AFL Victoria Country is an Australian rules football governing body with jurisdiction over the state of Victoria outside metropolitan Melbourne on behalf of AFL Victoria. As well as administering and promoting the code in the regions, it often arbitrates disputes in areas such as player clearances and club movements between country leagues, and may also be called upon as a higher authority of appeal. The organisation was formed as a result of a merger between Victorian Country Football League (VCFL) and AFL Victoria in November 2012.[1]

The then-VCFL aired telecasts beginning in 2010 on C31 Melbourne, along with Geelong Football League and Geelong & District Football League. The women's netball coverage also was broadcast on community TV in 2010.

Victorian Country Championships

The VCFL originally organised the interleague Victorian Country Football Championships back in 1954.

In 1958, the VCFL initiated the Centenary Championships, to mark the 100th anniversary of the inception of Australian Rules football. The 15 major leagues of Victoria and southern NSW were divided into four districts, with each pool conducting a championships.[2]

Caltex had the naming rights of the Victorian Country Championships matches in the 1960's. The 16 league series would run over a two year period, with knock out matches in the first season, followed by semi finals and a grand final in the following season.[3]

The Country Championship were discontinued from 1975 before being re-established in 1978.

From 2004 to 2006 the championships were decided at a carnival round-robin competition at one venue over a single weekend, with each of the four sides playing the others in matches of two twenty-minute halves. The team on top of the ladder, based on points (4 for a win, 2 for a draw) and then percentage (points scored over points conceded) after these three matches, were declared the winner. Leagues not represented in the top four pools of four participated in other interleague matches organised by the VCFL. In 2007, there was no statewide VCFL Championships, just a rivalry round was played between close by leagues, (with the O&MFL playing the GVFL), with the round robin format returning in 2008.

In 2009, the championships reverted to head-to-head full matches on a rankings scale per year.

The Ash - Wilson Trophy was formed in 2001 and is only for matches involving the Goulburn Valley Football League and the Ovens & Murray Football League, In honour of former players, Stephen Ash and Mick Wilson.[4]

VCFL - Division 1 Champions

Most Division 1 Country Championship wins / Runners Up
Club Most Championships Runners Up
Ovens & Murray FL 14 6
Geelong FL 10 10
Goulburn Valley FL 7
Ballarat FL 5
Bendigo FL 3
Hampden FL 3
LaTrobe Valley FL 3
Eastern FL 1
Gippsland LaTrobe FL 1
Mornington Pensula FL 1
North Central FL 1
South Western FL 1
Benalla Tungamah FL 1
Murray FL 1
Sunraysia FL 1

*Country Championships: Division 2

*Country Championships: Division 3

*Country Championships: Division 4 / Pool D

Representative Sides

On occasion, a Victoria Country representative side may be selected to play in one-off fixtures against other representative teams such as interstate counterparts or the Victorian Amateur Football Association,[13] as well as the Australian Country Football Championships.

VCFL v VAFA matches

VCFL v VFA

Affiliated Boards & Leagues

Note:[16] "Major Leagues" are shown in "Bold" / "District Leagues" are shown in "Italic".

Ballarat

Bendigo

Central Murray and North Central

East Gippsland

Geelong

Goulburn Murray

Hampden

Latrobe Valley

North East Border

South East

South West

Sunraysia

Wimmera

References

  1. ^ "Around the Regions" (PDF). AFL Annual Report 2013. Australian Football League. p. 102. Archived from the original (PDF) on 4 July 2014. Retrieved 23 April 2014.
  2. ^ Paul Carter. "Gippsland Interleague History". Gippsland FNL. Retrieved 6 August 2022.
  3. ^ Richard Jones. "The Blue and Gold: BFL successes in inter-league footy". Country Footy Scores. 100 Years of BFL History: 1880 to 2010. Retrieved 3 August 2022.
  4. ^ Kevin B. Hill (25 May 2022). "TRADITIONAL RIVALS SQUARE OFF AGAIN". On Reflection. Retrieved 25 July 2022.
  5. ^ "1955 - OVENS-MURRAY ARE COUNTRY FOOTY KINGS". The Argus. 14 June 1955. p. 7. Retrieved 17 August 2022.
  6. ^ "1956 - Ovens and Murray glamor willed in the rain, so... BALLARAT'S THE 1956 'KING OF FOOTBALL". The Argus. 5 June 1956. p. 7. Retrieved 3 August 2022.
  7. ^ Rob Harris (9 July 1962). "Bendigo ruck, too much speed again!". Flickr. Wangaratta Chronicle. Retrieved 7 December 2023.
  8. ^ "1964 - VCFL Caltex Country Championship (Grand Final)". Swans on Screen. Griffith Football Netball Club. 11 July 1964. Retrieved 3 August 2022.
  9. ^ Adam Bourke (26 July 2019). "Former BFNL stars reunited to celebrate inter-league success". Bendigo Advertiser. Retrieved 10 August 2022.
  10. ^ "1995 - Gippsland League Interleague History". Gippsland Latrobe FL. 1995. Retrieved 31 July 2022.
  11. ^ "2011 - Country Championships". AFL Victoria. 28 May 2011. Retrieved 31 July 2022.
  12. ^ "1984 - Riverina FL Record" (PDF). Riverina FL. 22 July 1984. p. 2. Retrieved 3 February 2023.
  13. ^ "Far and away, the season's clash of two cultures - Features - www.realfooty.com.au". Archived from the original on 4 March 2007.
  14. ^ "VCFL v VAFA Rep Matches". VAFA. VAFA. 2019. Retrieved 28 October 2022.
  15. ^ "1992 - VCFL team to meet the VFA" (PDF). NSW Football History. O&MFNL - The Critic. 23 May 1992. p. 20. Retrieved 7 November 2022.
  16. ^ http://www.aflvic.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/Review_of_Country_Football_Report_Master_FINAL1.pdf Page 12