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

2 May Essendon LOSS5-9
9 May Footscray WIN6-2
16 May Geelong WIN11-9
25 May Fitzroy LOSS5-6
30 May Williamstown WIN15-4
13 June Collingwood LOSS2-4
20 June St Kilda WIN7-1
27 June South Melbourne LOSS5-6
11 July Port Melbourne WIN5-2
18 July North Melbourne WIN12-5
25 July Carlton WIN7-3
1 August South Melbourne LOSS0-2
8 August Footscray WIN14-2
15 August Collingwood WIN6-4
22 August Essendon WIN7-5
5 September Fitzroy LOSS3-5
12 September Richmond WIN4-1
19 September Geelong WIN5-4

Other matches

1 July Southern Tasmania WIN7-4
4 July Southern Tasmania WIN5-4
July Southern Tasmania WIN9-4


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


George Adamson, David Christy, Herbert Fry, Gibson, Hall, Alf Healing, Harry Hughes, Douglas Irving, Michael Kennedy, Jack Leith, Austin Lewis, Lew Massey, Jim McCarthy, Bill McCulloch, Fred McGinis, Alex McKenzie, John McNamara, Henry Mitchell, George Moodie, Bob Moore, Ernest Mountjoy, George Moysey, George O'Dwyer, James O'Halloran, Patrick O'Loughlin, Charles Over, James Powell, George Ramsden, Albert Robinson, Fred Sheahan, Eddie Sholl, W. Smith, Wally Steele, Fred Strickland, Ned Sutton, Thompson, Dick Wardill, Charles Watson, Joe Wilson, John Wiseman


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

There is a suggestion that the club rebranded - at least temporarily as - 'MCC'.
Hall is a pseudonym for an unidentified player.

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

VFA Tables and Results
Thanks to Stephen Wade for player data.

Created by Supermercado. Last Modification: Sunday 03 September 2023 17:17:36 AEST by Supermercado. (Version 39)

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