At the end of the 1995 season and leading up to the ’96 season, the Amateur League admitted the remaining S.A.F.A. clubs to its ranks, resulting in a record 208 senior teams in the competition. A questionnaire to clubs had revealed that two thirds opposed the S.A.A.F.L. removing its amateur status, so four separate proposals for gradings were put to the first meeting of delegates in February. The meeting voted to divide the competition into a Premier Division of three grades with reserves, and an A Division of 10 grades of which six had reserves. However, both divisions were to play under the amateur rules for 1996 with a view to making the Premier Division semi-professional in 1997. Those clubs considered by the Executive to be best suited to a semi-pro competition were placed in the Premier Division, including all the former S.A.F.A. clubs.

Talks continued with the S.A.N.F.L. regarding affiliation but nothing was resolved. Don Tothill was made a Life Member in recognition of his long service to the League over many portfolios including Executive member, juniors co-ordinator, umpires liaison, and management of state football.

A ‘sin bin’ was introduced. A new category C order-off rule was added which empowered umpires to send players off the field for ten minutes without replacement. Category C did not require the player to be reported and was designed to discipline players for disputing umpires’ decisions, and to reduce the risk of agitated players performing a Category A or B offence. Any player incurring three Category C offences in a season would be subject to a two-match suspension.

Entering the amateurs in 1996 were former S.A.F.A. clubs Edwardstown (P1), Athelstone, Payneham-Norwood Union , Plympton, Pooraka, and Salisbury North (P2), and Flinders Park and Salisbury West (P3). Another former S.A.F.A. club Adelaide Tigers merged with TransAdelaide to form TransAdelaide Tigers (P3), former Northern Metro club Brahma Lodge came into A4, and Golden Grove entered a team in the Under 17 competition. S.M.O.S.H. amalgamated with West Lakes and the new club adopted the S.M.O.S.H. playing uniform and the West Lakes home ground. Ferryden Park had to close its doors due to financial problems and a lack of players.

New coaches included Gary Parker (Port District), Mark Downie (Seaton), Andrew Johns (Henley Greek), Graeme Dunstan (Tea Tree Gully), Alan Stringer (S.P.O.C.), Damien Kitschke (S.H.O.C.), Robbie Popplestone (Scotch O.C.), David Serotzki (P.A.O.C.), Duane Massey (PHOS Camden), and in a novel first, joint coaches Noel Annear and Terry McEvoy (Adelaide Uni). Darryl Schramm resigned as umpires’ coach and was relaced by Dominic Marta assisted by Barry Lewis.

The Premier 1 Division was comprised of the eight top teams from 1995 plus Edwardstown and promoted Seaton Ramblers. A2 premiers from 1995, St. Peters O.C., were in the new A1 competition. After nine rounds in the P1 Division, the teams to play in the finals were already in the top four, Adelaide Uni & Goodwood on seven wins and Kilburn and Edwardstown one win behind. From there debutante Edwardstown won eight of the last nine matches to finish minor premier. Henley Greek missed the finals by one game and Tea Tree Gully by two, while ’95 Grand Finalist Broadview had tumbled to seventh and Port District from fourth to ninth.

P1 Premiership Table

(as at the end of the minor round)

Played Won L D Pts Edwardstown 18 14 4 0 28 Adelaide Uni 18 13 5 0 26 Kilburn 18 13 5 0 26 Goodwood Saints 18 12 6 0 24 Henley Greek 18 11 7 0 22 Tea Tree Gully 18 10 8 0 20 Broadview 18 7 11 0 14 Modbury 18 5 13 0 10 Port District 18 3 15 0 6 Seaton Ramblers 18 2 16 0 4

Goodwood had beaten Kilburn in both minor round games but lost the important First Semi at Richmond Oval 7.9 to 13.13. Joe Rack won the ruck for the Chics and Steve Mazey and Andy Savage provided targets up forward.

Edwardstown coach John Martin, who had nearly resigned earlier in the season, fired his team up for their first Amateur League final, and despite their wayward kicking for goal in the wide Alberton Oval pockets (1.10 at quarter time), a 7-goal burst in the third quarter was enough to win the Second Semi 13.14 to 9.17. Jason Bromilow, Kym Stephenson and Paul Kermode were best for the Towns.

The Prelim Final was also played at Alberton, and the Blacks put an end to Kilburn’s aspiration for a third successive A-grade premiership with a comfortable 15.22 to 11.14 victory led by state player Todd Ferguson with 8 goals, state defender Simon Dixon, and captain Andrew Muir on the ball. The Grand Final was at Adelaide Oval with a stiff breeze favouring the grandstand end. At quarter time the Blacks kicked against it but held Edwardstown to a one point lead. Then with the breeze the Blacks kicked 7.6 to 0.2 thanks to a dominant centre line, Grant Miles, Muir and Josh May on the ball, and Ferguson and Ian White up forward. The Towns outscored Uni 7.1 to 3.0 when their turn came again with the wind, but with a 3-goal advantage and the wind at their backs, Uni raced away in the last to win 21.12 to 13.9. Todd Ferguson kicked 10 goals in a best-on-ground display to bring up his hundred for the season

The P2 competition was comprised of five ex-S.A.F.A. clubs – Athelstone, Payneham-Norwood Union, Plympton, Pooraka and Salisbury North, ex-A1 team Gaza, and four ex-A2 teams – PHOS Camden, Rostrevor O.C., SMOSH West Lakes, and Walkerville. Athelstone had been premiers of the S.A.F.A. in 1995 but had opted to start in P2 rather than P1, and after 16 rounds were unbeaten. However the team lost it’s last two minor round games but still finished well in front of the pack.

P2 Premiership Table

(as at the end of the minor round)

Played Won L D Pts Athelstone 18 16 2 0 32 Salisbury North 18 12 6 0 24 PHOS Camden 18 12 6 0 24 Rostrevor O.C. 18 11 7 0 22 Pooraka 18 10 8 0 20 Gaza 18 9 9 0 18 SMOSH West Lakes 18 7 11 0 14 Payneham Norwood U. 18 6 12 0 12 Walkerville 18 5 13 0 10 Plympton 18 2 16 0 4

In the First Semi at Payneham Oval, new PHOS coach Duane Massey was confident of victory for the Phantoms after six successive wins, although Rostrevor’s Jamie Mason had his team on song with a recent 11-goal victory over top side Athelstone. After an even first half the Phantoms drew away to win 17.13 to 12.12 led by former state player Simon Saprinidis. Athelstone, after an unbeaten run, had lost its last two matches to Rostrevor and Walkerville, and had to play Salisbury North in the Second Semi at Blair Athol Reserve with their in-form state goalsneak Damien Herzick who had already kicked over a hundred goals for the season. Herzick kicked 8 but it wasn’t enough to stop the Raggies who won 10.10 to 13.14 inspired by Peter Spencer, David Penfold and Dean Renfrey.

Salisbury North had beaten PHOS Camden comfortably in both minor round clashes, but were overwhelmed by the Phantoms in the Prelim. Final at Norwood Oval 10.12 to 22.11. The Grand Final was played at Prospect Oval, and it took a 7-goal last quarter by Athelstone to defeat the gallant Phantoms 16.10 to 13.9. Both teams had many good players on the day, and the Raggies’ forwards Adrian Webber and Frank Renfrey played well and kicked 7 goals between them while Martin Ding kicked 6 for PHOS.

Ex-S.A.F.A. clubs Adelaide Tigers (amalgamated with TransAdelaide), Flinders Park and Salisbury West lined up in P3 along with ex-A3 teams Fitzroy, Greenacres, Hectorville and Riverside, ex-A4 teams Gepps Cross and Glandore, and ex-A5 Elizabeth. The competition was tight at the top and at the end of the minor round new chums Flinders Park led Gepps Cross on percentage with the Tigers and Fitzroy not far behind.

P3 Premiership Table

(as at the end of the minor round)

Played Won L D Pts Flinders Park 18 15 3 0 30 Gepps Cross 18 15 3 0 30 TransAdelaide Tigers 18 14 4 0 28 Fitzroy 18 13 5 0 26 Elizabeth 18 11 7 0 22 Greenacres 18 8 10 0 16 Salisbury West 18 6 12 0 12 Glandore 18 6 12 0 12 Riverside 18 2 16 0 4 Hectorville 18 0 18 0 0

The First Semi at Panther Park saw Fitzroy kick 6.10 to 1.7 after half time to beat TransAdelaide 14.15 to 12.8. Gepps Cross also came from behind at Henley to beat Ron Fuller’s Flinders Park 15.11 to 11.11 thanks to a 7-goal effort from former Brisbane Bear Laurence Schache. It was a different Flinders Park which lined up at Payneham Oval in the Prelim. Final, leading all day and beating Fitzroy 23.11 to 14.13, Phil Philcox kicking 8 for Parks. It looked then as though the Grand Final at Richmond Oval might turn into a shoot-out between the gun full forwards Schache and Philcox, While they kicked 4 and 5 goals respectively, the game never really opened up until the third quarter when Parks kicked 8 to 3 then defended well to win 15.9 to 7.9.

The A1 competition was comprised mainly of clubs from A2 (Kenilworth, P.A.O.C., S.H.O.C. and S.P.O.C.), and A3 (Hope Valley, Lockleys, Old Ignatians and Scotch O.C.), plus relegated A1 team Brighton D. & O.S. and A4 premier Glenunga. The old scholars’ teams dominated particularly Saints and Sacred Heart.

A1 Premiership Table

(as at the end of the minor round)

Played Won L D Pts St. Peters O.C. 18 15 3 0 30 Sacred Heart O.C. 18 15 3 0 30 Lockleys 18 12 6 0 24 Prince Alfred O.C. 18 11 7 0 22 Brighton D & O.S. 18 11 7 0 22 Scotch O.C. 18 11 7 0 22 Old Ignatians 18 7 11 0 14 Glenunga 18 6 12 0 12 Kenilworth 18 1 17 0 2 Hope Valley 18 1 17 0 2

In a tight First Semi at Daly Oval, Princes outlasted Lockleys to win 12.22 to 12.12, while in a sensational Second Semi at Edwardstown, Saints and Sacred Heart were tied 10.13 to 11.7 after full time. In the extra two periods of 10 minutes each, Saints kicked 6.7 to nil so the final score of 16.20 to 11.7 did not really reflect how close Saints came to defeat. The Prelim Final was played at Blair Athol Reserve, and after a close first quarter, S.H.O.C. pulled away to win 14.13 to 5.8 and so get another change against Saints. However it was back-to-back premierships for S.P.O.C. who kicked 7 goals to 2 behinds in the third quarter and won 14.8 to 7.15.

Other Tables and Scores

A2: Unley (32), West Croydon (30), Rosewater (28), C.B.C.O.C. (24), Smithfield (22), Pembroke OS (16), Woodville South (10), North Haven (8), Adelaide Lutheran (7), Colonel Light Gardens (3).

1st S. Rosewater 18.14 CBCOC 13.7 2nd S. Unley 20.8 West Croydon 12.10 Prelim. Rosewater 20.13 West Croydon 14.9 G.Fin. Rosewater 8.14 Unley 8.14 G.Fin2 Unley 19.17 Rosewater 6.7

A3: Mitcham (32), St. Pauls OS (28), Para Hills (24), Ingle Farm (22), Campbelltown Magill (20), Ethelton (14), Burnside Kensington (14), Adelaide High OS (13), Eastern Park (13).

1st S. Ingle Farm 13.11 Para Hills 8.7 2nd S. Mitcham 14.21 St. Pauls OS 10.6 Prelim. St. Pauls OS 13.9 Ingle Farm 7.11 G.Fin. Mitcham 12.12 St. Pauls OS 9.11

A4: Central United (32), Alberton United (29), Wingfield Royals (26), Houghton Districts (26), North Pines (20), Salisbury (14), Adelaide Uni (14), Port District (13), Edwardstown (4), Brahma Lodge (2).

1st S. Wingfield 13.21 Houghton 7.10 2nd S. Central Utd 30.13 Alberton Utd 8.7 Prelim. Wingfield 18.18 Alberton Utd 8.9 G.Fin. Central Utd 13.11 Wingfield 8.7

A5: Modbury (30), Henley Greek (27), Broadview (24), Adelaide Uni (23), Athelstone (18), Seaton Rams (12), SMOSH West Lakes (10), Goodwood Saints (0).

1st S. Broadview 13.10 Adelaide Uni 6.6 2nd S. Henley Greek 11.12 Modbury 8.13 Prelim. Broadview 10.11 Modbury 6.8 G.Fin. Broadview 11.7 Henley Greek 7.10

A6: Tea Tree Gully (34), Flinders Uni (26), R.O.C.S. (24), Greenacres (20), Salisbury Central (20), S.P.O.C. (11), Fitzroy (9), Campbelltown Magill (0).

1st S. Greenacres 14.10 R.O.C.S. 13.11 2nd S. Flinders Uni 12.9 Tea Tree G 11.5 Prelim. Greenacres 8.14 Tea Tree G 5.9 G.Fin. Flinders Uni 16.13 Greenacres 14.10

A7: Kilburn (34), Pooraka (28), Flinders Park (28), P.A.O.C. (26), Ovingham (18), Riverside (14), Old Ignatians (12), Walkerville (8), Plympton (6), C.B.C.O.C. (4).

1st S. Flinders Park 22.8 P.A.O.C. 15.12 2nd S. Kilburn 15.10 Pooraka 12.10 Prelim. Pooraka 15.14 Flinders Park 9.6 G.Fin. Kilburn 10.13 Pooraka 8.10

A8: Salisbury North (36), Adelaide Uni (26), Payneham Norwood Union (24), Gepps Cross (22), Mitcham (22), Paralowie (20), Scotch OC (18), Glenunga (8), Rosewater (4), North Haven (0).

1st S. Payneham NU 10.9 Gepps Cross 5.8 2nd S. Salis. North 13.12 Adelaide Uni 12.9 Prelim. Payneham NU 14.10 Adelaide Uni 7.9 G.Fin. Salisb North 12.18 Payneham NU 5.11

A9: Lockleys (32), PHOS Camden (26), Gaza (24), Ingle Farm (24), Colonel Light Gardens (18), Brighton D&OS (18), North Pines (18), Adelaide Lutheran (16), Ethelton (2), Broadview (2).

1st S. Ingle Farm 22.9 Gaza 9.5 2nd S. P.H.O.S. 15.5 Lockleys 11.11 Prelim. Lockleys 17.17 Ingle Farm 10.4 G.Fin. P.H.O.S. 10.8 Lockleys 7.8

A10: Pembroke OS (30), S.H.O.C. (28), Elizabeth (24), TransAdelaide Tigers (22), Gaza (16), Unley (12), Wingfield (10), Woodville South (2).

1st S. Elizabeth 10.10 TransAdelaide 4.6 2nd S. Pembroke OS 12.11 S.H.O.C. 5.10 Prelim. S.H.O.C. 4.14 Elizabeth 5.4 G.Fin. Pembroke OS 13.7 S.H.O.C. 6.5

P1 Res: Henley Greek (30), Port District (26), Goodwood Saints (26), Edwardstown (22), Adelaide Uni (22), Kilburn (16), Tea Tree Gully (14), Broadview (14), Modbury (6), Seaton Ramblers (4).

1st S. Edwardstown 13.6 Goodwood 9.9 2nd S. Henley Greek 13.5 Port District 5.10 Prelim. Edwardstown 15.8 Port District 10.6 G.Fin. Henley Greek 8.11 Edwardstown 7.10

P2 Res: Pooraka (32), Athelstone (30), Salisbury North (29), R.O.C.S. (27), SMOSH West Lakes (18), PHOS Camden (18), Gaza (10), Payneham NU (8), Walkerville (6), Plympton (2).

1st S. R.O.C.S. 11.8 Salisb North 7.10 2nd S. Athelstone 19.11 Pooraka 7.7 Prelim. Pooraka 12.4 R.O.C.S. 6.6 G.Fin. Athelstone 13.15 Pooraka 9.4

P3 Res: Flinders Park (30), Elizabeth (28), Fitzroy (27), Gepps Cross (26), TransAdelaide Tigers (24), Greenacres (14), Salisbury West (14), Riverside (13), Glandore (4), Hectorville (0).

1st S. Fitzroy 14.12 Gepps Cross 7.6 2nd S. Flinders Park 16.11 Elizabeth 6.8 Prelim. Elizabeth 13.17 Fitzroy 11.22 G.Fin. Elizabeth 10.5 Flinders Park 8.9

A1 Res: Old Ignatians (32), S.P.O.C. (30), S.H.O.C. (26), Brighton D&OS (22), P.A.O.C. (22), Scotch OC (20), Lockleys (12), Glenunga (12), Hope Valley (2), Kenilworth (2).

1st S. S.H.O.C. 18.10 Brighton 8.4 2nd S. Old Ignatians 14.6 S.P.O.C. 13.11 Prelim. S.P.O.C. 14.19 S.H.O.C. 13.12 G.Fin. Old Ignatians 9.10 S.P.O.C. 8.11

A2 Res: West Croydon (36), Smithfield (32), C.B.C.O.C. (24), Pembroke OS (22), Unley (22), Rosewater (20), Colonel Light Gardens (8), North Haven (8), Adelaide Lutheran (4), Woodville South (4).

1st S. Pembroke OS 9.13 C.B.C.O.C. 7.2 2nd S. West Croydon 13.12 Smithfield 8.18 Prelim. Smithfield 17.10 Pembroke OS 10.7 G.Fin. West Croydon 18.7 Smithfield 7.9

A3 Res: Mitcham (34), Eastern Park (26), Para Hills (26), St. Pauls OS (26), Campbelltown Magill (24), Ingle Farm (18), Ethelton (14), Adelaide High OS (6), Burnside Kensington (6).

1st S. St. Pauls OS 9.8 Para Hills 9.6 2nd S. Mitcham 13.11 Eastern Park 6.13 Prelim. Eastern Park 14.8 St. Pauls OS 7.3 G.Fin. Eastern Park 10.5 Mitcham 7.11

A4 Res: Adelaide Uni (34), Port District (26), North Pines (26), Central United (26), Houghton Districts (20), Wingfield Royals (18), Salisbury (12), Alberton United (12), Edwardstown (6), Brahma Lodge (0).

1st S. Central Utd 11.5 North Pines 9.13 2nd S. Port District 9.10 Adelaide Uni 7.8 Prelim. Adel Uni 12.8 Central Utd 3.4 G.Fin. Adel Uni 16.11 Port District 7.9

A5 Res: Broadview (26), SMOSH West Lakes (26), Goodwood Saints (24), Henley Greek (22), Modbury (22), Adelaide Uni (14), Athelstone (10), Seaton Ramblers (0).

1st S. Goodwood 8.10 Henley Greek 6.9 2nd S. Broadview 11.7 SMOSH WL 8.4 Prelim. SMOSH WL 15.9 Goodwood 7.2 G.Fin. Broadview 10.11 SMOSH WL 6.6

A6 Res: Tea Tree Gully (34), Rostrevor OC (32), St. Peters OC (20), Salisbury Central (18), Greenacres (14), Flinders Uni (12), Campbelltown Magill (10), Fitzroy (4).

1st S. Salisb Central 15.13 S.P.O.C. 10.12 2nd S. Tea Tree G 19.12 R.O.C.S. 6.2 Prelim. R.O.C.S. 11.9 Salisb Central 4.6 G.Fin. Tea Tree G 9.10 R.O.C.S. 5.20

U17 Blue: Modbury (36), Salisbury West (32), Elizabeth (22), Athelstone (20), Eastern Park (16), Golden Grove (10), Salisbury North (6), Para Hills (2).

1st S. Athelstone 13.17 Elizabeth 4.9 2nd S. Modbury 10.8 Salis. West 8.7 Prelim. Salis. West 14.10 Athelstone 10.12 G.Fin. Salis. West 14.11 Modbury 9.13

U17 Gold: Henley Greek (32), Port District (24), Fitzroy (24), Greenacres (24), Gaza (22), North Haven (10), Seaton Ramblers (4), Plympton (4).

1st S. Greenacres 12.9 Fitzroy 12.8 2nd S. Port District 13.11 Henley Greek 10.9 Prelim. Henley Greek 18.14 Greenacres 8.7 G.Fin. Henley Greek 7.12 Port District 3.10

Awards

The Pfitzner medallist for 1996 capped off an impressive introduction to the Amateur League for Edwardstown who played in the Premier 1 Division Grand Final and supplied the medallist in centreman Brett Smallacombe, who had won the equivalent S.A.F.A. medal the previous season. Former league player for Sturt, Marcus Trimboli, won the Premier 2 medal, and Mark Jolly of Brighton was the A1 medallist. The A6 medallist was Salisbury Central’s Joe Bugeja who was hit by a train and broke his back while still a teenager. After years of rehabilitation he achieved his ambition to play football again, first with Salisbury West, and then after another layoff, with Salisbury Central. Other medal winners were Darrin Wilson (Fitzroy – P3), Darryn Pumpa (Rosewater – A2), Charlie Thomas (Adelaide High OS – A3, his third medal in succession), Jimmy Galouzis (Alberton United – A4), Emilio Calicchio (Broadview – A5 – his second medal), former state player Marty Martinovic (Riverside – A7, his second medal), Sonny Lindner (Payneham Norwood Union – A8), Stephen McLean (Ingle Farm) and Michael Mulloy (Colonel Light Gardens) A9 shared, former Wimbledon professional tennis player Roger Rasheed (Pembroke O.S. – A10), Don Campbell (Edwardstown – P1 Res), John Tomaselli (Athelstone – P2 Res), Nathan Sidwell (Salisbury West – P3 Res), Darren Bails (S.H.O.C. – A1 Res), Terry Howe (Pembroke OS – A2 Res), Adrian Lewis (Para Hills – A3 Res), Malcolm Ross (Port District – A4 Res), Nathan Howard (SMOSH West Lakes – A5 Res), Mark Petkidis (Tea Tree Gully – A6 Res), Daniel Mead (Modbury – U17 Blue), and David Green (Henley Greek – U17 Gold).

Todd Ferguson of Adelaide Uni was the P1 leading goalkicker with 82 goals for the season, and Damien Herzick of Salisbury North topped P2 with 104. In A1, Kym Welsby of S.H.O.C. kicked 96.

Interstate

State coach Terry Homan was looking forward to a repeat of the previous year’s form against the Vics, but with the formation of the Premier Division following the admittance of former S.A.F.A. clubs, the League was advised that the V.A.F.A. would not participate in an interstate match. However, a match was arranged against W.A. at Leederville Oval on Saturday June 1st. The team was as follows:

  • Algate, Robbie w Kilburn
  • Betterman, Dale hf Tea Tree Gully
  • Dixon, Simon fb Adelaide Uni
  • Ferguson, Todd ff Adelaide Uni
  • Herzick, Damien fp Salisbury North
  • Huppatz, Shane chb Broadview
  • Jones, Mark hf Broadview
  • Ker, John (capt.) rover St. Peters O.C.
  • Muir, Andrew bp Adelaide Uni
  • Nichols, Kym inter Tea Tree Gully
  • Ottens, Chris inter Goodwood Saints
  • Pascoe, Chris chf Adelaide Uni
  • Payze, Mark inter Henley Greek
  • Poole, Martin (dvc) fp Broadview
  • Roberts-Thomson, Kurt c Adelaide Uni
  • Russell, Glenn hb Kilburn
  • Ryan, Danny hb Kilburn
  • Slee, Chris w Goodwood Saints
  • Spanagel, Michael ruck Seaton Ramblers
  • Teakle, Brett bp Henley Greek
  • Visser, Stacey inter Henley Greek
  • Wormald, Matt (v.c.) foll Henley Greek

As in the previous year, the W.A. team lacked strength, and but for a 7-goal last quarter when the game was over, would have suffered an embarrassing deficit on their home ground. Half-back Danny Ryan gave S.A. plenty of rebound, the centre-line of Algate, Roberts-Thomson and Slee dominated, Pascoe won centre-half forward and Spanagel the ruck.

1Q 2Q 3Q Final S.A. 7.1 10.7 16.12 16.15 (111) W.A. 2.1 4.5 6.7 13.7 (85)

Goalkickers: Ferguson 5, Herzick 4, Jones 2, Algate, Betterman, Pascoe, Visser, Wormald

Best Players: Algate, Ryan, Pascoe, Spanagel, Payze, Ferguson, Roberts-Thomson, Slee

No representative match was played in 1996, but the Under 17s played the Yorke Peninsula juniors at Ardrossan Oval on Sunday July 14 and won easily 14.13 to 3.1.