President of the NSW Australian Football History Society, Ian Granland, has released a book revealing the history of Australian rules football in NSW entitled Australian Football in Sydney 1877 – 1895 – A LIVING HEDGE.
A former player when he was a youngster, Mr Granland moved to the admin side of the game at a young age, becoming secretary of the now defunct South Sydney Football Club at just 17. His career in Aussie rules admin contained many highlights, including playing a major role in the formation of both the Country Football League and the Central Coast Football League.
The research for the book started as a habit and ended up becoming a 20-year obsession that turned into a compendium of Australia’s national game in a state where Rugby League reigns supreme. The book gives a fascinating insight into Australian Football in Sydney before the turn of the 20th century.
“It took about 20 years to research. I used to get myself to the state library in Sydney for a day and trawl through all these old newspapers. And this was before they were all on Trove,” Mr Granland told the Truth.
“I always thought that football in New South Wales started in 1926. I didn’t know anything about country areas at all. It was only when I got older, I realised that the league in Sydney started in 1880.”
The book does extend out of the Sydney metro area, and a Silverton football club makes an appearance in the book, although information on the history of that specific club is hard to find outside of the fact it formed in 1885.
Mr Granland is no stranger to the Far West and discovered the Silverton football club on a trip to the Silverton Gaol Museum.
“I went out to Silverton and went through the Gaol. And what’s in on the cell walls? All these old footy club team pictures.”
Despite spending countless hours trying to research the club, Mr Granland could not find any more information on Silverton FC. And he’d love to hear from anyone who has information about the 19th century footy team.
You can get your copy prior to its release, or send any information you might have about the Silverton footy club by emailing the society at [email protected]
If you would like to buy a copy of the book – click on the link below.