Australian Rules Football 

by Sasha Uzunov

The Tasmanian side that will in 2028 enter as the 19th team in AFL, the top Australian Rules Football competition in Australia, will be only the seventh club formed by Australian citizens to do so. 

It is expected to announce its club colours, name, and logo next month, March, as soon as it can, bizarrely, sort out a copyright dispute with US entertainment company Warner Brothers over the use of the Tasmanian Devil, Tasmania’s state animal emblem and also a cartoon character owned by Warner Brothers!

The AFL (known as VFL until 1990) was formed in 1896 by British people in the then British colony of Victoria, now part of the independent state of the Commonwealth of Australia.

Australia consists of six states: New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria, South Australia, Tasmania, and Western Australia, which were six seperate British colonies until they merged to form one self governing British colony or dominion, Australia in 1901. By 1942 Australia had become independent from Britain, which had began colonising Australia in 1788 after encountering indigenous peoples already here.

West Coast Eagles from Perth, Western Australia, and Brisbane, from Queensland, became the first 2 clubs formed by Australian citizens to enter the AFL (VFL) in 1987.  

Other clubs formed by Australian citizens soon followed: Adelaide Crows from South Australia, Freemantle Dockers from Western Australia, Gold Coast Suns from Queensland, and the Greater Western Sydney Giants from New South Wales.

The 12 AFL clubs formed by British people are: Carlton, Collingwood, Essendon, Geelong, Hawthorn, Melbourne, North Melbourne, Richmond, St Kilda, Sydney Swans (formerly South Melbourne), Western Bulldogs (Footscray) and Port Adelaide.  

In 1992 West Coast Eagles made AFL and Australian sporting history by becoming by the first club formed by Australian citizens to win the top prize, the AFL Grand Final.