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The history of the Eastern Football League can be traced back to the turn of the century when it was known as the Reporter District Football League. formed in 1903, the league involved clubs Canterbury, Ringwood, Mitcham, Bayswater, Ferntree Gully and Box Hill.

During the late 1920s, the league became the Ringwood District Football League and, after another change of name, became the Croydon Mail Football League. Several EFL clubs also competed in the Eastern Suburban Football League which ran from the late 1930s up unitl the mid 1950s.

Seven delegates from the Croydon Mail Football League met under a tree in Forrest Road, ferntree Gully in 1950, with the view to changing the league's name once again. The seven men were Michael Benson, Ray Matthews, Gilbert Chandler, Cliff Tomkins, Bill Baldwin, Paul Edie and Fred Leech.

The men wanted to start a new league to incorporate football clubs from Ferntree gully, Scoresby and Mulgrave. The only new club to join the league was Ferntree Gully, and the name was changed to the Croydon - Ferntree Gully Football League. The foundation clubs were Kilsyth, Croydon, Boronia, Bayswater, Warrandyte, Ferntree Gully, East Ringwood and Lilydale.

Between 1950 and 1961, another 22 clubs joined the league and two clubs transferred out to other leagues. At an executive meeting on January 26, 1962, a motion was put forward to change the name of the league once again.

At a subsequent meeting in February of that year, a vote as taken to decide whether to call the new league, the Greater Eastern Football League, Croydon District Football League or the Eastern Districts Football League. The vote was 38 - 32 in favour of adopting the Eastern Districts Football League as the new name.

Since 1962, the league has grown dramatically to four divisions of senior open-age competition and a three division all ages junior competition. The league has grown from 60 teams in 1962 to 317 in 2000.

From 1980 to 1997, the EDFL junior competition had teams competing in the under 10, under 12, under 14 & under 16 age groups. For several years prior to 1997, several clubs were fielding junior teams in the neighbouring Knox Junior Football Association (KJFA) as well as the EDFL. The KJFA offered competition in all age groups from under 8 through to under 15. At the end of the 1997 season, the EDFL & KJFA merged to become the Eastern Football League. The partnership has been an overwhelming success. The EFL is now the largest Australian football competition in the country having 430 teams in 2008.


  • The Eastern footballer - edition 2, 2008, page 7.


EFL clubs - past and present - CLICK HERE


The Premiers - every winner, every division, 1962 onwards - CLICK HERE


Every game, every division, every season (1962 - 2016) - CLICK HERE


EFL Best & Fairest winners from 1962 - CLICK HERE


For the EFL's Leading Goalkickers from 1962 - CLICK HERE


The biggest, the highest, the most, etc, etc - CLICK HERE

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