AFL Under-19 Championships
Current season, competition or edition:
Current sports event 2023 AFL National Championships
FormerlyTeal Cup (1953–1995)
SportAustralian rules football
First season1953
AdministratorAustralian Football League
No. of teams8
Most recent
Most titles(D1) Vic Metro (18)
(D2) Tasmania (8)
TV partner(s)Fox Footy
Sponsor(s)National Australia Bank
AFL Women's Under 18 Championships

The AFL National Championships is an annual Australian national underage representative Australian rules football tournament. Since taking over as national governing body in 1995, the AFL has gradually restructured the competition into a primary junior pathway for its fully professional national club competition.

The National Championships grew out of the Teal Cup which began in 1953 as a junior representative competition between the Australian states of Queensland and New South Wales. It was rebranded in 1976 to reflect its expansion to include representative teams from each Australian state and mainland territory, rotated between host cities.

The current competition is contested as a hybrid representative format. The best players from the Academy competitions (AFL club feeder teams) combine to form an 'Allies' team in conjunction with South Australia, Western Australia and two Victoria teams—Metro (Melbourne Metropolitan Area) and Country—to contest the division 1 tournament.


Originally known as the Teal Cup, it began in 1953 as a junior representative competition between the Australian states of Queensland and New South Wales. It was an annual match between the two states, the winners would possess a trophy donated by the Teal family of Queensland. Members of the Australian National Football Council, most notably Victorian representative Bruce Andrew, assisted in the establishment the competition in its early days.[1]

The Australian Capital Territory was the first other side to enter in 1973. With the addition of teams from each Australian state and mainland territory in 1976, the tournament was rebranded as the National Championships and rotated between host cities. The championships were split into two divisions with the strongest states including Victoria (later split into two sides: Vic Metro and Vic Country) comprising Division 1. Papua New Guinea was the first other country to field a team in 1979.

Under-18 All-Australian and WA's Most Valuable Player award winner Anthony Morabito from the 2009 championship.

In the absence of a national league, and less regular senior competition, it grew into one of the most important competitions in the country. Early on it was an Under-17 competition, however the age limit has been progressively increased and separate junior championships added for Under-15 level (commencing as the Shell Cup, now the AFL National Development Championships) from the 1970s onwards. It was a major talent pathway for underage players outside of Victoria to the VFL. As part of the AFL Commission's role as national governing body, the Victorian TAC Cup competition was restructured in 1992 to become the primary pathway to the AFL. As a result, representative development sides from NSW/ACT and Tasmania for a time have played in that competition instead. However, in recent years, the National Championships has regained its status as a primary AFL recruitment pathway as the growth of the sport outside Victoria has accelerated.

The division 2 competition was replaced by the Under-19 Academy Series in 2017, with teams from the 4 Queensland and NSW AFL clubs' academies in addition to Northern Territory and Tasmania state teams. The entire competition was changed to under-19s in 2021 (the competition has previously operated under-17s and under-18s competitions).

With the AFL Commission phasing out representative football at senior level since 1994, the National Championships are one of the few opportunities for players to play for their state or territory. Players typically share the senior team's guernsey (with the exception of Victorian teams, which play in variations of the state team guernsey—Vic Metro has a light blue Big V insignia, while Vic Country plays in a reverse white with navy Big V).

The best players from the academy competition then combine to form an 'Allies' team in conjunction with South Australia, Western Australia and two Victoria teams, Metro (Melbourne Metropolitan Area) and Country to contest the division 1 tournament.

The winner of the 2023 division 1 tournament was the Allies.

Winners and awards

Individual awards

The Larke Medal is awarded to the best player in Division 1 of the competition. It is named in honour of a junior footballer, Michael Larke, who was killed in a bus crash while attending a trial match for New South Wales. The Hunter Harrison Medal is awarded to the best player in Division 2 and is named in honour of a former president and life member of the Northern Territory Football League, Hunter Harrison, who played a major role in the development of the AFL Youth Championships.[2] Each tournament, an underage All-Australian team is named; an MVP is also named for each team.

Past winners

Year Division 1 Premiers Larke Medal Division 2 Premiers Hunter Harrison Medal Host/s
1953 Queensland Queensland[3] Brisbane, Queensland
1954-1962 Not contested
1963 Queensland Queensland[3]
1964 Queensland Queensland[3]
1965 Queensland Queensland[3]
1966 Queensland Queensland[3]
1967 Queensland Queensland[3]
1968 Queensland Queensland[3]
1969 Queensland Queensland[3] Brisbane, Queensland
1970 Queensland Queensland[3]
1971 Queensland Queensland[3]
1972 Queensland Queensland[3]
1973 Queensland Queensland[3] Sydney, New South Wales
1974 New South Wales New South Wales[3] Canberra, Australian Capital Territory
1975 New South Wales New South Wales[3] Brisbane, Queensland
1976 Victoria (state) Victoria Mick Woods (Vic) Wagga Wagga, New South Wales
1977 Victoria (state) Victoria Rodney Watts (Vic) Melbourne, Victoria
1978 South Australia South Australia Mark Weideman (SA) Brisbane, Queensland
1979 South Australia South Australia Grant Campbell (WA) Hobart, Tasmania
1980 South Australia South Australia Darryl Murphy (ACT) Perth, Western Australia
1981 Victoria (state) Victoria Paul Salmon (Vic) Melbourne, Victoria
1982 Victoria (state) Victoria Michael Phyland (NSW) Brisbane, Queensland
1983 Victoria (state) Victoria Greg Anderson (SA) Darwin, Northern Territory
1984 Victoria (state) Victoria David Condon (NSW) Sydney, New South Wales
1985 Western Australia Western Australia Jason Kerr (NSW) Perth, Western Australia
1986 Victoria (state) Victoria Stephen Lawrence (Qld) Adelaide, South Australia
1987 Victoria (state) Victoria Steven Kolyniuk (Vic) Hobart, Tasmania
1988 Victoria (state) Victoria Robbie Wright (NSW) Canberra, Australian Capital Territory
1989 Victoria (state) Vic Country Ray Windsor (Qld) Melbourne, Victoria
1990 Victoria (state) Vic Metro Paul Williams (Tas) Brisbane, Queensland
1991 South Australia South Australia Robert Neill (ACT) Darwin, Northern Territory
1992 Victoria (state) Vic Metro Daniel Southern (WA) Victoria (state) Vic Country Michael Voss (Qld) Melbourne, Victoria
1993 Victoria (state) Vic Metro Shaun McManus (WA) New South Wales New South Wales Mark Ryan (NT) Adelaide, South Australia
1994 Victoria (state) Vic Metro Daniel Harford (Vic M.) Victoria (state) Vic Country Michael Martin (Tas) Perth, Western Australia
1995 South Australia South Australia Luke Godden (Vic M.)
Ben Setchell (Vic C.)
Western Australia Western Australia Steven Koops (NT)
1996 Victoria (state) Vic Metro Pat Steinfort (Vic M.) Tasmania Tasmania Matthew Bernes (Tas)
1997 Victoria (state) Vic Metro Tim Finocchiaro (Vic M.) Queensland Queensland Fred Campbell (NT)
1998 Victoria (state) Vic Metro Garth Taylor (WA) New South Wales/Australian Capital Territory NSW/ACT Shane Young (Qld)
Derek Murray (NSW/ACT)
1999 Western Australia Western Australia Paul Hasleby (WA) Queensland Queensland Brad Green (Tas)
2000 Victoria (state) Vic Country Kayne Pettifer (Vic C.) New South Wales/Australian Capital Territory NSW/ACT Ian Callinan (Tas)
2001 Victoria (state) Vic Metro Sam Power (Vic M.)
Steven Armstrong (WA)
Tasmania Tasmania Tom Davidson (Tas) Melbourne, Victoria
2002 Victoria (state) Vic Metro Byron Schammer (SA) New South Wales/Australian Capital Territory NSW/ACT Anthony Corrie (NT) Melbourne, Victoria
2003 Victoria (state) Vic Country Kepler Bradley (WA) New South Wales/Australian Capital Territory NSW/ACT Jake Furfaro (Qld) Melbourne, Victoria
2004 Victoria (state) Vic Metro Jesse Smith (Vic M.) Northern Territory Northern Territory Richard Tambling (NT) Melbourne, Victoria
2005 Victoria (state) Vic Metro Marc Murphy (Vic M.) Tasmania Tasmania Grant Birchall (Tas) Melbourne, Victoria
2006 Victoria (state) Vic Metro Tom Hawkins (Vic M.) Queensland Queensland Ricky Petterd (Qld) Melbourne, Victoria
2007 Western Australia Western Australia Cale Morton (WA) New South Wales/Australian Capital Territory NSW/ACT Craig Bird (NSW/ACT) VIC, WA, SA, NSW
2008 Victoria (state) Vic Metro Jack Watts (Vic M.) Tasmania Tasmania Mitch Robinson (Tas) VIC, WA, SA, TAS
2009 Western Australia Western Australia David Swallow (WA)
Andrew Hooper (Vic C.)
New South Wales/Australian Capital Territory NSW/ACT Dylan McNeil (NSW/ACT) National (excluding ACT)
2010 Victoria (state) Vic Country Harley Bennell (WA) Tasmania Tasmania Sam Darley (Tas) National (excluding ACT)
2011 Victoria (state) Vic Metro Stephen Coniglio (WA) Tasmania Tasmania John McKenzie (Tas) National (excluding ACT)
2012 Victoria (state) Vic Metro Lachie Whitfield (Vic C.) Northern Territory Northern Territory Jake Neade (NT) National (excluding ACT)
2013 South Australia South Australia Dom Sheed (WA) Tasmania Tasmania Liam Dawson (Qld)
Kade Kolodjashnij (Tas)
Toby Nankervis (Tas)
National (excluding ACT)
2014 South Australia South Australia Christian Petracca (Vic M.) New South Wales/Australian Capital Territory NSW/ACT Isaac Heeney (NSW/ACT) VIC, WA, SA, NSW
2015 Victoria (state) Vic Country Josh Schache (Vic C.) Queensland Queensland Ben Keays (Qld) VIC, WA, SA, QLD
2016 Victoria (state) Vic Metro Jack Graham (SA) New South Wales/Australian Capital Territory NSW/ACT Jack Bowes (Qld) National (excluding ACT)
2017 Victoria (state) Vic Metro Oscar Allen (WA) (Replaced by Academy Series) Nick Blakey (Syd A.) VIC, WA, SA, NSW
2018 South Australia South Australia Sam Walsh (Vic C.) Tarryn Thomas (Tas) VIC, SA, QLD
2019 Western Australia Western Australia Deven Robertson (WA) Connor Budarick (GC A.) VIC, NSW, SA
2020 Cancelled due to COVID-19 pandemic[4]
2021 Cancelled due to COVID-19 pandemic[5]
2022 Victoria (state) Vic Metro Will Ashcroft (Vic M.) (Replaced by Academy Series) Jaspa Fletcher (Bris A.) National (excluding Tasmania)
2023 Allies Ryley Sanders (Allies) Ethan Read (GC A.)[6] VIC, WA, SA, QLD

Participating teams


Division 1

Division 2

(Note: Since 2017, the AFL has replaced state and territory representative teams with an Academy division consisting of its QLD and NSW AFL Club sides: GWS Giants, Brisbane Lions, Gold Coast Suns and Sydney Swans)

Full List

Currently participating
Team Years participating Region/s represented Div 1 Premierships Div 1 Premiership Year/s Div 2 Premierships Div 2 Premiership Year/s Notes
Allies 2016- Australian Capital Territory, New South Wales, Northern Territory, Queensland, Tasmania 1 2023 See also Allies team
Australian Capital Territory 1973-1995 Australian Capital Territory Australian Capital Territory [7][8] (later combined within New South Wales)
Brisbane Lions 2017- (club) See Brisbane Lions Academy
Gold Coast Suns 2017- (club) See Gold Coast Suns Academy
GWS Giants 2017- (club) See GWS Giants Academy
New South Wales 1953-1995 New South Wales New South Wales 2 1974-75 1 1993 Previously governed by NSWAFL. Combined with ACT in 1996 by AFL NSW/ACT.
New South Wales-Australian Capital Territory 1996-2016 New South Wales New South Wales and Australian Capital Territory Australian Capital Territory 8 1998, 2000, 2002-03, 2007, 2009, 2014, 2016 [9] Governed by AFL NSW/ACT
Northern Territory 1979-2016 Northern Territory Northern Territory 2 2004, 2012 Governed by AFL Northern Territory
Papua New Guinea 1979 Papua New Guinea Papua New Guinea See also Papua New Guinea underage national team
Queensland 1953-2016 Queensland Queensland 12 1953, 1963-73 4 1997, 1999, 2006, 2015 Governed by AFL Queensland
South Australia 1976- South Australia South Australia 8 1978-80, 1991, 1995, 2013–14, 2018 See also South Australian state team. Governed by the South Australian National Football League
Sydney Swans 2017- (club) See Sydney Swans Academy
Tasmania 1976-2016 Tasmania Tasmania 8 1996, 2001, 2005, 2008, 2010–11, 2013, 2018 Governed by AFL Tasmania
Victoria 1975-1988 Victoria (state) Victoria 9 1976-77, 1981–84, 1986–88 See also Victorian state football team. Split into Vic Metro and Vic Country in 1989
Victoria Metro 1989- Victoria (state) Melbourne (Victoria) 18 1990, 1992–94, 1996–98, 2001–02, 2004–06, 2008, 2011–12, 2016–17, 2022 Governed by AFL Victoria
Victoria Country 1989- Victoria (state) All areas of Victoria outside of Melbourne 5 1989, 2000, 2003, 2010, 2015 2 1992, 1994 Governed by AFL Victoria Country
Western Australia 1978- Western Australia Western Australia 5 1985, 1999, 2007, 2009, 2019 1 1995 See also Western Australian state team. Governed by the West Australian Football Commission


The tournament is currently sponsored by the National Australia Bank, having previously been sponsored by Caltex and the Commonwealth Bank.[10]

See also


  1. ^ Bruce Andrew’s remarkable football life By Michael Roberts for 15 April 2021
  2. ^ Barfoot, Michael (December 1995). History of NTFL. p. 107.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n "History of the Teal Cup". 1976 Teal Cup Australian Football National Championship (PDF). Wagga Wagga, NSW: City of Wagga Wagga. 12 June 1976. p. 6.
  4. ^ Simply Energy WA U18s squad announced West Australian Football Commission 18 September 2020
  5. ^ UPDATE: Second WA v SA U19 clash looms, Vic season cancelled By Callum Twomey 3 September 2021
  6. ^ "2023 AFL National Championships U18 Boys All-Australian Team announced". 21 July 2023. Retrieved 30 August 2023.
  7. ^ "Last chance for bottom teams". The Canberra Times. Vol. 47, no. 13,456. 8 June 1973. p. 19. Retrieved 21 December 2021 – via Trove.
  8. ^ "Qld seeks junior rules game". The Canberra Times. Vol. 44, no. 12,494. 16 December 1969. p. 23. Retrieved 21 December 2021 – via Trove.
  9. ^ "AFL agrees to expand under-18 horizons". The Canberra Times. Vol. 71, no. 22, 054. Australian Capital Territory, Australia. 4 September 1995. p. 24. Retrieved 10 April 2024 – via National Library of Australia.
  10. ^ Taylor, Kevin. The Story of the Teal Cup and AFL National Under 18 Championships – Full Points Footy. Retrieved 4 July 2013, from the Pandora Archive.