First Australasian championship series contested in Melbourne with all 7 members of the AFC participating. The VFL emerge as undefeated champions.  North Hobart 2.7 (19) defeat Lefroy 1.9 (15) in replayed TFL grand final. Name of WAFA changed to Western Australian Football League (WAFL). VFA reduces number of players per team from 18 to 17.  Northcote and Brighton join VFA, replacing Richmond and University which enter VFL. Grand final results - CoA: West Adelaide 12.9 (81) d. Carlton 7.10 (52); VFL: Carlton 5.5 (35) d. Essendon 3.8 (26); SAFL: West Adelaide 7.10 (52) d. Norwood 6.13 (49); WAFL: East Fremantle 5.7 (37) d. Perth 0.8 (8); VFA: Footscray 9.10 (64) d. Brunswick 6.4 (40); NSWAFL: YMCA 15.6 (96) d. East Sydney 5.8 (38); QFL: Locomotives 10.8 (68) d. City 4.4 (28). WA State Premiership: Not contested.  Other premiers - NTFA: City (on points).

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Prior to the commencement of the 1908 Jubilee carnival, Australian prime minister Alfred Deakin (pictured above) attended a smoke concert organised by the VFL, which was attended by all of the participating teams and, after proposing a toast to what he referred to as 'the Australasian game of football', spoke eloquently and at length about the sport's uniqueness, importance and potential future development:

"My days of football are past so many years that, although the memories are not clouded, I have perfect recollection that the game as I played it was conducted under rules rather foreign and much more literal than those which you now enjoy.  But at that time, as now, I venture to think that the spirit which animated us was of no discredit to this country and no bad training for the youths of this country........

"The games of football that I have played since then have been many and various, and they have carried on in other fields, but I have yet to find the game that carries as much pleasure, as much harmless excitement, and as much stimulus as the Australasian game of football.  The true sportsman, pitting himself at his best against an opponent under the rules of fair play, is the manifest man who walks this planet today.......

"The sense of fair play that is first in the breast of every player is, I am sorry to say, not always the first in the breast of the man who is applauding merely for his own side.  The task of football in the future is, I hope, not only to educate the players, but to educate the spectators to the same high sense of fair play.

"In this country we are bound to remain, as we always have been, a sporting people.  I venture to believe that the element added to our national life by our sporting instincts is one not of the least honourable, but often one of the most efficacious.  After all, a healthy mind rests upon a healthy body........ The Australian game is becoming an Australasian game.  And it may yet have an even wider scope as far as its education and practice are concerned.......

"The game is Australian in its origin, Australian in its principle, and, I venture to say, essentially of Australian development.  It and every expression of the sporting spirit go to make that manhood which is competent for a nation's tasks.  The fellow who can play an uphill game, and lose it with courage and good temper, is better fitted for the contests the world has in store for him.......

"When the tocsin sounds the call to arms, not the last, but the first, to acknowledge it will be those who have played, and played well, the Australasian game of football before they play the Australian game of nation-making and nation-preserving."   
(From "The 1953 Australian Football Championship Official Souvenir Program", page 37. 

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