I'm not one for making New Year's Resolutions, but after three trips to the State Library Victoria over the holidays to chip away at compiling the statistical history of competitive Victorian football I am making it a mission to have it as completed as possible by the end of the year.
Since regular, organised, league football began in 1909 I have 44 years in which all the relevant data I consider important is complete. What do I consider important? Final league tables for all the senior divisions. The names of the champions in the Reserves, District and Amateur Leagues below them. Line-ups and goalscorer details for State Grand Finals and Dockerty Cup Finals. The results of all other senior and reserves Cup finals. The results of any play-off matches for promotion/relegation between leagues. The names of all League Best and Fairest Award winners. Top goalscorers for the senior leagues. On that last one, with most goalscorers not listed in many early years and no tallies published, I allow seasons prior to the 1960's that have all other information but leading scorers to be classed as complete.
This leaves 57 years where information is still incomplete.
Some of these could be wiped out as impossible to find and moved into the complete column. For instance all 1955 is lacking is the name of one of the goalscorers in The Sun Cup Final. I still hold out hope of finding a match report that list it, but can assure you it wasn't in The Sun.
1910, 1913, 1919, 1921, 1924, 1942, 1943, 1947, 1948, 1951, 1958, 1959, 1963, 1964, 1968, 1970, 1973 and 1990 are all years where Dockerty Cup Final and Final Replays need more details regarding team line-ups.
Early Grand Finals/Play-Offs used on odd occasions in 1920 and 1923 also lack line-up details.
The modern age, which should really be online somewhere, but sadly isn't, sees years like 2000, 2002 and 2003 missing the names of the reserves league champions across all divisions. 2002 is also the one year without the winners of the State and Provisional League Best and Fairest Awards.
Funds have been allocated in this financial year for Trove to digitise The Sporting Globe up until 1954. If that is up and running in the latter half of the year it will help in finding results to make some incomplete league tables in the period at least more respectable.
In most cases I have now gone through the major papers (The Age, The Sun, The Herald, The Argus) in looking for information. I've tried Il Globo for Dockerty Cup Final details in years involving Juventus. I looked through some Jewish newspapers to see if there was any information about Hakaoh in the Second World War years when the major papers cut down coverage to a paragraph but they had more important things on their minds. I will now need to try more local suburban papers.
So if anyone out there knows of anyone with a collection of old soccer papers or records that I could have a look at, please get in touch.