Alphington Football Club

Alphington Football Club (1911-1930)

At a meeting of delegates on Wednesday 22nd March 1911 it was decided to establish a new Football Association to be know as the Heidelberg District Football Association. Mr. C. W. Watts was the first President and Mr. R. Sealy was the Secretary. The clubs formed were Heidelberg, Greensborough, Templestowe and Alphington. 

On the 6th May Alphington faced off against Templestowe in an away game, which they won. By the end of May Alphington had played four matches with two wins and two losses, including a 16 point loss to Greensborough (5.14 vs 3.10). Heidelberg was currently unbeaten with four wins. In the return match against Greensborough Alphington lost again. At the end of the year Greensborough and Alphington combined against Heidelberg and Templestowe in a benefit match, with Greensborough Alphington triumphing 4.8 (32 points) against 4.5 (29 points).

By the following year the Association included Diamond Creek, Fairfield and Ivanhoe in their competition. By mid June 1912 Alphington sat with Heidelberg, Fairfield and Greensborough in a four way tie for first place. By early July Heidelberg and Fairfield pulled ahead as Fairfield very comfortably beat Alphington. By the end of the month Alphington had dropped out of contention. Heidelberg finally winning the premiership.

After two years as President of the Association, C. W. Watts was replaced by Mr Carruthers, Mr Sealy remained the Secretary. There were several applications for more football teams to join the Association but the Committee resolved to keep the same teams for 1913. Alphington started the 1913 season well beating Greensborough by 7 points. Diamond Creek managed to defeat Alphington by the end of the month, leaving Heidelberg as the only undefeated team in the competition. By the end of June Alphington was again well placed being at the top of the tables with Fairfield and Ivanhoe. Heidelberg having suffered a slump were fourth. During the matches on 5 July 1913, E. Patridge of the Alphington Football Club suffered a compound fracture of his shoulder and in the Greensborough Fairfield match, Fairfield player A. Perry was knocked unconscious. He then went into convulsions and required hospitalisation. By the start of August Alphington were only four points adrift of table leaders Fairfield Seniors. In the leadup to the semi finals Alphington defeated Heidelberg 13.11 vs. 2.6, meanwhile table leaders Fairfield fell to Ivanhoe. Bottles were thrown at the umpire at the conclusion of Alphington's match against Ivanhoe which Ivanhoe won by 17 points. Despite leading the competition for most of the season, Fairfield were thrashed by Ivanhoe in the final.

By 1914 Alphington Football Club was developing some strong players. Captain 'Pen' Reynolds was playing for the  Collingwood Team and W. McDonald was training with Carlton. The loss of the 1913 lead goal kicker George Youren (who moved to Clifton Hill) also weakened the team.   Nevertheless the Alphington team managed to overcome Fairfield in what was described as 'being of a mediocre order and flashes of brilliancy were few and far between.'

The return match proved a low scoring thriller with Alphington winning in the final seconds 1.10 against 1.9, a very low scoring match indeed. Victory over Greensborough followed a fortnight later. Alphington stars Reynolds and McDonald both played in this match. Against Heidelberg Alphington's defences were described as 'impregnable.' By July Alphington was on top of the tables having won six out of seven matches. By the end of the season Alphington remained on the top of the table with nine wins and three losses. The first semi final saw Alphington play Heidelberg. Heidelberg had a big lead leading into the final quarter only for Youren to lead a dashing comeback. Alas too late and Alphington lost by three points. Nevertheless Alphington made it through to the final, playing Fairfield. It was a tough match which eventually saw Alphington triumph and become Premiers 6.14 (49 points) vs. 7.3 (45 points).

At the Annual Meeting of the Alphington Football Club in March 1915 it was announced that nine players had volunteered. They were T. Boyd, E. Patridge, R. Adams, J. Hemms, L. McDonald, H. White, L. Arnott, W. Kings, Miskin, and two trainers J. Taylor and W. Sutton. All were made honorary members of the club. In April 1915 Diamond Creek left the Association as they struggled to find sufficient players to field a team.  Templestowe replaced them. The loss of nine players obviously had a big effect on the Alphington team as by early June they had one only one out of four matches, sitting just above newcomer Templestowe in the tables. The same month T. Boyd of Alphington was wounded in combat. By the end of June the club lifted, moving up one spot to 5th position. By July the club had climbed to third position, a remarkable turn around in a month. As the casualty lists continued to grow in the Gallipoli campaign the Alphington Football Club notified the association of its intension to withdraw from the competition. 

By March 1916, fourteen of the senior players from the Alphington Football Club had enlisted. 

In 1919 with the end of the First World War football began to reappear. In 1919 matches recommenced with Alphington comfortably being beating Templestowe in July 6.4 against 4.6. The football seemed sparsely reported in this year although there was a match played between the Alphington Team and 'the Diggers' in August. In September Alphington 9.12 defeated Diamond Creek 6.14, L. Hamilton kicked three goals for Alphington. The following week Alphington 6.2 defeated Fairfield 4.8.  Best players for Alphington included L. Reynolds, L. Knowles, A. Lafreuz, and C. and L. Hamilton. The following week Diamond Creek and Alphington faced off in the Grand Final with the result being a draw, 8.3 vs. 7.9   Alphington scored a goal on the bell but it was disallowed. But they were not to be denied and in a replay of the match Alphington prevailed 39 points vs. Diamond Creek 35. It was back to back premierships, though separated by five years!

At the start of 1920, the Alphington rover Ross was vying for a place in the Collingwood team. Eltham was now part of the league but could not stop Alphington rolling over them with a six goal victory in June. An unpleasant incident occurred in August in a matching involving the Fairfield and Ivanhoe clubs. Clifford Ferries, a member of the Fairfield team, assaulted Alexander Scott, a boundary umpire. The attack was serious enough to see Ferries in the Northcote Magistrate's Court, after a blow under the chin knocked the umpire off the ground. The umpire was partially unconscious for some time. During the war Ferries had the misfortune to be 'blown up twice' as well as sustaining several blows during what must have been a torrid match. Ferries also assaulted another umpire Andrew Crowe. Ferries was fined for both offenses. After the match Crowe retaliated by assaulting Ferries before being set upon by the crowd. For Alphington is was a less successful year with the final being between Heidelberg and Fairfield. 

1921 started better for Alphington with a comfortable 35 point win over Eltham. McDonald and Ross were Alphington's best players. They followed up with a good win over Hurstbridge. The return match in July against Eltham was disappointing. Eltham could not raise a team so the ball was bounced, Alphington kicked a goal and the game was declared a win for Alphington. A much closer game occurred at the end of July when Alphington prevailed by only four points again Diamond Creek. It availed them little as they again failed to reach the final which was played between Heidelberg and Ivanhoe.

At the start of the 1922 season The Age identified Ross of Alphington as one of the most promising players in the competition. Albert Park now played in the competition and they recorded a huge win over Alphington in June, 22.17 vs. 2.4. Alphington was now playing in the Northern Association which included such teams Albert Park, Newmarket, Yarra Falls, Fairfield, Glendyle and Northcote Methodists. In August Alphington it's semi-final match against Northcote Methodists 8.7 vs 4.5.  On the 19th August Alphington faced off against Preston United at the Preston Park football ground for the Grand Final.

In 1923 Alphington was playing in the Melbourne Districts' Association, a league which included Fairfield, Moreland, Hawthorn District, Brunswick Juniors, Ivanhoe and Yarra District. Alphington's move to the new association was looking shaky by the end of the June with the team sitting on the bottom of the league with no points. Alphington's best players included Joseph Moon, P. Grenness, Hamilton and Parsonage. Unfortunately in the following week Moon fractured his thigh during the next match. July started better with a win over Brunswick Junior, but was then beaten by Moreland in the following week. On 14 July Ivanhoe handed Alphington their second win of the season, 10.9 vs. 7.17.  It was a surprise victory as Ivanhoe had been unbeaten in seven matches. The topsy turvey results continued with a defeat inflicted on they by old foes Fairfield. Alphington was able claw their way from the bottom of the league (wooden-spooners was Brunswick Juniors) but it was a very forgettable season for the club.

Alphington suffered an early loss in May 1924 to Ivanhoe, even though Ivanhoe's main goal kicker was out, having broken his ankle. By the end of June Alphington found themselves in the same position as the previous year, sitting on the bottom of the table with nil points. Ivanhoe then beat Alphington a second time in the season, obviously they were still smarting from their unexpected defeat at Alphington's hands the previous year.  By the end of July Alphington had still failed to win a match for the season. A solitary win in August saw them equal bottom of the ladder with Tooronga, a position they continued to share until the end of the season.

For once the club started a season reasonably well and by May 1925 the team had 8 points and was in the middle of table, trailing Camberwell with 12 points. Alphington kept in fifth place right up until the end of June but slip after a series of defeats. Camberwell had a 20 point lead over Alphington. Early July saw Alphington gain a couple of wins, including one over Dandenong to regain fifth place. They moved into equal fourth place. August 1925 saw Alphington fall to Oakleigh, largely to Latham of Oakleigh who kicked nine goals (taking his tally to 96 for the year so far.) The next week East Brunswick scraped past them to win by 5 points. Alphington was starting to slide, back in fifth place and then by the end of August sixth place and missing out on a finals berth. The club had done better than the previous three years however they were still well short of the quality of teams like Camberwell, Oakleigh and Fairfield.

1926 started well with a good win against East Brunswick, Colwell kicking four goals for Alphington. They followed up with a win over Tooranga, two wins from the first two matches of the season. By the end of May the team was second placed, their best start for several years. By the end of June Alphington was clinging onto 3rd place, including a victory over Public Service, 5.11 vs. 2.14. Victories over other teams including Oakleigh on the 24 July saw Alphington still on 3rd place in the tables. Public Service managed to push Alphington into fourth place by mid August but Oakleigh enjoyed a comfortable lead at the head of the table, followed by Fairfield. In the semi-finals Alphington faced Fairfield. It was a tough match with strong winds dictating play. Alphington's kicking was wayward and they trailed at three quarter time. But against the wind and expectations they fought back to regain the lead, only to see Fairfield power ahead to win by 13 points. Fairfield went on to win the Grand Final.

After three games Alphington of the 1927 season, Carnegie and Canterbury had yet to win a match. Luckily in the fourth game they faced equally unsuccessful Canterbury and was able to gain their first points. By early June the team was languishing in the bottom quarter of the table with a mere two wins, although they lost to table leader Oakleigh by only three points. On 18th June, Alphington pounded Tooronga 17.12 to 4.12 and by early July the team was sitting in the middle of the table. Their match against Public Service on the 9th July was a crucial one for both teams as they tried to secure their spot in the final eight. It was a titanic match with fortunes swaying either way. The Public Service forwards played better than Alphington's yet in the dying stages Alphington had clawed a four point lead. Alas a goal in the final moments saw Public Service snatch the win 10.13 vs. 9.17. The competition then was broken into two groups. The first eight clubs competed for the premiership trophy and the bottom five (including Alphington) competed for a 'consolation prize.' On the 13th August Alphington faced South Melbourne for the consolation prize but lost 8.18 vs. 6.7.

Before the 1928 season had even begun, Alphington had lost their wingman H. Bannister to the Fitzroy Club. The League Sub-District had grown so large it was now broken into a North and South District. Alphington started well and with wins over Ivanhoe and Williamstown was on the top of the table by the end of May with 20 points. The Herald noted that Alphington had become a good team and was 'well balanced in all departments.' Old rivals Fairfield had pushed Alphington into second place by the middle of June. By then end of the month the team had slid to third position. Richmond District handed out an unexpected drubbing of Alphington at the end of the month when they allowed Richmond's Don Fraser to kick eight goals. Now then they were in fourth position. But the team picked themselves up and after defeating Ivanhoe 24.3 vs. 5.7 they had clawed their way back up to third position and then by beating Williamstown they were equal second with Fairfield. It says something about the fierce competition that by the middle of August Alphington was back in fourth place but with only eight points between first and fourth position. In a clash against Ivanhoe, Ivanhoe player Charles Wall suffered a lacerated kidney and was taken to hospital. In the first semi-final Alphington played against East Brunswick at Northcote Park. With Ellis starring for Alphington, the club was able to easily beat East Brunswick 13.14 vs. 6.15. This left Alphington to play against their arc rivals Fairfield.   Fairfield had sway for most of the match and despite a strong third quarter Alphington was not able to overcome Fairfield, losing by 9 points.

Alphington lost a home game against Balwyn after the visitors ran them ragged, however that was more than balanced by a defeat of Fairfield.   It was their first defeat of Fairfield in nine years. Nevertheless by June Alphington was in the top five, just. By the end of July Alphington was equal second with Fairfield, Kew led the table well clear of its two nearest rivals. By the start of August only Kew was secure in the top four spots with Balwyn desperate to beat Alphington to secure they spot in the four. Balwyn's victory saw them into the four and Alphington drop to fifth place. Alphington was left with a desperately needed win to get back into the four but faced League leaders Kew. They could not do it, falling 6.18 against 10.5. The following week old foes Fairfield handily beat them too. This ended Alphington's hopes for the 1929 season and they finished in fifth place. Kew were fitting winners of the premiership.

In 1930 the Sub-District League was divided into two sections, First Grade and Second Grade. Alphington had teams in both grades. First Grade included Balwyn, Kew, East Balwyn, Auburn, Fairfield, Carnegie, Alphington, Ascot Vale, Sunshine, Richmond District and South Melbourne District. Early in the season Alphington enjoyed a win over the previous years Premiership side Kew, and was one of a cluster of teams sitting on 8 points. By the middle of June Alphington was sitting around the middle of the table. By the middle of June Alphington shared fourth place with Auburn and Sunshine, just 4 points shy of league leader South Melbourne District. As usual, Alphington's nemesis, Fairfield was at 2nd place. A week later Fairfield was on top and Alphington sitting in joint second position with South Melbourne District and Sunshine. Alphington had improved its position courtesy of a 10.19 7.8 victory over Auburn on the 21st June, followed by a defeat of East Brunswick the next week. Fairfield was leading the competition still in early July with Sunshine and South Melbourne Districts equal second and Alphington in third place. In a repetition of last year the season was close with eight teams in the running for the final four. On the 12 July the winning teams were Sunshine, Alphington, Kew, Auburn and Carnegie. Alphington was keeping pace with the leaders, just four points behind Sunshine and Fairfield. A victory by Kew pushed Alphington outside the top four at the end of the month. Typically Fairfield handed out their usual defeat to Alphington in a very low scoring match. Again Alphington found itself vying for the fourth place with South District and Kew. To get into the final four Kew had to beat Carnegie and Alphington had to lose to Auburn. Alphington did manage to lose but so did Kew, confirming Alphington's position in the top four. Alphington found itself facing second placed Fairfield in the semi-finals. It must have given them nightmares. Alphington had only beaten Fairfield once in twenty-five encounters. Fairfield won. South Melbourne District beat Fairfield a fortnight later to gain the premiership.

The Alphington Football Club moved to the Victorian Amateur Football Association in 1934 and remained in the Association until 1983. It ceased operating as a football club in 1984.

The Alphington Football Club finished in 1984.

New Association formed.  The Herald, 24 March 1911, p.2
Country football.  The Age, 22 May 1911, p.11
Maritime football.  The Age, 3 July 1911, p.11
Country football.  The Age, 21 August 1911, p.11
Metropolitan Amateur Association.  The Age, 24 June 1912, p.14
Heidelberg Association.  The Argus, 29 March 1913, p. 17
Football. The Argus, 10 May 1913, p. 10
Football accidents. The Argus, 7 July 1913, p. 15
Heidelberg District Association. The Argus, 25 August 1913, p. 10
Football.  Heidelberg News and Greensborough and Diamond Creek Chronicle, 25 April 1914, p.4
Football.  Heidelberg News and Greensborough and Diamond Creek Chronicle, 9 May 1914, p.3
Football.  Heidelberg News and Greensborough and Diamond Creek Chronicle, 23 May 1914, p.2
Football.  Heidelberg News and Greensborough and Diamond Creek Chronicle, 8 August 1914, p.3
Football.  Heidelberg News and Greensborough and Diamond Creek Chronicle, 29 August 1914, p.3
Australian losses 34th casualty list.  The Argus, 9 June 1915, p.11
In the country.  The Argus, 7 July 1919, p. 3
Football. Richmond Guardian, 20 September 1919, p.3
Football.  Eltham and Whittlesea Shires Advertiser and Diamond Creek Valley Advocate, 18 June 1920, p.3
A football riot.  Two umpires assaulted.   The Age, 10 August 1920, p.10
Hurstbridge v. Alphington.  Eltham and Whittlesea Shires Advertiser and Diamond Creek Valley Advocate, 20 May 1921, p.3
Other matches.  The Age, 14 August 1922, p.11
Footballer injured.  The Argus. 9 July 1923, p.11
Melbourne Districts Association.  The Argus. 23 July 1923, p.14
Melbourne Districts. The Argus. 25 July 1924, p.15
League sub-districts' association.  The Age. 3 August 1925, p.7
League Sub-District Association.  The Age. 31 August 1925
League Sub-Districts.  The Argus. 3 May 1926
League Sub-Districts Association.  Semi-final matches.  The Age.  13 September 1926
League Sub-Districts Association.  First Grade.  The Age. 9 May 1927
League Sub-Districts. First Grade. 6 June 1927
Sub-District.  Public Service v. Alphington.  South Bourke and Mornington Journal.  14 July 1927
League Sub-Districts.  The Herald,  8 June 1928, p.14
Sub-District League.  First Grade.  23 June 1930, p.6
Alphington's long lane.  The Herald.  19 September 1930, p.15