Local Footy: Serong’s two seasons in Bendigo league rank him among the best

My fellow Almanacker Richard Jones is a keen observer and promoter of the Bendigo Football League. He has compiled two separate lists of the 10 greatest players from different eras. I saw several of the players he had on his list from the 70s play and that’ll brook no argument with me, all great players. [Read more]

General Footy Writing: The Sydney footy club has a much longer history than you might think

When did the Sydney Football Club play its first game? a)      1877 b)      1881 c)       1903 d)      1983 If you answered b) you were correct. The first recorded game of Australian football was played in Sydney in 1877 when Carlton visited to play the Waratahs Rugby Club in both rugby and “Victorian Rules”.  The Sydney [Read more]

General Footy Writing: Ungarie junior premiership ushers in next generation of Danihers

On the eve of the Footy Almanac lunch on Friday 28 August, at which Anthony Daniher and Adam McNicol will talk about Adam’s recently released biography of The Danihers, comes the news out of the Riverina that there are some more Danihers on the way to the AFL! What would you expect when the Daniher [Read more]

Local Footy: Australian footy looking very healthy on NSW north coast

Australian football is now firmly established on the north coast of NSW. The game, which had humble beginnings but grand ambitions when it was started just over 30 years ago, continues to make headway and has now cemented its place on the sporting landscape.

General Footy Writing: It would gladden my heart to see an AFL club in western Sydney

I am a major advocate for an AFL team in western Sydney. I believe that it will ultimately be very successful – but it will take a long time and a concerted effort by the AFL and its fellow travellers to make it work. I’ve been involved in the promotion and development of football in [Read more]

Local Footy: The day that Welcome Advice saved Bushpig coach’s honeymoon

The Rivcoll Bushpigs, the club from the old Riverina College of Advanced Education (now Charles Sturt Uni) in Wagga, enjoy such a reputation as a social club that their opposition in this Saturday’s Farrer League fixture, the Northern Jets, is holding a get-together at the Bushpigs’ annual Old Bores Day.

Local Footy: The Maffra story – it’s all about beating Sale

by Rocket Gillett   In preparing my recent posting on the Rochester/Echuca rivalry I had planned to compare it to a very similar rivalry – and the most comparable is the Sale/Maffra rivalry – the parallels are striking similarly in terms of longevity, small town v big town, changing competitions, etc However, I got carried [Read more]

Local Footy: Rochester should be the Demons for a day

By Rod Gillett The local derby is in my view the essence of Australian football. This is much more pronounced at the grassroots level than at the AFL level, whether it be in the country, the amateurs, the suburbs, and even between schools. It’s particularly poignant in the bush. Training intensifies, supporters start talking about [Read more]

Middle East Correspondent: The Bahrain Blues are coming

by Rocket Gillett   The Australian football frontier has just been extended to Bahrain. The Bahrain Blues Australian Football Club has been formed and will enter the Middle East AFL competition next season when it starts in October – after Ramadan. This will bring the number of teams in the Middle East AFL to 7 [Read more]

Middle East Correspondent: Huey’s cherry-ripe for the Swans job

By Rod Gillett The news that Sydney Swans chief executive officer Myles Baron-Hay is stepping down at the end of the season will spark speculation in the Melbourne media about a replacement from the football managerial stocks, with all the usual suspects being given a run. The best man to run the club in my [Read more]

Middle East Correspondent: What’s in a name for footy clubs? Plenty

By Rod Gillett When the Ardlethan and Ariah Park-Mirrool football clubs in southern NSW agreed to amalgamate for the 2004 season they could have combined their names in the fashion of another (quite famous) Riverina club, Ganmain-Grong Grong-Matong. Instead they came up with the moniker Northern Power, as they had decided to adopt a Port [Read more]

Middle East Correspondent: Koroit pair almost steal premiership cup from Dubai Heat’s grasp

By Rod Gillett It was more than a truly international clash on football’s latest frontier; it was a classic Bush Boys versus City Slickers encounter. The inaugural Middle East AFL grand final pitted the unbeaten Dubai Heat, who are based in the United Arab Emirates, against the Muscat Magpies from neighbouring Oman. Dubai is an [Read more]

Local Footy: University of New England footballers spread the word

By Rod Gillett Most uni footy clubs are renowned for getting up to some hi-jinx. The Bushpigs based at Charles Sturt University’s Wagga campus claim to be “Australia’s most socially innovative football club” while the University of Queensland’s Red Lions took the their nickname from the Glencoe pub – an historic hotel on the New [Read more]

Middle East Correspondent: Riverina review puts Farrer clubs in danger

By Rod Gillett There will be no forced mergers of club, according to the Review of Australian Football & Netball in Southern NSW released in Wagga  on Friday. It’s a review that proposes a blending of the current Riverina and Farrer football leagues into a new competition to be known as AFL Riverina. In a [Read more]

Middle East Correspondent: Rick Quade deserves place among Swans’ greats

By Rod Gillett Rick Quade stepped down from the Swans’ board of directors only last year, after almost 40 years of service for the South Melbourne/Sydney Swans Football Club. Since beginning as a player in 1970, he’s been captain, coach, chairman of selectors and a board member. Recently he heeded another call to serve the [Read more]

Local Footy: Bushpigs face extinction

by Rocket Gillett    The Wagga Uni Bushpigs broke a 38 game losing streak when they beat The Rock-Yerong Creek by five points in their Farrer Football League fixture last Saturday. It was their first win since 12 August 2006 when they beat Temora.   It was a huge day for the Pigs as they [Read more]

General footy writing: Middle East correspondent: Make it a grand national final

By Rod Gillett The AFL’s threat to play the Grand Final in Sydney after the contract with the MCG expires in 2032 begs the question: why not play the Grand Final around on a rotational basis so that each city in the competition gets to host the game? If the game is truly to become [Read more]

Middle East Correspondent: Branch’s grassroots work honoured by Sydney clubs

by Rocket Gillett   There has been a proliferation of cups and medals and even sporting venues and facilities named in honour of former club heroes or officials in recent years. I reckon that has been a good thing. It’s great to see people recognised for their contribution to the game. Personally I like to [Read more]

Old East Fremantle Would Have Been A Contender

  by Rod Gillett and Dave Warner   When Paddy Ryder was awarded the Anzac Medal for his game for Essendon in this year’s match against Collingwood it occurred to me that here was yet another top-class player produced by the East Fremantle Football Club. I thought there was a story in it. I contacted [Read more]

Sydney Uni align with Collingwood — and stick with blue and gold colours

By Rod Gillett When the Collingwood Football Club first sat down with the Sydney University Australian National Football Club to talk about the proposal to field an under-eighteen team in the Sydney AFL competition the uni officials made it quite clear that the team’s colours would be blue and gold. This was not an issue [Read more]