Almanac Footy Teams: A team of fleas, skeeters and pip-squeaks.

Big logs get all the glory. If something goes wrong it’s always the little bloke who gets dragged. Big logs take longer to mature they reckon. Nonsense. They’re usually useless when they start and are marginally less useless as they get older.


Check out this team of little blokes. Look at the centreline! Brilliant. They might concede the ruck but after that it would be all over.


And the best part is that they wouldn’t have to change ends at the end of each quarter. It makes no difference!


Our old mate Perc at the North Fitzroy Arms, bless his soul, wouldn’t get a game. Anything over 173cms is a waste.



Backs                     T. Liberatore                                     P. Callery                                             L. Richards

Half Backs           (Pastor) Doug Nicholls                   D. Craven                                            P. Bell

Centre                  Jack Carney                             K. “Skeeter”Coughlan                               B. Cable

Half Forwards   P. Milne                                               V. Catoggio                                         E. Betts

Forwards             B. Gotch                                               D. Weightman                                   B. Harvey

Ruck                      W. Goggin                                          R.Skilton                                              C. Daniel

Reserves – Phil Matera, James “Nipper” Bradford

Coach – A. Clarkson

Team psychologist – D. Oliver




About Damian O'Donnell

I'm passionate about breathing. And you should always chase your passions. If I read one more thing about what defines leadership I think I'll go crazy. Go Cats.


  1. Paul Sarah

  2. Most importantly, Dips, you’ve found Geelong’s Jack ‘Mickey the Mouse’ Carney, one of the smallest blokes ever to play League footy. He was b.o.g. in the 1931 Grand Final.

    Here’s the story of that game:

  3. Sarah is 177cms. Way too tall.

  4. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    Eddie Hocking

  5. Jeff “The Wiz” Farmer

  6. Considered Eddie Hocking but he only played a handful of games.

    Jeff Farmer misses out by 1cm – was 174cms.

  7. Dips, Surely Chicken Smallhorn, Bruce McMaster-Smith and Stan Judkins would thrust their names in front of the selectors.

    Cheers, Burkie

  8. Citrus Bob says

    McMaster-Smith has to be on the bench. What about Paul Callery and Peter Filandia

  9. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    Since EH had the shortest career, he should have been the first one picked Dips

  10. Why did he look so small?

  11. Great idea and a great side Dips. Two must includes from interstate.
    Billy Walker (172cm) won 4 Sandover Medals for Swan Districts in the 60’s/70’s. Considered at least Cable’s equal in WA (Walker was quicker). With Stephen Michael as the best WA player not to come east.
    Hayden Bunton Jnr (172cm) was Walker’s captain coach in 3 premierships at Swan Districts in 61/62/63 (they were bottom in 1960 pre-Bunton). Won the 62 Sandover Medal. Played 299 games in WA and SA for multiple clubs. Also had a season at Launceston in 1959. Spent 6 years in leg irons and on crutches as a child with Perthe’s Disease and survived a serious car accident in Tasmania. Probably more notable as a coach. Systematised Polly’s handball example as a playing style for teams, and banned the unreliable drop kick for his sides. I saw him as captain coach of Norwood in the SANFL in the mid 60’s. He was slow (understandable given the illness and injuries) but very clever and quick by hand and foot. Sam Mitchell lite. 744 games as a senior coach in WA, SA and Tasmania between 1957 and 1994, winning 2 more flags at Subiaco (his father’s old club) in 1986 and 1988.

  12. Paul Young says

    I like the team, Damo. Good work.

    Others I’d suggest are worth considering are Daryl Schimmelbusch (NM 165cm), Don Gross (173cm Essendon) and Jose Romero (173cm NM/WB).

    I’m actually surprised that Grossy was 173cm – he looked smaller than that when he was coaching Essendon Under 19’s.

    Charlie Pagnoccolo (MELB/WB) was about 173cm although the footy stats have him taller at 178.

    A couple with pro running connections –

    1966 Bendigo 1000 winner Tony Polinelli was about 170cm when he played for Geelong in the 1960’s.

    Legendary pro-running trainer Ferg Speakman’s cousin Bill Speakman was only 157cm when he played for Essendon in the 1920’s – one of the shortest ever to play senior VFL (or AFL) footy.

  13. Paul Goss, ex Port Melbourne, VFA, and Melbourne, VFL, would toughen them up.

    “Wee Georgie”, Bisset, ex Footscray and Collinwgood was 5’5 in the old lingo.


  14. Citrus – Paul Callery is named at fullback. Not the first place you would look for him, I suppose.

  15. Peter Pianto and Neil (Nipper) Trezise, both 170cm, were more than handy rovers for the Cats in the early 1950’s.

    Cheers, Burkie

  16. Phillip Dimitriadis says

    Brilliant work there Dips, flying the flag for the skeeters and the pip-squeaks. What is a pip squeak? Is there a collective noun for that? A pip of squeaks or a squeak of pips?
    Some great names – not sure how Danny Craven would go at CHB. Wasn’t he like 155 cms?
    Tony Shaw
    Alan Ezard
    Gary Shaw
    Harry Collier
    Frank ‘Bluey’ Adams
    Ross Smith
    All check in at 173cms or under.

  17. Gee some great names there Phil. Some conjecture about the height of T. Shaw and A. Ezard.

    Good calls Burkie – Nipper and Pianto.

    I’d better update my Encyclopedia Britannica.

  18. Hey Dips – the Houston Astros won Game 7 and the Major League Baseball World Series this morning. Jose Altuve of the Astros (168cm and 75kg) will probably win the MLB Most Valuable Player of the season. Already the American League batting champion for 2014/16/17. Big things in small packages? Think Lionel Messi in world football (170cm).
    Next thing they’ll be feeding kids Human Shrinkage Hormones!

  19. Paul Minogue says

    Bob Skilton’s roving partner (118 games), Brian McGowan (later Glenelg in the SANFL was 5’5″”. While a little taller than you might want for the side, at 5’10”, Trent Ormond-Allen was actually selected and played 1st ruck for the Crows in 1999, against St Kilda, pitted against Spider Everitt. Also 5’10” was one of my Mum’s uncles, Dan Moriarty, South Adelaide centre half back who won the Margarey Medal 1919-1921.

  20. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    Who is P Milne?

  21. Rat could probably get a game. Who’s the mascot?

  22. S Milne with a fat finger

  23. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    S Milne taller than 173cm, hence the question.

  24. Jimmy Krakouer,
    Tony Francis
    Ron Richards
    Thorold Merrett
    Ian Ridley’

    Actually in the case of the last three, almost every rover and the vast majority of centre line players before 1960 was 170cm or below. Mamy of them were under 165cm.

  25. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Mike Nunan he could seriously play

  26. Billy Brown (Rich). Starred in two GFs – ’67 & ’69. BoG in a couple of Interstate matches. 5’7″ & a smidgen under 10 stone. He was second rover to Hungry. He played back in the days when the only lettuce you could buy was the hefty iceberg. The greengrocers used to tell the Mums that all their lettuces had hearts on them like Richmond rovers. The greengrocers’ lettuces that is.

  27. I always wondered why KB was called “Hungry”? He was sponsored by the Richmond grocers. Subliminal marketing. An early “Whiskas”. I guess a man had to do what he had to do to put food on the table in Struggletown back then Wrap.

  28. Sarah Black says

    Can I add a few of the sub-160cm AFLW players? Lily Mithen (157), Ange Gogos (154) plus recently drafted Jordan Zanchetta (154), Calista Boyd (157) and Jodie Hicks (officially a very generous 160, but she’s just taller than me, and I’m 153). Zanchetta and Hicks were taken with picks 6 and 7 this year. Height doesn’t matter.

  29. Warwick Nolan says

    Thanks Dips. With respect I would like to support the case for Bruce McMaster-Smith.

    • five five
    • terrific name to pronounce out loud
    • fringe player at three clubs
    • 54 games mostly as 19th man
    • significant personal challenges
    • the epitome of why we love our game

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