Crio’s Question: Got any interstate intelligence?

by Chris Riordan

Fixtures (courtesy mostly of Real Estate joints) are filling local letter boxes and now fans are hatching plans for the season ahead.

I had a beer with some old mates last Friday. Their footy attendance has dwindled as other distractions add to the jumbled nature of today’s football timeframe.

But, of course, footy soon became our conversation topic and then questions of what games we might manage to watch this season.

Al was first to make a call.

“I’m getting the boys from Moorabbin back and we’re off to Sydney for Round One”.

“Leave via the Paddington end for the best pubs”, I counseled, drawing on my experience from the Test in January.

“The game’s at Homebush”, he replied. “We might not even make it out there!”

He’s done Launceston in the sleet and braved the dump that is AAMI Stadium. Subi he liked.

“The only upside of a Gold Coast team”, he added, “ is a good venue for a footy weekend.”

Supporters are planning their trips. Its not as simple as “under the windsock” (Windy Hill), Naughton’s (Princes Park), “scoreboard pocket” (Arden St) or “Rising Sun” (Western Oval).

Games this season are scheduled for Homebush and SCG, AAMI and Aurora, Subi and the Gabba, Carrara and Kardinia Park, Manuka and Marrara as well as plenty here in Melbourne.

Webjet and wotif can get us some good deals, but we need the “good oil”.

What grounds do you recommend? Where to sit, what to eat? Pubs to try and places to avoid?


  1. I do not recommend staying at Homebush. Period.

    We went down for the NRL grand final last year and stayed in Homebush expecting the bars to be filled all night. Last drinks were at 10:30pm and we were booted out at 11pm. We exited the hotel thinking it was just their policy but the entire area was deserted. Nothing and I mean nothing was open.

    If you do go out to Homebush, it’s worth it for the footy but do yourself a favour. Stay in Sydney and take advantage of the free train to the ground.

  2. YOu’ll definitely get a ticket in to Manuka on May 15 for WB v SS. The Kingo down the road does a ripper rump. And is one of the few establishments recognisable as a pub in the national capital.

  3. Might make my Manuka debut then John.
    Also, though I strongly advise against anyone going to AAMI for a match – and here I’m only referring to the venue and not the supporters – I do recommend a trip to some local SANFL games. We go over to watch the Bays (Glenelg) each year but good times can also be had at Richmond or Unley as well. If you time it properly, you can get a couple of matches in and see footy at Adelaide Oval.

  4. Richard Naco says

    As an ex-pat Crow (and supporter of the Bays since Knuckles Kerley went there from Souths in the late 60s), I can heartily endorse the recommendations to watch games at both Glenelg and Adelaide ovals.

    After attending almost every Glenelg game (plus every finals game) of the 1973 season, I basically lost interest when the finals were moved from Adelaide Oval to Waste Lakes in 1974. It’s only taken me thirty something years (and four interstate relocations) (and stumbling on to this site) to rekindle the passion.

  5. Richard,

    Just to test your credentials as a Glenelg supporter of that era please answer the following:

    1 Who kicked the goal after the siren in 73 GF?
    2 Which ruckman was injured early on and took no further part in the game?
    3 What number was Rex Voigt?
    4 Who was North’s best player on the day?
    5 What number was Kerry Hamilton and what was his nick-name?
    6 Who kicked the ball to Graham Cornes for his famous mark that resulted in Glenelg hitting the front late in last quarter?

  6. Rob Clarkson says

    Tim, I agree.

    After watching the game at Homebush, interstaters are best served by catching the train straight back to Central. Central (which isn’t central – it’s right at the southern tip of the CBD) has plenty of affordable accomodation nearby.

    And from the station it’s only a short walk to Surry Hills which has some of Sydney’s better pubs and some of Australia’s best restaurants.

  7. Peter Flynn says

    At Kardinia Park, the Sawyers Arms and the Lord of the Isles are both great places for a feed and a refresher.

    If you want a refresher and a game of pool, the Clarendon might be for you. Beware of pool sharks however.

    All three watering holes are across the road from the ground.

  8. Although common knowledge to us in Melbourne, interstaters might need to know that rather than the Punt Rd pubs, it is worth walking through to the London Tavern in Lennox St for the pre and post-MCG fix. Also, the All Nations – a fantastic pub and sponsor – runs a shuttle bus to and from matches at the ‘G which gets you away from the crush and in to a “proper” pub.
    City-side of Jolimont is not so good since the Duke of Wellington closed but it is actually not far across Fitzroy Gardens to the Cricketers’ Bar (at the Windsor) which has the added advantage of being atop Parliament Station and adjacent to tram lines.
    No tips on Dumplands…have enough trouble getting in and out and, if it is open, can hike back to the Railway in West Melbourne…tend to just give up as it still doesn’t get me as a proper footy venue!

  9. Richard,(comment 4)
    I need to note that there are no Adelaide Oval games fixtured for Adelaide Oval this year.
    Bays host Port on (Sunday) 30/05 and we’ll be in the Holdfast pocket.

  10. Crio,

    I disagree re- the London. It was a top pub a decade ago. Now it’s a nightclub.

  11. Big call. Been pre-game and during cricket and been very happy with the bar and beer garden. Might yuppy up later.

  12. Of course, those of us lucky enough to be MCC just breast the Beames Bar.

  13. What’s a nightclub?

  14. Rob Clarkson says

    North Melbourne in the 80s. Now we’re just a ‘Sunday afternoon on Fox’ club.

  15. Stephen Cooke says

    Nightclub is a fancy word for discoteque Dips

  16. Peter Flynn says

    Nursery Car Park on Oaks Day

  17. Dips,

    A decade ago, I would have stood at the bar in the London and had a beer with a bloke who was an ugly version of yourself (the mind boggles).

    Now if I stand at the bar, I don’t have a beer with a glamorous blonde girl with long limbs and no idea who won the 1980 grand final (the mind boggles).

    There’s no actual music, but that’s not my point. Altogether now …

  18. so what’s so wrong with the second option? stuff the grand final!!

  19. Andrew Fithall says

    I agree with that man at item 16.

  20. Dips,

    No, nothing wrong, except it’s just not footy.

  21. Richard Naco says

    Budge: I’ll give it a crack (and probably look like a mug for doing so. –

    1) John Sandilands. I would have preferred Cornesey’s go ahead goal to have been the last of the match.

    2) Bob “Butterfly” (although not to his face) Tardif, who, incidentally, is a Westminster Old Scholar (like myself). Which meant that Bob “Trigger” Tregenza had to ruck all game, and literally ran himself till he puked (he had to be given a chair for the presentations, he was so totally spent.

    3) I can hardly remember, but I have an inkling it was 10.

    4) Barry Bloody Robran, imo. He certainly sparked their huge comeback in the last quarter.

    5) Don’t remember the number (27?), but his nickname was Bomber. And he was a brilliant pure centreman.

    6) I was on the opposite wing, so peering in to the sun as I was, I didn’t see it (we were kicking to the Torrens end). He went down on the grandstand forward flank with cramp in both calves, then shook off the two trainers trying to help him & climbed above the pack for a trademark screamer (I certainly saw that). Then, remarkably, he kicked straight & put us in front by a point (Sandilands stretched the margin to 7 right on the death). The story of how he kicked uncharacteristically straight is pure gold, but of course, I didn’t see the two kids wearing Roosters’ scarves sitting in the tree outside the oval & giving him the finger as he lined up.

    That game was one of the best Grand Finals I’ve ever seen in any sport, and bar the fact that the team which had been leading almost all game actually did get the lead back right at the death, it bore a remarkable resemblance to the Saints-Cats game last September.

    Close enough?

  22. Richard Naco says

    And I can even remember the two young women I took to that game: Stella Maris (seriously) & Leonie Palamountain. Both lived in Semaphore Park at the time (I was living in Marion). They wore white cheesecloth tops that day, and with it being a scorching hot day and us being on the eastern wing (ie facing westwards, into the sun late in the game), let’s just say that white cheesecloth offers no visual impairment to a sunburnt torso. Especially where no lingerie was evident.

    Of course, back then (probably, sadly, as now), my flirting with them was a bit like a dog chasing cars (if I ever caught one, I wouldn’t have known what to do with it).

  23. Richard,
    I’ll have to defer to The Budge, but I thought Hammond got best for North. I’m confident that Craig Marriott, off the bench, hoiked the ball that Cornes marked. In the “too much information” category, I reckon at that stage he was dating Pam, later to be mother of the Power’s Cornes boys! That’s why we get out of Adelaide.
    I sat behind the goals right up the front at the Torrens end. I saw Cornes hit the ground with the ball and look around with a “why me?” expression. It was an unforgettable match.
    Tardiff, as I remember, was Rob, Trigger was Bob. It showed.
    Join us at the Bays v Port. Probably Holdy first, Broadt after and maybe the Barby Inn to soak it up.

  24. Crio absolutely correct but Richard, you have proved your bona fides. Hammond was clearly North’s best and pushing for BOG with Super and Rex Voigt. Bomber was number 17 I reckon (previously worn by Ray Button).
    Agree it was one of the great games (I was also behin the goals at Torrens end not far from Crio) – I actually have it on video (yes video not DVD or BluRay unfortunately).

  25. But the question, gentlemen, is not regarding time-travel (September ’73 seems to have that and it may inspire a later Q) bur was designed to help interstate footy trippers.
    No mail on the Gabba? At least (I think) it is a Carlton Draught ground! Harmsy would have us sitting on the dog track or the old Cricketers’ Club…any updates?
    And Subi. Good suburb. Plenty of social options nearby. What’s it like inside when the Eagles are up and about? And how different to Freo?

Leave a Comment