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AFL Ontario is the largest Australian football league in North America. It is currently composed of teams from the Greater Toronto Area, Southwestern Ontario and the National Capital Region, who play off for the Conacher Cup (named after Lionel Conacher), presently awarded to the winner of the annual AFL Ontario Grand Final.

AFL Ontario
Afl ontaio.jpg
SportAustralian football
Founded1989
No. of teams9
Country Canada
Most recent
champion(s)
Division 1: Ottawa Swans Women: Etobicoke Kangaroos
Official websitehttp://www.aflontario.com/

AFL Ontario, along with the North West Pacific Football League is a member of AFL Canada, the governing body for the sport in Canada.

In 2006, AFL Ontario had around 330 senior players consisting of over 170 Canadian nationals.[1] With the rapid increase in awareness and interest in Australian football in Ontario, this has increased in 2012 with almost 650 senior men and women members.

Contents

HistoryEdit

AFL Ontario which was originally known as the Canadian Australian Football League (CAFA) and more recently as the Ontario Australian Football League (OAFL), was established in 1989. Two teams were formed that year - the Toronto Panthers and the Mississauga Mustangs, with a draft of interested players prior to a three-game season and Grand Final. The coaches of those inaugural teams — John Pearson (Toronto Panthers) and Terence Wallis (Mississauga Mustangs) brought a significant amount of experience from playing at a high level in Australia. An interesting fact is that the first Grand Final was attended by a number of AFL executives including Ron Barrassi and members of the West Coast Eagles and Melbourne Demons.

Founding members of the original competition include: Kingsley Ellis (ex-Fitzroy VFL - lead central Umpire, founder of the Hamilton Tigers), Terence Wallis (founded & coached the Mississauga then Toronto Dingos), Bill Frampton (Mississauga then founded the Brampton Bulldogs), Sandro Mancino (Toronto Eagles, Scarborough Rebels and then founded the Balmy Beach Saints). These pioneers set the foundation for the current competition. During the early years CAFA played a number of International games against visiting teams from Australia (Balmain FC, Golden Oldies touring team) as well as the team representing the Australian Rules league in England. The Canadian team narrowly missed beating the touring Australian teams over the years, but soundly defeated England on the four occasions that it played them (1990–1996) culminating in a strong win by the touring Canadian team in London (1996) coached by Terence Wallis.

In 2011, with the increased interest in women's football, AFL Ontario established their Women's League with great success. With the help of the Ontario Trillium Foundation, 2011 also saw the development of AFL Ontario's junior competition. 2012 saw the women's division double in size to 6 teams competing, and the junior competition continued over the summer holidays.

Division 2Edit

In 2009, AFL Ontario launched a second division originally consisting of six founding teams. London (Ontario) AFC withdrew before the official start to the season and the team's players were absorbed into the Quebec Saints. Along with the Saints, the Toronto Central Blues, Broadview Hawks, Etobicoke 'Old Boys' Roos and Toronto Eagles made up the founding five teams of the new OAFL Division 2 competition. In honour of the first Canadian to ever play in the AFL the competition's premiership cup was named the Mike Pyke Cup (named after Mike Pyke).

The OAFL Division 2 season was traditionally shorter than that of the OAFL. In 2009 due to teams playing different numbers of matches the ladder was determined by 'Match Ratio' rather than premiership points. In 2010 all teams competed in 8 rounds and thus the ladder reverted to determining positions by premiership points.

2010 also saw the introduction of hybrid teams. New team the Toronto Rebel Dogs (a partnership between the Toronto Downtown Dingos and the Toronto Rebels) and the 'DevilRoos' (a partnership between the Etobicoke Roos and High Park Demons). The Toronto Eagles withdrew their team from the 2010 season.

ClubsEdit

Current clubsEdit

Club City Formed Premierships
Central Blues Toronto 2006 1
Etobicoke Kangaroos Etobicoke 2003 4
Grand River Gargoyles Guelph 2001
Hamilton Wildcats Hamilton 1997
High Park Demons Toronto 1989 1
Ottawa Swans Ottawa 2007 1
Toronto Dingos Toronto 1996 4
Toronto Eagles Toronto 1989 12
Toronto Rebels Toronto 1990 3

Past clubsEdit

Club City
London Magpies (2003–2005) London
Windsor Mariners (2002–2005) Windsor
Brampton Wolverines (1993–1999) Brampton
Balmy Beach Saints (1992–1997) Toronto
Quebec Saints (2009–2010) Montreal
Broadview Hawks (1989–2017) Toronto

Past championsEdit

Year Premier Runner-up Division 2 Premier Division 2 Runner-up Women's League Women's League Runner-up
1989 Toronto Panthers Mississauga Mustangs Not contested Not contested
1990 Toronto Panthers Mississauga Mustangs
1991 Toronto Panthers Scarborough Rebels
1992 Scarborough Rebels Mississauga Mustangs
1993 Lawrence Park Rebels Toronto Panthers
1994 Mississauga Mustangs Lawrence Park Rebels
1995 Toronto Eagles Broadview Hawks
1996 Toronto Eagles Hamilton Wildcats
1997 Toronto Eagles Lawrence Park Rebels
1998 Toronto Eagles Lawrence Park Rebels
1999 Toronto Eagles Broadview Hawks
2000 Toronto Dingos Toronto Eagles
2001 Lakeshore Rebels Toronto Eagles
2002 Toronto Eagles Toronto Dingos
2003 Toronto Dingos Etobicoke Kangaroos
2004 Toronto Dingos Toronto Eagles
2005 Toronto Dingos Lakeshore Rebels
2006 Toronto Eagles Broadview Hawks
2007 Toronto Eagles Etobicoke Kangaroos
2008 Etobicoke Kangaroos Toronto Eagles
2009 Toronto Eagles Etobicoke Kangaroos Quebec Saints Broadview Hawks
2010 Central Blues Toronto Dingos Quebec Saints Central Blues
2011 Etobicoke Kangaroos High Park Demons Etobicoke Kangaroos Broadview Hawks Toronto Eagles Etobicoke Lady Roos
2012 Etobicoke Kangaroos Broadview Hawks Broadview Hawks High Park Demons High Park Demons Hamilton Wildcats
2013 Broadview Hawks Toronto Dingos Toronto Dingos Broadview Hawks High Park Demons Hamilton Wildcats
2014 Broadview Hawks Central Blues Toronto Rebels Toronto Dingos Ottawa Swans Hamilton Wildcats
2015 Etobicoke Kangaroos Toronto Eagles Toronto Dingos Toronto Rebels Etobicoke Kangaroos Hamilton Wildcats
2016 Toronto Rebels Ottawa Swans Not contested Etobicoke Kangaroos Hamilton Wildcats
2017 Toronto Eagles Toronto Rebels Etobicoke Kangaroos Central Blues
2018 Ottawa Swans Toronto Eagles Etobicoke Kangaroos Ottawa Swans

Principal venuesEdit

  • Margaret Green Park, Guelph: Grand River Gargoyles
  • Mohawk Sports Park, Hamilton: Hamilton Wildcats
  • Manotick Polo Club, Ottawa: Ottawa Swans
  • Humber College South, Toronto: Kangaroos, Toronto Dingos, High Park Demons, Toronto Rebels, Toronto Eagles and Central Blues

See alsoEdit

External linksEdit

ReferencesEdit