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The normal SANFL competition was suspended during the period 1942 to 1944 due to World War 2.


The War Years Competition

Nonetheless football was played during this time as a means of providing entertainment to the public and troops on leave, with members of the Services admitted free. A significant proportion of funds raised were contributed towards the War effort.

As many players had enlisted there was a general shortage of players, and teams were amalgamated according to geographical position. The combinations were:

  • Norwood - North Adelaide (wearing North's colours)
  • Sturt - South Adelaide (Sturt's colours)
  • West Adelaide - Glenelg (Glenelg's colours)
  • Port Adelaide - West Torrens (Port's colours)

Players were not paid for playing. Players were selected from those on leave on the Saturday afternoon (ie no one was asked to stop their War-related work to play football). In many cases youngsters stepped up to meet the requirements of fielding sides and maintaining a high standard of play.

Finals were played and good attendances were had throughout the seasons.

Grand Finals

In 1942 the Port-Torrens combination defeated the West-Glenelg combination in a Grand Final played in front of a crowd of 35,000.

Norwood-North won the premiership in both 1943 and 1944.


The SANFL decided that for League Life Membership purposes it would recognise that all players enlisting or called up for military purposes would be entitled to count in their playing service the number of matches played by their clubs during their absence on military duties. So for example, Bob Quinn of Port Adelaide would have been credited with games played by the Port-Torrens combination while he was fighting as one of the Rats of Tobruk in the Middle East.


1. The South Australian Football Story, Bernard Whimpress.

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