TAC Cup - History


With the focus of the VFL/AFL moving rapidly towards national competition, the old metropolitan and country Victorian zoning recruitment method for VFL/AFL clubs was phased out and at the start of 1992 the league's Under 19 competition was disbanded.

A new competition, sponsored by the Transport Accident Commission was formed as an avenue to where many young Victorian under-18 players make their transition to becoming senior Australian Football League players. In 1992 the competition consisted of five metropolitan teams and one country team. The initial teams were the Northern Knights, Eastern Ranges, Southern Stingrays (renamed the Dandenong Stingrays), Western Jets, Central Dragons and Geelong Falcons.

In 1993 an additional four country teams were included – the Murray Bushrangers, Bendigo Pioneers, Gippsland Power, and North Ballarat Rebels. In 1995 two additional metropolitan regions were established with the Oakleigh Chargers and Calder Cannons teams included in the competition. The Tassie Mariners also commenced in the competition in 1995, becoming the league's first non-Victorian side. Finally, in 1996, the NSW/ACT Rams were admitted to the TAC Cup. The Mariners and RAMS both exiting the competition at the end of the 2002 (have been played four games a year from 2003–2004 and three game a year since 2005) resulting in the current 12 team competition. Other Non-Victorian clubs Queensland and Northern Territory played two games a year in 2003 and 2004 and three games a year since 2005.

The Gold Coast Football Club recruited several under-18s players in the 2008/09 summer, and participated in the TAC Cup in 2009 (before playing in the VFL in 2010 and the AFL from 2011). Similarly, the Greater Western Sydney Football Club fielded a TAC Cup team in 2010, two seasons prior to its introduction to the AFL in 2012.

Between 1995 and 2008, the finals system was in a knock-out format. This reverted to a traditional finals system in 2009 with the introduction of the Gold Coast team. In 2010, this was extended to include 12 of the 13 clubs participating that season, with the extra matches forming an extended knockout format. In 2011 the finals system was reverted back to the traditional 8 team AFL finals series.

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