Any thought of containing the size of the Amateur League must have gone by the boards in 1968 when seven new clubs and twenty five new teams were admitted. Such a dramatic increase had never happened before, and would happen on the same scale only one more time - in 1985 when the Southern Metropolitan League was on the verge of folding. The number of clubs in the Amateur League now totalled 41, and the main catalyst for the present influx was the demise of the Adelaide Metropolitan Football League. New clubs entering were Allenby Gardens (from the United Church Association) coached by former test cricketer Rex Sellers and playing at Ledger Reserve; Brighton High Old Scholars, a new club founded by ex-students Doug Golley (captain/coach), Paul Manuel (secretary) and Arthur Porter (treasurer), and playing at the School; Ferryden Park (from the North Adelaide District Association) coached by John Perkins and playing at Strathmore Reserve; Hindmarsh C.Y.M.S. (premier of the Adelaide Metropolitan Association) coached by Lyn Hine and playing at St. Michaels College; Mitcham (from Adelaide Metropolitan) coached by Dave Thamm and playing at Hawthorn Oval; Royal Park (from Adelaide Metropolitan) coached by Gil Englehardt and playing at Carnegie Reserve; and Sacred Heart Old Collegians, a new club coached by John Woods and playing at Pennington Reserve. These new clubs fielded 15 teams, and another 10 new teams were entered by existing clubs.

This explosion of teams now totalling 129 required the formation of two new divisions, A4 Reserve and A6 to cater for the over-5000 registered players. It was clear that in the eyes of the Amateur League administrators, bigger was better, and little thought was probably given to the long-term implications of the Amateur League becoming a sponge for the spillage from the shipwrecks of other football associations in the state (see chapter 5). Many new coaching appointments were made including several ex-league players. South Adelaide defender Graham Durbridge was reinstated to enable him to become captain/coach of Exeter; South Adelaide and state follower Don Kimber was appointed non-playing coach of University, replacing Allen Greer who returned to Riverside as coach; Rick Oliver left Riverside to return as coach to his old club Goodwood, replacing Bob Farnham who returned as coach to his old club Payneham;

Wally Anderson was coaching Rosewater, Dominic Barbaro St.Dominics, Graham Eime Semaphore Central and Bob Heath Glenunga (formerly Hyde Park).

Premiership Tables

A1 Premiership Table

(as at the end of the minor round)

TeamGmWLDPts
Teachers College20173034
University20164032
Exeter20155030
Rosewater20145129
Semaphore Central20128024
Payneham20119022
Goodwood20911018
Prince Alfred O.C.20812016
Riverside20613113
Glenunga2041608
Flinders Park2041608
St. Dominics2031706

During the season two minor round A1 matches were played at Adelaide Oval, but at the end of the minor round, nothing much had changed at the top of the A1 ladder with Teachers College, University and Rosewater still dominant, although Exeter had improved while Riverside and St.Dominics had slipped. Rosewater beat Exeter in the First Semi 8.10 to 7.4, and Teachers, although missing injured players Dave Stuart and Paul McCarthy, won the Second Semi against Uni 6.6 to 4.9 with half-forward Brian Ferris, full back Bob Topsfield and centreman Bruce Taylor starring. University then accounted for Rosewater in the Preliminary Final 8.11 to 6.8, and so had a rematch against Teachers in the Grand Final at Alberton Oval under the supervision of Mr.B. Jones. The Blacks started as underdogs having lost to Teachers in its last six encounters, but this time Uni turned the tables with rover Graham Stirling, ruckman Ian Hockridge and half forward Paul Rofe all starring, and won the match 9.10 to 6.5.

In 1937, 1949 and 1950 representative teams from the Amateurs and S.A.N.F.L. seconds (then called the S.A. Football Association), had met. In 1968 for the first time ever, the premier of the Amateur League and the League seconds played each other, and event which was to continue for three more years. The match between University and West Torrens was played on October 5th at Adelaide Oval as the curtain raiser to the Champions of Australia game between Sturt and Carlton. The match was a very even contest with Uni holding a ruck advantage through Ian Hockridge and Tom O'Malley, and a sound defence led by Julian Disney and Bill Sylow, and when Paul Rofe kicked 3 goals in 9 minutes during the third quarter it looked as though Varsity would win. However Torrens kicked 3 goals in the last 5 minutes of the match to deprive the students of a notable victory.

1Q 2Q 3Q Final West Torrens 0.1 4.7 5.8 9.11 (65) University 3.3 3.3 6.7 7.9 (51)

  • Univ. Goalk: Rofe 3, Stirling 2, Blake, Sandland
  • Univ. BPs: Hockridge, Disney, Sylow, Grierson, O'Malley, Hunt, Rofe

A2 Premiership Table

(as at the end of the minor round)

Postal Institute in its third season with the Amateur League, finished the minor round on top of A2, but only on percentage from C.B.O.C. who had performed well in its first season in A2.

TeamGmWLD
Postal Institute2015530
Christian Brothers O.C.2015530
Western Teachers2013726
Seaton Ramblers2013726
Henley & Grange2012824
Walkerville2011922
St. Peters O.C.20101020
Gaza2091118
Kings O.C.2091118
University B2071314
Brighton2061412
Pulteney O.S.200200

Western Teachers was too good for Seaton in the First Semi winning 11.13 to 7.11, and Postals won its way into the Grand Final with a 6-goal victory over C.B.O.C. 14.8 to 8.8. Western Teachers kicked straighter than C.B.O.C. in the Prelim. to win 13.5 to 9.12, and then faced up to Postals who it had not beaten at all that season, and surprised everyone but themselves by winning the Grand Final easily 12.17 to 8.7. Mick Klemetilla, the vice captain of Postals, played his 100th game for the club in the Grand Final.

A3 Premiership Table

(as at the end of the minor round)

In A3, Flinders University was the team to beat while Kenilworth and Wattle Park had slumped in comparison with 1967. During the season Alberton United opened its new clubrooms at Port Adelaide Reserve.

TeamGmWLDPts
Flinders University20182036
Broadview20172135
Kilburn20173034
Alberton United20155030
Teachers College B20136127
Scotch O.C.20812016
Semaphore Park20812016
University C20613113
Wattle Park T.C.20515010
Colonel Light Gardens20515010
Kenilworth2041608
St. Dominics B2021715

The Semi Finals were won by Kilburn (14.13 to 9.11) and Broadview (11.8 to 9.10). Flinders Uni then beat Kilburn in the Prelim. 12.12 to 10.7 and so had another go at Broadview in the Grand Final at Hawthorn Oval. Flinders' exuberant coach Keith Koehne, ever the inventive, placed Paul Murray at full forward despite the fact that Murray had played wing all season. Murray duly kicked 5 goals and Flinders won 18.15 to 7.9.

Other Tables and Scores

A4

Mitcham (40), Hindmarsh CYMS (32), Ferryden Park (28), Allenby Gardens (25), Glenunga B (24), Royal Park (20), Sacred Heart OC (19), Ethelton (14), P.A.O.C. B (14), Flinders Uni B (12), Teachers College C (12), Western Teachers B (0).

1st S. Ferryden Pk 12.5 Allenby Gdns 4.5 2nd S. Mitcham 7.7 Hindmarsh 6.5 Prelim. Hindmarsh 9.11 Ferryden Pk 5.12 G.Fin. Mitcham 11.11 Hindmarsh 8.7

A5

Payneham C (38), Flinders Park C (34), Postal Institute C (28), Broadview C (26), Seaton C (24), Walkerville C (24), S.P.O.C. C (14), Brighton C (8), University G (2), Wattle Park TC C (2).

1st S. Postal Inst 9.5 Broadview 3.10 2nd S. Flinders Park 8.13 Payneham 7.13 Prelim. Payneham 12.14 Postal Inst 8.10 G.Fin. Flinders Park 13.11 Payneham 7.13

A6

Exeter C (38), Brighton High OS (34), S.A.Railways Institute (32), Goodwood C (26), Henley & Grange C (24), Payneham D (20*), C.B.O.C. C (16), Mitcham C (16), Kilburn C (10), Pulteney OS C (10), Postal Institute D (6*), Flinders Uni E (2). * Payneham and Postals entered after round 3.

1st S. Goodwood 8.10 Railways Inst 6.4 2nd S. Exeter 6.13 B.H.O.S. 6.12 Prelim. Goodwood 10.8 B.H.O.S. 4.8 G.Fin. Exeter 8.19 Goodwood 4.4

A1 Reserve

Exeter (33), Payneham (30), Rosewater (30), Teachers College (28), Semaphore Central (25), P.A.O.C. (22), Flinders Park (18), Goodwood (14). Riverside (12), University (10), St.Dominics (10), Glenunga (8).

1st S. Teachers Coll 7.5 Rosewater 3.3 2nd S. Payneham 8.6 Exeter 4.3 Prelim. Exeter 6.9 Teachers Coll 3.7 G.Fin. Exeter 4.7 Payneham 1.2

A2 Reserve

Walkerville (34), S.P.O.C. (33), Postal Inst. (32), C.B.O.C. (26), Western Teachers (22), University (21), Brighton (20), Seaton (18), Henley & Grange (16), Gaza (14), Kings OC (4), Pulteney OS (0).

1st S. Postal Inst 8.8 C.B.O.C. 4.10 2nd S. Walkerville 7.4 S.P.O.C. 4.5 Prelim. S.P.O.C. 6.9 Postal Inst 4.5 G.Fin. S.P.O.C. 7.3 Walkerville 5.10

A3 Reserve

Flinders Uni (38), Kilburn (36), Broadview (32), Scotch OC (30), Wattle Park (22), Alberton United (19), Semaphore Park (17), Teachers College (12), Kenilworth (10), University (10), St.Dominics (10), Colonel Light Gardens (4).

1st S. Broadview 9.8 Scotch OC 4.8 2nd S. Kilburn d Flinders Uni Prelim. Flinders Uni 14.13 Broadview 5.7 G.Fin. Flinders Uni 11.7 Kilburn 3.4

A4 Reserve

Mitcham (39), Glenunga (30), Ferryden Park (28), P.A.O.C. (28), Teachers College (25), Ethelton (24), Allenby Gardens (20), Hindmarsh (18), Flinders Uni (18), Royal Park (6), S.H.O.C. (2), Western Teachers (2).

1st S. Ferryden Pk 7.8 P.A.O.C. 6.7 2nd S. Mitcham 4.8 Glenunga 3.5 Prelim. Glenunga 11.10 Ferryden Pk 6.4 G.Fin. Mitcham 6.10 Glenunga 2.3

Colts (Under 18)

Flinders Park (38), Ferryden Park (32), Payneham (28), Rosewater (28), Brighton (26), Broadview (26), Riverside (22), Walkerville (14), Gaza (12), Semaphore Park (8), Semaphore Central (6).

1st S. Payneham 8.7 Rosewater 8.3 2nd S. Flinders Pk 13.8 Ferryden Pk 1.11 Prelim1 Payneham 4.13 Ferryden Pk 5.5 Prelim2 Rosewater 8.6 Ferryden Pk 7.5 G.Fin. Flinders Pk 10.9 Rosewater 6.5 Payneham was disqualified after the Preliminary Final for reasons unknown, so the Prelim. was replayed, this time between Ferryden Park and Rosewater (the loser of the First Semi).

Awards

John Welford, the Payneham centreman, became the first and only (at time of writing) player to win three Hone Medals. John had played for Payneham for eight seasons and represented the state for the last seven, and would go on to play a record nine seasons of state football. He was also selected twice in the All-Australian team. The other medallists were Roger Orchard (C.B.O.C. - A2), Bob Stace, the 1987 A1 Reserve medallist (Teachers College - A3), Ray Murray (Mitcham - A4), Andrew Donovan, the 1987 Colts medallist (Walkerville - A5), Trevor Deverson (Henley & Grange - A6), Murray Goodwin (Payneham - A1 Res.), Robert Brooks (Western Teachers - A2 Res.), Gary Passmore (Wattle Park - A3 Res.), Robert Shaw (Glenunga - A4 Res.) and Ian Fewings (Gaza - Colts). The Charles Irvine Trophy Winner for leading goalkicker in A1 was Exeter's Chris Lange who kicked 87 goals.

Interstate Match

The following squad travelled to Melbourne for a match at Elsternwick Park on May 18.

  • Blake, John University
  • Bondar, Val University
  • Burns, Peter Walkerville
  • Cherry, David St.Peters O.C.
  • Disney, Julian University
  • Durbridge, Graham Exeter
  • Freeman, Roger Exeter
  • Goodhart, John University
  • Griffiths, Kevin Teachers College
  • Hockridge, Ian University
  • Ide, Ian Prince Alfred O.C.
  • Lange, Chris Exeter
  • McCarthy, Chris Christian Brothers O.C.
  • McGowan, Barry Semaphore Central
  • Page, John Postal Institute
  • Purdy, John Goodwood
  • Stuart, David captain Teachers College
  • Taylor, Bruce Exeter
  • Tierney, Terry Riverside
  • Waltham, Bob University
  • Welford, John vice cpt. Payneham

S.A. played well up to three-quarter time aided by a winning ruck combination of Ian Hockridge, Kevin Griffiths, John Page and Bruce Taylor. Julian Disney was sound in defence and John Purdy displayed speed and judgement up forward. A flurry of attacks late in the third quarter resulted only in behinds, and this proved costly as Victoria came home with the wind for a comfortable victory.

1Q 2Q 3Q Final Vic. 0.2 4.7 7.8 13.11 (89) S.A. 2.5 4.7 7.12 7.12 (54)

  • Goalkickers: Purdy 3, Taylor 2, Lange, Welford
  • Best Players: Page, Disney, Purdy, Taylor, Freeman, Goodhart

An A.A.F.C. Section II Carnival was held at Manuka Oval in Canberra over the June long weekend. S.A. was represented in the All-Australian Amateur team by Julian Disney, John Goodhart, John Page, John Purdy, Bob Waltham and John Welford. S.A. officials were also prominent as Neil Dansie was coach, Keith Sims assistant manager, and ‘Sandy’ Cockburn trainer.

June 8, 1968

1Q 2Q 3Q Final A.A.F.C. 4.6 7.10 15.13 20.18 (138) Queensland 2.2 6.4 8.8 9.12 (66)

John Purdy kicked 7 goals and Disney, Purdy and Waltham were in the best players.

Canberra defeated N.S.W. 15.16 to 15.12.

June 10, 1968

In the final on Monday the Amateurs easily defeated Canberra, two of the stars being John Page and John Welford.

1Q 2Q 3Q Final A.A.F.C. 4.3 8.9 14.15 19.19 (133) Canberra 1.0 1.3 2.3 5.4 (34)

Queensland defeated N.S.W. 20.13 to 11.15 to finish second.