SAAFL History – 1924

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TeamGmsWLPts
Semaphore Central1414028
Teachers Training Coll.1411322
University1410420
Kenilworth149518
Kingswood144108
Goodwood143116
Dulwich143116
Y.M.C.A.142124

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The 7-team competition was increased to 8 when Kenilworth were granted provisional affiliation pending the payment of its debt from 1915. Alberton Oval became available for amateur matches when the Port Adelaide Council refused to give the SANFL a five-year lease, and it was used regularly as Semaphore Central’s home ground until 1930 when Largs Reserve became available. Teachers Training College played its matches regularly at Hindmarsh and Kensington Ovals.

Following recommendations from earlier years, players wore numbers on their guernseys which was considered a great improvement. 259 applications for registration were received. An article in the News on 17 April 1924 discussed professionalism in the SANFL F. K. Gould, the Sturt delegate, was quoted as follows:

“the public desires amateur sport, not footballers who enter the arena for the sake of making a little extra money, and who are willing to sell themselves to one club or another. The man who plays for his club from purely a love of his club or district is the most valuable in the long run.”

The competition was again dominated by Semaphore Central, who had carried on its undefeated run from the previous season to again be the undefeated leader at the end of the minor round.

Semaphore Central defeated University in a titanic struggle in the Semi Final at Alberton Oval 9.10 to 8.12. The other Semi Final played at Thebarton was won easily by Teachers Training College defeating Kenilworth 10.13 to 5.9. Semaphore Central then went through the season undefeated premiers for the second year in succession, by beating Teachers Training College 6.10 to 5.9 in the Final at Norwood Oval. According to the Advertiser (19th September):

“tremendous excitement prevailed in the final stages of the premiership match last Saturday. The teachers gradually reduced their deficit of nearly 4 goals at half time to 5 points at a few minutes prior to the final bell. Teachers seemed about to score when the bell sounded.”

Semaphore Central also boasted the leading goalkicker Arthur Cowell (57 goals), but the Naylor Medal was won by Arnold Smith, the Teachers College centre half back.

A proposed match against the Barossa and Light Association was abandoned because of disagreement over gate sharing, and so Secretary Hugh Millard took the historic step of writing to the Metropolitan Amateur Football Association in Victoria to suggest an interstate match for the following year. This action initiated an annual event of much importance to amateur footballers in both states, an event which has continued right up to the present time.

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