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30 April 1877 South Australian Football Association

 30 April 1877   South Australian Football Association

The South Australian Football Association was founded at a meeting of representatives of most clubs in the colony on 30 April 1877. They accepted a code of laws almost identical to those drawn up in Melbourne the previous year.

The first reference to a game of football in South Australia appeared in the Southern Australian on St Patrick's Day 1843, when a few colonists 'from the Emerald Isle' enjoyed themselves in a game of football. This could have been a variety of Gaelic football. 

In 1877 the clubs involved in premiership matches were: South Adelaide, Victoria, Adelaide, Port Adelaide, Woodville, South Park, Kensington and Bankers. In 1878 North Adelaide, Willunga, Prince Alfred College, Gawler, Kapunda, Bankers and Woodville dropped out of the Association and Norwood came in to form a seven team competition. Norwood won six premiership flags in a row, but in 1884 Port Adelaide won its first. South Adelaide won in 1885, when there were only four teams competing, and Adelaide in 1886.

For twenty years Norwood, South Adelaide and Port Adelaide dominated the scene with other teams not up to standard dropping out. The Association began to stabilise from 1897 on. Other clubs were admitted over the years until there were ten teams in the SANFL competition.

Bernard Whimpress, The South Australian Football Story , SANFL, 1983.

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