With the advent of the Sydney Swans in Sydney it becomes a little easier but the list goes way back to the 1880s. So we were not always the back water when it comes to football talent.
We can name three Sydney footballers who went on to captain VFL/AFL sides: Former Double Bay Primary School player who later turned out with the Eastern Suburbs and St George Clubs, Freddy Davies, captained Fitzroy in 1934. Then in 1940, former Newtown player, Stan Lloyd, captained St Kilda in 1940 followed two years later by fellow Newtown team mate and Phelan Medal Winner, Reg Garvin, who captained the Saints for the 1942-3 seasons. Garvin finished equal 4th in the 1941 Brownlow Medal the same year he won the first of his two St Kilda best and fairest awards, the other coming in 1944. For the 1942 and 1943 seasons he was not only captain but also coach of the club.
In 2004, former Pennant Hills junior, Lenny Hayes was captain of the St Kilda Club.
History Society committee member, Bob Wilton is compiling a list of players to go from the Sydney competition to the VFL/AFL. There have been some, as senior players from interstate or another senior NSW competition, who have come into the Sydney competition then off to Melbourne so unfortunately, they do not qualify for Bob’s list.
Are you able to contribute some names that Bob may miss? If so, simply email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with the player’s name, his Sydney club, the approximate years he played in Sydney and the VFL/AFL club he played with. We shall publish the final list in due course.
Our photograph shows Reg Garvin as a 21 year old representing NSW against WA on the Sydney Cricket Ground in 1933 – courtesy of the State Library of NSW.