SAAFL History – 1923

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Team Gms W L Pts
Semaphore Central 12 12 0 24
University 12 9 3 18
Teachers Training Coll 12 8 4 16
Dulwich 12 4 8 8
Goodwood 12 3 9 6
Y.M.C.A. 12 3 9 6
Kingswood 12 3 9 6

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Henley and Grange ended its first of three stints with the amateurs in 1922 when it was unable to field a team. Its place was taken by another club which was to enjoy a long association with the amateurs in Teachers Training College. During the minor round Teachers defeated University 12.8 to 9.15 on the Hindmarsh Oval (which was West Torrens’ home ground) as a curtain raiser to the Torrens v Sturt SANFL game.

In the Semi Finals, Semaphore beat Teachers College 17.16 to 4.7, and University beat Dulwich at Thebarton Oval 12.12 to 4.10. Semaphore Central then completed an undefeated season by beating University in the Final at Norwood Oval 6.10 to 5.5. At a reunion of Semaphore’s past and present players, players in the premiership team were presented with gold medals in recognition of their unbeaten season. A report in the Advertiser on September 21st mentioned that local football supporters were working very hard to get the Semaphore Central team into the SANFL.

The Naylor medallist was Don Clarke, the vice captain of Semaphore Central, who had played for Port Adelaide at the beginning of the season, but was considered rather small for football at the SANFL level.

An SAAFL smoke social was held at the Arcadia Cafe at the end of the season. There were musical items, recitations and speeches. President Professor Darnley Naylor spoke and suggested that three things should be kept in view.

1. More people were now playing football and fewer watching.

2. They were an amateur football league. It was the pleasure of playing football that they sought, and they should keep money out of the question.

3. They played football not because they made anything out of it or to attract large crowds, but because they loved the game and wanted to keep the spirit friendly.

No record of any combined matches against other associations since 1913 have been found, but it seems that a match may have been played in June 1923 at Tanunda against the Barossa and Light Association, although details are unknown.

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