Local Footy: Points system offers solution to salary-cap farces

While NRL fans wring their hands about Melbourne Storm’s salary-cap controversy, and AFL fans wonder how many of their clubs would survive forensic scrutiny of player finances, half a dozen Victorian country football leagues are content in the knowledge that their particular solution to the problem of containing player payments is working just nicely. These [Read more]

Review: Callinan kicks a goal with The Merger

Readers of The Footy Almanac would recognise instantly the sensibility of Damian Callinan, the comedian whose show The Merger is on at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival. Callinan knows footy, every nook and cranny of it, sometimes despite himself. (His nature is to shy from the get-stuck-into-’em aspect of the game.) He’s also got an [Read more]

Speech: D.J. Carey and the ‘craic’

This is an edited version of a speech given by Paul Daffey to Melbourne’s Irish History Circle at the Celtic Club in February 2010. I stand before you in the GAA jersey of Kilkenny, one of the combined 32 counties of the Republic and the North, all of whom contest the annual All-Ireland Championship in [Read more]

Cricket: Late debut proves memorable

By Paul Daffey When George Georgiou, president of East Coburg Cricket Club, asked me to play a game in the fourths I was chuffed. I’d never played a game of senior competitive cricket. My one game of junior cricket was as a 16-year-old fill-in with St Bernard’s at the Overland Reserve in East Keilor, where [Read more]

FOOTY: Life and times of the bush Bartel

By Paul Daffey Terry Bartel was still 15 when he announced himself to North East Victoria as a serious sporting talent. A slip of a kid with deceptive strength through his shoulders, he opened the batting for the Beechworth senior team and plundered 227 to break the Ovens and King Cricket Association record. In a [Read more]

Exhibition: A day at the footy starts at the gates

By Paul Daffey Many of my boyhood memories revolve around local footy, from matches played on wind-blown ovals in the north-west suburbs of Melbourne or on lonely ovals in the Mallee. I can still hear the “phhhsh” sound of air being pushed from a player’s lungs as he absorbs an unexpected tackle, or the sweet [Read more]

Film: Full points to Cohuna-Union rivalry flick

By Paul Daffey Ivanka Buczma, a landscape architecture student at Melbourne University, had a piquant first experience of a country footy rivalry. The 20-year-old and a dozen fellow students were on a field trip in Cohuna in northern Victoria as part of their landscape heritage subject. The students, as well as two lecturers, had entered [Read more]

Book Review: Krakouers biography is full of heart

Brotherboys: The story of Jim and Phil Krakouer, by Sean Gorman Reviewer: Paul Daffey As footy-mad youngsters, the Krakouer brothers’ inventive quest to improve their Aussie Rules skills included practising over the kitchen table in the family home at Mount Barker, WA. While their father Eric, one of several quiet heroes in this sad and [Read more]

Third Test, Day 5: Predictable end to a strange Summer

By Paul Daffey The final Test of the Australia-Pakistan series ended predictably enough, with Danish Kaneira chopping Peter Siddle on to his stumps to give Australia victory by a handsome margin and a 3-0 series whitewash. But while Australia did take six wickets to seal the match, it was only after a measure of resistance [Read more]

Local Footy: You never know what to expect in a grand final

As I walk into Elsternwick Park for the Victorian Amateur Football Association’s A-section grand final, the biggest day of the Ammos season, I expect an Old Xaverians victory. They’re playing De La Salle Old Collegians, the team they beat by 92 points in the second semi. Xavs are finals hardened. This is their twelfth grand [Read more]

In the Sheds: Saints and Cats jumpers fail to offer a guide to AFL fortunes

WITH all the focus on St Kilda and Geelong this week, In the Sheds combed through last weekend’s results to see if any portents could be gleaned from the clubs that wore Saints and Cats jumpers in local footy grand finals. Of the clubs that wore Saints jumpers, Koroit (Hampden league) and St Kilda City [Read more]

Local Footy: Xavs hold out De La for last-gasp win

Old Xaverians yesterday scored their 11th A-section premiership and 10th since 1995 when they held off a late flurry from De La Salle to win the grand final at Elsternwick Park by three points. Xavs defeated De La by 92 points in the second semi-final and looked the likely winners throughout this match. They led [Read more]

Top Ten: The best dummy spits in sport

1. Jeff Tarango, 1995 The American hot-head spat the dummy in the ultimate fashion by becoming the first tennis player to walk out on a match at Wimbledon. After losing a point that had been replayed during his third-round match against Alexander Mronz, Tarango told heckling spectators to “shut up”. A subsequent warning for an [Read more]

In the Sheds: Stony Creek people wake up and they’re still the premiers

THIS column shares its title with the In the Sheds program that airs on ABC Radio when there’s no AFL game on a Saturday afternoon. Listeners last Saturday might have heard Stony Creek president Greg Burge threaten to blow a gasket when his beloved Lions looked like being overcome by the hated Wonthaggi Power in [Read more]

Local Footy: De La duo share A-grade medal

De La Salle pair David Lowe and Matt Fieldsend have earned a rare double by becoming the joint winners of the Woodrow Medal for best and fairest in the VAFA’s A-section.

Local Footy: De La run Uni Blues off their legs to earn Grand Final berth

De La Salle yesterday ran University Blues off their legs in the A-section preliminary final at Elsternwick Park, overturning an eight-point deficit at half-time to score a 17-point victory. De La’s victory earned it the chance to avenge its 92-point second-semi-final loss to Old Xaverians in next Sunday’s grand final.

In the Sheds: Teague falls just short of flag aim after going back to his roots

By Paul Daffey While many AFL people keep their footy roots in mind, none match the determination of former Carlton and North Melbourne defender David Teague to maintain those roots. Teague played in a premiership at his home club, Katandra, just north of Shepparton, when he was 17. Now 28, he’s the coach of VFL [Read more]

Local Footy: Bordonaro in the clear but on the outer

By Paul Daffey Joe Bordonaro, the Mirboo North reserves player who last month was suspended for five years for tampering with umpires’ best-and-fairest vote cards, is not expected to play in his team’s grand final this Saturday despite having his sentence overturned.

VAFA: Uni Blues turn tables on St Bede’s with extra-time triumph

ST Bede’s-Mentone Tigers defeated Uni Blues both times during the home-and-away A-section season. But the Blues had the last laugh when they booted clear of the Tigers in extra time of a dramatic first semi-final at Elsternwick Park yesterday to win by 18 points.

In the Sheds: Peckett skates through busy life as father and footballer

WHEN this column yesterday rang former St Kilda defender Justin “Frankie” Peckett, he was skateboarding through the streets of Brighton. Peckett, 36, often gets about on his skateboard, especially if he has to commute from the North Melbourne office of Leading Teams, where he works, for an appointment with a corporate big shot in the [Read more]