Essendon Town

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BenDoolan
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Essendon Town

Post by BenDoolan » Tue Jan 29, 2019 6:13 pm

Thanks to grassy’s 1894 reflection, I thought I would share the little known club that began in 1900 to play in the VFA at the Essendon Recreation Ground (Windy Hill).

Essendon obviously broke away from the VFA in 1897 and won the first ever VFL premiership. The club was playing its matches at the East Melbourne Cricket Ground.

Essendon locals wanted a team to play in the district, and thus, Essendon Town was created to play at Windy Hill in the VFA.

In 1903, it had a winless season and took out the wooden spoon. In 1905 they changed their name to the Essendon Football Club. To distinguish it from the VFL club, it was referred to Essendon Association Football Club, Essendon VFA, or Essendon A.

The club’s most successful period came between 1908-1914 where it competed in the finals each year. The club won back to back premierships in 1911 and 1912 - the exact same result for Essendon VFL.

In the 1912 premiership season, Essendon Association full forward Dave McNamara became the first VFA player to kick over 100 goals.

The club was left without a home ground when the Essendon League club relocated to Essendon Recreation Reserve (Windy Hill) in October 1921. With no alternatives, and diminished local support, the club disbanded in December 1921.

1911 Grand Final:
Essendon Association 4.10: 34
Brunswick 3.8: 26

Goals: McNamara 2, Gough, McCann

1912 Grand Final:
Essendon Association 9.8: 62
Footscray 5.11:41

Goals: McNamara 3, Clarke 3, Hoare, Lewis, Sevior

Very weird times back then. Most locals would have been with the original club that participated in the VFA then joined the VFL. But a club that virtually had the same name, colours, and playing out of Windy Hill would have been strange. I wonder if locals chose one over the other - or even supported both!

Hail the DREADNOUGHTS!!
Unfortunately, you can't drown a witch!

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Windy_Hill
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Re: Essendon Town

Post by Windy_Hill » Tue Jan 29, 2019 8:36 pm

Thanks BD

Very interesting

grassy1
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Re: Essendon Town

Post by grassy1 » Tue Jan 29, 2019 10:21 pm

Thanks for that Ben.Most informative! =D>

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Windy Hille
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Re: Essendon Town

Post by Windy Hille » Mon Feb 04, 2019 3:44 pm

Never heard of this! Is this part of Essendon’s history? Sounds like a separate club so I guess not. Fascinating though.

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BenDoolan
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Re: Essendon Town

Post by BenDoolan » Mon Feb 04, 2019 7:22 pm

Windy Hille wrote:
Mon Feb 04, 2019 3:44 pm
Never heard of this! Is this part of Essendon’s history? Sounds like a separate club so I guess not. Fascinating though.
You answered your own question.

But more info...
ESSENDON ASSOCIATION
Formed as Essendon Town in 1900 the club spent a predominantly successful twenty year stint in the VFA (excluding the 1916 and 1917 seasons when the competition was in recess). The club was established because many of the inhabitants of Essendon were unhappy that the VFL club which bore the district’s name was based at East Melbourne. They wanted a club which would be truly representative of the district, and would play its home matches there.

Changing its name to Essendon Association (more commonly referred to as just ‘Essendon A’) in 1905 the club gradually emerged as a force, contesting every finals series between 1908 and 1914 for flags in 1911 and 1912.

Arguably the club’s most renowned player was key forward Dave McNamara who booted 81 goals in 1911 and the following season became the first player in a major competition to crack the hundred goal barrier with a total of 107 for the year.

In 1922 VFL club Essendon relocated to Essendon A’s home ground of Windy Hill forcing the VFA side to undergo a nominal merger with North Melbourne (shades of the Brisbane Bears and Fitzroy more than seventy years later) which effectively ended its existence as an autonomous entity.

Overall, the Dreadnoughts enjoyed a success rate of 45.5% and contested the finals on seven occasions. On the debit side, the team claimed three wooden spoons, in 1903 (when it failed to win a game all year), 1906 and 1919.
The bit I don’t get is, it states the club “disbanded” in 1922, yet says it merged with North Melbourne. What part of it merged? Certainly not any of the colours, name, or nickname...
Unfortunately, you can't drown a witch!

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boncer34
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Re: Essendon Town

Post by boncer34 » Wed Feb 06, 2019 8:59 am

North disbanded in 1921 as they were gonna merge with the VFL side in 1922. However that move got blocked (by who depends on who you talk to) leaving North without a license or identity in the VFA or VFL.

Coz Essendon Town were homeless and stuffed due to us taking Windy Hill, North ended up taking them over.
Essendon Football Club- We arent arrogant, just better.

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BenDoolan
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Re: Essendon Town

Post by BenDoolan » Thu Feb 07, 2019 8:37 am

boncer34 wrote:
Wed Feb 06, 2019 8:59 am
North disbanded in 1921 as they were gonna merge with the VFL side in 1922. However that move got blocked (by who depends on who you talk to) leaving North without a license or identity in the VFA or VFL.

Coz Essendon Town were homeless and stuffed due to us taking Windy Hill, North ended up taking them over.
Ha! Wow, hardly a merge. Just a substitute with a name change!

Interesting times back then.
Unfortunately, you can't drown a witch!

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boncer34
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Re: Essendon Town

Post by boncer34 » Thu Feb 07, 2019 9:54 am

BenDoolan wrote:
Thu Feb 07, 2019 8:37 am
boncer34 wrote:
Wed Feb 06, 2019 8:59 am
North disbanded in 1921 as they were gonna merge with the VFL side in 1922. However that move got blocked (by who depends on who you talk to) leaving North without a license or identity in the VFA or VFL.

Coz Essendon Town were homeless and stuffed due to us taking Windy Hill, North ended up taking them over.
Ha! Wow, hardly a merge. Just a substitute with a name change!

Interesting times back then.
I don't think the North Melboure/Essendon Town thing was ever slated as a merger. I'm almost positive it was just North grabbing the Essendon Town license so they'd have a spot in a league.

The merger was Essendon/North VFL which never happened. Its how Syd Barker ended up playing for us.
Essendon Football Club- We arent arrogant, just better.

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BenDoolan
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Re: Essendon Town

Post by BenDoolan » Thu Feb 07, 2019 1:47 pm

boncer34 wrote:
Thu Feb 07, 2019 9:54 am
BenDoolan wrote:
Thu Feb 07, 2019 8:37 am
boncer34 wrote:
Wed Feb 06, 2019 8:59 am
North disbanded in 1921 as they were gonna merge with the VFL side in 1922. However that move got blocked (by who depends on who you talk to) leaving North without a license or identity in the VFA or VFL.

Coz Essendon Town were homeless and stuffed due to us taking Windy Hill, North ended up taking them over.
Ha! Wow, hardly a merge. Just a substitute with a name change!

Interesting times back then.
I don't think the North Melboure/Essendon Town thing was ever slated as a merger. I'm almost positive it was just North grabbing the Essendon Town license so they'd have a spot in a league.

The merger was Essendon/North VFL which never happened. Its how Syd Barker ended up playing for us.
Bizarre stuff!

His career stated at “Essendon A” or Essendon Town before joining Richmond in their inaugural VFL season in 1908. He didn’t last long there, and came back to the VFA, but with North Melbourne.

As you said, he joined Essendon in mid 1921 in good faith that a merger would go ahead between Essendon VFL and North Melbourne - which never occurred. He was then stuck at Essendon. He became captain coach in 1922, and then led the club to back to back premierships in 1923/24.

Fascinating stuff!
Unfortunately, you can't drown a witch!

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boncer34
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Re: Essendon Town

Post by boncer34 » Fri Feb 08, 2019 7:53 am

Go say that on bigfooty BD.

North posters on there still hate Essendon for it, apparently we screwed them over. They of course have a weird understanding of history.
Essendon Football Club- We arent arrogant, just better.

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