Pulling on the boots

By Scott Elliott

This weekend I will be playing footy with the Port Fairy ressies side with my brother Drew. It is the first time I have played with him in the same side for 13 years. Both of our wives are rolling their eyes and waiting in anticipation for us to start moaning and complaining come Sunday morning from the after effects of the game on Saturday.

We are both in our 30s now (me 36 and my brother 34). I had told my wife I had ‘retired’ at the end of last year but due to shortage of numbers I have had to fill in for two games this year. At the end of last year, my body was pretty much buggered- both Achilles, left knee, ribs. My brother, Drew has not played a game in nearly 3 years due to knee injury he sustained. He was at his best prior to the injury, a mobile ruckman who read the play like Jimmy Bartel with a beautiful left foot kick. Me, I was never as skilled as him, but had the same size and made myself known as a ‘general nuisance’ as my dad would say for over 12 years with the Port Fairy Seagulls at senior and reserve level.

Our paths have diverged since our last tango together with Keilor ressies in the Essendon District league in 1999. Drew went on to be a triple premiership player with Keilor (who wear the old Footscray colours), win a best and fairest, become a 300 game player and life member of the club that my family have put so much time and energy in to. Myself, well I have settled for the green (and sometimes waterlogged) pastures of south west Vic. I now have been involved in some capacity with Port Fairy footy netball club (who wear a purple jumper with a gold vee and seagull) over my 12 years living in the town. No premierships to show, but the friends I have made in the community will last me a lifetime.

The Seagulls are struggling on the field at the moment. Success has been elusive for them since joining the Hampden League in 1949 and winning their only senior premiership flag in 1958 under the guidance of former Fitzroy great Marty Hearn. On many occasions, it has seemed that the Gulls might break this drought, only for defeat to be snatched from the jaws of victory. You could probably draw comparisons with the Doggies in the VFL/AFL in this regard. There is talk about the Seagulls looking to minor leagues in the region to ensure their long term sustainability. This is in light of the VCFL review of football in the far sw border region of the state, which recommends the Hampden League pursue teams from Portland and Hamilton to strengthen the current 8 team competition.

Port Fairy’s ground is set within the Gardens Oval reserve near the East Beach at Port Fairy. Its setting amongst the gardens is quite picturesque and the old soldiers and sailors pavilion grandstand gives a hint of regalness about it. It is probably my favourite ground to play out of the ones I have played on throughout my career.

I will have a run with the boys this Thursday night in preparation for our Saturday clash with Cobden. Drew has been running regularly and having a kick of the footy with some mates. Both Elliott brothers wearing the purple and gold of Port Fairy! Let’s hope both Elliott brothers come off the field on Saturday to belt out the Port Fairy theme song!

Comments

  1. Any relation to Jamie Elliott?

  2. Dave Nadel says:

    Best of luck for the weekend, Scott and Drew. I watched a few Seagulls games in the days when Ronnie Wearmouth took them within a few points of a Flag (1983). I wouldn’t know what it was like to play on, but the Gardens was certainly one of the nicest country grounds to watch footy.

  3. Neil Belford says:

    So Scott – How did you go. Did you get ironed out – or reported. Is the knee now going to need replacing in five years. Or did the game roll off reasonably well.

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