Wednesday, 12 June 2013

'Cause Night is Day and Day is Night - Bits and Pieces II

Another random thoughts column, losing on penalties in the indoor soccer semi-final taking up most of the time tonight. Making the loss worse is the preliminary final is on Sunday afternoon and will clash with VPL game between Oakleigh Cannons and Richmond, which is where I will be.

Great win by the Socceroos last night, giving us the reasonable equation of winning against Iraq next Tuesday equaling World Cup qualification. Milligan, Kruse, Holman and Bresciano amongst our best with opening goalscorer Bresciano far and away still the best passer of a ball we have. Or maybe it just stands out more amongst those that are more athletes than footballers like Wilkshire.

The things that infuriate most when going through The Age and The Argus online archives can be too numerous to mention. But I will have a crack. Results are often listed in the format of Winner 2 d Loser 1, rather than Home Score Away Score. Results are pretty consistent, but actual league tables are few and far between. Some years the results are conveniently placed at the bottom of the match reports, but some they are not and you have to read the full match reports to determine final score and scorers which is fairly time consuming. There are some times when not all goalscorers are listed in high scoring games, with only those that, in Aussie Rules parlance, "kicked a bag" rating a mention. 

In the time before lights and longer working hours, there were no midweek catch-up games. There were no penalty shoot-outs, so postponements and replayed cup ties would often extend the season to the point where it could not be finished because clubs lost venues when the cricket season began.

I would probably change my stance on the whole NPLV shambles if Flinders Naval Depot had put in an Expression of Interest and were brought back to top flight Victorian football. Is there a scoreboard big enough to accommodate the name Northumberland and Durham United? Footscray Thistle and Melbourne Thistle used to give us a great Thistle Derby. 

John Wren's Motordrome was one of the early homes of Melbourne football. The pitch was surrounded by a concrete saucer track used for cycling, motor bike and speedway racing. The latter two were not particularly safe events, and it's a sobering thought that more than a few lives were lost at the arena.

The above mentioned online archives are all well and good, but the true gold can only be found on the microfilm at the State Library Victoria, in the little reels marked Sporting Globe. I'm old enough to remember The Sporting Globe being in publication, with the primary sport if covered always having been horse racing. Many pages were devoted to Aussie Rules (for a long time the Victorian Football Association (VFA) was almost on par with the VFL (now AFL) and other sports though. Soccer was usually pretty well covered, exceptionally so in the 1960's in the post-War migrant boom years. The Globe came out twice a week, a midweek edition on Wednesday, and a Saturday evening edition which contained all that days race results and footy match reports. This was of course largely in the pre-television era.

Actually, there is greater gold than even The Sporting Globe. Accordingly it is also even harder to come by. Have a look at:

where you can find a few of these beauties:

Next bits and pieces I will ponder the question, does the FFV have a copy of each of the Yearbooks the VASFA and VSF used to produce?


  1. Minor correction, it was actually called the Motordrome, not Motordome.

  2. Thanks for that. Corrected. Sometimes it may say Motordome, or is that just my eyesight being destroyed by some of the dodgier bright white scans on Trove?

  3. There appears to be some confusion on the matter, even from the contemporary sources. I reckon it's 'drome', for linguistic and historical reasons, especially since cycling tracks are called velodromes - and cycling was a pretty popular sport in that era. In a neat segue, I think that in Power Without Glory, Frank Hardy does more than suggest that Wren had a lot to do with the decline of professional cycling because of his racefixing.