It’s been a big month of football across the state for many leagues, including the Victorian FIDA Football League which has seen six Grand Finals over the past month.
The Western Conference has been dominated by the Ballarat Bulldogs over the past three years, taking out the last three Premierships. This year, they came up against a determined Hamilton Boomers side in the Grand Final, boasting three players who represented VIC COUNTRY at this year’s National Inclusion Carnival (John Greengrass, Jonathan Trotter and Tom Brody). It was a close match with the Boomers taking out their first ever premiership 4.2.26 to 2.7.19, breaking the Bulldogs’ winning streak.
The CVGT Australia Northern Conference has increased its numbers to now have six clubs with the introduction of Bendigo in 2018, who won the premiership in their inaugural year. The final carnival of the year was hosted at Wangaratta where the Wodonga Bulldogs and Wangaratta Merriwa Magpies played off in the Grand Final. It was the Bulldogs who were victorious 6.3.39 to 0.0.0.
The WISE Employment Metro Conference hosted its Grand Finals at Central Reserve, home of the Mazenod Panthers, with four matches across the four Metro Divisions.
The Division 4 Grand Final between Kananook and SFX Saints was always going to be an entertaining match as the two top teams from throughout the year went head-to-head. SFX were without their Captain Kelvin Walters which was always going to make it an uphill battle. The game was unfortunately cut short due to an injury, however Kananook were too strong for the Saints, starting the day with 48-14 win.
Coburg Lions and Ringwood played another great match in the Division 3 Grand Final, showcasing the spirit of FIDA including sportsmanship and respect throughout their match. Ringwood was missing some key players due to injury, resulting in the Lions being too strong in the end, defeating the Spiders 12.12.84 to 4.7.31.
The match of the day belonged to the Lower Plenty Bears and Geelong Dragons in Division 2. The Dragons took part in the Metro Conference for the first time in 2019, fielding a second side to go with their Western Conference team. Lower Plenty has been building over the past few seasons and were the team to beat over the course of the year. The match was tied at quarter time, and from their it remained a physical contest, with only one solitary point separating the two teams at the end of the day. When the final siren sounded the Bears were ahead and players, coaches, friends and family stormed onto the field to celebrate 5.4.34 to 5.3.33 win.
Playing in their second final of the day, the Kananook Bulls were on the verge of an undefeated season as they faced the Ferntree Gully Eagles in Division 1. The Bulls jumped out to a quick start, kicking six goals to zero in the first quarter and didn’t look back from there. Although FTG failed to make the most of their opportunities in the second quarter, kicking four behinds, it wasn’t enough to reel in Kananook who ran away eventual winners 16.7.103 to 3.6.24.
The Victorian FIDA Football League exists to provide people with an intellectual disability the opportunity to play football at a competitive level.
In season 2019, 30 teams and over 800 registered participants took part in metropolitan and country competitions state-wide. AFL Victoria would like to thank the FIDA Committee for their ongoing support and contributions, CVGT Australia and WISE Employment for their sponsorship. AFL Victoria also thanks all clubs and volunteers for their tireless work to make the program a huge success.