Monash University
Whites Football
1964-1965; 1971 onwards
Victorian Amateur Football Association


20th CENTURY

 


A BRIEF HISTORY


Play it hard.  Play it fair.  Never shirk.  Always there.

 

Monash University is now Australia's largest uni, with more than 63,000 students spread over its five Victorian campuses, its Malaysian and South African campuses and its centre in Italy.

In the University's second year, Monash University Football Club entered the Victorian Amateur Football Association (VAFA), winning the E Section premiership upon debut and then being runner-up in D Section the next season.

1964 saw the birth of the Football Club's second team who commenced in the newly created VAFA F Section, a grade that did not require a reserves side.  The original team, now playing in C Section, played as the Monash Blues whilst the new team took the name Monash Whites.  Finalists in our first year, the Whites just missed the 1965 finals and then went into a five year hiatus, along with the F Section competition itself.

Monash University gained promotion to A Section in 1969 and, "in an effort to expand and field a greater number of teams in order to hold and develop players within the club" [G. W. Marshall - "President's Report - 1972"], the Whites were entered in the returning VAFA F Section in season 1971.  A consistent side throughout the early years of its second coming, the Whites won the F Reserve Premiership in 1972, only its second year of Reserves competition.

The early to mid seventies marked the golden age for the Monash University club with the Blues in A Section for all bar one season and Whites making the finals in four out of its first five years back.  The MUFC was so successful that a fifth senior team - the Monash Reds - played in a social competition for a few seasons.  A number of Reds  played for the Whites and its brief history is an important part of ours. 

The Whites strong and consistent performances culminated on Grand Final day in 1975, with the Whites (16.10) defeating Heatherton (13.13) to claim our first senior premiership.

Winning only four games in E Section in 1976, the Whites were relegated at the end of the season and struggled through some poor years, slumping to wooden spoons in 1978 and 1979.  The '76 season also saw the Blues get the A Section spoon and a new strain was placed on the relationship of the MUFC's teams.

This decline culminated with the somewhat acrimonious split between the Blues and the Whites at the end of the 1979 season.   Prior to this point the two teams were part of the Monash University Football Club but the split led to the formation of the Monash Whites Football Club as a separate entity.  The following extract from the MWFC's review at the end of the 1980 year provides some insight into both the background to the "fall" and the passions that had been excited.

"The start of the season began in reality at the end of the 1979 season when there was a big push from a lot of quarters to have the Whites thrown out of the V.A.F.A.  The first push came in the form of the MONASH BLUES; who in their wisdom decided it would be for the betterment of all concerned if the Whites did no longer exist.  We were blamed for all sorts of things as well as the Blues bad showing during the year.  So, the Blues thought, they had the right to decide where 40 odd players would not be playing in 1980.  Well it worked and in fact the Whites were thrown out of the competition, but thanks to Daryl Wilson ... and Pat Cain who sat all night on a phone and persuaded the V.A.F.A to give the Whites one more chance."

The "new" club struggled at first, collecting the spoon yet again in season 1980.  However, improvement was soon evident and the Whites became competitive once more.  Mid-table in 1981 and 1982, the club slumped back to last place in season '83.

Having not made a finals series of any sort since the Blues' 1978 B Reserve premiership, Monash University senior football endured its longest draught, brought to an end by the Whites in 1984.

Though minor premiers, the Whites lost both finals to finish third, and then spiralled downward, falling close to extinction.  Our next low ebb was reached in late 1985, with severe player shortages, two meetings held to consider disbanding, the coach and the club parting ways, and the club considering a merger with the Monash Blues, the club that it had only six seasons earlier broke from.

The mighty Whites, however, survived these traumas and, with the VAFA's introduction of the one team (no reserve grade) G Section in 1986, the club was handed a lifeline that it grabbed with both hands.

G Section runners-up in the competition's first year, the club made the finals in four of the next six years, losing the by now G South Section Grand Final in 1992, after being minor premiers at the end of the home and away season.

1993 saw the VAFA change the G Sections to the Club 18 Sections.  After a year in Club 18 South, the Whites moved up to E South Section in season 1994, fielding a Monash Whites reserve side for the first time since 1985.

After three years of hard graft in E South, with player numbers again becoming a concern, the Whites returned to Club 18 (2) Section in 1997, making the finals for the first time in five seasons.

August 23rd 1998 saw the Monash Whites (8.11) come from behind at half time to defeat Kew (7.6) and claim the club's second senior premiership, crowning a year in which the team lost only one game.

In 2000 the Monash Whites and the Monash Blues finally merged.  The Club 18 (2) First Semi Final of season 2000 was the last game the club played under its own name.

In its thirty-two years of competition the Monash Whites participated in fourteen senior finals series - finishing fourth on four occasions, third six times, runners-up twice and champions twice.

Commencing with Round One of the 2001 season, the Whites now play under the "Monash Blues" name.  The Whites have played finals football in seven of the last thirteen seasons, runners-up in 2002, 2006, 2007 and 2008.

The club has a rich history of wonderful personalities and people.  Now under the Monash Blues banner, the mighty Whites continue to strive to provide a place for Monash students, staff, graduates, families and friends to play the great game or be involved with the management and support of the team.

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