History of the Mackay Australian Football League

This is the history of Mackay Australian Football League.

In the latter part of 1969 a lot of letters were to-ing and fro-ing between Mackay and Victoria and in March 1970 MAFL received a donation of $50 from Australian National Football Council towards initial stationery costs to get the league up and running and in April 1970 Mackay Australian Football League commenced with 3 teams in the competition – East Mackay, North Mackay and West Mackay. 

In 1971 West Mackay changed their name to Walkerston and remained in the competition until 1987.  1971 also saw Bakers Creek join the ranks, 1974 there came a rumbling down the Peak Downs Highway and it was not cattle trucks it was a group of imports and in 1975 Moranbah broke into the MAFL and certainly left their mark during the period up to 1982 when they returned to the central highland due to work commitments.  1977 saw another new kid on the block, Mackay City.  In 1980 more miners came to our city namely Dysart and in 1982 still more miners this time Middlemount both these clubs along with Moranbah returned the central highlands again shift work being the killer for the teams.  1983 there came a break away from the North Mackay team and they called themselves Trend United. I think in that first couple of years there were more Tasmanians living in Mackay than in Tasmania.  1985 Airlie Beach came into the competition, playing only a reserve grade comp and they certainly made their mark.  They changed their name to Whitsunday in 1990.  1987 was the beginning of a few changes in the league, East Mackay and Trend United amalgamated to become known as Eastern Swans.  1989 Moranbah came back in the fold but it wasn’t to be the same problems arose, shift work and in 1993 again returned to the central highlands.  A few other changes in this period, 1990 Mackay City changed their name to Northern Beaches and then back to Mackay City in 1998 and remains so today.  In 1994 the reserve grade comp was struggling and the bright idea was put together to form a colts side, while it only lasted one season  I believe that there are players in today’s teams that have that one years experience.  In 1997 Northern Lions became a part of the MAFL and in March of 2000 was asked to go to deregister because of financial situation. 

Of the clubs currently playing in AFL Mackay as it is known today Eastern Swans is the only team not to win back to back premierships, even know they have played in more grand finals than any other club.  Bakers Creek have won 9 premierships, East Mackay 2 senior premierships, Trend United 1, East Mackay and Trend United amalgamated to become Eastern Swans and they went on to win 2 more with a total of 5 altogether.  North Mackay have got 6 premierships, Mackay City 5, Whitsunday 4 and Moranbah won 2 and Walkerston won 1 during their period in this association.

To be continued…..




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