In Australia Association Football had to compete not only with Rugby Union (and, after 1895, it's incredibly popular offshoot, Northern Union), but also with Australian Rules Football, which began in 1858.
Nevertheless, the Association game developed due to the interest of the large immigrant population, and there is evidence of association rules been adopted at an early date in all the major centers of population.
Here are some highlights of the history of football in Australia (which was,until 1901, six separate colonies).
BRISBANE CLUB V. WOOGAROO ASYLUM.
IN accordance with a challenge issued by the Woogaroo players, eighteen "braves" of the Brisbane Football Club donned their war paint, left Brisbane per rail at 12.5 on Saturday last, and arrived at Woogaroo at 1.15 p.m.. Play commenced at half-past 2, after arranging the rules and appointing umpires; Mr Sheehan acting as such for Brisbane, and Mr Jack for Woogaroo. One rule provided that the ball should not be handled nor carried, and this condition gave a great advantage to the "bedlam" folks, as the active little Brisbane fellows thereby lost half the benefit of their "lissomeness", nuggets was "bound to cipher up in a muss".
The Queenslander August 9th 1875
1883 Queensland's first club the Rangers, formed.
A MEETING of those favourable to the "Association" game of football as played in the home countries was held at the Australian Hotel last night [Thursday 01 May] ... The chair was occupied by Mr. W. McLauchlan. Among those present were a number of Scottish Association footballers who had recently arrived in the colony ... [I]t was resolved that it was desirable to form an Anglo-Queensland Football Association, and as a beginning the meeting formed the first club, the name selected being "St. Andrew's Football Club." Mr. D. McCreadie - a Queen's Park (Glasgow) player was elected president and captain of the club ... It was announced that already from twenty-seven to thirty promises to join the club had been received, and it was resolved to play a practice match tomorrow afternoon, if possible, in the Queen's Park. Mr. D. McCreadie and Mr. W.Hardgrave undertook to captain the teams
1884 Competition between three clubs in Brisbane,(Queen's Park, Rangers and St. Andrew's- the names give away the origins of the enthusiasts! Anglo-Queensland Football association formed.
Bundamba Rangers (Ipswich) 1895
NEW TOWN V. CRICKETERS.These clubs met for the return match on Marsh's ground, New Town, on Saturday afternoon, playing the English Association Rules. The result was a draw, no goals being kicked by either side.
19th August The Wanderers' Football Club formed.1882 NSW English Football Association established.
1883 Affiliation granted with British FA.
1885 First competition series, the 'badge' competition, and knockout cup won by Granville, Sydney.
1888 the Gardiner Challenge Cup which was contested ,open to all teams from the state of New South Wales. The champions were:
Caledonians Sydney (1888)
Pyrmont Rangers Sydney (1889, 1890)
Parkgrove Sydney (1891)
Minmi Rangers Newcastle (1892)
Pyrmont Rangers Sydney (1893, 1894)
Balmain Sydney (1895, 1896, 1897)
Pyrmont Volunteers Sydney (1898)
Pyrmont Rangers Sydney1899)
West Wallsend Newcastle (1900).
1904 NSW sends a team to tour New Zealand, the first team to travel outside Australia. Played 9, won 5, drawn 2, lost 2.
1912 Sydney clubs adopt numbering of players- a world first.
St Kilda1884 Anglo-Australian Football Association is formed.
1881 Four clubs formed in Melbourne.
1909 Carlton United become the inaugural First Division Champions.
1909 Dockerty Cup begins
1902 Competition begins in SA - the three clubs involved are Woodville, North Adelaide, South Adelaide.
Interstate1883 First interstate match Victoria vs NSW
1890 Queensland visit Sydney for two interstate matches.Queensland defeated NSW 3-1 and 1-0
1908 Western Australia tour South Australia, NSW and Victoria.
International1905 First visit by an overseas team - New Zealand play games in the eastern states.
1914 Plans to form Australian Soccer Association halted by WW1.
1921 An Australian Soccer association is formed with its headquarters in Sydney.
1922 Australian national team play their first games as they tour New Zealand . Played 14 , won 9.
Harry Dokerty greets the manager of the FA team- Mr John Lewis