South’s had limited success in the 1950’s, not winning a premiership during this period and losing 6 grand finals although they were known as a hard, competitive club during this period. In 1950 South’s lost the A Grade grand final to West 13-12 (90) to 9-8 (62), with best players for South’s being B Fountain, T Latham, C Chalmers, P Clarke, N Brearley, E Rowe and R Gellard. South’s however won the B grade premiership that year under coach A Hearne. B Fountain won the Best and Fairest and was a good player in the early 50’s.

In 1952 South’s lost to Central in the grand final 5-12 (42) to 3-6 (24). Best players in the final were B Fountain, R Davey, B Croft, P Clarke, R Hearne, K Markham, J Busbridge, T Latham and E Gunderson. We were more successful in the B grade finishing top of the ladder at the end of minor round and going on to win the premiership. The A grade coach and captain was T Latham. Life members appointed for this year were B Applebee, I Hollingsworth, W McManus and L Kittel. Another good but unsuccessful year in 1953 saw the A grade lose to Central’s 15-15 (105) to 9-9 (63). Best players in the final were I Thompson, B Fountain, R Modra, T Latham, P Benbow and P O’Keefe. The B grade were premiers by defeating West.

The committee discussed the suitability of a decent drinking site after the game and decided that after game functions would be held out of town on cemetery road. The club did not have a club room and South’s, West and Centrals would converge on the land with kegs and food after the game. Tickets were purchased and handed to barmen for butchers and both teams mixed well after a hard fought game. There was no club rooms at this stage and the 6pm closing meant that the players had to go somewhere for socialising after the game. A building committee was set up to look at vacant blocks of land around Port Augusta and obtaining quotes for building a new club room and this committee was P Clarke, K Higginson, B Bishop, L Kittel and B Croft.

The Mail Medal for the Best and Fairest player in the Great Northern Football League in 1953 went to B Fountain and he also won the association trophy that year. In the B Grade, South’s Life Member B Applebee lost on a re-count to C Grantham (Centrals) for the Association Best and Fairest. In 1954 South’s lost the grand final again to Central’s 12-16 (88) to 13-9 (87) it was a nail biting and heart breaking loss for South’s who fought incredibly hard. Best players in the final were; L Thompson, P Benbow, J Maule, B Fountain, K McInnis, D Pike, N Hollingsworth, C Chalmers, P O’Keefe and H Beare.

South’s had their first club rooms when they leased Davenport Hall and the club continued to raise money for new club rooms. Bob Bishop tendered his resignation as coach at end of season as he was leaving town and Laurie Thompson was elected Captain and Coach in 1955. South’s were keen to turn around its fortunes and in 1955 it recruited 10 new players to the club in the aim of gaining another premiership, including R Hutchins, M Russ, K Flanagan and R Clancy, who had an excellent year winning the Mail Medal in A Grade for the Great Northern Football League

In 1955 South’s lost in the grand final again to Central 16-15 (111) to 14-14 (98) with the best players in this final R Clancy, K Thiele, M McKenzie, R Hearne, C Chalmers, H Beare, H Kernahan and L Thompson. The B grade brought home a premiership that year. In 1956 R Packham took over as Captain and Coach and R Miller coached the B Grade. It was decided that South’s jumpers would revert to white with a red V this year and Life Memberships were awarded to K Higginson and P Clarke. In 1957 South’s once again lost in the grand final to Central 18-18 (126) to 13-10 (88) with best players in the final H Bunton, D Contos, I Sasche, P O’Keefe, R Hesse and V Jackson. The A Grade coach was J Cowie.

H Bunton was regarded as a tough, skillful player and was a very successful coach in both the WANFL and SANFL. He was named an All Australian player at the age of 19 in 1956, and in the same year Bunton finished runner-up for the Magarey Medal. In 1958, Merv McKenzie was appointed Captain and Coach and under the guidance of President Jim Brandle the club looked at vacant blocks of land at corner of Fern and Conroy St and the other in Forster St. They decided to buy a block in Conroy St for 130 pounds. In the same year the Committee approved the use of the Bulldog as club mascot. Those who were made Life Members in 1959 included L Nowak, L McInnis, C Huddleston, C Chambers and R Gellard.

Players and officials who made an impact around the club during the 1950’s included trainer W Applebee Snr and B Applebee Jr who played for the club between 1945- 1957 and a trainer for the club for around 20 years, volunteering his services for many years. Others who served the club well included Peter Clarke who played for the club from 1945-1957 having played over 100 games for the club and also serving on the committee, Rex Gellard who played for the club 1944-52 and was on the South’s Management committee for several years and the clubs President in 1961 and 1962. Ken Higginson played for the club from 1944-1955 playing over 100 games and he was on the Management Committee from 1953- 1957 for 4 years. He was awarded Life Membership in 1956. Colin Chambers retired in 1957 after playing since 1949 and over 100 games for the club. Colin served on the South Augusta Committee in from 1957-1966 and was a great volunteer for the club.

Other officials to note include; J Brandle, L Kittel, R Hesse, M Reed, A Hearne and L Nowak all contributed greatly to the club, starting the formation of its club rooms as the advent of the Spencer Gulf League required this increased level of professionalism if the club was to survive. Laurie Mcinnis was made a Life Member in 1959, having played between 1945-1959 a total of 14 years service as a player and from 1957-1978 he served over 20 years on the Management Committee for South’s acting in roles of Treasurer for 4 years, Secretary 2 years. Rex Gellard was made a Life Member in 1959 and played for the club from 1944 to 1952. Gellard was on the South Management committee for several years from 1957-1962 and he was the clubs President in 1961 and 1962 together with being a player for the club between 1944 to 1952 and being an integral part of the club over that period.

1951

Position: 3rd.
• Club president: S Fullerton.
• A Grade Captain and Coach: T Latham.

1952
Position: 2nd.
• Club President: A Lehman.
• A Grade Captain and Coach: T Latham.
• South’s lost the grand final to Central 5-12 (42) to 3-6 (24).
• Inducted Life Members: B Applebee, l Hollingsworth, W McManus and L Kittel.

1953
Position: 2nd.
• Club President: P Welsh.
• A Grade Captain and Coach: B Bishop.
• South’s lost the grand final to Central 15-15 (105) to 9-9 (63).
• South’s make trips to Wilmington and Whyalla and play games against these teams.
• A Grade Best and Fairest: B Fountain.

 

1954

Position: 2nd.
• Club President: H Mundy.
• A Grade Captain and Coach: B Bishop.
• South’s lost the grand final to Central 12-16 (88) to 13-9 (87).
• B grade won premiership.
 
1955
Position: 2nd.
• President: H Mundy.
• A Grade Captain and Coach: L Thompson.
• Lost in grand final to Central 16-15 (111) to 14-14 (98).
 
1956
Position: 3rd.
• Club President: L Kittel.
• A Grade Captain and Coach: R Packham.
• South’s lost the preliminary final Central 15-9 (99) to 12-12 (84).
• Life Memberships were awarded to K Higginson and P Clarke.
 
1957
Position: 2nd.
• Club President: L Nowak.
• A Grade Captain and Coach: J Cowie.
• South’s lost the grand final to Central 18-18 (126) to 13-10 (88).
1958
Position: 3rd.
• Club President: J Brandle.
• A Grade Captain and Coach: M McKenzie.
• Lost in Preliminary final to Central 19-19 (113) to 10-9 (69).
• Club buys block on Conroy St for 130 pounds.
 
1959
Position: 3rd.
• Club President: J Brandle.
• South’s lost the preliminary final to Centrals 8-14 (62) to 7-13 (55).
• Under 18’s win premiership.
• Bulldog was accepted as club mascot.
• Best and Fairest: D Harris.
• Life Membership awards: L Nowak, L McInnis, C Huddleston, C Chambers and R Gellard.
 
1960
Position: 3rd.
• Club President: J Brandle.
• A Grade Captain and Coach: D Harris.
• South’s lost the preliminary final to West 17-14 (116) to 8-.11 (59).
• Merv McKenzie polls well and wins Mail Medal and also the clubs Best and Fairest.