Explore the History of australian football

Grand final results - VFL: Collingwood 9.6 (60) d. Essendon 3.9 (27); SAFA: North Adelaide 9.14 (68) d. South Adelaide 4.7 (31); STFA: North Hobart 4.11 (35) d. Lefroy 2.6 (18). Other premiers - WAFA: East Fremantle (on points); VFA: Richmond (on points); NTFA: City (on points).



Early Tasmanian great Fred Mcginnis.

Hobart-born FRED MCGINIS commenced his senior football career with local club City, but before long he ventured across the Bass Strait to try his luck in the 'big time' with Melbourne.  Still aged only seventeen, he made his debut with the Redlegs in 1894, and it was immediately obvious that here was a rare champion in the making.  By the time the VFL came into existence in 1897 he was, in the view of many, the finest exponent of the game in Victoria at the time, as his "splendid drop kicking, pertinacity in redeeming a mistake, determination in getting the ball, and coolness and quickness in passing it on to a team mate placed him in a class above his contemporaries".[1]  Playing as a rover, McGinis won the Champion of the Colony award in 1897, and continued to perform at a consistently high level for the next four years, with his only major weakness being that he was somewhat injury prone.

In 1900, McGinis' partnership with ruckmen 'Vic' Cumberland and George Moodie was a major factor in Melbourne's unexpected surge up the premiership ladder to take out the flag.  The same trio also represented the VFL in intercolonial matches.

Tragically, in 1902 McGinis' sight began to deteriorate alarmingly, and he was forced to quit the game and return home to Tasmania. A testimonial match was hastily arranged prior to his departure in which a VFL representative side played and defeated a VFA combination 9.17 (71) to 4.5 (29). It was the first contest between the two bodies since the establishment of the VFL in 1897. The game, which was played at the MCG, attracted a crowd of roughly 7,000 and raised £500 for THE MCGINIS BENEFIT FUND.


​[1] 100 Years Of Football: The Story Of The Melbourne Football Club 1858-1958  by E.C.H.Taylor, pages 30-31.

1902 Snippets

John Worrall, pictured during his time as a player with Fitzroy

The 1902 season saw CARLTON appoint JOHN WORRALL to oversee the tea's training regime as well as to provide instruction and guidance on match days. In hindsight, he has come to be regarded as football's first coach, but he was certainly not the first person to be accorded that label.  However, whereas clubs had appointed men as "coaches" before, their role had invariably been subsidiary to that of the team captain; Worrall, however, assumed complete control of all team-related matters, even donning football togs to participate in training.  This revolutionary approach bore substantial fruit as, between 1906 and 1908, the Blues became the first team to win three consecutive VFL flags.  

Jack Worrall went on to have a similar impact on the Essendon Football Club when he went there in 1911.  In his debut season in charge, he lifted the club to its first premiership in a decade, and the following year he coached his team to the most conclusive VFL grand final win achieved up to that point, as the Same Old annihilated South Melbourne by 74 points.

After retiring as a coach at the end of the 1919 season, Worrall became a celebrated if somewhat opinionated sports writer.  He died in 1937 at the age of seventy-seven.