The Origin of the Club
‘Jealousy by the North of the supposed elite South was the main reason for the formation of these annual North of the Yarra versus
South of the Yarra matches’
- Reuben Sackville one of Ajax Football Club’s first patrons
In the early 1930s most of Melbourne’s Jewish community lived in Carlton and Fitzroy. Many people had moved to St Kilda and Caulfield
by the mid ‘30s. As a result great rivalry grew between the two factions. This rivalry led to people from both sides of the Yarra organising
an annual football match to be played between the two Jewish “sections”.
North was much rougher and tougher in the early games and usually beat its smaller opponents. The later games saw South
starting to win its fair share of matches. There were a lot of injuries in the early games because many of the players had not trained
hard enough, but the matches were taken seriously on the day. In the later years, players from both the North and the South would train
for many weeks on Sunday mornings in preparation for “the big event”.
Crowds of up to 500 attended these matches, which were usually played in Eltham, Greensborough, Princes Park or at the Ross Gregory
Oval in Albert Park.
Melbourne – Friday September 5th 1947
NORTH SOUTH FOOTBALL MATCH
Over 200 people attended the match at Greensborough and witnessed a hard fast game, played under ideal conditions. Early in the match it seemed that North would win easily, but South staged a brilliant comeback in the final term to get within a point of their opponents. However North fought back to win comfortably
Melbourne - Friday August 8th 1952
SOUTH’S DASHING VICTORY
POST-WAR HOODOO SMASHED
By Ben Sternfeld
In a keenly fought, rugged match SOUTH scored their first postwar victory, when they defeated NORTH by 15 points in the annual
North v. South (of the Yarra) Australian Rules game played before an enthusiastic crowd at Warrandyte last Sunday.
The first mention of an Ajax Football Club being formed occurred at the Annual General Meeting (A.G.M.) of the Ajax Roof
Organisation on March 28, 1955. Daryl Cohen, an Australian Rules enthusiast, proposed that a team be formed from Jewish
members of the community to compete in the Victorian Amateur Football Association (V.A.F.A.). After much discussion, Ajax
President Basil Isaacs proposed that a meeting of those interested in forming a club should be held during practices for the
North versus South match. But there was not a great of concern shown and nothing substantial was done until the following year.
It was decided at the 1956 Ajax A.G.M. that a meeting of all people interested would be called a few weeks before the
North-South match, and that every attempt would be made to enter a team in the V.A.F.A. the next season.
With the Ajax Football Club’s official application came a letter from the Ajax body saying it would support the new club. With Ajax’s
acceptance into the V.A.F.A. the most important thing for the club was for it to find a home ground. With the help of St Kilda
parliamentarian Baaron Snider, the club was able to get the Peanut Farm oval in Blessington Street St Kilda.
The club colours were to be the same as St Kilda in the Victorian Football League (V.F.L.) but would not include the
Saints’ emblem. Ajax Football Club president Dave Smith got a set of guernseys through Reuben Sackville, St Kilda president (1946-55).
The stage was now set for the start of Ajax’s climb to the top of the V.A.F.A.
Melbourne, Friday, July 13th 1956
Football club seeks ground
Newly elected officials of the AJAX Football Club are seeking a ground for the 1957 season…. An AJAX team is to be entered in E Grade of the Vic. Amateur Football Assn., competition next season.