Fables From (Country) Football Folklore

Over an  injury riddled tenure at Central District in the SANFL, Lindsay Ruciak played 45 league game between 1978 and ’84, kicking 48 goals.

He would move across and play with Salisbury North at the height of the SAFA competition.

Ruciak hailed from the Mid North hamlet of Robertstown, famous in football circles for a couple generations of the Schmidt clan.

Ruciak has claims on being this club’s most exciting junior player.

In the Under 15s competition of 1976, Ruciak was the dominant player in a side that, on the whole struggled against the biggest and most dominant sides is the Barossa and Light competition, but he still won the Des Shanahan Medal as the most brilliant footballer in the Under 15s competition by an absolute landslide, gaining umpires votes in all but one game.

Robertstown wasn’t a big enough town to have Senior Colts (under 17s side), but Ruciak, as the season went on, played a number of reserves game and by the end of the season was playing in the A grade as well. Three games in a day!

He collected votes in a handful of seconds game as well and was a best on ground away from winning that medal as well, in a typically low count.

Football Folklore has Ruciak receiving a vote from the official in the A grade as well late in the season.

This give him the distinction of not only playing three games in a day, and more impressive getting the nod from the umpire in all matches he participated on that ’76 day.


  1. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    Thanks for this Peter. Three games in a day, wow. All season. Double wow.

    Geez that’s a magnificent jumper too, but you knew I’d say that.

  2. Love yarns like this.

  3. Great stuff PA. Takes me back to Friday lunchtimes when I was a kid in Yorketown. The team sheets were all posted in Haddow’s butcher shop window. Kids like me eager to see if we got a game. Tony Giles who later played more than 200 games for Port Adelaide and SA, went from colts to B Grade to A Grade in a few weeks.
    15yo and not big back then playing against barley growers with ham hock forearms. We thought he’d get killed, but he danced between the raindrops. Don’t think he ever played more than one game a day though!

  4. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    Ruciak was one of SA’s first Teal Cuppers (1977)

    There are some other interesting names and facts in this document.


  5. Enjoyed that PA. While I didn’t play against LR I did encounter Robertstown as a colt. Each side featured two or three teenagers who were huge and sported sideburns and beards and were impossible to tackle. They were like the silos you could see up the road from their ground.

    I can’t recall if the visitors’ change rooms had hot taps in the showers, but they were useless if they did exist because no water warmer than a Himalayan stream ever splashed on those concrete floors.

    Three matches in a day and polling in each. Impressive.

  6. charlie brown says

    Peter – very enjoyable. Thank you. I watched a fair bit of Hummocks Watchman back in the 90s and can relate to those Saturdays

    Swish – played footy at Linden Park PS with Craig Ainslie and Jason Archer from the SA 77 team. And couldn’t help but notice North champion Grenville D.in the Vic team. Wonder how he re hydrated when he was 16?

  7. Swish- love that the Tassie trainer in that ’77 Teal Cup was “Soapy” Purcell. Not enough Soapies getting about now.

  8. charlie brown says

    Swish – i imagine the Tassie team copped heaps about the names of the colours on their jumpers WTF

  9. Thanks for this Peter. A great story

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