The University of Queensland Australian Football Club (UQAFC) is an amateur Australian rules football club playing in the QAFL, QAFA and Women’s League competitions overseen by AFL Queensland. UQAFC home games are played at the University of Queensland’s No. 9 playing oval on the corner of Sir Fred Schonell Drive and Coldridge Street, St Lucia, Brisbane.
Founded in 1956, the club collected the “Red Lions” moniker in reference to a pub in the Northern New South Wales town of Glencoe. After travelling to Armidale to compete against the University of New England for the Clem Jones Shield UQ would frequent the Red Lion Tavern on their return journey, giving birth to the Red Lion legend.
The UQAFC has since won seven Senior premierships, including a “threepeat” in 1961, 1962 & 1963. Red Lion Reserve Grade sides have claimed twelve premiership victories many of which came during extended periods of dominance through the 1980’s and more recently in the new millennium. The club has a built unique heritage with its large student membership and strong old boys network resulting in a very social club atmosphere and it is very proud to cater to footballers of all abilities. Currently with eight teams and approximately 250 registered players, the Red Lions are regarded as one of the largest amateur Australian rules football club in Queensland.
In 2006 a large increase in player numbers resulted in the formation of a third adult side for the first time since the 1970s. The Thirds team, which also included players from the Griffith University Gladiators, played in the reserves competition of Division 2 of the AFLQ State Association competition. 2006 also saw a significant improvement in performance with the Senior side finishing third overall, and the Reserves side winning the premiership.
The club continued to perform well in 2007 under new Senior Coach Travis Warren with both the senior and Reserves side reaching the preliminary final. In 2008, performances across all grades continued to improve, with the Reserves winning the Premiership, the Thirds making the Grand Final for the first time and the Seniors again narrowing missing the Grand Final to finish third.
2009 represented another year of growth for the club, with unprecedented player numbers allowing the creation of a fourth adult side for the first time. The Thirds and Fourths played as senior and reserve teams of Division 2 of the AFLQ State Association competition. The Division 2 Reserves played finals at the end of season 2010 (the first time since stepping up from Division 3) and the club continued to grow in numbers to accommodate their four adult mens sides.
The Senior Coaching role was taken over by Tim MacKinley prior to the start of the 2011 season. Both Division 1 sides finished on top of their respective ladders to take out the minor premiership, with the Reserve side capping the season with a premiership and the Seniors reaching the Grand Final. The Thirds continued their improvement to record 4 victories, the most in one season since their promotion to Division 2. In 2012 the club had 3 teams make the Grand Final, with the Seconds and Fourths ultimately claiming premierships.
At the completion of the 2012 season AFL Queensland offered University a promotion into the Allied Pickfords Cup and recently retired club-captain Matthew Stewart took the reigns as senior coach. The club welcomed the return of an Under 18’s side and for the first time ever also fielded Division 4 and Ladies teams. The Division 1 Reserves, Division 3 Reserves and Ladies teams all played finals in 2013, with the “4th’s” claiming their second premiership in a row.
Following the AFLQ’s decision to re-structure their South East Queensland competitions for 2014, the Red Lions applied for a licence in the newly re-formed Queensland Australian Football League. On 19 September 2013 the AFLQ announced that the UQAFC would form a part of the QAFL for the 2014 season. The club now proudly boasts footballing avenues for players wishing to compete in South East Queensland’s première league (QAFL), community footballers (QAFA), developing youngsters (Under 19 Colts), and ladies (QWAFL & QWAFA).