We have located an interesting article written by the president of the NSW Australian Nation Football League, Mr Norman P Joseph. The second World War was only a matter of months old and he wrote the following for the Anzac Day issue of the Football Record:
“With the opening of the 1940 season, I would like to take advantage of the courtesy of the Editor of the ‘Record’ in extending a hearty welcome to all followers of the National Code.
It is unfortunate that the season should be ushered in, in the midst of war, but it is the League’s intention to carry on as usual, according to the Government’s idea, that sport, as well as business, is essential to Australia’s daily life. We have, therefore, made preparations for a full season’s programme; but, if at any time the Government thinks that some restrictions should be put on sport, I feel sure the members of my league will unanimously agree to fall into line with any plans that will assist the Government in its great effort to help the Empire win the War.
Our main activity will, of course, be our Premiership Competition. This will be carried on in the usual way and the only variation will be in the matter of grounds. The League has another term for the use of Trumper Park and Kensington (Oval), in addition we have secured dates at Kogarah Oval and probably Sydney Cricket Ground, No. 2.
As regards Erskineville, patrons are fully aware that the old ground has been demolished by the Housing Improvements Board and in its place has been built what will eventually be one of the finest suburban grounds in Australia. The League has already installed there and we hope that when the new grandstand is built that we will attract a great number of people who hitherto have never come out to this ground. If they do, we feel sure they will be most agreeably surprised at the elaborate plan on which this new ground has been built, and also the size of the playing field, which is probably one of, if no the largest, in the Metropolitan area.
The standard of our clubs should again show further improvement, as despite the fact that we have lost some of our players through enlistment, there has been quite an influx of talent from other states, and these together with some of our very promising juniors should lift up the standard considerably.
There are prospects of visits by teams from South Australia, Western Australia and possibly Victoria this year and the League will do its utmost to stage as many interstate matches as we can reasonably manage, and patrons may look forward to seeing one or more of the big Southern Clubs in action.
It would now seem that the National Code is established beyond all doubt in New South Wales, particularly in Sydney and with the steady progress that has been made the last few years if should not be long before our game is one of, if not the major winter sport.
We shall be very pleased and hope to renew acquaintances with our old supporters together with many new ones, and hope that they will all thoroughly enjoy a very interesting and prosperous season of the great winter sport – Australian National Football.”