The start of the 1980’s era bought great excitement to the club with the signing of John Reid as coach of the A Grade for the 1980 season. Reid who coached South Adelaide B Grade to a premiership in 1979 moved to Port Augusta working in Consumer Affairs and with some swift work by Bruce Curtis and David Shillabeer saw him replace Pat Hynes as senior coach in a mutual agreement. Reid was to stay with the club for 3 years and ended up making the finals each year and winning an A Grade premiership in 1981 and coming second in 1982. Reid changed the SGL forever with his tactics, pre-season training regime and preparation for games including walking to the oval after changing at the club, motivational speeches and his reactions to losing, never to be forgotten by anyone who played under him. Reid bought players to the club who where prepared to put in the hard yards, Reid would often push punishing pre-seasons on his players to ensure they were fit and fully prepared for the year ahead. Reid commented that he believed his teams would have been the fittest in the history of the SGL, and it’s hard to argue with the results that came with it.

In 1980, Reid’s first year, the A Grade finished 5th after they lost to Risdon in the elimination final, 16-14 (110) to  South 13-9 (87), South’s did however win 10 games for the season after finishing last the year before and there were good signs of some rewarding years ahead. The B Grade continued their excellent form wining the grand final against Wilsden. The club finally had some strength in its squad and the committee, led ably Bruce Curtis knew that they were on the right track.

In 1981, South’s finally broke their drought with a grand final win against Risdon, 12-17 (89) to 10-12 (72), their first premiership in 17 years! Best players in the final included Robert Rozee, Dennis Russell, Derek Edmead, Mick Kerin, Rob Fiebig, Rod Lamshed, Don Pasculli and Doug Rozee. The B grade also finished top and for the first time in South’s history both teams were premiers in the same year. The B grade won the grand final against Ports, 6-11 (47) to 6-10 (46) a nail biting 1 point! Best players were Mark Bowman, Colin Scarlett, Robert Harris, Peter Fox, Kelly Grantham and Graham McInnis. A Grade Best and Fairest was awarded to Rod Lamshed. B Grade had just won their fourth premiership in a row after wins in 78, 79, 80 and now 81.

Players during those years will never forget Reid’s determination for success and those at training one night will never forget the dressing down he gave a player who requested to leave training early to go to Table Tennis. “F*** Ping Pong” he yelled at the player with 40 other players in a circle that night, “You go to F***** Ping Pong and don’t come back until you’re dedicated to football!”. Reid was also known for the day he made all players cram into the Central Oval dressing room toilet after a loss in 1980 to discuss the game in more detail. “Boof” Rivers says he wasn’t there as he had to leave early to get to a wedding after the game and its just as well as room in the toilet was at a premium.

South’s form continued to improve in 1982, however the A Grade lost to Centrals in the grand final, 19-25 (139) to 18-8 (113). South’s also lost the B grade grand final to Centrals, 12-5 (77) to 8-9 (57), this was a devastating shock for the club as they went throughout the year undefeated. The social scene at the club was excellent, lead by Keith Kelly who reinvigorated the discos and managed the after match activities, the club was a great place to be around during this period. A grade Best and Fairest was awarded to Dennis Russell, a great player picked up from Peterborough and a star performer for the club into 1983. Troy Collins won the SGL Under 18’s medal this year.

The departure of Reid in 1983 allowed Dennis Russell the opportunity to step up as playing coach and the move was vindicated through South’s winning the grand final against Solomontown, 18-14 (122) to 12-9 (81). It was a surprise to players and spectators who say South’s were looking beat at ¾ time but managed to swing it back around to win, even though they had a disadvantage of kicking into the wind.

Dennis Russell departed to Glenelg in 1984 and Maurie Vast took over as coach, the club once again made the grand final only to lose against Solomontown by 21 points. Another change in coaches in 1985 saw Keith Kuhlman ex South Australian representative who played for Glenelg and West Adelaide take over with the club finishing 3rd. A Grade captain Pat Hynes won the Best and Fairest award and was highly regarded as a champion player during this period. The B Grade had a great year winning the premiership against Centrals. The team was coached by Rod Lamshed who had been pulled up to play the last 6 games in A Grade and was ineligible to play in the grand final with his team. Rod did however state that this win as coach is the highlight of his football career.

A Grade coach Keith Kulhman continued in 1986 however at the start of the season, they lost Mick Corey to Willsden, Robert Fiebig retired and Chris Pelle and Chris Ramsay left town. It was to be a long year for the club with the A Grade finishing in 7th position. Kuhlmann was replaced by Pat Hynes during the year until Chris Natt, ex Port Adelaide player took over as coach in 1987. Pat Hynes continued in the captaincy role and the club recovered well to finish in 3rd position. B Grade finished 2nd after losing the grand final to West Augusta. The A Grade Best and Fairest this year was Greg Flanagan, ex Essendon, West Torrens and North Whyalla player who was great pick up for the club.

South’s continued its inconsistent performance in 1988 when they finished 7th under coach, Chris Natt and when the B Grade finished 6th under coach David Shillabeer, it was known that some hard work needed to be done to improve. A Grade Best and Fairest was awarded to Chris Natt after a great year.

South’s poor form continued in 1989 with the A Grade finishing  6th under new A Grade coach Brian Bienke. A Grade captain was Robert Rozee and A Grade Best and Fairest was awarded to Kym Maule.

Gavin Ayles, Bruce Curtis, Rodney Lamshed, Malcolm “Paddy” McInnis, David Shillabeer and Jim Maule were all awarded Life Memberships this year for their dedication and tireless hard work for the club.

The period 1981-1983 were great years for the club with both A Grade and B Grade finishing in the grand finals in these 3 years and the club was strong in both grades. They won two A Grade premierships over this period and played in 4 grand finals in a row. The B Grade also played in 6 grand finals in a row and won 3 premierships.

1981
Position: 1st.
• Club President: Bruce Curtis.
• A Grade Captain: Pat Hynes.
• A Grade Coach: John Reid.
• A Grade win the grand final against Risdon, 12-17 (89) to 10-12 (72).
• Best Players: Robert Rozee, Dennis Russell, Derek Edmead, Mick Kerin, Rob Fiebig, Rod Lamshed, Don Pasculli, Doug Rozee.
• B Grade win  grand final against Port, 6-11 (47) to 6-10 (46).
• A Grade Best and Fairest: Rod Lamshed.
• A Grade win their first  premiership since 1964 (17 years).
• B Grade win their fourth premiership in a row.
• Craig Cock wins Madigan Medal.
 
1982
Position: 2nd.
• Club President: Bruce Curtis.
• A Grade Captain: Pat Hynes.
• A Grade Coach: John Reid.
• A Grade lost to Centrals in the grand final, 19-25 (139) to 18-8 (113).
• B Grade lost the grand final to Centrals, 12-5 (77) to 8-9 (57).
• South’s B grade when undefeated through the season only to lose the grand final.
• A Grade Best and Fairest: Dennis Russell.

1983
Position: 1st.
• Club President: Bruce Curtis.
• A Grade Captain and Coach: Dennis Russell.
• South’s win the grand final against Solomontown, 18-14 (122) to 12-9 (81).
• B Grade lost the grand final to Central, 8-13 (64) to South 5-12 (42).

1984
Position: 2nd.
• Club President: Bruce Curtis.
• A Grade Captain and Coach: Maurie Vast.
• Souths lose grand final against Solomontown by 21 points.
• A Grade Best and Fairest: Pat Hynes.

 

WATCH THE RECORDING OF THE 1984 GRAND FINAL
CLICK ON THE LINK BELOW!

 

1984 SGL GRAND FINAL - SOUTHS v SOLLIES

1985
Position: 3rd.
• Club President: Jim Maule.
• A Grade Captain: Pat Hynes.
• A Grade Coach: Keith Kuhlman.
• A Grade Best and Fairest: Pat Hynes.
• South’s lost the preliminary final to Sollomontown, losing by 75 points.
• B Grade win premiership against Centrals, South 13-11 (89) to 10-15 (75).

1986
Position: 7th.
• Club President: Jim Maule.
• A Grade Captain: Pat Hynes.
• A Grade Coach: Keith Kulhman and Pat Hynes.
• A Grade Best and Fairest: Mark Shirley.
• Keith Kulhmann was sacked as coach during the year and Pat Hynes takes over.

1987
Position: 3rd.
• Club President: Jim Maule.
• A Grade Captain: Pat Hynes.
• A Grade Coach: Chris Natt.
• B Grade lose grand final to Wests.
• A Grade Best and Fairest: Greg Flanagan.

1988
Position: 7th.
• President: Jim Maule.
• A Grade Captain: Pat Hynes.
• A Grade Coach: Chris Natt.
• A Grade Best and Fairest: Chris Natt.
• New extensions to club rooms commence.

1989
Position: 6th.
• President: Jim Maule.
• A Grade Captain: Robert Rozee.
• A Grade Coach: Brian Bienke.
• A Grade Best and Fairest: Kym Maule.

1990
Position: 7th.
• President: Brian Reichelt.
• A Grade Captain: Robert Rozee.
• A Grade Coach: Brian Bienke.
• A Grade Best and Fairest: Steve Dryburgh.