The following is a copy of the 1890 annual report from the Hamilton Football Club in Newcastle, NSW. It is an account of the previous season’s activities. We are also fortunate to hold a photograph of the team.
It is a long read but to football enthusiasts it may prove an interesting insight on how a club in that area functioned during that period.
HAMILTON FOOTBALL CLUB.
Australian Rules. The annual meeting of the Hamilton Football Club (Australian rules) was held last evening in Mr. John Williams’ assembly rooms.
The club was fully represented, and about a dozen intending members were also present. Mr. John Williams, president of the club, occupied the chair, and Alderman Charles G. Melville, one of the vice presidents, the vice-chair.
The minutes of the previous meeting having been read and confirmed, the secretary’s report of last season was read as follows :
“Gentlemen, as secretary for the Hamilton Football Club, I have much pleasure in placing the following report before you for season 1889.
For such a young team I have not known one that has made such rapid progress. In seasons 1887-8 the defeats out-numbered the victories; but in the last season, 1889, out of 120 matches played no less than 12 were won, whilst five were lost and three drawn.
Among those lost were two against senior teams (Wallsend and Summerhill); one against St. Ignatius College, at which place we were only partially represented, such players as Derkenne, Griffiths, R. Donald, and R. Sharp being unable to be there; whilst we had to submit to being defeated twice by the Carltons, of Maitland – once on our ground in an arranged match, and once at Maitland in a final cup contest.
The victories, amongst which were the two winning matches for the junior cup against the Carltons, two wins against Merewether, one Wallsend Juniors, and two City’s speak for themselves, and prove what progress the team must have made to obtain the highest honours for junior clubs in the northern district.
The number of goals kicked by the Hamilton team during the season was 47, whilst 49 were kicked against us. This may seem strange in the face of such a brilliant career, but when it is taken into consideration that three easy matches were forfeited to us, in which at least 18 or 20 goals would have been added to our score against probably three or four, it is easily seen where the peculiarity comes in. Leaving out senior matches, our record looks much better, inasmuch as we kicked 42 goals to our opposing junior’s 29, and won the much coveted junior cup, presented by the N.D.F.A., as well as gaining the title of crack juniors for the Northern District.
By being thus successful. the Hamilton team will this season be raised to the rank of seniors, under which name they shall, perhaps, have to suffer several defeats, but at the same time shall certainly make is greater name for themselves in the football world if their progress in the future is as good as that in the past; and within the next two or three years it would not at all surprise a few to hear of the Hamilton Club being premier of New South Wales.
It is, I believe, the intention of the Hamilton team to journey to Sydney on the 24th May to try conclusions with one of the best teams in the metropolis, and if the whole team can see their way clear to get away there is not the slightest doubt that we will beat the best team in Sydney. During the past season we had no less than 43 names on the members’ roll, including Mr. John Williams, president; Dr. Craven, Rev. A. C. Hirst, Messrs. Sharpe, Melville, and Swain, vice-presidents. It is expected that we will have a larger number this season, including young blood, which will be a great acquisition to the club. Financially, as well as in the field, we have been more successful than in past seasons, having this season a credit balance of £2 9s, which the treasurer will show in his balance sheet. This balance, it may be said, is mainly due to the monetary support afforded us by the officers and hon. members, as well as Mrs. Craven and Mrs. Williams.
These ladies have been very kind and have proved that they would like to see the Australian game advanced in this district. Last season the Australian game became very popular in Hamilton.
Many enthusiastic admirers were completely carried away by the skill displayed, whilst we also had many followers when playing away from home. It is only hoped that the game will go on amongst us, and when the youths that are shooting up become thoroughly acquainted with the Australian rules, Hamilton will be able to boast of one of the best, if not the best, football clubs in the colony.”
The report was received with applause and adopted. The balance-sheet, which was also adopted as satisfactory, showed an income of £23 11s 6d, and an expenditure of £21 2s 6d, leaving a balance to the club of £2 9s.
The election of officers resulted as follows: Patron, Mr. E. O. Merewether;. president, Mr. John Williams (re-elected); vice presidents, Messrs. Dr. J. A. Craven, Alderman C. G. Melville, Rev. A. C. Hirst, James Sharp jun., James E. Swain, Dr. Nash, Alderman J. Arkins (Mayor), David Duncanson; captain, J. Jarvis; vice captain, E. Derkenne; secretary, Mr. J. Donald; treasurer, James Sharp junior; selection committee, Messrs. Jarvis, Derkenne and J. Donald; working committee, Messrs. William Milton, James Sharp, H. Simpson, J. Jarvis, W. Dickson and the secretary. A vote of thanks to retiring officers closed the proceedings.”
Source: Newcastle Morning Herald and Miners’ Advocate (NSW : 1876 – 1954), Tuesday 11 March 1890, page 5