Alberton Football Netball League

The Alberton Football Netball League is an Australian rules football league covering the South Gippsland region of Victoria, Australia.

Alberton Football Netball League
Alberton Football league logo.jpg
FormerlyAlberton Football Association
SportAustralian rules football
Inaugural season1946
No. of teams6
CountryAustralia
Most recent
champion(s)
Foster Football Club (9)
Most titlesFish Creek Football Club (20)
Official websiteAlberton Football League Official Website

HistoryEdit

1946: Founding Alberton League clubsEdit

The Alberton Football League was reformed in 1946, replacing the former Alberton Football Association, with eight teams comprising the league such as Carrajung, Devon (formed 1883 also known as West Alberton), Foster (formed 1890), Ramblers, Toora (formed 1891), Welshpool, Woodside and Yarram (formed 1887).[1] The name of the league is taken from the small town of Alberton, near Yarram.

The Ramblers Football Club, after a promising inaugural season in the league where it recorded six wins to just miss the finals, decided to disband from the league and Won Wron Football Club were accepted into the league for the 1949 season.[2] Four years later, the Carrajung Football Club followed suit which enabled Fish Creek to join the Alberton League in 1953.[3] Carrajung produced many substandard efforts during their seven years of existence in the Alberton League and many matches would result in percentage gaining contests for opposing teams. The club finished last in 1947, 1948, 1950, 1951 and 1952. The very last game Carrajung played in the Alberton League during the 1952 season resulted in Toora forward, Frank Salmon, kicking a record 34 goals 17 behinds out of the teams 35.18 score. Salmon's (and his teammates’ efforts) helped him claim the League goalkicking award by overtaking Woodside great Charles Williamson.

1947–1952: Early dominance by WoodsideEdit

Woodside dominated the competition during the early stages as the club won six consecutive premiership from 1947 to 1952.[4] It is the only club to have achieved such a feat in the league's history.

1953–1967: Golden era of red and whiteEdit

Fish Creek produced the most outstanding era of success in the Alberton League as it claimed 11 premierships from 15 successive Grand Final appearances between 1953 and 1967.[5][6] The recruitment of former VFL Collingwood player, Maurice 'Mocca' Dunstan helped the club attain a standard of professionalism that was second to none for a sustained period.

Much focus throughout the late 1950s and 1960s centred around the future of football in the region, with many suggesting that the South Gippsland Football League and the Alberton Football League merge to generate a more powerful football league across South Gippsland for better growth in the sport. However, the AFL continued to function through many debates and became progressively stronger by the 1970s.

1970s: Meeniyan-Dumbalk United and Stony Creek join the frayEdit

In 1969, the Meeniyan-Dumbalk United and Stony Creek Football Clubs joined the Alberton League after the SGFL eventually disbanded[7] as Welshpool won a treble of premierships from 1969 to 1971. Welshpool also became the first club in the AFL to produce an undefeated season with its flag in 1970.[8]

By the late 1970s, Yarram were looking to join the Latrobe Valley Football League but remained with the AFL and by the end of the 1981 season the league was reduced to nine clubs when Won Wron and Woodside merged to form the Won Wron-Woodside Football Club.[9]

The inclusion of Tarwin in 1988[10] returned the number of clubs to ten but by 1995, Welshpool had amalgamated with Devon.[11]

1996–2016: League expands as Bass Valley-Wonthaggi League disbandsEdit

In 1996, Dalyston, Wonthaggi Rovers, Inverloch, Korumburra and Bena joined the Alberton FL,[12] after the Bass Valley Wonthaggi FL had been disbanded as part of a restructuring of local football by the Victorian Country Football League. The "final five" system was first utilised with the inclusion of the new clubs.

Devon-Welshpool and Won Wron-Woodside created the Allies when they merged in 1997[13] and then Bena and Korumburra joined forces to become Korumburra-Bena in 2001.[14]

In 2005 the Phillip Island and Kilcunda-Bass football clubs moved from the defunct West Gippsland Football League to the Alberton Football League, the Wonthaggi Rovers amalgamated with Wonthaggi Blues, who were leaving the West Gippsland Latrobe Football League, to form the Wonthaggi Power and the final six was introduced.[15]

The 2008 season saw a large contingent from the Devon-Welshpool-Won Wron-Woodside Football Club leave to create a new club, the Woodside and District Wildcats, in the North Gippsland Football League.[16] 2008 also saw controversy as Yarram boycotted a match against Wonthaggi Power.[17] The clubs met in both that year's grand final and the previous year's, with Yarram premiers in 2007 and Wonthaggi in 2008.[18]

The 2010 season saw Wonthaggi Power ejected from the Alberton Football League and submitted into the higher level Gippsland Football League. With their departure the Alberton Football League shrunk to a thirteen team league with rounds consisting of six matches with one team per round having a bye.

Devon-Welshpool-Won Wron-Woodside decided to go into recess for the 2014 season while Yarram departed the Alberton League to join the North Gippsland League to reduce the number of teams competing in the AFNL to eleven. DWWWW returned to the competition in 2015 to push the number of teams back to twelve.

A Senior Leagues Review that commenced at the beginning of 2015, conducted by AFL Gippsland to address issues of competitive imbalance and club sustainability, brought major change to structure of the Alberton Football Netball League when the final decision was completed. In 2017, the Alberton League reduced to seven clubs after losing Dalyston, Korumburra-Bena, Inverloch-Kongwak, Kilcunda-Bass and Phillip Island to the newly formed West Gippsland Football Netball League. Prior to the 2018 season, DWWWW went into recess again due to lack of players in the district.

A further review recommended that the AFL merge with the Mid Gippsland Football League for the 2019 season.[19] However a backlash by some clubs resulted in this plan being scrapped.[20]

Present ClubsEdit

Club Colours Nickname Years in League Number of Premierships Premiership Years
Devon-Welshpool-Won Wron-Woodside Allies 1997–2013, 2015–2017 3 1998, 1999, 2003
Fish Creek Football Club
 
Kangaroos 1953– 20 1955, 1956, 1958, 1959, 1960, 1961, 1963, 1964, 1965, 1966, 1967, 1985, 1991, 1992, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2016, 2017, 2018
Foster Football Club
 
Tigers 1946– 9 1946, 1978, 1980, 1982, 1984, 1989, 1993, 2010, 2019
Meeniyan-Dumbalk United Football Club
 
Demons 1969– 5 1975, 1976, 1981, 1988, 1990
Stony Creek Football Club
 
Lions 1969– 2 1983, 2009
Tarwin Football Club
 
Sharks 1988– 1 2004
Toora Football Club
 
Magpies 1946– 1 1973

Former ClubsEdit

Club Jumper Club Nickname Debut Final Year Number of Premierships Premiership Years Reason For Exiting The League
Bombers jumper Bena Football Club Bulls 1996 2000 0 N/A Merged with the Korumburra Football Club prior to the 2001 Alberton League season to form the Korumburra-Bena Football Club.
Carrajung Football Club Blacks 1946 1952 0 N/A Disbanded at the conclusion of the 1952 Alberton League season.
Dalyston Football Club Magpies 1996 2016 1 2015 Left at the conclusion of the 2016 season to join the newly formed West Gippsland Football League.
Devon Football Club Bombers 1946 1994 2 1968, 1987 Merged with the Welshpool Football Club prior to the 1995 Alberton League season to form the Devon-Welshpool Football Club.
Devon-Welshpool Football Club Bombers/Bulldogs 1995 1996 2 1995, 1996 Merged with the Won Wron-Woodside Football Club prior to the 1997 Alberton League season to form the East Coast Allies Football Club, which was renamed the Devon-Welshpool-Won Wron-Woodside Football Club prior to the 1998 Alberton League season.
Saints jumper Korumburra Football Club Bullants 1996 2000 1 1997 Merged with the Bena Football Club prior to the 2001 Alberton League season to form the Korumburra-Bena Football Club.
 
Inverloch-Kongwak Football Club Sea Eagles 1996 2016 0 N/A Left at the conclusion of the 2016 season to join the newly formed West Gippsland Football League.
 
Kilcunda-Bass Football Club Panthers 2005 2016 3 2011, 2012, 2013 Left at the conclusion of the 2016 season to join the newly formed West Gippsland Football League.
Korumburra-Bena Football Club Bulldogs 2001–2014

Giants 2015–

2001 2016 0 N/A Left at the conclusion of the 2016 season to join the newly formed West Gippsland Football League.
Phillip Island Football Club Bulldogs 2005 2016 1 2014 Left at the conclusion of the 2016 season to join the newly formed West Gippsland Football League.
All blue jumper Ramblers Football Club (Hiawatha) Ramblers 1946 1948 0 N/A Disbanded at the conclusion of the 1948 Alberton League season.
Welshpool Football Club Bulldogs 1946 1994 6 1953, 1962, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1979 Merged with the Devon Football Club prior to the 1995 Alberton League season to form the Devon-Welshpool Football Club.
 
Wonthaggi Football Club Rovers 1996 2004 0 N/A Merged with the Wonthaggi Blues Football Club prior to the 2005 season to form the Wonthaggi Power Football Club.
Wonthaggi Power Football Club Power 2005 2009 3 2005, 2006, 2008 Ordered to leave by the Victorian Country Football League for being considered too dominant to compete in the Alberton Football League.
Woodside Football Club Blues 1946 1981 8 1947, 1948, 1949, 1950, 1951, 1952, 1957, 1974 Merged with the Won Wron Football Club prior to the 1982 Alberton League season to form the Won Wron-Woodside Football Club.
Hawks jumper Won Wron Football Club Hawks 1949 1981 0 N/A Merged with the Woodside Football Club prior to the 1982 Alberton League season to form the Won Wron-Woodside Football Club.
Won Wron-Woodside Football Club Blues 1982 1994 1 1994 Merged with the Devon-Welshpool Football Club prior to the 1997 Alberton League season to form the Devon-Welshpool-Won Wron-Woodside Football Club.
Yarram Football Club Demons 1946 2013 5 1954, 1972, 1977, 1986, 2007 Left by choice to the North Gippsland League before the start of the 2014 Alberton League season.

Finals SeriesEdit