Goolagong Parties Like its 1999 for Terrigal-Avoca Panthers

A special report by Doctor Rod Gillett:

Maurice Goolagong demonstrates his perfect
kicking technique that yielded over 1500 goals!

The sudden appearance of gun forward Maurice Goolagong for Terrigal-Avoca half-way through the 2nd quarter of the 1999 grand final of the Central Coast AFL stunned both the crowd and the Killarney Vale Bombers at Wyong’s Don Small Oval.

The competition leading goal-kicker, ostensibly out for the season with a fractured wrist, had driven through the night from Swan Hill on the Victorian border where he had attended his father’s 50th birthday party, leaving the party at 2am.

“I started getting changed into my football gear when we came over the Mooney Mooney Bridge” Maurice told me in an interview with this piece.

“I had taken the plaster off my wrist on the Thursday night and it felt good so I called the coach, Dean Wall, to tell him I could play, if he wanted me. He said yep, you’re in!”.

The goalkicking machine had booted 70 goals to top the 2GO league goalkicking that season for Terrigal after transferring from the Peninsula Swans, better known as Woy Woy.

Killarney Vale led at half-time of the 1999 grand final by two points, but the arrival of their spearhead propelled them into action and the Panthers went onto win by 64 points with Maurice booting five goals in the second half.

Maurice Goolagong carved out a sensational career in football on the Central Coast after having started out at Barellan in the South West juniors as a youngster, then moving to North Wagga in the Farrer league under the legendary Dick Carey, where he played centre half back.

After moving to Sydney to take up an apprenticeship as a butcher he heeded the call from an uncle to play on the central coast initially with Woy Woy, and then at Terrigal Avoca where he has left an indelible legacy.

He topped the league goalkicking in the Central Coast AFL twice, in 1999 with 70 and 115 goals for Woy Woy in 1997.

Upon the merging of the Newcastle and Central Coast competitions in 2000 to become the Black Diamond League, Maurice just kept kicking more and more goals!

He was the competition leading goalkicker from 2000-2005 topping the century four times, and then again in 2011 after stints with St George in the Sydney AFL and Tullibigeal in the Northern Riverina.

His highest tally was 135 in 2001 when he kicked an amazing 25 goals in the last home-and-away game of the season to edge out Killarney Vale’s Simon Cosser who led by 12 goals and kicked ten in the final game only to fail by 3 goals to snare the award from Maurice.

These remain the record number of goals for a season and for a game in the merged competition.

The league goalkicking award is named in his honour.

All together Maurice played over 300 games on the central coast and kicked more than 1500 goals, giving him a “Plugger-like” average of over 5 goals per game!

There have many highlights to the bustling forward’s career including premierships for Terrigal-Avoca in 1999 and 2000 but special reference is made to the historic country championship win in Wagga in 2006 when the Black Diamond representative team beat the best leagues from southern NSW.

The visitors met the powerful Riverina Football League in the decider. At half-time the visitors had not kicked a goal to the RFL’s five goals. They finally scored a major in the third quarter but still trailed by 30 points. In a barn-storming finish the BDL got up to win by a point. Maurice kicked four goals in the thrilling final quarter.

“Our coach Dean Wall believed in us, he knew our styles of play and we just gelled, we clicked at the right time”, Maurice recalled.

When asked about accuracy in front of goal given that he kicked 25.3 in that record haul in a single match and 122.12 in season 2003, Maurice attributed credit to his junior coaches at Barellan, Col Male and Max Jamieson.

“They taught me how to kick, and then I used to practice goal-kicking from different angles after school every day. We lived just across the road from the Sportsground”.

Maurice’s beloved Terrigal-Avoca will meet Newcastle City in this Saturday’s grand final of the Hunter Central Coast AFL at Killarney Vale. He will be there cheering them on and hoping to again party like its 1999.

The sudden appearance of gun forward Maurice Goolagong for Terrigal-Avoca half-way through the 2nd quarter of the 1999 grand final of the Central Coast AFL stunned both the crowd and the Killarney Vale Bombers at Wyong’s Don Small Oval.

The competition leading goal-kicker, ostensibly out for the season with a fractured wrist, had driven through the night from Swan Hill on the Victorian border where he had attended his father’s 50th birthday party, leaving the party at 2am.

“I started getting changed into my football gear when we came over the Mooney Mooney Bridge” Maurice told me in an interview with this piece.

“I had taken the plaster off my wrist on the Thursday night and it felt good so I called the coach, Dean Wall, to tell him I could play, if he wanted me. He said yep, you’re in!”.

The goalkicking machine had booted 70 goals to top the 2GO league goalkicking that season for Terrigal after transferring from the Peninsula Swans, better known as Woy Woy.

Killarney Vale led at half-time of the 1999 grand final by two points, but the arrival of their spearhead propelled them into action and the Panthers went onto win by 64 points with Maurice booting five goals in the second half.

Maurice Goolagong carved out a sensational career in football on the Central Coast after having started out at Barellan in the South West juniors as a youngster, then moving to North Wagga in the Farrer league under the legendary Dick Carey, where he played centre half back.

After moving to Sydney to take up an apprenticeship as a butcher he heeded the call from an uncle to play on the central coast initially with Woy Woy, and then at Terrigal Avoca where he has left an indelible legacy.

He topped the league goalkicking in the Central Coast AFL twice, in 1999 with 70 and 115 goals for Woy Woy in 1997.

Upon the merging of the Newcastle and Central Coast competitions in 2000 to become the strong Black Diamond League, Maurice just kept kicking more and more goals!

He was the competition’s leading goalkicker from 2000-2005 topping the century four times, and then again in 2011 after stints with St George in the Sydney AFL and Tullibigeal in the Northern Riverina.

His highest tally was 135 in 2001 when he kicked an amazing 25 goals in the last home-and-away game of the season to edge out Killarney Vale’s Simon Cosser who led by 12 goals and kicked ten in the final game only to fail by 3 goals to snare the award from Maurice.

These remain the record number of goals for a season and for a game in the merged competition.

The league goalkicking award is named in his honour.

All together Maurice played over 300 games on the central coast and kicked more than 1500 goals, giving him a “Plugger-like” average of over 5 goals per game!

There have many highlights to the bustling forward’s career including premierships for Terrigal-Avoca in 1999 and 2000 but special reference is made to the historic country championship win in Wagga in 2006 when the east coast Black Diamond representative team beat the best leagues from southern NSW.

The visitors met the powerful Riverina Football League in the decider. At half-time the visitors had not kicked a goal to the RFL’s five goals. They finally scored a major in the third quarter but still trailed by 30 points. In a barn-storming finish the BDAFL got up to win by a point. Maurice kicked four goals in the thrilling final quarter.

“Our coach Dean Wall believed in us, he knew our styles of play and we just gelled, we clicked at the right time”, Maurice recalled.

When asked about accuracy in front of goal given that he kicked 25.3 in that record haul in a single match and 122.12 in season 2003, Maurice attributed credit to his junior coaches at Barellan, Col Male and Max Jamieson.

“They taught me how to kick, and then I used to practice goal-kicking from different angles after school every day. We lived just across the road from the Sportsground”.

Maurice’s beloved Terrigal-Avoca will again meet Newcastle City in this Saturday’s grand final of the Hunter Central Coast AFL at Adelaide Street Oval, Tumbi Umbi. He will be there cheering them on and hoping to again party like its 1999.

– Football in Newcastle and the Hunter – updated

1889-hamilton-fc-newcastle-2
1889 Hamilton
Football Club

Australian football was first played in the NSW Hunter region in 1881 when a team was formed at West Maitland.

Rugby (Rugby Union) was then the only football code played in the area and an interesting comment was tagged onto the report of the new team’s formation: “The adoption of the Victorian rules by the newly-formed club will be regarded as a step in the right direction, as the Rugby game which is rendered so objectionable from its roughness and frequency of scrimmages, is gradually dying out in the metropolis and other places.” [1]

A month later the Northumberland (Maitland) Club was formed [2] and in the same year, clubs at Lambton, Wallsend/Plattsburg and Newcastle City were established. [3]

In 1883 the South Melbourne Club visited Maitland on Tuesday 17 July where they played a combined team of Newcastle and Maitland Clubs.  This was the only day in their schedule that they could visit the area and a public subscription raised ample funds to enable the team play the match at the Albion Ground.  An estimated 500 attended the game which was won by South 6-9 to 5-10 (behinds were not counted in the score in those days).  The home side were permitted to play three extra players on the ground against the visitors. [4]

In July 1885 the first recorded schoolboys game was played in the Newcastle District between Wickham and Wallsend Superior Schools resulting in a win for Wickham 2-10 to 0-5. [5]

In late July 1886 the Northern District players met a Queensland twenty on the Newcastle Cricket Ground before a crowd of 1500.  This match was played while on their way to Sydney for an inter-colonial match.  [6]  By August 30 there was enough momentum to form an association or league and on Monday 30 August 1886, before  representatives of from Wallsend, Northumberland, Carlton, Newcastle City, Stockton, Summerhill and Mount Zion clubs, with five apologies, the Northern District Football Association was formed. [7]

In mid-1887 Newcastle City reported that they had a renowned VFA player, Joey Tankard in their lineup when they were scheduled to play a match against Northumberland at Maitland Park. [8]

The Association indicated they could raise the astronomical amount of £150 (one hundred and fifty pounds) as an inducement for a VFA team to play in Newcastle. [9]

This possibly resulted in the visit of the Fitzroy Club the following year where they were schedule to play four games: May 26, v. Maitland District, Albion Ground, May 29, v. Maitland Juniors (23 players) on the Albion Ground and May 31 v. Newcastle District and June 2, v. Combined North, both on the Newcastle Ground.[10]

By this time Summer Hill had joined the Association and there were also junior teams (although the ‘junior’ age was probably under 21) in Carltons, Warwicks and Centennials.  It was noted around this time that the Newcastle City Club were prone to forfeit games, particularly against those teams where the outcome would have likely been in the opposition’s favour. [11]

On Monday 22 April 1889 (Easter) an exhibition game was played at Dungog, north of Maitland [12]  then later in the year a representative side from the Northern District Football Association travelled to Victoria where they played games against the VFA, Carlton, St Kilda, Ballarat and Fitzroy Clubs. [13]  Another club competing in 1889 competition was Merewether.

In 1890 the Newcastle Herald published the Hamilton Football Club’s annual report which provided in fine detail, the activities of the club since 1887.[14]1887 Northumberland Football Team - 1887-09-24 Town & Country Journal -p.643

By 1895 it was all over.  There was no trace of any club participating in either Newcastle or the Maitland area.  A similar phenomenon had occurred in Sydney however there issue was put down to poor management;  there was no such inference to the north with the only suggestions that some players, particularly juniors, had no idea what they were doing. [15]

The 1890s also brought economic depression to the country.  Did this impact on football?  It did not appear to on Rugby or Association Football (soccer).

So no football until 1898 when a supporter wrote to a local newspaper advocating a meeting to re-start the game.  The response was positive. [16]

Clubs were reformed in Wallsend and Maitland and they played a few games but then it again fell away only to be revived in 1903, the same year that football in Sydney was resuscitated. [17]

Since then however, football has been an on-again, off-again affair and it wasn’t until 1948 that Australian  Football gained a permanent footing in the district thanks in many ways to the number of service personnel being transferred to the area.

Then in 2000 when the Black Diamond Football League was formed football came assume a very solid position within the community and the play is now of a very good standard.

PARTICIPATING CLUBS IN THE HUNTER 1881-94
YEAR
COMMENCED
CLUB AREAS
1881 Northumberland West Maitland
1883 Lambton, Newcastle City, Wallsend/Plattsbury
1885 West Maitland Half Holiday Club
1886 Stockon 2nds, Carlton 2nds, Summerhill, Mount Zion, Rix’s Creek, Morpheth
1887 Our Boys 2nds, Hamilton, Northumberland 2nds, Oakhampton 2nds, Lochinvar Oakhampton is north of Rutherford
1888 Wallsend Juniors, Merewether,
Burwood United,
1890 Tighes Hill, Broadmeadows juniors, Charlestown, Rovers, Hamilton Juniors, Vulcans.
[1] Maitland Mercury 9 July 1881 p.8
[2] Newcastle Morning Herald 13 August p.3
[3] Newcastle Morning Herald 7 August 1885 p.2
[4] Maitland Mercury 219 July 1883 p.4
[5] Newcastle Morning Herald 28 July 1885 p.8
[6] Newcastle Morning Herald 25 June 1886 p.5
[7] Newcastle Morning Herald 31 August 1886 p. 8
[8] Maitland Mercury 25 June 1887 p.12

[9] Maitland Mercury 28 June 1887 p.3
[10] Maitland Mercury 24 May 1888 p.5
[11] Newcastle Morning Herald 25 June 1888 p.6
[12] Maitland Mercury 18 April 1889 p.4
[13] Newcastle Morning Herald 5 August 1889 p.8
[14] Newcastle Morning Herald 11 March 1890 p.5
[15] Newcastle Morning Herald 4 June 1894 p.3
[16] Newcastle Morning Herald 16 June 1898 p.7
[17] Maitland Daily Mercury 22 June 1898 p.2