The Countdown is On …. 5 – 4 – 4 – 2 – 1

It is only a matter of hours now before the Society’s new website will go live.

Following discussions with the website designer, Mike Gerlyand pictured, it has been decided to go live with the  new site tomorrow night (Thurs. 14 April)

Mike now has finalised enough on the new version to upload it as a workable site. He said he will work on the finer details in the next few days.

Some of the unique features will be modified including Gus’ Question and perhaps Image of the Week.

Officials are working on a regular quiz to replace G.Q. and a series of new images that will compliment the site.

Mike has said he is keen to get the site off the ground and now with the adoption of the new logo it appears to be full steam ahead.

All this will dovetail into a much better system for the Society with the installation of a dedicated land line to their rooms at Wests which will provide an enormous amount of flexibility for internet access and the uploading of material.Mike Gerlyand

Currently they operate on a wi-fi sim card which is not only expensive but restricts the amount of data that can be up and downloaded, depending on their willingness to buy more time.

The line has very recently been installed with technicians to be engaged shortly to run it to the rooms which are situated on the first floor at the back of the club.  In addition to this they will source an ISP which will better provide to the needs of the Society.

The treasurer, John Addison, has already come up with a method which will allow remote access to the data on the systems server at Wests after the line is mounted and connected.  Any work undertaken at the workers homes can then be directly uploaded to the storage facility at the club.

CHANGES AFOOT

Website redevelopmentOver the next two weeks changes to the website will take place.

This is in line with the Society’s wish to upgrade and revamp the website;  its look, feel and navigation.  So you may well not see your normal features or data that has been posted may not be able to be updated while the work is taking place.

The redevelopment costs will be paid through the Cultural Grant from the NSW Government and the Royal Australian Historical Society as well as AFL NSW/ACT.

We apologise for this stay in activity and will ensure all areas will be brought into line with contemporary activities as soon as the new site is uploaded.

At this stage we expect this to occur by February 9.  In the meantime, stay tuned.

Benefits for Members

Memberships smallWith the changes to the website brings the new changes for members.

Our technicians are currently looking at methods to encourage greater membership for the Society and the introduction of advertisements when logging in for non members is now a distinct possibility.  This will not only produce a carrot for those to join but will also provide the Society with additional revenue from advertisers.  Members viewing the site will not be subject to any advertisements.

The recent refining of Magic Members, a specialised membership programme the Society now operates through the website will make it easier for members to update and upgrade and their membership as well as renewing when its time.

This system will generate reminder emails and members can pay online using Paypal or by the traditional method

A system is also being looked at for sale items to be made available through the same programme.

There are other subtle changes to the site in train with a full upgrade due by the end of the year.

Society Receives Grant

New Website smallThe NSW Australian Football History Society has been notified by the NSW Minister for the Arts, the Hon. Troy Grant, that they have been awarded a grant through the NSW Government’s Cultural Grants Programme for 2015.

The funding of $3,600 is for the redevelopment of the Society’s website.

The very popular site has been online now for almost four years and considering the nature of the organisation attracts an incredible amount of hits, averaging over 1000 a day!

Society Vice President, Paul Macpherson, said following a detailed examination of the site and its data, it was found to be out of date and needed a rebirth which would make it more user friendly and much easier to navigate.

“We acknowledge its popularity and want to make it as best we can for those who follow the activities of the Society through the site” Macpherson said.

Subsequently quotes were obtained and conjointly an application was made to the department for assistance under their Cultural Grants Programme.

Fortunately the application has met with success and the Society will add to the grant to facilitate the new site which should be operational by the end of the year.

Work on WWI Players Continues

two-australian-soldiersWork has not stopped in locating footballers who played prior and during WWI in Sydney and subsequently enlisted in the armed forces where they participated in the conflict.

Already several new players have been identified and these have been added to the growing list of those who served.

“Its a relatively easy job adding the players to the list as we come across them”, Society Vice President Paul Macpherson and author of the book, A Game To Be Played, told the committee recently.

“We recorded 200 players in the book and because there is ongoing research into post war football activities in Sydney, more names are popping up weekly.  I think it’s a good thing to document as many of these people as possible” he added.

As time moves on the Society is being contacted by relatives who are providing details of their ancestors who were part of Sydney football during and around the First World War.

Eventually a most comprehensive list will be available that will become an important resource for football and family history enthusiasts.

MORE DATA ONLINE

BookOver the past few months we have been slowly adding more readable data to the website.

These include Football Records, minutes, annual reports, representative games and other items of interest.

Since we have been scanning and adding the Sydney Football Records for almost two years now the practice has become more refined and better copies of these documents are being reproduced for the reader to view on this site.

As at today there is a full list of all the Sydney Football Records from our repository dating from 1927 – 1970.  In a number of seasons there are copies missing but for the most part each issue includes a full number of those published.

Most of these were obtained from Sydney football stalwarts including Jack Hammond from the Western Suburbs Club, Bob McConnell from St George both of whom supplied the majority of the publications along with the odd one or two which were picked up along the way.  It is interesting to note that during WWII, Jack Hammond’s wife, Sheila, helped collate the Record with the then league secretary and each week sent him a copy while he served in New Guinea.

Someone mentioned recently why would people have these old football books collecting dust in a drawer or cupboard at home when the History Society can put them on the internet for all to see.

It won’t be long before they are all posted and they are up to date.

Another project is the loading of (mainly) NSW representative games which include team, opposition, date, venue, players, quarter x quarter, umpires, goalkickers etc.

Its fair to say that records of these games were only began to be collected in the late 1980s.  As we slowly work through the years meticulously identifying the players and where possible their first or given names it is becoming increasingly evident that no care was ever taken regarding the recording of these matches.

To obtain details of the games officials have had to slowly go through newspapers of the day in an attempt to gather the data.  This is a very laborious process because they are particularly aware of the need to document the information as accurately as possible.  Once an event or occurrence is written down it becomes fact, so accuracy is imperative.  Getting the names of the players is the biggest issue because newspaper reports rarely gave their initials let alone a first name.

Another problem is that many games were not recorded and officials are continually coming across games that they had no idea were played.  Some of these were major interstate games like NSW v VFL or Queensland.  Like searching out the goalkickers from 1903, the project is mammoth.

The Society recently issued its latest newsletter to members which details more of their activities over the past few months.

One interesting thing is the revamping of this website.  Work is currently in progress to present a more modern and easier to navigate site.

More Uploaded on Site

1927 Football Record Cover smallThere have been more movements on our website.

Now all of the Sydney Football Records from 1927-1966 and a few later years have been uploaded, click here to view.  We did have a sporadic spread of issues over some years but have now consolidated these very valuable football resources and steadily have been uploading them for all to read completely free of charge.

There are some magnificent stories through the periods to glance over particularly those published during WWII and reading about those talented interstate players who played in Sydney during the conflict.  In fact we are very fortunate to have copies of these Records but regrettably the paper shortage during the war saw them published infrequently.  There was also a paper shortage for some reason or other in the late 1940s which also restricted publication.

The year 1949 is a real problem for us because we have few to list.

The Football Records we have are not from the league archives, in fact there is next to nothing in storage from the league.  What has been collected was either given or appropriated from individuals or various other sources.  We wince when thinking of the passing of some of our former footballers and officials and how their children probably clean their place up by taking most of their (football) treasurers to the tip.  To us, that is a no-no.  At least show us first.

To those interested, and we know there are a minority, a full list of 1966 Football Records will be published this week!

If you have access to any footballer material, please let us know.  We can copy either by scanning or photographing, and return all objects to the owner before you can say Jack Robinson.Arthur Bridgewater

Recently more minutes from clubs and the league have surfaced and these too will be posted soon.

As well more annual reports from the Pennant Hills club have been posted on the site along with those of the NSW Football League of the 1970s.

We are currently working on annual reports from the NSW Football Union (junior football in NSW) and will have them up there in a matter of weeks.  A quick look through these books show the optimistic way the author, secretary Arthur Bridgewater (pictured) –  a very committed worker, portrayed the number of participating junior teams throughout the state in the 50s, 60s & 70s.  His heart was in the right place but at times, he was a little loose with the truth.

Possible Changes to the Site

Computer problems 1The Society is looking to develop their website to include more features.

These involve:
Online access to Sydney first grade scores from 1903 which are currently being compiled.  Here is the development site: http://www.thegapchessclub.org.au/nsw/

Development of an improved display of our Collections. Again the site is under development by a third party and a sample of what it could look like can be viewed here: http://www.thecollectingbug.com/nswfootballhistory/?4

Also, the Society is in discussion with another party about the repair and enhancement of its representative team database: www.nswfootballhistory.com.au/nsw-australian-football-representative-database  Certainly under the present situation the ‘Category’ (team names etc.) creates an error message but the other two search options are performing well.  Officials are close to posting representative games up to and including 1914.

The site itself is due for an overhaul and talks are in progress to achieve this end.

MORE HAPPENING ON SITE

1927 Football Record Cover smallOver recent weeks a number of additions have been made to our collections.

Firstly the entire 1969 and 1974 editions of the Sydney Football Record are now viewable online.  Then copies of what we have for the 1937-38 & 39 season’s Football Records were also added..

As well, a players and supporters information sheet from the Western Suburbs FC of 1973 has been posted as well as Umpire Association Annual Reports from 1990 to the present are now online with earlier copies of these to come soon.  All of these can be accessed by clicking here.

In so far as galleries are concerned, a load of images from the University of NSW Football Club have been gathered and will be added over the next week or so.

In our representative results data base we have now added all representative games from 1881-1910.  This is a very slow process.  What takes the time is ensuring the information posted here is as accurate as possible.  For example there were eleven representative games in 1910 and this was a year in which no interstate carnival was played.  The information is very scant and History Society officials are taking due care to ensure that the names of those players involved are as correct and exact insofar as the information researched can present.

Festering Sore Fixed

Computer problems 1Internet connectivity for their Society at its Western Suburbs FC rooms, Croydon Park, has proved a real issue over the past 12 months or so.

Initially it had connection by sim card and dongle but the configuration of the hardware was continually offering up a number of problems, finally reducing internet connection to a single desktop machine rather than the four network computers plus server which the Society operates.

Try as they might, it continually ran up against brick walls despite the advice and professional input that was applied to the problem.

In the end they decided to connect through a dedicated land line but this too had its complications.  There was the connection fee of approximately $250 to the front door of the club as well as the added expense of wired connection to their rooms.  Then, after checking with the various ISPs it looked like they were also facing a monthly $60 ADSL2 non residential plan.

Now you might think that this is reasonable for a business with daily regular internet requirements but the Society is a non profit organisation and their internet needs extend to about six hours on one day a week,  Its usage on those days would be at the very outside, 20mgb regardless of the 50gb the plan provided.

There had to be a better way, particularly after it had purchased a 12 month Telstra sim card providing 12 gig of data for $180, in the expectation that the dongle system would work.

Further and protracted discussions with Telstra revealed that their business department sold hardware which might just meet the Society’s needs.  This was a Telstra Ultimate Gateway – Netcomm 3G42WT which is a modern router/modem used predominately in small businesses to run similar sized networks to the Society.  Its purchase price of $336 was considered a very reasonable alternative to which they were faced  particularly with the equipment capable of providing wi-fi plus wired connectivity.

With the help of new members, John Addison and Peter Kilmister, the system was installed yesterday.  However another problem popped up when it was found that the router was restricted to four wired connection ports, inadequate for the Society’s needs.  Incredibly, two of the newer computers are not wireless.

The answer was found when they incorporated a router hub, used in the previous system.  Its application was with slight trepidation because it was unknown if this piece of hardware would meet the requirements of the Netcomm appliance.  However with a bit of Computer solutiontweeking they had all four machines plus one printer connected. Following months of frustration, officials were ecstatic!

The two then centred their endeavours in getting the main printer to print from each computer.  A chore which was slowly achieved.

The next problem the two are looking at is a revised method of storage and the backing up of data.