In our 60 plus years of existence we have not had huge success in the way of silverware but the fact the Club is still here tells you something about the spirit and companionship that has evolved at South.
From start up in1946 we did not win a game for one and a half seasons but slowly there was improvement from our young side to the point we played in finals in the 3rd year (1948) and the Grand Final in the fourth. To the Club in those early days this was as good as a Premiership. In 1949 we won the first Semi against Monbulk, beat the strong Belgrave side for the first time ever in the Preliminary Final by a mere two points and went into the Grand Final against Upwey. This game was very close all day except that we had kicked a mammoth number of behinds before half time and led at the long interval. By orange time Upwey clawed their way back to be four points up. Into the last and a strong breeze dropped considerably to have Upwey kick 5.3 to South 4.2 and win the Grand Final match by 11 points. This was indeed a memorable match and one that is still talked about by those who can still remember that far back.
It is interesting how, over the years, our memory of events distorts. Captain of our A Grade side in 1950 can't remember there being a seconds side in that year and very few of the seconds who were inaugural Premiers in a four team competition, have any recollection of a senior side! No doubt the celebrations had something to do with that.
The Grand Final was held on the last weekend in July at the Emerald ground which was a "picture". The weather was perfect for football and we were playing our neighbours Belgrave. At half time we were up by 7 points and at the final bell the scores were South 9.15.69 to Belgrave 5.19.49. Best Players were the Beasley Bros,Williams, Waixell and Hastings
The Premiership players were the guests of the President, Mr W Lord and committee on the following weekend on a trip to Mt Donna Buang. The Leagues Seconds Best and Fairest was Jack Harrison with 6 points, one point ahead of R Barry of Monbulk and R Brown of Upwey Tecoma.
Such was the excitement over this Premiership that the Seconds even held their own Premiership Ball on 22nd September. Club Reserves Best and Fairest was Jack Harrison, Runner Up Brian Cordell, Best in Final Geoff Beasley, 2nd Best Matt Waixell, 3rd Best Royce Beasley, Best Clubman Geoff Strachan, Most Improved H Gallatley, Most Consistent Gill Potter, Most Unselfish W. Worrell.
The next game worth a mention was the Under 16 Grand Final in 1959. The junior competition commenced in 1953 and along the way we had a back to back League Best and Fairest, in that very talented sportsman Bob Carmichael, later to become a professional tennis coach. Many of these Under 16 players with whom I have spoken in recent times, have suggested that we were far and above the best side in the competition in 1959. We certainly had plenty of champions who would go on to play many seasons for our Club. A news report on the day suggested premiership jitters as the main cause of their poor showing. Although "The boys were not allowed to play the open game that had won them so many matches through the year(seems to be better opposition coaching). Hardly one mark was held by our high flyers all day" Honorable mention to Jim Naismith,who in later years,playing for Port Melbourne would be seen playing in the VFA rep side, Lex Edward, Barry Jacobs, David Groves despite a bout of flu and Trevor Olver's best game for the year.
The MDFA and Yarra Valley Combined in 1966 and after two seasons the competition divisions were sorted. South had only one Senior side that played in "B" Grade under Coach Ken Hanley. A grand win against Healesville provided that elusive silverware. The team consisted of Graham Johnstone, Bob Wildes, Paul Wildes, Bob Miles, Brian Johnstone, Ken Hanley, Leigh Christie, Ray Robbins, Stuart Laird, Peter Diprose, Colin Hardman, Bernie Steele, Paul Svenson, Norris Burch, Stephen Steele, Arthur Gill, John Packer, Gordon Mory, with L. Marshall and Greg Brown(Tate?)19th and 20th. We have several photos taken on the day but to date not a description of the game, goal kickers or best players. Final Scores were South 15.9.99 to Healesville 10.14.74. Leigh Christie was awarded the League Best and Fairest Award for B Grade and took out Runner Up in the Club's Award.
It would be only 8 more years before we would again strike gold with back to back Senior Premierships in 1976 and '77.