Retirement for the Weekend Warrior

Vaughan Menlove shares the difficult decision facing the competitive athlete about when to quit. The heart and mind are willing but the body chooses to differ.

Local Footy: Amateur legend ends fun journey after 428 games

One of the great careers in amateur football ended at the weekend when Old Paradians forward Peter “Plugger” Brabender played his final game at 40 years of age. Brabender’s games tally of 428 included a handful of under-19 games but not one reserves game. Sunday’s match against Division 2 rival Banyule was his second grand [Read more]

Local Footy: Rain takes toll on country footy finals

There’s a legend in north-west Tasmania that conditions for a match at Forth were so wet that the Forth River broke its banks and fish began swimming between the goal umpire’s legs. Conditions were almost that wet in nearby Launceston on Saturday, when one team in the Northern Tasmanian Football Association’s second-division grand final failed [Read more]

Local Footy: American dream becomes reality

Country footy is full of legend and lore. Country footy is not full of Americans. So what’s an American doing playing senior footy in the competition currently considered the best in the bush, the Goulburn Valley league? Dan Sarbacker was at a loss when he finished his study and soccer commitments at the University of [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]

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]

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]

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]

In the Sheds: Saints’ kicking is sinful

By Paul Daffey HORSHAM Saints president Peter Daffy might have been on to something when he bumped into his counterpart from Warrack Eagles, David Stewart, at the Wimmera league’s elimination final on Sunday. The previous day, at Central Park in Stawell, the Eagles defeated the Saints in the qualifying final by two points, 11.11 (77) [Read more]

In the Sheds: Warrandyte warrior expects no favours despite taking field with brain tumour

AS THE Warrandyte players ran on to the field to host Whitehorse Pioneers in their final-round clash in division three of Melbourne’s Eastern Football League on Saturday, their ranks included one footballer who was playing his first game for the season — with good reason. In February James “Jimmy” Logan turned up to training in [Read more]

In the Sheds: Livingston emulates his father’s feat in kicking a ton for Kerang

LUKE Livingston was a full-back during his 46 games with Carlton. He also played at full-back with Port Melbourne for two years after the Blues had delisted him. But having returned this season to his home club, Kerang, the 26-year-old has found a new lease of life at full-forward. Livingston went into Saturday’s game against [Read more]

In the Sheds: Shepparton Swans hope to emerge from turmoil with three Yze brothers

By Paul Daffey Goulburn Valley league club Shepparton Swans (once known as Lemnos) have had a tumultuous year. They lost four dozen players before the season, told senior players they would have to take a pay cut mid-season, sacked their senior coach the next day and recently forfeited a reserves game because they had only [Read more]

In the Sheds: Rupertswood’s geese are worth a gander

By Paul Daffey THE Rupertswood footy club has made a big impression since joining the Victorian Amateur Football Association a decade ago, and not just because of its progression through the grades.

In the Sheds: Noble Park surprise by sacking Ezard as coach

By Paul Daffey ESSENDON premiership rover Alan Ezard had no idea of what was about to happen when he took a call from Kevin Wright, the president of Eastern Football League club Noble Park, at 9 o’clock last Thursday morning.

In the Sheds: Peace returns to Melbourne’s west after umpire ructions

By Paul Daffey ALL Western Region Football League games went ahead at the weekend, which was a relief after the cancellation of all senior matches the previous weekend because of an umpires’ strike, but the rapprochement was not achieved without argy-bargy.

In the Sheds: Teams left high and dry as umpires strike

By Paul Daffey What a mess in the west! The Western Region Football League Umpires Association was formed around the same time that the Western Region competition (originally the Footscray District league) was formed in 1931. Umpires to have come through the ranks in the western-suburbs competition include Mathew James, who’s officiated in three AFL [Read more]

In the Sheds: Buckling up for a game of footy

By Paul Daffey THE Victorian Amateur Football Association is a Melbourne-wide competition, so clubs accept that occasionally they have to travel across town. Not so long ago that meant that clubs based around the VAFA heartland of the inner eastern suburbs had to cross the river (shudder) to play St Bernard’s at West Essendon or [Read more]

In the Sheds: PM rewards multi-talented Mifsud

By Paul Daffey JASON Mifsud is a footballer who’s well known at all levels of the game, having achieved success as a playing-coach at Koroit in the Hampden Football League before becoming an assistant coach at St Kilda under Grant Thomas and the Western Bulldogs under Rodney Eade. In recent years Mifsud has worked with [Read more]

In the Sheds: Castlemaine celebrate 150th anniversary in style

By Paul Daffey A FEW years ago, with questions still to be solved about the formation of the Castlemaine footy club, Magpies committeeman Maurie Crooke proposed that the club should take measures to establish just when it was created. Crooke organised for the Magpies to make a donation to the Castlemaine Historical Society, whose Aileen [Read more]

In the Sheds: Not a level playing field

One of the great things about footy is that every ground is different. Unlike soccer and rugby pitches, which are uniform in dimension, footy grounds can be as big as the sky or as small as a pie, with straight wings or bulbous wings or a kink in one pocket. Another factor that sets grounds [Read more]