Notwithstanding the site’s self-imposed goal of comprehensiveness, australianfootball.com is, and will remain, a work in progress. In one sense we can call this first incarnation of the site, ‘australianfootball.com 1.0’, with the implicit understanding that we’re already working feverishly to launch 2.0.
To allow readers to gain an understanding of what content we now have on the site, and the content we’ll be adding to the site going forward, we have prepared the summary below.
The core of the written content of the site comes from the former ‘Full Points Footy’ website and associated publications, written by John Devaney. At this stage, about 70% of that content has been incorporated, the major missing elements being the majority of photos and other illustrations in the former site, a broad range of tables and ladders, interstate football, great games, the glossary, and the ‘Teams of the Century’, official and unofficial’. Almost all these materials are slated for inclusion in australianfootball.com 2.0, the next phase development.
The core of the statistical content of the site comes from the current ‘AFL Tables’ site operated by Paul Jeffs. At this stage, the integration of ‘AFL Tables’ data, which comprises the core game and player stats for V/AFL football since 1897, is about 95% complete. All significant data is included, but gaps remain in such things as ground records, jumper numbers, some heights and weights, and certain miscellaneous compilations. All this material should be finalized for inclusion in version 2.0.
The site is essentially 'linkless' at present, at least in terms of internal text, but the massive task of creating the 'web of links' that will make the site more navigatable and integrated has already begun.
V/AFL - The full fixture and match results for all V/AFL seasons, 1897-2012, are included, but we still need to display progressive round by round ladders.
WAFL - The full fixture and match results for all WAFL (and predecessors) seasons, 1900-2012, are included, but we still need to source and confirm match data for the period 1885-99, and also display progressive round by round ladders.
SANFL - The full fixture and match results for all SANFL (and predecessors) seasons, 1907-1950, and 2012 are included. We are currently updating the database to include the period 1951-2011, but still need to source and confirm match data for the period 1877-1906, and also display progressive round by round ladders.
VFL - We currently only have the 2012 fixture/results for the VFL (in its current manifestation), so will need to source and confirm match data for the period 1996-2011, and also display progressive round by round ladders. Further to this, we don’t currently have any fixture and match results for the predecessor V/AFL Reserves competition, 1919-99. For the latter period, our initial plan is to include finals matches and end-of-season ladders and work our way back into the historical record over time.
VFA - We don’t have any fixture and match results as yet for the now defunct, but historically important, VFA competition. We still need to source and confirm match data for the period 1877-1995, and also display progressive round by round ladders.
TSL - We currently only have the 2012 fixture/results for the TSL (and predecessors), so will need to source and confirm match data for the period 1879-2011, and also display progressive round by round ladders. The situation here is complicated due to the various leagues that have existed over the years, but all leagues that have been accorded ‘senior’ status will be included.
Other ‘senior’ leagues - These include senior leagues based in Canberra, Sydney, Brisbane, and Darwin. We don’t currently have any fixture and match results for any of these leagues. Our plan is to include finals matches and end-of-season ladders and work our way back into the historical record over time.
Local leagues - We don’t have any fixture and match results for any of these leagues. Our plan is to include premiership honour boards and grand finals and work our way back into the historical record over time.
V/AFL - At the moment our dedicated Stats section, is called AFL Stats Hub by default as this is the league for which we have a complete array of club and player stats. By virtue of the great work done by the stats men over the years (see acknowledgements) and organized and presented online by AFL Tables and offline by publications such as the AFL Record Season Guides and, for players, The Encyclopedia of AFL Footballers, the statistical history of the V/AFL is both comprehensive and easily accessed.
State Leagues - In terms of the historical fixture for the WAFL and the SANFL, we have incorporated a large amount of data and will continue to do so as it becomes available (see Fixtures, ladders, and match results above). Once more progress is made on that front, the plan is to extend ‘Stats Hub’ to also include these two leagues, and in turn the VFA, the senior Tasmanian leagues, interstate football, and other extracurricular senior matches. This will go some way to fulfilling our aim of creating a complete historical record of senior football since 1877.
Non-AFL Player Stats - In terms of player stats, the story is mixed. While much research has been done by a number of dedicated individuals to create accurate historical player records in each of the major leagues, much of it remains inaccessible to the wider public, and we have not been able to source these records. While we’ll be endeavouring to fill in as many gaps as we can – with a focus on the top echelon of players for whom basic stats (such as games, goals, and awards) are available, the likelihood of us incorporating a complete SANFL/WAFL player record, for example, as we have for the V/AFL, remains distant.
This section will showcase a wide range of footy-related content, from previously published book chapters, journals, and magazine pieces (which we have permission to reproduce), to new material written by site members and adjusted to be of noteworthy quality. The core of the content to be included in the first phase will be articles from the Full Points Footy, both by John Devaney and other contributors, and a selection of articles and book chapters previously published by the Slattery Media Group, who have permitted us to reproduce the content.
In time we hope to delve further into the back catalogue of out-of-print footy-related books and magazines and reproduce more material that may otherwise be consigned to the dustbin of history, authors and/or publishers permitting.
The section called ‘Treasure Trove’ showcases longer articles sourced from the vast, and growing, collection of digitized newspapers publically available through the National Library of Australia’s ‘Trove’ project. That project is awe inspiring in itself and promises to cast a new light on Australian history in general, and, for our purposes, Australian Football in particular, by making accessible to the public newspapers from the early 1800s through until 1954 (the last year before copyright holders can limit the availability of access).
In that respect, we have embarked on a massive project of our own - to text correct (newspaper text is often rendered illegible after digitizing) and collate the vast archive of football-related material available through Trove. That is a multi-year endeavour and at this stage we’ve barely scratched the surface, suffice to say we’ve started with the Melbourne Argus and will shortly branch out into other major metropolitan dailies, such as the Adelaide Advertiser and the West Australian. The fruits of this work will start to trickle through into the site over the coming months, in the form of articles and match reports.
Match Reports: In the same way we are sourcing longer articles through Trove, we are also collecting historic match reports of every VFL game through to 1956 (when the Argus closed its doors) and, over time, every game of the SANFL, the WAFL, and other significant matches. These reports will be added to the fixture component of the site to create a complete match summary page (including stats for V/AFL games) for as many games as we are able to complete – before old age or penury intervene!
We are currently working on collating and displaying in diagram style 'fields' the entire "official" teams of the century selected by most senior football clubs since the 1990s. In addition, we will showcase a number of other "unofficial" 'All-Star' teams that have been selected by various commentators and experts over the years, including from 'Full Points Footy', as well as quite a few of our own making.
We are currently in the process of creating a complete historical fixture detailing over 800 games of interstate football, from its beginnings in 1879 (when it was inter-colonial) through to the present day.
Beginning with the establishment in 1995 of the Australian Football Hall of Fame, numerous states, leagues, and clubs have set up their own Halls to honour past players, coaches, and officials. We are creating a section that will showcase all of these institutions and those inducted into their ranks.
We in the process of creating a section devoted to the great games of Australian football, from the first recorded game in 1858 between Melbourne Grammar and Scotch College, to the outstanding games of the current season. This section will be sourced initially from the ‘Full Points Footy’ archive, but increasingly, as time goes on, from the historic match reports as recorded in the newspapers of the day (as transcribed via the Trove Project).
We are working on a myriad range of lists and tables that cover all aspects of the game, from league ladders, to goakicking tables, and award winners, just to name a few. Eventually, 'official' list s such as these will find their way into an expanded 'StatsHub' section (where some of the major award winner are already listed - under 'Awards').
In addition, we will create a number of our own subjective lists, such as the 'Greatest 100 players of all time', and eclectic compilations of 'TOP 10s'. We also intend to reproduce numerous lists created over the years by media commentators and other experts, as well as some newly generated lists by contemporary observers of the game.
In the manner of Trove, the advent of YouTube, among others, has opened to the general public the visual archive in a way unimaginable a few years ago. Australian football fans have lost no time in trawling through their own basements and uploading a vast range of footy videos, so many in fact it’s become difficult to keep track of what’s currently available.
We aim to provide help in this regard, by creating a video archive of our own, sourced from YouTube content, and in so doing enable footy fans to discover, and watch, the vast collection that is now available.
Over coming months we’ll be adding many videos and linking them as best we can to the game/s and/or player/s so featured.
There can be no football without a ground to play on, and each has its own history and character. We in the process of creating a section devoted to the grounds (aka venues) of Australian football, from the venue of the first ever recorded game, the Richmond Paddock, to the modern stadia of the AFL.
There can be football without umpires, witness the early years of the game, but their absence doesn't auger well for a fair contest. We are currently working on a database of umpires and will be adding the men in white to the match report information as soon as we are able.