilda 15 Richmond Marvel 40,962
Western Bulldogs 14 Collingwood Marvel 39,836
Sydney 12 West Coast SCG 36,640
Brisbane 22 Geelong Gabba 35,608
GWS 20 Sydney GMHBA 16,116
Gold Coast 16 Richmond Metricon 16,031

Admission to an AFL ground cost $13.50 in 1999, and was $25 in 2018. This merely bought your way into the stadium, where you hopefully will found standing room somewhere. Seats are extra, if they are available. Prices are always higher for finals and the Grand Final with those prices usually announced late in the season.

Club Memberships

One of the distinctive features of Australian clubs is that their fans can become dues-paying members. A simple support membership can be had at most clubs for A$90 or less, which buys access to the club's social club facilities, a membership card with season fixture, and the club magazine. Additional money buys access to reserved seating, among other perks.

Social clubs generally include restaurants, bars, banquet halls, the club trophy case, and a gambling hall featuring video *gambling term* machines. The "pokies" generate substantial revenue for the clubs, and for the contractors who operate them.

While fans can purchase memberships from before the preseason starts right through to the end of the year, the official cut off date for official tallies was June 30 until 2020. Since then it is August 31. Published membership numbers for 2004 and for recent years were as follows:

Club Members
Year 2004 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 # 2020 2021 2022
Adelaide 45,642 54,249 52,920 54,307 56,865 ^64,739 64,437 54,891 60,232 63,099
Brisbane *30,221 24,012 25,408 23,286 21,362 24,867 28,023 29,277 40,289 ^43,319
Carlton 32,095 47,485 47,305 50,130 50,326 56,005 64,269 67,035 81,302 ^88,776
Collingwood 41,128 79,347 75,037 74,643 75,879 75,507 85,226 76,862 82,827 ^100,384
Essendon 33,469 60,646 60,818 57,494 67,768 79,319 84,237 66,686 81,662 ^86,001
Fremantle 32,780 48,771 51,433 51,889 51,254 55,639 51,431 51,577 50,342 ^56,105
Geelong 25,021 43,803 44,312 50,571 54,854 63,818 65,063 60,066 70,293 ^71,943
Gold Coast n/a 13,478 13,643 12,854 11,665 12,108 13,649 16,236 19,460 ^21,422
Greater Western Sydney n/a 13,040 13,480 15,312 20,944 25,243 30,109 30,841 30,185 ^32,614
Hawthorn 31,255 *68,650 *72,924 *75,351 75,663 80,302 81,211 76,343 77,079 ^81,494
Melbourne 20,647 35,911 35,953 39,146 42,233 44,275 52,241 40,571 53,188 ^*66,484
North Melbourne 23,420 39,060 41,012 45,014 40,343 40,789 42,419 38,667 46,357 ^50,191
Port Adelaide 36,340 48,968 54,057 53,743 52,129 54,386 51,951 46,820 56,532 ^58,643
Richmond 27,133 66,122 70,809 72,278 72,669 *100,726 103,358 100,420 ^*105,084 100,792
St. Kilda 30,534 30,759 32,745 38,009 42,052 46,301 43,038 48,588 55,802 ^60,172
Sydney 25,010 40,126 48,836 56,523 58,838 60,934 ^61,912 48,322 50,144 55,394
West Coast 40,792 58,529 60,221 65,188 65,064 80,290 *90,445 100,776 ^106,422 102,897
Western Bulldogs 19,295 31,538 35,222 39,459 *47,653 43,246 44,373 38,876 46,541 ^50,941

# - Pandemic shortened season. * - Won Premiership prior season. ^ - All time club record.



The "Prime Sponsors" listed above contribute enough money to their clubs to have their advertising placed on the players' uniforms; this has been allowed since 1977 in the VFL and AFL, and is even more ubiquitous in European soccer and other Australian sporting leagues. As an indication of how much money is involved, the Western Bulldogs ended their long-term relationship with Orica (the former ICI Australia) in 1998 to seek A$1,000,000 support per year. They signed up the major cellular carrier Vodafone just before the 1999 season started, after they lowered their expectations to A$800,000.

Sponsors can ask for other favors as well; Carlton's oval at Princes Park was named for the Optus telecom company (the naming rights money helped pay for the seats in the Legends Stand opened in 1997); they lost that sponsorship in 2005 and the new sponsor, MC Labour, took over and the Oval was renamed again. An Adelaide Crows club song began "Here we go, Camry Crows..."  Other unusual favors include:

  • For Round 2 of the 1997 season.  M&M/Mars paid Carlton 200,000 Aussie dollars to abandon "the old dark navy blues" for the week (their first jumper change since early in this century) and change colors to help promote the introduction of blue M&Ms in Australia.  Fair dinkum.  :^)
  • For Round 13 in 1999, Garry Hocking of Geelong agreed to change his name to Whiskas (a cat food brand) for the week in exchange for A$100,000-200,000 cash for the club and for a local animal shelter.  The club's ground, originally Kardinia Park, has been renamed several times in the past few years, going from Kardinia, to Shell, to Baytec, and now is known as Skilled Stadium. 
  • During one season, for one game, St. Kilda wore a predominantly yellow uniform to honor a sponsorship with Pura Milk

Sponsorship deals don't always work out. Before the 1998 season even started, Collingwood tore up a A$3 million sponsorship deal with Viatel Communications Group when they found out that they were among many conned by Viatel's charismatic chairman John Massey, having never received a penny of promised support. The club signed with Primus Communications for 1998 instead.

Believe it or not, the AFL's prime sponsors for many years were McDonald's and Coca-Cola. (Believe it. Both are known for their skill at playing to local audiences. We still remember a Coke ad screened in the USA during the Centennial Olympic Games in 1996; the company hired AFL players to put up a red-and-white banner of the sort players run through on game day lettered "Always for the Fans", and had fans run onto the MCG through it.) The Coca-Cola script logo pervaded AFL promotional materials and was painted on AFL football grounds, and the Golden Arches were stamped on the ball itself.  (The author suspects that Aussies are not uniformly thrilled with this.). The current major AFL sponsor is Toyota. However, the preseason competition, the Rising Star Award, and the juniors tournaments are all sponsored by The National Australia Bank (NAB).

Article last changed on Tuesday, March 28, 2023 - 3:25 PM EDT

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