An additional barrier to closer co-operation between the two bodies was the concern of some of the stronger amateur district clubs that the ‘Old Scholars Cartel’ on the S.A.A.F.L. executive would seize any opportunity to move these stronger district clubs out of the amateurs because of suspicions concerning their breaches of the amateur rules. Of course, this was a tension which had long existed in the amateurs, but a closer liaison with the S.A.N.F.L. and particularly support for their blueprint to remodel the S.A.F.A. and Northern Metro competitions would, some clubs argued, make the dismissal of the suspected district clubs that much easier.
During 1995, the Executive, led by the ‘Old Scholars Cartel’ of Geoff Heard, Fred Bloch and Jeff Burchell, distributed questionnaires to clubs about the League’s future and had many meetings with clubs to discuss possible scenarios. The majority of clubs, no doubt influenced by the particular emphases coming from the Executive, indicated strong support for the retention of the amateur rules for at least those clubs who wished to remain in a non-professional environment. So at the A.G.M. in 1996 the outgoing Executive’s preferred model of splitting the competition into a Premier Division and an A Division was approved. The idea was that for 1996, even though the semi-professional ex-S.A.F.A. clubs would be part of the Premier Division, both divisions would play under the amateur rules. Then at the conclusion of the ’96 season, the position would be reviewed with a possibility that the Premier Division could be made semi-professional from 1997 onwards, and those clubs wishing to remain completely amateur could stay in the A Division. Under this scenario, both divisions would remain under the control of the S.A.A.F.L. although the Premier Division might have some affiliation with the S.A.N.F.L.
The lobbying of the ‘Old Scholars Cartel’ for retention of amateur status which eventually led to the above decision at the ’96 AGM, was countered towards the end of ’95 and early ’96 by a group led by Phil Martin, Steve Wintle and Maurie Ranger, who had the support of some senior Executive members. Whilst this counter lobby did not prevent the split of the S.A.A.F.L. into two divisions, it did swing enough votes at the ’96 AGM to replace two of the Cartel on the Executive with two of its own members. Bloch then resigned from the Executive claiming that the counter lobby had received a mandate from the clubs. For the remainder of 1996 the new Executive then followed the format previously adopted by the Cartel-led Executive of meeting with clubs, questionnaires, distributing information, and discussing possible future directions for the League. The thrust of the new Executive’s platform was to consolidate the two divisions back into one unified whole, and to bring player payments out into the open by removing the amateur clauses from the League’s constitution. To do so would require a two-thirds majority of delegates’ votes, a stiff task given the responses to the Cartel’s earlier questionnaire.
At a series of meetings throughout 1996 the Executive led by Maurie Ranger debated with clubs the pros and cons of a unified structure. Then at the end of the season, a special meeting of clubs was called to vote on the issue. To the surprise of a few the recommendation to remove the words “for gain” in the section of the constitution defining an amateur was carried with the required two-thirds majority. The Amateur League, as such, was no more.
The big swing in clubs’ attitude to formalising the payment of players, which occurred over a brief 12-month period, raised some interesting questions. Formed in 1911, for the majority of the next 85 years, but particularly after the Second World War, contention had reigned in the S.A.A.F.L. about the covert payment of players. The issue became even more contentious in the 1970s as discussed elsewhere in this history, but despite bad press and continuous innuendo, there was never a serious move to remove the amateurism requirements in the constitution. Yet in a 12-month period there is a massive swing in clubs’ expressed views about amateurism versus professionalism. Why was this so?
Probably the major explanation for this sudden change of heart is to be found in the power of the Executive. The League had been fortunate over the years in attracting people of high calibre to the Executive who had earnt the respect of the membership. From time to time there were controversies, many over the issue of amateurism, but in general the people who ran the clubs were quite content to leave the very big decisions to the Executive. It could probably be said that this was quite un-Australian in terms of our Ned Kelly-like heritage of larrikinism and distrust of authority, but a counter view is that the people who ran the clubs did so in their own spare time and were hard-pressed to properly manage their own club’s affairs without having a serious involvement also at the higher level. And with high quality administrators at the higher level the compulsion to step out of line with the ‘official view’ was not strong.
An argument can be put, therefore, that the sudden demise of amateurism can be explained by the changed attitude of the Executive towards this issue. In the past the senior administrators had regarded amateurism as a non-negotiable requirement for participation in the S.A.A.F.L. Some would say this was because the people at the very top of the administration came from old scholars backgrounds where the temptation to use financial rewards to attract good players was much less than with many district clubs.
Another factor and related to the first, was the S.A.A.F.L.’s membership of the A.A.F.C. This body was heavily influenced in its decision making by the powerful Victorians, and the V.A.A.F.A. had a much higher proportion of old scholars clubs than any other member state. So to remove the amateurism requirements would almost certainly mean banishment from the A.A.F.C., and membership of this body was highly prized by the coterie of senior administrators from each state who organised interstate matches and carnivals, participated in National Football League carnivals, had a voice on the N.F.L.’s board, and met in various states from time to time to discuss matters of mutual interest.
Hence it tended to be the case that whenever a maverick did emerge from the bushes and argue that player payments should be brought out into the open, the constabulary would reiterate its commitment to amateurism, threaten to banish any club for which there was water-tight proof of breach of the amateur rules, and then fire up the cannon of the requirements of A.A.F.C. membership. And after the formation of the S.A.F.A. in 1978, and particularly in the late ‘80s when it could be seen that the S.A.F.A. was not going to threaten the strength of the Amateur League, the Executive could always point any club wanting to pay its players in that direction.
Whatever the reasons for the Executive’s strong defence of amateurism, the change cam in 1996 with the turmoil introduced by the S.A.N.F.L.’s proposal to reorganise metropolitan football and the perceived threat to the strong district club’s membership of the S.A.A.F.L. The 1996 Executive made it clear that now was the time to bite the bullet and allow any member club to pay its players, and have all clubs playing in the one unified structure. Membership of the A.A.F.C. had already been damaged by the admittance of the ex-S.A.F.A. clubs even though they were ostensibly playing as amateurs, and W.A. and Tasmania had fallen on hard times so that the whole future of interstate travel for amateur football bodies was under a cloud.
Hence for the first time in the history of the S.A.A.F.L., the Executive recommended the approval of player payments and the membership duly followed.
Changes were made to the constitution to facilitate player payments but also to incorporate other changes arising from the questionnaires sent to clubs. Amongst these was a two-year term for Executive members, all of whom were now to be appointed by the delegates. Another notable event was the retirement of Amateur League stalwart Keith Sims who had been President of the League since 1967, a member of the Executive since 1953, and twice President of the A.A.F.C. The new President was former Chairman, John Dicker. Another appointment was to the newly established position of Junior Development Manager, a position created in response to concern about the decline in numbers of schoolboys playing football. The appointee was Charlie Rumbelow, secretary of the S.A. Association of Junior Football Leagues.
Another appointment was Barry Lewis as Umpires’ Coach. Over the years it had proved a considerable struggle to recruit sufficient central umpires to service all the grades in the S.A.A.F.L. Retiring players were urged to take it up as an ideal means of keeping contact with the sport and keeping fit, but the pay was probably insufficient for many to compensate for the training required and the constant abuse from players. The shortage of central umpires became so acute that in 1997 it was ruled that all clubs would have to supply a central umpire for each of its teams in a Reserve grade. Each team would supply an umpire for these early matches, and the home club umpire would have the responsibility of lodging the returns. Not surprisingly there were several complaints about home-town decisions but in general the system worked better than many had anticipated.
Back in the ‘50s and ‘60s the League had published its own magazine, The Amateur Footballer. In recent times the main instrument of publicity to players and supporters had been the Football Times and Football Plus, which focussed primarily on the A.F.L. In 1997 it was decided to take the plunge into magazine publishing again with the production of On The Full, a weekly which dealt with reviews of top division matches, premiership tables, news from the clubs, and umpires’ notes, with the intrepid Les Davoren as reporter-in-chief.
There had been no state match against Victoria in 1996 because of the foreshadowed move to drop the amateur requirements in South Australia. However, matches between the two states were seen as essential by both sides given the profile of interstate football and the growing weakness of Western Australia and Tasmania. Furthermore, both W.A. and Tasmania had gone cold on not only annual interstate matches but three-yearly carnivals as well because of the significant travel costs involved. Hence after considerable negotiation a match between S.A. and Victoria was agreed in 1997 with the playing arm of the S.A.A.F.L. becoming known as the S.A. Amateur and Metropolitan Football League.
With the demise of the Premier/A Division split and the consolidation of all clubs into the one competition, the decision was made to re-introduce zoned gradings, so from Divisions 8 to 10, North and South zones were formed.
On the club scene, not much change occurred with affiliations. However there were three significant events: Brighton had joined the Amateurs in 1958 from Glenelg South West, returned to Glenelg South Adelaide in 1969, to rejoin the Amateurs in 1987. Now called Brighton District and Old Scholars, it again broke with the S.A.A.F.L. to join the Southern League. Salisbury Central folded due to a lack of players and officials. The second event of some note was the amalgamation of three long-serving Amateur League Clubs – Alberton United, Ethelton and Riverside – to form Portland. Each of these clubs had been struggling in recent years to compete at the highest level, and the formation of Port Power and its need for a training facility as Ethelton’s Nazer Reserve, provided the financial backing to amalgamate and rebuild the club rooms at Port Reserve. Finally, one of the oldest S.A.A.F.L. clubs in Pulteney Old Scholars returned after a two year recess.
Coaching changes included Daryl West replacing John Martin at Edwardstown, Tony Roach moving from Kilburn to replace Mark Simpson at Broadview, Steve O’Connor taking the Kilburn job, Peter Williams replacing Andrew Johns at Henley Greek, Paul Pisani replacing Graeme Dunstan at Tea Tree Gully, Steve Connelly at Modbury, Gavin Crack at Port District, and re-appointed coaches Brenton Honor (Goodwood), Dean Renfrey (Athelstone), Duane Massey (PHOS Camden), and joint coaches Noel Annear and Terry McEvoy (Adelaide Uni.).
The change from the Premier/A League split to consolidated divisions was accompanied by a change in the top teams in Division 1 when three of the top four sides from the previous year failed to make the finals. Adelaide Uni, Edwardstown and Kilburn all failed to win a top four position, only Goodwood Saints surviving, while newly-promoted PHOS Camden surprised by finishing minor premiers. With one minor round match to play, three teams were equal on 10 wins and competing for fourth spot on the ladder. Henley Greek had the best percentage and was in the driver’s seat playing at home to second-bottom Port District, but if the Sharks lost then either Adelaide Uni or Athelstone could take fourth spot provided they could beat top team PHOS Camden or third-placed Broadview respectively. These possibilities came to nought when Henley thrashed District by 126 points and both Adelaide Uni and Athelstone lost.
Div 1 Premiership Table
(as at the end of the minor round)
Played Won L D Pts PHOS Camden 18 14 3 1 29 Goodwood Saints 18 14 4 0 28 Broadview 18 12 6 0 24 Henley Greek 18 11 7 0 22 Adelaide University 18 10 8 0 20 Athelstone 18 10 8 0 20 Kilburn 18 8 10 0 16 Edwardstown 18 5 12 1 11 Port District 18 3 15 0 6 Tea Tree Gully 18 2 16 0 4
The First Semi was played at Blair Athol Reserve, and Broadview continued its run of 10 wins from 11 matches with a 14.14 to 9.9 victory over Henley Greek, Marc Jones kicking six goals from half forward and Paul Kemp dominating the packs. The Second Semi was also played at Blair Athol Reserve where Duane Massey’s Phantoms won the match in the first half kicking 8 goals to 3 (of which Garth Wright contributed 5) and holding on to win a low-scoring match 9.7 to 5.10. The weather was lousy at Prospect Oval for the Prelim. Final, and scores were close right up to the last quarter when the match was level at 8.9 each, but Brenton Honor’s Saints, led by Paul Cox, broke away in the last for a 11.12 to 8.13 victory.
The Grand Final at Adelaide Oval was unusual in that neither Goodwood nor PHOS had previously played in an A1/P1/D1 Grand Final, and PHOS was the first High School affiliated team to make a top-level Grand Final. The match was hard fought from the start with the lead changing continuously until PHOS edged ahead to enjoy a 13-point lead at three-quarter time. However it was the Saints who stormed home in the last quarter kicking 3.4 to 0.2 for a 7-point victory 11.9 to 10.8, its best players being Peter McCarty, Paul Cox and Deryck Ashcroft.
The competition in Division 2 was somewhat uneven as the division contained a mixture of teams from Premier 2 and A1, and so several teams suffered bad beatings. S.H.O.C. from A1 finished minor premiers followed by ex-Premier 2 teams Pooraka and Salisbury North, demoted Premier 1 team Seaton Ramblers making up the final four.
Div 2 Premiership Table
(as at the end of the minor round)
Played Won L D Pts Sacred Heart O.C. 18 16 2 0 32 Pooraka 18 14 4 0 28 Salisbury North 18 13 5 0 26 Seaton Ramblers 18 11 7 0 22 Gaza 18 10 8 0 20 SMOSH West Lakes 18 9 9 0 18 Rostrevor O.C. 18 7 11 0 14 Saint Peters O.C. 18 7 11 0 14 Payneham Norwood U 18 2 16 0 2 Modbury 18 1 17 0 2
At Daly Oval Seaton Ramblers only just withstood a 5-goal to 1 last quarter from Salisbury North to win the First Semi by a point 12.9 to 11.14. In the Second Semi at Edwardstown Oval, the team kicking with the breeze finished each term in front until the last quarter when Sacred Heart kept Pooraka to just 8 points and won by 4 points 11.12 to 11.8. The Prelim. was also played at Edwardstown but this time the Bulls had little trouble in beating the Rams by 48 points 19.10 to 12.4, Paul Pietsch and Chris Price starring. The Grand Final was played at Norwood Oval and the Bulls won the match in the first quarter kicking 4.1 to 0.4. From then on it was an even contest, but with Paul Pietsch continuing his fine form assisted by Shane Bristow and David Byrnes, Pooraka won 10.11 to 7.7.
Two old scholars teams Princes and Scotch led the pack in Division 3 followed closely by Gepps Cross and Greenacres. Plympton had threatened for a while, but none of the rest looked finals material even though there were a few upsets during the season.
Div 3 Premiership Table
(as at the end of the minor round)
Played Won L D Pts Prince Alfred O.C. 18 15 3 0 30 Scotch O.C. 18 14 4 0 28 Gepps Cross 18 13 5 0 26 Greenacres 18 13 5 0 26 Plympton 18 11 7 0 22 Flinders Park 18 8 10 0 16 Glandore 18 5 13 0 10 Walkerville 18 5 13 0 10 Elizabeth 18 3 15 0 6 Lockleys 18 3 15 0 6
Old rivals Gepps Cross and Greenacres met in the First Semi at Salisbury Oval, and although Gepps were favourites and gun full forward Laurence Schache kicked 7, it was Greenacres who won 16.16 to 13.11. Princes and Scotch tangled in the Second Semi at Campbelltown Oval and this time the favourites won as the Old Reds scored 12.16 to Scotch’s 11.10, led by Ben Prisk and ex-Sturt player Kym Russell. Graham Dewhurst’s Scotch came back in the Prelim. Final at Daly Oval to defeat Greenacres 13.12 to 8.9, then went on with it in drizzling rain in the Grand Final at Blair Athol Reserve aided by straight kicking to win 14.6 to 9.12, its stars being Todd Dunow and Kent Walker.
Other Tables and Scores
Div 4: Unley (28), Salisbury West (27), TransAdelaide Tigers (22), Glenunga (22), Portland (22), Rosewater (20), Old Ignatians (20), Fitzroy (13), Hope Valley (6).
1st S. TransAdelaide 15.9 Glenunga 11.16 2nd S. Unley 12.12 Salisbury West 7.15 Prelim. Salisbury West 18.10 TransAdelaide 6.11 G.Fin. Salisbury West 17.8 Unley 10.6
Div 5: Pembroke O.S. (30), Mitcham (24), Hectorville (22), C.B.C.O.C. (20), North Haven (20), Woodville South (18), Adelaide Lutheran (18), Smithfield (12), St. Pauls O.S. (10), West Croydon (6).
1st S. Hectorville 17.7 CBCOC 5.8 2nd S. Pembroke OS 15.13 Mitcham 8.8 Prelim. Hectorville 8.4 Mitcham 3.9 G.Fin. Pembroke OS 16.12 Hectorville 6.11
Div 6: Eastern Park (32), Central United (28), Burnside Kensington (26), Para Hills (26), Campbelltown Magill (24), Ingle Farm (16), Adelaide High O.S. (14), North Pines (10), Colonel Light Gardens (2), Wingfield Royals (2).
1st S. Burnside Kens 16.13 Para Hills 7.9 2nd S. Central Utd 16.10 Eastern Park 12.8 Prelim. Eastern Park 9.13 Burnside Kens 9.12 G.Fin. Eastern Park 9.6 Central Utd 9.4
Div 7: Salisbury (32), Golden Grove (28), Houghton Districts (24), Pulteney O.S. (22), Brahma Lodge (22), Flinders University (10), Paralowie (6).
1st S. Houghton 13.11 Pulteney OS 11.6 2nd S. Salisbury 24.12 Golden Grove 14.13 Prelim. Golden Grove 12.13 Houghton 6.8 G.Fin. Salisbury 10.6 Golden Grove 7.16
Div 8 North: Salisbury North (32), Adelaide Uni (26), Athelstone (24), Tea Tree Gully (18), Greenacres (8), Gaza (0).
1st S. Athelstone 10.19 Tea Tree Gully 7.5 2nd S. Adelaide Uni 14.16 Salisbury Nth 6.15 Prelim. Salisbury Nth 10.12 Athelstone 3.15 G.Fin. Adelaide Uni 11.13 Salisbury Nth 5.9
Div 8 South: Broadview (32), Adelaide Uni (30), Henley Greek (24), Port District (24), Portland (20), SMOSH West Lakes (6), Edwardstown (6), Rostrevor O.C. (2).
1st S. Henley Greek 8.13 Port District 4.8 2nd S. Adelaide Uni 9.11 Broadview 8.6 Prelim. Broadview 8.8 Henley Greek 6.10 G.Fin. Adelaide Uni 14.7 Broadview 6.6
Div 9 North: Pooraka (30), Kilburn (30), Gepps Cross (30), Ovingham (26), Old Ignatians (18), Salisbury West (14), Payneham N.U. (12), Rosewater (10), Campbelltown Magill (8), Fitzroy (2).
1st S. Gepps Cross 18.11 Ovingham 16.7 2nd S. Pooraka 12.13 Kilburn 7.7 Prelim. Kilburn 9.4 Gepps Cross 6.9 G.Fin. Pooraka 11.9 Kilburn 10.9
Div 9 South: Sacred Heart O.C. (30), Flinders Park (30), PHOS Camden (26), Goodwood Saints (26), Seaton Ramblers (24), P.A.O.C. (16), Scotch O.C. (12), S.P.O.C. (8), Walkerville (6), North Haven (2).
1st S. Goodwood 14.7 PHOS Camden 8.9 2nd S. S.H.O.C. 12.12 Flinders Park 8.11 Prelim. Goodwood 16.11 Flinders Park 4.3 G.Fin. Goodwood 10.6 S.H.O.C. 6.2
Div 10 North: Modbury (36), Eastern Park (28), Elizabeth (26), Ingle Farm (20), Salisbury (10), North Pines (4), Kenilworth (4), Wingfield (0).
1st S. Ingle Farm 14.10 Elizabeth 7.13 2nd S. Modbury 17.12 Eastern Park 3.6 Prelim. Ingle Farm 6.10 Eastern Park 6.8 G.Fin. Modbury 33.17 Ingle Farm 5.5
Div 10 South: Adelaide Uni (36), Pembroke O.S. (26), Plympton (26), Hectorville (26), Adelaide Lutheran (24), Mitcham (18), C.B.C.O.C. (12), Glenunga (6), Unley (4), Kenilworth (2).
1st S. Hectorville 6.8 Plympton 3.7 2nd S. Adelaide Uni 7.12 Pembroke OS 7.7 Prelim. Hectorville 8.14 Pembroke OS 7.9 G.Fin. Adelaide Uni 15.10 Hectorville 8.4
Div 1 Res: Henley Greek (30), Adelaide Uni (28), Athelstone (25), PHOS Camden (24), Broadview (23), Goodwood Saints (16), Tea Tree Gully (15), Kilburn (10), Port District (7), Edwardstown (2).
1st S. Athelstone 13.13 PHOS Camden 13.6 2nd S. Henley Greek 8.9 Adelaide Uni 6.6 Prelim. Athelstone 14.10 Adelaide Uni 8.7 G.Fin. Athelstone 15.9 Henley Greek 7.9
Div 2 Res: Pooraka (36), S.H.O.C. (32), Salisbury North (26), Rostrevor O.C. (26), Gaza (18), Seaton Ramblers (16), SMOSH West Lakes (10), S.P.O.C. (10), Modbury (6), Payneham NU (0).
1st S. R.O.C.S. 10.7 Salisbury Nth 9.5 2nd S. Pooraka 15.8 S.H.O.C. 7.4 Prelim. R.O.C.S. 9.5 S.H.O.C. 7.9 G.Fin. Pooraka 15.12 R.O.C.S. 9.7
Div 3 Res: Scotch O.C. (34), Greenacres (26), Walkerville (26), P.A.O.C. (24), Gepps Cross (18), Flinders Park (16), Plympton (15), Elizabeth (14), Glandore (4), Lockleys (3).
1st S. P.A.O.C. 8.5 Walkerville 6.4 2nd S. Greenacres 11.2 Scotch OC 8.13 Prelim. Scotch OC 9.7 P.A.O.C. 9.5 G.Fin. Scotch OC 11.12 Greenacres 9.12
Div 4 Res: Old Ignatians (34), Salisbury West (32), Portland (26), Fitzroy (26), Glenunga (18), Unley (16), TransAdelaide Tigers (14), Rosewater (10), Hope Valley (4).
1st S. Portland 10.11 Fitzroy 5.12 2nd S. Old Ignatians 7.16 Salisbury West 8.8 Prelim. Salisbury West 10.7 Portland 8.9 G.Fin. Old Ignatians 21.10 Salisbury West 7.6
Div 5 Res: Pembroke O.S. (32), Mitcham (30), C.B.C.O.C. (24), West Croydon (24), Smithfield (20), North Haven (18), Adelaide Lutheran (14), St. Pauls O.S. (12), Hectorville (6), Woodville South (0).
1st S. West Croydon 14.15 C.B.C.O.C. 5.4 2nd S. Pembroke OS 7.10 Mitcham 6.5 Prelim. West Croydon 11.5 Mitcham 6.5 G.Fin. West Croydon 6.12 Pembroke OS 3.12
Div 6 Res: Eastern Park (35), Campbelltown Magill (28), Ingle Farm (28), Central United (21), Para Hills (18), Adelaide High OS (16), North Pines (15), Burnside Kensington (15), Wingfield Royals (2), Colonel Light Gardens (2).
1st S. Ingle Farm 11.10 Central Utd 10.3 2nd S. Eastern Park 11.12 Campb Mag 11.6 Prelim. Ingle Farm 9.10 Campb Mag 6.6 G.Fin. Eastern Park 19.14 Ingle Farm 6.2
Div 7 Res: Salisbury (36), Golden Grove (26), Pulteney O.S. (24), Houghton Districts (24), Flinders Uni (16), Brahma Lodge (10), Paralowie (8).
1st S. Houghton 11.5 Pulteney OS 7.15 2nd S. Salisbury 17.18 Golden Grove 3.1 Prelim. Golden Grove 8.8 Houghton 6.11 G.Fin. Salisbury 15.10 Golden Grove 7.4
Div 8 North Res: Athelstone (32), Adelaide Uni (26), Tea Tree Gully (20), Gaza (16), Salisbury North (14), Greenacres (0).
1st S. Tea Tree Gully 6.16 Gaza 6.10 2nd S. Adelaide Uni 12.11 Athelstone 11.6 Prelim. Athelstone 10.7 Tea Tree Gully 8.5 G.Fin. Adelaide Uni 10.10 Athelstone 10.9
Div 8 South Res: Broadview (34), Adelaide Uni (32), Port District (22), Rostrevor O.C. (20), Portland (16), Henley Greek (16), Edwardstown (2)
1st S. Port District 10.17 R.O.C.S. 9.6 2nd S. Adelaide Uni 13.9 Broadview 9.9 Prelim. Broadview 16.10 Port District 6.6 G.Fin. Adelaide Uni 13.12 Broadview 6.7
Under 17 Gold: Pooraka (30), Elizabeth (30), Payneham N.U. (30), Salisbury (26), Hope Valley (10), Broadview (14), Athelstone (12), Eastern Park (8), Salisbury North (6), Modbury (4).
1st S. Salisbury 10.13 Payneham NU 6.8 2nd S. Pooraka 15.10 Elizabeth 9.12 Prelim. Salisbury 7.4 Elizabeth 4.5 G.Fin. Salisbury 9.7 Pooraka 8.5
Under 17 Blue: Henley Greek (32), Gepps Cross (28), Fitzroy (26), Port District (24), North Haven (12), Portland (18), Lockleys (10), Woodville South (8), Plympton (8), Flinders Park (2).
1st S. Fitzroy 10.12 Port District 7.11 2nd S. Gepps Cross 9.8 Henley Greek 8.11 Prelim. Fitzroy 7.7 Henley Greek 6.7 G.Fin. Gepps Cross 4.6 Fitzroy 4.5
Wingman Daniel Flesfader of Kilburn was the Pfitzner medallist for 1997 and Pooraka’s Michael Carter won the Division 2 medal by a wide margin. Prince Alfred rover Anthony Moyse won the McKay Medal in Division 3. Other medal winners were Andre Kulpe (Div 4 – Hope Valley, his second medal), Damien Laan (Div 5 – Hectorville), Michael Gilmour (Div 6 – Burnside Kensington), a three-way tie in Division 7 between Michael Kalleske (Pulteney OS), Corey Warrior (Salisbury) and Damien Willatts (Houghton Districts), Corey Ward (Div 8 North – Greenacres), Emilio Caliccio (Div 8 South – Broadview, his third medal), John Tsoulos (Div 9 North – Ovingham), Randy Wallace (Div 9 South – Flinders Park), David Walters (Div 10 North – Eastern Park), Peter Lerway (Div 10 South – Plympton), Anthony Wesley (Div 1 Res – Goodwood), Vince Cullinan (Div 2 Res – Pooraka), Luke Gormley (Div 3 Res – Scotch OC), David Page (Div 4 Res – Fitzroy), Tom Hughes (Div 5 Res – Mitcham), Richard Smith (Div 6 Res – Eastern Park), Ian Havelberg (Div 7 Res – Houghton Districts), Damien Rowe ( Div 8 North Res – Tea Tree Gully), Colin Bald (Div 8 South Res – Port District), Chris Packham (Under 17 Gold – Elizabeth), and Steve Lawrence (Under 17 Blue – Henley Greek).
The leading goalkicker in Division 1 was Adelaide Uni’s Evan Arnold (79 goals), and Kym Welsby (Sacred Heart) topped Division 2 with 95 goals.
Negotiations for a state match against the strong Victorian Metropolitan League were put on hold for 1998, but fortunately a match was arranged against the Victorian amateurs following a change of name for the S.A. Amateur League’s playing arm to the South Australian Amateur & Metropolitan Football League. Terry Homan was again coach and optimistic about repeating the victory in Victoria two years earlier. The team was as follows:
- Arnold, Evan fp Adelaide University
- Bailey, Dean inter PHOS Camden
- Chapman, Paul follower Henley Greek
- Dawkins, Phil chb Henley Greek
- Flesfader, Daniel w Kilburn
- Goodes, Jason ff Goodwood Saints
- Harrison, Richard inter Edwardstown
- Ker, John (capt.) rover St. Peters O.C.
- Lambert, Chris w Broadview
- May, Josh fp Adelaide University
- McKinnon, Robin c PHOS Camden
- Moten, Roger bp Adelaide University
- Perugini, Rob hf PHOS Camden
- Reeves, Kyle inter Gepps Cross
- Salisbury, Justin chf Broadview
- Slee, Chris hf Goodwood Saints
- Smith, Graham hb Adelaide University
- Spanagel, Michael ruck Seaton Ramblers
- Spencer, Pieter fb Athelstone
- Tamke, Simon bp Adelaide University
- Whelan, Ben inter PHOS Camden
- Wormald, Matthew (vc) hb Henley Greek
The match was played at Elsternwick Park and lost in the first quarter when the Vics kicked 10 goals to S.A.’s 4. From then on the S.A. team played with great spirit led by full forward Jason Goodes who kicked 7 goals, and a 5 goals to 1 last quarter nearly won the game for the visitors. Full back Pieter Spencer restricted his outstanding opponent to 4 goals, only one of these coming after quarter time, and Paul Chapman dominated in the midfield.
1Q 2Q 3Q Final Victoria 10.3 13.9 17.13 18.16 (124) S.A. 4.2 9.8 12.11 17.15 (117)
Goalkickers: Goodes 7, Arnold 2, Chapman 2, May 2, Whelan 2, Ker 1, McKinnon 1.
Best Players: Goodes, Spencer, Chapman, Harrison, Lambert, Salisbury.
Bob Cross was again coach of the Div3-6 Representative team which travelled to play Broken Hill at Jubilee Oval on Saturday June 7. The squad was as follows:
- Brigmanis, Andrew inter Plympton
- Cosh, Andrew (capt.) chb Scotch O.C.
- Gilmour, Michael inter Burnside Kensington
- Gregory, Matthew fb Greenacres
- Halliday, Ben ruck Elizabeth
- Jarvis, Daniel bp Portland
- Kowal, Matthew w Gepps Cross
- Kulpe, Andre (v.c.) follow Hope Valley
- Lee, Anthony inter Portland
- Martin, Tom hb Prince Alfred O.C.
- Moyse, Anthony fp Prince Alfred O.C.
- Newchurch, Wayne ff TransAdelaide Tigers
- O’Keefe, Jamie fp Pembroke O.S.
- Pascoe, James c Scotch O.C.
- Richardson, Adam hb Gepps Cross
- Rogers, Lincoln rover Plympton
- Sims, Philip (v.c.) hf Prince Alfred O.C.
- Stahlhut, Bradley w Flinders Park
- Tanner, Sean hf Prince Alfred O.C.
- Tozer, Peter bp Rosewater
- Walker, Kent inter Scotch O.C.
- Watts, Brendon chf Elizabeth
On an oval bigger than the M.C.G. the fierce and pacy Broken Hill team showed right from the first bounce that they would be extremely difficult to beat, and the match proved to be extremely tight throughout with neither side able to gain the ascendancy. Captain Cosh led the side with dash from half back, Stahlhut was brilliant on a wing, and Gregory was absolutely miserly at full back, but it was a complete team effort that won the day. Entering time-on S.A. trailed by 11 points but fought back to hit the front, and with only minutes to play the ball was locked in S.A.’s defence where a series of smothers and tackles ensured that the visitors would have a jubilant trip home.
1Q 2Q 3Q Final S.A.A.F.L. 2.2 7.7 11.9 14.13 (97) Broken Hill 3.2 7.7 10.8 14.10 (94)
Goalkickers: Newchurch 6, Rogers 4, O’Keefe 2, Stahlhut 1, Watts 1
Best Players: Stahlhut, Cosh, Gregory, Kowal, Newchurch, Jarvis, Pascoe, Rogers, Brigmanis
The Under 17s played the curtain-raiser to the Representative team and proved far too good for the Broken Hill juniors winning 14.10 to 0.4.