|St. Francis Xavier||12||8||4||16|
The SAAFL began competition in 1911 with five teams, Glenferrie, Marlborough, St. Bartholomew, St. Francis Xavier andUniversity. Applications to join the newly-established association were also received from Concordia College, Our Boys Institute,Prospect, Rosslyn, Stanley, Torrenside and Semaphore Central, but were rejected to keep the numbers manageable in the first season. Furthermore, some of these clubs did not have a home ground which would have caused programming problems. Semaphore Central had not been involved in the initial discussions and applied twice, albeit belatedly, to join. Its application received strong support from University, but the delegates decided that the hour was too late to admit a sixth team, although they would be pleased to consider an application from Semaphore Central in 1912. Semaphore and Prospect then both competed in the Adelaide and Suburban Association for the 1911 season.
This first season was comprised of twelve rounds played over seventeen weeks. Each week the teams were published in the Adelaide Advertiser on Saturday (and sometimes on Friday), with the results reported in both the Advertiser and the Chronicle. Matches were played at University Oval, Price Oval, and Jubilee Oval, and the S.A. Railways arranged for trains to stop at Price Oval on Saturday afternoons during the football season.
A Permit Committee was formed which refused at least one applicant a permit to play, presumably because he did not qualify as an amateur, although the amateur guidelines for that time are not known. Umpires known to have officiated in this first season were B. Coleman, W. Pinnsett and W. Plunkett.
The first match of the season between St. Francis Xavier and Glenferrie at Price Oval umpired by Mr. W. Plunkett drew a crowd of 2000 spectators. However, it was reported that the match between University and St. Francis Xavier on Thursday 22nd June atUniversity Oval was attended by 5000 spectators, and if so, then the University must have declared a holiday especially for the event!
The finals were played on a knockout basis, with first versus third and second versus fourth. The winners of these two Semi Finals played off in the Final. If the minor premier was beaten in the Semi Final or the Final, it had the right to challenge the winner of the Final in a Challenge Final (which became a Grand Final).
In this first series of finals matches, University beat St. Bartholomew11.13 to 3.3, and Glenferrie, who won only 3 minor round games, beat St. Francis Xavier 9.11 to 2.5 in the other Semi Final, and so had the honour of playing in the inaugural Final umpired by W. Plunkett. However, University won easily 14.15 to 5.11, with Londrigan, LeMessurier and Drew best for Uni, while Wallman and S. & V. Clutterbuck were best for Glenferrie. Willsmore kicked 5 goals for Uni.
Thus University finished the inaugural season undefeated premiers, which was hardly surprising given that the University team contained eleven former senior league players, of whom four had represented the state. Another decided advantage was that all the finals were played at University Oval!
During the season a combined team as follows played the Gawler Association and won 14.12 to 4.4.
|Blacket J.||St. Bartholomew|
|Drew C.F. (capt.)||University|
|Kennish H.A.||St. Bartholomew|
|Kitson B.J.||St. Francis Xavier|
|Middleton R.F.||St. Bartholomew|
|Seymour Smith F.||University|
|Taylor B.||St. Francis Xavier|
|Tymons T. (v.c.)||St. Francis Xavier|
- Goalkickers: Middleton 3, Wilton 3, Giles 2, Grantley 2, Blacket, Jervois
- Best Players: Jervois, Blacket, Drew, Kitson, Wilton, Giles