Magahertz v Rockdogs is on again

Maybe it is just the networks I tap into, but I reckon this year’s Community Cup has created more anticipation than in previous years. An event which started in 1997 as a fundraiser for the Sacred Heart Mission, is now a major sporting and social event, with the beneficiary being Reclink. As given on their website, RecLink Australia Inc is a charitable organisation whose mission is to provide sporting, social and arts activities to enhance the lives of people experiencing disadvantage. Last year 10,000 people attended Elsternwick Park. This year, weather permitting, the crowd will be just as large.


The Community Cup is played between the Megahertz and the Rockdogs, the former comprising broadcasters from Community Radio stations PBS and Triple R and the latter sourced from current musicians and their associates. Ring-ins have been specifically banned after the appearance for Rockdogs in 2009 of former Collingwood player Rupert Betheras. Playing under the monicker “Banjo”, Rupert kicked the winning goal.


In making my own preparations for the game, I took an opportunity to catch up with a few of the Megahertz players.


Last year, the winning goal was kicked by Triple R’s Stew Farrell. Stew played in the very first Community Cup and estimates he has played in more than half the games. With a football background which peaked at Old Paradians under 19s, Stew actually brings some skill to the game. And although he is not feeling the pressure of a repeat performance, he has made the effort on the training track with some additional work running around the Reservoir Lake, a bit of walking, a bit of cycling, and says he is eating healthily about 30% of the time.


One of the Co-Captains, Triple R Breakfaster Jess McGuire is playing in her third Cup. Jess reckons the fact she actually kicked a goal in last year’s game moved her up the hierarchy. She still suffers from the ignominy of the 2009 effort when her late game opportunity failed to register the potentially winning goal. Jess blames her poor kick on factors which don’t happen too often in proper games. Having taken an impressive mark, she celebrated with a stint on the bench and took the opportunity to imbibe a couple of beers. A diminished performance resulted when she made an unexpected return to the arena. Jess too has made an extra effort on the training track but warns potential attendees that the players are not the elite athletes they might be expecting. Jess has an unlikely football background, given she grew up in Sydney. When she was about 11, four young guys from Melbourne moved into her neighbourhood and, in games on the street, taught her how to kick a Sherrin. Even they could not have anticipated that education could have resulted in Jess now having the opportunity to lead the Megahertz to back-to-back victories.


Almanacker Ben Birchall played one season of Under 13s with Watsonia Saints (no votes). Suffering problem knees, Ben took medical advice to have six months away from sport. Taking his own counsel, Ben stretched that to twenty years. When playing in his previous band Klinger, Ben had been asked a couple of times to play for the Rockdogs, but it wasn’t until Megahertz offered the big money last year that he put on the boots for the first time. He said he got a bit of the ball, but other than hitting a teammate on the chest with one kick, did very little with it. Ben too has been working on his fitness with the view to an improved performance. Having just played a gig with his new band, Duke Batavia (and their next gig is on 30 June as a support for D Rogers at Fitzroy’s Builders Arms), Ben would qualify again as a Rockdog, but he reckons he is a Megahertz for life – at least this year anyway.


The Megahertz have been training regularly over the last month or two, getting together on a Sunday morning. There have also been a couple of combined sessions, which has given the players a chance to suss out their respective opponents. One assessment is that rather than being Rockdogs, they are more like Pop Princesses, and if there is any sort of wind, there is a good chance of some of their players being blown across the Nepean Highway. Although Jess is wary of the drummers in the team – they tend to be a bit fitter.


Someone who isn’t playing this year is Triple R broadcaster Richard Watts. He gave it away a few years ago, having suffered broken ribs in consecutive years, the second time as a result of a Wally Meanie tackle. If you have seen Wally, you can understand Richard’s decision.


You have probably realised by now that the reason ten thousand people show up to a suburban football ground on a Winter Sunday afternoon is not to see good quality football. It is a great community day, and it is all for a worthy cause. The first band is on at 11.10am. The national anthem is to be performed by Barry Morgan (with his amazing organ). The game starts at 2.00pm. Tumbleweed is the half time entertainment and after the game, Rockdog Tim Rogers will gather his band You Am I for the post-match entertainment. And with all this, it costs only $5 to get in. See you there.




About Andrew Fithall

Probably the most rational, level-headed Collingwood supporter in existence. Not a lot of competition mind you.


  1. John Butler says

    Great work AF

    Stick a cowboy hat on and you could be the next Molly Meldrum.

    You know you want to.

  2. Andrew Fithall says

    Ben BIrchall’s own preview of his/the game can be found at It is the Carlton FC website, which is a bit yucky (I deleted my web history as soon as I closed it), but otherwise the article is worthwhile.

  3. Rick Kane says

    C’mon Almanacers, get off yer arse or couch or both and get along on Sunday, it’ll be the best game you see all weekend. And you get to kick the ball around on the oval at each break. Looking forward to your review Mr Fitall :)

  4. AF – very funny read. Loved Ben Birchall’s reason for being away from the game so long.

  5. A huge day. Perhaps some of the AFL head honchos should come down to witness how to do real pre and post match entertainment. Imagine You Am I at a Grand Final. Especially if the Kangas were in it. GBTFLOU!

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