SAAFL History – 1994

A long-term tradition came to an end in 1994 when it was decided that monthly Delegates’ Meetings would no longer be held. The growth of the Amateur League to around 60 clubs had seen these meetings become relatively meaningless as a forum for debate, and delegates increasingly complained that the meetings were largely a waste of everybody’s time. Communication to the clubs on matters normally dealt with at Delegates’ Meetings was maintained via ‘Big Al’s Newsletter’ written by Administrative Officer’Big Al’ Statton. Statton was in his 33rd year of service with the Amateur League and was rewarded with Life Membership of theA.A.F.C. Chairman of the SAAFL John Dicker was named President of the AAFC in preparation for the 1997 carnival in Adelaide.

Sadder events were the deaths of Frank ‘Sandy’ Cockburn and Dr. D.G.McKay. Sandy had been the trainer for the state team since 1961, the year after [[Alan Statton] began with the SAAFL. He had been a Life Member of Semaphore Central (with whom he began in 1951), Adelaide University (whom he joined in 1979 when Semaphore Central amalgamated with Exeter), and the SAAFL, and had also assisted Teachers College, Riverside and Kilburn during finals. Sandy had also been trainer for several All-Australian teams. The Sandy Cockburn Shield was struck by Semaphore Central for competition between itself and Adelaide University. Dr McKay had been Chairman of the Amateur League for 14 years, President for 4 years and Patron for 6, and was awarded Life Membership in 1949. He continued watching amateur matched right up to his death.

Merit Certificates were introduced for up to 6 non-players from clubs in recognition of outstanding service.

Two rule changes involved penalties for racist comments, and a modification to the interchange rule which allowed players to be replaced anywhere on the field provided accompanied by the official runner or a club official. Also, field umpires were given permission to wear caps on hot sunny days to minimise the risk of skin cancer. Yet another meeting of club representatives was held to discuss amateurism.

Amalgamations were to the fore in 1994. Greek Football Club had enjoyed an amalgamation with Camden since 1987, but decided to amalgamate with Henley District & Old Scholars from the S.A.F.A. to form Henley-Greek playing at Henley Oval with Greek’s South Adelaide-style uniform. Camden in turn amalgamated with Plympton High Old Scholars to form Plympton High Old Scholars and Camden, playing at Camden Oval. The number of clubs remained at 59 with the demise of Cedars and the acceptance of Paralowie from Northern Metro. During the season State Transport Authority changed its name to TransAdelaide.

Premiership Tables

A1 Premiership Table

(as at the end of the minor round)

The entry of Henley Greek, coached by former Broadview and Greenacres coach Terry Homan, was expected to cause problems for the other A1 clubs, but the new organisation was surprised by an aggressive Gaza in round 1 and lost its first match. It soon recovered, however, to set the early pace, only to stumble towards the end of the minor round and finish third. Kilburn under Tony Roach went on with its 1993 form to challenge for the minor premiership, but it was Port District under experienced coach Noel Annear who took out that honour. University, with coach Daryl West in his fourth season with the Blacks, and Gaza under Steve Jacquier, played each other in the last minor round match to determine fourth position, with the Blacks emerging victorious. 1993 premiers Broadview under David Tiller went on a slide to finish in 7th spot, whilst newcomers Seaton Ramblers (Peter Kelly) and Sacred Heart O.C. (Duncan Fosdike) found the jump from A2 to A1 too much, although Seaton had some narrow losses towards the end of the season.

Played Won L D Pts Port District 18 15 3 0 30 Kilburn 18 14 4 0 28 Henley Greek 18 13 5 0 26 Adelaide University 18 12 6 0 24 Gaza 18 11 6 1 23 Brighton Dist. & O.S. 18 8 10 0 16 Broadview 18 7 10 1 15 Goodwood Saints 18 6 12 0 12 Seaton Ramblers 18 2 16 0 4 Sacred Heart O.C. 18 1 17 0 2

The First Semi between Henley and Adelaide Uni at Daly Oval was keenly contested in the first quarter but Henley drew away to set up a 5-goal lead at half time. Uni came back in the second half to hit the front twice in the final quarter but inaccurate goal shooting cost it dearly and Henley lasted to win 19.9 to 14.19. In the Second Semi at Prospect Oval, the Kilburn mid-fielders led by Shane Moore and defence led by Adam Caldow controlled the match to give the Chics victory 15.9 to 9.12. Port District regrouped and comfortably beat Henley in the Prelim. at Alberton Oval 16.10 to 9.8. The Grand Final was played at Adelaide Oval in front of a crowd of 3000 people. This was Kilburn’s fourth A1 Grand Final and its third in 4 years. The game was hard and kicks were usually under pressure, but the Chics made better use of the ball and had a winner in Steve Mazey at full forward who kicked 5 goals out of a total of 10. Steve O’Dorcic won the ruck and Glenn Russell played superbly in defence. District’s best was Kevin Spirou. In the end Kilburn won by 18 points 10.15 to 8.9, and so won its first A1 premiership.

A2 Premiership Table

(as at the end of the minor round)

In A2, the early part of the season was dominated by 3 college clubs – St.Peters O.C., Prince Alfred O.C. and Rostrevor O.C. – and a district club in Modbury, but by the end of the minor round Modbury had emerged as the team to beat, while Princes had fallen out of the final four to be replaced by Tea Tree Gully. A big surprise was the fate of demoted A1 teams Riverside and Scotch O.C. who finished at the bottom.

Played Won L D Pts Modbury 18 15 3 0 30 Rostrevor O.C. 18 12 5 1 25 St. Peters O.C. 18 12 6 0 24 Tea Tree Gully 18 11 6 1 23 Prince Alfred O.C. 18 11 7 0 22 Greenacres 18 10 8 0 20 Kenilworth 18 8 10 0 16 Walkerville 18 5 13 0 10 Riverside 18 3 15 0 6 Scotch O.C. 18 2 16 0 4

The A2 First Semi Final saw the demise of early-season favourites St. Peters O.C. who had led the table for part of the season, going down to Tea Tree Gully 15.12 to 16.20. Modbury carried on its good form to easily defeat Rostrevor in the Second Semi 11.22 to 6.13. Tea Tree Gully then ensured an all north-eastern Grand Final by beating Rostrevor 19.14 to 10.11 in the Prelim. Final. A huge crowd turned out at Prospect Oval for the Grand Final between traditional rivals Modbury and Tea Tree Gully, and warm favourites Modbury looked home at three-quarter time leading by 33 points. However, Tea Tree Gully fought back strongly as they had done all season, and in the end went down by only 9 points in a tough last quarter, 13.11 to 15.8.

A3 Premiership Table

(as at the end of the minor round)

The form in A3 carried on from that in 1993 with St. Michaels and Plympton High O.S. & Camden leading the charge, while newly promoted Lockleys was also performing well. Unbelievably Fitzroy, who was in the four until round 15, finished fifth for the fourth year in succession and seemed demmed to never play finals football. As in A2, the two demoted clubs from the previous season again finished bottom in their new grade.

Played Won L D Pts St. Michaels O.S.& H. 18 15 3 0 30 P.H.O.S. & Camden 18 14 4 0 28 Hectorville 18 13 5 0 26 Lockleys 18 13 5 0 26 Fitzroy 18 11 7 0 22 West Croydon 18 9 9 0 18 Rosewater 18 7 11 0 14 Adelaide Lutheran 18 5 13 0 10 Gepps Cross 18 2 16 0 4 Pulteney O.S. 18 1 17 0 2

In the First Semi, Simpson kicked 6 goals as Lockleys’ straight kicking helped them beat Hectorville 12.9 to 7.18. St. Michaels moved straight into the Grand Final and an A2 berth for 1995 when they accounted for P.H.O.S. in the Second Semi 16.13 to 10.11. P.H.O.S. came back to beat Lockleys 21.6 to 13.10 in the Prelim., and so had another go at S.M.O.S.H. in the Grand Final at Norwood Oval. S.M.O.S.H. got the jump to set up a 6-goal lead during the second quarter, then P.H.O.S. came back to lead by a point at three-quarter time. In an exciting last quarter, S.M.O.S.H. lasted best to win 15.17 to 15.11.

Other Tables and Scores

A4

Old Ignatians (32), Hope Valley (30), Glandore (26), Unley (20), Burnside Kensington (20), Pembroke OS (14), Glenunga (14), Woodville South (14), CBCOC (6), Campbelltown Magill (4).

1st S. Unley 31.15 Glandore 10.11 2nd S. Hope Valley 15.15 Old Ignatians 2.9 Prelim. Old Ignatians 15.10 Unley 14.15 G.Fin. Hope Valley 14.11 Old Ignatians 11.10

A5

Ferryden Park (33), Ingle Farm (30), North Haven (28), Ethelton (20), Colonel Light Gardens (19), Trans Adelaide (16), Mitcham (16), West Lakes (10), Flinders University (6), Banksia Park OS (2).

1st S. North Haven 16.13 Ethelton 14.9 2nd S. Ingle Farm 17.13 Ferryden Park 12.10 Prelim. Ferryden Park 11.12 North Haven 7.7 G.Fin. Ingle Farm 21.9 Ferryden Park 12.13

A6

Alberton United (32), North Pines (28), Broadview C (22), Norwood Union (22), St. Pauls OS (20), Adelaide Uni C (18), Ovingham (12), Adelaide High O.S. (12), Brighton D&OS C (10), Goodwood Saints C (4).

1st S. Broadview 16.23 Norwood Union 9.14 2nd S. Alberton Unit. 21.16 North Pines 10.14 Prelim. Broadview 18.13 North Pines 13.16 G.Fin. Alberton Unit. 27.14 Broadview 12.5

A7

Henley Greek C(34), Port District C(32), Modbury C (28), Paralowie (18), Wingfield Royals (12), Greenacres C (8), Tea Tree Gully C (6), Rostrevor OC C (6).

1st S. Modbury 14.13 Paralowie 12.7 2nd S. Henley Greek 10.23 Port District 4.13 Prelim. Modbury 15.11 Port District 11.8 G.Fin. Modbury 10.14 Henley Greek 10.10

A8

Gaza C (34), Adelaide Uni E (28), Walkerville C (20), Kenilworth C (18), P.A.O.C. C (16), S.P.O.C. C (14), Salisbury Cent. (12), Ingle Farm* (0). * Ingle Farm replaced Seaton Ramblers after round 3.

1st S. Walkerville 7.14 Kenilworth 1.16 2nd S. Adelaide Uni 10.18 Gaza 9.13 Prelim. Gaza 17.12 Walkerville 11.13 G.Fin. Adelaide Uni 11.14 Gaza 6.12

A9

S.M.O.S.H. C (30), Kilburn C (30), Scotch OC C (28), Old Ignatians C (22), Fitzroy C (22), Lockleys C (18), Seaton C* (8), Riverside C (8), S.H.O.C. C (6), Pembroke OS (6). * Seaton came down from A8 after round 3 exchanging places with Ingle Farm.

1st S. Old Ignatians 19.9 Scotch OC 16.12 2nd S. SMOSH 15.9 Kilburn 8.14 Prelim. Kilburn 11.9 Old Ignatians 11.7 G.Fin. S.M.O.S.H. 20.8 Kilburn 12.4

A10

Hectorville C (32), Mitcham C (26), P.H.O.S. Camden C (26), C.B.C.O.C. C (26), North Haven C (22), Colonel Light Gardens C (18), Adelaide Uni G (12), Gepps Cross C (10), Adelaide Lutheran C (6), Flinders Uni C (2).

1st S. P.H.O.S. 12.15 CBCOC 6.12 2nd S. Hectorville 16.11 Mitcham 8.14 Prelim. Mitcham 13.15 P.H.O.S. 13.14 G.Fin. Hectorville 11.20 Mitcham 7.12

A11

Gaza E (34), Hope Valley C (26), Burnside Kensington C (22), Broadview E (20), Ethelton C (18), Rosewater C (12), Woodville South C (8), Fitzroy D (2).

1st S. Burns Kens 12.8 Broadview 9.17 2nd S. Gaza 20.8 Hope Valley 9.6 Prelim. Hope Valley 12.4 Burns Kens 9.10 G.Fin. Gaza 12.12 Hope Valley 8.15

A12

Unley C (34), TransAdelaide C (28), North Pines C (22), Glandore C (22), Campbelltown Magill C (14), St. Pauls OS C (14), Norwood Union C (6), Wingfield Royals C (4).

1st S. North Pines 8.14 Glandore 9.7 2nd S. Unley 11.11 TransAdelaide 9.7 Prelim. TransAdelaide 13.14 North Pines 8.9 G.Fin. Unley 25.10 TransAdelaide 11.4

A1 Reserve

Henley Greek (30), Broadview (28), Adelaide Uni (24), Goodwood Saints (22), Port District (22), Kilburn (22), Brighton D&OS (16), S.H.O.C. (8), Gaza (6), Seaton (2).

1st S. Goodwood 16.6 Adelaide Uni 8.16 2nd S. Henley Greek 9.7 Broadview 4.10 Prelim. Goodwood 12.9 Broadview 7.14 G.Fin. Henley Greek 10.9 Goodwood 3.11

A2 Reserve

Rostrevor OC (30), S.P.O.C. (30), Walkerville (24), Modbury (24), Greenacres (22), Tea Tree Gully (20), Riverside (12), P.A.O.C. (10), Scotch OC (8), Kenilworth (0).

1st S. Walkerville 16.12 Modbury 10.13 2nd S. Rostrevor OC 11.9 S.P.O.C. 8.6 Prelim. S.P.O.C. 10.13 Walkerville 9.5 G.Fin. Rostrevor OC 8.15 S.P.O.C. 5.10

A3 Reserve

P.H.O.S. & Camden (32), S.M.O.S.H. (32), Hectorville (32), Lockleys (24), Fitzroy (20), Adelaide Lutheran (16), West Croydon (10), Rosewater (10), Gepps Cross (4), Pulteney OS (0).

1st S. Hectorville 9.14 Lockleys 4.10 2nd S. S.M.O.S.H. 15.15 P.H.O.S. 7.8 Prelim. Hectorville 11.14 P.H.O.S. 6.8 G.Fin. Hectorville 10.10 S.M.O.S.H. 10.9

A4 Reserve

Old Ignatians (36), Unley (26), Hope Valley (22), Burnside Kensington (22), Pembroke OS (22), C.B.C.O.C. (20), Glenunga (10), Glandore (10), Woodville South (6), Campbelltown Magill (6)

1st S. Hope Valley 21.12 Burns Kens 5.14 2nd S. Old Ignatians 14.13 Unley 9.3 Prelim. Hope Valley 11.11 Unley 7.8 G.Fin. Old Ignatians 15.9 Hope Valley 13.6

A5 Reserve

Ingle Farm (34), North Haven (30), Mitcham (28), Ferryden Park (24), Colonel Light Gardens (20), Ethelton (14), West Lakes (14), Flinders Uni (6), Banksia Park OS (6), TransAdelaide (4).

1st S. Mitcham 16.14 Ferryden Park 9.6 2nd S. Ingle Farm 16.15 North Haven 9.7 Prelim. North Haven 13.4 Mitcham 4.8 G.Fin. North Haven 6.9 Ingle Farm 5.11

A6 Reserve

Broadview (34), Adelaide Uni (28), Alberton United (24), North Pines (23), St. Pauls OS (22), Brighton D&OS (20), Norwood Union (14), Goodwood Saints (7), Adelaide High OS (6), Ovingham (2).

1st S. Alberton Utd 12.13 North Pines 9.20 2nd S. Adelaide Uni 10.8 Broadview 9.7 Prelim. Broadview 16.17 Alberton Utd 5.8 G.Fin. Adelaide Uni 17.8 Broadview 11.8

A7 Reserve

Modbury (34), Henley Greek (28), Port District (26), Greenacres (22), Wingfield (14), Tea Tree Gully (14), Paralowie (4), Rostrevor OC (2).

1st S. Port District 14.13 Greenacres 11.8 2nd S. Henley Greek 14.16 Modbury 8.5 Prelim. Modbury 15.12 Port District 5.7 G.Fin. Modbury 14.16 Henley Greek 7.6

A8 Reserve

Adelaide Uni (32), S.P.O.C. (32), Gaza (24), Salisbury Central (18), P.A.O.C. (16), Walkerville (14), Ingle Farm (4), Kenilworth (4).

1st S. Gaza 10.14 Salisb Central 7.9 2nd S. Adelaide Uni 7.13 S.P.O.C. 7.5 Prelim. Gaza 11.9 S.P.O.C. 9.9 G.Fin. Adelaide Uni 18.14 Gaza 5.5

Under 17

Tea Tree Gully (28), Port District (28), Greenacres (28), Modbury (26), Riverside (22), Henley Greek (18), Gaza (16), Goodwood (8), Ethelton (4), Kilburn (0).

Elim Fin. Modbury 15.8 Riverside 8.5 Qual Fin. Greenacres 9.9 Port District 9.7 1st S. Port District 11.12 Modbury 8.6 2nd S. Greenacres 17.8 T Tree Gully 12.11 Prelim. T Tree Gully 13.10 Port District 12.7 G.Fin. T Tree Gully 8.15 Greenacres 6.10

Awards

The winner of the Pfitzner Medal for the Best and Fairest player in A1 was Kilburn centre half back John Glasson. State playerJohn Ker of S.P.O.C. won the A2 medal, and his state team-mate Bradley Ryan of P.H.O.S. & Camden was the A3 medallist.

The other medallists were:

  • Former Norwood player Tom Warhust (A4 Old Ignatians)
  • Jason Otte (A5 tie Flinders Uni, his second medal)
  • Ken Stephenson (A5 tie TransAdelaide)
  • Charles Thomas (A6 Adelaide High O.S.)
  • Carey Payne (A7 Paralowie)
  • Steve Wolter (A8 Kenilworth)
  • Peter Johnston (A9 Scotch O.C.)
  • Liam Hennessy (A10 Hectorville)
  • Nick Ranic (A11 Gaza)
  • Dave Fitt (A12 tie Unley)
  • Steve French (A12 tie Unley)
  • Kevin Biddle (A12 tie North Pines)
  • Mark Warner (A1 Reserve Kilburn)
  • Hayden Bamford (A2 Reserve Greenacres)
  • Lucas Stubing (A3 Reserve S.M.O.S.H.)
  • Martin Hinton (A4 Reserve Old Ignatians, his second medal)
  • Shane Clark (A5 Reserve Colonel Light Gardens)
  • Gary Elmendorp (A6 Reserve North Pines), Dean Anderson (A7 Reserve Modbury, his third medal)
  • Steve McLean (A8 Reserve Ingle Farm)
  • Craig Herrmann (Under 17 Greenacres)

The winner of the Charles Irvine Trophy for leading goalkicker in A1 was Port District’s Wayne Carlin with 104 goals, and Prince Alfred’s Todd Ferguson topped A2 with 74.

Interstate

1994 was a carnival year hosted by Victoria with all matches played at Elsternwick Park. Evan Katsaros was again coach andJeff Burchell manager, while Leo Panzarino was one of the carnival umpires. The squad was as follows:

  • Bagshaw, Guy Adelaide University
  • Burke, Shane Broadview
  • Carlin, Wayne Port District
  • Dawkins, Phillip Henley Greek
  • Engelhardt, Andrew Henley Greek
  • Ferguson, Todd Prince Alfred O.C.
  • Fusco, Giuseppe Kenilworth
  • Horsnell, Andrew Henley Greek
  • Hywood, Michael Brighton District & O.S.
  • Ker, John St. Peters O.C.
  • Mellow, Damien Kilburn
  • Miles, Grant Adelaide University
  • Molloy, Chris Gaza
  • Muir, Andrew captain Adelaide University
  • Naish, Chris Sacred Heart O.C.
  • Owens, Brenton Port District
  • Payze, Mark Henley Greek
  • Pierson, Wayne Henley Greek
  • Ploenges, Warren v.capt Goodwood Saints
  • Power, Bohden Saint Michaels O.S.& H.
  • Rack, Joe Kilburn
  • Russell, Glenn Kilburn
  • Ryan, Bradley Plympton Hgh OS & Camden
  • Spirou, Kevin Port District
  • Vaux, Brenton Gaza

Sunday June 12, 1994

S.A. were put under pressure right from the start of the carnival by drawing Victoria in the opening match, as the Vics were still smarting from their defeat by W.A. in the ’91 carnival. S.A. began well to lead by 25 points at quarter time thanks to its rucks and rovers, but the Victorian centreline and defence lifted in the second quarter to give them the lead at half time. From then on S.A. struggled to compete as the Victorian on-ball players took over.

S.A.Team v Victoria

1Q 2Q 3Q Final Victoria 1.4 5.16 12.20 17.25 (127) S.A. 5.5 6.8 9.8 10.11 (71)Goalkickers: Ferguson 3, Carlin 2, Mellow 2, Molloy, Pierson, Spirou

Best Players: Rack, Owens, Muir, Ryan, Fusco, Russell, Ferguson

1Q 2Q 3Q Final W.A. 5.6 6.7 8.7 8.18 (66) Tasmania 2.1 4.3 4.3 8.7 (55)

Wednesday June 15, 1994

S.A.Team v Western Australia

S.A. again began well to set up an early lead of 17 points by quarter time, then with lots of drive from centre led by 40 points in the second quarter before W.A. kicked 3 late goals to trail by 17 at the long break. In the second half the S.A. defence got right on top to restrict W.A. to only 2 further goals.1Q 2Q 3Q Final S.A. 4.3 8.9 12.10 15.16 (106) W.A. 1.4 5.10 6.13 7.17 (59)

Goalkickers: Dawkins 3, Mellow 3, Carlin 2, Horsnell 2, Ker 2, Ferguson, Molloy, Spirou

Best Players: Ryan, Owens, Payze, Russell, Muir, Power

1Q 2Q 3Q Final Victoria 6.5 12.6 19.14 29.16 (190) Tasmania 0.0 1.1 2.2 6.3 (39)

Saturday June 18, 1994

S.A.Team v Tasmania

The match against Tasmania was something of an anti-climax with the Taswegians competitive for only the first quarter after which they were no match for S.A.’s rebounding defence and dominant forward line.1Q 2Q 3Q Final S.A. 3.4 10.13 16.16 24.20 (164) Tasmania 2.6 3.7 5.10 6.11 (47)

Goalkickers: Bagshaw 4, Burke 3, Dawkins 3, Engelhardt 3, Ferguson 3, Spirou 3, Ker 2, Owens, Pierson Ploenges

Best Players: Ryan, Power, Owens, Horsnell, Hywood, Payze, Ploenges

1Q 2Q 3Q Final Victoria 2.3 7.11 12.13 18.21 (129) W.A. 2.6 4.6 5.10 7.10 (52)

This was Victoria’s 14th championship from 20 carnivals.

At the conclusion of the carnival, the following players from S.A. were named in the All-Australian team.

  • Todd Ferguson
  • Andrew Muir ()
  • Brenton Owens
  • Mark Payze
  • Glenn Russell
  • Bradley Ryan

The A3-A6 Representative team under coach Michael Weatherald played a match against the Spencer Gulf League on June 12th, 1994. The team had only 8 players left from the 1993 side, and was as follows:

  • Amos Scott A hb Hectorville
  • Apostolopoulos Danny fb Glenunga
  • Armstrong Morgan ruck Ferryden Park
  • Bailey Dean A chf PHOS & Camden
  • Barr Peter follower Glandore
  • Calliess Craig A interch Gepps Cross
  • Crosby Grant fp vice capt Woodville South
  • Fewster Brad hb St.Michaels OS&H
  • Gaston Jamie ruck Hectorville
  • McInerney Graham J chb capt St.Michaels OS&H
  • McInnes, Scott rover Hope Valley
  • Paech Nick J follower Pulteney O.S.
  • Parkin Tom S ff Pembroke O.S.
  • Poole Rory L hf West Croydon
  • Rosman Andy P wing Unley
  • Rosman David M fp PHOS & Camden
  • Schroeder Mark A wing Hope Valley
  • Turnbull Chris P rover Fitzroy
  • Uzzell Barry bp Rosewater
  • Vance Paul hf C.B.C.O.C.
  • Zanker Tony M centre Hectorville

The match was played at Central Augusta Oval at twilight, and neither side could gain an ascendancy. With only a few minutes to play the amateurs led by 14 points, but 2 quick goals to the opposition reduced the margin to just 2 points, and then a mark on the siren was converted to give the gulf team a stunning 4-point victory.

1Q 2Q 3Q Final Spencer Gulf 1.5 6.7 11.10 15.16 (106) SAAFL 2.2 8.6 10.11 15.12 (102)

Goalkickers: Parkin 6, D.Rosman 4, Crosby 3, A.Rosman, Zanker

Best Players: Zanker, Poole, Gaston, Uzzell, Bailey, Fewster An Under-17 team played the curtain-raiser against the Spencer Gulf Under 18 team and was defeated 4.3 to 20.15.

At the end of the season, several clubs from the Northern Metropolitan League made application to join the Amateur League in 1995. This exodus of clubs would undoubtedly cause the demise of the Northern League, and also had serious implications for the S.A.F.A. The S.A.N.F.L. accordingly requested the Amateur League Executive to place a 12-month moratorium on accepting S.A.N.F.L. affiliated clubs, in order to allow time for a review of suburban football. The response of the Amateur League Executive was to deny the request on the grounds that there was no constitutional power for such a moratorium, a response consistent with the Amateur League’s laissez faire attitude to uncontrolled growth since the Second World War. It accordingly admitted 5 clubs from the Northern Metropolitan League which then ceased to exist.

The S.A.N.F.L., now facing the possibility of all metropolitan football in South Australia below League level being controlled by the unaffiliated SAAFL, set up the Metropolitan Football Steering Committee under convenor John Halbert “to look into the problem causing the demise of several affiliated metropolitan competitions.” An invitation was extended to the SAAFL to have a representative on the Committee, and Chairman John Dicker then attended meetings. Early discussions suggested the desirability of developing a competition of 20 to 30 strong district clubs to replace the S.A.F.A., drawing on clubs from the SAAFL, Southern and possibly Hills Leagues.

The initial response of several SAAFL A1 clubs to the rumour and innuendo circulating about the new committee was swift. Concern was expressed that they were in danger of being forced out of the SAAFL and into the new competition, leaving a strong organisation with good financial backing for an unknown future. The difficulties faced by the S.A.F.A. in establishing a strong viable competition was still fresh in their minds, particularly as some A1 clubs had previously been members of that organisation. The fact that player payments in the SAAFL by A1 clubs in particular had helped bring about these difficulties meant nothing to them as they moved to block the path of the Steering Committee.

Kilburn called a meeting of all A1 clubs early in 1995 to discuss the future of the SAAFL, the threat from the Steering Committee, and the problems that were being caused by a new Executive committee of the SAAFL dominated, as they saw it, by “old scholars”. It was suggested that while an openly semi-professional competition would involve less machinations by all concerned, it would be dangerous to join a new association. A better alternative then would be to restructure the SAAFL so that it could organise just such a competition, whether in conjunction with organising a separate amateur competition, or simply the one competition catering for both amateurs and others.

As a first step it was agreed to write to the Executive of the SAAFL requesting that the monthly delegates’ meetings be resumed, albeit on a voluntary basis. This would give the A1 clubs a forum to air their views, a direct communication line to the Executive, and perhaps a vehicle for bringing about change to the operations of the Amateur League before the Halbert committee had any affect. At the time of writing, these meetings were still to take place.

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