Garage band

It’s like a perfect Tuesday night. You go to a fellow footy lover’s home and join him with a few of his mates to chat about the game at all levels, in all forms.

And somewhere during these conversations a television show is filmed.

The Local Footy Show has been a fixture on Channel 31, the community television station, for more than a decade. It’s filmed in the graphics studio of one of the presenters, Daryl Pitman. These days that studio is in his converted garage of his home in the Melbourne suburbs. There’s an editing suite next to the bathroom sink and a treasured photo on the wall of the North Hamilton Football Club’s 1912 premiership team.

Dazz proudly counted out the Pitmans in the photo. There were seven. Dazz came to his love of football through his family in Hamilton. Read his piece in Footy Town, titled Beyond the Burton. The opening half is about growing up following the Hamilton Football Club. One of the highlights of Dazz’s life was running out alongside his great mate Bill Barham (father of Ricky) as the mascot before the 1959 grand final against the dreaded Hamilton Imperials. His piece is a classic account of the beginnings of a football life.

The Local Footy Show is best described as a spin-off of the old Club Corner segment on World of Sport, only less slick. Dazz arranges a few nibbles on the old coffee table for the guests. My wife is a gourmet chef (Toscano’s Family Table cookbook out now). Sometimes I need to see a few bowls of salted cashes and a few sandwiches cut in four, like they do at afternoon tea at half-time at the country footy. I found comfort in the contents of Dazz’s coffee table.

The backdrop features a few logos of the Local Footy Show. To jazz things up a bit they piled a few copies of footy books on the interview desk, or the work bench, or whatever you want to call it. I’m sure it was once a rubdown table. During my interview Ian ‘Benny’ Bennett held up a copy of Footy Town. Good for esprit de corps.

The cameraman is Wayne Steele, known as Cec, as in Cecil B. de Mille, such is the scale of his operations. While Cec wound up the camera, Dazz adjusted his tie and patted down an errant collar tip.

“This shirt is like some of my old jokes,” Dazz said. “It’s about to be retired!”

Just before the camera rolled Daryl composed himself. “Right, what am I going to say here?”

And we were off!

We spoke about Daryl Sharpen’s piece on New Norfolk, poor Dave Enticott’s need to cut the prayers short, and the view from Balwyn Park across to the Macedon Ranges. Dazz liked Clint Rule’s piece on nicknames at the Adelaide Uni footy club. I spoke about the player who wore No.111 and was known as Bar Code. The next player to wear the jumper was Picket Fence. Dazz liked the nickname for Mark Fitzgerald the redhead. He was known as the Flying Tomato. There was plenty of mirth in the converted garage!

We filmed for 14 minutes for a segment that will screen for 12 minutes. Dazz raised his eyes at the extra minutes. There’s not too much fat on the Local Footy Show.

We settled in for a couple of beers. I stayed behind the rubdown table while Dazz luxuriated on the old couch. Benny told us about his home-brewing operation and how he brought a keg into filming one night.

“We drank a bit of it, too,” Benny said.

“That’s what it’s for!” Dazz replied.

We spoke about Dingley, coached by Shane Morwood, who is a fine man despite being a Collingwood man. Shane spoke at an Almanac lunch. He’s now doing a great job with the Dingoes, who have risen to the top of the table in the Southern Football League.

The Local Footy Show’s favourite game last year was the Ellinbank grand final at Nar Nar Goon. They reckon there were 7000 there. A handful of Bunyip fans rode around on penny farthings. “So much colour!” Dazz said. “They were mad!”

Before I left I ascertained when the interview would screen. It’s on this Friday, 24 May, from 7pm and and will be repeated on Saturday morning from 9am.

“You’ll be better for the run,” Dazz  said.

Repeats of The Local Footy Show can be found here.







  1. Andrew Starkie says

    daff, is ch31 still easy to pick up? haven’t seen it for a while.

  2. Paul Daffey says

    If you’re on Foxtel you go to Options and then press Digital and click on 44.

    Not sure why 44.

  3. Mark Schwerdt says

    Have watched this a few times, esp when the AFL night game started at 8:30 (or 8:55 if you get my drift), but good to know that is is available on line also.

    A great way for a blow-in from Adelaide to get acquainted with Vic local and country leagues.

    Mark (Adelaide Uni nickname = Swish) Schwerdt

  4. Andrew Starkie says

    no foxtel. will try online. sounds great.

  5. Paul Daffey says

    Can you just go to digital channels?

    Must admit my technical proficiency is limited.

    Thanks Swish

  6. Great show. If you love your local football it is a must watch.

    If you cannot pick up Channel 31, the shows are available online.

    Link to Local Footy Show, episodes and another Paul Daffey press photo. This guy’s getting as much publicity as Tom Waterhouse.

  8. Ripping show. Daryl, Benny and Kev are what grassroots footy (and sport) should be all about. Forget drugs, sex scandals and nightclubs, just footy and the people who make it great.
    Had the pleasure of working on the show for a couple of years and as much as I learned about local footy and community television, the most important lessons were all about boutique beers that Mr Bennett advised me on.

  9. I’ve been involved with local footy for a few years and can’t believe I haven’ t come across this before. Great show. Go Daff. MMMS (multi media mega star)

  10. Paul Daffey says

    Thanks Noel.

    Call me Eddie.

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