Victorian Football Club Archive - Version 2·0 Release Notes

2020: a year to forget

2020 will be remembered as a remarkable year in history. The COVID-19 global pandemic has affected every nation, every walk of life and every aspect of what we do as a society. At the time of writing, Victoria is in the midst of a state of disaster and the furthest thing from our minds is the idea of football, in any form. While professional leagues across many sports battle to scrounge a living from the slowly dying corpse which is Pay TV, community football in Victoria has sensibly closed its doors. Football Victoria, for the first time in 102 years, finally called a halt to all league competitions in late July.

We are living through history.

An update to the Victorian Football Club Archive appears superfluous at this time, with many of our active clubs battling to remain afloat as uncertainty clouds their very existence. Under normal circumstances, this update would have appeared in October, with 2020 finishing positions listed along those from 2019 and the myriad changes which accompany this release. But for those of us affected by the economic realities of lockdown, we all have far too much time on our hands and with the prospect of 2020 being a footnote in history, now is as good a time as any to deliver this to the Victorian soccer diehard.

What’s new in Version 2.0?

1. Updates for the 2019 season applied to all clubs involved in the Men’s National Premier Leagues and Men’s State Leagues, seven tiers of league competition in all.

2. A host of name changes and amalgamations noted, with records combined for multiple entities in the archive.

3. Google map references included for playing venues for all active clubs.

4. An alphabetised Club Catalogue listing every instance of every club with brief notes on name changes and amalgamations and links to their full record in the archive.

The majority of work poured into this release is found in the Club Catalogue, which provides the ultimate listing of clubs, active or defunct, regardless of the name they may have been known by throughout their history. If your club was previously known by another name, it can likely be found in the Club Catalogue under that name.

Of course, as much as I have taken great care to ensure these records are true and accurate, I can’t always guarantee they are. Much credit goes to the usual suspects who have poured hours of their own time to help uncover the roots of some of these clubs, but many of these bloodlines will be unearthed by the club volunteers who helped found these clubs. Please contact me via e-mail if you can shed light on a glaring omission or correction.

I am hopeful to include more in the next release. Documenting the historical records of the Women’s game continues to be a problem, with many seasons from the 1980's and 1990’s before the amalgamation with the Victorian Soccer Federation still unable to be sourced. I am loathed to pour hours of research into the Women’s game until these records can be found. Regional Victoria is a more likely next step, but records for some of the state’s long running competitions are patchy before 2007. I have sourced a number of yearbooks from the Bendigo Amateur Soccer League which provide some level of depth to the records collected from that competition, but the leagues in Gippsland, Geelong, Ballarat, Goulburn North East and Sunraysia are nowhere near as complete.

It may be a long wait before the archive expands to include these clubs.

Tony Persoglia, Victorian Football Club Archive, August 2020.