This was the year that foreshadowed major changes to metropolitan football. At the end of the 1994 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.
The SANFL held a number of meetings and distributed a number of bulletins which indicated that its preferred scenario was for the SAFA competition to be augmented by those clubs from the amateurs which had good facilities and the ability to pay players, clubs such as Broadview, Kilburn and Port District.
Meanwhile the SAAFL had toughened its controls on amateurism by requiring affidavits from two officials of each member club as well as from reinstated players. Furthermore, it had refused a request that payment of players’ out-of-pocket expenses not be regarded as a breach of the amateur rules. These actions caused resentment from some district clubs which privately expressed the view that the SAAFL Executive was under the control of ‘Old Scholars’ delegates who would be more than happy to see the stronger district clubs moved over to an SANFL-controlled premier league.
However, the SAAFL was not slow to react to this perceived threat to its membership from the SANFL proposals, and distributed a questionnaire regarding amateurism et al to all its clubs. This was followed by a special General Committee meeting on July 10 where a sub-committee was formed to explore changes to the SAAFL structure to accommodate player payments.
The move to player payments was supported by the news from the amateur Australian Rugby Union that the NSW and Queensland authorities had declared that union was no longer an amateur sport. A report in the Advertiser on April 13 stated that this declaration was in direct response to the split in the rugby league competition leading to the formation of Super League and the threat of poaching rugby players from amateur ranks. At a special meeting of delegates on October 3, recommendations from the sub-committee were voted on and approved. It was resolved that two divisions would be formed in 1996 with a view to making one of these divisions non-amateur in 1997. Meanwhile, talks were to continue with the SANFL about an affiliation, but nothing was resolved. This left just the SAFA as the only senior metro competition affiliated with the SANFL.
While these events progressed throughout 1995, the structure of football at the top was also evolving and a second Adelaide-based team - Port Adelaide Power - was granted a licence by the AFL. Hence any public excitement about the proposed major renovations to metropolitan football was swamped by the euphoria over the prospect of an AFL game played in Adelaide each week. This prospect dominated the sporting news and coincided with the birth of a new football paper Football Plus to replace the defunct Football Times. One direct effect of the Port Adelaide news on the SAAFL was a proposal for the SANFL branch of Port Adelaide - Port Adelaide Magpies - to merge with Port District and play as Port Adelaide District in both the SANFL and the amateurs, giving the Magpies access to District’s training facilities now that Alberton Oval would be required by the Power. A proposal going in the opposite direction was that current premiers Kilburn be admitted to the SANFL, either as a composite amateur team based at Kilburn or just the Kilburn team itself. Both proposals were unsuccessful.
Amidst the turmoil and confusion over the structure of metro football, the SAAFL brightened itself up by redesigning the spaces in Amateur House and constructing a decent sized front office. For years Alan and Elaine and latterly Glenda had performed Herculean tasks in cramped spaces, but now could spread out and receive enquiries in some comfort. A new innovation was the introduction of Merit Awards for officials of clubs who had given long and valuable service to the Amateur League. Each club put up its nominations and the successful recipients received their awards at annual pre-season dinner.
1995 was the fiftieth year following the end of World War II, and in recognition of their service 34 veterans were entertained at a lunch at Adelaide Oval on Grand Final day. With the influx of Northern clubs Central United, Eastern Park, Elizabeth, Salisbury and Smithfield, it was decided to zone grades from A5 down into northern and southern clubs. The Northern clubs brought their umpires with them to officiate under new SAAFL umpires’ coach Darryl Schramm, and year one and two umpires’ coach Dominic Marta. Pulteney Old Scholars had gone into recess, and Banksia Park Old Scholars underwent its fourth name change in thirteen years by becoming Houghton Districts. A rule change also occurred with the amateurs following the senior leagues in allowing 21 players to don the guernsey for each team.
Former SAFA clubs Modbury and Tea Tree Gully who had both joined the amateurs in 1988 finally won their way into A1. Former gipsies Goodwood Saints had now consolidated themselves in A1 and gained further confidence with the appointment of ex-South Adelaide player Brenton Honner as coach. Mark Naley had left Brighton D&OS and was replaced by ex-Woodville and Glenelg player Randall Wright. Other new coaches included long-time state player Mark Simpson (Broadview), former state coach Evan Katsaros (Princes), SANFL legend Ray Huppatz (Seaton), and ex-Central District star Phil Graham’s appointment at Kenilworth coincided with the club’s move to Panther Park.
The surprise packet in A1 turned out to be Tea Tree Gully who made the finals in their first season of A1 football and led by the Betterman brothers looked a real premiership threat. However the best teams for the season all looked capable flag winners, led by Broadview under rookie coach Simpson, ’94 premiers Kilburn under Tony Roach, and Noel Annear’s Port District. Henley Greek had slumped a little after a promising ’94 season, and only University and Goodwood really threatened the top four.
(as at the end of the minor round)
Played Won L D Pts Broadview 18 16 2 0 32 Kilburn 18 14 4 0 28 Tea Tree Gully 18 11 7 0 22 Port District 18 11 7 0 22 Adelaide University 18 10 8 0 20 Goodwood Saints 18 9 9 0 18 Henley Greek 18 8 10 0 16 Modbury 18 6 12 0 12 Brighton D & OS 18 4 14 0 8 Gaza 18 1 17 0 2
In a boilover First Semi, Tea Tree Gully shocked everyone except coach Steve Almond at Prospect Oval by belting Port District by 14 goals 20.10 to 6.7. Andrew Gordon dominated the ruck after Stuart Dunn limped off for Districts, and rover Jamie Ainsworth took full advantages of his opportunities and kicked 5 goals. Slightly less awesome but still eye-catching was Broadview’s scoreline in the Second Semi at Norwood - 22.15 to the Chics’ 12.12. The Tigers led by 47 points at half time, and Chic’s coach Tony Roach moved Steve O’Dorcic to full forward hoping for a comeback which didn’t eventuate, Marc Jones kicking 4 of his 7 goals for the Tigers in the last quarter. In a bruising Prelim. Final at Alberton, Kilburn led by three goals at half time but had to withstand a strong finish by the Gullies to win 10.16 to 9.7
Broadview were hot favourites in the Grand Final at Adelaide Oval, but were jumped by Kilburn who led by 17 points at quarter time and by 27 points at half time with Glen Russell, Damien Mellow and Damien Lister in fine form. The Tigers came back to trail by only 11 points at lemons, and when Mark Kemp goaled early in the last it seemed they were on a roll. However, Kilburn steadied and a 4-goal to 2 last quarter had them in front 14.18 to 11.15 at siren time and back-to-back premierships.
Two sides dominated the A2 competition, Seaton Ramblers down from A1, and St. Peters O.C., a finalist in 1994. Most of the interest pre-finals concerned which of the other teams would make up the final four, as only Kenilworth was an obvious non-qualifier. The interest lasted right up to round 18 when Sacred Heart, coming off a defeat by PHOS Camden, defeated St. Michaels to join Rostrevor in the major round.
(as at the end of the minor round)
Played Won L D Pts Seaton Ramblers 18 16 2 0 32 St. Peters O.C. 18 15 3 0 30 Rostrevor O.C. 18 10 8 0 20 Sacred Heart O.C. 18 10 8 0 20 St. Michaels O.S.& H 18 9 9 0 18 PHOS Camden 18 9 9 0 18 Walkerville 18 8 10 0 16 Greenacres 18 7 11 0 14 Prince Alfred O.C. 18 6 12 0 12 Kenilworth 18 0 18 0 0
In the First Semi at Panther Park, ROCS had first use of the breeze and jumped to a 32-point lead only to see SHOC work themselves back into it by half time. The scores then were close until the last quarter when SHOC kicked four goals in five minutes to win 16.13 to 12.13. The Second Semi at Blair Athol Reserve saw a replay of the last minor round match between Seaton and SPOC which the former had won by 77 points. This time the margin was 40 points, 18.17 to 12.13, aided by five goals seven behinds from Rams skipper and state forward Steve Berrgren, and it looked like the premiership was theirs. Blair Athol was also the venue for the Prelim. Final where SPOC dominated the early play but again SHOC fought their way back into the game, only to lose 13.4 to 16.11 despite 5 goals from big man Damian Kitschke. For the Grand Final at Norwood Oval, it seemed that the only person confident of a Seaton defeat was SPOC coach John Paynter who argued that low expectation meant less pressure and that would help his players. Furthermore, Seaton had gone through season 1993 in A2 undefeated only to lose the Grand Final against SHOC, so Rams coach Ray Huppatz would have that in mind. Seaton led the way for most of the match with ruckman Anthony Brdar in control, until eight minutes into the last quarter when its 25 point lead was blasted by a 7-goal avalanche from SPOC including 4 goals from former junior star Seb Packer, giving the flag to St. Peters 17.9 to 14.12.
In A3 it was the Fitzroy and Lockleys Show with other teams relegated to minor roles. Best Supporting Actor was clearly Rosewater who couldn’t buy a win in their first 10 games, but then won 7 of their last 8. Most Out Of Control was Riverside who had been in A1 two seasons previously but had fallen on hard times and narrowly avoided relegation to A4.
(as at the end of the minor round)
Played Won L D Pts Fitzroy 18 15 3 0 30 Lockleys 18 15 3 0 30 Scotch O.C. 18 12 5 1 25 Old Ignatians 18 11 7 0 22 Hectorville 18 10 8 0 20 Hope Valley 18 7 10 1 15 Rosewater 18 7 11 0 14 Riverside 18 5 13 0 10 West Croydon 18 4 14 0 8 Adelaide Lutheran 18 3 15 0 6
The First Semi between Scotch and Old Ignatians at Henley following a 16- & 17-goal performance by Scotch full forward Clay Chaplin the previous two games against West Croydon & Riverside. Scotch won the match easily 22.9 to 9.9 but a season-ending broken collarbone to Chaplin made coach Rob Popplestone’s job that much harder. The Second Semi at Campbelltown was just as one sided as Nick Genovese’s Lockleys coasted to a 21.16 to 11.10 victory over Paul Dittmar’s Fitzroy, but the Lions had the better of Scotch in the Prelim. at Panther Park 15.17 to 12.10 to earn a spot in the Grand Final at Prospect. Lockleys started well and a repeat of the Second Semi threatened, but then Fitzroy kicked 17 of the next 23 goals to win the Club’s first A-Grade premiership 17.15 to 12.9.
Glandore (30), Pembroke OS (30), Gepps Cross (29), Glenunga (26), CBCOC (22), Ferryden Park (22), Unley (20), Woodville South (14), Ingle Farm (12), Burnside Kensington (11), Campbelltown Magill (4).
1st S. Glenunga 16.15 Gepps Cross 7.10 2nd S. Glandore 17.9 Pembroke OS 14.11 Prelim. Glenunga 17.8 Pembroke OS 15.12 G.Fin. Glenunga 24.11 Glandore 10.15
Elizabeth (36), Smithfield (32), Eastern Park (24), St. Pauls OS (24), Para Hills (22), North Pines (14), Modbury (10), TransAdelaide (10), Broadview (6), Ovingham (2).
1st S. St. Pauls OS 26.14 Eastern Park 14.11 2nd S. Elizabeth 18.14 Smithfield 13.13 Prelim. Smithfield 20.18 St. Pauls OS 19.15 G.Fin. Smithfield 17.11 Elizabeth 13.14
Ethelton (32), North Haven (31), Colonel Light Gardens (27), Adelaide High OS (26), Mitcham (22), Adelaide Uni (10), Alberton United (10), Henley Greek (10), West Lakes (8), Flinders Uni (4).
1st S. Col Lt Gdns 19.12 Adel High OS 10.9 2nd S. North Haven 13.11 Ethelton 7.10 Prelim. Col Lt Gdns 15.11 Ethelton 11.14 G.Fin. Col Lt Gdns 11.10 North Haven 8.9
Central Utd (35), Salisbury (32), Houghton Dist (27), Wingfield Royals (26), Paralowie (16), Gaza (14), Greenacres (12), Fitzroy (12), Salisbury Central (6).
1st S. Wingfield 17.14 Houghton 7.15 2nd S. Central Utd 14.18 Salisbury 12.9 Prelim. Wingfield 14.20 Salisbury 14.10 G.Fin. Wingfield 12.8 Central Utd 11.13
Port District (34), Brighton D&OS (30), Adelaide Uni (26), Seaton Rams (22), Goodwood Saints (20), Walkerville (16), Rostrevor OC (12), Prince Alfred OC (10), St. Peters OC (10), Mitcham (0) Mitcham moved to A7 South after round 5.
1st S. Adelaide Uni 9.9 Seaton 7.12 2nd S. Port District 12.13 Brighton 9.11 Prelim. Brighton 17.9 Adelaide Uni 9.10 G.Fin. Port District 14.7 Brighton 11.13
Kilburn (36), Old Ignatians (30), Tea Tree Gully (28), Hope Valley (23), Hectorville (18), Rosewater (12), Ferryden Park (12), Broadview (10), Ingle Farm (10).
1st S. T. T. Gully 21.16 Hope Valley 7.4 2nd S. Kilburn 22.20 Old Ignatians 5.19 Prelim. Old Ignatians 13.17 T. T. Gully 13.15 G.Fin. Old Ignatians 14.7 Kilburn 8.8
SMOSH (36), CBCOC (28), Adelaide Uni (24), Scotch OC (19), North Haven (13), Mitcham (12), Col Lt Gdns (12), Adel Lutheran (0)
1st S. Adelaide Uni 13.4 Scotch OC 9.16 2nd S. SMOSH 16.14 CBCOC 6.12 Prelim. CBCOC 17.15 Adel Uni 11.8 G.Fin. SMOSH 19.18 CBCOC 8.7
Gepps Cross (32), North Pines (30), Ethelton (22), St. Pauls OS (12), Campbelltown Magill (6), Wingfield Royals (6).
1st S. St. Pauls OS 11.8 Ethelton 9.11 2nd S. Gepps Cross 14.20 North Pines 10.7 Prelim. North Pines 17.12 St. Pauls OS 9.9 G.Fin. Gepps Cross 14.8 North Pines 9.5
Lockleys (34), Riverside (30), PHOS Camden (28), Glenunga (21), Pembroke OS (20), Unley (16), Sacred Heart OC (15), Henley Greek (10), Burnside Kensington (2), Glandore (2).
1st S. PHOS 23.19 Glenunga 10.13 2nd S. Riverside 13.7 Lockleys 9.14 Prelim. Lockleys 6.20 PHOS 8.8 Prelim. PHOS 18.12 Lockleys 13.11 G.Fin. Riverside 13.19 PHOS 11.7
Goodwood Saints (32), Port District (30), Broadview (28), Henley Greek (24), Adelaide Uni (24), Modbury (14), Tea Tree Gully (12), Kilburn (8), Brighton D&OS (6), Gaza (2).
1st S. Broadview 13.8 Henley Greek 9.10 2nd S. Port District 12.10 Goodwood 11.8 Prelim. Goodwood 11.14 Broadview 10.5 G.Fin. Port District 12.7 Goodwood 10.11
Walkerville (32), Rostrevor OC (28), Seaton Rams (28), St. Peters OC (26), Sacred Heart OC (20), SMOSH (14), Prince Alfred OC (12), PHOS Camden (10), Greenacres (10), Kenilworth (0).
1st S. Seaton 24.11 S.P.O.C. 11.14 2nd S. Walkerville 9.12 R.O.C.S. 9.10 Prelim. R.O.C.S. 13.15 Seaton 10.7 G.Fin. Walkerville 13.8 R.O.C.S. 13.4
Hectorville (28), Scotch OC (28), Old Ignatians (28), Riverside (26), Lockleys (22), Fitzroy (20), Rosewater (12), Hope Valley (10), Adelaide Lutheran (4), West Croydon (2).
1st S. Old Ignatians 9.7 Riverside 8.10 2nd S. Hectorville 13.9 Scotch OC 6.12 Prelim. Old Ignatians 12.10 Scotch OC 8.10 G.Fin. Old Ignatians 13.5 Hectorville 11.7
Gepps Cross (32), Glenunga (30), Pembroke OS (30), Ferryden Park (26), Ingle Farm (24), CBCOC (20), Glandore (20), Unley (14), Woodville South (10), Campbelltown Magill (10), Burnside Kensington (4).
1st S. Ferryden Pk 14.9 Pembroke OS 10.11 2nd S. Gepps Cross 12.15 Glenunga 5.9 Prelim. Ferryden Pk 19.5 Glenunga 11.6 G.Fin. Gepps Cross 17.5 Ferryden Pk 10.6
Elizabeth (30), Broadview (30), Eastern Park (26), North Pines (20), St. Pauls OS (20), Smithfield (20), Modbury (16), Para Hills (14), TransAdelaide (2), Ovingham (2).
1st S. North Pines 12.11 Eastern Park 12.9 2nd S. Broadview 17.6 Elizabeth 11.3 Prelim. North Pines 13.12 Elizabeth 11.7 G.Fin. Broadview 13.10 North Pines 9.5
Mitcham (34), North Haven (32), Ethelton (30), Adelaide Uni (20), Henley Greek (18), Col Lt Gdns (16), Adelaide High OS (14), Flinders Uni (10), Alberton United (4), West Lakes (2).
1st S. Ethelton 10.16 Adelaide Uni 7.7 2nd S. Mitcham 13.12 North Haven 8.11 Prelim. North Haven 11.6 Ethelton 7.4 G.Fin. Mitcham 7.15 North Haven 5.7
Salisbury (30), Wingfield Royals (30), Central United (28), Houghton Dist (24), Salisbury Central (22), Gaza (14), Greenacres (12), Paralowie (12), Fitzroy (6).
1st S. Central Utd 15.11 Houghton 4.4 2nd S. Salisbury 13.14 Wingfield 7.4 Prelim. Central Utd 13.12 Wingfield 8.8 G.Fin. Central Utd 14.7 Salisbury 12.14
Goodwood (30), Port District (30), Prince Alfred OC (30), St. Peters OC (24), Adelaide Uni (22), Rostrevor OC (18), Brighton D&OS (12), Walkerville (8), Seaton Rams (6), Mitcham (0). Mitcham moved to A7 South after round 5.
1st S. P.A.O.C. 15.12 S.P.O.C. 6.8 2nd S. Port Dist 9.15 Goodwood 9.5 Prelim. Goodwood 14.9 P.A.O.C. 12.9 G.Fin. Port Dist 16.9 Goodwood 9.5
Tea Tree Gully (32), Gaza (30), Port District (26), Hope Valley (24), Henley Greek (24), Elizabeth (24), Greenacres (22), Salisbury (20), Campbelltown Magill (18), Rosewater (16), Eastern Park (8), Smithfield (4), Ethelton (4).
Q.Fin. Port Dist 13.7 Gaza 8.8 E.Fin. Henley Greek 10.10 Hope Valley 8.10 1st S. Gaza 19.13 Henley Greek 2.4 2nd S. Port Dist 10.7 T. T. Gully 9.5 Prelim. Gaza 8.15 T. T. Gully 8.5 G.Fin. Port Dist 14.13 Gaza 8.3
In a strange twist of fate the two bottom teams in A1 provided the joint winners of the Pfitzner Medal. Brighton’s Ian Cox and Gaza’s Martin Poole salvaged something from the season’s wreckage for their clubs by sharing the umpires’ preferences. Journalist Neil Cross of S.P.O.C. blitzed the A2 field with 30 votes, while Rep. Side best-on-ground Andre Kulpe of Hope Valley was the medallist in A3.
The other medallists were:
Darren Stevenson of Goodwood was the A1 leading goalkicker with 65 goals, and Steve Berggren topped A2 with 98.
Matches were played against Victoria and W.A. in 1995 under new state coach Terry Homan. The squad was as follows:
S.A. Team v Western Australia
Goodwood OvalA strong forward line of Mark Kemp and Todd Ferguson fed amply by a dominant midfield and ruck was too strong for W.A.
1Q 2Q 3Q Final S.A. 8.5 14.6 19.13 27.20 (182) W.A. 2.1 11.2 11.2 13.2 (80)
Goalkickers: M.Kemp 7, Ferguson 6, P.Kemp 4, Cox 2, Horsnell 2, Berrgren, D.Betterman, Gepp, Moore, Russell, Wintle
Best Players: P.Kemp, Gordon, A.Betterman, Moore, Horsnell, Ker, M.Kemp, Ferguson
S.A. Team v Victoria
Elsternwick ParkS.A. had not beaten Victoria in Victoria since 1985, and the hosts turned on the usual Vic weather and a first quarter which threatened to continue the gloom. However, the S.A. team kicked 9 of the 12 goals after quarter time to blitz the Vics, led by the experienced trio of Adam Betterman, Andrew Muir and Paul Kemp.
1Q 2Q 3Q Final S.A. 0.2 3.6 8.7 9.9 (63) Victoria 4.4 5.5 5.5 7.9 (51)
Goalkickers: Berrgren 2, P.Kemp 2, Armstrong, Ferguson, Gepp, A.Muir, Page
Best Players: A.Betterman, A.Muir, P.Kemp, Gordon, Geyer, Cox
Bob Cross was appointed coach of the A3-A6 Representative team which played the curtain-raiser to the senior state game in Melbourne. The squad was as follows:
The team caught the 6.15 am flight to Melbourne and ran out on a heavy slippery turf to get ambushed by the Vics. Down 8 to nil at half time, the team regrouped and made a game of it in the second half.
1Q 2Q 3Q Final Victoria 2.5 8.8 8.12 12.14 (86) S.A. 0.0 0.0 3.2 4.3 (27)
Goalkickers: Crosby 3, McInnes
Best Players: Kulpe, Apostolopoulos, Rasheed, Bates, Morgan, Reynolds, Ladd
No Under 17 representative match was played in 1995.