Sunday History Photo / SA

Submitted: Sunday, May 03, 2015 at 11:05
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The Adelaide Football Club was an Australian rules football club, based in Adelaide, that played in the South Australian Football Association (SAFA) from 1877–81 and again from 1885–93. The team won the SAFA premiership in 1886. The club bears no relation to the present Adelaide Football Club playing in the Australian Football League.




Adelaide Football Club was formed in 1860, the first in South Australia, and initially only played matches internally. The club had its own game rules. Early matches would be between teams based on locality; north v south. The first recorded match against a rival club was played in 1862 against the Modbury Football Club on a strip of grass near the Modbury Hotel. However, no records remain of the result of the match. 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".
Adelaide stopped playing games against other clubs in 1873 after the Kensington club rules became popular amongst the other clubs at the time but resumed playing games against other clubs in the 1876 season. In 1877 Adelaide captain Nowell Twopenney was influential in establishing the South Australian Football Association (SAFA), and the club was one of the founding members of the SAFA [now the SANFL). In the SAFA's original season, Adelaide finished third, winning ten, losing three and drawing three of its 16 matches, and finishing with a goal differential of 18. Adelaide finished fifth out of seven teams in each of the next two seasons, and last in 1880, forcing the team to merge with Kensington for the 1881 season due to a lack of players. The combined team was forced to disband after the 1881 season when it again finished last.
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.
The company Francis Clark and Sons were responsible for the first electric lighting system ever installed at Adelaide Oval, for an Australian Rules football match between Adelaide and South Adelaide on 1 July 1885 commencing 8pm. The company supplied six electric arc-lamps, three on either side of the ground, and having two steam-powered dynamos for each three. Four lamps were 1,000 candle-power of Brush manufacture and two of 2,000 candle-power by Siemens. The lamps were mounted on 30-feet poles equally spaced around the Oval just outside the boundary flags. The game was well attended but the illumination proved inadequate for a full enjoyment of the game (especially when the ball's white paint wore off!) and there were momentary lamp failures. Adelaide won the game 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.




By the 1890s, Adelaide were the worst-performed team in the competition, finishing last for four consecutive seasons from 1890–93. The team were forced to disband at the end of the 1893 season.
The South Australian National Football League (SANFL) is an Australian rules football league based in the Australian state of South Australia. It is also the governing body for the sport of Australian rules football in South Australia.



Originally formed as the South Australian Football Association on 30 April 1877, the SANFL is the oldest surviving football league of any code in Australia and one of the oldest football competitions in the world, forming just a few years after the United Hospitals Challenge Cup (1874), the oldest rugby football competition, and over a decade before The Football League (soccer).

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