East Melbourne Cricket Ground
Maroon and white
It is perhaps perversely appropriate that, with a name more suited to a soccer club, Melbourne City’s performances during its two year stint in the VFA were about on a par with what might be expected from the likes of Manchester United or Liverpool were they to forego the cossetted luxury of life in the FA Premiership and try their hands at a sport in which success is based on ability and skill rather than on a combination of the pompous ineptitude of genitally-challenged match officials and the glorified ‘coin toss’ of the infamous penalty shoot-out.
All of which is not to imply that the players who represented Melbourne City in 1912 and 1913 had bad haircuts, the mental age and general disposition of pre-schoolers, and a ineradicable predilection towards cheating. It is simply to admit that they were not very good. Indeed, so uniquely bad were they that they failed to secure a single victory in 36 matches, never so much as getting within a goal of the opposition.1
The City Men were not wimps, however. They took defeat hard, and made their opponents earn their victories with blood, bruises and the occasional broken bone. Their successors in the VFA, Hawthorn, would maintain this reputation for toughness, and, while it would be a long time coming, they would eventually learn to supplement steel with skill, achieving no small amount of success in the process.
1 Melbourne City twice lost games by 7 points: in 1912 against Prahran, and in 1913 against Port Melbourne. In the latter match, the City Men still somehow conspired to lose despite managing 28 scoring shots to their opponents� 15.