Promoting Representative Football
Representative matches are played among clubs at the local level. It was said to be a tremendous honour to be selected among the representative team in times past. Although every player hopes to win a premiership with the club they play for, a football career is primarily determined by the number of accolades received. Hence, the drive to succeed is inherent in every player.
However, for several years, selecting a representative team was one of a player’s most significant accomplishments. Also, to play a representative match is to rank as high as winning a premiership with a players’ club.
In the cases of players whose club have not had significant success with the premiership, the players have looked forward to being selected in representative matches to have quite an impressive career despite not attaining the premiership with their various clubs. Being chosen for a representative game, especially at a National Carnival, was an honour every player sought during their playing careers; however, this honour was only ever conferred on a small number no matter how richly sought of players.
Furthermore, with the growth of a national league, representative football has been benched, becoming a thing of the past. Players no longer via for the honour that comes in participating in a representation match. In 2005, about 44,800 fans gathered at the football park for the game between Adelaide crows v Adelaide power. That explains the power representative match is said to have.
Representative matches played were a source of pride. Although now relegated to the background, the SACFL still engages in representative games, which includes the SACF (South Australian Country Football) Championships- a competition organised by the South Australian National Football League and is usually played among representative teams from six different country football zones (Central Zone, Eastern Zone, Eyre Peninsula, Murray South East, Northern and Southern Districts).
During the representative match event, the Don McSweeney Medal is usually presented to the best player at the carnival based on the umpires’ decision or votes. This particular medal is named after a South Australian Footballer of the same name. The Southern Districts are the zones that have won the championship the most.
The coaches are also not left out in terms of accolades. The best coach of the championships is usually given the Bill Murdoch Medal.
A championship team is usually selected at the end of the competition, comprising various players from the different teams participating in the competition. The first championship Winner was the Eyre Peninsula in 1994. Other winners from 1995 include
- Southern Districts (1995 and 1996)
- Eyre Peninsula (1997)
- Murray Mallee won in 1998
- The Eyre Peninsula won the third time in 1999
- In 2001, Mid North got crowned the winner.
- Southern Districts won back-to-back from 2003 to 2005.
- Central (2006)
- Southern Districts (2007)
- Murray Mallee (2008)
- Southern Districts (2009-2010)
- Western (2011)
- Southern Districts (2012)
- In 2013, the Central won
- Murray South East (2014)
- Southern Districts (2015)
- Murray South East (2016-2017)