Almanac History: George Goninon and the “punt drop” kick

 

George Goninon of Geelong is the AFL’s first John Coleman Medal Full Forward to predominantly kick the drop punt as his set shot for his 289 goals kicked in the AFL. He is followed second by the great Peter McKenna of Collingwood. Peter Kicked 874 goals and 470 behinds  Average per game 4.58 goals  2.47 behinds. George Gonin0n does not have any records of behinds kicked. In one match against Carlton he got six kicks and kicked six goals. In a final against Collingwood he kicked 11 from  15 shots.

 

Here are some of the references from the newspapers of the day:

 

George Goninon (24) came to Essendon from Tasmania as a full forward, but had few opportunities, because of the success of John Coleman. Essendon then cleared him to Geelong, where he has done remarkably well. Last season he kicked 45 goals in 14 games. He stays close to goal, and uses an unusual “punt-drop” for most of his shots.

The Argus Friday 14 September 1951 Page 4 S

 

Most interesting to see the term Punt Drop used. I think this is a good description as George kicked the ball quite close to the ground and his kick looked more like a drop kick than a punt kick.

 

George  really did it

By Jack Cannon

Saturday  was George Goninon’s big day. He became leading AFL goalkicker,  ahead of John Coleman,  for the season and by kicking 11 goals equalled the record for the highest number of goals kicked in a final game. George has now kicked 82 goals for the year, although he missed the first three games. In the first quarter he rarely touched the ball. In the second term he got two goals, in the third he brought his total to five to be on the top of the goal kicking list. But in the last term he could not go wrong. He marked well, led out beautifully, and kicked six more goals with his peculiar, spinning “drop punt.” On the day  George had 15 shots. He kicked 11 goals, three behinds, and one out of bounds.

The Argus (Melbourne, Vic) Monday 17 September 1951 Page 9

 

“Glamor boy”

By H. A. de Lacy

ROOM TO PLAY
Today,forwards are given plenty of space to play in, defenders find it increasingly difficult to counter a fast-flowing attack.

The full-forward is coming back in all his glory. Let’s run through them.

Coleman is still the great footballer. That’s why he is the outstanding full forward. He would be just as effective in another key position. His ground play is sound, his evasion clever, his marking spectacular.

George Goninon (Geelong) is a mouse beside the glorious John. but he nibbles away without stop or let. He never stops battling. He gets a higher percentage of goals for his kicks than has any forward in 20 years — and I’m not excepting the sensational Bob Pratt, the solid Gordon Coventry, or the fast-leading, high flying Ron Todd.

Give Goninon the drop on the goal and it’s all over. He’s an ace shooter with his peculiar stab-kick-punt similar to that used by Dick Lee, famous Collingwood forward.

Goninon is never out of range. He’s no great guns in the air but if the ball is shot to him shoulder high and on a fast lead he usually gathers it.

–   Sporting Globe (Melbourne, Vic. : 1922 – 1954)   Sat 10 May 1952  Page 7  “Glamor boy”

 

Really Funny Old Kick

And all the while George is dodging in and out of the packs. His really funny old kick is one of the most deadly in scoring goals that I have seen. With Flanagan, Turner, Davis and Pianto alongside him you can see how worried are the opposition backs.

– Sporting Globe  Saturday 3 January 1953  Page 9

 

Here Are The Boys Geelong Cheers

GONINON may  not be the best full-forward in the League today, but he is certainly the most economical. He neither wastes energy nor kicks. Ask Ollie Grieve, Carlton’s ace full back. Last year Grieve played one of the finest games of his career against Goninon. He marked and cleared repeatedly and brilliantly. He got all of 30 kicks. Goninon got only six kicks. He kicked six goals. This deadly accuracy is one of the three secrets of Goninon’s great success. A brilliant exponent of the little-used drop punt, he rarely misses from any distance or at any angle.

The second reason for his success is his clean, clear-cut leading. Goninon doesn’t waste time with subterfuge; he is not one for fancy, fake leads. He just goes out for the ball, and with uncanny anticipation usually gets it. The third secret is Goninon’s personal popularity with his team-mates. They’re a happy family at Geelong, and they all like George. They like passing to him. They like seeing him kickgoals. And Goninon? He likes kicking them, too..

Sporting Globe 25th April 1952

 

 

In an article with Sporting Globe Jack Dyer refers to the Stab-punt kick;

 

Dyer Sees Red

He uses the stab-punt kick, dropping the ball point down and almost vertical, kicking it with the toe of his boot.

“Dick” Lee, famous Collingwood forward, used the same type of kick. Dyer says he saw the value of the kick watching Collingwood, and learnt it from the Collier brothers.

–  Sporting Globe  Wednesday 31 March 1948 Page 9

 

Note there is further support in some of the above  re Dick Lee’s A Type Of Stab Punt.

 

I have noticed that in the six pages on Dick Lee in “A Century of the Best: The Stories of Collingwood’s Favourite Sons” by  Michael  Roberts, there is a reference to The Sporting Globe but there is no mention of Dick Lee’s  “A TYPE OF STAB PUNT” But then this book  was published before Jim Johnson made his corrections to the Sporting Globe’s Electronic Text referring to Dick Lee’s “A Type Of Stab Punt”

 

 

For Further information see

The First Drop Punt? Recent research from a kick historian

www.footyalmanac.com.au/the-first-drop-punt-recent-research-from-a-kick-historian/

 

 

Stab Punt Jim Johnson. 

Comments

  1. Cat from the Country says:

    “Last season he kicked 45 goals from 14 games. He stays close to goal …”
    Could this be Chris Scott’s Plan B for Tom Hawkins?
    I am so frustrated by our empty forward line.

  2. Stab Punt Jim Johnson says:

    Hi Cat from The Country.
    Thanks for your comment re Goninon, 182 cm & 80.5kgs, and Hawkins.
    Have you noticed how often Hawkins leads to a vacant centre half forward position to be met by a low fast stab like pass. I see a stab Punt. I ? why don’t commentators recognise this disposal method?. He marks virtually unopposed and mostly kicks a goal.

    Stab Punt Jim

  3. Stab Punt Jim Johnson says:

    George Goninon kicked the most Goals in the season of 1951 including the final series. The John Coleman Medal is awarded yearly to the Australian Football League player who kicks the most goals in home-and-away matches in that year. So I have listed George incorrectly as having won this medal. He kicked more goals than John Coleman in 1951 but John Coleman won the medal.
    The great Peter McKenna of Collingwood is the AFL’s first John Coleman Medal Full Forward to predominantly kick the drop punt as his set shot for goal.

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