1942 - 1945
AUFC 1942-1945 - THE WAR YEARS
Because of World War II, the Amateur League went into recess for the years 1942-1945.
Although University ranks were depleted due to war service, there were many fine footballers studying in reserved occupations and still looking for that Saturday game of 'footy'.
A competition evolved on a week to week basis where matches were arranged with Service teams and the League Reserves. Looking at the SANFL records, one will see that in those years the eight League Clubs combined to form Norwood /North, Port/Torrens, Sturt/South and West/Glenelg.
After the League teams had been chosen for Saturday, each combination would nominatc six players to constitute the League Reserves for that week, which made the competition almost up to League standard.
'Varsity played a high percentage of matches against the League Reserves, but players of that era will remember Air Force teams from Port Pine, Mallala, Springbank and the School of Technical Training, stationed in the old Exhibition Building, North Terrace.
Competition was pretty keen and the Air Force would pull out all stops to win. One remembers a train trip to Mallala Base, the hospitality of the RAAF, and experiencing the thrills of a LINK TRAINER at the hands of the opposing team. 'Varsity still took out the honours in the afternoon on the local Mallala Oval.
During the Final Round, 'Varsity often gave a League team match practice whilst having a bye prior to the Grand Final. On the day of the 1944 Preliminary Final, 'Varsity played the Norwood/North combination on Adelaide Oval No. 2. It was a very close game, 'Varsity was proud of their narrow defeat as Norwood/North went on to win the Grand Final the following week.
Old players on leave from the Services were always welcome for a game, Norm Shierlaw and Peter Dalwood once displayed their former skills by playing without training, and in Army boots.
Maybe it was only a make-shift competition, but it definitely kept the game alive and fulfilled the aims and objects of the AUFC at the University during those years when the Club could easily have gone into recess as did the other Amateur Clubs.