Northern United FC – 30 and 40 year Premiership reunion is on June 13

1975 Senior Premiers cropped


1975 Premiers

Back row:          Len Holland, Doug Cail (Vice-Captain/Assistant Coach), Daryl Blake, Maurie Sharkey, Chris Daniels, Mick Giri, Lyndon Langan.

2nd Back:           Lindsay Morshead (President), Bill Demeo (Secretary), Gary Jensen, Denis Demeo, Joe Valli, Laurie Plowman, Kevin Cail, Bruce West, Graeme Matthews,  Wally McGregor (Club Doctor).

3rd Row:            Trevor Fiedler, Ron Martin, Brian Griffin, Ted Aldridge (Captain/Coach), Mick Crapper, John Mountjoy, John Rowe.

Front Row:       Cliff Lees (Secretary), Gary Parkin (Trainer),


1985 Senior Premiers cropped


Photo names 1985


Back Row:         Harold Hall (Team Manager), George Thompson (Trainer), John Mulqueen (Selector), Daryl Metcalf, Reece Langan, David Ludeman, Gavin Exell,  John Killcullen, Tony McCarthy, Peter Fyffe, Brett Billing, Leon Holt, Trevor Rice,  Frank Poulter (Trainer), Wally McGregor (Club Doctor).

Middle Row:     Gary Evans, Mick Hogan, Mick Herrick, Darren Trickey, David Wharton, Leo Demeo, Tony Southcombe (Captain/Coach), Peter Cole, Gary Mountjoy, Jeanette Waight (Trainer), Rod Brown (Runner).

Front Row:       David Lawlor, Darren Featherby, Scott Niemann, Ian Marlow,  Brett Sheldon, Rod Lea, Terry Demeo, Kent Billing.

Absent: Rick Hagar.



Grand Final – 15,000 turn out to see Swallows win –Six goal onslaught in final quarter wins it
Tony Southcombe’s 1984 Coaches report finished with: “Season 1984 was one of the most satisfying years in football. In conclusion all that I can say is thank you to everyone. Northern United eat em alive in 85.”

Leo Demeo continued as Senior Captain, with new Reserves Coach Peter Cole being appointed with David Cherry as Captain. Frank Byrne took over as Thirds Coach with Tim Ferrari as Captain. Recruiting for 1985 resulted in Southport and former Sandhurst player Gavin Exell (21 games) returning to Bendigo in addition to the recruitment of Rick Hager (16) from Seymour and Tony McCarthy (14) from South Australia, with Ian Marlow (21) returning from Mitiamo. The Senior list comprising of 36 players with Reece Langan (6) up from the Thirds, with Richard Fitzpatrick, David Lawlor, Mark Murley, Greg Poulter, Trevor Rice and Brendan Slattery.

The Senior team finished on top of the ladder with 14 wins and 4 losses to meet Sandhurst in the Grand Final. The match report from the Advertiser: “Northern United survived a desperate third quarter burst from Sandhurst to go on and win the 100th Bendigo Football League premiership at a packed QEO. Leading by 35 points at half time the Swallows were in deep trouble halfway through the third term as Dragons crept within five points. But steadying goals to Brett Sheldon and Ian Marlow gave United some breathing space and the Swallows ensured a six goal onslaught in the final term.

Grand Final Teamwork gives Swallows the flag
United 18-20-128 d White Hills 11-11-77

Ted Aldridge returned from South Bendigo in 1975 to be playing Coach, assisted by Doug Cail and Reserves Coach Harold Hassa Hall, with Bob Spence coaching the U18’s. Fourty (40) players were selected throughout the year to play senior football, with the Club list for both teams comprising 53 players.

The new recruits coming out of the Thirds with only hand full of games between them: Leigh Bennet (1 game), Ian Chapman (2), Chris Campbell (3), Brian Davies (9), Mick Dixon (3), John Egan (2), Gerard Geary (1), Francis Reilly (1), Greg McQualter (2), Ken Morton (1) with the standout being Gary Jensen (20 games) closely followed by Joe Vali (14). The recruitment of big Laurie Plowman the Raywood school teacher was fortuitous as Plowman or “Big Tarz” as he was known, would go onto kick 121 goals for the season.

The Bendigo Advertiser headline: “TEAMWORK GIVES SWALLOWS C.L. FLAG: the ability to move the ball well with sensible handball and tenacious teamwork rewarded Northern United with the 1975 League Premiership – Doug Cail was the destroyer for White Hills – just when the Demons got some passages of play underway and appeared set to score Cail would pop up and take a valuable mark. Aldridge continually changed from attack to on the ball and really came into the game in the final quarter booting four goals to seal the game (6 for the game). All of United forwards including Mick Crapper, Joe Vali and John Mountjoy and centre man John Rowe preformed faultlessly dashing any hopes of a White Hills victory. “

The Season 1975 also marked a milestone for United’s first 300 game player being Kevin Cail who finished and retired at the end of the season with 309 games, playing 18 of the possible 20 games and still holding down the key position of full back in the Premiership team. The Best & Fairest Awards were won by winger Bruce West (49 votes) by 1 vote from Mick Crapper. Reserve B&F was won by Graeme Murley from Leo Demeo, with debutant Shane O’Donoghue winning the trophy for the U18’s.

Calivil United at the “Heritage” weekend of the June 13th will celebrate the 30 & 40 year reunion of the 1985 & 1975 Premierships, with the game at the Raywood Reserve wearing the United strip for the Kevin Demeo Memorial Trophy & George Thompson Shield.

All supporters, players, officials and families from these golden eras are invited to attend this event. A luncheon and marque will be provided by the Raywood Recreation Reserve Committee, from 12.30 onwards. Half time speech by Captain Leo Demeo on the players and characters that made up the 1985 team should not be missed!
RVP to Trevor Ludeman email [email protected] or via Northern United Football Club facebook page.

About Trevor Ludeman

Trevor Ludeman played country football for Northern United in the Golden City Football League in Bendigo as an U18, from 1977-78 where United were successful in winning their first ever Thirds Premiership (78). Study in Melbourne resulted in him playing two years with St.Bedes (VAFA) and later St.Kevins Ormond (Eastern Suburban Churches F.L), where he won a Senior B&F in 1982 playing for $35 a game! Wow it paid for the rent! Returning to Bendigo in 1983 he recommenced with United, which coincided with the amalgamation of the Bendigo and Golden City Football Leagues into a new 12 team competition. United recruited heavily this year and sought out Country Football legends Tony Southcombe and Ron Best to lead the team. Although playing finals in 1983 United failed, however were successful in 1984 where they beat Eaglehawk for the BFL Premiership. Trevor played CHB in the Senior Grand Final. Relocation to Alexandra Shire (Town Planning) saw him play with Alexandra (Yarra Mountain Districts F.L. 1985) while in 1986 Alexandra was cleared to play in the Tungamah League. Trevor played in the losing Grand final with Alexandra V Mansfield in 1987. A shift to Gippsland saw him play with Meeniyan Dumbalk United (Alberton F.L) which resulted in playing in senior premierships for 1988 & 1990. He retired from football at the end of 1993 season (age 32), when he relocated to Melbourne. Recommencing football training to "keep fit" with North Old Boys F.C. in 1997 (St. Josephs College North Melbourne) resulted in Trevor playing in 2004 in Club 18 (Reserve grade) in the VAFA. He continued until the end of 2007 reaching a further 50 games for NOBS, to bring up the total to approximately 290 games. North Old Boys played at Gillon Oval Brunswick, being the former Brunswick VFA ground. Mid way through 2007 he was asked by current President Terry Scanlon to take over the reins, being the first “non-old boy” President for the Club (Est 1963). This was contingent on the condition that he review the operations of the club, as the mantra of the club being in “A grade for 25 years in a row” was now a distant memory. This review identified the need for a player pathway to be established via the formation of a junior club, since the pipeline from the school had ended some 20 years prior. In 2010 he was successful in forming a new junior club, being Brunswick Junior F.C. being both the inaugural President and Coach, simultaneously with still being the President of North Old Boys F.C. Brunswick’s first team was U10's with just 16 players at the start of the season and finished with 22 at the end of 2010. Trevor has continued to coach this team (& son Jack) through to Premierships in 2012 (U12) and again in 2013 (U13). Trevor is still the Coach of this team now at U15 level. The Brunswick Junior Football Club has now grown to 9 teams (U9 to U15 + U15 girls) comprising of 180 players, since 2010.


  1. GOOD luck with the reunion Trevor.
    Did you play on Ninga O’Connell at any stage during the ’84 grannie?
    Ninga wooda played CHF or CHB at stages for the Hawks during that Big Dance.
    Even tho’ I wrote the grand final wrap-up you’ve quoted above I don’t recall who played in which KPs.
    And I don’t recall whether ruckman Dave (Ludenan) is your bro. or cousin. See what a separation of 4 decades does to the memory.
    Sadly I won’t be able to attend the reunion I’m still penning — or rather key boarding — match reports for the Addy all these seasons on. As a volunteer, not a paid reporter.
    Still see Mountie and occasionally Doug Cail at district finals around the traps each August & September.

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