AFL Betting Tips, Previews & Predictions

The AFL (Australian Football League) is the premier competition in Australian Rules. The AFL consists of 18 teams in five of Australia’s six states. 

The regular season begins in March and culminates in October with the AFL Grand Final at Melbourne Cricket Ground.

The AFL has the highest spectator attendance and television viewership of all sports in Australia. The AFL Grand Final is the highest attended club championship event in the world. 

Latest AFL News


When does the 2020 AFL season start?

The first game of the 2020 AFL season will be played on Thursday, 19 March, 2020.

When is the 2020 AFL Grand Final?

The 2020 AFL Grand Final will be held in late October 2020.

Where is the 2020 AFL Grand Final?

The 2020 AFL Grand Final will be held at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG).

Who won the 2019 AFL Grand Final?

Richmond Tigers won the 2019 AFL Grand Final, winning their 12th Premiership after a convincing 114-25 win against Greater Western Sydney in front of 100,014 spectators at the MCG.

How many teams are in the AFL?

There are currently 18 clubs in the AFL.

What teams play in the AFL?

The 18 teams that currently play in the AFL are Adelaide Crows, Brisbane Lions, Carlton Blues, Collingwood Magpies, Essendon Bombers, Fremantle Dockers, Geelong Cats, Gold Coast Suns, Greater Western Sydney, Hawthorn Hawks, Melbourne Demons, North Melbourne Kangaroos, Port Adelaide Power, Richmond Tigers, St Kilda Saints, Sydney Swans, West Coast Eagles and Western Bulldogs.

AFL Betting Odds

All major bookmakers will offer odds for AFL matches and outright betting markets such as Brownlow Medal Winner, AFL Grand Final Winner, Name The Finalists, To Reach Final, Top 4 Finish, Top 8 Finish, Rising Star Award, Coleman Medal, Top Non-Victorian Club and Top Victorian Club.

AFL Free Bets

Get AFL free bets when you open an account with an online bookmaker. All major bookmakers will feature AFL free bets, promotions and special offers throughout the season including enhanced odds, sign up bonuses and cash back offers. 

As the AFL is an Australian sport, Australian bookmakers will usually have most of the offers. To choose a trustworthy bookmaker that is right for you, check out our bookmaker reviews.

AFL Bet of the Day

Our AFL bet of the day is our best bet and could feature a win bet, total points, handicap / margin or player pick inccluding over/under disposals and over/under goals kicked.

AFL Bonus BetsView more

  • Deposit
    Use bonus code
    Join Now
    Must use BETMGM bonus code NEWWORLD1. Receive a 100% Deposit Match offer on your first deposit up to $600. There is a 2x wagering requirement on the bonus received from this promotion. New customers only. 21+ T&Cs and wagering requirements apply.
  • Deposit
    $500 Bet Credits
    Join Now
    New customers only. 21+ T&Cs and wagering requirements apply. Sign up using the bonus code NEWBONUS, deposit £5 or more to your account and bet365 will match your qualifying deposit in Bet Credits when you place qualifying bets to the same value and they are settled. Min odds/bet and payment method exclusions apply. Returns exclude Bet Credits stake. T&Cs, time limits & exclusions apply. Over 18s. The bonus code NEWBONUS can be used during registration, but does not change the offer amount in any way.
  • Deposit
    Join Now
    Licensed and regulated by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement as an Internet gaming operator in accordance with the Casino Control Act N.J.S.A. 5:12-1 and its implementing regulations. Only customers 21 and over are permitted to play our games. If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, call 1-800-GAMBLER
  • Bet
    Join Now
    New customers only. 21+ T&Cs and wagering requirements apply.
  • Deposit Bonus
    Join Now
    New customers only. 21+ T&Cs and wagering requirements apply.

AFL Live Streaming

Watch all the AFL matches no matter where you are with an AFL Live Pass. Subscribe via the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store within the AFL Live Official App with subscriptions available per week, month or annually.

Live stream AFL outside Australia with WatchAFL, the official international streaming partner of the AFL and watch every match of the AFL Premiership and Finals Series live on-demand. Stream AFL on your compatible mobile, tablet, computer, or TV (using Airplay or Chromecast) wherever you can get a suitable internet connection.

Enjoy watching live sport on the go with the bet365 live streaming service. Watch live sport with bet365 on your phone, iPad, tablet or computer including football, tennis, rugby, baseball, basketball and cricket.

Bet365 have made it simple to switch between the betting markets and live action, meaning wherever you can get an internet signal you can now bet and watch.

To watch a bet365 live stream users must be logged in and have a funded account or to have placed a bet in the last 24 hours. 18+, geo-restrictions & terms and conditions apply.

Who are the AFL Clubs?

There are currently 18 clubs in the AFL with 10 in Victoria, two in Western Australia, two in South Australia, two in Queensland and two in New South Wales.

ClubNicknameStateHome VenueEstablished
AdelaideCrowsSouth AustraliaAdelaide Oval1990
BrisbaneLionsQueenslandThe Gabba1996
CarltonBluesVictoriaDocklands Stadium1864
CollingwoodMagpiesVictoriaMelbourne Cricket Ground1892
EssendonBombersVictoriaDocklands Stadium1871
FremantleDockersWestern AustraliaPerth Stadium1994
GeelongCatsVictoriaKardinia Park1859
Gold CoastSunsQueenslandCarrara Stadium2009
Greater Western SydneyGiantsNew South WalesSydney Showground Stadium2009
HawthornHawksVictoriaMelbourne Cricket Ground1902
MelbourneDemonsVictoriaMelbourne Cricket Ground1858
North MelbourneKangaroosVictoriaDocklands Stadium1869
Port AdelaidePowerSouth AustraliaAdelaide Oval1870
RichmondTigersVictoriaMelbourne Cricket Ground1885
St KildaSaintsVictoriaDocklands Stadium1873
SydneySwansNew South WalesSydney Cricket Ground1874
West CoastEaglesWestern AustraliaPerth Stadium1986
Western BulldogsBulldogsVictoriaDocklands Stadium1877

AFL Ladder

The AFL ladder is a great way to get a snapshot of teams in form and teams that are unlikely to reach the AFL Finals. The AFL ladder will show you how many wins, losses and points each team has alongside for and against including percentage which is used if teams are tied on the same points. 

AFL Fixtures

Get all the latest AFL fixtures from the official site so you can plan ahead and get the best odds before bookmakers react. 

AFL Results

Knowing all the AFL results helps to see what teams are in form and playing well, Conversely, analysing the results will shot what teams are struggling and might be teams to fade or back against.

AFL Replays

Catch up with AFL matches by watching replays on demand with the AFL Live Pass in Australia and the WatchAFL app outside Australia. With the hide scores feature you can watch AFL games on-demand without knowing the result. Watch matches offline by storing a match or show within the apps.

AFL Highlights

Watch all the AFL highlights with the AFL Youtube channel. In addition to highlights the AFL Youtube channel features player specials, top moments, bags of goals and access all areas.

AFL Rumours

Stay in touch with AFL rumours to find out what players of coaches could be moving clubs which could have a dramatic effect on the AFL Premiership race.

AFL News

Stay up to date with all the latest AFL news which includes player injuries, suspensions, results and statistics to give you the best possible chance of finding value in the AFL betting markets:

AFL Social Media

Follow the AFL on all the major social media sites so you don't miss any vital info and to get all the latest news and features:

VFL/AFL Grand Final Premiers and Runners-up

Richmond are the defending Premiers after winning their 12th Premiership in 2019. The Tigers thrashed Greater Western Sydney 114-25 at the MCG.

2020TBATBATBAMelbourne Cricket GroundTBA
2019Richmond (12)Greater Western Sydney17.12 (114) d. 3.7 (25)Melbourne Cricket Ground 100,014
2018West Coast (4)Collingwood (27) 11.13 (79) d. 11.8 (74)Melbourne Cricket Ground100,022
2017Richmond (11)Adelaide16.12 (108) d. 8.12 (60)Melbourne Cricket Ground100,021
2016Western Bulldogs (2)Sydney (12)13.11 (89) d. 10.7 (67)Melbourne Cricket Ground99,981
2015Hawthorn (13)West Coast (3)16.11 (107) d. 8.13 (61)Melbourne Cricket Ground98,633
2014Hawthorn (12)Sydney (11)21.11 (137) d. 11.8 (74)Melbourne Cricket Ground99,454
2013Hawthorn (11)Fremantle11.11 (77) d. 8.14 (62)Melbourne Cricket Ground100,007
2012Sydney (5)Hawthorn (6)14.7 (91) d. 11.15 (81)Melbourne Cricket Ground99,683
2011Geelong (9)Collingwood (26)18.11 (119) d. 12.9 (81)Melbourne Cricket Ground99,537
2010Collingwood (15)St Kilda (6)9.14 (68) drew 10.8 (68)Melbourne Cricket Ground100,016
2010Collingwood (15)St Kilda (6)16.12 (108) d. 7.10 (52)Melbourne Cricket Ground93,853
2009Geelong (8)St Kilda (5)12.8 (80) d. 9.14 (68)Melbourne Cricket Ground99,251
2008Hawthorn (10)Geelong (9)18.7 (115) d. 11.23 (89)Melbourne Cricket Ground100,012
2007Geelong (7)Port Adelaide24.19 (163) d. 6.8 (44)Melbourne Cricket Ground97,302
2006West Coast (3)Sydney (10)12.13 (85) d. 12.12 (84)Melbourne Cricket Ground97,431
2005Sydney (4)West Coast (2)8.10 (58) d. 7.12 (54)Melbourne Cricket Ground91,828
2004Port AdelaideBrisbane Lions17.11 (113) d. 10.13 (73)Melbourne Cricket Ground77,671
2003Brisbane Lions (3)Collingwood (25)20.14 (134) d. 12.12 (84)Melbourne Cricket Ground79,451
2002Brisbane Lions (2)Collingwood (24)10.15 (75) d. 9.12 (66)Melbourne Cricket Ground91,817
2001Brisbane LionsEssendon (14)15.18 (108) d. 12.10 (82)Melbourne Cricket Ground91,482
2000Essendon (16)Melbourne (5)19.21 (135) d. 11.9 (75)Melbourne Cricket Ground96,249
1999North Melbourne (4)Carlton (13)19.10 (124) d. 12.17 (89)Melbourne Cricket Ground94,228
1998Adelaide (2)North Melbourne (5)15.15 (105) d. 8.22 (70)Melbourne Cricket Ground94,431
1997AdelaideSt Kilda (4)19.11 (125) d. 13.16 (94)Melbourne Cricket Ground99,645
1996North Melbourne (3)Sydney (9)19.17 (131) d. 13.10 (88)Melbourne Cricket Ground93,102
1995Carlton (16)Geelong (8)21.15 (141) d. 11.14 (80)Melbourne Cricket Ground93,670
1994West Coast (2)Geelong (7)20.23 (143) d. 8.15 (63)Melbourne Cricket Ground93,860
1993Essendon (15)Carlton (12)20.13 (133) d. 13.11 (89)Melbourne Cricket Ground96,862
1992West CoastGeelong (6)16.17 (113) d. 12.13 (85)Melbourne Cricket Ground95,007
1991Hawthorn (9)West Coast20.19 (139) d. 13.8 (86)VFL Park75,230
1990Collingwood (14)Essendon (13)13.11 (89) d. 5.11 (41)Melbourne Cricket Ground98,944
1989Hawthorn (8)Geelong (5)21.18 (144) d. 21.12 (138)Melbourne Cricket Ground94,796
1988Hawthorn (7)Melbourne (4)22.20 (152) d. 6.20 (56)Melbourne Cricket Ground93,754
1987Carlton (15)Hawthorn (5)15.14 (104) d. 9.17 (71)Melbourne Cricket Ground92,754
1986Hawthorn (6)Carlton (11)16.14 (110) d. 9.14 (68)Melbourne Cricket Ground101,861
1985Essendon (14)Hawthorn (4)26.14 (170) d. 14.8 (92)Melbourne Cricket Ground100,042
1984Essendon (13)Hawthorn (3)14.21 (105) d. 12.9 (81)Melbourne Cricket Ground92,685
1983Hawthorn (5)Essendon (12)20.20 (140) d. 8.9 (57)Melbourne Cricket Ground110,332
1982Carlton (14)Richmond (12)14.19 (103) d. 12.13 (85)Melbourne Cricket Ground107,537
1981Carlton (13)Collingwood (23)12.20 (92) d. 10.12 (72)Melbourne Cricket Ground112,964
1980Richmond (10)Collingwood (22)23.21 (159) d. 9.24 (78)Melbourne Cricket Ground113,461
1979Carlton (12)Collingwood (21)11.16 (82) d. 11.11 (77)Melbourne Cricket Ground113,545
1978Hawthorn (4)North Melbourne (4)18.13 (121) d. 15.13 (103)Melbourne Cricket Ground101,704
1977North Melbourne (2)Collingwood (20)9.22 (76) drew 10.16 (76)Melbourne Cricket Ground108,224
1977North Melbourne (2)Collingwood (20)21.25 (151) d. 19.10 (124)Melbourne Cricket Ground98,366
1976Hawthorn (3)North Melbourne (3)13.22 (100) d. 10.10 (70)Melbourne Cricket Ground110,143
1975North MelbourneHawthorn (2)19.8 (122) d. 9.13 (67)Melbourne Cricket Ground110,551
1974Richmond (9)North Melbourne (2)18.20 (128) d. 13.9 (87)Melbourne Cricket Ground113,839
1973Richmond (8)Carlton (10)16.20 (116) d. 12.14 (86)Melbourne Cricket Ground116,956
1972Carlton (11)Richmond (11)28.9 (177) d. 22.18 (150)Melbourne Cricket Ground112,393
1971Hawthorn (2)St Kilda (3)12.10 (82) d. 11.9 (75)Melbourne Cricket Ground118,192
1970Carlton (10)Collingwood (19)17.9 (111) d. 14.17 (101)Melbourne Cricket Ground121,696
1969Richmond (7)Carlton (9)12.13 (85) d. 8.12 (60)Melbourne Cricket Ground119,165
1968Carlton (9)Essendon (11)7.14 (56) d. 8.5 (53)Melbourne Cricket Ground116,828
1967Richmond (6)Geelong (4)16.18 (114) d. 15.15 (105)Melbourne Cricket Ground109,396
1966St KildaCollingwood (18)10.14 (74) d. 10.13 (73)Melbourne Cricket Ground101,655
1965Essendon (12)St Kilda (2)14.21 (105) d. 9.16 (70)Melbourne Cricket Ground104,846
1964Melbourne (12)Collingwood (17)8.16 (64) d. 8.12 (60)Melbourne Cricket Ground102,469
1963Geelong (6)Hawthorn15.19 (109) d. 8.12 (60)Melbourne Cricket Ground101,452
1962Essendon (11)Carlton (8)13.12 (90) d. 8.10 (58)Melbourne Cricket Ground98,385
1961HawthornFootscray13.16 (94) d. 7.9 (51)Melbourne Cricket Ground107,935
1960Melbourne (11)Collingwood (16)8.14 (62) d. 2.2 (14)Melbourne Cricket Ground97,457
1959Melbourne (10)Essendon (10)17.13 (115) d. 11.12 (78)Melbourne Cricket Ground103,506
1958Collingwood (13)Melbourne (3)12.10 (82) d. 9.10 (64)Melbourne Cricket Ground97,956
1957Melbourne (9)Essendon (9)17.14 (116) d. 7.13 (55)Melbourne Cricket Ground100,324
1956Melbourne (8)Collingwood (15)17.19 (121) d. 6.12 (48)Melbourne Cricket Ground115,803
1955Melbourne (7)Collingwood (14)8.16 (64) d. 5.6 (36)Melbourne Cricket Ground88,053
1954FootscrayMelbourne (2)15.12 (102) d. 7.9 (51)Melbourne Cricket Ground80,897
1953Collingwood (12)Geelong (3)11.11 (77) d. 8.17 (65)Melbourne Cricket Ground89,060
1952Geelong (5)Collingwood (13)13.8 (86) d. 5.10 (40)Melbourne Cricket Ground81,304
1951Geelong (4)Essendon (8)11.15 (81) d. 10.10 (70)Melbourne Cricket Ground84,109
1950Essendon (10)North Melbourne13.14 (92) d. 7.12 (54)Melbourne Cricket Ground87,601
1949Essendon (9)Carlton (7)18.17 (125) d. 6.16 (52)Melbourne Cricket Ground90,453
1948Melbourne (6)Essendon (7)10.9 (69) drew 7.27 (69)Melbourne Cricket Ground85,658
1948Melbourne (6)Essendon (7)13.11 (89) d. 7.8 (50)Melbourne Cricket Ground52,226
1947Carlton (8)Essendon (6)13.8 (86) d. 11.19 (85)Melbourne Cricket Ground85,815
1946Essendon (8)Melbourne22.18 (150) d. 13.9 (87)Melbourne Cricket Ground73,743
1945Carlton (7)South Melbourne (8)15.13 (103) d. 10.15 (75)Princes Park62,986
1944Fitzroy (8)Richmond (10)9.12 (66) d. 7.9 (51)Junction Oval43,000
1943Richmond (5)Essendon (5)12.14 (86) d. 11.15 (81)Princes Park42,100
1942Essendon (7)Richmond (9)19.18 (132) d. 11.13 (79)Princes Park49,000
1941Melbourne (5)Essendon (4)19.13 (127) d. 13.20 (98)Melbourne Cricket Ground79,687
1940Melbourne (4)Richmond (8)15.17 (107) d. 10.8 (68)Melbourne Cricket Ground70,330
1939Melbourne (3)Collingwood (12)21.22 (148) d. 14.11 (95)Melbourne Cricket Ground78,110
1938Carlton (6)Collingwood (11)15.10 (100) d. 13.7 (85)Melbourne Cricket Ground96,486
1937Geelong (3)Collingwood (10)18.14 (122) d. 12.18 (90)Melbourne Cricket Ground88,540
1936Collingwood (11)South Melbourne (7)11.23 (89) d. 10.18 (78)Melbourne Cricket Ground74,091
1935Collingwood (10)South Melbourne (6)11.12 (78) d. 7.16 (58)Melbourne Cricket Ground54,154
1934Richmond (4)South Melbourne (5)19.14 (128) d. 12.17 (89)Melbourne Cricket Ground65,335
1933South Melbourne (3)Richmond (7)9.17 (71) d. 4.5 (29)Melbourne Cricket Ground75,754
1932Richmond (3)Carlton (6)13.14 (92) d. 12.11 (83)Melbourne Cricket Ground69,724
1931Geelong (2)Richmond (6)9.14 (68) d. 7.6 (48)Melbourne Cricket Ground60,712
1930Collingwood (9)Geelong (2)14.16 (100) d. 9.16 (70)Melbourne Cricket Ground45,022
1929Collingwood (8)Richmond (5)11.13 (79) d. 7.8 (50)Melbourne Cricket Ground63,336
1928Collingwood (7)Richmond (4)13.18 (96) d. 9.9 (63)Melbourne Cricket Ground50,026
1927Collingwood (6)Richmond (3)2.13 (25) d. 1.7 (13)Melbourne Cricket Ground34,551
1926Melbourne (2)Collingwood (9)17.17 (119) d. 9.8 (62)Melbourne Cricket Ground59,632
1925GeelongCollingwood (8)10.19 (79) d. 9.15 (69)Melbourne Cricket Ground64,288
1924Essendon (6)Richmond (2)N/AN/AN/A
1923Essendon (5)Fitzroy (5)8.15 (63) d. 6.10 (46)Melbourne Cricket Ground46,566
1922Fitzroy (7)Collingwood (7)11.13 (79) d. 9.14 (68)Melbourne Cricket Ground50,054
1921Richmond (2)Carlton (5)5.6 (36) d. 4.8 (32)Melbourne Cricket Ground43,122
1920RichmondCollingwood (6)7.10 (52) d. 5.5 (35)Melbourne Cricket Ground53,908
1919Collingwood (5)Richmond11.12 (78) d. 7.11 (53)Melbourne Cricket Ground45,413
1918South Melbourne (2)Collingwood (5)9.8 (62) d. 7.15 (57)Melbourne Cricket Ground39,262
1917Collingwood (4)Fitzroy (4)9.20 (74) d. 5.9 (39)Melbourne Cricket Ground25,512
1916Fitzroy (6)Carlton (4)12.13 (85) d. 8.8 (56)Melbourne Cricket Ground21,130
1915Carlton (5)Collingwood (4)11.12 (78) d. 6.9 (45)Melbourne Cricket Ground39,343
1914Carlton (4)South Melbourne (4)6.9 (45) d. 4.15 (39)Melbourne Cricket Ground30,495
1913Fitzroy (5)St Kilda7.14 (56) d. 5.13 (43)Melbourne Cricket Ground59,556
1912Essendon (4)South Melbourne (3)5.17 (47) d. 4.9 (33)Melbourne Cricket Ground54,434
1911Essendon (3)Collingwood (3)5.11 (41) d. 4.11 (35)Melbourne Cricket Ground43,905
1910Collingwood (3)Carlton (3)9.7 (61) d. 6.11 (47)Melbourne Cricket Ground42,790
1909South MelbourneCarlton (2)4.14 (38) d. 4.12 (36)Melbourne Cricket Ground37,759
1908Carlton (3)Essendon (3)5.5 (35) d. 3.8 (26)Melbourne Cricket Ground50,261
1907Carlton (2)South Melbourne (2)6.14 (50) d. 6.9 (45)Melbourne Cricket Ground45,477
1906CarltonFitzroy (3)15.4 (94) d. 6.9 (45)Melbourne Cricket Ground44,437
1905Fitzroy (4)Collingwood (2)4.6 (30) d. 2.5 (17)Melbourne Cricket Ground30,000
1904Fitzroy (3)Carlton9.7 (61) d. 5.7 (37)Melbourne Cricket Ground32,688
1903Collingwood (2)Fitzroy (2)4.7 (31) d. 3.11 (29)Melbourne Cricket Ground32,263
1902CollingwoodEssendon (2)9.6 (60) d. 3.9 (27)Melbourne Cricket Ground35,202
1901Essendon (2)Collingwood6.7 (43) d. 2.4 (16)Lake Oval30,031
1900MelbourneFitzroy4.10 (34) d. 3.12 (30)East Melbourne Cricket Ground20,181
1899Fitzroy (2)South Melbourne3.9 (27) d. 3.8 (26)Junction Oval4,823
1898FitzroyEssendon5.8 (38) d. 3.5 (23)Junction Oval16,538

Who are the most successful VFL/AFL clubs?

The Essendon Bombers and Carlton Blues and have each won 16 VFL/AFL premierships with the Collingwood Magpies next best with 15. The Hawthorn Hawks have won 13 premierships, Melbourne Demons and Richmond Tigers 12 followed by Geelong Cats on nine.

The Sydney Swans have won five premierships with North Melbourne Kangaroos and West Coast Eagles next best with four each.

South Melbourne/Sydney1897–present512
North Melbourne/Kangaroos1925–present45
West Coast1987–present43
Brisbane Lions1997–present31
Footscray/Western Bulldogs[e]1925–present21
St Kilda1897–present16
Port Adelaide1997–present11
Greater Western Sydney2012–present 01
Brisbane Bears1987–199600
Gold Coast2011–present00

Betting on AFL

There are more than 100 different ways to bet on a game of Australian Rules. In the 2017 season there were only three draws in 198 games so it's not a profitable betting option. Here are some of the most common types of AFL betting markets: 

Head to Head: Also known as the win market, simply select which team you think will win the game. 

Line: The line in Australian rules is simply a handicap. If the line is set at -29.5 against your team, they must win by 30 points or more for your bet to cash. Alternatively, if the line is +29.5 for your selected team, they must lose by 29 points or less for your bet to cash.

Total Match Points: The bookmaker will set a total number of combined points to be scored in the match, you select if the total will go over or under that number.

Australian Rules & AFL History

Australian Rules originated in Melbourne, Australia in 1858. Australian Rules has a proud history with the Melbourne Football Club publishing the first laws of the game in May 1859, making it the oldest of the world’s major football codes.

The Victorian Football Association (VFA) was established in 1877 before a split in the game saw six of the strongest clubs - Collingwood, Essendon, Fitzroy, Geelong, Melbourne and South Melbourne - break away from the VFA. They invited Carlton and St Kilda to participate in the inaugural Victorian Football League (VFL) season in 1897.

The VFL's inaugural season made changes to the competition structure, namely including an annual finals tournament and establishing the modern scoring system where six points are awarded for a goal and one point for a behind.

In 1908 the VFL expanded to ten teams with the addition of Richmond and University Football Clubs. University were a disaster, finishing last in each season from 1911-14 and losing 51 consecutive matches in a row, forcing them to withdraw from the VFL at the end of 1914.
Footscray were the premiers of the VFA in 1924 and defeated VFL premiers Essendon in the Championship of Victoria. As a result Footscray, Hawthorn and North Melbourne gained entry into the VFL from the VFA in 1925.

Melbourne were dominant during the 1950s and early 1960s under legendary coach Norm Smith and influential midfielder Ron Barassi. The Demons qualified for seven consecutive grand finals between 1954 and 1960, winning five premierships including three in a row from 1955 to 1957.

Ron Barassi
Ron Barassi guided the Melbourne Demons to unprecedented success from 1954-1960 (Getty Images)

The 1980s saw the structure of Australian football change around the country. The VFL was the most dominant state league and used their financial power to recruit top interstate players. Some of Victoria’s weaker clubs struggled to survive, with the South Melbourne Swans becoming the first VFL club to relocate interstate. 

South Melbourne renamed themselves the Sydney Swans in 1983 and became a successful team due to the private ownership of wealthy Dr Geoffrey Edelsten.

In 1986, the West Australian Football League and Queensland Australian Football League were awarded licences to establish teams in the VFL. This led to the creation of the West Coast Eagles and Brisbane Bears who joined the VFL in 1987.

The first National Draft was introduced in 1986 and a salary cap was introduced in 1987 which have remained since. In 1990 the competition's name was changed from the VFL to the Australian Football League (AFL) which reflected the introduction of interstate teams.

The West Coast Eagles won the AFL Grand Final in 1992 to become the first non-Victorian team to win an AFL premiership. The Adelaide Crows joined the AFL in 1991 and in 1994 the Fremantle Football Club was formed in Western Australia, joining the AFL in 1995.

 West Coast Eagles 1992
The West Coast Eagles became the first team outside Victoria to win the AFL Grand Final in 1992 (Getty Images)

Port Adelaide were awarded an AFL licence in 1994 but had to wait until Victorian team folded or merged. Fitzroy merged with Brisbane to form the Brisbane Lions at the end of 1996 which allowed Port Adelaide to enter the AFL for the 1997 season.

The 1990s saw many Melbourne-based teams move from smaller suburban venues to the larger MCG and Waverley Park. As such, the last matches were played at Windy Hill (Essendon), Moorabbin Oval (St Kilda), Western Oval (Footscray) and Victoria Park (Collingwood) with Princes Park abandoned by Hawthorn and then Carlton in 2005.

The AFL sold Waverley Park stadium in 1999 which facilitated the construction of a new stadium at Melbourne's Docklands. 

The AFL continued to expand with the introduction of the Gold Coast Suns in 2011 and Greater Western Sydney Giants in 2012. The first AFL match for premiership points was played in Shanghai, China on the 14th of May 2017 with Port Adelaide defeating the Gold Coast by 72 points.