Notwithstanding the site’s self-imposed goal of comprehensiveness, australianfootball.com is, and will always remain, a work in progress. In one sense we can call the first incarnation of the site, launched back in June 2012, ‘australianfootball.com 1.0’, and from that point, it has been expanding consistently with the addition of many new features and content. A 'coming soon' feature will be to track all those changes in a numbered pattern and see exactly where we are at.
To allow readers to gain a better understanding of what content we now have on the site in 2017, as well as the content we’ll be adding going forward, we have prepared a summary below.
The core of the club and player profiles on the site. together with over one hundred articles, comes from the former ‘Full Points Footy’ (FPF) website and associated publications, written by John Devaney. At this stage, about 90% of the FPF content has been incorporated, the major missing elements being a number of tables, lists, and ladders of various competitions, interstate football (an oversight that we are keen to correct asap), great games, the glossary, and the various ‘Teams of the Century’, official and unofficial’ from various competitions. Almost all these materials are slated for inclusion in coming incarnations of the site.
The core of the statistical content of the site, at least as far as the V/AFL is concerned, comes from the current ‘AFL Tables’ site operated by Paul Jeffs, supplemented by AFL sources, such as Col Hutchinson, and the various publications and websites of the league and constituent clubs.
V/AFL - The full fixture and match results for all V/AFL seasons, 1897-2017, are included.
WAFL - The full fixture and match results for all WAFL seasons, 1898-2017, are included. We still need to source and confirm match data for the period, 1885-1897.
SANFL - The full fixture and match results for all SANFL seasons, 1897-2017, are included. We still need to source and confirm match data for the period, 1877-1896.
VFL - The full fixture and match results for all VFL seasons, 1996-2017, are included.
VFL Reserves - The full fixture and match results for all VFL Reserves seasons, 1984-2017, are included. We still need to source and confirm match data for the period, 1919-1999.
VFA - The full fixture and match results for all VFA seasons for the seasons, 1886-1995, are included. We still need to source and confirm match data for the period, 1877-1885.
TSL - The full fixture and match results for all TSL seasons, 1886-1995, are included. We still need to source and confirm match data for the period, 1879-2000.
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 1,000 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 goalkicking tables, and award winners, just to name a few. Eventually, 'official' lists, such as these will find their way into an expanded 'StatsHub' section (where some of the major award winners 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 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.