Query What made St Kilda so bad in the early VFL days?

DeIulio2Pearce

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Yeah I heard someone mentioned it and was surprised as I'd not heard of it. Maybe I misheard/they were mistaken.
There was a lot of hyperbole in the press about the financial viability of the club after the cap saga, probably that. Financial viability has never and will never be an issue at Carlton. As for the onfield....
 

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PerthBoy86

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There was a lot of hyperbole in the press about the financial viability of the club after the cap saga, probably that. Financial viability has never and will never be an issue at Carlton. As for the onfield....
Yeah might've been that. Hard to imagine one of the big clubs folding now.
 

emuboy

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I think so, yeah. The move to Moorabbin really was a defining point for the Saints, more so than the premiership, it gave them a proper home and geographic catchment, which put them at an advantage over South and Fitzroy in terms of the clubs that have been lost.

South never had a geographic supporter catchment, Fitzroy never had a home.

St Kilda’s zoning is what rooted them onfield, as “the club of the south” they didn’t have access to the area down to the peninsula. For decades, champion after champion came out of that area... and went to Hawthorn.
St Kilda had Ballarat as its country zone during its dark days from the mid 1970s to the late 1980s. Much was made of the Richmond, North Melbourne, Hawthorn and Carlton country zones assisting these clubs win all premierships from 1967-1989, but given the large population of the Ballarat region and its relative closeness to Melbourne, this should have been very fruitful for the Saints. It is similar for the Bulldogs who had Gippsland as their zone, but apart from a bad couple of years from 1980-1982 the Dogs were more than competitive if not finalists, unlike St. Kilda which were easybeats for most of this time. Still, with such large population areas in their country recruiting zones, it is hard to explain why the Saints and Bulldogs didn't do better.
 

Todman

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St Kilda had Ballarat as its country zone during its dark days from the mid 1970s to the late 1980s. Much was made of the Richmond, North Melbourne, Hawthorn and Carlton country zones assisting these clubs win all premierships from 1967-1989, but given the large population of the Ballarat region and its relative closeness to Melbourne, this should have been very fruitful for the Saints. It is similar for the Bulldogs who had Gippsland as their zone, but apart from a bad couple of years from 1980-1982 the Dogs were more than competitive if not finalists, unlike St. Kilda which were easybeats for most of this time. Still, with such large population areas in their country recruiting zones, it is hard to explain why the Saints and Bulldogs didn't do better.
Comes down to timing, a group of recruits turn into pure gold and then a dry spell for years.
 

Procrastinator35

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St Kilda’s zoning is what rooted them onfield, as “the club of the south” they didn’t have access to the area down to the peninsula. For decades, champion after champion came out of that area... and went to Hawthorn.
What a load of codswallop....The Saints & Hawks shared the peninsula for a while during the 60's & 70's, with the Saints having the Lions share of it....The Hawks had the Frankston to Chelsea corridor & also shared part of Gippsland with Footscray, who had it's Eastern half From Traralgon to the sea....We had the Pakenham/Berwick to Morwell half.....The Dogs also had South Gippy.

Next time, do some research before exposing your anti-Hawk bias based upon faulty assumptions.
 

blueycarlton

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Interestingly St.Kilda's membership 1925, 1926, 1929, 1930 was larger than Collingwoods.
Despite these being the Wood's glory years, they trailed far behind Carlton, Essendon and other clubs.
Geelong were a stand out, but they rapidily dropped off from 1926.
This table is from Trove; The Age April 24 (p13) 1931

1931 VFL Mships 1925-30 Age April 24 p13 Capture.JPG
 

Michael Riley

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VFA 1888-1896.png

Looking at the ladders from 1888-1896, St Kilda were one of the least successful teams, only Richmond fared worse, but even Richmond had appeared higher on the ladder in 5 of the 8 seasons listed.

Earlier writers in this thread have noted St Kilda were one of the original 6 breakaway teams and the reason for their inclusion was political and not just logistical. I would echo that and argue that the main arguments against Port and North were the level of 'roughness'. This language in Victorian times echoed the issue of class. Remember, this is a time when 'gentlemen' looked down on paid professionals in cricket and in the newly formed Olympic Games.

Clearly St Kilda were the right kind of people, and logistics came second.

To help illustrate this. I ask you to consider why the VFL brought in University in 1908, only a few years later. University had no established ground and it's base of players was devastated by the introduction of professionalism soon after their inclusion. At the same time North Melbourne or Prahran (with money from Toorak) would have been much more obvious choices based purely on football and logistics.

St Kilda were bad because their inclusion was for non-football reasons.
 

Michael Riley

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Some extracts from the period focus on StKilda's Conduct rather than on their skill

"St. Kilda have maintained their reputation for playing the game upon its merits as a pastime. They never make a business of it. They have the knack of rising to a big occasion, and they invariably afford gratifying and sportsmanlike: entertainment. They have risen four steps higher than last year. They are players who are an ornament to the game. No question can be raised as to their right to the title of amateurs"
The Past Season - The Australiasian 3-Oct-1896 - http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-page11448176

"An eighth club being required [for the new competition], the choice unanimously fell upon St. Kilda. If it be a merit to couple a good game of football with manly and decent conduct, both on the field and off it, St. Kilda had every right to consideration, and its inclusion will give very general satisfaction." - The Argus 3-Oct-1896 - http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article9161096


The Local Port Melbourne paper did not mention roughness of play, but rather that they would not accept their place.

"Why Ports were not admitted to the charmed circle was simply because of their close proximity to South Melbourne[?].
They should have been in the first six clubs of the new Association for the following reasons :— They have daring the past four seasons been either 6th or 7th on the list ; they have one of the beat, if not the best, football grounds in the colony ; they have produced some of the finest footballers Victoria has seen, and their membership roll is as large as that of Essendon, and twice that of St. Kilda or Carlton. No, because they did not truckle and cringe to the bigger clubs or allow their players to leave them without a struggle, they are left out in the cold"
Port Melbourne Standard 10-Oct-1896 - http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article165318320
 

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Michael Riley

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did they have any notable players in the 1890s?
I have not done much research on that period.

'Interesting players'
'Curly' Jones https://australianfootball.com/articles/view/st+kilda+-+the+mystery+side/1192
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dan_Collins_(footballer)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bill_Matthews_(footballer)

Not so sure on the 'notable'...maybe...
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joe_Hogan or W. 'Billy' Lockett
There are not many other StKilda players at https://australianfootball.com/leagues/notable_players/VFA/193


Here is a rough list of the players who played 3+ seasons 1891-1897
StKilda 1891-97.jpg
 

Michael Riley

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I was thinking they might of recruited players from the military
barracks
Best I can do on short notice from 'Origins of Australian Football Victoria’s Early History. Volume 4'




Country







Matthews, Bill

Ball.,



Donovan,

Bendigo



Fanning, J.

Hamilton



Egan,

Tatura



Ibbotson,

Warrn’l



Matthews, Bill

Nth. Tas/St K/Ball.

Other Senior Clubs





Blake, Mick

Carl/CGS



Aylwin, Harry

Carl/Sth. St K



Donahoo, H. ‘Poole’

Carl/WC



Saxon, B.

Foots 12/5,



Williamson, G.

Foots/Will 4/6,



Clausen, T.

Geel/ GGS



Nuttall, C.

Hoth/Rich.



Ahern, Bill

Melb/Fitz/MGS



Abrahams, M.

NM



Robertson, R.

NM



Sykes, G.

NM,



Burke, E.

PM



Newton, Bill

Rich.



McPetrie, H.

Rich.C



Collins, Dan

Rich/ Queenscliff



Deane, T.

Rich/Rich. Jun.



Kilmartin, J.

Rich/St K



Fitzpatrick, J. ‘Hipton’

SM/PM/Ess.



Wauchope,

Will.

Schools/Colleges





Brown,

Cumloden School



Brown,

Cumloden School



Beggs, Billy

Cumloden School



Molesworth, John

Cumloden School/MGS



Ramsden, G.

Kew High School



Goldstein, O.

Melbourne Grammar School



Woodhouse, W.

Melbourne Grammar School



Damman, P.

Melbourne Grammar School



Duigan, Harry ‘Simpson’

Queen’s College



Stewart, Ernie 'Bob'

Queen’s College/SC



Stewart, Ernie 'Bob'

Queen’s College/SC



Blake, George

St Kilda College



Hogan, Joe

Wesley College

Juniors







Armstrong,

Albion United 13/6



Spilker, G.

Brighton Juniors/Sth St K/Sand.



Lowe, W. 'Arch' 'Lewis'?

Carlisle Imperial, St Kilda



Hesse, L.

Carlisle Imperial, St Kilda



O’Grady, Joe

Carlisle Imperial, St Kilda



Hunter, G.

Carlisle Imperial, St Kilda/St K Esp.



James, P.

Camberw.



Zercho, C.

Camberw/Ess.



Illingworth,

Capel United, Brunswick



Sarsfield, P.

Capel United, Brunswick,



Rankin, R.

EJ, Departure 1895: Carl 11/5



Fitchett, A.

EJ/WC



Linehan, J.

GGS, Departure 1894: NeG



Whitehead, W.

Haw.



Wallace,

Jun.



Vance,

Kew Juniors



Blanc, L.

Marylebone



Budden,

Marylebone



Archer, A.

Marylebone



Phillips, Syd

Marylebone



Cox, Charlie

Marylebone



Hobbs,

Marylebone



Jennings, Jack

Marylebone



Sergeant, F.

Marylebone



Bray, F.

Marylebone/NM/Rich.



Pearce, P.

Marylebone/WC



Young, A.

Middle Brighton Juniors



Gregory, C.

Mt. E to SY 8/6



Evans,

Napier Imperial (South Melbourne Junior)



Shaw, Billy

Parkhill



Dunne, Ernie

PrJ



Bonnighton,

Queenscliff Artillery



Nuttall, M.C.

Qu’ff, Departure 1893: Carl during season, Departure 1894: Geel.



McCoy,

South Beach



Hants,

St K baseball team



Stewart, Fred

St. Lawrence



McNamara, Tom

St. Marys Juniors (North Melbourne)



Rodgers,

Sth St K



Lang,

Sth St K



Barker,

Sth St K



Rice,

Sth St K



Flint,

Sth. St K



Dunne, Danny

Sth. St K



Marshall, H.

South Yarra Juniors



Dickenson, H.

South Yarra Juniors



Abrahams, M.

South Yarra Juniors/St K/NM



McLeod, George

South Yarra Rovers/Melb.



Campbell,

Univ.



Molesworth, H.

Univ.



Archer, A.

WA/St K



Hylard,

West Beach



Jones, Ernest L.

Windsor



Vautier,

Windsor



Clarke,

Windsor



Waller, L.

Windsor



Hall, Ted

Windsor/Marlton



Minogue, J.

Yarrav., Departure 1894: PM







 
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