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Junior History

Full History from 1882 to 2002 is to be found in the book ‘The History of the North Ballarat Football Club – “From Gumboots to Glory” by Phil Roberts’ – Available at the North Ballarat Football Club (A Short History follows with particular reference to the creation of the North Ballarat City Football and Netball Club in 2006)

Achievements & Milestones

North Ballarat Football Club

  • 1882 Ballarat North Football Club Formed
  • 1912-1937 North City Football Club Formed
  • 1946 (BFL ‘B’Grade) North City Football Club reformed        
  • 1952-1959 Ballarat North City promoted to BFL ‘A’Grade
  • 1960 Played as North City – Wendouree
  • 1961 Commenced playing as North Ballarat Football Club
  • 1996 Entered Victorian Football League
  • 1996 North Ballarat Rebels formed in VSFL (Now TAC Cup)
  • 1997 (Seniors, Reserves and Under 18’s Left Ballarat Football League – Juniors Remain  & entered Reserve side in the VFL
  • 2006 North Ballarat City Football & Netball Club reformed in the Bendigo Football League
  • 2008 North Ballarat City Football & Netball Club transferred to the Ballarat Football League
  • 2008 North Ballarat Football Club wins 1st VFL Premiership
  • 2009 North Ballarat Football Club wins 2nd VFL Premiership
  • 2010 North Ballarat Football Club wins 3rd VFL Premiership


Senior Premiers      

  • ‘B’Grade – 1946, 1948
  • BFL – 1963, 1970, 1973, 1978, 1979, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1991, 1992*, 1994*, 1995, 1996
  • VFL - 2008, 2009, 2010


Reserve Premiers    

  • BFL – 1971, 1987, 1989, 1990*, 1991*, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996
  • VFL – 1998, 1999
        (*Premiers & Champions)

Seniors Runners-up        

  • ‘B’Grade – 1950
  • BFL – 1959, 1972, 1977, 1980, 1988, 1990, 1993
  • VFL – 1999, 2000


Reserves Runners-up

  • BFL – 1959, 1972, 1977, 1980, 1988, 1990, 1993
  • VFL -  2005


Under 18    

  • BFL – 1963, 1970, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1982, 1983, 1990*, 1994, 1995*


Under 16.5 - Seniors   

  • BFL – 2004, 2005, 2007


Under 16.5 - Reserves

  • BFL - 2010*


Under 16  - Seniors  

  • BFL – 1955, 1960, 1968*, 1969*, 1972, 1977, 1979, 1981, 1986, 1988, 1990, 1994*, 1996, 1997*, 1999*, 2002*


Under 15  - Seniors          

  • BFL – 2003, 2006


Under 14.5 - Seniors

  • BFL – 1998, 1999, 2001*, 2002, 2010


Under 14.5 Reserves

  • BFL - 2009


Under 14  - Seniors       

  • BFL – 1963*, 1980, 1991, 1992*, 1995, 1997, 2002


Under 13.5 Seniors        

  • BFL – 2005, 2007*


Under 13.5 Reserves        

  • BFL – 2007, 2008


Under 13            

  • BFL – 1998, 1999, 2000, 2002


Under 12   - Seniors 

  • BFL – 1976, 1977*, 1978, 1979, 1982, 1983, 1993, 1995, 1996, 1999*, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006


 Under 12 - Reserves

  • BFL - 2010

North Ballarat Rebels    

  • VSFL - 1997 


Ballarat Football League Records (1952 – 2010)

  • 15 Senior Premierships and 22 grand finals
  • Longest Senior winning streak – 49 games (1991, 1992, 1993)
  • 5 consecutive Senior Premierships – 1982 – 1986
  • 8 consecutive Reserve Premierships – 1989 – 1996
  • Senior Premiers & Champions – 1992 & 1986
  • 70 Junior Premierships
  • The only Junior Club to win the annual Champion (aggregate) Junior Club ‘Merv & Mary Howard Memorial Junior Shield” since its inception.
The NBJFC up until our incorporation in June 2000 existed as a sub-committee of the North Ballarat Football Club. The reasons for the separate incorporation were entirely for legal/financial considerations – not a desire to shift from the Club.  Like many such junior sections of a Club, we exist to provide well-developed Senior Footballers in a family Club atmosphere.

Up until the end of 1996 – the final year North Ballarat Football Club fielded sides in the Ballarat Football League – the Senior side had won 15 premierships.  As of last year the Junior Section of the Club has won 65 premierships.  The Juniors since the inception of North, have been one of the major reasons for our success.

In the process everlasting bonds of friendship and a sense of Club were created. This continued over many generations with notable families providing players, administrators and volunteers who enabled our Club to prosper.

Junior players to progress to higher football levels (VFL/AFL) include; Greg Burns, Tristan Cartledge. Eric Clarke, Jeff Dunne, Andrew Ford, Stewart Gull, Allan, Hassel, Paul Hills, Allan Jenkin, Dale Lewis, Tony Lockett, Michael Malthouse, Stephen Owen, Val Perovic, Gordon Polson, Malcom Scott, Grant Polkinghorne, John Polkinghorne, Travis Polkinghorne, Brett Quinlan, Dru Quinlan, Andrew Jones,  Damian Lubeek, Adrian King, Jake Bridges, Mark Verbene, Nathan Williams, Matthew Doyle, Ayden George, Ryan Luke, and Ryan Waight.

Other great footballers of the Club to emerge from the Juniors are 200 game players; Allan Abrams, Brian Eddy, Ian Flood, Leigh Hiscock, Steven Howard, Howard Lockett, Greg Mitchell, Gary Olver, John Orr, Travis Polkinghorne, Owen Thomas.  Of the fifteen 200 game players, 11 are from the Juniors.  Junior players who went on play 100 Senior games are; Robert Biggs, Geoff Browne, Peter Brugman, Eric Clarke, Ken Clark, Brendan Curran, Peter Curran, Brian Daly, Jarrod Edwards, Michael Flockhart, Andrew Ford, Philip Haire, Norm Howard, Michael Hynes, Robert Irving, Peter James, Allan Jenkin, Paul Kennedy, Fred Lennecke, Robert Linane, Gordon Loader, Damien Lubeek, Trevor Lugg, Ian Lyttle, Shane Macklin, Damian Murrihy, Kieran Murrihy, Stephen O’Brien, John O’Connor, Paul Phelan, Grant Polkinghorne, John Polkinghorne, Kevin Polkinghorne, David Poulton, Brett Quinlan, Bruce Sargent, Max Sargent, Malcom Scott, Noel Sheehan, Warren Stott, Kevin Sullivan, Peter Surman, Peter Thompson, Michael Troon, Steven Troon, Graeme Turley and Graham Wilkie.

As can be seen by reference to the above named people, the Junior section of the Club has consistently delivered quality players, administrators, supporters, volunteers and families to the North Ballarat Football Club.

These people have formed the backbone of the previous successful sides and stuck with the Club through hard times as well as the good.

The NBJFC is a community of interest and we are a community that has been bound and strengthened by the dedication to the Club of our members.  This is no different to any other Football/Netball Club.  In the process everlasting bonds of friendship and a sense of Club were created,  This continued over many generations, with notable families providing players, administrators and volunteers, which enable the Club to gain strength as we grow.

As well as historically fielding Senior and Reserves sides in the Ballarat Football League,  North Ballarat Football Club fielded Under 18’s, 16’s and 14’s for the most part of our long history in that competition.  In more recent years NBJFC has additionally fielded Under 13’s , Under 12’s and Under 10’s, as well as a large  Auskick program.  As it stands today, we have some 300 players  from Under 16.5 to Auskick playing junior football.

In 1995 North Ballarat Football Club was approached by the VFL and asked whether we were interested in fielding a side in the State based VFL competition.  This was to be in addition to the current sides we fielded in the BFL and there was no public suggestion that this would be any different if the Club voted to field a VFL side.   The VFL side would also take control of the existing Ballarat Rebels side.   The proposal was put to the members and ratified by them.

In 1996 North Ballarat Football Club fielded a senior side in the VFL as well as a full complement of teams in the BFL (juniors and seniors).

Towards the end on the 1996 season the Board of Directors of the North Ballarat Football Club  were concerned with the logistics of of fielding nine teams weekly and the need to monitor performance of senior VFL players who had returned to BFL Clubs – it was thought that this was putting unrealistic workloads on Club personnel.

At a Special General Meeting of Members on Monday 29 July 1996, North Ballarat Football Club members voted to withdraw the BFL firsts and reserves in favour of fielding a VFL reserves team.  This was to provide a pathway to the VFL Senior team and to reduce the workload on North staff.  It was argued by the proponents of this move that North Juniors would still have a pathway to playing senior football – in the VFL side.  The opponents stated that this was most unlikely – with the likelihood that the vast majority of juniors would not be good enough to play in the senior side and accordingly would have to go to other BFL Clubs to develop their potential.  History has proved the latter to be true.  In any event the meeting resolved that the removal of those sides should not affect the fielding of the Under 18 side or the juniors.

As a consequence of the BFL adopting the ‘White Paper’, together with the withdrawal of North’s Senior and Reserves sides from the BFL - the BFL refused to allow the North Under 18 side compete.

An agreement was struck with Redan through which exiting North Under 16 players would be encouraged to go and play with the Redan Under 18 side.  This proved most beneficial for Redan, winning a number of Under 18 Premierships with predominantly ‘North’ junior players and the 2002, 2003, 2006 and 2007 BFL Premierships, with up to 14 former North Juniors in each of those sides, and many ex North people in roles as coaches and administrators.

At the 1997 Annual General Meeting of North Ballarat Football Club it was proposed that North re-enter a Senior, Reserve and Under 18 side in the BFL competition for the 1998 season and beyond.  This resolution was narrowly defeated.

In June 2000 the North Ballarat Junior Football Club was separately incorporated for  legal and financial reasons.  

Notwithstanding the agreement with Redan concerning the Under 18’s, North Ballarat Football Club policy was always to field its own Under 18 side in the BFL.  The agreement with Redan had been conceived out of a desire to stem the steady loss of boys to the game of football and offer them the opportunity to play together as a group.  Whilst this was somewhat successful, in line with our policy we resolved to bring the Under 18 boys under our own Club umbrella and extend the Club to the Under 18’s.  

In 2001 NBJFC fielded an Under 18 side in the BFL, by virtue of an agreement with Daylesford Football Club.  Daylesford had no Under 18 side and agreed that we could play in their place – at Daylesford home and away games.  As well as some positives, there were a number of drawbacks, most notably the issue of travel.  At the end of the 2002 season, NBJFC and Daylesford were granted a two year extension of this agreement.  


Towards the end of 2003 it became apparent that there were a number of pressures on the Juniors, not the least of which was the lack of a pathway for our Junior players, which in turn was identified to be a serious risk to the future of the NBJFC.

In October 2003 a sub-committee of the North Ballarat Football Club was formed from its membership, including representatives of the NBJFC, and a number of club supporters. The sub-committee was formed with a commitment that North was to remain as a viable and competitive member of the VFL.  

The call for the sub-committee came from primarily, but not limited to, the NBJFC.  The difficulty of not having a direct senior pathway for the majority of junior players raised concerns about the sustainability and viability of the NBJFC.

There was evidence that some of our boys were leaving the Under 16.5 team to go and play with other clubs, in order to establish themselves for Senior BFL selection later on.  There were also travel issue relating to travelling to Daylesford on a regular basis.

The goal of the review was to establish whether or not the current structure of football at North Ballarat would allow its juniors and their families to fulfil their potential and aspirations as players, supporters, administrators and volunteers within the Club.

The sub-committee’s major concerns were:

  1. Lack of pathway for players and families
  2. The loss of North families and long serving members of the Club
  3. Loss of connection and sense of Club/Community
  4. Not to interfere with VFL side and provide a co-ordinated Club structure
  5. Ability to finance & resource new sides
  6. Ability to gain BFL/VCFL approval for re-affiliation.
These matters were  investigated by the sub-committee and reported on with recommendations to the North Ballarat Football Club and NBJFC.

This process was communicated to all members of both Clubs.  Mr. Peter Wilson, Chairman of the North Ballarat Football Club also addressed the Presidents and Secretaries meeting of the BFL on 29th of October, 2003 on the issue and fielded questions.

The sub-committee then set about its work and in April 2004 presented the ‘Pathways Sub-committee Report and Proposal’ to the North Ballarat Football Club and the NBJFC.

The sub-committee proposed a realistic budget to run a BFL Club; where and how the money would be sourced; where the sides would play; the human resources needed and how and where they would be obtained.  Not the least of which was a demonstrated plan of how to field all senior/junior football and netball sides in the BFL for the 2005 season and beyond.  


The report found that there was no certainty that NBJFC would be able to continue to field an Under 18.5 side in the place of Daylesford for 2005.  We had experienced resistance from players to continue with the then current arrangements for graduating to the Under 18’s.  They cited travel as the major issue.  History and experience supports the concept of junior players wishing to play for the senior section of their Club in the local competition.  The VFL pathway, whilst being a positive one for the North Ballarat Football Club, was not viable as the pathway for the vast majority of the NBJFC players and could not be represented as such.  The VFL Competition boasts the best quality players outside the AFL in Australia.  Since North’s entry to the VFL competition, (1996) only 7 NBJFC players have graduated to that level. Only 3 of those players came through the TAC Rebels program.  Despite NBJFC success, this has not resulted in an over-representation of former North Juniors in the VFL list nor the TAC Rebels – until this year, when we have 10 listed on the Rebels list.    

The Committee found that what was missing for the vast majority of our players is a senior local side in the BFL.  Not every player wanted, or was capable of playing VFL football.  There are issues such as lack of talent, application and commitment.  Not every player is ready to play Senior VFL football after coming out of North’s under 18 side.  Indeed, players should have already been talent identified and moved to the TAC pathway if deemed good enough.

It was established that families were leaving the Club.  When their son leaves the Club (due to the lack of a pathway), more often than not the player and the family are lost to the Club.  Common sense suggested that over time,  that once the player and family left the Club – they would have no reason to return.  Once having established themselves at another Club and when that player’s son grows up – most likely he would  want to play at the Club where his father played Senior Football.  Most clubs struggle to gain sufficient numbers of administrators and volunteers.  For NBJFC this was compounded by the fact that families invariably left the Club to follow their sons when they are forced (by lack of a senior pathway within the Club) to play elsewhere.  The report also found that we were (then) at the stage that after the end of the following year, in a position where the majority of the ‘workers’ otherwise known as volunteers, would have left the Club to follow their son’s aspirations.  

The Junior Section of North was not created out of a need to exist for its own sake, but rather as the development program to produce future footballers for the North Ballarat Football Club, whilst at the same time promoting a family club atmosphere.

Without a direct senior pathway, the cycle was broken and there was a sincere belief within the Club that NBJFC would have ceased to exist, sooner rather than later.  The community, the BFL and Football in general would have been the poorer for it.  If NBJFC had ceased to exist, some other club or clubs would have needed to take over the responsibility of providing coaching and facilities for the ever increasing numbers of junior players.

The Pathways was not just about footballers, but also just as importantly netball.  We needed the ability to attract women and girls to the club so as to fulfil their aspirations and those of their families.  It was not just about boys.  We needed to encourage families to stay together wherever possible.  Under the then arrangements, we had families split between juniors, the Under 18.5 side, their daughter playing netball for another Club as well as possibly another son playing for another Senior BFL side.  It was hardly conducive for a ‘family club’ that we aspired to.


On the 29th of April, 2004, the North Ballarat Football Club discussed the Pathways report and referred it to another sub-committee for further evaluation. On the 29th of July, 2004, that sub-committee reported back to the Board of North Ballarat Football Club.

On the 4th of August, 2004, the North Ballarat Football Club resolved to support the principle of providing a pathway for junior players.  Further, ‘That the structure of the BFL team would be under the auspices of the North Ballarat Junior Football Club Inc who will have the carriage of the team and assume responsibility for its operation, management and finance (subject to negotiating appropriate financial arrangements with North Ballarat Sports Club within the spirit of the budget set out in the Pathway sub-committee report) and negotiating appropriate policies with respect to infrastructure, access to facilities etc with North Ballarat Sports Club/North Ballarat Football Club.’

At the NBJFC August 2004 Committee meeting it was unanimously resolved to assume the responsibility for the fielding of any teams in the BFL under terms and conditions to be negotiated with the North Ballarat Football Club in a Licence Agreement.

On the 18th of August, 2004, NBJFC had a meeting with its members where the proposal to field Senior Football and Netball sides in the BFL was detailed.  Members were unanimously in favour of the proposal.

Once the agreement was signed, the President of NBJFC wrote to the BFL on the 17th of September 2004, seeking clarification of a number of issues, including the process we would have to undertake. We also expressed the desire to speak with the constituent clubs before deciding on whether to make an application to field the teams.  

On the 11th day of October, 2004, at a Special General Meeting of the NBJFC the rules of the Association were changed so as to facilitate the entry of Senior Football and Netball sides into the BFL


From the 14th of October 2004, the NBJFC met or offered to meet every BFL Club.  We outlined in detail the philosophy behind our interest to field Senior Football and Netball sides.   These discussions took place in an environment of openness and transparency. We answered every question we could and took on board the views of the various clubs before coming to the decision to submit an application to field the sides.  All Clubs acknowledged our reasons for wanting to field sides, however, they were divided into basically two camps - Clubs that looked forward to the competition we could offer and the other camp (Ballarat Clubs) who openly admitted that they wanted the status-quo to continue.  

After speaking to all Clubs we resolved to apply for permission to enter the full compliment of Senior Football and Netball sides for the 2005 BFL season and beyond.

Application submitted to BFL 29.10.2004. to field Senior Football & Netball sides for 2005 and beyond

Meeting between NBJFC and BFL Board on 9.11.2004.

On this date NBJFC met with the BFL Board (at their request) and briefly outlined the Application and spoke to the documents in support of the application.  

BFL Clubs Meet on 16.11.2004. to North Proposal

NBJFC spoke for our proposal (each Club had earlier been forwarded out Application and three Clubs spoke against it - Redan, Ballarat & East-Point.  Their arguments were basically;  

  1. Lack of Players
  2. Lack of Sponsorship
  3. Impact on viability of other Ballarat Club's.
  4. North's resources.
  5. Dominance by North.
No one took issue with the genuineness of our proposal or the merits of it from our point of view.  

The Clubs who voted for our proposal were:        

  • North Ballarat
  • Mount Clear
  • Sunbury
  • Darley
  • Melton
  • Bacchus Marsh

The Clubs who voted against our proposal were:    

  • Ballarat
  • Eastpoint
  • Redan
  • Sebastopol
  • Lake Wendouree
  • Daylesford
  • Melton South

The BFL stated that it would hear an address by NBJFC on Monday the 22nd day of November, 2004, after which time it would make its decision.

NBJFC Meeting with BFL Board Monday 22.11.2004.

On this evening NBJFC made its submission to the full BFL Board. Later that evening we were advised by the Chairman - Mr Tim Bunning - that the Board had voted 6 - 2 against our proposal. At the same time we were advised that Daylesford and NBJFC would each be invited to enter Under 18.5 sides for the 2005 season.  On the 23rd of November, 2004, NBJFC received a letter from the BFL stating its reasons for disallowing our application.

Appeal to the Victorian Country Football League

On the 25th day of November, 2004, NBJFC lodged an Appeal with the VCFL against the decision of the BFL to refuse our Senior entry to the BFL.

Appeal Dismissed by VCFL

On the 22nd day of December, 2004, NBJFC received notice that the VCFL had dismissed its appeal – the VCFL refused to give reasons for its decision.

Appeal to Football Victoria

On the 24th of December, 2004, NBJFC lodged an appeal to Football Victoria against the VCFL decision.

On the 10th day of January, 2005, Football Victoria (FV) wrote to NBJFC and advised that they believed that there was no appeal role for FV but rather a consultation process between FV and the VCFL to ensure that they are satisfied that all was fair.

NBJFC representatives met with Football Victoria representatives on the 27th of January, 2007.

Football Victoria later wrote to the NBJFC confirming that the matter we brought before them was a most unique situation and one that Football Victoria had previously not seen.  They assured us of a fair consideration of the matter and work through the issues.

In the meantime Daylesford Football Club resolved that it could not field and Under 18.5 side in the BFL and NBJFC took up the offer to field such a side.

On the 2nd of March, 2005, Football Victoria wrote NBJFC and said they believed they had no obligation to be involved in the issue between us and the BFL – however they would be happy to facilitate moving forward towards resolution of the differences between the parties.

They invited us, the VCFL, the BFL and representatives of the Football Victoria to attend a meeting at Saxon House on 29.4.2005. in order that each can gain a greater understanding of each of the positions and attempt to reach a resolution for the way forward.

New Process Agreed for NBJFC to re-apply for Senior affiliation to BFL

On the 29th of April, 2005, that meeting took place and as a result it was agreed that NBJFC submit another application for entry into the BFL.  A process and timetable was set, with an agreement that all would accept any decision arising out of the process.

On the 8th of June, 2005, NBJFC made its submission to the BFL for entry of Senior Football and Netball sides into the competition.  It also made a number of recruitment concessions (restrictions) to accessing players from the VFL, TAC and other Ballarat Clubs.  Previously no other Club in VCFL football had such restrictions.

Decision of BFL to deny NBJFC re-entry to BFL at Senior Level

On the 21st of June, 2005, the BFL met and resolved by a vote (narrowly) not to allow NBJFC application.  The Chairman of the BFL noted that his Board was very disappointed to have received a letter signed by the 5 Ballarat based clubs plus Daylesford which could have been construed to have been written in an intimidatory manner.  He went on to say this letter did not influence the vote of the Board and it would be later taken up by the Board and the VCFL with the Clubs concerned. 

It is of note that Daylesford who had objected to our entry to the BFL, sought and gained later in that year, a transfer to the Central Highlands Football League – consequently the Ballarat Football League went back to 10 sides in 2006.

NBJFC announces its intention to seek Senior Affiliation with Geelong Football or the Bendigo Football League

Immediately upon being advised that we were unsuccessful in our application, the BFL was advised that we would be exploring Senior Affiliation with either the Bellarine Football League or the Geelong Football League (Football Geelong) or the Bendigo Football League.  This was part of a confidential contingency plan that NBJFC had pending an unfavourable decision from the BFL.

BFL Reconsiders

Upon hearing of the NBJFC’s stated intention to seeking Senior affiliation with other Leagues, the BFL sought discussions with the NBJFC and the local Ballarat Club’s.  The BFL contention was that if NBJFC successfully entered a side in another League, there would be no conditions placed on NBFJC and the Ballarat based Clubs would be worse off.  The Ballarat Clubs were not swayed.

NBJFC held discussions with Geelong Football and the Bendigo Football League

NBJFC the went about meeting with Geelong Football which managed the Geelong and Bellarine Football Leagues, as well as Mr. Damian DRUM – the Chairman of the Bendigo Football League.  As NBJFC was entering discussions with these Leagues, a Ballarat based BFL Club approached NBJFC with an offer of a merger of the Clubs.  Nothing was to come of these discussions and NBJFC moved on with its aspirations of joining another League.

NBJFC Enters Senior Football and Netball sides in the Bendigo Football League from 2006

At the completion of this process in 2005, we applied to the Bendigo Football League to establish a new Club in that League.  The Bendigo League led by Mr. Damian DRUM and its constituent Clubs showed a great deal of support and faith in NBJFC to play in the league.   NBJFC  signed a ten year agreement with the Bendigo Football League to play in that league.

After much discussion it was decided that we would play as the North Ballarat City Football and Netball Club – to be known as North City.  This was a reference to our earlier roots and to give a naming point of difference from our VFL side.

These teams played as the North Ballarat City (North City) Football and Netball Club under the umbrella of the NBJFC, which in turn is a part of the North Ballarat Football Club.

Bendigo 2006 Season

Much work took place following the Bendigo Football Leagues decision to allow us affiliation until the start of the 2006 season.  From scratch North City fielded a Senior and Seconds football side, overwhelmingly from ex North Junior players.  Four Netball teams were established.  We also fielded an Under 18 Football side in the League.  In our first game against South Bendigo - of the 21 Senior players who ran out on the ground - 17 had played Junior football for North Balarat. 

In 2006 the Senior Football side did not win a game, the Reserves finished  8th and the Under 18’s were eliminated in the first final.  The Netballers did not enjoy much success, finishing on the bottom of the ladder.

Notwithstanding the lack of on field success, we believed that North City had achieved success by fielding teams in all grades in both Netball and Football, without forfeiting a game.  The effort took its toll on players, volunteers and supporters.  Apart from the effort of establishing the teams, the logistical effort of getting the players to the away games was enormous.  Our human resources (volunteers) were split and overworked between watching and assisting their children in the Juniors who were playing back in Ballarat and supporting their older children playing in the Senior ranks.  The tyranny of distance meant that volunteers either could not commit to assisting in the first instance, or secondly once the season began, soon realised that they could not be in two places at once.  There was a great deal of burnout in the Committee and amongst the coaching and support staff.

We could not have been happier with the Bendigo Football League support, in particular Chairman – Damian DRUM and the then General Manager – Tony PIERCE.  We also were most impressed by the welcome and support given by other Clubs.  The level of the competition was of a very high standard and we had a lot to do to become competitive.  We were somewhat comforted with the fact that a Senior Football List had an average age of 19, but we had seen signs of improvement.  With regard to Netball, it was patently obvious that the competition standard was outstanding.

We identified the burnout issue and had a Club review at the end of the 2006 season.  We endeavoured to put in place strategies to ease the burden on everyone.  Our 2006 Under 18 football coach did not continue because he felt the continual travelling to be a chore and it was a drain on him emotionally to keep the Under 18 players focused and committed to Bendigo and the travel.  This also occurred with the Netball Coaches – they were simply getting frustrated and tired of coaxing players to come across to play in Bendigo.

With the younger players (both football and netball) we identified their reluctance to commit to travelling to Bendigo for mainly work and study commitments.  Often they had to work in the early afternoon, so they would not commit to playing, or let us down on the day.

Bendigo 2007 Season

Notwithstanding the strategies we put place at the end of 2006, the Committee and volunteers were showing signs of ‘burnout’.  This culminated in North City and Lake Wendouree having preliminary merger talks.  These talks were centered on the acknowledgement from both parties, that in this day and age it was increasingly becoming harder to attract and retain volunteers.  In North City’s case this was exacerbated by the fact that we were playing in Bendigo and the attendant problems (as well as opportunities) that brought.

Those talks fell over for one reason or another, but we were still left with the major problems that playing in Bendigo posed to us both logistically and culturally, in that our people were used to playing in a Ballarat competition.  This crystallised in the Club view that our future was in the Ballarat league if our Club was to be sustainable.

That is not a criticism, but rather an honest observation.  Whilst we were extremely grateful to be playing as a Club, there were issues that held us back.  Most of these we foresaw, such as attracting sponsorship, travel, financial, local interest and support.  These were identified prior to us joining the league and in the short to medium term could be accommodated in our business plan.  What we did underestimate was the ‘burnout’ level of the volunteers and committee.  Damian DRUM and Tony PIERCE were aware of these issues and did their best to counsel and advise us to achieve better outcomes.

Notwithstanding this issue, we resolved to push on and do our best.

Whilst we went forward in leaps and bounds in the 2007 Season Football wise winning five senior games and the Under 18’s finishing in the finals again -  it was a very disappointing season as far as Netball went.  We ended up forfeiting our B Grade Netball games part way through the season.  This was primarily due to the fact of us being unable to retain and attract players to play in Bendigo.  We even offered incentives to the Netballers to get them to travel, but still failed to improve the situation.  Our Senior Netball stocks went backwards and we offered very little competition to the other Clubs.  We did have some solace with the knowledge that our junior girls will get better.

As far as the Football was concerned, relatively we had an outstanding year.  With our Senior side winning five games and being very competitive in far more.  Likewise our Reserves and Under 18’s progressed, with the Under 18’s winning their first final.

Towards the end of our season, we as a Club resolved to re-apply for entry to the Ballarat Football League.  Whilst we had done reasonably well in Football terms, we could not ignore the deficit in our Netball Stocks.  We lost our Coach during the year and had poor prospects in attracting suitable Netballers who would be able to give the opposing sides a competitive game.  To us the Netball is as important as the Football.  Raelene BAKER from the Bendigo netball side of the Bendigo League had also given our Club great assistance, advice and could not have been more helpful.

We again lost the services of our Under 18 Coach for the 2008 season, because he could not commit to the travel to Bendigo given his work commitments.  We also had an issue with the exiting Under 18 footballers, some of which find it very attractive to stay down another year, and play in the Under 18.5 Ballarat Football League Competition.  Likewise with the Netball, we were finding it difficult to encourage and attract our Under 16.5 players to come and play in the Bendigo League because of the travel, given their work and study commitments.  We also acknowledged that the Bendigo Football League is being proactive in considering whether to increase the Under 18’s to 18.5.

Our President, Mr. Paul LEAHY kept the Bendigo League Chairman, Mr Damian DRUM advised of our thoughts as we went along.

Apart from the North City efforts, NBJFC also fielded football teams in every Junior Grade in the Ballarat Football League, gaining a place in every grand final and winning three of the five premierships on offer.  We facilitated the playing aspirations of a 193 junior footballers; 180 Auskick participants; a Women’s Football side in the State League; 70 Footballers and 40 Netballers at North City – all under the umbrella of the North Ballarat Junior Football Club Incorporated.

In the two years that we were in the Bendigo Football League - 42 North Ballarat Junior footballers, had their first Senior game with the Club. 


We wrote to both the Bendigo and Ballarat Football Leagues, as well as the VCFL advising them that we were applying to field Senior Football and Netball teams in the Ballarat Football League from 2008 and beyond.  

Of great concern to our President and the Committee was the commitment he/we gave when signing our agreement with the League.  That had not been  entered into lightly or with a thought to reneging on that deal at a later date.  Notwithstanding, what we had outlined, we thoroughly enjoyed our time in the Bendigo League and confirmed to Bendigo that if it was finally determined by them or others that we would  still play in Bendigo – we wouldl endeavour to do the best we could as a member of the Bendigo Football League.  We advised that we had  appointed a highly credentialed senior playing coach, as well as new reserve and Under 18 coaches.  We had recruited well football wise and were excited by the 2008 season, whether it was in Ballarat or Bendigo.

We wrote that we could not escape the reality that our continued presence in the Bendigo Football League, whilst it had considerable benefits - we were compromised by the ability of our volunteers and committee to sustain the Club by supporting the players in their endeavours and attracting competitive Netballers for the aforementioned reasons.  

Our aim is to administer, co-ordinate and promote the development of the game of Football and Netball by promoting fun and enjoyment of the players and volunteers.   We are endeavouring to achieve maximum participation and support from our Community (Ballarat) by offering a pathway to our juniors in a ‘One Club’ with the ability to play in ‘talented’ sides such as TAC and the VFL, as well as offering a ‘grassroots’ senior Club to our people.  We are trying to do our best by our Club and football in general by developing our members and players as people.  This is so much harder to achieve and sustain, when we were fractured by playing in different communities.

Whilst we were extremely appreciative of the opportunity to play as a Club at all, we needed to be honest with ourselves and others where our Club was at.  We believe that it is in the interests of Football in general that wherever possible a Club plays within its geographical community and in a competition in which it can be competitive in order for it to be relevant and to sustain a Club environment that is enjoyable for all.  This will enable us to promote the AFL Brand and its range of programs to all levels of the community and to increase interest in and support for the game and broaden the customer base.  We believe that this can be best done by us being in the Ballarat Football League. It is not so much about the winning, but the enjoyment had on the way.  In a time where it is universally acknowledged that we are all time poor and seeking life balance, we need to do everything we can to promote and sustain the game.

We noted that it was not a competition about which is the better League - they are both of a high standard.  It is simply an acknowledgement that we are better able to sustain the development of our people and promote the game of football and netball in the community in which we live – Ballarat.

The Bendigo Football League graciously and generously allowed North Ballarat City to transfer to the Ballarat Football League.  The Bendigo League also would have allowed our return had we not been successful.

NBJFC and the Bendigo Football League agreed on a mutually acceptable financial agreement for NBJFC to pay its administrative (financial) commitments for a further 3 years.  North Ballarat City has not walked away from its financial commitments to the Bendigo League.

The Ballarat Football League sets out application process

The Ballarat Football League then set out a process for our application to join the League in its Senior ranks.  They noted that it was finally a decision to be made by the independent Board of the Ballarat Football League.  They invited submissions from NBJFC, and the constituent Clubs of the League.

The North Ballarat Football Club Chairman, Mr. Peter WILSON, together with NBJFC President – both presented and answered questions of the League and Clubs.  Peter WILSON confirmed that North Ballarat City was a part of the North Ballarat Football Club both legally and in the spirit of our ‘One Club’ Philosophy and the proposed entry of North City had the total approval and backing of the North Ballarat Football Club.

NBJFC offered a number of recruiting concessions (restrictions) and financial considerations as we had done at our last application.  We are philosophically opposed to any sort of restrictions, however, being realists and backing our ‘Pathway Philosphy’ (as we had done in the previous two seasons) we agreed to the conditions as being a requirement for entry.

We made the observation that despite the previous assertions of our opponents that that there were not enough players and that we would pillage local talent – since our entry into the Bendigo League we had recruited overwhelmingly from our Juniors in line with our ‘Pathway’ Philosophy and that the local Ballarat Clubs had fared extraordinarily well – with Redan winning the last two premierships and Ballarat based Clubs finishing high on the ladder.

Again, there was a great deal of rancor from the Ballarat based Clubs as to our entry to the League.

The  Clubs who voted for our entry to the League were:    

  • Sunbury
  • Darley
  • Melton South
The Clubs who voted against our entry to the League were:    

  • Redan
  • Eastpoint
  • Lake Wendouree
  • Ballarat
  • Sebastopol
  • Bacchus Marsh
  • Melton

Ballarat Football League Votes Unanimously to Allow North City Entry

On Monday the 10th day of December, 2007, the Independent Board of the Ballarat Football League unanimously voted for allowing NBJFC to enter the North Ballarat City Football and Netball Club in the senior Football and Netball Competition for the 2008 season and beyond.

The following conditions were imposed upon North Ballarat City:

  • The BFL and the Club agree that the following conditions will apply to the affiliation of the Club and are to date from and be given effect from 1 January 2008 save that the restrictions in clauses 4.1(d)(e)(g) and (h) shall not apply to any players registered with the Club as at the end of the 2007 football season.


Conditions of Entry for North Ballarat City

  • a)    BFL recruitment – 2008
    The Club shall be restricted in recruiting footballers for the season 2008 from clubs affiliated with the BFL.  The Club may recruit no more than one senior footballer and one senior netballer from each BFL club if such footballer or netballer was registered with a BFL club in 2007.
  • b)    Recruiting BFL 2009, 2010, 2011
    A recruiting limit for seasons 2009, 2010 and 2011 of two senior footballers and two senior netballers who were registered with any of the other BFL clubs in the preceeding season.
  • c)    Qualification to recruiting restriction
    The recruiting restrictions provided for in clauses 4.1(a) and 4.1(b) do not include a playing coach or playing assistant coach provided that only one playing coach or playing assistant coach is exempt.  
  • d)    North Ballarat Football Club Inc
    The Club may not register more than two footballers who were either listed players of the North Ballarat Football Club competing in the VFL, or who represented the North Ballarat Football Club in the VFL in any prior year.  This restriction does not include any footballer who has represented the Club in no less than 20 games in either the junior division or the senior division of the BFL or has played in no less than 20 games with the Club in the Bendigo Football League and were subsequently listed by or played with the North Ballarat Football Club in the VFL.
  • e)    North Ballarat Rebels
    No more than two footballers who have represented the North Ballarat Rebels in the TAC Cup in any prior year may be recruited by the Club.  This restriction does not include any registered player of the Club who has played no less than 20 games with the Club in either the BFL junior division or senior division or in the Bendigo Football League
  • f)    North Ballarat Football Club Recruits
    The Club will secure the agreement of the North Ballarat Football Club in ensuring that all prospective players who undertake pre-season training with the North Ballarat Football Club and are not currently listed players, have their names registered with the Victorian Country Football League area manager.  The Area Manager shall maintain a register of such players and provide particulars to any BFL Club seeking same.
  • g)    Restriction on recruiting prospective North Ballarat Football Club players
    The Club will be permitted to register a maximum of one footballer whose particulars have been placed with the Victorian Country Football League Area Manager should such player not be registered with the North Ballarat Football Club.  This restriction does not include any current or former club players who have played no less than 20 games with the Club in either the junior division or senior division of the BFL or with the Club in the Bendigo Football League.
  • h)    Restriction on interchange players
    The Club may register a maximum of two North Ballarat Football Club players pursuant to the VFL/Victorian Country Football League Interchange Agreement in each season. This restriction does not include any current or former Club players who have played no less than 20 games with the Club in either the junior division or senior division of the BFL or with the Club in the Bendigo Football League.
  • i)    Netball facilities
    The Club will use its best endeavours in having the North Ballarat Football Club or North Ballarat Sports Club upgrade the netball court at Austar Arena to standards prescribed by Netball Victoria prior to the commencement of the 2008 season.
  • j)    Alternate football/netball uniforms
    The Club shall wear alternative football and netball uniforms when competing against the Melton South, Bacchus Marsh, Darley and Sunbury football and netball clubs, such alternative uniforms to be submitted to and approved by the Board.
  • k)    The Club’s home ground
    The Club will use its best endeavours in having the Club’s home ground at Austar Arena available for fixturing of BFL football and netball games subject at all times to the priority fixturing for Austar Arena given to the VFL teams and Rebels team, and, subject at all times, to ground conditions being suitable for fixturing of games.
  • l)    Facility use
    The Club will use its best endeavours to ensure that football facilities at Austar Arena comprising change rooms, umpires’ rooms, coaches’ boxes and other facilities specific to the conduct of football and netball games will be available for use for home fixtures.
  • (m)    Financial support to the Club by North Ballarat Football Club/North Ballarat Sports Club
    The Club, acknowledges that pursuant to its licence agreement with the North Ballarat Football Club it is restricted in the level of sponsorship and financial support provided to a maximum sum of $32,000.00 per annum plus annual CPI increases.  The Club agrees that it shall not apply for nor be granted any sum in excess of $33,500.00 per annum (plus annual CPI increases) (being the indexed sum as at 01/01/2008) from the North Ballarat Football Club and/or the North Ballarat Sports Club.
  • n)    Financial support to junior section of the Club
    Notwithstanding the provisions of clause 4.1(m) it is acknowledged by the BFL and the Club that financial support to the junior section of the Club by the North Ballarat Football Club/North Ballarat Sports Club is exclusive of the sums referred to in clause 4.1(m).
It is recognised by the Ballarat FL that the North Ballarat Football & Sports Club have had a long standing sponsorship arrangement with the North Ballarat Junior Football Club, and this arrangement shall continue and is excluded from this agreement.

As at 1st March 2008, it is recognised that this sponsorship is in the vicinity of $6,000 per annum and will remain at similar levels in the future, notwithstanding CPI increases.

  • o)    Financial records and accounts
The Club shall ensure that all financial transactions undertaken by the Club shall be properly recorded in its accounts, including but not limited to, sponsorship received from the North Ballarat Football Club/North Ballarat Sports Club, coach and player payments, gate takings, canteen and bar sales, stock purchases etc. and the Club will make the said financial reports available at any time for audit The League and/or The League’s specified Accountants upon request by The League.

Note: This agreement is subject to the Club understanding and agreeing to without exception and that this will preclude any payments outside of this agreement by the North Ballarat Football Club and/or the North Ballarat Sports Club or from any third party on behalf of the North Ballarat Football Club and/or the North Ballarat Sports Club to the Club for additional payments or services which will include but is not limited to: coaching payments, fitness payments, canteen stock, bar stock, medical supplies, marketing programs and management fees.

With respect to Special Affiliation Condition (m), (n) and (o) the League may at any time provide further accounting requirements on how any sponsorship funding can be paid and provide requirements in relation to the recording of all financial transactions in any way it sees fit.

Breach of Conditions

In the event that it is alleged that the Club (North Ballarat City) is in breach of any of the essential terms and conditions of this agreement then the following procedure shall apply:

  • (a)    the Board (BFL) shall specify in writing the term or condition which it believes has been breached and provide full particulars of such breach and the evidence supporting it;
  • (b)    the Club shall, within 7 days of receipt of such written notice, provide the Board with any response in writing to the allegations raised;
  • (c)    in the event that the Board is not satisfied with the Club’s response and determines that there appears to be a breach of condition, the Board shall convene a meeting at which the Club will be afforded the opportunity of hearing and responding to the allegations of breach and shall, in the course of such meeting, be afforded natural justice;
  • (d)    in the event that the Board determines that a breach of a condition has occurred it shall convene a further meeting of the Club and the Board to provide the Club with the opportunity of submitting such material as it might desire in mitigation of any penalty to be imposed;
  • (e)    the Board shall, in its absolute discretion, impose such penalty as it determines to be fair and appropriate given the breach and having taken account of the material offered in mitigation by the Club;
  • (f)    the following maximum penalties shall apply:
  • (i)    for a first offence a maximum fine of $5,000.00 and/or a loss of a maximum of 4 premiership points:
  • (ii)    for a second offence a maximum fine of $10,000.00 and/or loss of a maximum of 8 premiership points;
  • (iii)    for a third or subsequent offence such penalty as may be determined by the Board.

Friends of North Ballarat City Football & Netball Club

Many people, families and businesses contributed time and other resources during the establishment of the North Ballarat City Football and Netball Teams in the Bendigo and then the Ballarat Football Leagues.  These people and companies took the challenge to support and work for the Club during extraordinarily difficult times – for this the North Ballarat Junior Football Club is eternally grateful.

In the near future work will be done to address the issue of how to better recognise these people and companies on an ongoing basis –

Andrew Byrne 

Andrew Nykoluk

Baddeley Family (Mark & Katrina)

Balben Property Transfers Pty Ltd

Brian Shaughnessy

Capell Family (Andrew & Prue)

Carey Family (Peter & Angela)

Cartledge Family (Bruce & Wendy)

Chris Rowan

Collins Family (Tim & Vikki)

Considine Family (Peter & Sue)

Cooney Family (Ian & Gayle)

Dalli Family (Steve & Terri)

Damian Lubeek

Dean Family (Lyle & Judy)

Doyle Family (Tony & Sue)

Driscoll Fa,ily (Rick & Bernadette)

Duffy Family (David & Leanne)

Duffy Family (Sean & Paula)

Dwyer Family (Peter & Sally)

Fell's Electrical Daylesford

Flood Family (Ian & Doreen)

Gale Family (Jeff & Jill)

Gary Lumsden

Gilders Family (Hayden & Mim)

Gold Bus

Hay Family (Terry & Joanne)

Heinrich Family (Ian & Debbie)

Howard Family (Steven & Bronwyn)

Kelly Family (Maurice & Leonie)

Kenna Family (Bernie & Pat)

Kevin Eddy

Kirby Family (Paddy & Annette)

Leahy Family (Paul & Sue)

Lockett Family (David & Sue)

Lockyer Family (Geoff & Karlene)

Mark Lake

Marius Van Gerrevink

McCarty Family (Shane & Nicole)

Michael Lawrance & Associates

Millers Arms Hotel

MOR Accountants (Formerly Molloy, Orr & Ronan)

Newington Physiotherapy

North Ballarat Football Club

North Ballarat Sports Club

Olver Family (Gary & Robyn)

Orr Family (John & Michelle)

Owins Family (Chris & Sue)

Petrie Family (Mark & Kate)

Purtell Family (Steve & Joanne)

Polkinghorne Family (Kevin & Lorraine(Dec))

Romeril Family (Dean & Helen)

Ronan Family ( Noel & Julie)

Tate Family (Peter & Maree)

Skeeta Carlyle 

Steve McNulty

Wes Davidson Real Estate – Ballarat

Wilson Family (Peter & Thea)

Zena Boutique

North Ballarat City
Round 1
North Ballarat City