VFL Finals 2019 – Success for stand alone clubs


You wouldn’t have read about it in the newspapers unless you looked up the results, but the three stand alone teams in the VFL all defeated their “glamour” AFL aligned clubs on the weekend.


Werribee defeated Box Hill Hawks (Hawthorn), Port Melbourne was far too good for Geelong and Williamstown had a good win over Footscray Bulldogs (Western Bulldogs).


I searched The Age for a write up but they were only interested in the Richmond Essendon game.


I think it is great that these stand alone clubs are so successful, what do other Almanac’s think.


Rod Oaten



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  1. Completely agree – what makes the VFL (and specifically the finals) so great to watch is the stand alones and their influence as the surprise packets. Who could forget Port Melbourne’s Premiership over Richmond? Considering they have it so much worse in terms of financial support, memberships and ground facilities, they continue to be so competitive. They deserve way more recognition and support for their efforts!

  2. I wouldn’t be too concerned the press tends to favor the AFL aligned teams probably because that is what they think the public want , either that or they are just lazy , have no imagination. This is why i wish the competition was still local not national. Most of the high end sports today revolve around money and this is the main concern, sad.

  3. The vast majority of the media are AFL sycophants who either are not aware or don’t care that Aussie Rules football exists outside the AFL bubble. I’ve also been told that to get AFL accreditation, members of the media have to sign an agreement that they must not promote any competition other than the AFL, but i don’t know whether that is true or not. I was at Whitten Oval last Saturday and it was a great game in difficult, windy conditions with a healthy, very vocal crowd. I’ll be watching both games on TV this weekend and hoping that both Port and Werribee triumph over the AFL clubs.

  4. Murray Walding says

    i think that its more than just the status of the VFL and I don’t think its surprising that Richmond and Essendon received so much coverage seeing as how both are involved in AFL finals and that’s where the money is. I’d like to see the stand alones get the same amount of coverage and I’d also like to see minor leagues, women’s leagues etc play curtain raisers for those matches too. That’s the area of footy that is terribly neglected by the honchos in the AFL headquarters.

  5. Sure Essendon and Richmond are involved in the finals, but so are Geelong who were beaten by Port Melbourne and Western Bulldogs who came second to Williamstown, and not a mention to my knowledge, in the press.
    Earlier in the year they played a VFL game, Essendon v Geelong as a curtain raiser at the MCG and it was great to see fringe and young players doing their stuff, I agree we should have VFL, Womens AFL playing curtain raisers every week.

  6. VFL teams affliated with AFL counterparts are hamstrung by higher purposes.
    They are often forced to play players out of position, with younger less match-hardened players taking priority over more experienced, and perhaps better, VFL listed players; with half an eye always firmly on development of the younger AFL-listed players and the other on the match fitness/coach requirements of the older AFL listed players. Winning is just a bonus.
    It won’t surprise me to see all the AFL affiliates knocked out.
    Then the stand-alones will have the media all to themselves!

  7. I confess a bias here but the media concentration on the Richmond-Essendon game was because of the extraordinary comeback by Richmond, the particular role played by Toby Nankervis and the obvious implications this has for the AFL finals. Sorry, but these were surely far more newsworthy matters than the other three games, which appeared to be rather drab affairs by contrast.

    To the broader point about the efforts of the standalone clubs, it’s obvious at this time of year that the finals are the absolute focus of these teams whereas the AFL-affiliated teams tend to have conflicting priorities. Yes, there’s a certain satisfaction that comes with seeing a plumber/part-time footballer smacking into a silky-skilled AFL-listed kid who is preserving his body and his focus for greater opportunities. But there’s no moral high ground here – it’s just the hybrid nature of the competition (which might be another interesting topic of discussion). If a Port Melbourne does a number on a Richmond again in the Grand Final, it’ll be reported no doubt, because it deserves to be. But let’s not get all sentimental about the lack of respect for these teams. If we were that committed to grass roots footy, the VFA would still exist and be drawing big crowds every week.

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