First Junior Interstate Game for NSW

1908 FootballerDuring the early period of the twentieth century, in particular pre-WWI, limited junior football was played of a weekend in Sydney although it was played in some schools.

The weekend junior football competition was called the Young Australian Football Association and was separately administered to the league. Up to 1909 this consisted of one age group but an attempt was made in this year to have a new Under 17 grade as well as the Under 20s. Unfortunately, the former could not attract enough teams and were combined with the Under 20 competition.

So in 1909 the Young Australian competition was made up of YMCA, Newtown, Marrickville, Ryde, Drummoyne, Sydney, Balmain and Paddington.

Early in the season a letter was received from the Queensland Young Australian League suggesting that the two play a representative game.

Officials in Sydney thought this a good idea and asked that such a match be scheduled as a curtain raiser to a match between South Melbourne FC and a Combined Sydney side on Saturday, August 7 at Erskineville Oval.

A team comprising of Phelan, Watson, Allman, Kerwin and Marshall (Paddington), Stevens, Ratcliffe, Cole (Drummoyne), McLaren and Kinninment (Balmain), Page and Mack (Sydney), Provan and Blackburn (Newtown), Mitchell and Gil Priestley (YMCA), Billington (Ryde) Reid (Marrickville) was selected.

NSW won the game 15-14 (104) to Queensland’s 4-7 (31).  Goalkickers for NSW were: Ratcliffe 5, Marshall 4, Blackburn, Allman, Page, Kerwin, McLaren and Kinninmont 1 each.

Because a further representative game was planned a few days later between NSW and Geelong, it was decided to keep the Queensland boys in Sydney to play an additional match against their nemesis.

This game was also played at Erskineville Oval however unlike the South Melb Fc game, this one was before a poor mid week crowd.  NSW juniors failed to live up to their previous week’s form and were surprisingly beaten by Queensland, 5-4 (34) to 4-5 (29). The game was a tight low scoring encounter played in blustery conditions.  Goalkickers for NSW were: Ashton, Trivett, Barnes and McDonald 1 each.  Best included Trivett, Barnes, Ashton, Lyons, McDonald, Mahoney, Muir and Chapman.

The NSW team which was made up with: Mahoney, Gray, McDonald (Paddington), McDonald, Chapman (Paddington II), Pierrie (Sydney), Delaney, Creighton (Balmain), Trivett, Barnes (Ryde), Matthews, Lynch (Marrickville), Muir (Drummoyne), Ashton, Debron, Barry (Newtown), Searle (unknown).

It would appear that selectors chose a second eighteen to play Queensland.  None of those selected participated in the first game.

NSW and Queensland have gone to play many, many junior matches since.

Leave a Reply