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Pre VFL Fixtures

Some of these Home / Away entries may be incorrect.
Match previews or reviews of the day hardly mentioned home or away grounds. In fact when the fixtures were published for the year many times they would put the visiting team in first, eg: Carlton vs Geelong on the Corio Oval.
Many junior clubs had their home grounds in Royal Park and Richmond Paddock. A junior club does not mean that it is a youth team, it just means that it is not of senior status. Essendon was a junior club for the first few years of its existence, and they initially played against Carlton's Second Twenty team. When a senior club played against a junior club they would generally play against odds in these matches. For example Carlton 18 v Local Forces 20 or Carlton 20 v North Williamstown 23.
As Carlton would have developed one of the best grounds in Royal Park, and unless stated, it is presumed that that is where the match was played - as a Carlton home game.
Senior clubs with a ground in Royal Park, eg North Melbourne, are marked as unknown* until further details become available.
The Melbourne Football Club in the early days played on an outside ground adjacent to the M. C. G. it is written here as Metropolitan/Melbourne ground or Melbourne F.G. (Melbourne Football Ground)
After initially allowing football to be played on the M.C.G., the Melbourne Cricket Club soon banned footballers from the arena fearing damage to the surface. However, in 1877 when Carlton played Melbourne on the ground an entrance fee was charged, the M. C. C. soon saw the monetary benefit it could gain, and football matches started to be regularly played there.
Many teams played matches on the East Melbourne and the M.C.G. grounds so some of these entries may be incorrect.
Carlton's home ground was the M.C.G. from 1885 - 1890, this was actually before it became Melbourne's home in 1891 when the M.C.C. took over the running of the cash strapped football club.
After the Blues had been removed as the resident tenant of the M.C.G. they continued to play some home games there and also at East Melbourne, South Melbourne, the Warehouseman's Ground, and even on Victoria Park.
The first senior game the newly formed Collingwood club played was against Carlton at Victoria Park in 1892. This was a Carlton home game as the Blues had fixtured an extra match to help the newcomers out because Collingwood had only arranged for 17 games and 18 were needed to compete for the VFA premiership. Three matches against the 'Woods were arranged at Vic Park that year, so is that one or two Carlton home games?
For their first 33 years the Blues were the only senior club that did not have a permanent home.
The suburb of Carlton never had its own local government and still is controlled by the Melbourne City Council. Essendon was not playing in the Essendon area but they had a long term agreement with the East Melbourne Cricket Club which lasted up until the 1920's when the Victorian Railways took over the ground to extend the railway yards, and the club moved to the Essendon suburb's 'Windy Hill' ground in Napier Street.

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Pre VFL | Pre VFL Venues | VFL / AFL Fixtures