Club History

Mt Eliza Junior Football Club – Beginnings – 1970s

  • Formed in 1970, affiliated with FDJFL in 1971
  • Won first FDJFL Premiership Pennant in Under 12s in 1970 (prior to affiliation)
  • From 1971, MEJFC fielded an Under 12 and Under 14 team (the League did not run an Under 12 or Under 14 competition in 1975), and an Under 10s team from 1972
  • The 1972 Under 12 Redlegs were coached by B.McCue and the Manager was D.Peebles; the coach of the Under 14s was J.Eley, Manager I.McLean; and the coach of the Under 10s was R.Bain
  • By 1975, an Under 13 team was fielded in Division 1, when the FDJFL Under 13 competition recommenced after its initial year in 1965, and an Under 15 team competed in the first year of competition for that age group in 1975
  • The Club had an Under 11 team in Division 2 in 1976 MEJFC won the Under 11 Division 2 premiership in 1977, defeating Police & Citizens JFC five goals six behinds to three straight goals
  • By 1977, the Redlegs had both a Blue and Red team in the Under 10 competition


MEJFC – Continued Growth – 1980s and 1990s

  • Due to the large number of boys in the Under 10s in 1978 some social games were organised by Seaford JFC with Ian Gallaway of the Mt Eliza Junior Football Club.
  • These games were played over four by five minute quarters, and catered for the younger boys who could not get a regular game in the Under 10 teams. Ian would collect the jumpers and boys from Mt Eliza and get them to Belvedere Oval, Seaford, one week, and Seaford would go to Mt Eliza Civic Centre Oval the next week. Our oval was surrounded by houses with septic tanks and, after rain that ground sure did pong. Mt Eliza did not have a spare set of jumpers as Seaford did, so Ian would have to give the Under 9 jumpers straight to his Under 10 team!
  • About six games were played that year; but in 1979 it was possible to arrange a full game every week. Some coaches allowed girls to join in the fun, but the boys would not go near them if the girls were chasing the ball! It was a good year climaxing in a Lightning Premiership series held at Edithvale
  • The Under 9s Association was formed in 1980, with MEJFC being an inaugural member; during the season there was no ladder or points scoring
  • In August each year a Lightning Premiership was played, which Mt Eliza Reds won in 1985; from 1982 a Final Four Premiership was decided, which the Redlegs won in 1983
  • Mark Thorpe was the coach of the Under 9 Reds in 1986, his wife Pat was the Team Manager and their son Ryan wore the No 1 guernsey …a real family affair!
  • By 1999, Mt Eliza teams contested the Grand Finals in Under 11 Blue, Under 11 Gold, Under 12 Blue, Under 12 Gold and Under 13 Blue, and played finals in Under 14 Gold, Under 15s and Under 16s – the Club had consolidated and looked forward to an even brighter future


MEJFC – 2000 to present – Launch of FDJFL Girls' Teams in 2014

From one Under 12 team in 1970, MEJFC now fields 26 boys and 2 girls teams in the 2015 FDJFL competition – our girls' Youth and Junior teams being launched in May 2014 with great excitement!

MEJFC - Leading Players and Life Members

Players in FDJFL Team of the Century 1965-2000:

  • Stewart Loewe 304 Saints games (started at Police &Citizens JFC, but played u14-16s at MEJFC) - started at Saints in 1986
  • David Hille – over 200 games @ Essendon (retired 2013)
  • Bowen Lockwood – 50 games @ Port Power
  • Mark Foyster – 9 games @ the Saints, 2 x B&F at Dolphins
  • Peter Freeman – Senior list at St Kilda, West Coast Eagles and Frankston Dolphins and current MEJFC Coach

Players in FDJFL Team of the Decade 2001-2010:

  • Mick Lourey – Frankston Dolphins & Sandringham (VFL)
  • Scott Simpson – Geelong Senior List and Frankston Dolphins (VFL)
  • Nathan Jones – current Melbourne Skipper (AFL)
  • Brendan Dunne - Coach

Both Mick Lourey and Scott Simpson represented the VFL Interstate in Perth in 2013. Tom Curren made his debut for the Saints in 2013, and Zak Jones for Sydney Swans in 2014. Lewis Pierce and J.Hammond were TAC Draftees in 2010 and 2011 respectively.

Recent outstanding MEJFC players who have featured in FDJFL awards include:

  • Mitch McCarthy won 2013 FDJFL u16 B&F
  • Harrison Scott 2nd 2013 Alan Wickes Medal Gold Division, Oscar Craig 3rd in Blue Division
  • Jarrah Burgess 2nd 2012 FDJFL u16 B&F (Blue Div) Pat Rollo Medal, Hayden Rigg 3rd
  • Anthony Cleary won 2012 FDJFL u16 B&F (Gold Div) Pat Rollo Medal
  • Brad Occhipinti won 2012 FDJFL u15 (Blue Div) Alan Wickes Medal
  • Will Crowder won 2011 FDJFL u16 B&F (Blue Div) Pat Rollo Medal, Zak Jones 3rd
  • Anthony Cleary 3rd 2011 FDJFL u15 B&F (Gold Div) Alan Wickes Medal

MEJFC Life Members:

1979 - M.Tracy
1980 - M.Knight | V.Woinarski
1982 - K.Knight
1983 - P.Vosti | Ge Weeks | Gl Weeks
1984 - I.Gallaway
1986 - R.McGregor
1987 - J.Penhale
1989 - R.Miglioranza
1990 - N.Hanson
1992 - R.Breakmuller
1993 - P.Fraser | M.Thorpe
1997 - L.Hutton
2010 - D.Strickland | D.Anthony
2013 - S.Brattle

MEJFC – Club Successes

The Redlegs have won 48 flags in Under 11 to Under 16 competition, more than one for each year since our formation (and our Under 9s and 10s each won two Lightning Premierships around the start of the new millennium):

1970s - U11s: 1977 | U12s: 1970 | U14s: 1978
1980s - U11s: 1983 | U12s: 1986 | U13s: 1981 | U14s: 1982 | U15s: 1983 | U16s: 1982, 1983
1990s - U11s: 1992, 1997, 1999 | U12s: 1999 (2 Divs) | U13s: 1995 | U14s: 1992 | U16s: 1997
2000s - u11s: 2003, 2006, 2008 | U12s: 2000, 2002, 2003 | U13s: 2004, 2007, 2008 (2 Divs) | U14s: 2000, 2001, 2003, 2005 | U15s: 2003, 2004, 2006 | U16s: 2002, 2003, 2005, 2007
2010 > - U11s: 2010 | U12s: 2012 (2 Divs), 2013 | U14s: 2001, 2013 | U15s: 2010 | U16s: 2012, 2013

But winning is not everything, and our President Steve Baker puts the Club's philosophy this way: “Above all else, the most important thing is that all the kids have fun."

Finally, the MEJFC expresses our sincere appreciation to the founders of the FDJFL in 1965 – Messrs Cameron, Fox, Heron, Woiwod and Wickes – and to all those volunteers that have followed to make the competition preeminent in allowing kids from all around the South East of Melbourne and the Mornington Peninsula to play footy and have fun.