Life on Red Hill

Life on Red Hill

The Red Hill team song is a variation on the classic, ‘She’ll be Coming Round the Mountain When She Comes.’

In the second verse we sing – We’ll take on all the champions as they come, oh we’ll take on the champions as they come. Then it sounds something like – We’ll be throwing down some pinot, There’s my surfboard, where’s my flanno? Oh we’ll take on all the champions as they come. WHEN THEY COME, AAAGHHH.

It may not go exactly like that, but I think that sums up the culture of the club pretty well. There must have been a group of fellas who thought it would be pretty funny to make that the team song. And, in Red Hill style, they thought well we’re making the rules up here so what the hell. Paul Trigger may not have been one of those guys but he is a great supporter of the club. His surf shop at Point Leo is a classic surf shack with vintage Trigger Brother surfboards lining the roof. One of the best things about playing for Red Hill is the connection with the surf. My mate Boof hasn’t cracked a game this season due to injury but he’s been surfing the house down. He may win the Best and Fairest. It wouldn’t be conventional but convention is not in Red Hill’s nature.

I’ve seen some things at this club that I hadn’t seen before. The main oval is known as The Chip, the unique angles of the slopes cause the playing area to resemble a giant potato chip. Apparently it’s a beautiful place to play cricket in summer, but it’s an absolute quagmire at the moment. It’s been raining in Red Hill since Easter, but there is nowhere else to train. The girls have got the netball courts stitched up, the gym is out of bounds, doors barricaded, and the new playing field below the Chip is for matches only. Take a walk on The Chip and you can understand why training on your playing ground in Red Hill is not a great idea.

Our fullback Macey trained in a Flanno last night. I’m not sure if it should be banned or endorsed as the official training jersey. It was red, which is our dominant colour, furthermore, we’re The Red Hill Hill Men, and it’s hard to know what Hill Men wear if they can’t wear a flanno.

The coach is ex St Kilda player Gary Colling. He is a great fella and says some amazing things to the players. Due to the consistently inclement weather, the scoring is usually pretty low on the Hill. Gary is an optimist who doesn’t get caught up on the trends of a match when prepping for his 3 quarter time rev ups. He usually says “I don’t care if they kick 20 goals, we’ll kick 25.” In my first game the opposition had a few midfielders running amok on the wing in the second quarter. At half time Gary said, “7, 48 and 5 are killing us out on this wing, and I’ve got no idea who’s playing on ‘em.”  He paused to let this sink in and then added, “I’ve got no idea.” We were no closer to figuring out who was on ‘em when we ran back out but it didn’t matter, we smashed them in the second half. Hill men can’t be worrying about the opposition.

The name Hill Men imbibes visions of a group of busted, washed up old dudes, sticking nicotine patches on their shoulders before running out onto a muddy patch, strapped to the eye balls to keep joints together. That’s what our emblem looks like. The truth is, most of the lads aren’t old enough to remember Koutafides. The old timer of the group plays in the ones and coaches the 18’s. The boys call him Foss, short for ‘The Fossil.’ He’s 27. I’ve got ‘The Fossil’ covered by nearly 4 years, but he feels like a mentor. He warmed up in a flanno last weekend and got best on. I also told him (at the time) that I wasn’t sure if a flanno was appropriate for footy, as I’d never seen it before. He said “I’m wearing two. It’s fucking cold!”

The Fossil was okay last week, but the rest of us were absolutely rubbish. We got pumped by about 20 goals, but we’ll bounce back this week against Pearcedale. Next time you’re on the peninsula come have a Pinot and watch the Hill Men go around. We’ve got the best wine selection you’re ever likely to see at a footy club, (I recommend the 2010 Paringa Estate Pinot Noir) the steak sandwiches are very good, all local produce of course, and the Hill Men have a crack. We should play finals and I’ve heard ‘The Hill’ is stunning in September. Don’t forget your surfboard and flannelette.

Comments

  1. brilliant

  2. David

    It is a beautiful footy ground in one of the truly special parts of Victoria. That bottom oval is a gem, and I have had enough kick to kick on the training ground to know that it can be a bog. Flannels reign supreme down there and it is god’s own country in and around Pt Leo and Red Hill. Really nice story and images, go the Mountain Men

    Sean

  3. Shane Johnson says:

    Good yarn Mapo….have you had a look at my book yet….you get a mention…or more specifically your girlfriend at the time…Johnno

  4. Bill Mapleston says:

    footy, mud, red wine & flannos – this could be a new promotional angle for Tourism Victoria. I’m hang out for a short sleeve flanno, a polo flanno, a flanno with button down collar, a flanno with cuff link eyelets,….

    mapleston senior

  5. David

    I watched Red Hill beat the mighty Sorrento Sharks last Saturday and it was a fantastic game. The ground was in great condition, big crowd and to knock off last year’s ladder leaders was a top effort. Great day for country footy. I am told that the club has a new coach and a few new players and have now won their first two. Standard was very high, obviously the training has paid off. If they can win a few early, then use the home ground conditions as winter sets in to their advantage, season could be looking ok.

    Very surprised to see that the club has been around since 1929, and yes, loved hearing the song from the rooms.

    I think there’s a match report there waiting to be done of a great country match

    Sean

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