The GDSFA Premier League plays for the honor of winning the CHALLENGE SHIELD. Our Challenge Shield is the OLDEST SOCCER FOOTBALL SILVERWARE continuously and still being played for IN AUSTRALIA. Recently we discovered how it all came to be!
On the night of 28 September 1901 at the first Annual Dinner of the Granville Football Association, the Chairman Mr Fred Barlow called upon Secretary Mr W Leydecker to exhibit a shield – “a very handsome piece of work”.
Later in the night, first and former Mayor of Granville and Association Patron, Mr John Nobbs MP would declare, “the shield with which certain gold medals to be offered, would make a valuable trophy to fight for.”
Barlow explained that “the Committee did not like the idea of two or three gentlemen purchasing the shield and giving it as an advertisement, instead it is thought sufficient funds could be raised from the old footballers (from the 1880’s) and the new”.
He further explained, “the shield would never become the property of any team, the honor would be in having their name inscribed on the plate; and the members of the winning team would be presented with a gold medal each, which alone would be worth competing for.”
A subscription was taken up in the room and raising £10 15s. The announcement was received with prolonged cheers and it was announced also that the Clyde Engineering Works Club’s team would be the first inscribed on the shield.
Finally Association Committee member Mr Lennox moved that “the shield be presented to the Association’s President – Mr JR Nielsen – on behalf of the subscribers, to be competed for under the auspices of the Granville Association”. This was carried with cheers.
117 years later, who will take the honors for this season and make history?