Almanac Review 1988: Football 200 – Celebration of the Footy Nation

If you can’t remember the Australia of 1988, here’s a memory jogger.

Yep, Australia Day went for the full 366 days back then. Two hundred years since the First Fleet and all that. It was quite a comedown after South Australia’s sesquicentenary just two years earlier, but I suppose it gave those descendants of bread-pilferers, “new Australians” and other assorted reffos something to feel good about.

In 1988, like my life, the nation’s celebrations peaked a bit early (who would have thought that the photo comp that I won at Emery’s Elizabeth South in 1967 wouldn’t have led to a career as a male model, just imagine me as “Schwoolander”).

The undoubted highlight was “The Bicentennial Australian Football Championships”, held from 2nd to 5th March 1988 at those twin epicentres of Australian sporting, nay cultural, dominance, Football Park and Norwood Oval. Who needed to go to Brisbane’s overblown World Ekka instead? About 15.8m more people than went here, as it turns out.



The “artist” commissioned for the cover must have chosen to avoid those pesky Australian History electives on offer at the Larry Pickering Memorial Cartoonist CAE. He/she ensured that the three pillars of the Championships, the NFL governing body, the Bicentennial Authority and West End were all given suitable prominence. As was Captain James Cook and the HM Bark Endeavour, who, despite paving the way for Arthur Phillip, wasn’t exactly the reason for the Bicentennial. Perhaps, the Nina, Pinta and Santa Maria were just out of shot too. But it was good to see SA icon Smokey the Koala finally given the respect that he deserved after countless years of fronting bushfire awareness campaigns.

Inside Cover

I haven’t included everything from this 68 page tome, here’s the full contents in case you are curious. Send a stamped self-addressed envelope to Ned c/- Almanac HQ and he’ll send you a copy of the Puzzle Page.


Yep, page 1 comes three pages in. What a catchy title “South Australian Bicentennial Football Budget”. Current Port Adelaide board member and McGuire Media CEO Cos Cardone’s contributions didn’t make my cut.

What a magnificent trophy. One day it will turn up on Gumtree. Name your own price.

If you haven’t guessed by now, the Football 200 comp consisted of

  • Division 1: NSW, SA, VIC, WA
  • Division 2: Amateurs, ACT, NT, QLD, TAS and VFA

Look closely at the schedule. The Div 2 teams faced three games in three or four days. Ouch.

A gathering of such a vast collection of Australian Football talent will never occur again. More is the pity.



What indeed was the NFL? Who really ran the code back then? By way of contrast, in Garry Linnell’s Football Ltd, the NFL is scarcely mentioned, save for Allen Aylett’s time as its President. The VFL morphed into the AFL and the AFL Commission formally took over the running of the code in the 90s. Just like that really.



I had no recollection of WA’s Vince Yovich, but research has revealed that he was a bit more “colourful” than, say, Max Basheer.

In short, even as late as 1988, the NFL seemed to be deluded about its ability to progress Australian Football independently of the burgeoning VFL comp. The term “paper tiger” seemed to be the general consensus. The idea behind this carnival is to be applauded. However, the crowds were dismal, probably due to the clashes with the Lord Harewood’s Adelaide Festival of Arts or Mick Jagger’s ‘Let’s Work’ tour at Memorial Drive.

new p4



I’ve kept this article in coz Gordon Schwarz. His brief tale of the 1950 Carnival in Brisbane played on “a dirt-track speedway” is red, navy and gold.

The pars on the Rioli, Motlop, Long and other brothers, by Dion Hayman add interest. As does a topless Grenville Dietrich.


p 6

The convoluted qualification criteria are shown in the second section. I could flow chart it, but basically, the VFA and Amateurs got the dregs.


As well as “show us your Tassie”, the question on everybody’s lips was “who’ll be taking Flipper home tonight?” at the post-final knees up. Brad Hardie won two Tassie Medals? No, really.

As per the prizemoney, apparently that didn’t go so well.

The Teams

The pen-pix here were obviously done before the final squads were named as there are more/different names here than the team lists elsewhere. There’s a feast of detail here if you are so inclined. Let us know of the day you came up against one of these guys in the Under 11s or whether you had their number sewn to the back of your duffle coat (or both).





NSW were placed in Division 1 due to having a better net run rate or pink helicopter quota or suchlike (Correction: NSW was placed in Division I due to an excellent submission to the NFL by its delegate, Dr R.A. Gillett. This was mainly because NSW had more players on VFL/SANFL/WAFL lists than Tasmania. This was borne out in the results with a narrow loss to the SA and a win over WA.)

Sydney’s T-Shirt Tommy got the Waratahs Blues coaching gig. Tim Powell must have really impressed the selectors in the night game for Richmond. Has anyone heard what happened to that John “Longmuire” kid?




Carlton fans must be drooling at the thought of Dominic Fotia and Mark Naley in this lineup. Sadly, the former didn’t make the final squad, in a selection shock second only to the omission of Poowong’s own Rudi Mandemaker.

This was indeed SA Great



Household names. Up themselves. May not have been 100% serious.



Who’s Paul Mifka, I asked myself. Actually, he’s quite a good story.




Hey Dion, mate, it’s Sheehy, S-H-E-E-H-Y. A deadset bona-fide VAFA legend.

The pen-pics omit Jamie Morrissey from the list. Legendary Beasley kitted up alongside future Demon Andrew Obst. Alex Ischenko, despite being written up in the WA squad, played for the Ammos.



No mention was made of Brian Quade’s role as coach of East Wagga’s premiership side of 1976. Shame, Dion, shame. Barry Suckling was another East Wagga (and Almanac 2015 Grand Final lunch) all time great.

That’s the Crows’ honcho Phil Harper and Shaun “Cop This Garry Lyon” Smith in there too. Former Centrals captain Hannam is sporting the greatest football jumper in the history of great football jumpers – pity you can’t see it.




This was NT footy’s first real crack at State level. Unlike the other teams, early March was peak season for these guys. Michael Long joined West Torrens soon after this carnival. Yep, that’s Cyril’s dad. What a side.




Peter Knights, Mr Football of Queensland. I bet those volunteers that supported the previous 120-odd years of Qld footy loved seeing that. Jason Dunstall started his assorted state jumper collection. Peter Riewoldt is an uncle of both Nick and Jack.





The beginning of Robert Shaw’s love affair with Adelaide. The late Michael Parsons also played in the NBL for Launceston and West Adelaide, and went on the play a few seasons for the Swans. Chris “Rienoldt” is Jack’s father (and Peter’s brother of course).




Wheeler helmed a motley crew of ageing ruckmen (Round, Sarau), middle-tier VFL players (Ezard, Fairley) and Terry Wallace. The late Ron James was the youngest of their number.

Some Colour Pieces


If there was any one reason why South Australian’s hated Victorians, Dermie was it. I think someone might have read this piece to Martin Leslie before the game.


p 46

Tony Wynd won ACT’s Magarey Medal equivalent, as opposed to the Brownlow, Sandover, Leitch etc equivalent. Not the least bit parochial there Rog.



Maurice Rioli, what a champion. Enough said.

The Player Retention Scheme


SA had no hope of holding back the movement of players to the VFL. Gawd, even the Bears were chock full of Croweaters. The first paragraph turned out to be wrong, with both Leslie and Whittlesea shifting to the VFL. What a crock that last paragraph was. I don’t recall too many “disillusioned” or homesick blokes. The Crows couldn’t come soon enough.

Yes, I’m having a bob each way, our beloved SANFL was severely diminished as a result, but that was progress. But this was the mob that called its pre-season comp “Australia’s most prestigious”.

The Public Purse



Good to see that some of the lesser publicised sports were on the receiving end of the Authority’s largesse. Is chess a sport? Lithuanians of the world, unite and take over.



Attention James Coventry, more rule changes. Surely Murray Bird should have been given the Qld umpiring gig.

Harris Scarfe sold everything in those days.

The ’69 Carnival



I wish I’d gone to this but I was probably a year or so too young. Despite the label under top goal kickers, Huddo was representing Victoria.

Tasmanians Hudson and Baldock kicked 8.8 between them in the first game. Good to see Tony Casserly’s name bob up as a Sandgroper a couple of years before he saw the light and moved to Elizabeth (or more likely, Hillbank).

The Entertainment



“There is moral to this ditty… Footy fireworks always shitty”. Maybe John Williamson didn’t sing that, but he should have.

The Australian Drill Team doubled as the Centrals Cheerleaders during the SANFL season. Unmissable.

The Team Lists



Note to collectors of obscure footy memorabila – the numbers here shown for the VFA weren’t correct. A separate insert was produced for them (thanks Mike Hugo but I don’t have room).

As well as some top class teams here in Div 2, there were some ripping logos.



If you don’t want to know the results of the final yet, look away now. Yep, I attended the final, along with 19,000 desperates. Wasn’t my recordkeeping neat?

The Results

All results can be found here thanks to John Devaney.

The Div 2 result was

Game Nine (Section Two - Final)
 Northern Territory 4.3 10.4 15.7 17.10 112
 VFA                2.2  6.4  7.8  9.13  67

BEST – Northern Territory: M.Long, M.Rioli, Ahmat, Jones, McLean, Briston VFA: Wallace, Ezard, Wright, Martin, Round, O’Riley

GOALS – Northern Territory: D.Dunn 4; M.Long, McLean 3; Ahmat, Briston 2; Jones, P.Motlop, Vigona VFA: O’Riley, Round 2; Bergman, Eade, Martin, Mourney, Thornton


If you peeked above, you will know that SA thumped Victoria in the final. All you need to know about that match can be gleaned from the headline of this story

I don’t now condone violence on or off the field, but the sight of Leslie giving it to that cocky Ferrari driving, pig shooting Frankston boy had me baying for more. And more. I now hang my head in shame. Not.

The Div 1 details were

Game Eleven (Section One - Final)
 South Australia 8.5 10.6 13.8 15.12 102
 Victoria        1.0  3.1  5.6  6.6   42

BEST – South Australia: Leslie, Mickan, Platten, McIntosh, Kernahan, McDermott, Bubner, Aish, Hall, Naley Victoria: Roos, Healy, Silvagni, Madden
GOALS – South Australia: Kernahan 6; Hall, Platten 3; Lindner 2; McDermott Victoria: Morris 2; Osborne, Royal, Salmon, Weightman

The full match is available here

The Awards

1988 All Australian Team

New South Wales Terry Daniher (Essendon), David Murphy (Sydney)

Northern Territory Michael Long (St Marys), Michael McLean (Footscray), Maurice Rioli (St Marys)

South Australia Tony Hall (Glenelg), Danny Hughes (Melbourne), Stephen Kernahan (Carlton), Martin Leslie (Port Adelaide), Bruce Lindner (Geelong), Tony McGuinness (Footscray), Mark Mickan (Brisbane), John Platten (Hawthorn), Greg Whittlesea (Sturt)

VFA Terry Wallace (Footscray)

Victoria Danny Frawley (St Kilda), Gerard Healy (Sydney), Simon Madden (Essendon), Paul Roos (Fitzroy), Paul Salmon (Essendon), Dale Weightman (Richmond)

Western Australia Steve Malaxos (West Coast)


Paul Salmon was the surprising selection for the Tassie Medal.

Terry Wallace took home the coveted Dolphin Lamp Medal. He now has 50% of the Dolphins that have been awarded.

The Legacy

(this section intentionally left blank)


Thanks to
1) John Devaney, for preparing his extremely throrough analysis of Football200, referred to above, some of which I have reproduced herein.

2) David Eastman’s also proved invaluable.

3) Wikipedia

4) Adelaide Advertiser

5) The publishers – PBL Marketing

About Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt

Saw my first SANFL game in 1967 - Dogs v Peckers. Have only ever seen the Dogs win 1 final in the flesh (1972 1st Semi) Mediocre forward pocket for the AUFC Blacks (1982-89) Life member - Ormond Netball Club -That's me on the right


  1. Neil Anderson says

    Williamstown coach ” Tony” Wheeler went on to coach the Bulldogs in 1990. He had them playing so well in 1992 that I decided to become a member of the Club as well as being a life-long supporter.
    Interesting to note that that hardly any Footscray players cracked it for a mention in all those competitions around Australia. It reminded me how anonymous the Club was in that era with other Clubs and their stars dominating year after year and receiving all the publicity.

  2. I came across this a few months back and bought it solely based on the cover. I wasn’t disappointed. Harris Scarfe selling footy merch, let alone an NT training top – what a time to be alive.

  3. Great memories Swish. I seem to remember the carnival was so compressed it was at not particularly convenient times to attend many/any of the matches. I also recall great triumphalism over the result. Again Macca must have had the VFL recruiters pounding down the door. But, as we know, he is very good at saying no.

    Front cover might be Lincoln Tiver work as he did pretty much everything else in Adelaide in the ’80s (people would remember his work in the ABC song books that were prevalent in primary schools of the day – Let’s Sing etc). Also see a young former West Adelaide and current Williamstown coach in Andy Collins in the VFA team, although he was playing for Hawthorn by then.

  4. Trucker Slim says

    Great work Swish. Love the Maurice Rioli interview. Talking of his NT team, he says the Bicentenary means nothing to them, they’re just honoured to be playing. I also noticed that Cyril Rioli was in that team – I wonder whether he is related to the Hawks’ player Junior. Cheers

  5. James Grapsas says

    Terrific work, Swish. Thanks for putting it together.

    Interesting that Mark Maclure played for Queensland whilst he was an assistant coach at the Bears and more than a year after he finished at Carlton.

    Another oddity is Fraser Murphy playing for the VFA a few months after playing in Carlton’s 1987 premiership side.

  6. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    Thanks all for your comments

    Neil, SA has a rich tradition of stuffing up Victorian names, just ask Barry Royal

    Mike, Harris Scarfe’s hardware section in the Mall was very popular in the 80s too

    Dave, thanks for tracking down the culprit, err, artist

    Rick, yes that’s Junior Boy’s dad

    James, I think they took any opportunity to strengthen the Div 2 teams

  7. Love it Swish.

    I enjoy that the rover profiles almost invariably use the adjective “nuggety.” This must again become compulsory.

    I’m also sure that if the words “Garry McIntosh ” and “questionable commitment ” are googled there are zero matches.

    Great fun.

  8. Dennis Gedling says

    Who is Paul Mifka?!?!?!??!!?!

    He’s a god that’s what he is…

    One of West Perth’s greats. Was in the original Eagles squad I think. Finally got a flag in 1995.

  9. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    Spot on Mickey, although in my case it was ‘careful’ or ‘opportunistic’

    Dennis, Mifka was the only name in that WA list who I’d never heard of. Had to look him up, then realised the yawning gap in my WAFL knowledge. Thanks.

  10. Luke Reynolds says

    Schwoolander- with his trademark look “Swish Steel”??

    Had forgotten all about that “Celebration of a nation” song. 3 votes-J.English.

    Thanks for sharing this Swish. I knew of, but little about, this carnival. A very different time.

  11. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    These comments were “exhumed” – unfortunately my unfailingly polite responses are not available

    Cory Williams! Blacks Champion and SAAFL premiership team member 1986.
    Don’t be surprised by the parochialism of comparing medals to the Magarey Medal. They expected nobody but South Australian to come to the games and to read the Football Budget. Anyone “from interstate” coming into Football Park would see a “Budget” for sale and assume it was an accounting document and ignore it.

    Mick Jeffrey:
    Not only were the VFA numbers apparently incorrect, the logo is also wrong. They’ve use the Vic Ammos logo instead.

    Phil Dimitriadis:
    Terrific compilation Swish. You can tell that Paul Roos played for Fitzroy by that deplorable bowl cut. Some unforgettable hairstyles from this era. Did the mullet jump the shark in 1988?

    Luke Reynolds:
    Swish, the Colac links in the Victorian team-

    Peter Foster, recruited from now defunct Colac based club Coragulac
    David Cameron, who played junior football for nearby Beeac before moving to Echuca

    Leon Harris (not listed in the profiles but on the Victorian list for the game against WA) was from Neil Anderson’s town Mortlake.

    While in the South Australian team, the “strong, imposing centre half-forward” Dwayne Russell coached Colac after his AFL career. Without much success.

    Kevin Barge:
    Great article Swish. As part of the V.A.F.A. I attended the Carnival. Not a lot that I can recall but I and the other Ammos were gobsmacked at how good a player Michael Long was at the then age of 18.
    Also couldn’t get over what a giant Alex Ischenko was.

    Dan Hansen:
    Great article. I still have a copy of that program in a box in the garage somewhere.

    More importantly Brett “The Almanac’s Resident Meteorologist” Dutschke, Paul “Basket” Case and Myself were the waterboys for the Australian Amateur team. Here’s a photo of us at the Opening Ceremony with John Williamson belting out True Blue in the background.

    Cheers Handbag

  12. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Thanks Swish yes I was there and loved M Leslie that day and Valdemar,Basket and the worlds most casual man had a great time by memory and Greg Anderson is now Danny’s brother in law.
    I think Andrew Obst helped his footy career by dominating for the amateurs

  13. DBalassone says

    Love your work Swish, but much more interested in hearing about this game…

    but it wouldn’t let me. I’ll email to you. We’ve been cleaning out the garage (we’ve moving) and I’ve found my cherished VFL/AFL records / newspaper clippings. About 300 odd footy records from the late 70s to early 90s. And the missus has given me the ultimatum to do something about them. Yakes!

  14. DBalassone says

    PS The game was the 1989 State of Origin Vic vs SA. I took a photo of the Footy Record for the game but was unable to post into the comments section here.

  15. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    I’m not familiar with that game DB; unless it happened west of Kaniva and east of Eucla (or in 1963), I’ve erased it from my memory.

    You shouldn’t have much trouble offloading those Records etc

  16. Swish,

    A further correction is needed to your commentary.

    NSW was placed in Division I due to an excellent submission to the NFL by its delegate, Dr R.A. Gillett.

    This was mainly because NSW had more players on VFL/SANFL/WAFL lists than Tasmania.

    This was borne out in the results with a narrow loss to the SA and a win over WA.

    Further NSW AFL teams are called “The Blues” – not the Waratahs that’s the nickname for the NSW Rugby Union.

  17. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    Thanks for the updates Dr Rocket, duly noted and corrected.

    What are your recollections of the carnival? Was it a big deal for NSW footy?

  18. Thanks Swish,

    Yes, it was a coming of age for NSW footy.

    We had great characters in the team led by Terry Daniher. Bernard “Huck” Touhey and Billy Brownless.
    Nearly all country boys – mostly from the Riverina who had played with and against each other before going to the VFL.

    We really ran SA close so it was a great thrill to beat WA. First win ever by NSW over WA.
    We never got to beat SA. Beat the Vics in 91 at the SCG. And twice in the 1920s.

    I recall sitting in the Governor’s box for the SA game but the tension was too much and I escaped Max “Bash-Your-Ear” Basheer for the bar at half-time…

    I was thrilled to be approached at the after-match by the two great SANFL coaches Jack Oatey and Fos Williams to congratulate NSW on such a splendid effort. Both fine men. We had a great chat.

    Marching down King William St to the Town Hall with all the teams and going to a cocktail reception at the Governor’s House with Tommy Hafey were other great memories.

    Thanks Swish for bringing this carnival to the attention of the Almanac community.

  19. Lindsay Collison says

    Trip down mem alley played my one and only game for Qld as a very recent ex Victorian in the losers game on Friday v Tas at Norwood, completely overawed to be playing with and against the blokes I had been following for 10 plus years inc lining up at chb on ‘Disco’ Roach with Dougy Barwick in my ear on the flank. still have the no.31 jumper(club no. at Wilson Grange) photo and exact same program . Love the site and spend way too much time reading it.

  20. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    You must have impressed the Qld selectors at an early age Lindsay. Glad to be of service.

    No such thing as too much time spent on the Almanac.

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