1933 ANFC Carnival in Sydney at SCG

New South Wales finished fourth at the eight ANFC Carnival played in Sydney going down by just ten points after leading at every change to Western Australia in the play-off for third.

The “Light Blues” also finished fourth behind the “big three” at the 1930 Carnival in Adelaide and in Melbourne in 1927.

The Canberra ANFL, which had been established in 1925, was a new entrant at the 1933 Carnival.

Canberra, NSW, Queensland, and Tasmania played a round robin, with the winner playing off against the lowest-placed state of the round-robin between Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia.

Read the Football Record here

Victoria played two extra games, one against NSW to open the Carnival, and a second against Tasmania.

The Carnival was officially opened by the Governor-General Sir Isaac Isaacs while the Prime Minister Joe Lyons bounced the ball for the first game between NSW and Victoria. The opening ceremony and march by teams around the ground was held in between the two matches on the first day and was attended by 6000 spectators.

NSW took on reigning champions Victoria in the opening match and despite a valiant effort were well beaten to the tune of 53 points by the southerners led by arguably the greatest VFL/AFL captain of all time, Syd Coventry, who skippered Collingwood to four successive premierships, 1927-1930, as well as leading Victoria to national championships in 1930 and 1933. He also won the Brownlow Medal in 1927.

The Light Blues were coached by former St Kilda captain Sam Gravenall, who went to North Fremantle in the WAFL and represented Western Australia at the 1908 Carnival. He coached Essendon in 1922 and Subiaco in 1927.

 Jack Ludlow

Newtown follower Jack Ludlow was captain of NSW, about whom The Sydney Sun (4 July 1933) wrote, “…a man who can rally his players around him when the fortunes of the game seem to have deserted them”. Ludlow came to Newtown from VFA club Northcote in 1930 and went to play with North Shore from 1934-37. He represented the State eight times.

The NSW team was bolstered by the inclusion of six players from the Barrier Ranges Association (Broken Hill). Seven Broken Hill players had been included in the NSW team for the 1930 Carnival and widely regarded to have lifted the performance of team. This was again the case at the 1933 Carnival.

Billy McKoy

Best players for NSW against Victoria were South Sydney rover Jimmy Stiff (2 goals), follower Garnet Cherry (Broken Hill Souths) who also played at the 1930 Carnival, full forward Vic Troughton (Broken Hill Norths) who booted 5 goals, and Sydney winger Bill McKoy (pictured left) who won three Phelan medals and played 36 games for NSW from 1923-34.

In the next round NSW scored a convincing 85 point win over Queensland (Queensland did not beat NSW at a Carnival until 1958), 19.22.136 to 6.15.51. The best player list again featured Jimmy Stiff (2 goals), South Sydney full-forward Stan “Powder” Powditch (5 goals) skipper Jack Ludlow and his Newtown team-mate Stan Lloyd at centre half back.

Sid Crosland

In the first-ever game against Canberra, NSW continued its winning run with a solid win by 28 points. Stiff with two goals again headed the best players along with Powditch (5 goals) centreman Clarrie Stokes (Broken Hill Centrals) with 3 goals, Newtown’s Reg Garvin in defence, and South Broken Hill captain Syd Crosland (pictured left) playing at centre half forward where he kicked three goals. He won Broken Hill’s Middleton medal in 1939.

A third quarter burst of seven goals 4 behinds enabled the Light Blues to gain the upper hand over Tasmania and to go onto record a 25-point win. NSW beat Tasmania at both the 1930 and 1927 Carnivals but had lost to them at the 1924 Carnival in Hobart. Jimmy Stiff (2 goals) was again named best player along with Powditch (6 goals), Troughton in the forward pocket with five goals, Crosland (4 goals), Stokes and McKoy.

NSW topped Section B and earnt the right to play Western Australia for third place. In an absorbing contest the Light Blues that had really gelled together as a team with the Sydney competition leading goalkicker Powdith and Troughton from Broken Hill combining up forward to form a potent attack.

“After leading for almost the whole of the contest the home side was outfitted in the closing stages by the Western Australian team…” (SMH 14 August 1933). Western Australia 17.22.124 d NSW 16.18.114. NSW was best served by Jimmy Stiff, Crosland (3 goals), skipper Ludlow (1 goal), Powdith (5 goals) and Stan Lloyd in the centre.

For the first time there was an award for the best player at the Carnival named in honour of the General Manager of the ABC, Major Condor, who ensured national radio coverage of the championships for the first time.

 Jimmy Stiff

The inaugural award was won by NSW’s diminutive rover-forward pocket Jimmy Stiff who polled 5 votes – the 1 vote awarded for each game – in every game he played in. This included the games against Victoria and Western Australia. The votes were cast by W.S. “Jumbo” Sharland, the pre-eminent media commentator of the period, and central umpires, Jack McMurray and Bob Scott. Jack Collins (Victoria), WA’s Ted Fleming and Ken Dinnerville (Canberra) were joint runners-up on 3 votes, and triple Brownlow medalist Hadyn Bunton finished on two votes.

Meanwhile NSW full-forward Stan Powditch, who missed the opening game against Victoria, finished runner-up leading goalkicker to Collingwood’s greatest-ever full forward. Coventry, with a haul of eleven goals against Tasmania, finished with 29 goals, Powditch on twenty-one, with SA’s greatest-ever goal scorer Ken Farmer and South Melbourne champion full-forward Bob Pratt both with 12 goals. Pratt was injured in the first match against NSW.

The results from the 1933 ANFC Carnival are listed below:


Winning team Score Losing team Score
Tasmania 31.29 (215) Canberra 12.5 (77)
South Australia 13.17 (95) Western Australia 10.24 (84)
Victoria 23.17 (155) New South Wales 14.18 (102)
New South Wales 19.22 (136) Queensland 6.15 (51)
Victoria 19.14 (128) South Australia 17.11 (113)
New South Wales 16.14 (110) Canberra 12.10 (82)
Victoria 24.16 (160) Tasmania 15.10 (100)
South Australia 13.18 (96) Western Australia 12.11 (83)
Queensland 20.16 (136) Canberra 14.10 (94)
New South Wales 20.12 (132) Tasmania 15.17 (107)
Victoria 14.16 (100) Western Australia 12.13 (85)
Tasmania 21.11 (137) Queensland 7.14 (56)
Western Australia 17.22 (124) New South Wales 16.18 (114)
Victoria 15.16 (106) South Australia 9.8 (62)

Season 1923

In a progressive research programme of football in Sydney, one of the most interesting and successful seasons was 1923.

Here we give a potted view of what happened in that year:

  • In March the league sanction the formation of the NSW Junior Football League.  Two competitions were played under this umbrella.  A grade, which was in effect the reserve grade and a B grade which we think was an Under 18 or Under 16 division. Not all clubs fielded reserve grade teams and not all reserve graded clubs fielded a first grade, however the scheduling of matches worked out perfectly.  The B grade juniors competition which was composed of Newtown, Lane Cove, Glenmore Road (Glenmore Road Public School old boys), South Sydney and Dockyards teams.  (Check out this unique copy of a late July Reserve Grade ladder).  The Illawarra team mentioned here is a team from around the St George area and a forerunner to the present day club.  In this year it was coached by former Collingwood player, Con McCormack.  The Ashfield team changed its name to Western Suburbs in 1924 and played in the competition until 1929.
  •  The availability of grounds and in particular grounds with the capacity to charge an admission fee was a real problem.  Because of this, certain sections of the league wanted to reduce the number of first grade clubs from eight to seven which would then free up one venue per week.  Obviously the Police and Railway clubs were the prime targets for this exercise.  It failed.
  • On the subject of grounds, the NSW Aust Football League outbid the NSW Rugby League for the use of North Sydney Oval numbers 1 & 2 grounds.  No. 2 is now known as St Leonards Park.  They paid an incredible one thousand nine hundred and sixty pounds ($3920.00) as the hire fee for one season which, at a time a five room waterside bungalow at Drummoyne was selling for one thousand eight hundred and fifty pounds ($3700.00) or you could pick up a modern brick cottage at Auburn for five hundred and eighty pounds ($1160.00).  Game officials in Melbourne were over the moon with the acquisition of the ground and forwarded the league one hundred and fifty pound ($300), as a loan, to help with the payment.  And this was all before the Sydney Harbour Bridge was built, so getting to the ground was not all that simple.  At times, ground scheduling saw two south of the harbour clubs, playing on the ground.
  • At their March annual meeting the league declared a profit of four hundred and thirty four pounds ($868.00) and gave each of the clubs ten pounds ($20) on the proviso that this money go towards the purchase of new jumpers.
  • The 1922 last placed Sydney club amalgamated with second grade club, Public Service.  In all amalgamations, one consumes the other and Sydney did not change their name or colours.  State Taxation Department employee, (yes, the states conducted the taxation system then), Billy McKoy from Albury, was one of those Sydney gained in the amalgamation.  He went on to win two league best and fairest awards.
  • In April Sydney hosted an interstate railways carnival played at Erskineville Oval.  The NSW v SA match drew a crowd of 4,000.
  • By mid May there were 278 players registered in the league.
  • In June the NSW team travelled to Melbourne where they were defeated by the VFL 11.8 (74) to 8.12 (60) on the MCG before a crowd of  16,300. (photograph on right.  NSW players Cec Pedler is No. 7 while Billy McKoy is in jumper No. 5)
  • In July the NSW Rugby League, the winter lease holders of the SCG, refuse a request by the NSW Aust Football League for a date in August to play the VFL in a return game.
  • In July Paddy O’Shea is appointed coach of the NSW team which beat the Melbourne FC on Erskineville Oval 14.12 (96) before a crowd of 8,000.  Melbourne finish last in the VFL that year.
  • Early in August the Sydney club defeated Paddington before a crowd of 2,000 at Erskineville Oval and around the same period, is the first time that Hampden Oval is referred to as Trumper Park.
  • Flush with success over Melbourne, the NSW side takes on Carlton, again at Erskineville Oval, in August but comes away with a hiding, 18.16 (124) to 11.6 (72) before a crowd 10,000.  Sydney umpire, Chas Murray was the umpire.  Carlton finished in seventh place in 1923.
  • Before 8,000 spectators on 18 August, NSW 15.11 (101) beats the VFL 11.19 (85) at Erskineville Oval. Again, Chas Murray umpires the game.
  • In mid September, Sydney FC 10.7 (67) defeat Newtown 8.15 (63) before 6,000 people at Erskineville Oval.  Charlie Murray is the umpire.
  •  A week later St Kilda visit Sydney and played a mid-week game against the local premiers, Sydney on Erskineville Oval.  The Saints win the game 17.15 (117) to 9.15 (69).  A crowd of 1500 attend.  Leading St Kilda FC distance kicker, Dave McNamara gave an exhibition of his skill, booting the ball 72 metres.
  • The Paddington club travelled by train to the Riverina in late September where they played a combined league side and on the following Monday, the Leeton Club.  Newtown FC also travelled to the Riverina where they played Culcairn and other matches.
  • In the first week of October, the Ballarat FC visited Newcastle where they played the local league.  The previous year, the St Kilda FC had played a post season game in Newcastle.
  • The league finish the 1923 year with a credit balance of three hundred and ninety five pounds ($790.00).  Of this, they invested three hundred pounds ($600.00) the following year into the improvement of facilities at Erskineville Oval.  It also celebrates the year with the announcement of the appointment of a fulltime secretary from 1924.

The reason we have mentioned Chas Murray as the umpire of several of the games is because he went on to umpire a number of VFA grand finals and several VFL games after he moved to Melbourne in 1924.  We will have more on this man later.

This newspaper advertisement shows the list of pending matches.  Note the tax on the admission fee.