The Formation of the Newtown Club

    C.J.A Powditch

Amongst the files and records from what is now regarded as the “Stan Powditch Collection” is a handwritten letter from his father, Charles James Augstus Powditch about the formation of the Newtown Club in 1903.

Charles Powditch, a boot maker, was born in Melbourne in 1867 and moved to Sydney at about the turn of the century.

He and his family took up residence in a single storey semi detached house at 16 Francis Street Enmore and later teamed up with Jim Phelan, Jack Keogh and J.P. Buckley (in particular) to form the new club although strangely he was not elected onto the committee.

It was not until 1907 that C.J Powditch took a role on the executive of the club, as treasurer.  A job he continued with until the end of the 1910 season.

In 1932 Powditch wrote a letter (left) to his son, Stan, providing a brief account of the formation of the Newtown Club.

Stan re-wrote the letter (right) to provide a more legible view of the proceedings which we provide for your information.  This might make it easier to read his father’s hand writing. Below is a short article from The Daily Telegraph of 21 March 1903 reporting on the formation of the club.  The suggested attendance etc. outlined here differs markedly from Charlie’s version of the meeting.

Newspaper Report on the formation of the Newtown AFC

 

Charles Powditch died at Hurstville, aged 65, in 1933.

 

Tumba-bloody-rumba kanga-bloody-roos

“I was down the Riverina, knockin’ ’round the towns a bit,
And occasionally resting with a schooner in me mitt,
Up at Tumba-bloody-rumba shootin’ kanga-bloody-roos.”
(John O’Grady)

Podcast Review: Tumbarumba FNC “50 Not Out” Mackinlay, R. (Host) (2021, 31 July) [Audio podcast episode]. In Glory Days. Your Sport and Media – Link available at end of this story

By Dr Rodney Gillett

When the Tumbarumba footy club was formed for the 1971 season the local bakery would not sell pies to the club to sell in the canteen at the club’s home-ground such was the antipathy from rugby league supporters to the town’s new club.

There was open hostility to the arrival of the Australian game in Tumbarumba that in addition to boycotts, included letters to the editor in the local paper stating that the code would corrupt the youth of Tumbarumba.

Fifty years on, Tumbarumba Kangaroos has four football teams and six netball teams competing in the Upper Murray League which straddle the north-east of Victoria and the southern alps of NSW.

The fears of the rugby league zealots have been well-founded. The Tumaburumba Greens, once a powerhouse in Riverina rugby league, has now merged with near-by Batlow and play in a minor league competition in Albury-Wodonga however it still has strong junior teams that compete in the Wagga competition.

But the journey of the Tumba footy club has been far from smooth as the podcast, produced by Albury broadcaster Robbie Mackinlay, for the club’s 50th anniversary reveals.

This is the first occasion in which Mackinlay has produced a podcast for a club over a period of more than one season; the ones to date featuring Daysdale, Corowa, and Hay have been chock full of emotion and elation over one season resulting in memorable drought-breaking premierships.

However, the result of his endeavours in this podcast is up there with the emotional roller-caster of the small-town underdogs finally breaking through for ultimate success, in this case, a footy club up against the odds to survive, having to take on a rival code and a league (association), not fully enamoured with its NSW club.

As club stalwart Alan Waters tells Mackinlay, “…for the club to come through after all the hard years when footy wasn’t important to the town means so much to all of us that helped start the club”.

Tumba finally broke through for the elusive premiership in 2012 when it beat Cudgewa in the grand final under local Matt Molkentin, at home under the league’s finals ground allocation, based on final standings.

The town was a sea of blue and white streamers and the decider attracted a crowd of 2000 spectators that witnessed Tumba come from thirty-three points down at half-time to win by 15 points with the skipper booting five goals.

The Tumba Kangaroos produced their greatest season in 2013 when it went through the season undefeated and comfortably beat Bullioh in the grand final also at Tumbarumba. Shane McIntosh, who was assistant coach in 2012, was in charge while Matt Molkentin stayed on as a player. To top it off, the Reserves and Under 16s also won flags.

Mackinlay’s body of work on Tumbarumba amplifies the importance of good coaches and hard-working off-field leaders that have enabled the club to grow and thrive in a hostile environment.

Inaugural co-coaches, locals Jim Wiggins and Simon Guest (who played in Holbrook’s 1970 Farrer league premiership), got the Kangaroos off to a good start but the appointment of Holbrook premiership coach John Cornish in 1974 was the catalyst for the club to develop its football credentials and become more competitive.

Cornish was followed by a succession of notable leaders but the arrival in town of Bruce Forbes as head of social science at the high school in 1980 brought immediate success including a grand final berth.

Forbes, who learnt his football in his hometown of Narrandera was a star with Griffith, and later, a dual premiership player at Wagga Tigers, played a major role in establishing the junior teams, and his wife, Lesley, got the netball going.

According to current president Monty Waters, a key turning point was the club making the Sportground its home in 1982 “The Showgrounds was a rodeo ground, plus it was the home of the Greens, it never felt like home for us”, he told Mackinlay.

Club stalwart and tireless ruckman Mal Vogan, whose induction into the game was at the Bushpigs uni footy club in Wagga after moving from Sydney to study agriculture, moved to Tumburumba in 1983 as a stock and station agent.

After retiring from playing, he coached the Under 16 teams that at various times included his sons Lachlan, Jack and Tom, to four premierships as well as a deep pool of other talented youngsters.

“Having a high school in Tumba gave us access to young players from the town and surrounding district and while many played both codes, we benefited the most when they became adults, that’s if they didn’t leave to study or work”, Vogan told me for this review.

Sydney Swans club great Dennis Carroll recalls his season at Tumba with great fondness, “I went there as a young fella to work in the bank, I was just so glad they had a footy club, we used to all get back to the ‘middle pub’ after games, and training. Great area, great people, wonderful memories”. 

Robbie Mackinlay has done it again. He has produced a highly audible podcast which although it doesn’t capture the raw emotion of Daysdale’s 1994 premiership or the sheer joy of Corowa’s triumph in 1968 it does expertly tell the story of Tumbarumba’s grit and persistence as a community sporting club over the past fifty years.

You can check out the podcast here.

When you get to that link, use this button to listen:

1975 Green Valley Under 15s

Terry Radecki, a newly elected member of the Society’s committee, sent in the attached photo of the 1975 Green Valley Under 15 team, of which he was a member.

Green Valley, is a suburb in the western area of Sydney and the junior club was formed by John Swan, a former member of the Sydney Naval Club.

It developed into a very strong junior organisation but unfortunately received little support and regional development and like many clubs in that situation fell away,.

This team played Croydon Park in the 1975 grand final.

Sorry about the size of the image, its the best we could do.

Footy in Hay NSW – In Play since 1876 – Part 1

By Dr Rodney Gillett

The Hay Football Club was formed in 1876 and has overcome the “tyranny of distance” to fly the flag for the game in the western Riverina ever since.

Hay (population 2400) is located on the north bank of the Murrumbidgee River half-way between Sydney and Adelaide with Balranald to the west, Narrandera to the east, Deniliquin to the south, and Booligal to the north.

And at different times over its history, the Hay footy club has played in competitions to the east, west and south as well as amongst themselves.

Hay currently plays in the Golden Rivers Football League against clubs based on either side of the Victorian-NSW border. The nearest opponent is its oldest rival Moulamein, 120 kms away to the south-west, and the furthest is 299 kms away at Nullawil, deep in the heart of Victoria’s Mallee district

For a time in the early 1970s the Hay club wondered if they would ever find a competition to play in after the Barellan League disbanded and approaches to the South West league based around Narrandera and the Echuca and District league were all rejected.

From 1972 to 1975 the Hay Footy Club had to run its own local competition with four teams.

“It kept us going,” according to Hay football stalwart Robert “Buck” Howard, who played for the Saints in the local competition. “It was fun, but we got tired of playing each other, and we needed under-age footy for the kids”.

A break-through came for season 1976 when the Mid-Murray League based around Swan Hill finally admitted the Hay Rovers on appeal into the competition. But the Rovers which had worn a red and black strip in the Barellan league had to change to red, white and black because of a clash with Nyah West.

The Rovers struggled to compete in the Mid-Murray FL which is a major league and sought a move to the Kerang and District League (renamed Golden Rivers in 1998) in 1981 which was granted, but it involved another change of colours as Quambatook wore the Saints colours, so Hay became, and remains, the Lions.

Hay came fifth in its first season in the new competition; it was also able to resume its rivalry with Moulamein which stretched back to the mid-twentieth century for the Conroy Cup.

The newly minted Lions break-through for the club’s first-ever premiership when it took out the 1982 title with a stirring 13-point win over Appin, a rural district just outside Kerang.

The Hay Lions famously won the 1992 premiership which was the subject of a recent podcast by Albury broadcaster Robbie Mackinlay. You can hear it https://yoursportandmedia.podbean.com/e/hay-1992-the-triple-treat/.

The Lions won all three grades that season, and then won another senior flag in 1995 by beating Moulamein.

The Hay Football Club was founded in 1876 at a meeting at the Royal Hotel:

(The Riverina Grazier, 24 May 1876)

The new club was duly formed with “…fourteen members subscribing names, and there is hearty prospects of play this present season” (The Riverina Grazier, 24 May 1876)

The new club initially played matches between its members just like in other country towns. The Riverina Grazier (31 May 1876) reported of a football match arranged for the Queen’s Birthday “… a good romp outside will do both old boys and young boys much good”.

White settlement began in 1840 with a coach station and a town was established in 1859. The area on the Hay plain soon became renowned for its fertile grazing land and pastoral runs were taken up for producing wool and fat lambs for the Victorian goldfields.

Hay became a major transport hub with the main form of transportation the paddle steamers that conveyed the wool down the inland river systems to Echuca on the Murray River and returned with stores for the town and district pastoral runs.

The NSW Land Selection Acts of the 1860s and 1870s unlocked land held by the squatters for closer settlement by new arrivals to the area mainly from Victoria who bought their recently established football game with them.

In 1882 the railway line was extended to Hay from Narrandera thus connecting the town to Sydney, and this facilitated inter-town challenge matches with Hay travelling to Narrandera.

By 1885 Hay had regular challenge matches in town and district from teams called the Snaggers (shearers), Half-Holiday Association (shop-keepers and retail workers), the Golden Templars’ Lodge, and the Eli Elwah sheep station (shepherds/farm hands). The Riverina Grazier reported that, “…200-300 attended the football which is fast gaining popularity in Hay” (25 July 1885).

In 1895 the Hay Football Council was formed to administer the local competition.

The rail connection to the east enabled Hay association to play in a round-robin tournament against the Wagga and Narrandera associations in 1899 that attracted a crowd of 700-800.

Hay teams continued to use special trains to travel east to play in Riverina knock-out carnivals at Leeton, Whitton, Narrandera and Ganmain right up until the mid-1950s:

“A special train to the football at Leeton will leave Hay at 8:00 am and return at 8:15 pm” (The Riverina Grazier, 1 September 1939).

Keep tuned here for Part II.

Podcast Review: Hay 1992 – Triple Treat

Albury based Robbie Mackinlay has produced another podcast.  This time it centres on Hay Lions Premiership win of 1992.  Rod Gillett previews the story which you can listen to by clicking the icon below.  This will take you to the Glory Days site where you can open the podcast.

 

By Dr Rodney Gillett

                              HAY 1992 PREMIERS

 Back row: B. Monoghan, S. Lockhart, D. Dunstan (Captain-Coach), R. Simpson, J. Creighton, S. Edwards, R. Jackson
Middle row: R. Williams, C. Tighe, A. Stevens, D. Zambon, R. Arandt, J. Gordon, M. Howard D. Honeyman (runner)
Front row: R. Lugsdin, A Patterson, T. Alexander, R. Murray, R. Falconer, B. Whitfield

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hay has always been far from anywhere. This has made it problematic for the town’s football club, which was formed in 1876, to compete and to retain and attract players.

But as, country football broadcaster Robbie Mackinlay’s latest podcast, Hay 1992 – Triple Treat reveals it all came together in 1992 when the Hay Lions won all three grades in the Kerang & District Football League (now known as the Golden Rivers Football League).

Like it is for most country footy clubs, it’s a matter of getting the right coach.

For Hay the bush telegraph worked a treat when a former Hay auctioneer John “Chum” O’Dwyer started his own stock and station agency in Ariah Park and on a return visit home informed club president Ted Hill and head recruiter Robert “Buck” Howard that APM’s coach Dennis Dunstan “was on the move”.

Dunstan, originally from Balranald, had taken on the Brown Bombers’ coaching role in the Riverina Football League at age 19, but after two seasons was ready for another job.

Mackinlay recounts the story of how Dunstan went to Hay for a due diligence check and to meet the Hay footy club officials and some of the players at the club’s watering hole, the New Crown Hotel.

“It was after cricket, and I looked around the pub and saw all these young blokes, 6’2” or 6’3”, and I thought to myself there’s some potential here” Dunstan told Mackinlay in an interview for this podcast.

Dunstan, initially declined the Hay coaching offer, but having identified the right man for the job, Hill and Howard persisted and finally got their man. It was a premiership winning move.

The new coach bought his mate from Balranald, Royce Simpson, who had gone with him to APM, to Hay. Simpson had an outstanding season winning the competition best and fairest award as well as the medal for best afield in the grand final.

Additionally, some new players fortuitously arrived in town for work and other opportunities including Steve Lockhart, a stock and station agent from Ivanhoe, Brett “Axe” Whitfield following up on a romance, and solid half-forward Rhys Williams, who had come up from Melbourne to run a motel owned by his partner’s father (the operator of a Melbourne two-up school).

And then just before clearances closed, the Hay Lions secured the services from Balranald of star defender Jamie Gordon and speedy forward Ronnie Murray, who would “top-up” the list and lead the charge into the finals, and ultimately, the club’s second ever premiership.

Gordon, who hailed from Ariah Park-Mirrool where he had the heart-break of playing in three losing grand final teams, told Mackinlay that he and “Muzz” would travel over from Balranald for training (a round-trip of 266kms on the Sturt Highway), go to the New Crown for tea and team announcements, then drive home dropping Murray off down the end of a lane just outside town.

Gordon told Mackinlay that this was his “most memorable year in football” after stellar stints in the South-West league, ACT AFL, RFL, and the Mid-Murray league.

Hay finished the season unbeaten (tied first game with Ultima) on top of the ladder and went straight into the grand final after beating Wandella in the 2nd semi final, then came up against the league’s most successful club again in the grand final at Murrabit.

The Bombers kicked the first 4 goals of the game and had control of the game at quarter time, but the Lions came back to with the wind to boot eight goals and be in front at half-time. By booting four goals against the breeze in the third term they retained a handy lead at ¾ time, then with coach Dunstan booting two early goals in the last quarter the Lions went onto to record a famous victory.

In a grand day for the Hay Football Club, they also won the Reserves and Thirds; it was the Reserves fifth flag in six years.

Robbie Mackinlay captures the pivotal moments of the season and how it came together. He reserves the most effusive praise for the coach “who pulled a town and playing group together”. And evidently, they played just as hard off the field.

The premiership celebrations were extensive. Mackinlay’s interview with Robbie Jackson, the competition’s Rookie of the Year, reveals a week of partying such that club official Buck Howard was worried that the players wouldn’t ever go back to work!

Jackson tells Mackinlay that “the whole town got behind us and we were like rock stars when we won all three flags”. He recalls the reception in the packed Memorial Hall that was overflowing with players and supporters that consumed a staggering eighteen kegs of beer!

“The week after the grand final we had kegs at every pub. There were seven pubs in Hay at the time”, Jackson told Mackinlay.

According to Jackson, “We had a great bunch of blokes, good mix of locals and imports, but it was the coach who bought us together”.


Mackinlay, R. (Host) (2021, May 9). Hay 1992 -Triple Treat [Audio podcast episode]. In Glory Days. Your Sport and Media https://yoursportandmedia.podbean.com/e/hay-1992-the-triple-treat/

Recording The History of Your Club

The Football History Society have moved further into recording the officials, coaches and players of former and current clubs within New South Wales.  The trouble with this, the list of 475 current and former clubs we have so far – and its growing.  And because the data so sparse this project will probably never be finished in its entirety.

“Then why try?” you ask.

Because, its history and if the history of the game is not recorded (for the most part by the Football History Society), then it will never be recorded and those who follow us will be continually guessing the where’s and why’s of the game in a particular area.  Clubhouse honour boards is a good start.

Football Record
The demise of the Football Record in many leagues has added to all this.  Putting together a readable Football Record is, no doubt, a big job.  Not only that, it is an important job.  It records, virtually forever, the scores and what happened and who was involved and responsible for what, so long as these publications are kept.

Some regions are lucky that they have a local newspaper in which they can record the scores and participating players;  even if this newspaper is a suburban ‘free rag’ in Sydney.  Its all about recording what happened, and, for the most part, it makes good reading.  After all, as we said, people will not remember and if it isn’t recorded, who can recall who won the B & F in the seconds three years ago, or for that matter who won it in the Under 17s?  Club reunions rely on this stuff.

Make no mistake.  People LOVE to see their name in print.  Yes its an egotistical fact but no matter, a fact.

Annual Reports
And as for club annual reports or year books; which clubs out of the 200 or so now operating in New South Wales publish an annual report?  We can count them on the one hand and these, without doubt, are the better run clubs.  Even  state leagues no longer publish an annual report; its just all too hard.

The History Society is contemplating the suggestion to make an annual cash award to the best produced annual report and we would encourage all clubs to appoint an historian.

Club Honour Boards – Wagga Tigers
An example of our work can be seen here with details of the Wagga Tigers Football Club.  We did have access to their data from 1955 which is on the public record and after hours of work, have been able to find more information regarding their officials now from the end of WWII – and the search goes on.  In gleaning this data we were also able to update and amend some of the names already listed by the club, but it takes a long time.

Nevertheless we shall continue on with this honour board project and may solicit some assistance from those out in clubland who have access to more information than we can ever hope to.

If you want your club details recorded in this manner, contact us here: 

Corowa Last to First – A Review by Dr Rod Gillett

Review by Rod Gillett

The Corowa footy club went from last to first Ovens and Murray Football League in 1968.

It was a famous victory. Much celebrated. And it is still being lauded.

Albury-based broadcaster Robbie Mackinlay, who still plays cricket for his hometown of Holbrook, has been putting together podcasts of footy seasons past by district football clubs.

Mackinlay who works for NSW Cricket as the regional manager, has so far put together podcasts on Holbrook’s premierships in 1955, 1964 and 1970, Daysdale’s emotional premiership triumph in 1994, and Myrtleford’s controversial 1983 season when G. Ablett snr played.

But it the Corowa Spiders’ 1968 premiership win that is the subject of this review.

Richmond’s 1967 premiership captain Fred Swift had been lured to the NSW side of the Murray to coach the Spiders, who wore a black guernsey with a red sash. He went to work in Brac’s furniture store and was accommodated in the club’s house for the coach.

The Spiders retained previous year’s captain-coach John Hoiles who had come to the club from Footscray where he was a member of the 1961 grand final team that lost to Hawthorn.

Rugged St Kilda ruckman Ike Ilsley was recruited from Koroit along with players from the district including defender George Tobias (Wahgunyah) and rover Lindsay Jacob (Walla Walla).

A star recruit was rover-forward Jack Clancy from West Heidelberg YCW, who was picked up after a pre-season practice match against Corowa. Clancy is a legend of the O & M. He won two Morris medals in 1970-71 and coached the club in 1972, and later coached Albury. He kicked 3.1 in the grand final and got 19 possessions.

A further boost for the Spiders was the return after the opening two rounds of the VFL season of Peter Chisnall from North Melbourne, aged 19, who would have a brilliant season in the centre. And then return to North to play in the 1975 premiership team.

Mackinlay tracks Corowa’s season game-by-game riding the ups-and-downs of the season.

Corowa only secured a finals spot on percentage with a last-round win over Wangaratta Magpies, then went all the way through to beat reigning premier Wodonga led by tough ex- Collingwood rover Mick Bone in the grand final at the Albury Sportsground in front of a crowd of 12,000: Corowa 14.11.95 d Wodonga 12.16.88.

As usual there is drama in the lead-up to the decider with Fred Longmire (father of Swans coach John) injuring his ankle in the teeth-gnashing preliminary final victory over Myrtleford.

Robbie reveals that Fred was extremely doubtful to play in the grand final but visits to chiropractor Harry Brittain in Shepparton got him up to play.

Corowa coach Fred Swift adopted an unusual ploy by arranging a church service for the players the night before the grand final. The service was conducted by the Rev Tony Winter, who played in the Seconds. Fred and the Rev Winter would often meet to discuss club matters at the furniture store. Robbie interviews the Rev Winter for the podcast.

Robbie Mackindlay captures all the excitement and drama of the Corowa premiership win. He interviews some of the players including Fred Longmire, George Tobias, Bert Tait, Terry “Ollie” Phipps, and Peter Chisnall.

His grand final summary includes part of the call of the game by legendary Benalla football writer and commentator Keith Sherwill on GMV 6 that telecast the game live.

But Mackinlay’s best work is reserved for a description of the celebrations in Corowa.

The team returned from Albury by bus stopping at Wahgunyah – 4 kms from Corowa – and getting up on the back of Bernie Bott’s semi-trailer for the trip across the river into town where over 3,000 people had gathered in Sanger St to welcome home the victors.

“Bernie did three laps of the main street!”, Georgie Tobias told Robbie for the podcast. “I’ve never seen so many people in the main street”. Eventually the truck pulled up outside the Memorial Hall for a civic reception by the Shire President, Cr Fred Nixon.

Then the players and supporters adjourned to the club’s home ground, the picturesque John Foord Oval on the banks of the Murray River, for more celebrations for Corowa’s first O & M flag since 1932 that went well into the night and for the rest of the following week!

Celebrations continued when the Corowa footy club went on their end-of-season trip to New Zealand.

The podcast consists of two episodes:

Episode A

https://yoursportandmedia.podbean.com/e/corowa-1968-last-to-first/?fbclid=IwAR1Wy0Ks9lsQzJRww6jwCgkJ0EWw5K9SqbEQBE6qyWoLDN2ch1X6IfNT_V8

Episode B

https://yoursportandmedia.podbean.com/e/corowa-1968-last-to-first-part-b/?fbclid=IwAR0kNHZH2025OJMzG–iPr7GAUIHsF0i9kjaNjCzn8GTgrNW14DRK0-r8K4

Robbie Mackinlay Does It Again

Fred Swift

In a two part GLORY DAYS series, Albury’s Robbie Mackinlay has this time produced a rags to riches story about border club, Corowa Spiders in their climb to the premiership competing in the strong Ovens and Murray Football League in 1968.

He reports “Things had to change” said President Jack Fisher, and change they did, by recruiting Richmond’s 1967 premiership captain Fred Swift – the ball was rolling for the “Last to First” campaign and this episode starts the journey.

Click here to listen

(part 2 of this story to follow soon)

Robbie Mackinlay Keeps Pumping Them Out

The Old Daysdale Football Club Ground

We are featuring another of Albury based, Robbie Mackinlay’s podcasts, part of his GLORY DAYS parcel of footy stories ;  this time on the 1994 premiership win of the Daysdale Football Club, its a beauty!

Daysdale is a small rural town with a population of about 190 and located 45km north of Corowa and approximately 618km south-west of Sydney.  It is about in the middle of the Riverina District and in 1994 was playing in the Coreen and District Football League.

That year the league comprised ten clubs: Coleambly, Coreen, Daysdale, Hopefield-Buraja, Jerilderi, Oaklands, Rand, Rennie, Urana and Victorian club Wagunyah.  It was also in that year that the Daysdale Club celebrated their 100th year anniversary and officials were determined to win the flag.

You can listen to the podcast on the above icon.

Football, like life is a struggle in these small rural towns and 1994 was the last year the club had a stand alone identity.  The following year it merged with Coreen, to become Coreen-Daysdale FC then in 2006 they merged with the Hopefield-Buraja Club to become the Coreen-Daysdale-Hopefield-Buraja United Football Club.  Along with that goes the claim of the club with the longest name in NSW.

The Coreen League folded in 2008 and the CDHBU Club moved over to the Hume Football League.