VFA REPRESENTATIVE UNIFORMS
1931 - June
June 6, 1931 vs VFL
The VFA and VFL finally brought an end to their hostilities, signing a permit agreement that cleared the way for player transfers between both competitions. After years of acrimony the League also agreed to play the Association for the first time since 1902 with the proceeds going to charity.
The VFA wore a modified version of their 1909-1927 uniform, switching from a blue turtle-neck to a button-up v-neck with gold collar. The shorts changed from the three-quarter-length knicks of the previous thirty years to the new style which had been adopted by VFA and VFL clubs during the late-1920s. A unique, "swirly" number design was also introduced for this match but was soon replaced by the traditional footy font.
NOTE - at right is the uniform worn by the VFL for this historic match.
1931 - August
August 15, 1931 vs New South Wales
The VFL had been playing regular interstate matches against New South Wales since 1920 but were unable to send a team to Sydney in 1931. The NSW league approached the VFA to take the VFL's place but this required ANFC approval because the VFA was not an affiliated competition.
Initially the ANFC refused to approve the match because of the VFA's non-affiliation and because their playing rules were not in strict conformity with the ANFC laws of the game. However, when the VFL decided not to vote against the game on the basis that it would improve football in NSW, the ANFC subsequently allowed the match - on the condition it was played under their national rules. [SMH 10-6-1931, p.15]
For this match the VFA broke with tradition, ditching their gold sash which had been part of their representative uniform since 1890, and replacing it with a gold version of the V worn by the VFL in their match against the VFA two months earlier (see "1931 - June" above right).
June 6, 1932 vs VFL
On the King's Birthday holiday the VFA confronted the VFL at Princes Park and were unlucky to lose a hard-fought match by 8 points. This match marked the only occasion in interstate/representative football when both teams wore matching designs, with their respective colours the only variation between the two sides.
The VFA's royal blue and gold uniform is shown at left, with the VFL uniform shown at right.
Black shorts - since 1909 the VFA's official uniform had included white shorts, but in 1931 the Association made an exception and wore black for their historic clash against the VFL. However, for this match In 1932 they requested the League switch to coloured shorts and the VFL reluctantly agreed. By the time these teams met again in 1934 the VFL had returned to white shorts for all matches, regardless of the opponent, forcing the VFA to wear their non-traditional black shorts in future contests between the two competitions.
1934/35/36/37 vs VFL
After two seasons of copying the VFL's uniforms, the VFA finally established their own identity with this unique design featuring a VFA monogram on the front. Unfortunately, this instant classic has remained largely forgotten... until now.
1947 vs Bendigo FA
An exhibition match held to increase regional interest in the VFA, and played on a Monday public holiday. Four VFA players took the field for the opposition: Egan and Brokenshire (Sandringham), Jack Blackman (Preston captain-coach) and Laurie Taylor (Camberwell). Egan was the BFA's best player and Brokenshire kicked 10 goals for the locals.
To date, it remains unknown what uniforms the VFA representative team wore for this match.
1950 vs Canberra / National Carnival
1951 vs South Australia / Tasmania / Australian Amateurs
1953 National Carnival
1956 National Carnival
After twelve years in the football wilderness the VFA joined the ANFC in 1949 as a non-voting member. This provided them access to interstate matches against the top-level leagues across Australia and a place in the National Carnival. It also marked the first time since 1896 that the VFA had official status as a Victorian interstate representative team .
To recognise this, the Association sought a new representative uniform that reflected their role as Victoria's oldest senior football competition (formed 20 seasons before the VFL). They eventually settled on Geelong's uniform:
"The Victorian Football Association, on its affiliation to the Australian National Football Council, has registered the old Geelong colours - blue and white hoops. The Association, in addition to retaining the traditional Victorian state colours of blue and white, has thus linked the Council with the foundation of the code. Geelong, which wears the blue and white hoops in the Victorian competition, is one of the two pioneer clubs of the code. It was formed in 1859, the season following the institution of the game by Mr H. C. A. Harrison and others, who established the Melbourne club." [Canberra Times 10-4-1950, p.2]
1957 vs Northern Tasmania / South Australia
1958 National Carnival
From 1957 the pattern on the jumper was inverted: 5 white hoops and 4 navy blue hoops. This meant a white hoop now appeared across the top of the jumper.
Note also that from 1950 to 1958 the VFA would wear white shorts when playing South Australia, and black against all other state and territory teams.
The exact layout of the hoops for these seasons remains unknown at this time. Research is continuing and this information will be added as it is discovered.
1966 National Carnival
1968 vs Canberra / Tasmania
Ever since Australian football's earliest years players who preferred a sleeveless jumper had to create one themselves by cutting off the sleeves. The late-1950s saw the first genuine sleeveless jumpers introduced at club level and this 1966 VFA jumper joined the trend.
The hoops were inverted again, with navy blue across the top of the jumper. The hoops were also noticeably thinner than before, increasing from nine to eleven (6 navy blue, 5 white). The VFA shield became smaller and appeared on a navy blue square. The other change was a move to white shorts as part of the official uniform (black shorts were still worn against the VFL in 1966).