When Did the Daniher Brothers First Play Together

l-r: Anthony, Terry, Neale & Chris

If you answered at Essendon you’d be wrong.

If you said at Ungarie you’d also be wrong. Although Terry did play with his father Jim at Ungarie.

The first time the four brothers –Terry, Neale, Anthony & Chris played football together on the one team was for New South Wales in a State-of-Origin match against Victoria at the SCG on Tuesday 22 May 1990 at the SCG.

It was the first time a quartet of brothers had played together in a State game.

And in one of the greatest upsets of all time in interstate football NSW beat Victoria by 10 points.

“We had blokes that just kept boring in. We had a real good crack and we just enjoyed it. It was bloody great!” Terry Daniher told Adam McNichol, the author of The Danihers: The story of Australia’s favourite family.

All four Daniher boys were nominated for the NSW Greatest Team but only Terry was included in the team. He was selected on the half-forward flank.

Neale, who had lengthy period coaching the Melbourne Football Club (1998-2007) was named as assistant coach to Allan Jeans.

The Daniher dynasty started when the boys’ grandfather Jim Snr, moved to Ungarie from Euroa where he played in their 1913 premiership team to take up a 740 acre allotment under the NSW Closer Settlement Scheme.

Jim Snr was instrumental in the formation of the Ungarie footy club according to Adam McNichol, the author of The Danihers. He ensured the newly formed club adopted the black and white colours of Euroa for its guernseys.

Jim Daniher Snr proved to be one of Ungarie’s best players in the club’s formative years. He was captain of the 1923 premiership team. The Northern Riverina Football League official history rates him as the best player in the northern Riverina in this period.

According to Adam McNicol, Jim Snr “occupied various positions in the club for many years, including that of patron”. This was also something that Jim Jnr did as well as his son, Chris, who is still actively involved with the club having been coach, and more recently president.

Jim Daniher

Jim Daniher Jnr was an outstanding footballer, both in Australian football and in rugby league. He played both codes for Ungarie for many years. After representing Riverina against Great Britain in Wagga in 1954 and scoring two tries against the reigning world champions, Jim received offers from a number of Sydney-based clubs including Manly-Warringah, but Aussie Rules football was Jim’s passion.

Jim Jnr won three competition best and fairest awards in the Northern Riverina Football League – 1949, 1956, and 1959. He led the Ungarie Magpies for over a decade, the highlight being five premierships, 1950, 1956 and 1959-1961. He was well supported by his two brothers, Jack and Leo, who were integral to Ungarie’s success in this period. Leo won the competition award in 1951.

The three brothers married three sisters. They produced more footballers for Ungarie. Jack’s sons, Mick, Peter (better known as Po) and John, who made their names at Turvey Park in the South-West league, and Mark, Pat and Rodney, sons of Leo. Pat also played in Coolamon’s 1983 premiership team.

Terry Daniher had a celebrated career in football after going to play for South Melbourne in 1976 under the VFL country zoning rules after a season at Ariah Park-Mirrool under Rick Quade.

He played a total of 313 games in the VFL/AFL (19 for South Melbourne and 294 for Essendon) and booted 469 goals. He captained Essendon to the 1984-85 premierships during his period as captain from 1983-88. He played 15 State games (11 for Victoria and 4 for NSW). He was named All-Australian captain at the Bicentennial Carnival in Adelaide after leading NSW to victory over WA and a close loss to South Australia. He also coached NSW against Victoria at the MCG in 1993.

Terry was inducted into the Australian Football Hall of Fame in 1998 and was named on a half-forward flank in Essendon’s Team of the Century.

After Essendon, Terry coached Wagga Tigers in the Riverina Football league to five premierships. He won the RFL best and fairest Quinn Medal in 1994.

Named as captain of Essendon in 1982, Neale Daniher became the Bombers’ youngest-ever captain in their history but he had badly injured his knee in round 21 against South Melbourne. He underwent reconstructive surgery during grand final week. He was not to play a senior game again until round 9 1985. He never really fully recovered from the injury for which he had multiple operations.

However, he did recover sufficiently to join his brothers in the NSW Origin team that beat Victoria in 1991 and to play more games for Essendon including one game with all his brothers.

Neale played 82 games for Essendon in two stints punctuated by injury, 1979-85 and 1989-90. He represented Victoria twice and NSW just that one time. He won Essendon’s best and fairest in 1981.

After a stint as an assistant and Reserves coach at Essendon, Neale was appointed coach of the Melbourne Football Club in 1998. In 2000 he got the Demons into the grand final but were beaten by Essendon led by his old coach Kevin Sheedy. He coached the Dees until 2007 securing 108 wins from 223 games.

He is currently waging a courageous campaign against Motor-Neurone Disease (MND) and has been instrumental in fund-raising efforts that have raised millions of dollars for research into the disease.

Anthony Daniher, better known as “Ants” (never Tony as the Melbourne media called him) has the unique distinction of playing over one hundred games for two VFL/AFL clubs: South Melbourne/Sydney Swans (115) and Essendon (118).

“Ants” went to the Swans under the zoning rules in 1981 after stints at Ungarie, Turvey Park (when he moved to Wagga to do a wool-classing course) and Ganmain, then under former Carlton player and 1961 Coleman medallist, “Turkey” Tom Carroll.

He transferred to Essendon in 1987 where he consolidated his position as a key defender and was named the All-Australian full-back in 1991. He played in the Bombers grand final team that lost to Collingwood in the first-ever AFL grand final in 1990. He played five State games for NSW.

Like his antecedents Anthony also became highly involved in football at the local level and became a junior coach at the Aberfeldie footy club in Melbourne’s north-west suburbs after retiring in 1994. Two of his sons, Darcy and Joe have played with Essendon under the father-son rule.

The youngest brother, Chris, went to Essendon in 1987 and played 124 games and kicked 40 goals in a ten-year stay. He was a member of the famous “Baby Bombers” premiership team in 1993.

He played four games for NSW including Origin wins over Victoria and Queensland.

After finishing his AFL career, Chris returned to the family farm, and to play again for Ungarie. He led the Magpies to premierships in 2000-2001 and just like his father Jim and his brother Terry (1974) won Northern Riverina FL competition best and fairest awards in 2000-2002, and again in 2004.

As well, Chris coached Temora and Mangoplah-Cookardinia United in local competitions. But his primary focus has been the Ungarie footy club where he has served in various roles both on and off the field.

“I want to keep it going so my kids can play footy at home rather than folding and having to drive another half-hour to play with someone else”, he told the author of The Danihers.

In 2019 Ungarie are still a constituent member of the Northern Riverina Football League. Chris retired at the end of last season. His youngest son, Logan, is currently playing in the Under 13s, while eldest son, Harvey, is expected to return home for next season.

POST-SCRIPT:

The NSW AFL History Society expresses its condolences to the Daniher family on the passing of Jim Jnr in May this year. He was secretary of the Northern Riverina Football league for many years and was the delegate to the NSW Country AFL where he developed an association with our president Ian Granland (then Executive Officer of the country body) and vice-president Rod Gillett (who was President at that time).

The Strang Family From Albury Made Their Mark on Football

Billy Strang

The Strang family from Albury provided the most number of players on the NSW Greatest Team List.

Six members of the Strang family, Bill, father of Alan, Gordon, Doug, Colin, and Geoff, son of Doug, played VFL/AFL in the period stretching from 1901 to 1970.

The involvement of the Strangs at the highest level began with Bill Strang who went to VFL club South Melbourne in 1904 from Albury. He had been captain of the Pirates club. He played until 1907, and then had another stint in 1913. He was described in The Encyclopaedia of AFL Footballers: Every AFL/VFL Player Since 1897 (2003) as “a hard-bumping follower and forward who was a fine mark”. He played centre-half forward in the South Melbourne team that finished runner-up to Carlton for the 1907 VFL premiership.

Strang went to Sydney in 1908 where he turned out for the YMCA club but newspaper reports indicate that he was injured in the finals and missed playing in the premiership. From there he went to Paddington as captain in 1909 and played with this club until half-way through the 1912 season when he returned to Albury.

Nicknamed “Corker”, he played three games for NSW and 3 matches for Combined Sydney while he was in Sydney. He captained Combined NSW to a famous victory over his old club South Melbourne in 1909, the year South won its first-ever VFL premiership. NSW 10-10 (70) defeated South Melbourne 7-10 (52).

According to The Referee (July 1909), “In the South Melbourne-Combined Sydney match at the Agricultural Ground, the Blues had a lead of 15 points at half-time. In the third quarter, however, Strang put a different complexion on affairs by kicking two goals from somewhere in the vicinity of sixty yards, and was undoubtedly the means of Combined Sydney winning the match”.

Strang then went back to South Melbourne in 1913 and was the leading goal-kicker with 29 goals. He played 69 games and kicked 80 goals for the Bloods. After serving in World War 1, he returned to Albury where he played until 1920.

Bill’s sons, Doug and Gordon were both recruited from East Albury by Richmond to play in the VFL for the 1931 season. The Tigers were focussed on Gordon who had already made an impact in the Ovens and Murray competition but father Bill told the recruiters, “You might as well take Doug too; he’s a good player and not bad in front of goals” (Sporting Globe, 3 April 1954).

In his first game, Gordon took 12 marks playing in the key defensive position including three in the dying stages that saved the match. Meanwhile, Doug booted fourteen goals against North Melbourne in round two. This remains a record at Richmond for the most goals in a game.

Gordon played in Richmond’s premiership teams in 1932 and 1934 he also played in the losing grand final teams of 1931 and 1934. Gordon played a total of 116 games and kicked 108 goals for the Tigers and represented Victoria on nine occasions. He was named centre-half back in Richmond’s Team of the Century and selected recently in the same position for NSW’s Greatest Team.

Doug played at Richmond from 1931-35 accumulating 64 games and 180 goals in a career riddled with injuries. He was the Tigers’ leading goalkicker 1931-1933 and played alongside his brother Gordon in the 1932 premiership team.  He missed the 1933 grand final through suspension.

Doug Strang returned home to play for Albury after coaching Kyneton Tigers to the premiership in the Bendigo Football League in 1936. He played in the 1937 premiership and then coached the club to flags in 1939 (against brother Gordon who coached Wodonga and won the Morris medal) and 1940.

Doug booted 126 goals in 1938 which still stands as the Ovens and Murray Football League record. The O & M goalkicking medal is named in his honour. He is a member of both the Ovens and Murray FL and Albury Tigers Hall of Fames.

Geoff Strang

Bill’s two other sons, Colin and Alan, both also played VFL football. Colin played two games and kicked 3 goals at St Kilda in 1933 while Alan played fifteen games and kicked 17 goals at South Melbourne 1947-48.

Doug’s son Geoff also went to Richmond where from 1965-71 he played 88 games. He was a fast, tough attacking defender in the mould that Tommy Hafey re-built the Richmond sides in the 1960s. Geoff played in the 1967 and 1969 premiership teams.

Geoff joined premiership team-mate Mike Patterson (coach) at North Adelaide in the SANFL from 1972-74 and was a member of their 1972 premiership. He then returned to finish his playing career at Albury in 1975 where he played a total of 99 games including the 1960-64 period.

The Strang family record is remarkable and they have made a highly significant contribution to football in NSW.

Australian Football and the Moon Landing

The moon landing 50 years ago did not go unnoticed by Australian Football Officials (it did not go unnoticed by anyone in the western world).

At a meeting of the Australian National Football Council (National Football League), since absorbed by the AFL, on 21 July, 1969 sent a telegram to the US President, Richard Nixon offering their congratulations.

Here is an article published in the Sydney Football Record on 27 July/3 August 1969

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Andrews” was Bruce Andrews, then secretary of the ANFC.

East Sydney Champ Passes

Ian Allen
in his
playing days

Ian Allen, better known as Champ, has passed away in Sydney.

Allen, who played over 300 plus games for North Shore and East Sydney in an illustrious career spanning three decades from 1966-1980 and 1982-84.

“Champ was the best key defender in Sydney football during my active involvement in the game. I should know, I played one of my earliest games for St George against him. He gave me a football lesson”, recalled legendary East Sydney coach Greg “Huey” Harris, who coached Ian at Easts from 1982 -1984.

“He retired after being a star player in Easts’ much-celebrated centenary premiership in 1980. He came to me at the end of 1981 and asked if he could play again. He told me how much he liked the camaraderie of the new group of players that had played in the 1981 premiership team that I coached.”

A more recent
image of Ian

“He was a champ. One of the best blokes you could possibly meet”, Harris added. Ian started his career with North Shore in 1966 where his father, Kevin, had also played as well as his older brother Kevin, known as “Kevie”. “Champ” won two best and fairest awards and was vice-captain in 1971. He was equal third for the Phelan Medal in 1969 and again, third in 1974.

“Champ” was enticed to cross the harbour by East Sydney for the 1973 season by the “Prince of Promises” as he fondly referred to then-Easts’ president Jack Dean. Ian and his brother Kevie were running the family business of cash register sales and service from a shop on Broadway. Ian came to East Sydney at the start of a golden reign for the club. He played for East Sydney in eight grand finals winning premierships in 1973, 1976, 1980, 1982 and 1983. He won the club best and fairest in 1982. His represented NSW five times and won the best player award twice, against Victoria and South Australia.

Ian was inducted into the Sydney AFL Hall of Fame in 2007 and a long term member of the Football History Society.

Interesting Book Released

A book about Aboriginal people in Australia and our game has recently been released; it provides some interesting details, disproving a most recent held myth about the indigenous and the foundation of the game of Australian Football.

It was written by Roy Hay who was educated at Glasgow University and Balliol College, Oxford. He came to Deakin University, Australia, in 1977, after teaching at the universities of East Anglia, Glasgow and the Open University, UK, and is an Honorary Fellow at Deakin University. His early publications were in economic, social and oral history, and, while contributing to 25 different courses at Deakin University in 25 years, he became a part-time journalist with the Geelong Advertiser, covering “association football”, as the game of soccer was originally known.  The unrivalled access in his reporting at a local and national level led to the publication of a string of academic articles and a series of books, including the standard history of the game, A History of Football (soccer) in Australia, with Bill Murray, two edited collections and several shorter works. Roy has always been interested in the contribution of Australia’s Indigenous people to all the football codes in Australia.

It is said his latest book “will revolutionise the history of indigenous involvement in Australian football in the second half of the nineteenth century”. It collects new evidence to show how Aboriginal people saw the cricket and football played by those who had taken their land and resources and forced their way into them in the missions and stations around the peripheries of Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia. It says they learned the game and brought their own skills to it, eventually winning local leagues and earning the respect of their contemporaries. Evidence shows they were prevented from reaching higher levels by the “gatekeepers of the domestic game” until late in the twentieth century. “Their successors did not come from nowhere.”

Hays’ book defeats the sometimes contemporary supported myth that Aborigines had some type of a hand in the development of the game with the former consistent with the thinking of a number of members of the Football History Society.  The evidence speaks for itself, the first rules of the game were written by a group of six or so at a Richmond Hotel in Melbourne in May 1858.  See here for these rules.

If you wish to purchase the book published by Cambridge Scholars Publications, and want 60% off this “book of the month”, you can do so here by following the directions.

The Make-Up of the NSW’s Greatest Team Ever

When Jack Fleming made his debut for South Melbourne in the newly-formed VFL in 1897 he became the first player from NSW to play at what was to become, the highest-level. Fleming was born in Inverell in northern NSW but went to South Melbourne from the South Broken Hill club.

Nick Blakey

Nick Blakey aged 18 and fresh out of Waverly College in Sydney’s eastern suburbs, became the 453rd player from NSW to play VFL/AFL football when he debuted for the Sydney Swans against the Western Bulldogs in round one of the 2019 season. He continued the rich tradition of players from NSW playing at the highest level that had begun with Jack Fleming 122 years ago.

The list of NSW’s Greatest Players provided the basis for the selection of the NSW Greatest Team Ever at the Carbine Club’s function in May this year.  You can view the entire list here, however to facilitate the list in its entirety, it has been reduced in size.  (You can enlarge the document for easier viewing by holding down your CONTROL button and press the + button at the same time.  To reverse this, hold down the CONTROL button and press the minus [ – ] button.)

Initially, a list of 423 players was provided by the AFL. Former Sydney Swans and inaugural NSW/ACT AFL Commission chairman Richard Colless, the convener of the selection panel for the NSW Greatest Team, was convinced that there were more players than this and asked the NSW Football History Society representatives on the panel, Ian Granland and Rod Gillett, to investigate.

Between them they boosted the number on the list to 453.

Using his geographical and football knowledge of southern NSW particularly along the border region, Gillett was able to add a substantial number to the list that had been overlooked by the AFL’s historians.

This included the likes of former Carlton and Richmond ruckman David Honybun from Coleambly who was recruited by the Blues from Scotch College, ex-St Kilda defender Jon Lilley (Hay) who went to Xavier College, dual Richmond premiership rover Bill Brown also from Hay who went to work for the State Savings Bank in Melbourne;  he also plaPaul Kelly, Bill Mohr, yed for the bank team in the amateurs.  then there was Damian Sexton (St Kilda) from Finley who was recruited from Ovens and Murray league club, Yarrawonga.

A gem of a find was the late Sir Doug Nichols, who grew up and played football at the Cummeragunja aboriginal mission on the NSW side of the Murray River opposite Barmah, near Echuca. Sir Doug played for the mission in the district competition before making his mark with Fitzroy in the VFL. Ironically, he played for Victoria against NSW in the 1933 ANFC Carnival in Sydney.

They also came up with the names of some outstanding SANFL players that had originally been recruited from Broken Hill. Two of these players, West Adelaide’s Bruce McGregor and Neil Davies from Glenelg, were subsequently selected in the Greatest Team. Both captained South Australia in interstate matches and were selected in ANFC All-Australian teams.

Broken Hill has been a rich source of players for both the VFL and the SANFL competitions. Forty-eight players on the list came from Broken Hill’s four clubs: Norths (13), Centrals (9), Souths (11), and Wests (15).

The Albury Football Club provided the most number of players on the list with 49 including five from the Strang family starting with Bill Strang (South Melbourne) in 1904, his three sons Doug (Richmond), Gordon (Richmond) and Alan (South Melbourne) and Doug’s son Geoff, who played in Richmond’s 1967 and 1969 premiership sides.

Rival Ovens & Murray League club Corowa, that merged with Rutherglen for the 1979 season, provided twenty players including current Sydney Swans coach John Longmire (North Melbourne), 1975 North Melbourne premiership star Peter Chisnall and Swans 2005 premiership player Ben Matthews.

The Sydney clubs have supplied 106 players on the list with Eastern Suburbs providing the highest number with twenty-four, the most notable being Carlton champion Mark “Sellers” McClure; Newtown with eleven including Footscray’s 1954 premiership player Roger Duffy, ten from North Shore, nine from Pennant Hills which included the former St Kilda champion Lenny Hayes.

The Riverina was also a fertile area for the list. The highest number of players came from the Wagga Tigers which provided 20 players including 1995 Brownlow medalist Paul Kelly (Swans), the sublimely skilled John Pitura (South Melbourne/Richmond), and the NSW Greatest Team full forward, Bill Mohr (St Kilda) who topped the VFL goal-kicking in 1936 with 101 goals.

Leeton (12), Ganmain (10) and Narranderra (9) also supplied high numbers of players for the list.

South Melbourne/Sydney Swans have been the main beneficiary of players from NSW. One hundred and seventeen players have turned out for the Swans since 1897.

Under zoning by the VFL of Victorian Country/Southern NSW from 1967-1986 the Riverina was allocated to South Melbourne. In this period Rick Quade (Ariah Park-Mirrool), Doug Priest (Holbrook), Ross Elwin (Leeton), Colin Hounsell (Collingullie), Brett Scott (The Rock-Yerong Creek), Paul Hawke (Wagga Tigers), Dennis Carroll (Lockhart) and Jim Prentice (Ariah Park-Mirrool) were recruited from the Swans’ zone.

When the club moved to Sydney in 1982, the number of players from the local competition increased. This included Terry Thripp (Pennant Hills), Lewis Roberts-Thomson (North Shore), Nick Davis (St George), Kieran Jack (Pennant Hills), Arthur Chilcott (Western Suburbs), and Neil Brunton (Holroyd-Parramatta) and many more.

The Greater Western Sydney Giants have also recruited players from NSW since their entry into the AFL in 2012. Their number of players from NSW currently stands at eighteen following the debut of Penrith local and national decathlon champion, Jake Stein in round 12 against North Melbourne.

Stein became the 454th player to play in the VFL/AFL. The list was boosted to over 500 highly skilled players to recognise those from the city and the bush that didn’t go to the big leagues and the players from Broken Hill that represented the SANFL.

History Society Plays a Big Part in Selection of NSW Aust Football Hall of Fame

  AFLNSWACT Chief
        Sam Graham

The Danihers, Quades, Carrolls, Sandralls, Priests, Deans, Walkers, Frees and Hedgers – grandfathers, fathers, sons, brothers, cousins along with hundreds of others that are a part of the football family in NSW since 1880 that will come into consideration for the recently announced AFL NSW Hall of Fame.

The first ever New South Wales Australian Football Hall of Fame event will take place in 2020 to celebrate 140 years of Australian Football being played in the state, with it envisaged that 140 people will be inducted into the Hall of Fame at the first inauguration.

This follows the recent announcement of the NSW Greatest Team at the Carbine Club in Sydney on 9 May.

The AFL’s purpose is to “progress the game, so everyone can share in its heritage and possibilities” according to AFL NSW/ACT CEO, Sam Graham. “Creating this first Hall of Fame opportunity will celebrate the enormous contribution of players, umpires, coaches and administrators from New South Wales to the game of Australian Football” Graham added.

NSW AFL History Society president, Ian Granland, OAM said, “The Hall of Fame will celebrate the rich heritage of Australian Football through NSW. We are delighted to be involved and to be able to contribute to the selection of this magnificent project”.

“Our hard-working committee members continue to build the database of players, umpires, officials and supporting documents that have played such a key role in the game over the last 140 years. It’s an invaluable resource that will provide the evidence for selection”.

Rod Gillett
Dr Rod Gillett

Granland will be joined on the AFL NSW Hall of Fame selection panel by History Society vice-president Dr Rodney Gillett. Both of whom were consultants for the recently announced NSW Greatest Team.

The selection committee has been formed to ensure that the whole spectrum of Australian Football is represented from people across the state of New South Wales.

Selection Committee

1. Sam Graham – Chair (CEO, AFL NSW/ ACT)

2. Sam Chadwick (State Manager, AFL NSW/ ACT)

3. Ian Granland (President, NSW Australian Football History Society and former Black Diamond AFL founder and president)

4. Rodney Gillett (Former President AFL NSW and NSW Country AFL and vice-president of NSW Australian Football History Society)

5. Christine Burrows (Head Umpires Coach – AFL Hunter Central Coast, Umpire representative and Northern New South Wales representative)

6. Yvette Andrews (established Sydney Women’s AFL, Inner West Magpies Vice President and Sydney representative)

7. Greg Verdon (Former chairman of the Murrumbidgee Valley Australia Football Association, former Chairman of the Southern Regional AFL Board, former President of Farrer FL and Southern New South Wales representative)

South West District Football League – 1934 Premiership Not Awarded

In 1934 the Narandera (spelt that way then) Imperials won the South West District Football League (in the Riverina) Grand Final, 11-12 (78) to Matong’s 7-9 (51).

This was the club’s third successive premiership after having just made the final four.  The grand final was played at Coolamon in the presence of a large number of spectators, the gate receipts amounting to £53/8/, ($5,271 in today’s money).  Over five hundred people travelled on the special train which ran from Narandera that day.  Alby Treloar was named best on the ground for the Imps.

Then the following Tuesday, Secretary of the Narandera Club, Tom Gordon received a bombshell in the form of an intimation from the Secretary of the S.W.D. Football League.  He said that the Matong Club had lodged a protest against Narandera being awarded the grand final, in that Narandera played two players, namely, Alby Treloar and Doug Weir, who had not complied with the club residential rule of the time.  Matong were keen to have the match replayed.

Weir’s residence was later confirmed at meeting of league officials however Treloar was required to sign a statutory declaration stating that he was not working at Lane’s (a local business) for the 21 days prior to the 12th May 1934; and was residing in Narandera during that period, the declaration was to be produced within one week from the meeting.

The Narandera club lodged an appeal against the Judiciary Committee’s decision which was heard by the Victorian Country Football League in mid-October.  The appeal was dismissed.

As the date for the presentation of the cup and the money alloted the premier team for the blazers bad been decided upon, the Narandera Club resolved to apply for an injunction to restrain the S.W.D.F.L. from handing over the cup or the blazers to Matong and Messrs. Matthews and Dan were instructed to engage counsel. When the preliminary application came before the Equity Court an interim injunction was granted by consent, each side having the right to restore the application to the list.

The Matong Club was mentioned as defendants owing to it having lodged the protest in the first instance.

Many letters were written between the representatives of the parties in the hope of ultimately arriving at a settlement.   At the 1936 annual meeting of the S.W.D.F.L., held in Narandera, during an adjournment both parties agreed upon a basis for negotiation. The terms of the agreement however, were not to be made public.

We however, have been able to find the basics of the agreement.  At that meeting the league President, Mr M. Maloney, said that they would be pleased to see Narandera back in the competition, but if it wanted to join the League it would have to drop the dispute (with Matong FC). Mr. McGee, the Ganmain delegate, thought that the offer of the Matong Club to forgo the right to the blazers and the premiership for 1934 was a worthy one.

The meeting was adjourned to seek discussion with the Narandera President with the following resolution suggested: ”Matong’s terms to’ Narandera Club are that each, club sign a declaration witnessed by a solicitor that the dispute between Matong and Narandera be dropped and neither team be awarded’ the premiership for 1934, and each club pay its own expenses.”

Although it was reported that the Narandera Imperials refused to accept this resolution, on the same day the Narandera Club re-affiliated with the S.W.D.F.L for the 1936 season, and thus brought to a close a dispute the like of which had never previously been experienced by the league and perhaps by any other sporting body.  It is very likely that a ruling similar to the one we revealed, was adopted.  In any case, no club was awarded the premiership for 1934.

Looking back from 1936, (the previous year) did not stop the Narandera Imperials. Early in that year they did not seek affiliation with the S.W.D.F.L. saying “it was very dissatisfied with the South-western District Football League and were looking for new pastures.”  The club then affiliated two senior teams, Imperials East and Imperials West in the Leeton D.F.A. (which at that stage was comprised of five clubs: Fivebough, Stanbridge, Corbie Hill, Whitton and Yanco).

In 1935, their two teams joined Griffith, Leeton, Whitton and Fivebough to make a six team Leeton D.F.A. competition.  The other clubs mentioned did not appear to continue their participation.

Neither of the Imperial teams made the grand final that year which was won by Leeton defeating Fivebough.  It is interesting to note though, that the competition also catered for a reserve grade, in which Narandera field one team.  They defeated Leeton in the grand final 8-6 (54) to 7-6 (48).

At the end of the 1935 season, S.W.D.F.L. premiers, Ganmain, played a match against the combined Narandera Imperials Club with Ganmain winning 10-18 (78) to 8-14 (62).

Ref. – Narrandera Argus – 1934-5-6

Another Footy Legend Passes

     Ralph Turner

Quite often we are alerted to the passing of former NSW footballers but they don’t always receive a particular special mention in our blog.

However, recently we were informed of the death of Ralph Turner at the age of 83.

Ralph won two Phelan Medals, the first with South Sydney in 1959 when he polled an amazing 37 votes and the second in 1961 when he was captain and coach of the Sydney Naval side.

Born in 1936, Ralph joined the Navy from his West Preston home in Victoria in 1954; at the time he potentially had a promising career with Coburg in the VFA.

After his initial training with the Navy at HMAS Cerebus he was posted to HMAS Albatross at Nowra where he served most of his six years in that force.

Along with a number of other Albatross based players he joined the South Sydney club in 1955 and travelled to and from Sydney with his mates to play during those years until 1960 when he transferred over to Sydney Naval.  This was the same year he left the Navy and although he had made an application to re-enter the service, it did not come to fruition.

Ralph Turner
Phelan Medal Winner

Sydney Naval won the Sydney premiership that year and the following season Ralph took over as coach.  He coached them to the grand final in 1961 and in the next season took ‘Naval to another flag, winning over Newtown.  He remained with the club until the end of 1964.

Ralph represented NSW on several occasions, in several he was named in the best.

After labouring for a few years Ralph had joined the Air Force and in 1968, at 32, was captain coach of the Werribee Club in the VFA.  Following this and with a subsequent posting to Richmond in NSW, he re-entered the Sydney’s football arena coaching Sydney Naval’s third grade.  The following year was elected president of the new Combined Services club which played in the Sydney Second Division.  That year he was also captain-coach and in 1973, just coach, although he did play a few games at the age of 37 and in one game, booted nine goals!

He was made a member of the Sydney AFL Hall of Fame in 2008.

Ralph retired to the Newcastle area and in his later years suffered from Parkinsons disease.  He died peacefully in his sleep on Monday, 13 May.

 

Best NSW Team Ever Announced

       Wayne Carey

The player regarded by many as the best player to ever play the game, Wayne Carey, has been named as captain of the Greatest NSW Team at the Carbine Club of NSW annual AFL Lunch today (9th May, 2019).

“The King” captained North Melbourne to two premierships in the 1990s and was selected in seven All Australian teams and was named captain four times. He won four best and fairest awards at North Melbourne and was leading goal-kicker five times. He captained the club from 1993-2001.

Carey played in the NSW team that beat Victoria at the SCG in 1990 and led a NSW/ACT team against Victoria at the MCG in 1993.

He began his football journey at North Wagga and strongly identifies with that club where his brother and nephews played. His boy-hood hero was the illustrious North Wagga captain-coach Laurie Pendrick.

The selection of the NSW Greatest Team was jointly sponsored by the NSW Australian Football History Society and the AFL NSW/ACT.

A panel of experts was assembled to undertake this extraordinarily challenging exercise. Senior selectors were Mike Sheahan and Gerard Healy supported by NSW Australian Football Society executive members Ian Granland and Rod Gillett and society member and author Miles Wilks. AFL NSW/ACT CEO Sam Graham and AFL Commissioner Gabrielle Trainor represented the AFL.

The panel was chaired by former Sydney Swans chairman and inaugural NSW/ACT AFL chairman, Richard Colless, who is the AFL convenor for the Carbine Club of NSW.

Nearly 500 NSW players have since 1897 played senior football in the VFL/AFL and a smaller number in the SANFL.

NSW players have won seven Brownlow Medals, five Magarey Medals, and three Sandover Medals.

There have been various attempts to select teams that represent part of NSW, e.g. Southern NSW/ACT, Riverina and Sydney teams. And there have also been a number of teams selected by historians and supporters that have been posted on the internet.

There has however, never been an official NSW team that embraces the game’s 140-year history and includes every part of the State in which the game indigenous has been played.

One of the issues is that there has never been a natural senior competition in NSW. Broken Hill, Sydney, and various Southern NSW and Riverina Leagues have at one stage or another been ascendant.

Nonetheless the game has a very rich history in NSW and the selection of the Greatest Team represents a major celebration for Australian Football in this state.

The team is:

 

 

 

 

Click here for criteria and bio of each player