The first recorded game of Australian Football played in the Riverina was played in Wagga Wagga in 1881 between Wagga Wagga and Albury. From that time on a competition was played in Riverina up to the present day. There have been many name changes and amalgamations along the way.
The following is a brief look at the changes that have occurred. WAGGA WAGGA First game 1881 A competition formed in 1884 and was played in Wagga Wagga over the next eleven (11) years from 1884 to 1896. There was no competition in 1888 and 1893. Murrumbidgee District Football Association: In 1897, for just one year a competition named the Murrumbidgee District Football Association was formed. Premiers for that year were Federals Football Club. Wagga United Football Association: In 1898 that became the Wagga United Football Association and remained so for the next twenty four years finishing in 1921. Riverina Mainline Competition: The next three years, 1922 to 1924, saw the competition renamed the Riverina Mainline Competition. Rock and District Association: Another change for just two years and 1925 and 1926 was the Rock and District Association. Wagga and District Association Changed to Wagga and District Association lasted just one year, 1927 when Mangoplah defeated The Rock in that year’s premiership. Wagga Football Association: Wagga Football Association began in 1928 with Mango again defeating The Rock. This competition continued, albeit with some changes in name and format, up to the amalgamation of all local football at the end of 1981.
South Western District Football League commenced in 1894 when that year Coolamon defeated Methul in the grand final. With the exception of 1915 to 1917 ( World War I ) and 1941 and 1942 ( World War II ) the competition was played up to 1981 where Narrandera defeated Ariah Park in the grand final. Sunday football commenced in the South West in 1947. With five years lost by World Wars and two (2) more where there was no competition (’30 and ’37) the South Western District Football League existed for eighty seven (87) years. During that time Ganmain won twenty seven (27) premierships. Far and away the most successful club.
The Farrer Football League commenced in 1930 and in that format remained in existence until 1981 a total of 51 years. They to went into recess from 1941 – 1945 for the duration of World War II. The first premiership was won by Henty who defeated Albury Rovers in 1930 and the last premiership was won by Wagga Tigers who defeated Mangoplah Cookadinia United in 1981. Mangoplah ( later MCU ) won 14 premierships over that time and Wagga Tigers won 10 premierships.
In 1982 there was a major reshuffle of all clubs in the area. The South Western District Football League, the Farrer Football League and the Central Riverina Football League were all combined into two groups the Riverina Football League and the Riverina District Football League. Riverina Football League comprised most of the old South West clubs with North Wagga, Wagga Tigers and East Wagga Kooringal from the Farrer League and Barellan from the Central Riverina League. A number of changes and re-structuring has taken place from 1982 to 1995 where now both leagues come under one umbrella, the Murrumbidgee Valley Australian Football Association.
The Murrumbidgee Valley Australian Football Association stretches from Griffith in the west to Wagga in the east and from The Rock Yerong Creek in the south to Ariah Park in the North. fifteen clubs making up the association with a total of 1246 registered players. Combine this with the netball competitions running in both leagues and the strong junior affiliations the majority of clubs have, sees a huge participation rate in Australian Football and the associated activities
RIVERINA FOOTBALL LEAGUE:
Coolamon Eastern Hawks Ganmain Grong Grong Matong Griffith Leeton / Whitton Narrandera Turvey Park Mangoplah Cookadinia United Eastlakes
FARRER FOOTBALL LEAGUE:
Ardlethan Ariah Park Mirrool (Northern Jets) Amalgamation in 2004 Collingullie Ashmont Kapooka Marrar North Wagga Rivcoll Temora The Rock Yerong Creek