The Early Days

Back in the 1860s football was played around the North East in unofficial games way before any organized competition began. Around 1885 Tallangatta (the red caps), Mitta Mitta (Snowy’s) and Allan’s Flat fielded teams but there was no official League or draw set up in those days. Tallangatta was often referred to as Mitta Valley with red, white and blue as their team colours and the Allans Flat team were judged by their size and weight. In their first game that year Allan’s Flat was soundly defeated by a more streamlined and fitter Tallangatta combination played at Tallangatta. The games were organized weeks before so the clubs could train and organize the teams and transport. Travel was a major factor in those days with horse drawn drags, coaches, horseback or walking the common mode of travel until the arrival of rail. The drags held about 20 people with the majority of the team and supporters meeting at the pub Saturday morning and heading of about 7am arriving about midday. A lot of the time the teams struggled for numbers but generally the games went ahead anyway with players borrowed from the opposition. After the game the home team would host a function with the club President toasting his counterpart in a gentlemanly fashion and being returned the compliment. The visitors would return home that night or the next morning. Tallangatta Football Team were undefeated in 1885.

A meeting of the Tallangatta Football Club was held at the Court House Thursday Evening May 27th 1886. On the agenda was a match between Tallangatta and Albury Federals to be organized for the 12th June of that year. Mitta Mitta and Tallangatta played each other twice in 1886 with the first game May 15th, which resulted in Tallangatta flogging Mitta Mitta at Tallangatta. In fairness to Mitta they only fielded 16 players that day and their best players were Crebbin, Roderick, McLeod, Ned McGrath, Harry Hailes and Andrew Thompson. The final score was Tallangatta-5.25. to Mitta Mitta-0.1. The second game was held on the 26th June at Tallangatta with Tallangatta the victors once again. Saturday August 7th 1886 Tallangatta traveled to Staghorn Flat and were victorious against Allans Flat. Granya Football Club was formed mid August 1886 and their first game was against Tallangatta played at Granya on the 25th September of that year. Granya were the victors that day. Granya was coached by a Mr. Campbell and captained by J. Downes. The team was as follows-Walton, Webb, Webb, Sutherland, Sutherland, McMahon, Sparrow, Phillips, Cross, Locheard, Hughes, Crisp, Garing, Jewell, Walker. Emergencies. Carter, Bohun, Phillips, Gilbert, Vandenburg and Robinson. No finals were played as the season ended with the home and away games. The season finished Sept 1886 with Tallangatta playing six games winning five and losing one. They played Albury Federals twice, Allans Flat once, Mitta Mitta twice, Granya once, which was their only loss. Granya only played one game that year winning against Tallangatta. Mitta Mitta played only two games losing both to Tallangatta. A drawn game in those days was when both teams kicked the same amount of goals so they called it a draw. Even though one team had kicked more behinds they were not declared the winner as the total points score line had not come into being yet. Mitta Mitta had improved from the previous year in 1885 even though they didnt win a game. Tallangatta lacked a goal sneak and it was obvious from their low goal score tally, but their defense was very strong. After the football season ended the only battles that took place were the ones in pubs and other watering holes where footballers congregated.

The Melbourne to Wodonga Rail link opened November 21st 1873 and in 1889 the rail stretched from Wodonga to Huon Lane. Huon Lane and Old Tallangatta were linked up in 1891 and it wasn’t until 1921 before the rail finally linked up Cudgewa and the Upper Murray District. The North East and Upper Murray district was still serviced daily by Royal Mail Coaches from Wodonga through to Bethanga, Talgarno across to Tallangatta and up the river to Cudgewa and Corryong and other outlying areas. In preparation for the 1887 season clubs were in full swing organizing their teams. Granya Football Club held their A.G.M at Reillys Hall at Granya Tuesday 22nd March 1887. Elections for office bearers were held. Tallangatta Footy Club held their A.G.M. at the Court House on Friday the 18th March that same year. Captain-D. Sutherland and Vice-captain was E. Henty. Mitta Mitta Football Club had their meeting April 1st 1887 also that same year a section of Magorra Park was cleared for their new footy ground. Magorra Park is the present day Golf Course/Caravan Park/Football Ground Complex in Mitta.

Albury and Albury Federals fielded teams that year. Allan’s Flat did not field a team in 1887. Albury played Tallangatta on the 14th May with Tallangatta the winners. Tallangatta proved they were the inform team by winning six games and losing one that year. 1887 also saw the push in the back rule used for the first time in this comp as the VFL had been using it for a couple of years. It took awhile for the players to come to terms with this new rule but they soon adapted to it. That same year Granya, Tallangatta, Bethanga and Bungil fielded juniors. Bethanga played their home games at Bethanga Park or the Recreation Reserve (the current footy ground) as it is now known. In 1888 Albury and Albury Federals merged and became Albury United. Quite often teams would merge for only one or two games and then revert back to their original club. Albury and Wagga played a game in 1888. Yackandandah and Tallangatta played each other twice in 1889 and in 1890 teams from Tallangatta, Yackandandah, Hillsborough, Middle Creek/Indigo United, Beechworth, Hurdle Flat Wanderers, Gundowring (Freedom Brothers), Wooragee, Rutherglen and Chiltern were represented. In 1891 Yackandandah, Chiltern, Back Creek, Wagga and Osborne Flat playing in red and white played a few games and in 1892 the first official competitions were organized. Tallangatta, Yackandandah and Osborne Flat also known as Imperials entered into the Craven Trophy Challenge. The competition was named after a local MP from Yackandandah and only clubs and players in the Benambra electorate could compete. The matches were held fortnightly with the teams playing each other twice. The games were played under VFA rules with a win worth 4 points and a draw worth 2 points. This was the first time that a season with an official draw had been set up with teams playing each other regularly for points etc. Yackandandah won the Trophy that year by defeating Tallangatta. Besides playing in this competition Tallangatta still managed a game against Beechworth/Hurdle Flat Wanderers Football Club, a practice game against Newtown Football Club with the final result a draw and pitted their junior team against Granya but lost. Besides the Craven Cup competitors Albury was the only other club to field a team. The following year in 1893 Tallangatta won the Craven Trophy comp but a team had to win the comp twice before they took the cup home so it stayed at Yackandandah. Also that year a motion was brought before a delegates meeting to play the decider on a neutral ground at Kiewa so there was no advantage but it was not carried so the games remained at Yackandandah. Tallangatta also played Albury and Granya that year but these games were not part of the Craven Trophy.

In 1894 Glen Wills battled Mitta Mitta at Mitta and Corryong defeated Cudgewa at Corryong. The Craven Cup was held once again with Tallangatta the victors and this time they took the cup home from Yackandandah. Eskdale, Tallangatta and Granya once again did battle in non-trophy games and Sandy Creek defeated Bolga at Sandy Creek. In 1895 Albury joined the Ovens and Murray Association and Kiewa, Tallangatta and Sandy Creek fielded Juniors. Tallangatta did not play any games in 1895. In 1896 Tallangatta held their A.G.M on the 18th April at the old Tallangatta courthouse to re-establish the Football Club. The move went ahead and Tallangatta played a intra-club game the 16th May 1896 in preparation for the coming season. The 1896 season saw the Craven Trophy Competition replaced by the Johnson Trophy Competition with teams from Yackandandah, Sandy Creek, Wodonga, Gundowring and Osbornes Flat competing. Mr. R. Johnson from Yackandandah donated the trophy and the same rules applied as with the Craven Cup. Sandy Creek defeated Wodonga kicking 3.13 to 5 behinds at Sandy Creek. Sandy Creek had an advantage over Wodonga as they had eight Tallangatta players in their side as Tallangatta didnt play in the comp that year. Gundowring defeated Osbornes Flat at Gundowring by a goal. Osbornes Flat defeated Sandy Creek at Sandy Creek by 4.2 to 3 goals and Yackandandah defeated Sandy Creek at Sandy Creek on the 18th July. Gundowring beat Sandy Creek at the Creek kicking 3.8 to 1 behind on the 29th August. Yackandandah won the Cup defeating Osbornes Flat becoming the 1896 Premiers. Other non-trophy games played that year-Tallangatta-4.6 defeated Sandy Creek-1 behind at Tallangatta in their first home game for the season on the 13th June. Mitta Mitta played Eskdale that same day, Granya lost against Tallangatta on July 11th at Tallangatta with the scoreline 2.7 to 1.4, Snowy Creek 2.9 defeated Tallangatta 2.5 25th July at Mitta and Granya defeated Tallangatta at Granya on the 27th August by 1.9 to 1.4. In Sept 1896 the Victorian Football Association proposed new rule alterations as follows-to reduce the number of players from 20 to 18, abolish behinds, marks paid at not less than ten yards, to limit discretionary powers of umpires and to lessen the free kicks awarded to players. Another attempted change was to connect goalposts (rugby fashion) with a bar ten feet high from ground. The ball must be kicked over the bar to score, thankfully this change was not implemented. Football was in full swing in the Upper Murray District with teams representing Cudgewa, Corryong, Tumbarumba and the Mt Elliott Miners playing each other several times through 1896/97 seasons.

In 1897 the Weiss Trophy replaced the Johnson Trophy with Gundowring defeating Osbornes Flat winning the trophy. Other non trophy games played in 1897 saw United Miners (Eskdale) defeat Glencoe at Tallandoon on June 12th and Tallangatta defeat Sandy Creek at Tallangatta on Sept 11th by 3 goals. In 1898 the Alty Trophy Competition replaced the Weiss Trophy Comp with Yackandandah and Osbornes Flat competing. Tallangatta reformed under red and blue colours and Bethanga played Sandy Creek at Sandy Creek on the 28th May with the result unknown. Also in 1898 Mr. A.H. Carkeek from Eskdale offered a silver cup to the winner in a competition organized amongst the district footy clubs. The rules and a draw were drafted with teams from Tallangatta, Sandy Creek, Mitta Mitta and Eskdale represented. Tallangatta defeated Eskdale by 10 points winning the 1898 Carkeek Trophy. The same year Gundowring defeated Tallangatta at Sandy Creek in a non-trophy game. 1899 saw the Tallangatta district football season (the first time it was referred to under this name) kick off the 17th June playing for the Swanton and Shannon Football Trophy. This trophy replaced the Carkeek Trophy from the previous year. However a special meeting was held before this comp began and a new name was voted in. The Benambra Football Association so the TDFL name was short lived. The teams competing in this new comp were Tallangatta, Tallandoon, Mitta Mitta, Eskdale and Sandy Creek. An official draw was drawn up and the first named team was where the game was played. Bethanga and Osbornes Flat football clubs submitted letters to the association to compete in this comp but they were to late as the draw and rules had been finalized so they missed out.

In the year 1900 the Nobels-Hamburg Football Competition was run with teams represented Mitta Mitta, Eskdale, Sandy Creek, Tallangatta with Eskdale the winners of the trophy that year. They defeated Mitta Mitta by 5 points on the 6th October at Mitta. Granya did not play in the comp but still played a game against Tallangatta defeating them at Tallangatta in June 1900. However the next season in 1901 Granya did compete in the comp and won it. Sandy Creek did not play in 1901. The 1902/03 seasons saw very little football at all and the only teams that played were Tallangatta, Granya and Sandy Creek in non-trophy games. In 1904 The Rout Football Trophy was held with teams representing Granya, Tallangatta, Eskdale and Mitta Mitta competing. Albury Federals, Tallandoon and Sandy Creek also played that year but not in the Rout Cup. In 1905 Eskdale, Mitta Mitta, Tallangatta, Granya and Sandy Creek competed in the Crawford Cup. The Mitta Mitta Football Association as it was then known was formed into two sections. Section A comprised of Tallangatta, Granya and Sandy Creek and Section B was Mitta Mitta and Eskdale. Sandy Creek won in Division A whilst Mitta Mitta won Division B so the two division winners played of for the Crawford Cup with Sandy Creek the eventual winners. The reason for two divisions was to save the clubs from too much travel. In 1906 their were two local competitions, the Crawford Trophy and the Murphy Trophy comps. Eskdale, Mitta Mitta and Tallangatta played in the Crawford Cup with Tallangatta the victors. Sandy Creek, Allans Flat and Yackandandah played for the Murphy cup with Yackandandah winning. For the first time in years the powerful Granya Football Club did not field a team that year much to the disappointment of local supporters. At the time quite a lot of people left the small village of Granya for various reasons decimating the footy club. Dederang played a game that year and there was a whisper that a team from Georges Creek was being formed but did not eventuate. The Bethanga Football Club was officially formed in May 1907 joining the Mitta Mitta Football Association. Mr D. Rosenberg of the Eskdale Hotel offered a trophy for district clubs to compete for. Eskdale, Mitta Mitta, Sandy Creek, Tallangatta Federals, Bethanga and Granya played in the Association for the Rosenberg Trophy. The six teams were split up into two sections. A-Eskdale, Mitta Mitta and Sandy Creek. B-Tallangatta, Bethanga and Granya. Bethanga played their first game against Tallangatta on the 18th May 1907 at Bethanga Park losing by six goals. Sandy Creek won the A Section by defeating Mitta Mitta whilst Granya won the B Section defeating Tallangatta at Bethanga. The final was played on the 25th August at Eskdale with Granya defeating Sandy Creek by 28 points. In 1908 The Tallangatta Football Association consisted of Division A-Granya, Bethanga and Tallangatta and Division B-Eskdale, Mitta Mitta and Sandy Creek. The teams played off for the McKay/Fagan Trophy that year with Sandy Creek defeating Granya at Tallangatta by two points and exacting revenge from the previous years loss. The same year The Tallangatta District were defeated by The Corryong District at Tallangatta August 25th by 13 points in what was officially the first Inter league game.

In 1909 their were quite a few changes. Ex Melbourne player Jim Stewart and Bill Twomey organized the Stewart/Twomey Association. Sandy Creek and Kiewa merged to become Dreadnought Football Club. Teams from Bethanga, Tallangatta, Dreadnought and Wodonga were represented. Wodonga were Premiers that year defeating Dreadnought at Wodonga. Tallangatta Valley Football Club was formed playing in gold jumpers and black shorts and competed for the McKay/Fagan Trophy along with the Eskdale, Mitta Mitta and Tallangatta Clubs. The competition was won by Tallangatta Valley defeating Mitta Mitta at Tallangatta. Granya didnt play in the trophy comp but did play occasionally in non-trophy games. Quite a few ex Granya players went and played for the newly formed Tallangatta Valley Club. Travel to and from games was still by train and drag. In 1910 Granya, playing in black and white colours, Tallangatta, Eskdale and Mitta Mitta competed in the Twamley Trophy Competition. Granya won the Trophy by defeating Eskdale. In 1911 the Blanchfield Trophy Comp kicked of with Eskdale, Mitta Mitta, Tallangatta and Tallangatta valley vying for the cup. Tallangatta Valley were the victors that year beating Mitta. Barnawartha Football Club was formed in 1910. Bethanga didnt field a team in the 1910/11/12 seasons. In 1912 the Tallangatta and Mitta Mitta Football Association season kicked off in the Orr / Paterson Trophy Competition and the Blair Trophy comp. With two trophys up for grabs their were two divisions. Division A. Orr / Paterson Trophy-Tallangatta, Tallangatta Valley and Granya.  Division B. Blair Trophy-Mitta Mitta, Eskdale and Sandy Creek. Granya won section A and Mitta Mitta(red and blues) won section B so both teams played off for the trophies with Granya the victors over Mitta Mitta. A protest was lodged by Mitta over Granya playing ineligible players but was dismissed. In 1913 The Mitta Mitta Valley Football Association consisted of teams from Eskdale, Tallangatta Valley, Tallangatta, Mitta Mitta, Sandy Creek, and Bethanga. These teams competed for the The Blanchfield Trophy with the Grand Final won by Tallangatta Valley by 19 points over Eskdale at Eskdale. However before the season began Bethanga withdrew from the Association and joined Granya and Wymah in the newly formed Bethanga/Granya/Wymah Football Association. Bethanga were the 1913 Premiers defeating Granya at Wymah on the 2nd August in their first ever premiership. Also that year a combined team from Fernvale/Noorongong played a non trophy game against Tallangatta.

Season 1914 saw the Federal Railway Football Club formed with maroon jumpers and socks and white shorts. Federal Football Club was basically a Tallangatta and Tallangatta Valley merger. Dederang played a game or two that year but were not part of any official league or competition. The Wodonga and District Association was formed that same year with Federals, Bethanga, Sandy Creek and Wodonga represented. Federals defeated Sandy Creek at Wodonga and became Premiers for 1914. The Blanchfield Trophy was again up for grabs with Mitta Mitta, Eskdale and Fernvale vying for the Trophy. Eskdale defeated Mitta Mitta in the Grand Final at Eskdale winning the cup.

The 1915 Mitta Mitta Valley Football Association season saw Mitta Mitta, Fernvale and Eskdale once again compete for the Blanchfield Trophy. Eskdale again won the competition. There was no football played in 1916/17/18 due to World War One raging in Europe. The Mitta Mitta Valley Football Association kicked off on the 29th May 1919 with Granya, Mitta Mitta, Eskdale and Tallangatta competing for the Kohne Trophy. The following year in 1920 The Kiewa Football Association was formed. The Henderson Silver Cup was up for grabs with Kiewa, Bonegilla, Tallangatta, Sandy Creek and Bethanga competing. Tallangatta wearing blue jumpers and white shorts were the 1920 Premiers defeating Kiewa. These Trophy Competitions were offered by local identities around the area for teams to compete and small prize monies were also offered in some of these events. These people had a keen foresight to offer such trophies for the betterment of football.

As the 1921 Kiewa Football Association season was about to kick off Bonegilla and Sandy Creek folded but the association was bolstered by the inclusion of Tallangatta Valley, Granya and Talgarno. Granya defeated Kiewa at Kiewa in the Grand Final the 27th August becoming the 1921 Premiers. The Mitta Mitta Football Association also held a comp that year with Mitta Mitta, Eskdale and Roadmen Football Clubs competing. In 1922 The Tallangatta and District Football Association formed consisting of Tallangatta, Kiewa, Eskdale, Bethanga, Talgarno and Granya. In the 1922 Grand Final at Tallangattas Ormidale Oval Bethanga who finished minor premiers that year were up against their old foes Tallangatta. The final score being 9.8 to 3.5 in Tallangattas favour. The Mitta Mitta Association consisted of just two teams in 1922, Mitta Mitta and Mitta North. The Allans Flat District Association formed in 1923 with Dederang, Kergunyah, Allans Flat and Tangam Rovers represented and in the Tallangatta and District Association Kiewa playing in purple and gold defeated Granya 2.16 to 3.9 on the 8th Sept at Tallangatta and became the 1923 Premiers. Granya played in maroon and gold. In 1924 the League was known as the Kiewa and District Football Association and saw another reshuffling of teams with Mitta Mitta(red and blue), Fernvale(black and gold), Eskdale(red and white), Mitta North(royal blue and white) and Tallangatta playing in the Mitta Valley Football Association. Tallangatta defeated Mitta Mitta in the Grand Final. The Yackandandah District Association attempt at running a competition failed through lack of interest with Kiewa Rovers, Yackandandah, and Ebden Wier the only teams competing playing very few games that year.

The 1925 Kiewa and District Football Association season kicked off with Yackandandah, Kiewa, Dederang, Bethanga, Allans Flat, Tallangatta and Granya the combatants. In the Grand final Tallangatta defeated Allans Flat to become premiers and Mitta North defeated Mitta Mitta in the Mitta Valley Football Association Grand Final playing for the Kohne Trophy. Fernvale and Eskdale also played in the Mitta Valley competition. The following year in 1926 the Mitta Valley Association had just two teams-Mitta North and Eskdale whilst the Kiewa District Association consisted of Allans Flat, Bethanga, Dederang, Granya, Kiewa, Tallangatta and Yackandandah. That year Bethanga and Granya played off in the Grand Final with Granya the victors by 4 points at Granya. The 1927 season in the Kiewa and District Association Mitta Valley or the purples were formed joining the League but Allans Flat dropped out. Once again Granya were premiers defeating Bethanga again this time by 40 points. The 1928 season saw Ebden Rovers join the Kiewa District Association with Yackandandah dropping out but they still fielded a team in the Yackandandah(black and white), B-grade comp. Other teams in this comp were Bethanga(red, white and blue), Bullioh(yellow and black), Kergunyah(red and white) and Sandy Creek(yellow, black and white). The premiers in the 1928 season were Mitta Valley over Granya at Tallangatta with the final scoreline being 10. 6. 66 to 8.7.57. In the B-Grade competition Grand Final Yackandandah defeated Kergunyah at Sandy Creek. The 1929 Tallangatta and District Association season kicked off with Tallangatta, Mitta, Ebden Rovers, Granya and the admittance of Wodonga and Albury Rovers Football clubs. Albury Rovers and Granya played off in the Grand Final at Tallangatta with Granya the victors. Bethanga joined the Yackandandah Football Association in 1929 winning the Grand Final to become Y.F.A. Premiers. Only four teams were represented in the Tallangatta and District Association in 1930. Fernvale, Granya, Tallangatta and Mitta Mitta competed with the former defeating Tallangatta in the Grand Final. In 1931 the Tallangatta and District League consisted of Mitta who were eventual victors over Tallangatta and Eskdale and Bullioh. Bethanga and Talgarno played in the 1931 Yackandandah Football Association Grand Final with the final score Talgarno-11.14. 80. to Bethanga-10.8.68 losing yet another Grand Final. Yet another revamp of local football in the area the following season of 1932 saw the Yackandandah District Football Association consist of 8 clubs. Kiewa Rovers, Bethanga, Mitta, Sandy Creek, Granya, Yackandandah, Kergunyah and Tallangatta vying for championship points. The 1932 Yackandandah Football Association Grand Final was held at Sandy Creek with Mitta the victors over Tallangatta with the score being Mitta-12.18.90 Tallangatta 8.4.52. In 1933 six clubs were represented in the Tallangatta and District Football League. Bethanga, Granya, Kiewa, Mitta, Sandy Creek and Tallangatta fielded sides with Yackandandah and Kergunyah dropping out. Granya were premiers in 33 defeating Mitta Mitta in the Grand Final played at Tallangatta. The final score was Granya-14.13.97 to Mitta Mitta-11.10.76. In the 1934 season their was no senior grade competition however a reserve grade competition was held. Called the Tallangatta Junior Association Mitta Valley, Sandy Creek, Tallangatta Rovers and Tallangatta Valley competed for honours. Sandy Creek were premiers that year defeating Tallangatta Rovers by 39 points at Sandy Creek. The League changed its name to the Dederang Football Association in 1935 retaining the name up until and including the 1939 season.

The 1935/36 seasons had the same teams with Dederang, Eskdale, Kergunyah, Sandy Creek, Tawonga and Yackandandah battling for honours. Also in 1935 the  Chiltern and District Football League was formed with 11 teams represented. Balldale, Barnawartha, Beechworth, Chiltern, Howlong, Kiewa, Springhurst, Tallangatta, Wahgunyah, Wodonga and Yackandandah. Yackandandah fielded teams in both Leagues in 1935 but the League was cut back to just five teams the following season. Tallangatta, Kiewa, Granya, Mitta Valley and Chiltern were the teams with Chiltern defeating Kiewa 7.11.53. to 7.8.50 at Barnawartha and becoming the Chiltern District League premiers of 1936. Wodonga or the Maroons as they were commonly called in those days joined the Ovens and Murray Football League in 1936. In 1937 the Dederang and District Association consisted of Tawonga, Yackandandah, Kergunyah, Kiewa, Sandy Creek, Dederang and Eskdale. In the 1937 Grand Final Kiewa 11.9.75 defeated Kergunyah 10.5.65 to become premiers. The 1938 Dederang Football League comprised Sandy Creek, Yackandandah, Kiewa, Eskdale, Kergunyah, Tawonga. The 1938 premiers Eskdale easily defeated Kiewa 16.14.110 to 5.6.36 at Sandy Creek. In 1938 the Hume League consisted of Bethanga, Burrumbuttock, Gerogery, Jindera, Lavington, Wagga Road, Walbundrie and Walla. The Chiltern and District League was Balldale, Barnawartha, Chiltern, Corowa Rovers and Howlong. Lavington were Hume League Premiers belting Bethanga by 89 points in a one sided affair. The following year all but four of the Lavington Football Team were reported during a game for unduly rough play and unruly behavior. Lavington had a disreputable reputation in those days and were known as a pack of mongrels and some players received lifetime bans from football so the club folded. The 1939 season saw the Dederang and District Association expand to seven teams with Tallangatta reforming after a couple of years in the wilderness since departing the Chiltern District League. Bethanga returned to the League after a few years playing in Hume League but Tawonga folded. So the League consisted of Tallangatta, Kiewa, Eskdale, Sandy Creek, Kergunyah, Granya and Bethanga. In the 1939 Grand Final Tallangatta 6.12.48 defeated Kiewa 2.9.21 at Sandy Creek.

Just prior to the 1940 season the Dederang Football League was restructured. As Dederang had pulled out of the League a couple of seasons ago it was decided to change the name. A league delegates meeting was held on the 8th April 1940 at Kiewa and it was changed to The Kiewa and Mitta Valleys Football League. Permission was also granted to Eskdale Football Club to change its name to Mitta Valley. Eskdale Football Ground was still their home ground but they also used Mittas Ground for some of their home games. Kergunyah Football Club folded in 1940, which cut the League back to six teams - Bethanga, Granya, (Bungil Park) Kiewa, Mitta Valley, Sandy Creek and Tallangatta. The Kiewa and Mitta League season kicked off on the 4th May 1940 and the Dederang and District Football League consisting of just three teams - Dederang, Mudgegonga and Yackandandah resumed on the 25th May 1940. The Chiltern and District League season also began on the 25th May. The Chiltern League had five clubs, Chiltern, Barnawartha, Howlong, Balldale and Wodonga. The 1940 Kiewa and Mitta League Grand Final was fought out between Mitta Valley 12.7.79 and Tallangatta 9.12.66 on the 3rd August with Mitta Valley winning by 13 points. Local Leagues then went into recess because of the War. The Ovens and Murray League shortened its 1940 season as the war situation overseas deteriorated.

In 1944 the League ran an unofficial competition comprising of Tallangatta, Fernvale, Granya, Sandy Creek, Eskdale and Mitta. Fernvale Football Club were the unofficial Premiers that year defeating Sandy Creek by 51 points at Eskdale. Mitta Valley became Mitta that same year. Also in 1944 the Army ran a comp called the Albury/Bandiana Australian Rules Army Competition and the Bonegilla Australian Rules Army Competition comprising teams from the various army units in the area. The following year in 1945 the Albury/Bandiana League and the Bonegilla League amalgamated and become the Bandiana/Bonegilla Australian Rules Army Football League consisting of 12 teams. All their games were played on Sundays at the Albury Sports Ground and the various Army Grounds at Bandiana and Bonegilla. The Tallangatta and District Football League was officially formed in 1945 comprising six teams-Bethanga, Fernvale, Granya, Mitta/Eskdale, Sandy Creek and Tallangatta and kicked off on the 21st April 1945. At the same time the Dederang and District league became the Yackandandah League with the inclusion of Tawonga, Kergunyah and Kiewa joining Yackandandah, Mudgegonga, Dederang.

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