Learning about the history of the VAFA thanks to Holmesglen
5 YEARS AGO – 2015
We had a special occasion down at Parkdale Vultures who fielded a side featuring a father and son pairing. After the Under 19 side for Parkdale had a win via forfeit, a few of the younger lads trudged back to Walter Galt Reserve to fill in for the Thirds team, who were due to take on St Mary’s Salesian. One of those lads was Brad Austin, a talented 17-year-old with a bright future at the Vultures (and possibly beyond!). His father Jason, 47 and still playing good footy, was rapt to get the opportunity to play with his son. Parkdale was sitting on the bottom of the table, winless and out of sorts when the father-son combination came along and helped the side take their first win of the year by 26 points. Both were in the best players and Brad even managed to feed his Dad a goal with a trademark accurate pass to him. (Jase reckons he returned the favour by letting Brad take an “out on the full” free kick as it was on the good side for a left footer! A terrific influence!)
10 YEARS AGO – 2010
The Amateur Football Record’s cover highlighted the outstanding achievement of North Brunswick’s champion, Darren Adams, who achieved the distinction of 500 games for his club. Darren won the Reserve’s best and fairest way back in 1991 and then became a senior player for many, many seasons and was selected in the back pocket in the club’s 1996-2005 Team of the Decade. Darren was still a key-playing member guiding the youngsters in the Reserves where his poise and excellent kicking skills were still on display. He had overcome serious injury and was a true legend of the VAFA. Remarkably, he was still running second on his club’s all-time list behind his former coach, Peter Dowsett (535 games). The way Darren was going he was set to pass Peter’s record.
In Premier B AJAX cemented their place in the top four with an easy victory over Old Geelong 24.11 to 4.13. The AJAX boys made the most of almost every opportunity, their conversion rate outstanding, the opposite to OG’s 4.13. Best – Lewski, Steinberg, Marks, White, Jankie, Israelsohn (AJAX) and Thomson, Hope-Johnstone, Bell, Legoe, Long, Bayles (OGS).
Williamstown CYMS caused a bit of an upset when they downed ladder leaders Werribee 10.11 to 8.8. Williamstown were now a real chance to make the top four, only 1 game outside and with quite a good percentage. Best – McCracken, Richards, McKay, Elliott, Lee (3), Cooper (Will) and Murphy, Scudamore, Norton, Pelar, Angelini, Palmington (Werr).
15 YEARS AGO – 2005
C Section scribe, Glen Harrison, said there were 5 cracking games with some absolute thrillers. Maybe the key game was between Beaumaris and Old Camberwell with the ‘Sharks’ wanting to strengthen their double chance and the ‘Wellers’ a chance to make a run for the finals. Beauy took the early advantage, 7 points up at quarter time, Camberwell narrowing the gap to 2 points at half time. With a strong running game, the Wellers took the lead by a point at three quarter time. Beaumaris fired right up in the last term, took the lead but the Wellers snatched it back with 90 seconds to go. From the bounce, the Sharks surged forward and their number 4, big Matt Matullik, marked 40 out and coolly slotted his 6th to give the game to the Sharks 11.7 to 10.11.
In D1 top of the ladder Fitzroy Reds took some time to shrug off a determined Aquinas who belied their lowly spot on the ladder. There were two goals in it at the main break and not much more at three quarter time, but the Reds turned on their power game in the last with 6.7 to 2.2 to record a 44-point win. Best – Zanos, Drury, O’Reilly, Gleeson, Cahill, Meighan (Fitzroy) and Box (3), Toomey, Hunt, R Moran Wooden Davies (Aquinas).
Yarra Valley’s Matthew Laing celebrated his 150th game and had been a key member of the 1997 senior and 2002 reserves premiership teams as a goalscoring rover. Off the field, Matt was also contributing as the successful event’s organiser.
Jacob Dale played his 100th game for Ormond. ‘Yakka” started his junior career at Murrumbeena but transferred to Ormond where he had played in the under 11’s in 1990. He took out the U19’s best and fairest in his first year at that level, went on to play in the seniors and won the 2001 reserves best and fairest along the way. Jacob won the Club Person of the Year in 2003 and was the current Club Treasurer.
D1 Senior Coaches were Steven Bell (Aquinas), Steve Easton (Bulleen Templestowe), Graham Burgen (Fitzroy Reds), Terry Walsh (Glen Eira), Peter Russo (Old Mentonians), David Matthews (Ormond), Steve Maus (Old Carey), Leigh Stafford (Prahran), Stuart Cook (St Leos) and Tim Kilworth (Yarra Valley).
25 YEARS AGO – 1995
In poor conditions, it was another round with many very low scores. In A Section, Ormond only kicked 6.7 for the match but kept North Old Boys to 1.1 to take the points. Not sure when a lower combined score had been recorded in A Section! Old Melburnians only managed 2.7 versus Uni Blues 17.8 and Old Trinity totalled 3.9 against St Bernards 6.7.
It was not much better in B Section. No senior team totalled more than 60 points and only Old Haileybury kicked more than 5 goals in the reserves grade.
Two VAFA identities and current coaches of the time were mentioned in dispatches. Wayne Harmes and Ken Bremner had been appointed coaches respectively of the Super Rules and Masters Rules teams who were to compete in the Master Games in Sydney later in the season. Wayne was coaching Old Scotch (third) in A Section and Ken was coaching Southbank (fourth) in D Section.
AFCA VAFA, the VAFA’s coaches’ Association, produced another initiative, A Coach of the Year Dinner as a finale for the season. At the dinner it was proposed to honour the Senior and Under 19 Coaches of the Year in addition to providing a prominent guest speaker. From memory I think Mick Malthouse was the guest speaker!
35 YEARS AGO – 1985
The top four teams in C Section looked relatively safe with three games to go but Old Camberwell (4th) had a real scare against bottom placed Coburg. Fortunately for the Wells they hung on to both this game 12.9 to 11.9 and fourth position despite a poor percentage under 100. Best – Haintz (4), Hudson, Holding, Trist, Jepson, Inkster (Camb) and Cugley, Tolley, Krygger, Neivandt, Wood, Peck (Cob).
In D Section, West Brunswick (4th) made sure of their position for finals with a big win over State Bank 18.16 to 11.11. Best – Beaumont, Johnstone, Lampard, Lawley, Raindne, Traynor (WB) and Kenez, Matheson, Gniel, Rosewarne (4), Arnephy, Camm (SB).
Chris (Magic) White received congratulations all round from everyone at Footscray Institute of Technology Old Boys upon reaching his 150th game. A reliable clubman off the field, after a number of years on the club committee, Chris had taken on the role of Secretary in this season.
Michael Power and Greg Hobba both recorded their 250th games at Banyule within a few weeks of one another and their football careers had run parallel since they both played Under 10’s with Banyule Juniors. Mike was a talented and versatile left footer who played in almost every position on the field with his long driving kicks always noticeable. In 10 Grand Finals Mike had won 7 premierships and a number of awards including best and fairest in 1979 and 1981. Greg was a highly skilled player who read the game extremely well and had kicked many goals for his club. Greg also played in 7 premiership teams from 10 Grand finals and won the competition best and fairest in 1979 and club best and fairest in 1982. Greg had also been a Victorian representative for the VAFA in 1981 and 1982.
A Section field umpires in this round were W Lyons, J Horwood, C King, F Rossetto, K Coghlan, B Goodman, S Green, R Tracey and M Thomas and S McCarthy.
45 YEARS AGO – 1975
The VAFA umpires held their annual golf day at Torquay ‘Dark horses’ Don Dodds and Andrew Buridge scooped the prizes. The umps finished up with a bar-b-q at David Dressing’s home.
200 games up to Old Brighton’s ‘Big Joe’ Roger Wilson. Roger was a ‘man mountain’ and a wonderful clubman. Roger was also well known as the celebrated voice of rowing on the ABC.
Bill (Snow) McNamara reached his 250th game with Parkside, only the second to achieve this milestone at his club. ‘Snow’ was an outstanding worker for his club and was acknowledged as one of their finest ever clubmen.
Old Scotch, 8th in B Section, surprised Ivanhoe (3rd) with a 16-point win. Best were Anderson, Sloss, Hinrichson (Scotch) and Stredwick, R Stewart, C Stewart (Ivanhoe).
Caulfield Grammarians held on to fourth place in B Section when they scraped home by 2 points against Marcellin. Final score was 14.11 to 14.9. Best – Morphet, Watson, Clark (Caulfield Grammarians) and C Price, McDonald, C Mahon (Marcellin).
60 YEARS AGO – 1960
150 games were acknowledged for Alphington’s Ted Whitfield and 100 games for two Kew stalwarts, Noel Stokes and Roy Millist.
Collegians (1st) and Old Xaverians (5th) met in this round. A victory to the Xavs could give them a place in the top four but Collegians proved too strong winning 12.13 to 8.8. Best – Rush (6), Sanders, Powell (Coll) and Malone, Slattery, Edmonds (Old Xavs). The A Section four after this round was Collegians, Old Melburnians, Uni Blues and Uni Blacks in that order.
In B Section, UHSOB were finishing strongly with 7 consecutive wins and were now in top place. De La Salle had won their first 8 games but had dropped 3 of the last 4, now hanging on to second place by percentage from Power House and Kew.