The South Adelaide Football Club, 1876-1900

A short history of the early decades of the South Adelaide Football Club, 1876-1900

Formation

Moves to establish a South Adelaide Football Club began in 1875 and were formalised in April the following year. The club is not to be confused with the ‘South Adelaide’ team that is referenced in newspapers from earlier years. This was a division of the Adelaide Football Cub which had been formed in 1860. This Adelaide entity arranged intra-club matches between different groupings of its players, and some of these matches, as reported at the time, were between its players that lived north of the Torrens, ‘North Adelaide’, and south of it, ‘South Adelaide’.

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Ode to a patch of MCG turf

Farewell, we bid thee, piece of turf three metres by one,
As thou travelleth up the Hume, the truck that transports thee, we cannot outrun.
For as long as the sun has risen in the east, thou hast glistened with morning dew,
Now, as thou truckest, may thou receive the care that is thy due.
May thou be tended with waters and fertilisers, to ease thy weary load,
And heaven help the driver should he fail to avoid any bump in the road.
Oh turf, oh turf, our Melbourne soil, thou art so good, so great!
The more for having tolerated imposter feet from interstate.
And though the quest thou now pursueth be imbued with virtue and grace,
Forsooth, to remind the northern people of their rightful place,
Knowest as thou leavest, your departure is a killer,
With holes in Melbourne hearts that cannot be fixed with poly filler,
And though your holy house be made only of bricks and mortar,
We worship thee, and it, forever as we oughta.

 

The clear sky of these football-free days

How good is this break from football? I say that as someone who has followed the game since the age of three and who still thinks it is one of the best spectator sports in the world. But of all the incidental benefits that have stemmed from the coronavirus, is there any more valuable than this hiatus from football? Not for mine. I hope common sense prevails at the AFL and it lasts the whole year, although I know there is as much chance of that as there is of the Adelaide Crows being given an earnt home grand final at Adelaide Oval.

The lockdown has reminded us of a time when football was in its proper place. Anyone on the wrong side of fifty can remember it well. Life was more about neighbourhood. If you needed bread or milk or wanted to buy the paper you walked or rode to the deli. People worked five-and-a-half days a week to earn an honest keep, most often in a trade or profession that they stayed in for life, and football was a Saturday afternoon entertainment. The game was an important part of the week and was looked forward to, but the players too held Monday-to-Friday jobs, the kind that kept the wheels of the community turning. Continue reading “The clear sky of these football-free days”