In March 1911 the NSW Rugby Football League removed the St George Electorate from Newtown to Western Suburbs District, therefore any Grade player wanting to play rugby league and living in the St George Electorate had to play with the Western Suburbs Club.

The body known last season (1910) as St George III (3rd Grade) League Football Club, in 1911 would now be recognised as Western Suburbs III (3rd Grade) team but would be allowed to have training quarters at Kogarah (St George Electorate).

First or Second Grade players, in order to save time and expense, would also be able to train with the Thirds instead of going to the Club’s headquarters at Ashfield twice a week.

The arrangement was a practical solution as players in those times didn’t have ready access to transport either private or public to travel from the Kogarah district to Ashfield. It also provided Wests with a new source of players to strengthen its ranks, while providing the opportunity for young players to have access to a First-Grade rugby league team. The change also had the effect of drawing players across from the St George Rugby Union team and that was of great benefit to Wests as St George Rugby Union had some very good players.

The influx of new and experienced players had an effect on the playing results in 1911. While Wests finished in seventh position on the premiership table, one above the wooden spoon, the First-Grade team won four and drew one of their fourteen matches. The team had as many wins that season as it did in the previous three.

The points scored for that season and the differential between for and against was only bettered in 1917 when Wests reached the top four in the competition. The results would give the Club some optimism as to what could be achieved, however there were more lean years to come before that was realised.

Western Suburbs DRLFC  First Grade – 1911

L to R: W Medcalf, S B Wall, W Muller, S Perry, H Naylor, A Joass, W Joass, H R Thomson, C McFayden, H Gillett, J Tully, J Thompson, A. Munnery, Absent: E Courtney (C)

Some of the talented and experienced players that came from the St George and other Districts in 1911 and are in the team photo include, “Ranji” Joass (St George), Fred Munnery (St George via Newtown), William Muller (St George via Norths), Alf Joass (St George), Harry Thomson (Souths and Easts).

Others that played First Grade in 1911 include, Harry Gilbert (St George via Sydney), Dick Moroney (Glebe), Henry “Vic” West (St George), Oliver Griffen (Marrickville Second Grade) and “Tedda” Courtney (St George via Norths and formerly Wests).

Bill Medcalf, Stan Wall, William Muller, Sam Perry, Henry Naylor, Alf Joass

“Ranji” Joass, Harry Thomson, Claude McFayden, Arthur Gillett, Jack Tully, J Thompson, Fred Munnery

While the senior teams were struggling in these early years, there were promising signs from the junior ranks. The President’s Cup teams have been a fertile ground for Wests in finding and nurturing football talent for the senior grades.

Western Suburbs DRLFC President’s Cup/Inter-District Squads – 1911

Western Suburbs
Cronan, Farquarson, Byrne, McNamara, Easterbrook, Watkins

Program for the famous 8-8 draw with Eastern Suburbs in 1911 – Round 9 at the RAS Showground

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