The new Treasurer to replace Statton was former Broadview treasurer Jim Houghton. President Keith Sims, who began his amateur football career in 1947 and who was in his 26th year on the Executive, was honoured with Life Membership. The H.V. Millard Honour Board was unveiled at Amateur House.

A significant event for football in South Australia was the formation of the South Australian Football Association (S.A.F.A.). During 1977, the S.A.N.F.L. had called meetings to discuss the formation of such an association, presumably to be run by the S.A.N.F.L. itself, but only five of the eighteen invited metropolitan clubs attended the second meeting. The primary impetus for the new association came from the Norwood-North Football Association, which had found itself unbalanced by having several strong clubs and several weak ones, but not enough clubs overall to run several divisions. Apparently the plan was to run the organisation along the lines of the V.F.A. in Melbourne, where semi-professional teams included many recently-retired League stars, and the match of the day on Sunday was televised live.

Admittance to S.A.F.A. depended on a club’s facilities including licensed clubrooms and fenced grounds. Clubs from the north-eastern side of Adelaide predominated including Athelstone, Burnside, Campbelltown-Magill, Elizabeth, Gepps Cross, Hectorville, Hope Valley, Ingle Farm, Modbury, Norwood Union, Pooraka and Tea Tree Gully, but a significant southern club in Edwardstown was also involved. Walkerville applied unsuccessfully, but Amateur League clubs Flinders Park (A1 premier 1976 & 1977) and Ferryden Park were admitted to Division 1 and Semaphore Park to Division 2.

The formation of S.A.F.A., and in particular the departure of three strong clubs, was unsettling for the Amateur League. In addition, Salisbury West returned to the Central District Association, and Aboriginal Community College was refused reaffiliation after only 2 seasons because of behaviour problems the previous year. Coming into the amateurs were Para Hills (from Central District), St.Peters Y.C.W. (from the Sunday Y.C.W. Association), and a reformed Christian Brothers College O.C. Taperoo, who had been suspended at the end of the 1974 season, reapplied due to the changeover from Norwood North to S.A.F.A., but was refused and advised to reapply in twelve-months time.

Several name changes also occurred in 1978. Henley Football Club and Henley High OS combined to form Henley District and O.S. with Neil Higgins as coach: S.A. Railways Institute was renamed Australian National Railways Institute, and Kings O.C. was renamed Pembroke O.S. Broadview celebrated its 50th year with a $100,000 expansion of its clubrooms and the appointment of Hone Medallist and state player Noel Annear as its captain/coach. The new umpires coach was Bob Bache, and Sue Gray became the first female to umpire in South Australia above schoolboy level.

Premiership Tables

A1 Premiership Table

(as at the end of the minor round)

With the departure of A1 clubs Flinders Park and Ferryden Park to S.A.F.A., the A1 competition was reduced to 10 teams. Two teams up from A2 – Broadview (coached by Noel Annear) and Glenunga (coached by Warwick Cramey) – did very well to make the finals, while 1977 runners-up Semaphore Central went on a big slide to second bottom. With one minor round match to play, Teachers had 22 points and Glenunga 20, but Teachers crashed in the last round to Riverside by 5 goals and missed the Four on percentage.

TeamsGmsWLDPts
Payneham18135026
Adelaide University18126024
Broadview18126024
Glenunga18117022
Adelaide Teachers18117022
Henley District & O.S.1889117
Rosewater18810016
Riverside18711014
Semaphore Central18512111
Seaton Ramblers1821604

The First Semi Final at Unley Oval was a thriller with Broadview hitting the front in time on only to see Glenunga rover Grant Bamber goal and seal the game for Glenunga 8.10 to 8.7. Conditions were poor at Richmond Oval for the Second Semi, where a 6-goal breeze favoured the southern end, but Payneham took full advantage of it to lead by 33 points at the end of the first quarter. Uni on the other hand, was outscored in the second quarter and the match was effectively over at half time, the Redlegs finally winning 12.11 to 5.9. Another strong breeze hampered the Preliminary Final at Richmond, but Glenunga came good in the third quarter to lead by 20 points at three-quarter time. University came home strongly to get within 5 points but the siren sounded with the ball in the Blacks goal square and Glenunga won 11.10 to 10.11 to enter its first A1 Grand Final. However, Payneham proved too strong winning the Final 12.20 to 9.8, its best players being Mark Cunnington and David Williams. This was only Payneham’s second A1 premiership after its inaugural victory in 1964.

A2 Premiership Table

(as at the end of the minor round)

In A2, Kilburn (coached by Mark Lenthall) and Sacred Heart O.C. made the most of their promotion from A3, while demoted Walkerville went straight to the bottom.

TeamGmWLPts
Kilburn1817134
St. Dominics1816232
Sacred Heart O.C.1814428
Pulteney O.S.1813526
St. Peters O.C.1810820
Scotch O.C.1810820
Brighton High O.S.1881016
Exeter1851310
Post-Tel Institute1851310
Pembroke O.S.184148
Old Ignatians183156
Walkerville183156

Pulteney won the First Semi against Sacred Heart 11.18 to 10.11, and Kilburn the Second Semi against St.Dominics 12.12 to 7.10. St.Doms showed good form in the Prelim. to eliminate Pulteney 15.12 to 10.11, but Kilburn won the Grand Final at Unley Oval kicking 7 goals to 1 in the second quarter to win 14.18 to 12.11. Best players for the Chics were rover ‘Rusty’ Summersides and ruckman David Schutt. This was a repeat of Kilburn’s performance in 1959/60 when it won successive A3/A2 premierships. St.Dominics did well to get all of its 3 teams in Grand Finals, but then suffered the disappointment of losing all three.

A3 Premiership Table

(as at the end of the minor round)

Flinders University, down from A2, had a dreadful season finishing bottom in A3, its three teams (A3, A3 Reserve, A7) losing every match. Greek, on the other hand, returned to finals football under coach Keith Koehne after a 2-year absence.

TeamGmWLPts
Greek1816232
Gaza1814428
West Croydon1812624
Ethelton1812624
S.A. Institute Technology1811722
Prince Alfred O.C.1810820
Henley District & O.S. B1810820
National Bank189918
Adelaide University B1871114
Goodwood1861212
Westminster O.S.181172
Flinders University180180

Ethelton won a low-scoring First Semi 4.9 to 3.10, and Gaza beat Greek in the Second Semi 13.9 to 11.9. Greek then defeated Ethelton in the Prelim. 14.10 to 11.14, and looked the winners in the Grand Final leading by 6 goals with 18 minutes to go, when Gaza centre half forward Burt took over, kicking 5 goals in the last quarter, and to everyone’s surprise Gaza won 18.9 to 15.14.

Other Tables and Scores

A4

Murray Park CAE (30), Greenacres (28), Alberton United (28), Kenilworth (26), Plympton High OS (24), Rostrevor OC (16), St.Michaels OS&H (14), Salesian OC (8), Eastwood (4), St.Peters YCW (2).

1st S. Kenilworth 10.8 Alberton Utd 8.7 2nd S. Murray Park 12.12 Greenacres 10.6 Prelim. Greenacres 14.14 Kenilworth 12.13 G.Fin. Greenacres 17.11 Murray Park 14.8

A5

St.Raphaels (30), Salisbury CAE (30), Sturt CAE (26), Unley High OS (20), Aust.Nat.Railways Inst. (12), Christian Brothers College OC (12), Para Hills (12), Adelaide Uni C (2).

1st S. Unley H. OS 15.13 Sturt CAE 6.12 2nd S. St.Raphaels 9.12 Salisbury CAE 5.10 Prelim. Unley H. OS 14.20 Salisbury CAE 14.8 G.Fin. St.Raphaels 15.12 Unley H. OS 14.8

A6

Rosewater C (30), Walkerville C (28), Adelaide Teachers C (26), Broadview C (26), Royal Park (21), Glenunga C (20), Payneham C (17), S.H.O.C. C (8), Seaton Ramblers C (4), Henley District & OS E (0).

1st S. Adel Teach. 8.17 Broadview 6.8 2nd S. Walkerville 11.10 Rosewater 10.12 Prelim. Adel Teach. 19.19 Rosewater 14.21 G.Fin. Walkerville 20.11 Adel Teach. 13.8

A7

Kilburn C (30), S.P.O.C. C (28), P.A.O.C. C (28), St.Dominics C (21), Pulteney OS C (20), S.M.O.S.H. C (18), Old Ignatians C (13), B.H.O.S. C (12), Alberton United C (8), Flinders Uni C (0).

A7

1st S. St.Dominics 5.6 P.A.O.C. 4.8 2nd S. Kilburn 8.10 S.P.O.C. 6.10 Prelim. St.Dominics 8.6 S.P.O.C. 7.8 G.Fin. Kilburn 13.17 St.Dominics 7.13

A8

Adelaide Uni G (34), Kenilworth C (30), Greenacres C (26), P.H.O.S. C (24), Greek C (15), Scotch OC C (14), S.A.I.T. C (11), Ethelton C (10), Goodwood C (8), Post-Tel Inst. C (8).

1st S. Greenacres 10.10 P.H.O.S. 5.10 2nd S. Adelaide Uni d Kenilworth Prelim. Greenacres 26.12 Kenilworth 13.12 G.Fin. Adelaide Uni 15.10 Greenacres 6.10

A1 Reserve

Broadview (32), Adelaide Teachers (32), Riverside (24), Rosewater (22), Glenunga (22), Payneham (18), Semaphore Central (10), Adelaide Uni (10), Henley D&OS (6), Seaton (4).

1st S. Riverside 3.8 Rosewater 3.6 2nd S. Broadview 5.2 Adel Teach 3.7 Prelim. Adel Teach 9.2 Riverside 6.7 G.Fin. Adel Teach 8.4 Broadview 2.4

A2 Reserve

Round 18 saw Exeter captain/coach for the past 10 years, Ricky Brooks, play his 400th and last game for Exeter, a most poignant moment for him and many others, as the Exeter Football Club was in the process of going out of existence via an amalgamation with Semaphore Central.

St.Dominics (28), Pulteney OS (28), Walkerville (27), S.H.O.C. (26), Kilburn (24), Old Ignatians (18), Exeter (16), S.P.O.C. (13), B.H.O.S. (13), Scotch OC (10), Post-Tel (8), Pembroke OS (5).

1st S. S.H.O.C. 4.11 Walkerville 4.8 2nd S. St.Dominics 10.11 Pulteney O.S. 5.12 Prelim. S.H.O.C. 7.9 Pulteney O.S. 6.7 G.Fin. S.H.O.C. 11.10 St.Dominics 5.6

A3 Reserve

P.A.O.C. (32), National Bank (30), Greek (26), S.A.I.T. (26), Adelaide Uni (24), Ethelton (24), West Croydon (16), Gaza (12), Goodwood (10), Henley Dist & OS (10), Westminster OS (6), Flinders Uni (0).

1st S. S.A.I.T. 5.12 Greek 5.10 2nd S. P.A.O.C. 10.14 National Bank 3.4 Prelim. S.A.I.T. 13.7 National Bank 7.10 G.Fin. P.A.O.C. 12.11 S.A.I.T. 4.4

A4 Reserve

With a probability of about a million to one, the top five teams at the end of the minor round all had the same number of points, each winning 14 and losing 4 matches. Greenacres (28), P.H.O.S. (28), Alberton United (28), S.M.O.S.H. (28), Kenilworth (28), Murray Park CAE (13), Rostrevor OC (13), Salesian OC (8), Eastwood (4), St.Peters YCW (2).

1st S. S.M.O.S.H. 7.10 Alberton Utd 2.3 2nd S. P.H.O.S. 7.8 Greenacres 5.6 Prelim. Greenacres 9.13 S.M.O.S.H. 5.7 G.Fin. Greenacres 7.10 P.H.O.S. 4.9

A5 Reserve

Unley High OS (34), Para Hills (30), St.Raphaels (28), Sturt CAE (20), Adelaide Uni (12), C.B.C.O.C. (12), Aust. National Railways (4), Salisbury CAE (4).

1st S. St.Raphaels 12.13 Sturt CAE 1.4 2nd S. Para Hills 7.3 Unley High OS 2.4 Prelim. St.Raphaels 7.16 Unley High O.S. 7.3 G.Fin. St.Raphaels 7.8 Para Hills 7.4

Colts Under 18

Henley Dist & OS (32), Semaphore Central (32), Rosewater (30), Walkerville (24), Payneham (24), Exeter (20), Broadview (18), Kilburn (13), Ethelton (8), Greenacres (7), Gaza (6), Seaton (2).

1st S. Rosewater 13.11 Walkerville 10.6 2nd S. Henley D & OS 5.10 Semaphore 3.5 Prelim. Semaphore 12.13 Rosewater 12.11 G.Fin. Henley D & OS 10.10 Semaphore 7.6

Awards

The A1 Hone Medallist was Henley’s centre half forward cum centre half back Paul Heeps, and Sacred Heart O.C. captain/coach John Pick won the A2 medal. Doug Wakely of Ethelton was the A3 McKay medallist. Other medallists were Robert Lucas (S.M.O.S.H. – A4), John Stone (Railways – A5 – his second medal), Dean Clark (Rosewater – A6), Steven Thurnwald (Kilburn – A7), David Woodman (Post-Tel – A8), Kevin Jacquier (Rosewater – A1 Res. – the first of 5), Greg Juniper (S.H.O.C. – A2 Res.), Laurie Smith (Ethelton – A3 Res.), Gary Pumpa (Greenacres – A4 Res. – his second medal), Rod Moss (Unley High O.S. – A5 Res.), and Andrew Kouba (Semaphore Central – Colts). The leading A1 goalkicker was All-Australian captain John Staker with 83 goals, and Russell Parker of Pulteney O.S. was the leading goalkicker in A2 for the second time with 79 goals.

Interstate

Following a suggestion from the Department of Tourism that state colours be predominantly red with navy and gold trimmings and state emblem, the design of the state guernsey was changed to red with a navy blue ‘V’, collar and shoulder piping, and a gold ‘V’ beneath the blue ‘V’. Ray Williams was re-appointed coach and with his selectors chose a team featuring “leggy players with height”. The first match was against Victoria at Elsternwick Park on Sunday June 4, and the team was as follows:

  • Annear, Noel captain Broadview
  • Bellman, Wayne Glenunga
  • Burgess, Bob Adelaide Teachers
  • Cheney, Wayne Payneham
  • Elson, Colin Riverside
  • Fielke, Neville Payneham
  • Heeps, Paul Henley Dist. & O.S.
  • Hunter, Chris Riverside
  • Jamieson, Kym Payneham
  • Katsaros, Evan Adelaide Teachers
  • Kerr-Grant, Malcolm Adelaide University
  • Keynes, Bruce Adelaide University
  • Lowry, Daryl Kilburn
  • Manuel, Jim Rosewater
  • Nielsen, Brian Adelaide Teachers
  • Schwartz, Mark vice capt. Adelaide University
  • Staines, Richard Glenunga
  • Stauwer, Wayne Broadview
  • Warner, Lindsay Payneham
  • Wells, Greg Seaton Ramblers
  • Zubrinich, Phil Payneham

Conditions were heavy and wet at Elsternwick, but S.A. started very well with the aid of a strong wind, its rucks well on top, plenty of method in attack, and Paul Heeps leading a strong defence. Victoria gradually got back into the game, however, hitting the front in the third quarter, then coming home with the breeze to win by 13 points which could have been a lot more but for inaccurate kicking for goal.

1Q 2Q 3Q Final Victoria 1.7 6.13 10.19 12.31 (103) S.A. 6.2 8.5 10.9 13.12 (90)

  • Goalkickers: Fielke 5, Nielsen 3, Lowry 2, Annear, Staines, Zubrinich
  • Best Players: Keynes, Heeps, Wells, Burgess, Stauwer, Schwartz

Paul Heeps was awarded the Victorians’ trophy.

The match against W.A. was played at Football Park on July 15 as a curtain-raiser to the S.A.-W.A. League state teams. The team was as follows:

  • Burgess, Bob Adelaide Teachers
  • Cheney, Steve Payneham
  • Cramey, Warwick Glenunga
  • Cunnington, Mark Payneham
  • Elson, Colin Riverside
  • Fielke, Neville Payneham
  • Flynn, Mick Adelaide Teachers
  • Heeps, Paul Henley Dist. & O.S.
  • Hunter,Chris Riverside
  • Jamieson, Kym Payneham
  • Katsaros, Evan Adelaide Teachers
  • Kerr-Grant, Malcolm Adelaide University
  • Keynes, Bruce Adelaide University
  • Lenthall, Mark Kilburn
  • Lowry, Daryl Kilburn
  • Manuel, Jim Rosewater
  • Nielsen, Brian Adelaide Teachers
  • Olekalns, Egils Adelaide University
  • Schwartz, Mark captain Adelaide University
  • Stauwer, Wayne Broadview
  • Stringer, John Payneham
  • Warner, Lindsay Payneham

The match was umpired by Rex Lambert and John Ferme. Noel Annear was injured so Mark Schwartz took over as captain. Steve Cheney was forced to withdraw at the last moment, so Paul Heeps demonstrated his versatility by moving from half back to full forward. S.A. scored 6 goals with the breeze but W.A. poured on 10 when it came to its turn. At three-quarter time S.A.’s lead was only five points, but a great last quarter into the breeze and late goals by ‘Butch’ Lowry and Brian Nielsen sealed the victory. Jim Manuel kicked 6 goals from a half forward flank.

1Q 2Q 3Q Final S.A. 6.9 7.12 12.15 16.16 (112) W.A. 1.1 11.8 12.10 14.15 (99)

  • Goalkickers: Manuel 6, Heeps 4, Nielsen 3, Jamieson, Lenthall, Lowry
  • Best Players: Manuel, Lenthall, Heeps, Nielsen, Warner, Flynn

Jim Manuel won W.A.’s trophy for the best S.A. player.