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1896

Captain - Joe Wilson
Vice Captain - Patrick O'Loughlin

Jack Leith was second in the league goalkicking with 28 and McCarthy third with 24.

Despite their fourth placed finish the year was seen as a missed opportunity for Melbourne, who showed excellent form on a handful of occasions but then let themselves down with poor games without teamwork. They weren't helped by injuries at the start of the year to Joe Wilson, Fred McGinis and George Moysey or by the departure of David Christy to Western Australia midway through the year.

Collingwood defeated South Melbourne in a "Grand Final" to win the league.

After the season several of the inner suburban clubs, joined by Geelong, broke away from the VFA to form the VFL. The seeds of the future split had been shown throughout the season as the association's management committee debated ways to restore public interest in the game, such as changing the distance that the 'little mark' needed to travel. In the end the VFL abolished the little mark altogether.

The charity games on 13 June were played with the experimental rules, such as extending the little mark distance to five yards and to instruct umpires to crack down on players throwing the ball instead of kicking it. The old rule of the ball being 'in play' the moment it was thrown in by the boundary umpire was also reintroduced for the day.

An increase in bad language on the field was noted, with the claims that if there wasn't reform that respectable young fellows will retire from the sport and leave it entirely in the hand of blackguards.

VFA matches

DateOpponentResult
2 May Essendon LOSS
9 May Footscray WIN
16 May Geelong WIN
25 May Fitzroy LOSS
30 May Williamstown WIN
13 June Collingwood LOSS
20 June St Kilda WIN
27 June South Melbourne LOSS
11 July Port Melbourne WIN
18 July North Melbourne WIN
25 July Carlton WIN
1 August South Melbourne LOSS
8 August Footscray WIN
15 August Collingwood WIN
22 August Essendon WIN
5 September Fitzroy LOSS
12 September Richmond WIN
19 September Geelong WIN

Other matches

DateOpponentResult
1 July Southern Tasmania WIN
4 July Southern Tasmania WIN
July Southern Tasmania WIN

Ladder

TeamWDLForAgainstPoints
1st Collingwood 1413865558
1st South Melbourne 1413865558
3rd Essendon 14041226456
4th Melbourne 12061197448
5th Fitzroy 1206805948
6th North Melbourne 819928034
7th Port Melbourne 738706534
8th Williamstown 738649334
9th St. Kilda 6111698826
10th Footscray 5310698426
11th Geelong 4311879322
12th Carlton 2214469012
13th Richmond 30155213112

Players

G. Adamson, David Christy, Herbert Fry, Hall, Alf Healing, Harry Hughes, Douglas Irving, M. Kennedy, Jack Leith, Austin Lewis, Lew Massey, Jim McCarthy, Bill McCulloch, Fred McGinis, Alex McKenzie, J. McNamara, Henry Mitchell, George Moodie, R. Moore, E. Mountjoy, George Moysey, G. O'Dwyer, J. O'Halloran, Patrick O'Loughlin, C. Over, J. Powell, G. Ramsden, A. Robinson, Fred Sheahan, Eddie Sholl, W. Smith, W. Steele, Ned Sutton, Thompson, Dick Wardill, C. Watson, Joe Wilson, J. Wiseman

Goalkickers

Leith 28, McCarthy 24, McGinis 13, Christie 10, Powell 9, Wardill 9, Adamson 5, Fry 4, McCulloch 4, Moodie 2, O'Halloran 2, O'Loughlin 2, Sheahan 2, Wilson 2, Irving 1, O'Dwyer 1, Smith 1

Notes
There is a suggestion that the club rebranded - at least temporarily as - 'MCC'.

Media
Sydney Mail - 09/05/1896
The Australasian - 13/06/1896
The West Australian 06/07/1896

Links
VFA Tables and Results

Created by Supermercado. Last Modification: Sunday 17 September 2017 16:24:37 AEST by Supermercado. (Version 32)

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