Local Footy: Former AFL stars make impression in Bendigo league

By Richard Jones THERE’S plenty of stories about former Bendigo and central Victorian footballers who’ve made the transition from local comps to the AFL. For example the four Selwoods, Nick Dal Santo, Greg ‘Diesel’ Williams, Geoff Southby, Rod Ashman, Jimmy Buckley, Peter McConville and Trevor Keogh all made the trip down the highway to the [Read more]

Local footy: Memorable administators in the Bendigo Football League

By Richard Jones JUST as in football’s playing ranks, there’s never a shortage of memorable characters running affairs at club or league levels. Here in the Bendigo league we’ve had controversial and colourful presidents and chairmen, feisty secretaries and treasurers, but also a sound quota of extremely gentlemanly and thoughtful people. But it doesn’t matter [Read more]

Country Footy – A golden heritage: how Square’s ground has changed

by Richard Jones REIGNING Bendigo Football League premiers Golden Square have used the Wade Street ground, now known as Country Vet Oval, since the 1930s. But how and why did the Wade Street Oval become Square’s home? Well, the site in the Bendigo Creek where gold was first discovered in the district in 1851 is [Read more]

Local Footy: No shortage of characters in Bendigo footy

By Richard Jones IT SHOULD come as no surprise to footy followers that our unique Australian code draws plenty of ‘characters’ to weekly matches. Here in central Victoria we have attracted, and continue to attract, our fair share. Over a period of three decades I’ve seen quite a few.

Footy: Prato’s journey to Bulldogs not as exotic as Daw but no less remarkable

By Richard Jones The Majak Daw story makes a nice yarn. But how about Maryborough boy, Eddie Prato, taken by the Western Bulldogs with pick No.58 in the AFL rookie draft? Eddie spent most of 2009 playing basketball with the Ballarat Miners in the South East Australian Basketball League. At 6 ft 8 ins in [Read more]

Jones Files: Square keep Sandhurst at bay to earn grand final victory for the ages

By Richard Jones GOLDEN Square plays off with old rivals South Bendigo in this Saturday’s Bendigo Football League grand final. The Square Bulldogs went down by a goal to Eaglehawk in last September’s cliffhanger decider. The Bloods, meanwhile, have made the grand final for the first time since 1995. Perennial losing preliminary finalists, South snapped [Read more]

Jones Files: Hartney’s two league medals place him among Bendigo elite

Richard Jones BRENDAN Hartney was always destined to play for Sandhurst and follow in the footsteps of his late father, Leo. Leo Hartney not only donned the maroon and blue colors of Sandhurst, but when his playing days were over was a faithful servant of the club, serving for a period as chairman of selectors. [Read more]

Jones Files: Golden nuggets found in 1949 Football Record

IN LATE winter 1949 I watched Geelong play Footscray at Kardinia Park. Other matches on the VFL schedule that weekend were all played at suburban venues: Princes Park, Windy Hill, Punt Road, Victoria Park and the Junction Oval. The competition had 12 teams, a number that had stayed intact from 1925 right through the Depression [Read more]

Jones Files: My dozen favourite Geelong players

By Richard Jones HERE’S a compilation of 12 of my favourite Geelong players. Not in any particular order, except for Polly Farmer as No. 1. Some of these stars, such as Bobby Davis and Bernie Smith, were going around more than half a century ago. Others are far more recent. I didn’t see any Geelong [Read more]

Jones Files: South Bendigo holds out fast-finishing Sandhurst in classic Grand Final

By Richard Jones SOUTH Bendigo won the Bendigo Football League’s sensational 1955 grand final by a point over hard-working Sandhurst. It was a day when weather conditions really played a huge part as the QEO was lashed by freak winds and heavy rain.

Jones Files: George Ogilvie, ex-Echuca and Rochester, a true Bendigo league great

By Richard Jones ECHUCA’S between-the-wars centre half-forward George Ogilvie rates as one of the greatest players the Bendigo league has seen. Amazing as it might seem, Ogilvie didn’t start playing in the BFL until he was 29. He’d seen service in World War 1, played with Richmond in the VFL and Port Melbourne in the [Read more]

Jones Files: My ten best sports films

By Richard Jones Raging Bull (1980): Robert DeNiro at his absolute best as world middleweight champion Jake LaMotta in an era when boxers in this division were the best ever. The self-destructive, paranoid Jake has two memorable fights with Sugar Ray Robinson (Johnny Barnes), but he’s dysfunctional in family matters. As  Jake, DeNiro won the [Read more]

Jones Files: More players to add to my list of the best in the Bendigo league

By Richard Jones AS my original list of the Top Ten best Bendigo Football League players was so well received, here’s another list of country footy stars to consider. This second list contains more players from recent times than the original squad. A number of players in this group were teammates in Bendigo’s stunning 1989 [Read more]

Jones Files: The day Moresby fight fans heckled Smokin’ Joe

By Richard Jones SMOKIN’ Joe Frazier, one-time world heavyweight boxing champion, landed in Port Moresby in late March 1975. Joe and his entourage flew in from Melbourne where Joe had beaten a top rated opponent in Jimmy Ellis in a scheduled 12-rounder. In fact Frazier won on a ninth round TKO with Ellis unable to [Read more]

Jones files: My top ten in the Bendigo footy league

THE Almanac’s Paul Daffey asked me recently whether I’d considered compiling a list of the best players I’d seen in three decades of reporting on the Bendigo Football League. That got me thinking. My first season of writing about Bendigo footy was way back in 1977 — 33 years ago. Is it fair or reasonable [Read more]

Jones files: All aboard for the South Pacific Games

By Richard Jones BACK in the 1960s and ‘70s inter-Territory and inter-island carnivals were the high points of the sporting calendar for Pacific countries. The emerging island nations to the north and east of Australia contested a wide range of sports disciplines in the event known as the South Pacific Games. The Games were first [Read more]

Jones files: High times on the back of a truck

By Richard Jones WHILE broadcasting sports events in Papua New Guinea was never dull, radio work hasn’t been without its moments here in central Victoria. How many metropolitan radio hacks would hoist themselves into the back of ute parked against a country footy ground’s fence? Not to mention a dairy cattle livestock truck positioned adjacent [Read more]

Jones files: The lighter side of broadcasting in PNG

By Richard Jones I’VE been broadcasting either from the studio or from outside locations since the mid-1960s. I lived in Papua New Guinea from 1963-76. PNG was the Territory of Papua New Guinea before self-government in 1973 and independence in 1975. When I started calling amateur boxing tournaments from ringside for the ABC’s 9PA Port [Read more]

Jones files: After sixty years, I’m still yelling for the Pivots

By Richard Jones GROWING up in Geelong in the late 1940s and early 1950s there was no way I could have been anything but a supporter of the Hooped Marvels. My father was a Welshman who had migrated to Australia in the mid-1920s, ostensibly to escape possible employment in the coalmines of south Wales. So [Read more]

Local footy: Bendigo league almost gets a college team

By Richard Jones DURING the early 1980s turmoil in Bendigo football, one of the stranger proposals was to introduce a college or university team into senior ranks. A football team from the then College of Advanced Education, now LaTrobe University, Bendigo, was suggested as an additional senior club. The Bendigo and Golden City leagues had [Read more]