The University Blacks, one of the oldest football clubs in Australia, currently fields 4 teams in the VAFA - the Seniors, Reserves, The Phoenix (Thirds) and Under 19's.
On September 22 2012, AFL Hall of Fame member and former Uni Blacks Director of Coaching David Parkin was quoted in The Age as saying...
''I'd have to say the culture at the Blacks is the best culture of any footy club I've been involved with, even Hawthorn"
Ask anyone far and wide about the Blacks and you will find all answers share a similar sentiment; University Blacks’ culture is what sets it apart from any other Football Club.
Regardless of your background or football ability, all members are welcomed into the fabric of the Club and treated as equals from day one. This shared understand that exists among players and coaches extends to those in the Blacks community, which extends across many aspects of life and careers. Being a University based Club, change is never far around the corner, as individuals come and go. Embracing this change and the different perspectives it can bring is what elevates the Blacks and ensures that we constantly remain at the top of our craft and proactive in our approach.
In 2023, the Club finds itself back in the William Buck Premier Division of the Victorian Amateur Football Association. Promotion to A-Grade was the reward for many years of persistence and commitment to a stated goal, after our unsuccessful season in 2017 that found us back in Premier B for 2018. Back-to-back heartbreaking preliminary final losses in 2018/2019 could have been a hammer blow for the team’s determination, and when the 2020/2021 seasons were abandoned/cancelled, doubters could be believed that the desire for a return to A Grade had been snuffed out.
Our Club would not have a bit of it though and doubled down on our resolve to return to Premier, finally achieving what had been a 5-year journey after defeating the Beaumaris Sharks in the 2023 Semi-Final.
During this time, our Reserves – perennial Premiership winners in their own right through the Blacks 100 plus years of standing on their own – continued to add depth and support our Seniors, training in conjunction with them and keeping the competitiveness for selection hotly contested. Whether you are looking to push for Senior selection or comfortable playing at Reserves level, that expectation of quality training and connection across squads is what adds to the tremendous culture at Blacks.
The Phoenix similarly provides its own selling points as a team within the Blacks, adding a perfect combination of fun, fitness, football, and mateship. Training requirements are less demanding, and the focus is on skill development, for those who desire that. The Phoenix is a great place to kick-start your Senior football career but also a great place to build relationships within the Club. In 2023, the momentum building in the Phoenix is clear, with pre-season numbers at training off the charts, thanks to a concerted effort from our Football Department to re-ignite the Phoenix to a few more wins in the upcoming season.
Lastly, the Under 19s is the perfect place for young students from all backgrounds to complement their studies with a terrific football experience. The Under 19 program at the Blacks is a wholistic one, encouraging attendance at Club social events, guest appearances at training sessions, and provides a tried and tested support network for those young men who may have moved out of home for the first time and looking to develop meaningful relationships in their formative years. It is not uncommon at the Blacks for Under 19 players to eventually graduate to Senior’s football, sometimes in the space of a season.
The reality at the end of the day is that the Blacks is the place to be whatever your age, standard, or football aspirations. There is a home for you at the Blacks and you can be sure to benefit from the unparalleled past player and support network that stands ready to assist our players via our Committee. Often this network us relied on for medical treatments, and when taking into account our home-ground facilities are some of the best at the VAFA, you really should take some time to explore our website some more, or even better, get in touch with us!
We are looking forward to meeting you, and to you discovering that deciding to be a Blacker will be one of the best decisions you make in your life.
Cheers go Blacks!