North East Australian Football League
The North East Australian Football League (NEAFL) is an Australian rules football league in New South Wales, Queensland and the Australian Capital Territory. The league was formed in November 2010, and its inaugural competition was in 2011. It is a second division league, sitting below the national Australian Football League (AFL) and features the reserves teams of the region's four AFL clubs playing alongside six non-AFL affiliated NEAFL senior teams.
|Sport||Australian rules football|
|No. of teams||10|
|Brisbane Lions |
|Most titles||Brisbane Lions |
|Level on pyramid||2|
- 1 History
- 2 Clubs
- 3 League awards
- 4 Former league awards
- 5 Most successful clubs
- 6 See also
- 7 References
- 8 External links
The NEAFL was formed at the end of 2010 primarily as an amalgamation of the two major football leagues in Australia's north-east - the Queensland Australian Football League, based in South-East Queensland and including one team from the Northern Territory, and AFL Canberra, based around ACT, and including one team from Sydney (the reserves team of the AFL's Sydney Swans). The two leagues were converted to NEAFL conferences: the Northern Conference, serving Queensland and the Northern Territory, and the Eastern Conference, serving New South Wales and the ACT. Teams from the two conferences played matches against each other throughout the home-and-away season, before each conference staged a separate finals competition to determine both a northern premier and an eastern premier. The two premiers then played each other in the NEAFL Grand Final.
Two new teams also joined the competition for its inaugural season in 2011: the reserves team of Gold Coast Football Club (whose senior team joined the AFL in the same season); and the senior team of the Greater Western Sydney Giants, which was preparing to join the AFL in 2012. These two clubs would have joined the QAFL and AFL Canberra respectively, had the NEAFL not been formed.
In 2012, two more clubs joined the Eastern Conference from the AFL Sydney competition: Sydney Hills and Sydney University. With Greater Western Sydney's senior team joining the AFL, its NEAFL side became a reserves team in partnership with, and under the name of the University of Western Sydney.
On 11 May 2013, the NEAFL Northern Conference played an interstate game against South Australia who represent the South Australian National Football League (SANFL). The game, played at the City Mazda Stadium in Adelaide resulted in a 21.14 (140) to 9.4 (58) win over the NEAFL North, with SA's higher fitness level the main difference between the two sides.
On 8 June 2013, the NEAFL Eastern Conference played an interstate game against Tasmania who represent the TSL (Tasmanian State League). Tasmania won 15.11 (101) - 8.13 (61).
A major restructure of the league was announced for the 2014 season. Five clubs left the competition and the conference system was abolished. Broadbeach, Labrador, Morningside and Mt. Gravatt joined a re-constructed Queensland Australian Football League, while Tuggeranong went back to the AFL Canberra Division One competition. The possibility of a North Queensland side entering the competition for 2014 was considered but ruled out.
Due to the financial challenges of participating in the competition and a proposal from the AFL for the existing Canberra clubs to contribute to a single Canberra team, Belconnen, Queanbeyan and the Sydney Hills Eagles chose to leave the NEAFL at the end of the 2014 season. The ongoing desire by the AFL for a single Canberra team led Ainslie to withdraw at the end of the 2015 season. Both Canberra clubs - Ainslie and Eastlake - had a NEAFL licence until the end of 2016, but Ainslie withdrew from the competition after the AFL rejected their proposal to be Canberra's sole team from 2017. The AFL wanted Canberra's team to be either a combined Ainslie-Eastlake side or a representative team funded largely by all the local clubs in the Canberra area.
Two teams changed their names prior to the 2016 season. Eastlake's NEAFL side started to play as the Canberra Demons in an attempt to be seen as Canberra's representative team in the NEAFL competition. The club wishes to provide a clear AFL pathway for local talent and to get rid of the baggage between other clubs in the ACT. As part of this decision the team also adopted a blue and gold guernsey for home games, reflecting the territory's traditional colours. The team still wears Eastlake's red and black colours in away matches. The Greater Western Sydney reserves team became known as the Western Sydney University Giants to reflect the re-branding of the University of Western Sydney.
At the end of the 2019 season, AFL Northern Territory announced the disbanding of the NT Thunder, citing financial and logistical difficulties. The competition scope therefore decreased to capture Queensland, New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory.
Current clubs (2020)Edit
|Brisbane Lions [note 1]||Lions||Brisbane||Queensland||South Pine SC||1997||2011||4||2012, 2013, 2017, 2019|
|Canberra||Demons||Canberra||Australian CT||Manuka Oval||1926||2011||0||–|
|GWS Giants [note 1]||Giants||Sydney||New South Wales||Spotless Stadium||2011||2011||1||2016|
|Gold Coast [note 1]||Suns||Gold Coast||Queensland||Metricon Stadium||2010||2011||0||–|
|Southport||Sharks||Gold Coast||Queensland||Fankhauser Reserve||1961||2011||1||2018|
|Sydney [note 1]||Swans||Sydney||New South Wales||Sydney Cricket Ground||1982||2011||0||–|
|Sydney University||Students||Sydney||New South Wales||Henson Park||1863||2012||0||–|
- Competes with reserve teams with the senior squad competing in the AFL
|Club||Nickname||City/Town||State/Territory||Home ground||First season||Last season|
|Ainslie||Canberra||Australian Capital Territory|
|Belconnen||Canberra||Australian Capital Territory|
|NT Thunder||Darwin||Northern Territory|
|Queanbeyan||Queanbeyan||New South Wales|
|Sydney Hills||Sydney||New South Wales|
|Tuggeranong||Canberra||Australian Capital Territory|
Current league awards have been instituted since 2014.
NEAFL MVP awardEdit
|2015||Tom Young||Sydney University||86|
NEAFL Rising StarEdit
|2017||Adam Sambono||NT Thunder|
NEAFL leading goal kickerEdit
|2015||Darren Ewing||NT Thunder||87|
|2016||Darren Ewing||NT Thunder||63|
|2017||Darren Ewing||NT Thunder||61|
NEAFL coach of the yearEdit
|2014||Xavier Clarke||NT Thunder|
|2015||Brett Hand||UWS Giants|
|2016||Rhyce Shaw||Sydney Swans|
|2017||Tom Morrison||Sydney University|
Former league awardsEdit
Grogan Medal (2011–2013)Edit
Awarded to the best and fairest players in the Northern Conference.
Mulrooney Medal (2011–2013)Edit
For the best and fairest players in the Eastern Conference.
NEAFL (Northern) Rising Star award (2011–2013)Edit
Awarded to an outstanding young player in the Northern Conference.
|2011||Ross Tungatalum||NT Thunder|
NEAFL (Eastern) Rising Star award (2011–2013)Edit
Awarded to an outstanding young player in the Eastern Conference
Ray Hughson Medal (2011–2013)Edit
Highest goalkicker award for player in Northern Conference
|2011||Darren Ewing||NT Thunder||115|
|2013||Darren Ewing||NT Thunder||94|
Most successful clubsEdit
|Club||Year established||Leagues||Premiership years||Premierships (total)|
|Southport Football Club||1961||GCAFL 1961–1982
|Gold Coast Australian Football League: 1961, 1962, 1966, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1979, 1980
Queensland Australian Football League: 1983, 1985, 1987, 1989, 1990, 1992, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2005, 2006, 2008
|Canberra Football Club||1926||CANFL 1926–1974
||Canberra Australian National Football League: 1928, 1930, 1933, 1934, 1937, 1942, 1945, 1948, 1957, 1960, 1962, 1963, 1964, 1965, 1966, 1972
|Aspley Football Club||1964||SQAFA 1964–1992||South Queensland Australian Football Association: 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1992
Brisbane Australian Football League: 2002
|Sydney University Football Club||1948||NSWANFL 1948–1957, 1962–1968
||Sydney Football Association: 1981, 1986, 1987, 1997, 2003, 2005
Sydney Football League: 1992
|Brisbane Lions (reserves)||1998||QAFL 1998–2010
|Queensland Australian Football League: 2001
North East Australian Football League: 2012, 2013, 2017, 2019
|Redland Football Club||1966||SQAFA 1966–1992
||South Queensland Australian Football Association: 1975, 1987
Brisbane Australian Football League 1998, 1999
|Sydney Swans (reserves)||1874||VFL 1877–1990
||AFL Canberra: 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008||4|
|Northern Territory Football Club||2008||QAFL 2009–2010
|North East Australian Football League: 2011, 2015||2|
|Gold Coast Football Club (reserves)||2011||NEAFL 2011–||nil||0|
|Greater Western Sydney Giants (reserves)||2011||NEAFL 2011–||North East Australian Football League: 2016||1|
-  Archived 14 November 2010 at the Wayback Machine
- "New look NEAFL announced". North East Australian Football League. 16 August 2013. Retrieved 17 August 2013.
- "No North Queensland team for NEAFL". North East Australian Football League. 30 September 2013. Retrieved 4 October 2013.
- "Three teams to leave the NEAFL". North East Australian Football League. 6 August 2014. Retrieved 7 September 2014.
- Gaskin, Lee (5 August 2014). "Canberra down to two teams in the NEAFL after Queanbeyan and Belconnen pull out". The Canberra Times.
- Polkinghorne, David (17 September 2015). "Ainslie withdraws from NEAFL". The Canberra Times.
- Polkinghorne, David (15 January 2016). "Eastlake back Canberra Demons as ACT's only NEAFL team". The Canberra Times.
- "Western Sydney University GIANTS". GWS Giants. Archived from the original on 29 January 2016. Retrieved 23 January 2016.
- "Thunder no more: AFLNT confirms no NEAFL and VFLW teams". AFL.com.au. 12 September 2019.
- "NEAFL Overview". Australian Football.
- "North East Australian Football League: NEAFL awards night wrap". Neafl.com.au. 25 August 2014. Retrieved 29 August 2015.
- "North East Australian Football League Match Centre - SportsTG". SportsTG. Retrieved 10 September 2017.
- "North East Australian Football League: Southport's Kiel wins Grogan". Neafl.com.au. Retrieved 29 August 2015.
- "Bennett wins Mulrooney Medal". Afl Nsw/Act. Retrieved 29 August 2015.
- "North East Australian Football League: Boston to make AFL debut". Hosting4.sportingpulse.com. Retrieved 29 August 2015.
- "North East Australian Football League: Shane Harris Caps of an Impressive first NEAFL Season". Neafl.com.au. Retrieved 29 August 2015.
- "North East Australian Football League: Hawk Brent Macleod wins NAB Rising Star Award". Neafl.com.au. 17 September 2013. Retrieved 29 August 2015.