Paul Daffey’s new book, Behind the Goals: The History of the Victorian Country Football League, is the most comprehensive book to be written on Australian football in its country heartland.

It tells the story of the ruling body of Victorian country football from its formation in 1927 to its merger with AFL Victoria in 2016.

For almost 90 years, the VCFL was the body that oversaw all Victorian country leagues and clubs. It made decisions on game promotion and development, and clearance disputes — clearances for both players seeking to move a new club, and clubs seeking to move to a new league. These decisions decisions sparked deep emotion throughout Victoria and in border regions in New South Wales and South Australia.

Behind the Goals offers insight into the reasons the game means so much to supporters in town and country — in detail that has never been previously been described at this level.

Paul Daffey is a journalist and author who has covered country football for 25 years. He has written and edited several books. He wrote for The Age for 20 years, and appears regularly on SEN in Melbourne and ABC Radio throughout Australia. In 2017 he is presenting the Country Footy Show on his PD Footy podcast.

Behind the Goals is available from Paul Daffey for $40 per book.

Postage within Victoria (three books or fewer): $10

Postage in the rest of Australia (three books or fewer): $15

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Paul Daffey’s books

Local Rites: A Year in Grass Roots Football in Victoria and Beyond (2001)

Beyond the Big Sticks: Country Football Around Australia (2003)

Behind the Goals: The History of the Victorian Country Football League (2017)

Chapters in books

Black and Blue: The Story of Football at the University of Melbourne (2005)

The Barrackers Are Shouting: Stories of Collingwood From the Grandstand (2006)

The Rise and Rise of the Essendon Football Club (2009)


The Footy Almanac: The AFL Season One Game at a Time (2007-2013)

Footy Town: Stories of Australia’s Game (2013)

Athenians and Red Invincibles: The Origins of Queensland Football (2015)