Wednesday, 24 April 2019

Victorian Soccer Season Files - 1919

The time has come to clean up the various scraps of paper lying around which are the result of trying to figure the hidden mysteries of Victoria's soccer past. A new page is being added to the History Documents section of the blog - Victorian Season Files. These Word Pad files contain the scores and some notes on each season, as best as I can uncover. I will put up the seasons prior to the more comprehensive records than can be found on 

A few disclaimers and excuses. I am not a trained academic or historian and began compiling records haphazardly. In many cases the source of the information is not noted. A lot of that is due to the changing nature of my hobby research. My first visits to the State Library Victoria to look through microfilms were to find Moorabbin City results and tables. In the years after they folded I looked to find final tables for the Victorian top division since 1909. That later spread to all senior leagues. After a diversion looking for Richmond Alemannia first team results, the focus turned to what I try to cover in the Victorian Football Statistical History - final senior league tables, reserves league championship winners, Dockerty Cup Final scores and line-ups, other Cup Final scores, League top goalscorers and League Best and Fairest Award winners.

Since then further lists I began compiling include Victorian state team game details/line-ups, junior league champions, regional league champions and Cup/Grand Final scores and now women's league champions and Cup Final scores. A few of these I've only just taken up, previously assuming/hoping someone more interested in those areas would have started establishing records/history.

It should be noted when I first hit the microfilms, Trove and mobile phones with inbuilt cameras did not exist. This further accounts for the patchy notes. If one newspaper in a particular year was not coming up with much, I would skip a decade or so in the hope of finding something to make the visit worthwhile. This lead to exercise books full of notes in no particular order. Cross referencing between the main papers was also very time consuming, which with limited time meant it did not often occur.

Another factor to consider was I always assumed that at some point the VSF/FFV would make a push to uncover all it's Yearbooks and more issues of Soccer News. There was a hope that if they went from having (rough estimate) 65-75% availability to above 90% a lot more information would be uncovered, especially beyond what the major daily newspapers of the time were prepared to publish. Sadly...

So because it's Anzac Day, and it was the smallest file to clear of typos and other notes accumulated over the years, I shall start with the 1919 season, the resumption of competitive football after the Great War.

This is the only file I include the results of club friendlies on. That is because clubs began gathering at Middle Park in May and playing games, which the papers published results of (often including the line-ups for one game each week). However, the league competition did not get under way until July 12. Due to the late start, the eight teams would play each other just the once. Which means the champions Northumberland and Durham United are probably the team to take the honour with the fewest wins in a season, despite winning 6 of their 7 league fixtures. They were denied the double by Windsor, who defeated them in the Dockerty Cup semi-final before losing to Footscray Thistle in the final. Not only did Windsor deny the "All Digger Team" the double, their 1-1 draw in the final round meant "N&D" fell narrowly short of winning every league fixture at the final hurdle.

The delay in commencing the season came about because though the returned soldiers were keen on having a kick, officialdom had been in recess for four years and establishing a new committee required a few meetings. As luck would have it, when the league season finally commenced, the first week's games were all abandoned around half-time when Melbourne was struck by a ferocious hailstorm.

The full record of Northumberland and Durham United's season can be found here.

Going through what can be found on Trove, the league season came up with two results missing. After writing out each clubs results, then compiling a league record and comparing it to a published final table, I was able to deduce that on July 26 Footscray Thistle must have beaten Preston 2-1. Also on September 13 Preston must then have had a walkover win against Spotswood. So we have all the results, but too many games without goalscorers noted to attempt uncovering a leading scorer.

The biggest winning margin, and most goals scored in a game, were the two 7-0 wins recorded by Northumberland and Durham United, on July 26 against St Davids and on August 16 against Preston. In the latter game Miller scored 4, the most of any player in a single game that league season.

It was the days of 2 points for a win, not 3. The custom for a forfeit or walkover was to record the win/loss but not touch goals for or against.

Anyhow, here it is:

Victorian Soccer Season 1919

Monday, 8 April 2019

Victoria v Torpedo Moscow 1965

Back in 2014, I asked the question "I wonder if those films still exist somewhere?" It turns out they did, and George Cotsanis (of My World Is Round) found them and now you can watch them here:

The only Soccer News scan from the archive that covers the tour is missing a few pages, but is well worth a look at for some great pictures and features. It covers the first game of Torpedo in Melbourne, against a State League Select XI and previews the upcoming clash of the Victorian state team and Torpedo Moscow.

Soccer News March 12

Some differences to note from the footage of Victoria v Manchester United include the fact that the game was played earlier in the year and in glorious sunshine.While in 1967 there is a roof on the Eastern Stand at Olympic Park, in 1965 there is not. Certainly Victoria are more competitive in 1967, and are comprehensively beaten by the Russians/Soviets. The consolation goal scored by Croatia's Hammy McMeechan is a cracker though, a diving header after his flying volley cannons off the crossbar. Stars like Jim Mantarakis, Attila Abonyi, Mike Mandalis and David Goldie can be seen in action. For a The Pioneers podcast with Mandalis, click here.

Match Details:

Sunday March 14, 1965.
At Olympic Park (Crowd: 16500)
Referee: Roger Lamb

Victoria 1 (McMeechan 84') Torpedo Moscow 4 (Sergeyev 2' 80' Fedotov 23' Brednev 56')

Victoria: Ernie Grosz, Nigel Shepherd, Jim Mantarakis, John Auchie, Dick van Alphen, Frank Micic, Attila Abonyi (Hammy McMeechan 72'), Archie Blue, Mike Mandalis, David Goldie (Mike Jurecki), Kaz Kowalec.
Coach: Vic Janczyk.

Torpedo Moscow: Anzor Kavazashvili, Vyacheslav Andreyuk, Aleksandr Mushkovets, Vladimir Sarayev, Vladimir Brednev, Vladimir Mishcheriakov, Vyacheslav Soloyev, Vladimir Fedetov, Vladimir Shcherbakov, Aleksandr Lenev, Oleg Sergeyev.
Coach: Viktor Marienko.

The first match in Melbourne had seen a State League XI face Torpedo. Soccer News had team photos from that game:

Match Details:

Monday March 8, 1965.
At Olympic Park (Crowd: 25000)
Referee: Geoff Harrison

State League XI 0 Torpedo Moscow 4 (Brednev 15' 70' Mishcheriakov 20' Sarayev 86')

State League XI: Marko Fode, Nigel Shepherd, Billy Rice, Vic Janczyk, Billy Cook, Frank Micic, Archie Campbell (Hammy McMeechan), Archie Blue (Billy McIvor), Jimmy Malloy (Kaz Kowalec), Mike Jurecki, Tommy Stankovic. 
Coach: Vic Janczyk.

Torpedo Moscow: Anzor Kavazashvili, Vyacheslav Andreyuk, Vladimir Mishcheriakov, Vladimir Sarayev, Vladimir Brednev, Vyacheslav Marushko (Anatoly Putinsev), Vyacheslav Soloyev, Aleksandr Leniev, Vladimir Shcherbakov, Boris Batanov, Vladimir Fedotov. 
Coach: Viktor Marienko. 

Footage also exists of a game from earlier in the tour, in February, when a Sydney XI took on Torpedo at the Showgrounds.

Match Details:

Saturday February 27
At the Sydney Showgrounds (Crowd: 30,000)
Referee: Tony Boskovic

Sydney XI: Brian Rhodes, Trevor Edwards, Pat Hughes, Alan Hetherington, Pat Woods, Walter Tamandl, Les Scheinflug, Roy Blitz, Herbert Ninaus, Luis Gauto (Norbella Bischoff), Vic Reynolds (Jim Pearson). 
Coach: Stefan Cambal.

Torpedo Moscow: Anzor Kavazashvili, Vyacheslav Andreyuk, Vyacheslav Marushko, Vladimir Mischeriakov, Vladimir Sarayev (Evgenyi Vasilyev 75'), Aleksandr Leniev, Vladimir Brednev, Vyacheslav Soloyev, Vladimir Shcherbakov, Boris Batanov (Stanislav Kutnetsov), Oleg Sergeyev.
Coach: Viktor Marienko.

Match report from The Age of Victoria v Torpedo Moscow:

                                                    (Click on images to enlarge)

Sunday, 7 April 2019

Manchester United in Melbourne and Sydney, 1967

Earlier this year George Cotsanis of My World Is Round made a great find, locating someone selling old film reels, some of which included soccer content. He purchased the film and then set about getting them converted to a more modern media format. This week he was able to share part of his discovery, with his release of a Craven Filter Sports Feature covering the Manchester United tour of Australia in 1967.

Here's the links to the newspapers which covered the build up and the action from the games against Victoria and New South Wales. Some great photos were captured by Uwe Kessner of Soccer News.

Soccer News June 8

Soccer News June 15

Soccer News June 22

Soccer World June 9

Soccer World June 23

The film opens with narration over footage of a junior game. This is to begin a storytelling segment which was a staple of newsreels. Sir Matt Busby is interviewed before footage of a Manchester United training session is shown, before the storytelling segment intensifies. The kid from the story and the Manchester United players are shown at the Park Royal Hotel in Melbourne, standing by a pool it is too cold to swim in given it's the middle of winter.

On to Olympic Park we go, for the match footage. A packed ground awaits and advertising for Craven Filter and Craven A abounds. The direction of the footage is a little disappointing, with the strange use of close ups meaning we don't get a great look of the two goals. Firstly it zooms in on Willy Schroiff as Bobby Charlton dribbles in the box and then shoots past him. Then we get a cutaway to a crowd shot as Victoria equalise. That said, the action captured remains priceless.

We then move on to the Sydney Showgrounds, where New South Wales take on the Red Devils. United are now in white, opposed to the sky blue of NSW. A Johnny Warren flick-on header leads to a disallowed goal. Here the goals are shown in their entirety.

At the time, Manchester United were champions of England. The following year they would go on to become champions of Europe. Denis Law was under an injury cloud for much of the tour, but the legendary George Best, Bobby Charlton and Nobby Stiles featured prominently. Most who recall witnessing one of these games have vivid memories of Best dribbling through mud with ease.

Equally as exciting, though, is this footage gives us brief glimpses of Australian greats we have only really been able to read about, not see. Ron Corry, Frank Micic, Hammy McMeechan, Johnny Warren and Ray Baartz are chief amongst that category.

Also exciting is the prospect that there are still some great historical finds out there to be made. As I mentioned in my last piece a mountain of history has disappeared, but perhaps there can now be a serious campaign to rectify that, spurred on by this glorious find.

Match Details:

Sunday June 11, 1967.
At Olympic Park (Crowd: 31638)
Referee: David Maitland

Victoria 1 (O.G.) Manchester United 1 (Charlton)

Victoria: 1- Willy Schroff 2- George Keith 3-  David High 4- Billy Cook 5-Dick van Alphen 6- Tommy Randles 7- Attila Abonyi 8- Frank Micic 9- Johnny Sanchez 10- Jimmy Armstrong (12- John Anderson 81') 11- Hammy McMeechan.
Coach: Sjel (Mike) de Bruyckere

Manchester United: Alex Stepney, Shay Brennan, Tony Dunne, John Fitzpatrick, David Sadler, Nobby Stiles, George Best, Bobby Charlton, Noel Cantwell, Jimmy Ryan (Brian Kidd 46'), John Aston.
Manager: Matt Busby

Sunday June 18, 1967.
At Sydney Showgrounds (Crowd: 36500)
Referee: Tony Boskovic

New South Wales 1 (Hughes 87') Manchester United 3 (Charlton 35' 75' Foulkes 69')

New South Wales: Ron Corry, Brian Lincoln, Cliff van Blerk, Hughes, Alan Marnoch, John Watkiss, Joe Alagich, Ray Baartz, Johnny Warren, Alan Westwater, Johnny Giacometti.
Coach: Joe Marston

Manchester United: Alex Stepney, Shay Brennan, Tony Dunne, John Fitzpatrick, Bill Foulkes, Nobby Stiles, George Best, David Sadler, Bobby Charlton, Brian Kidd, John Aston.
Manager: Matt Busby

Sunday, 10 March 2019

Evaporating History

Back in 2001 Roy Hay put out this appeal for old issues of Soccer News to aid in football research. It took up about an eighth of a page in Australian and British Soccer Weekly. I think I ended up going to the Oakleigh Public Library to makes photocopies (Pre-Officeworks days) of two issues that I had that he didn't to send to him. His collection can now be found at the MCC Library. I don't think the State Library would microfilm a collection which was so far from being complete.

What staggers, and infuriates, me is eighteen years later no governing body of the game has made any sort of concerted effort to make a similar appeal to redress the vanishing history of our game in this country. In these years how many more old newspapers, programmes, photos and yearbooks have ended up in landfill, many lost forever. We have competition histories that are incomplete and the resources to try and remedy that continue to disappear.

It makes me think of Dr Ian Syson's The Game That Never Happened. We have history rotting away, and only have ourselves to blame. Six paragraphs in ABSW in 2001, in one issue. Today we have social media. The FFA twitter account has 150,000 followers, Football Victoria over 11,000. There is a far greater platform now to appeal for historical documents by these well-staffed organisations, yet there has been absolutely nothing done. If they truly loved the game, these people would be ashamed.

                                      (Click on image to enlarge)

Saturday, 26 January 2019

Uncovering Pieces in Knox City's History

Bruce Darnell, a great football man, has undertaken the huge endeavour of researching Knox City's history and attempting to find a result for every first team game played. Knox City were founded as Bayswater, and he now only has a few results missing for the 1954 and 1955 seasons.

For their inaugural season in VASFA competitions, Bayswater fielded a senior team in the 1954 Fourth Division Reserves league. Until now Bruce was unable to ascertain two results from that campaign.

Looking through a folder of old papers I picked up from Moorabbin City when they were preparing for a 50th anniversary celebration in the mid-1990's, I found this fixture list for that league:

1954 Division Four Reserves Fixtures

Now when I crossed-checked the known results that Knox have, here:

we uncover a few things. Firstly the game fixtured for August 28 at home to St Albans was played on the free weekend on June 12. Similarly, the game fixtured for August 14 against Heidelberg was played a week earlier on August 7.

Now the April 24 issue of Soccer News (which is one of a dozen or so I've just realised have yet to be added to the archive, by the way) has a table dated "as at April 19". This shows Bayswater as having a record of 4 games played, 3 wins, 1 loss, 11 goals for, 2 goals against and 6 points. The known results from the Knox City records give us 3 games played, 2 wins, 1 loss, 11 goals for, 2 goals against and 4 points. This means they were awarded points for a walkover in the missing game against Nunawading, as was the custom of the time (points awarded only, goals for/against not involved).

Now Soccer News on August 21 has a table listed as "as at Monday August 2".  This shows a record of 16 games played, 13 wins, 1 draw, 2 losses, 72 goals for, 18 goals against and 27 points. Add the game on August 7 to that and we get 17 games played, 14 wins, 1 draw, 2 losses, 80 goals for, 18 goals against and 29 points. Stack this up against the final table in the 1955 VASFA Yearbook which has a record of 18 games played, 15 wins, 1 draw, 2 losses, 84 goals for, 19 goals against and 31 points and we can deduce the missing result against Wilhelmina was a 4-1 win for Bayswater. This gives us a complete season record:

That only leaves a few conundrums from 1955 left to complete the record. Once again, anyone that can be of any assistance, please get in touch.

Friday, 21 December 2018

The Latest Draft of the Victorian Football Statistical History

Found below is a link to the 2018 draft of the Victorian Football Statistical History. A few missing results and details have been added, as well as all the 2018 senior leagues. A lot of photos and newspaper clips have been added, as well as more clip art and some general tidying up.

At the back there's a list of photos that would be nice to add (hint, hint) and a list of missing results and details that are needed to make it a complete record.

This completes the end of year updates of:

Free (Santa's) Hat!

and the

Melbourne Soccer Yearbook 2018

Thursday, 20 December 2018

Melbourne Soccer Yearbook 2018

The best way to record a season, and update historical records, is to produce a Yearbook. So that's what I did.

The Melbourne Soccer Yearbook has two sections, the first covers the season just gone. Final tables for all the seniors and reserves league in the FFV's State League for both men and women. All the award winners and Cup Final details, as well as a round-up of junior league champions. The final tables for all the Victorian regional leagues for men's and women's senior teams are also included.

The second section is the historical content. Honour rolls for the senior men's competitions since 1909. These are presented in a different way from the Statistical History of Victorian Football.

Part of the reason I undertook this project was to improve the access to these records for those covering the game in Victoria. I was particularly disappointed with the way the (then) FFV released the State League Best and Fairest Award winners and Golden Boot Award winners. No fanfare, no historical context, they may as well come out and say "here's the pdf files with some results for awards we don't really give a shit about". Why not state that Caleb Nicholes, in winning the top scorer for State League Division Three South East, had won a top scorers title for the 6th time in his career? And then point out that the record is held by Dave Greening, who just took out the Golden Boot in State League Division Five South to notch his 7th success.

Not enough has been made of the feats of Volkan Kalayci, Thomas Amahdzai and Christophe Durand. Kalayci won a record 7 State League Best and Fairest Awards (1 x SL2NW, 6 x SL3NW) including 5 seasons in a row between 2004-2008. Amahdzai has won 6 State or Provisional League Best and Fairests, including the title in SL1SE for three years in succession from 2015-2017. Durand won 5 State and Provisional League Best and Fairests.

Then we had three time VPL Gold Medallist (1997-1999) still kicking on in 2013 to win the SL5N Best and Fairest. Achievements of note going virtually unnoticed due to indifference and the Federation not maintaining it's own records.

It took me a weekend to type up the tables (the senior men's ones had already been done in a night previously) and the honour rolls. Another weekend to create the layout on Microsoft Publisher then insert, cut and paste the tables and honor rolls and add the club logos and a few clip art pictures and it was done. It should take considerably less time to update the whole thing next year.

The Yearbook can be accessed via clicking on the image below. It's free to download, would probably cost between $20-30 if you want to get it printed out in booklet form by Officeworks.