Adelaide Football Club (SAFA)

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Adelaide
Adelaide SAFA logo.jpg
Names
Full name Adelaide Football Club
Club details
Founded 26 April 1860
Dissolved October 1893; 124 years ago (October 1893)
Colours      black,      red, and      white
Competition Interclub competition 1860-1872, 1875-1876
SAFA 1877-1881, 1885-1893
Premierships 1886
Ground(s) Adelaide Oval
Uniforms
Home

The Adelaide Football Club, often referred to as the Old Adelaide club, was an Australian rules football club based in Adelaide. Founded on the 26 April 1860 it was the first football club formed in South Australia, the club played interclub football in South Australia until 1872 when it had disputes with other local clubs over the rules. The club resumed local interclub matches in 1875; in 1876 the Adelaide clubs rules were adopted by all the South Australian clubs. In 1877 the club helped form the South Australian Football Association (SAFA) and participated in the competition from 1877–81 and 1885–93. The club was the most successful in inter club matches in 1870 and 1871 and won the 1886 SAFA premiership, the club dissolved at the end of the 1893 SAFA season. It has no connection to the present Adelaide Football Club playing in the Australian Football League.

History[edit]

Formation at Globe Inn Hotel[edit]

The club was founded at the Globe Inn Hotel, Rundle Street (c. 1860)

The Adelaide Football Club was formed on Thursday 26 April 1860 at the Globe Inn Hotel, Rundle Street with John Brodie Spence chairing the meeting,[1] it was the first in South Australia. The club had its own game rules later referred to as the "Old Adelaide club rules", they would ultimately be universally adopted in South Australia in 1876.

Early intra-club years (1860–1861)[edit]

The club initially only played internal matches between players located North and South of the River Torrens; in the first ever internal game J. B. Spence led one side and John Acraman the other with the match held on the North Parklands on Saturday 28 April 1860,[2] the fourth meeting took place on the South Park Lands on the 19 May 1860 with coloured uniforms adopted.[3] The team derived from players North of the River Torrens wore Blue and the side south wore Pink,[4] for this match the captains were O'Halloran and Cussen.[5] By mid June 1860 the club had already grown to over 100 members, including four members of the South Australian parliament,[6] the final game for 1860 attracted 200 spectators.[7] John Acraman was again captain of one side with the other captain T. O'Halloran.[8] North Adelaide would win by one goal.[9]

Early years of inter-club football (1862–1872)[edit]

The first recorded match against a rival club was played in 1862 against the Modbury and Teatree Gully Football Club on a strip of grass near the Modbury Hotel. Adelaide won the game two goals to nil,[10] the two teams met again the next year, and "the game was kept up with the greatest spirit and good feeling, and so equally were the sides matched that not a goal was obtained".[11]

During the final stages of the last match of the 1863 season between Adelaide and the Modbury and Teatree Gully Football Club some Indigenous Australians were allowed to participate for both sides,[12] the newspaper described the indigenous players by saying their "manoeuvres were ludicrous in the extreme".[13]

In 1864 the club produced printed copies of their rules to avoid disputes.[14]

A match was played on 13 June 1868 between Adelaide and a local Collegian side with the latter winning.[15]

In 1870 the club lost many of its best players to the newly formed city club Young Australians.[16]

On the 31 August 1876 the club played a match against a team from the 50th Regiment on the North Park Lands, the Adelaide club won 3–0.[17]

Exile over the games rules (1873–1874)[edit]

Adelaide stopped playing games against other clubs in 1873 after the Kensington club rules became popular amongst the other clubs. Adelaide was disappointed at the decision of other clubs to abandon its preferred rules and did not play against other suburban clubs until 1875..

Return to the fold (1875)[edit]

After the clubs exile from inter club football in 1873 and 1874 the club had suffered significantly and was no longer the premier football club. Adelaide would only win 1 of its 5 inter club fixtures for the season.

The July 20 meeting (1876)[edit]

On the 20th July 1876, Charles Kingston organised a meeting at the old Prince Alfred Hotel and pleaded with the delegates of the other local clubs that the rules of the Old Adelaide club be universally adopted by South Australian clubs as they closely resembled those used in Melbourne. Part of Charles Kingston's argument to adopt the Old Adelaide club rules over the Kensington club rules was that by having rules similar to those being used in Melbourne, intercolonial football matches could be held in the future. By the end of the meeting Charles Kingston had his way and the old Adelaide club rules were adopted by all the clubs.

SAFA foundation club (1877)[edit]

In 1877 Adelaide captain Nowell Twopenney was influential in calling for the establishment of the South Australian Football Association (SAFA), the club subsequently became one of the founding members of the SAFA (later renamed as the SANFL). In the SAFA's inaugural season, Adelaide finished third, winning ten matches, losing three and drawing three, finishing with a positive goal differential of 18. Adelaide finished fifth out of seven teams in each of the next two seasons, and last in 1880.

Merger with Kensington and temporary dissolution (1881–1884)[edit]

The team's poor performances on and off-field forced the club to merge with Kensington for the 1881 season due to a lack of players, these problems continued, forcing the combined team to resign from the competition on June 1, 1881 after playing four matches, with a fifth being forfeited when the team failed to appear.[18] During the years 1882 to 1884, the club did not play in the SAFA.

SAFA Re-entry, Premiers and wins over Carlton and British Lions (1885–1889)[edit]

The club was re-formed before the 1885 season, combining with Adelaide and Suburban Football Association (ASFA) club North Park to again field a team in the SAFA, the new team finished last out of four teams in 1885, but surprised much of the competition to claim the SAFA premiership in 1886 under the captaincy of J. D. Stephens.

Adelaide was involved in an experimental night game played under electric lights at Adelaide Oval on 1 July 1885. It beat South Adelaide 1 goal 8 behinds to 8 behinds.

Adelaide finished third out of seven teams in each of the next three seasons, also playing matches against the visiting Victorian Football Association (VFA) premiers Carlton in 1887, winning nine goals to three, and against a visiting British team in 1888, winning six goals to three.

Rapid decline and final dissolution (1890–1893)[edit]

After the triumphs of 1886 and 1887, very poor management led to the defection of many of the key members of the 1886 premiership team.

By the 1890s, the club was the chopping block of the SAFA, struggling to field a team, and won three successive wooden spoons from 1891-1893, with records of 0-16, 0-15-1 and 1-15 in those seasons, including a winless streak of 40 matches between 1890-93.

These on-field performances and the club's insolvency meant that Adelaide dropped out of the SAFA and folded at the end of the 1893 season.[18]

Honour board[edit]

Old Adelaide Football Club honour board
Year Position Record Chairman Secretary Captain Leading Goalkicker
1860 Intraclub
1861 James MacGeorge[19] Thomas O'Halloran[20]
Interclub football
1862 Thomas S. O'Halloran[21] W.W. Anderson[22] Thomas O'Halloran
1863 Thomas S. O'Halloran Thomas S. O'Halloran J. E. Schlinke
1864 W.W. Anderson J.E. Schlinke
J. Coulls
1865 T. McEllister J. Borrow
1866
1867
1868
1869 G. O'Halloran H.Y. Harry Sparks
1870 1–0–0 W.S. William Sampson Arthur Malcolm H.Y. Harry Sparks (3)
1871 1 (Premiers) 4–0–1 H.F. Jackson
1872 1 (Premiers) 4–0–2
1873 Withdrew
1874
1875 4 (Wooden Spoon) 1–3–1
1876 7 0–2–2 Harry Conigrave
Formation of SAFA
1877 3 10–3–3 J.A. Bleechmore Richard Twopeny John Young (14)
1878 4 4–4–4
1879 6 2–5–3
1880 7 (Wooden Spoon) 1–8–2
1881 6 (Wooden Spoon) 0–5–0
1882 Withdrew
1883
1884
1885 4 (Wooden Spoon) 4–11–0
1886 1 (Premiers) 9–5–1 Richard Stephens (17)
1887 3 9–4–3
1888 3 10–7–0
1889 3 8–9–0
1890 4 5–10–2
1891 5 (Wooden Spoon) 0–16–0
1892 5 (Wooden Spoon) 0–15–1
1893 5 (Wooden Spoon) 1–15–0

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Adelaide Foot Ball Club". Adelaide Observer. 1860-04-28. p. 8. Retrieved 2015-10-17. 
  2. ^ "Football". South Australian Register. 1860-04-30. p. 2. Retrieved 2015-10-17. 
  3. ^ "CLARE". South Australian Register. XXIV, (4243). South Australia. 21 May 1860. p. 3. Retrieved 6 June 2018 – via National Library of Australia. 
  4. ^ "CLARE". South Australian Register. XXIV, (4243). South Australia. 21 May 1860. p. 3. Retrieved 6 June 2018 – via National Library of Australia. 
  5. ^ "CLARE". South Australian Register. XXIV, (4243). South Australia. 21 May 1860. p. 3. Retrieved 6 June 2018 – via National Library of Australia. 
  6. ^ "FORMATION OF VOLUNTEER CORPS". South Australian Register. XXIV, (4261). South Australia. 11 June 1860. p. 3. Retrieved 6 June 2018 – via National Library of Australia. 
  7. ^ "THE MAIN ROADS BILL". Adelaide Observer. XVIII, (990). South Australia. 22 September 1860. p. 3. Retrieved 6 June 2018 – via National Library of Australia. 
  8. ^ "THE MAIN ROADS BILL". Adelaide Observer. XVIII, (990). South Australia. 22 September 1860. p. 3. Retrieved 6 June 2018 – via National Library of Australia. 
  9. ^ "THE MAIN ROADS BILL". Adelaide Observer. XVIII, (990). South Australia. 22 September 1860. p. 3. Retrieved 6 June 2018 – via National Library of Australia. 
  10. ^ "Australian Football - Modbury Football Club - Stats". australianfootball.com. Retrieved 2015-06-25. 
  11. ^ Adelaide (original): footnote 4 - FullPointsFooty. Retrieved 20 July 2011.
  12. ^ "TOPICS OF THE DAY". The South Australian Advertiser. VI, (1621). South Australia. 5 October 1863. p. 3. Retrieved 7 June 2018 – via National Library of Australia. 
  13. ^ "TOPICS OF THE DAY". The South Australian Advertiser. VI, (1621). South Australia. 5 October 1863. p. 3. Retrieved 7 June 2018 – via National Library of Australia. 
  14. ^ "GENERAL NEWS". The Adelaide Express. I, (145). South Australia. 21 May 1864. p. 2. Retrieved 7 June 2018 – via National Library of Australia. 
  15. ^ "WOOLLEN MANUFACTURES IN VICTORIA". South Australian Register. XXXII, (6741). South Australia. 15 June 1868. p. 2. Retrieved 6 June 2018 – via National Library of Australia. 
  16. ^ Gyss, Trevor (2014). 1870 The Formation of the Port Adelaide Football Club. Lulu.com. p. 24. 
  17. ^ "TOPICS OF THE DAY". The South Australian Advertiser. South Australia. 2 September 1867. p. 2. Retrieved 6 June 2018 – via National Library of Australia. 
  18. ^ a b Adelaide (original) - FullPointsFooty. Retrieved 20 July 2011.
  19. ^ "STIRLING". South Australian Register. XXV, (4519). South Australia. 11 April 1861. p. 3. Retrieved 7 June 2018 – via National Library of Australia. 
  20. ^ "STIRLING". South Australian Register. XXV, (4519). South Australia. 11 April 1861. p. 3. Retrieved 7 June 2018 – via National Library of Australia. 
  21. ^ "THE WEEK'S NEWS". Adelaide Observer. XX, (1075). South Australia. 10 May 1862. p. 8. Retrieved 7 June 2018 – via National Library of Australia. 
  22. ^ "THE WEEK'S NEWS". Adelaide Observer. XX, (1075). South Australia. 10 May 1862. p. 8. Retrieved 7 June 2018 – via National Library of Australia. 
Preceded by
South Adelaide
SAFA Premiers
1886
Succeeded by
Norwood