Thursday, 4 July 2013

In Search Of... 1912

Having found the final tables for the Victorian League in 1910 and 1911 long ago, this week's trip to the library saw me target 1912. From the online archives of The Argus and The Sun, results were sporadic. So once again I went to The Herald microfilms to see what Jackeroo was revealing in the Friday edition.

New clubs in 1912 were Footscray, Melbourne Thistle, Sunshine, Birmingham Victoria and the juniors of Moorabbin. The former South Melbourne club had changed it's name to Albert Park, whilst Williamstown and become Williamstown-Yarraville to broaden their appeal.

Middle Park was still the home of football, with seven clubs using the ground there, namely Carlton United, Fitzroy, Burns, Melbourne Thistle, Albert Park, Birmingham Victoria and St Kilda. There must have been a few ground there, as up to four games were played kicking off at the same time on some days.

In June, leading referee G.Hawes was appointed the new press correspondent. The Herald football reports now had a new byline, written by "Centre-Half". The previous press correspondent had been Mr.W.Jackson (Jackeroo).

Early in the season there were results for the competition as well as a junior (no age group specified) competition. It's fair to assume the junior competition was near what we would call the Youth team age bracket, probably 18-20 year olds. A new club was formed at Preston (Ground at Bell Street, South Preston, colours light and dark blue vertical stripes, white knickers) for the first Second Division, which commenced on June 1st. The other teams in that league were all reserves teams from First Division clubs: St Kilda A, Burns A, Prahran City A, Footscray A and Birmingham Victoria A. To make things confusing, late in the season the junior results started to be listed with the Second Division results, though at no point did the teams crossover and start playing each other.

Once again there are missing results, so from the last table published, on September 27, the published results after that date give us:

WILLIAMSTOWN-YARRAVILLE 19 15 2 2 73 22 32
BURNS 17 12 1 4 45 20 25
CARLTON UNITED 19 12 1 6 41 18 25
ST KILDA 17 11 2 4 42 20 24
ALBERT PARK 19 9 6 4 46 29 24
BIRMINGHAM VICTORIA 17 8 1 8 25 23 17
PRAHRAN CITY 20 8 1 11 29 42 17  
MELBOURNE THISTLE 17 5 3 9 19 27 12
FOOTSCRAY 18 3 2 13 14 36 8
FITZROY 15 2 0 13 17 44 6
SUNSHINE 15 1 1 13 17 66 3

The results for Burns v Birmingham Victoria and Footscray v St Kilda on September 28 are unreadable on the microfilm, whilst Fitzroy v Burns should have taken place on October 5.

From the Second Division results I could find I came up with:

PRESTON 7 7 0 0 37 7 14
ST KILDA A 9 5 2 2 28 14 12
PRAHRAN CITY A 7 4 0 3 16 16 8
BURNS A 5 0 2 3 3 13 2
BIRMINGHAM VICTORIA A 7 1 0 6 5 24 2
FOOTSCRAY A 5 1 0 4 6 21 2

Looking through the weekly (Saturday) paper The Leader for a readable version of the September 28 results (unsuccessful) , I came across photos of the teams that played in the "Local International". This saw Scotland defeat England 3-0 with goals from Forbes, Spencer and Dick.

I thought I'd found photos of the Victorian state team in the same paper in a 1913 edition, but it turns out that was Aussie Rules. Didn't have time for a head count or to check if there had even been a soccer game between Victoria and South Australia, but there hadn't.

Back to 1910 for a second, so happy were they with the inaugural season that once it ended, a "third competition" was begun. The League would have been the first and the Challenge Cup the second. Only a few weeks in, Prahran and Williamstown withdrew, as it was now mid-September and the summer sport season was imminent. It's doubtful that this Third Competition was ever completed.

I have all the other First Division tables prior to World War I bringing proceedings to a half in 1915. By that time The Herald reports were coming from "The Spectator". The 1913 Dockerty Cup Final was played at "the Birmingham Ground" of Middle Park. Until the next visit to SLV, that will do for now.

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