Saturday, 31 December 2016

Moorabbin City v Hamlyn Rangers 1982

The footage above is from the Metropolitan League Division Four game at Victory Park between Moorabbin City and Hamlyn Rangers in 1982. The game was played on Saturday June 19, with Moorabbin winning 3-2, to do the double over Rangers after winning 3-1 in Geelong on the opening day of the season.

Moorabbin City folded at the end of 1998, while Hamlyn Rangers are now known as Geelong Rangers. The league was won by the now defunct Caulfield City, with South Oakleigh runner's-up and Sandringham City in third. Moorabbin City would finish eighth, while Rangers wound up twelfth of fourteen.

Sandringham City's team included former Socceroos Jimmy Mackay and Jimmy Armstrong. There were three Geelong teams in the division, with Rangers competing in local derbies with Geelong and North Geelong. For a full look at the season check out OzFootball here. Drago Krajina of North Geelong won the League Best and Fairest Award.

Moorabbin's Matchday programme made a couple of appearances early in the season before going into recess, so there was no issue for this game. There was a special edition produced for Presentation Night, which can be found here.

I got to play with some of those first team players a decade later when they'd dropped down to the thirds, including goalscorer Trevor Bishop who once slammed one in from near halfway on the back pitch at Bailey Reserve. Tony Wynton, Gary Carlisle, Steve Martin, Tony Morgan, Peter Crawford, Steve Thomas, Mick O'Neill, Dave O'Gara and Brian Barlow were the others still playing for the thirds at times during the 1990's. Steve Thomas would often back up in the thirds on a Sunday after playing seniors or reserves on a Saturday, I wonder if that still happens anywhere?

Moorabbin's Best and Fairest votes for this game were 3 for Paul Tierney, the eventual winner. John Rigby picked up the 2, and Steve Gregory got the single vote. Gregory would win the Metropolitan League Division Four Best and Fairest Award the following season.

Tuesday, 27 December 2016

FFV 2017 Media Strategy

Just before Christmas I was sent a link by the FFV to their media team's strategy email and video to NPL clubs for 2017. I was invited to pass comment and blog on the video as I pleased, which I shall now do.

Clubs filming their games is a part of the NPL license agreement, and the FFV will be looking to enforce this more strictly this year. Which is fair enough, but if points deductions ever become part of the punishment for a rules breach in this area, well that will be the end of taking the competition seriously and you won't see me at a game again.

Having been involved at an under-resourced club, it makes me wonder how I'd have gone filming the last ten minutes of the first half when it was time to go to the dressing room. That was when I'd clean up after the Under 21's, pour 30 cups of drink, top up the drinks containers, get some ice bags ready for injuries and generally get set for the half-time break.

Filming games must obviously pose issues for some clubs. Finding reliable volunteers is not easy. Finding reliable volunteers without vested interests is harder still. Would it be right to put pressure on a coach to start little Johnnie in the Under 20's because after three weeks on the bench his father is making noises about not wanting to film games anymore? Of course, you can always pay someone to do it. That only increases costs though, and we know it doesn't take much to get people whinging about that.

The erosion of volunteer culture does concern me. There is now a vicious circle, with high fees leaving people less likely to volunteer. People paying $1500-2000 a season for their children to play probably feel that amount entitles them not to have to do anything. When you start having to pay people for jobs/roles that used to be done by volunteers, the pressure to increase fees will also rise.

It was not that long ago that it was only the coaches, players and physios getting paid at a club. Now it may include team managers, videographers and bar and canteen staff. With crowds declining (and income going with it) it's a worrying trend.

One of the main points of the strategy video is to improve standards of match footage to avoid a park football-look. This includes filming from elevated areas near the half-way line, which are not behind closed windows. Drowning the highlights package in doof doof music is also a no no (YAY!). Not a lot I can disagree with in what they say, other than if they don't want a park football look what is everyone supposed to do regarding goals conceded by Nunawading City?

The FFV website will also be less of a news source and more a resources hub. Now if there are video highlights packages from every game, it does make match reports redundant. The couple of years the FFV had independent match reports from all NPL games will always be fondly recalled though, especially since they contained team line-ups and substitutions that didn't always seem to quite make it onto the Sportingpulse results service.

Amid all the talk of commercial profiles and brands, hopefully the strategy is built around getting more people to games.

Tuesday, 13 December 2016

Vale Dave Maclaren

Scottish goalkeeper Dave Maclaren, who arrived in Australia to coach in the 1970's passed away in Castlemaine last week after a long illness.

A player with Dundee, Leicester City, Plymouth Argyle, Wolverhampton Wanderers and Southampton he came to Australia after a spell as national team coach of Malaysia, starting in Sydney (with Hakoah) before settling in Victoria. He coached South Melbourne Hellas in the NSL in 1978 and George Cross in the VSL in 1979.

His brother Roy was a goalkeeper for St Johnstone, Bury and Sheffield Wednesday. Roy also emigrated to Australia, coaching various clubs in the VSL. Roy was first team coach at Aston Villa during their great late 1970's-early 1980's era which included winning the First Division Championship and European Cup. Roy's son Bruce played for South Melbourne Hellas, most notably in their 1990-91 Championship winning team. The goalkeeping family extends to Roy's grandsons, with Alistair Bray at Melbourne Victory and Fraser Maclaren at Dandenong Thunder.

There's a great interview with Dave on the Wolves Heroes website and a fine obituary in the Plymouth Herald.

Edited to add the link to Soccer Action reporting Maclaren being appointed coach of South Melbourne Hellas.

Thursday, 8 December 2016

Where's The History?

Well, where do you start with this? Let's go to the last line "Important our proud history is continuously celebrated & preserved". This is from the organisation that removed the history tab from it's website after it was shown to have contained a few lies.

Let's try a few scenarios to see how well history has been preserved by the FFV.

Mack Heath (no relation to the great Eric) has stepped up to run his local club's website. The history section is pretty flimsy, so he's decided to do some research to flesh it out a bit. He's not sure the few pennants on the clubroom walls are everything the club has won, as there's been a ground change and break-ins over the years. So he heads to the FFV website to go through all the previous final tables over the course of the club's history:

The tables only go back to 2012 and the club was founded well before then.

Can Mack find the final tables for the senior team over the course of it's history on the FFV website? NO

Can Mack find, in the absence of tables, a list of champions for all senior, reserves, women's and junior leagues over the years on the FFV website? NO

Mack asks around and finds out the VSF Yearbook which came out until the year 2000 had all the final tables and award winners in it.

Can Mack find a scanned collection of VSF Yearbooks on the FFV website? NO

Does the FFV have a full collection of VSF Yearbooks in it's possession that Mack can come in and have a look at? NO

Mack discovers that in recent years the information he is seeking is usually found in the FFV Annual Report. This is only available online on the FFV website from 2007 onward though.

Can Mack get this information for between 2001-2006 from the FFV? NO

Jenny Diver is doing a school assignment, and would like to write about her grandfather who she's been told (sadly, he is no longer with us) was a top player in his day and even played for the Victorian state team in games against Manchester United and Roma in the 1960's.

Jenny gets on the FFV website to check out the history of the Victorian state soccer team.

Can Jenny find a list of games played by the Victorian state soccer team? NO

Can Jenny find a list of players "capped" for the Victorian state soccer team and how many games they played? NO

Can Jenny find any footage of the glory days of the Victorian state soccer team on the FFV's Youtube channel? NO

The club Louie Miller is involved with has just had it's home ground renovated by the council. The committee has commissioned him to get a flash looking honours board made for the new clubrooms. He's even been given full list of club Best and Fairest winners over the years from one of the old timers. He would like to add the names of those that have won League Best and Fairest Awards, and League Golden Boots over the years to the honours board.

Louie gets on the FFV website looking for the missing information. Can Louie find a complete list of FFV Player Award winners over the years on the website? NO

Can Louie find a list of League Top Goalscorers since they started to be recorded in the early 1980's anywhere on the FFV website? NO

Lotte Lenya writes for a football website. She's doing a piece on a leading club's new coach, who had a long career playing in the VSL and VPL through the 1980's and 1990's.

Can Lotte get on the FFV's results service to find team line-ups from that era? NO

She can't find a line up to click on his name to bring up his history of which clubs he played for and for how many games. Unlike other leagues and other sports, there is no record of who has played the most games in Victoria's top tier. The FFV frequently changes results service providers, and it seems we are lucky if they bother making sure all the information is correctly added in the present. Maintaining a working database of top tier results and line-ups is not a concern to them.

Some of the above information can be found in a partly complete set of VSF Yearbooks at the MCC Library. That the years between 2001-2006 are not online is appalling given it's hardly ancient history.

The FFV loves putting out propaganda, but until a few of the NO's above can become a YES it needs to stop patting itself on the back and maybe achieve something in regards to preserving history that can be easily accessible to everyone.

Don't take this as an attack on the FFV Historical Committee. A lot of the information missing is stuff the FFV should already have. If the FFV thinks the names of people who have won awards, of clubs that have won championships don't deserve to be recorded there's not much we can do. They just shouldn't expect us to swallow their bullshit comments on their token efforts in preserving history.

Final tables/champions, award winners and state representative honours, these should be the cornerstones we build our history on. I'm not seeing any evidence that this is happening to warrant any boasting. If they are so proud of our history, where is it?

Sunday, 27 November 2016

George Campbell Returns To Aberdeen

Since the beginning of the game in Melbourne, the Scots have been significant contributors to Victorian football. Many early games were drawn along Scotland v England lines, before Harry Dockerty would revive organised competitions in 1909. The importation of Scottish players throughout the 1950's and 1960's saw the standard of Australian football rise to a level which saw the Socceroos able to qualify for the 1974 World Cup Finals.

The signing of a young Scot by South Melbourne Hellas in 1978 created a stir in the football scene, as covered in Soccer Action at the time:

Soccer Action Vol.3 No.11 - Wednesday April 19, 1978

Soccer Action Vol.3 No.15 - Wednesday May 10, 1978

George Campbell had been the youngest ever player to play for Aberdeen. He came on a sixteen year old substitute against Morton in 1975 to make his First Division (current Premiership) debut. Hellas paid a record fee of $20,000 to secure the skillful, tricky youngster already dubbed "The White Pele". In five seasons at Middle Park he would score 17 goals from 104 appearances with the club reaching a best ever NSL placing to that point when Runner's-Up in 1981.

                                               George Campbell at Aberdeen

In 1983 Campbell made the move to NSL rivals Preston Makedonia where he played for three seasons before a transfer to Green Gully in 1986. During his time in the NSL the former Scottish Youth International would occasionally feature for the Victorian State Team. Some of these games included the 2-1 win over Dundee in 1978 and a thrilling 2-3 loss to a star-studded New York Cosmos in 1983.

His time in the NSL was followed by stints with Box Hill (1987-1989) and Fawkner (1989) in the VSL (current NPL). He then continued playing in the lower State League with Nunawading City, then Ringwood City, Knox City and Banyule City until 1998. After an early broken leg which scuppered plans for a return to Scottish League football he would enjoy a career spanning 20 years in Melbourne.

Since retiring as a player he has been coaching in club, academy and school capacities. As well as roles with the FFV and Xavier College he has been involved with the Youth teams at Essendon Royals, Northcote City and his current club Dandenong Thunder.

In October this year he returned to Scotland for a reunion lunch for the anniversary of Aberdeen's 1976 Scottish League Cup win. A special programme was made for the event:


It's fantastic to see a club that celebrates it's past in such a manner. Well done to George on his achievements and his continued involvement in the local game.

                                                      (Click on images to enlarge)

Sunday, 6 November 2016

Channel Nine Soccer 1976

Thanks to Mike Lynn (former star striker with Ringwood Wilhelmina, successful coach at Fawkner, Richmond and Moorabbin City amongst others) and George Cotsanis of My World Is Round, I've been able to convert an old VHS tape of Victorian football onto Youtube.

It had always been my hope that some footage may still exist, and in the following to segments we have about forty minutes worth of the game televised by GTV 9 of Ringwood City Wilhelmina hosting Sunshine City.

The game took place on Saturday June 27, 1976 at Jubilee Park. It was the eleventh round of the Victorian State League season, and the full match details are as follows:

Ringwood City Wilhelmina 2 (Lynn 21' 75') Sunshine City 1 (Kokoska 20')

Ringwood City Wilhelmina: Nick Van Egmond, Keith Adams, David Garthwaite, Richard Plumb, John Bray, John O'Callaghan, Aad Kos (Joe Cankovic 40), John Luyten, Phil Williamson, Mike Lynn, Chris Kent. Coach - Norm Hobson

Sunshine City: Billy Johnson, Peter Lewis, Steve Kokoska, Dave Anderson, Chris Petrov, Wilf Laing, Ian McCarthy, Hugh Howe, Tommy Cumming, Ray Pocock, Jim McRobert (Laurie Smith 63). Coach - Bobby McLachlan.

One standout is what a brilliant broadcaster Tony Charlton is. Inducted into the AFL Hall of Fame, he covers this game in a manner which gives no indication it is not his main sport. Professionally well prepared, he reels off stats and player info smoothly, and keeps comparisons to Australian Rules to a minimum. He is assisted by future VSF President Henry Siwka.

Being filmed from the grandstand, we don't get a glimpse of that sadly departed structure. The surrounds are leafy behind the goal to the left (East). During a break in play we get to see Footscray J.U.S.T. coach Cedo Circovic and some players watching from in front of the stand.

The kids near the microphone are vocal, and they even break out the classic "what a load of rubbish" chant at one point. Support for "Chalky" (Keith Adams) is also clearly audible.

Sadly the first two goals are missing, but Lynn's match winner isn't, as he launches himself between a defender and Billy Johnson to head home.

Channel Nine covered Saturday games for a number of years in the mid-1970's, hopefully more footage will emerge in the future. If not, at least we now have something so this era will not be forgotten.

Thursday, 3 November 2016


Searching Youtube for early Socceroos footage, I stumbled across a great channel which contains classic 1960's through to 1980's British football games, including full episodes of The Big Match and Match of the Day.

One episode is well worth a look for Aussie fans, and it's The Big Match from December 1974. The video is incorrectly labelled as December 12 1979.

I'm old enough to recall having seen a few episodes of The Big Match as a kid in the late 1970's, though the usual late Saturday night timeslot was way beyond my bedtime. The theme tune is a cracker, and in this year's opening you get a few glimpses of cheeky future Socceroos manager Terry Venables.

The featured game is Tottenham Hotspur v West Ham United from White Hart Lane on December 29, 1973. Two of the Spurs players, Martin Peters and Martin Chivers, would later play a few games for Frankston City in the Victorian State League. Winger Ralph Coates had a spell with St George in the NSL after leaving Spurs and before joining Leyton Orient in 1979.

The episode is full of highlights. There's the grim Northern English backdrop as Oldham Athletic host Watford in the Third Division. There's Coventry City visiting The Dell to meet Southampton. There's Muhammad Ali telling us he's had enough of Brian Clough. There's Poland eliminating England from World Cup qualification in a game which surely has the record for most missed sitters. There's Sunderland manager Bob Stokoe running amok. There's Franz Beckenbauer and Uli Hoeness!

Then, at 47:20 is THE goal from Jimmy Mackay against South Korea in Hong Kong that put Australia through to the 1974 World Cup. It is in glorious colour and what a strike it was. I'm not sure why this colour version hasn't been shown on tv over the years nearly enough. Most times I've seen the goal it has been a black and white version that was so dark you wondered if the game was played under training ground lights.

What a goal! What a player!

Sunday, 9 October 2016

Updating the Video Archive

I've been able to upload a couple of full Socceroos games to Youtube, from the 1995 series against Colombia. I have a backlog of videos to upload, as well as a backlog of VHS tapes to convert to MPEG/DVD.

I've also added links to Youtube channels other than my own to expand on the archive. Those channels can be viewed here:

I will seek out more links to flesh out the archive in the next few weeks, and in the near future will be uploading a few more videos myself. Unfortunately some of the VHS tapes to be converted are not in great condition.

To view the archive, click on the tab at the top of the page or here.

Tuesday, 4 October 2016

Wouldn't It Be Nice...

if Australian football history was properly documented?

Conducting some research recently I came across this great blog about the German national team:

Pictures and details from every match the Socceroos have played, how good would that be? Whilst I'm dreaming, how about a section of the FFA site (can't be a book, they only write them about the last ten years it seems) with a pic and bio of everyone that has played for Australia?

Is it in the too hard basket? Given it was only two years ago that the official records finally got the given names of players who previously had just their initial noted, it may well be. Given the maintenance of the Hall of Fame, one must assume the care factor for honouring the pioneers is also minimal.

Another inspiration are the season retrospectives of Italian football put together in Guerin Sportivo magazine:





It would be something to have something like that one day, but I can't see it happening. History is not treasured in Australian football, for many it is a shame. The records are far from complete and not much is being done to remedy that.

Can still dream I suppose.

Saturday, 24 September 2016

Failing Football Victoria

The end of the local football season has sadly seen Football Federation Victoria's incompetence rise to the fore yet again.

It began with the social media coverage of the annual Gold Medal Night. For some reason, the tweets announcing the winners were 15-20 minutes behind the actual announcements and presentations made on the night. It was another case of club volunteers putting the FFV professionals to shame.

For some inexplicable reason, the winners were announced with pictorial tweets which did not include their names (or that of their club) in either the tweet or the pictures within:

Even if you happen to know every player in the NPLV, NPL2 and NPLVW by sight, who would you say won the NPLW Player's Player of the Year Award?
There are two players in the picture, was it a tie? Or is the winner the player on the left, or is it the one on the right? Why the need to be so cryptic? Does someone really need to be told that the major part of the announcements was to actually name the winners?

A recurring theme on this blog has been the lack of due respect the governing bodies of the game have shown even when they try and honour people. A look through the #GMN16tag on Twitter will see no mention of the Hall of Fame inductees from the official accounts on the night. Thankfully there were those willing to congratulate the great Jimmy Armstrong on his honour:

Sadly the other two inductees on the night were neglected. Two weeks after the event there has yet to be an update to the Hall of Fame page on the FFV website. Is that good enough?

It took almost a full two weeks for the FFV to publish the final vote tallies for the Gold Medals. It was just the final result, not a match by match listing of the votes. Given there are people claiming players listed as ineligible due to suspension actually weren't, does the FFV have something to hide in opting not to publish the votes? Once again, is this good enough? A club can hand out a list of votes for their Best and Fairest at a Presentation Night, why can't the FFV?

More damaging was the shambolic organisation of the NPLV Grand Final at Lakeside Stadium. Huge lines for entry, with not enough ticket booths open. People still unable to get in even as the game approached half-time. Those that managed to get in forced into overfilling the only part of the ground open to them, with the stand on the opposite side to the main grandstand and both ends behind the goals closed.

Half an hour into the game those waiting outside were apparently given free entry, but it wasn't until after half-time that people were able to spread out beyond the packed stand. Embarrassing for the league's showpiece day, and damaging in terms of the bad taste these kinds of things leave in people's mouths. I really feel for anyone who convinced someone who may have been reluctant to go to the game to attend only to be greeted by such chaos. The FFV is supposed to grow the game, I'm not sure how discouraging spectators works in with that ideal.

The weekend after the Grand Final saw various State League Finals, Semi-Finals and Play-Offs, as well at the NPLV Promotion-Relegation Play-Off between North Geelong and Richmond. Is there any chance these games could have been afforded some promotion via articles on the FFV website or the NPLV website? It was only via searching through the menus of the results/fixtures section of the FFV website that I discovered the State League Division Two Grand Final was part of a double header with the NPLV Promotion-Relegation Play-Off at Jack Edwards Reserve, Oakleigh.

Speaking to people at the Grand Final between Altona Magic and Mornington, it was apparent many did not know there was another game afterwards (albeit with a one hour gap allowed for extra-time and possible penalties). Similarly those attending the second game did not know there was an earlier one. The FFV may have mastered relegation, but they have no idea about promotion.

Are crowds something of an inconvenience for the FFV? They certainly were for the "hosts" of the games at Oakleigh. Shortly after the arrival of busloads of North Geelong supporters, the clubrooms were closed for a private function and no food was available for purchase.

Let's paint the picture: It's 6.30 p.m. People have been on a bus or driving in a car for over an hour. They arrive at the game and are told they can't have any food. Should they then miss what is the biggest game of their season to satisfy their hunger, or should they suffer?

Is it good enough?

Monday, 29 August 2016

Great Links

Since coming across the amazing Soccer Nostalgia blog, I've been searching for other sites which may contain more historical magazines, programmes or yearbooks. Sadly, most are foreign and not of much assistance in further researching Australian football history. Still, they are a brilliant read/view nonetheless.

For mine, the true gold in Soccer Nostalgia are the Full Magazines and Match Programmes blogs. Well worth seeking out via the menus.

Here's a quick sample:

Some of the pictures in the 1960's French magazines (like Miroir du Football, and Football Magazine) are truly exceptional.

Along the lines of what Paul Mavroudis and South of the Border have done, but going back a lot further in time, is the Northern Ireland's Footballing Greats blog. It has some real vintage annuals, guides and yearbooks that can be downloaded from here.

It would be great if our governing bodies could supply us with the means to do similar, but sadly it appears any such documents going back that far have been lost in the mists of time.

Miles McClagan's flickr album is another amazing treasure trove of programmes and magazines. It's the kind of site you can get lost for days in.

Football Programme Covers is another brilliant flickr collection. 

There are several club-based sites with programme cover collections, including Tottenham Hotspur, Wrexham, Leeds United and West Ham United

Feel free to provide similar links in the comments section below.

Friday, 5 August 2016

Soccer Action is Here!

Or more precisely, here.

Soccer Action Volume 1 Number 2 - February 11, 1976.

Work has begun to put my entire Soccer Action collection online. It will not be a quick process, but at least one issue will be added each week. I've been inspired by the amazing Soccer Nostalgia blog and a recent interaction with the great Damian Smith.

The reason it will be a slow and steady process is quite simple, it is boring and time consuming. To get the papers down to a size that will work with my scanner, I go to Officeworks and use their copiers to reduce from A3 to A4. I then scan them into PDF's at home, before uploading to Google Drive. For items that I borrow from others and can copy into my collection, this process is more exciting. For the items I've had in my possession for years and gone through many times over, it is not exciting at all.

So we begin with the second issue, plus the four editions I already had in the History Documents section. I do not have the first edition, which contained a hot take piece by Billy Vojtek on ethnic names which set the agenda for debates which continue to rage. This second issue contains a response to that column by Fred Habbe.

Also inside are columns by Tom Anderson, Tony Boggi, Brian Green, Billy Vojtek, Peter McKenna (the VFL player) and Rale Rasic. As well as the unique musings of Knut Werner, which deserve a new audience. Rasic writes about future AFL Hall of Fame member Tony Charlton, a great broadcaster.

Early issues cover the formation of the NSL and all the political machinations that entailed. I will add new issues in chronological order, but should I feel like doing more than one a week, the second may be from later editions.

Read, save, share and enjoy.

Monday, 1 August 2016

An Update on the Biographies

Several large updates have been made recently in the Biographies section of the blog. The aim is to provide some sort of information on anyone every awarded Life Membership of the State's various governing bodies over the years, be it the Victorian Amateur British Football Association, the Victorian Amateur Soccer Football Association or the Victorian Soccer Federation/Football Federation Victoria.

For the first two bodies, details of Life Membership will always remain sketchy. In the VSF/FFV era living Life Members are often listed in the Yearbooks/Annual Reports yet it is possible some may have slipped through the cracks.

The current state of play shows one known VABFA Life Member (Harry Dockerty). I have information on 3 of the 8 known VASFA Life Members. In the VSF/FFV era there is information on 75 of the 121 known Life Members. I know a little about some of those without information attached to their names, but am endeavouring to find more substantial profiles for them.

If anyone can assist, please get in touch at

The Biographies can be found via a tab at the top of the blog or via clicking here.

Monday, 11 July 2016

Historical Artefact Monday - The Drinks Cabinet

The drinks cabinet at Melbourne Soccer HQ contains two football-themed glasses, both adorned with quality, old school emblems.

The following glass was made for the 50th Anniversary celebrations for Moorabbin City in 1999, the club having folded at the end of the previous season. For the history booklet from the same event, click here.

The glass featured the 1970's-1980's club logo on one side, with a 1950's logo on the other.

The classic 1950's "The Dominoes" logo, with 1949 foundation date.

The other anniversary themed drinking glass in my collection is a shot glass commemorating 60 years of Melbourne Croatia/Knights from 2013.

                                             (Click on images to enlarge)

Tuesday, 28 June 2016

No Further Correspondence Shall Be Entered Into

Here's a collection of old club and Federation/Association correspondence, some with nice letterheads.

                                                    (Click on images to enlarge)

Tuesday, 7 June 2016

Hall of Fame or Hall of Shame?

In looking to add more profiles of VABFA/VSF/FFV Life Members to add to the Biographies page of this blog, I had another look through the Hall of Fame section of the FFA website.

Nothing ever surprises me in terms of neglect of the history of the game in this country. Even still, I was taken aback by the lack of detail afforded to many of the individuals apparently "honoured" by their induction into the Hall of Fame. It is supposed to be an honour, but with so little respect afforded to many inductees the use of the term is questionable.

Let's go back to the inaugural 1999 induction:

There is no picture or profile for any of the first sixteen names listed. It is not like many of them are from early last century either, some are still involved in the game today. The 1974 Socceroos fare best, with recent efforts to make amends for years of shoddy treatment ensuring all their profiles are complete. For many others, the FFA has neglected to properly salute them on their own Hall of Fame page. Surely in the SIXTEEN years since they have been inducted some basic research could have been conducted?

List of inductees not properly honoured:


George Smith (No image, no text)
Cliff Sander (No image, no text)
John Perin (No image, no text)
Frank Parsons (No image, no text)
Jeff Olver (No image, no text)
Gordon Nunn (No image, no text)
Sergio Melta (No image, no text)
Gary Marocchi (No image, no text)
Allan Johns (No image, no text)
Tom Jack (No image, no text)
William "Bill" Henderson (No image, no text)
Jack Evans (No image, no text)
Michael de Bruyckere (No image no text, while he Anglicised his Christian name to "Mike" if we have William "Bill" Henderson it should probably be Sjel "Mike" de Bruyckere)
William Coolahan (No image, no text)
Jim Armstrong (No image, no text)
Ron Adair (No image, no text)
John Nyskohus (No image)
James McNabb (No image)
William Maunder (No image)
Frank Laughran (No image)
Bob Lawrie (No image)
Ron Wright (No image)
Sir William Walkley (No image)
William Thomas (No image)
Ron Smith (No image)
Martin Royal (No image)
Peter Nikolich (No image)
Des Miles (No image)
Graham McMillan (No image)
Frank McIver (No image)
Zoran Matic (No image)
Jack Logan (No image)
Brian Leferve (No image)
Tony Kovac OAM (No image)
Tom Grimson (No image)
Keith Gilmour (No image)
Pam Gilbert (No image)
Harry Croft (No image)
Donald Campbell (No image)
Fred Barlow (No image)
Eric Worthington (No image)
Laurie Schwab (No image)
Julius Re (No image)
Sam Papasavas OAM (No image)
Dieter Klose (No image)
Brian Corrigan (No image)
Ian Brusasco AM (No image)
Giacomo "Jim" Bayutti OA (No image)
Michael Weinstein AM, BEM (No image)
Vic Tuting MBE (No image)
Robert Telfer (No image)
Theo Marmaris MBE (No image)
Arthur Gibbs (No image)
John Walter Fletcher (No image)
Harry Dockerty (No image)
Tony Boskovic (No image)
Connie Selby (No image)
Sir Arthur George AO (No image)


Alex Gibb (No profile)
Kevin O'Neill (No profile)
Chris Bambridge (No image)
Don Sutherland (No image)


Bill Vojtek (No image, no profile)
Cecil Drummond (No image, no profile)
Leo Baumgartner (No profile)
Gary Byrne (No profile)
Robert Dunn (No profile)
Ken Murphy (No profile)
Doug Rennie (No image)


James Wilkinson (No profile)
George Harris (No profile)
Branko Buljevic (No profile, how about start with 1974 World Cup Socceroo)
Siri Kannangara (No image)
Rodney Woods (No image)


Wally Savor (No image, no profile)
Percy Lennard (No image, no profile)
William "Bill" Henderson (Seems to have been inducted a second time, still not good enough to get his image or profile added)
Colin Bennett (No image)
Steve O'Connor (No image)
Roy Crowhurst (No profile)
David Harding (No profile)
Betty Hoar (No image)
Les Murray (No image, it can't be that hard for the face of football media)
Joseph J Honeysett (No image)


Todd Clarke (No profile)
Ian Gray (No profile)
Peter Thorne (No image)
Jane Oakley (No image)


Mike Petersen (No image, can they not get Ange Postecoglu to take a pic on his phone?)
Alec Cameron (No profile)
Craig Johnson (No profile, can they not borrow his book?)
Bruce Morrow (No profile)
Roger Lamb (No image)
Vic Dalgleish (No image)
Phil Murphy (No image)


Peter Sharne (No profile)
Ernie Campbell (No profile)


Steve Blair (No image, and he even has a website with a great collection of Aussie soccer photos)


John De Witt (No image)


Tony Vidmar (No profile, his brother got image and profile with his induction the previous year)

Neglecting those honoured in the past is nothing new, I have already previously covered it regarding the issue of VSF/FFV Life Members. The state of the FFA Hall of Fame on their website is embarrassing.

This is the standard the FFA should aspire to: AFL Hall of Fame

When they can't even offer basic profiles for all Hall of Fame members, one can only laugh at the regular calls from eminent journalists for a National Football Museum. What are the odds they could make a decent fist of that? A shrine to themselves, maybe, a proper historical museum, no chance,.

Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Random Black and White Photos

Since belatedly discovering that Microsoft Paint and Microsoft Photo are a little more advanced on Windows 10 than they were on Microsoft XP over ten years ago, I thought I'd go through some documents and cut, paste, straighten and crop some old photos.

A shot from the famous 1962 VSL game between South Melbourne Hellas and George Cross at Olympic Park. The stands are a mass of humanity, as over 22,000 people crowded the venue.

Another big crowd at Olympic Park watches Torpedo Moscow's Brednev go to ground as he tackles Victorian star Mike Jurecki in their 1965 clash.

On to another lost ground with this great wide shot of Middle Park in 1968.

Only just a star at the time, later to be a South Melbourne Hellas legend, Jimmy Pyrgolios in 1968.

A great Victorian state team from 1967. Willy Schroif, who played in a World Cup Final. Johnny Sanchez, an early Bill Fleming Medal winner. Jimmy Armstrong, goalscoring legend of Hakoah and South Melbourne Hellas who still helps out at Lakeside. Hammy McMeechan, who remained active in the game until his passing. Tommy Stankovic and Frank Micic, who were probably the two greatest ever J.U.S.T. players.

Nino Borsari, Olympic Gold Medalist, Patron of Victorian Football. A great gentleman of Carlton.

The ground remains, the grandstand does not. Action from Jubilee Park in 1963 as Layt of Ringwood Wilhelmina lead's Richmond Alemannia's Zammit to the ball in their VSL game.

Ringwood City 1982. Brooksy of the Music Men in the front row. Coached by Sjel de Bruyckere. Sjel was often referred to as Mike, but since the NCIP scandal I have amended all my records to include his proper name.

Richmond Alemannia player hi-jinx on the front page of Soccer News as Rudi van Altena holds back Peter Erasmus so Billy Copeland can cut his beard.

Prahran City team shot from 1969. Got the nod ahead of other team photographs found in Soccer News from that era simply because the goalkeeper is sporting a flat cap. You can't beat goalkeepers that wear flat caps.

                                                          (Click on images to enlarge)

Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Scotch Have the Celts Measure

Saturday May 14 saw Old Scotch host St Kilda Celts in a top of the table clash in the Zagames State League Division Two South East at H.A.Smith Reserve.

The Celts kick-off, with the Monash Freeway as a backdrop.

Players get into the box for a set-piece, while Steve Gray of Football Chaos films the game from the clubroom roof.

Midfield action, on another ground in excellent condition, especially since it's an open park.

2000 and 2003 VPL Referee of the Year Senko Rastocic controls proceedings.

At H.A.Smith Reserve it's the benches that are the marquee signings.

An Old Scotch player places the ball down for a free-kick, which he will play to a man out wide on his right.

The cross is turned in at the far post, and Old Scotch take their 1-0 lead into the half-time break.

Pitchside lounge suites aren't a feature off too many football grounds.

It's celebration time as Jonny Beamish puts Old Scotch back in front late in the second half.

The players exchange pleasantries at the final whistle.

H.A.Smith Reserve is located in leafy Hawthorn. The iconic tennis stadium of the Kooyong Lawn Tennis Club sits on the other side of Glenferrie Road. In the parks on the other side of the Monash Freeway you will find Kooyong Park, home of Malvern City from State League Division One South East.

It was a quiet first half, with the action intensifying as the game went on. Maybe it was the beer kicking in, as the home support became more vocal as the second half went on. With victory in sight big tackles and surges forward were heartily cheered. The win saw Scotch move clear at the top of the table, with St Kilda, Caulfield United Cobras and North Caulfield all chasing.

Match highlights from the brilliant Football Chaos website:

                                                     (Click on images to enlarge)

Wednesday, 11 May 2016

Is It A Joke?

On the same day Melbourne Victory released this statement on hooliganism by their club associates at an NPL game (should be gameS, but let's sweep that under the carpet for the moment) it was interesting to hear club CEO Ian Robson laughing about West Ham United fans attacking the Manchester United bus on Radio 1116SEN.

At 5:20 you can hear Robson stifle a laugh as Kevin Bartlett brings up the subject of West Ham fans attacking the bus, before joking "that's called a London greeting".

Is it as funny as when South Melbourne fans attacked the Adelaide City bus? I'm not sure anyone laughed about that, not just because of the injury sustained by Ange Costanzo. It is one of the most cited incidents when condemning the NSL and it's clubs of ethnic origin as a blight on the game in this country.

If South Melbourne are condemned for such an incident, but it is laughed off when done by West Ham, is it outrageous to point out a possible racist double standard that is at the forefront of the Old Soccer/New Football divide?

Rather than calling for a league to be disbanded, and clubs expelled could someone not just have said "that's called a Greek greeting!" and we could have all had a chuckle and moved on?

What we also know from the Victory statement is that the hooliganism in Epping after the game against Melbourne Knights was far enough removed from the stadium/game to be able to be brushed aside by the authorities. Brand protection comes ahead of protecting opposition supporters and their vehicles, it would seem.

Maybe we are meant to believe nothing happened in Epping? Just like we are supposed to believe that when Robson was CEO of the Essendon Football Club he had no idea his football department were running a supplements program that would eventually see 34 players banned for breaching anti-doping rules.

Robson sometimes talks a hard-line on hooliganism, but his laughter gives him away. Talk is all it is.

Monday, 9 May 2016

A Striking Battle at Centenary

I belatedly get around to covering April 23rd's clash between Peninsula Strikers and Old Scotch in State League Division Two South East after being sidetracked by internet issues and hooliganism.

The teams line-up pre-game for a ceremony to commemorate the Anzacs.

There's a rise down the middle of Centenary Park, not as extreme as Gardiner's Creek Reserve, but very noticeable.

Looking towards the North Eastern corner of the ground which houses the clubroom and changing rooms. The away rooms have long been among the smallest in the state, but the first stage of building extensions is set to commence this month.

The Strikers are about to deal with an Old Scotch cross.

Aerial duel in midfield about to take place.

Richard Ojo guards the Peninsula goal. The surface was in pretty good condition, barring some patched up areas in the eighteen yard boxes.

The ground is well banked on three sides.

The shed is vacated for the half-time rush to the bar/canteen, with the home side having the upper hand at the interval.

In what is now an obligatory part of the match report photo essay series, Jonathan Beamish prepares to take a penalty, which he duly converted.

                                                   (Click on images to enlarge)

The game itself was action packed, though perhaps a bit niggly to be labelled a classic. It was a rather ill-tempered affair, with Strikers having a few older, slower players preferring to stop their opponents with extreme physicality. In response, a few of the Scotch boy were hoping the ref would win the game for them rather than taking it the game by the scruff of the next themselves. The referee was copping an equal amount of abuse from both sides.

While Old Scotch held possession very well, Strikers were more potent in the attacking third and took a 1-0 lead into the break. The home side went 2-0 up early in the second half, before Beamish pulled a goal back from the spot. An equaliser for Scotch set up a grandstand finish. Just as it seemed as if they had the game at their mercy, another sharp turn and shot regained the lead for Strikers. The drama was not over yet, with Old Scotch grabbing the equaliser in stoppage time.

There was a bit of feeling between both teams, benches and even marshalls during the game. In the second half, a Scotch supporter jumped the fence on the Northern side to act as ball boy as time-wasting became an issue. He assured the assistant referee he was entitled to act as ground marshall for the away team, an assertion he repeated when the home club marshall returned from  the clubrooms. The Scotch man then told him the assistant referee had requested him to act as marshall (it was more a case of begrudgingly accepting his jumping the fence). The Strikers marshall then told the Scotch man if he wanted to marshall he should introduce himself to the home club prior to the game and pick up a high-vis vest to wear when conducting his duties. Tensions soon eased as the excitement on the pitch neared it's epic finale.

The draw kept Old Scotch at the top of the table. The club has been climbing through the leagues in recent years, after starting in the Provisional League following a breakaway from Eastern Lions. Old Scotch had previously merged with Waverley City to form Old Scotch/Waverley which was later re-branded as Eastern Lions.

Peninsula Strikers are also the product of re-branding and mergers. Dingley-Skye United emerged at Centenary Park following the collapse of Frankston City in the early 1980's, becoming Frankston United in 1989. A merger with Karingal United in 1993 saw the club become Frankston Strikers in 1994, with a re-brand to Peninsula Strikers taking place in 2008. In the mid-1990's there was a push for promotion to the VPL, but the club never went beyond a short stint in the First Division.

The history of Centenary Park is probably best off told in a post of it's own, so we'll leave it at that for now.