Australian Football Celebrating the history of the great Australian game


Old Eltham Collegians

Memorably and originally nicknamed the Turtles, Eltham Old Collegians debuted in the VAFA’s newly formed G Section in 1986. The next season saw the club becoming a founder member, and inaugural premier, of H Section, winning the grand final by two straight kicks from Bulleen Templestowe. A second H Section grand final appearance came three years later, but Boronia Park proved too strong on that occasion.

Because they were unable to field both senior and reserves sides, the Turtles were stalwart members of the VAFA’s Club XVIII competition for many years, winning a premiership at that level in 1993.

Eltham Old Collegians’ seniors reached the 2007 D4 Section grand final, losing to UHSOB-VU by 33 points, thereby earning promotion to D3 Section. After qualifying for the 2008 D3 finals in fourth place the side performed heroically to reach a second straight grand final and even though this ended in defeat at the hands of Williamstown CYMS there can be no doubt that the Turtles have, in recent years, transformed themselves into one of the VAFA’s most upwardly mobile clubs. The fact that this improvement permeates the whole club has been clearly evidenced by the reserve grade team’s excellent recent performances which have yielded D4 Section flags in 2005 and 2007 and a losing D3 Section grand final appearance in 2008. Eltham's reserves team had earlier also won the 1999 D4 section premiership.

In the decade or so prior to 2018 the Turtles were highly competitive members of the VAFA's Division Two competition (formerly known as E Section), reaching the finals in 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014. The subsequent three seasons were less noteworthy but the Turtles remained sufficiently competitive to retain their Division Two status with some comfort. Then in 2018 the wheels fell off quite spectacularly as the side only managed a solitary win all season in succumbing to the wooden spoon which would have meant relegation to Division Three. However, the 2019 season found the Turtles venturing to new pastures in the shape of the Northern Football League. Now known as Old Eltham Collegians the side struggled somewhat, winning six and drawing one out of 16 fixtures to finish seventh on the nine team premiership ladder.


John Devaney - Full Points Publications


* Behinds calculated from the 1965 season on.
+ Score at the end of extra time.