Northern United Football Club – 30 years

Northern United Football Club – 1984 Reunion


Calivil United at the “Heritage” weekend of the 5th July will celebrate the 30 year reunion of the 1984 Premiership, with the game at the Raywood Reserve wearing the United strip for the Kevin Demeo Memorial Trophy & George Thompson Shield.

The 1984 Premiership was the first Premiership in the newly amalgamated Bendigo Football League (BFL), which occurred at the end of the 1982 season. The amalgamation of the Golden City Football League (GCFL) with the B.F.L. resulted in a new 12 team competition.   Northern United was a powerhouse football club which represented the rural communities of Raywood, Neilborough and Kamarooka in the G.C.F.L. from 1956 onwards.

With the newly formed league for 1983 the Club left no stone unturned as it recruited widely from the surrounding leagues of the North Central (Mick Herrick, Leon Holt), Loddon Valley (Brett Sheldon, Ian Marlow, Craig & Scott Niemann), Darren Trickey (Maryborough) with the recruiting coup of retaining Tony Southcombe (Coach) and Ron Best (Ass coach), returning to Bendigo from Boort.

Local players returned from their respective B.F.L club’s included Leo Demeo, Gary Mountjoy and Gerard Geary. Other recruits included Big Dave Wharton from Eaglehawk. These players topped up the list of players from local families such as the Blake, Cail, Cole, Crapper, Demeo, Jensen, Ludeman, Matthew and Mountjoy.

The recruiting campaign with President John Mulqueen, Terry Mangels and Treasurer Neville Kline continued in full pursuit of players throughout the region. The recruiting strategy worked with the first game against powerhouse club Sandhurst at the QEO resulting in a draw. United had arrived.  The Club finished in the top 5 five for 1983 but bowed out in the finals.

In 1984 saw the recruitment of further players with Peter Fyffe from Castlemaine at age 33 had yet to play in a Premiership. Other included David Muir (Melbourne), Gary Evans (YCW) and Rod Lea (Calivil) which topped up the list and the Club finished top of the ladder in 1984.  The Grand Final against Eaglehawk coached by Jeff Fehring was even until half time (49 points apiece), with United kicking away in the third term by 35 points. Best afield was Ron Best kicking 11 goals 2. This first Premiership in 1984 was the start of bigger things to come, being the first of 4 consecutive premierships.

All supporters, players, officials and families from this golden era are invited to attend this event. A luncheon and marque will be provided by the Calivil United Football Club, from 12.30 onwards

RSVP to Trevor Ludeman 0407 889944 or email [email protected]



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. Dr Rocket says

    Hope you have a great reunion Trev.

    This was super stuff from Northern United.

    Northern United in the 80s did what Rochester did in the 1960s – show the Bendigo clubs up! Loved it!

    Doug Cail – a great United player in the Golden City league – remains one of my fave players from his time at Rochy.

    Can’t help but wonder what might have been – if United had of taken up residence at the old Kensington Oval – close to the high school in the area and the uni – and built a junior base in Bendigo. Maybe even used it for training and some games.

    That strategy has worked very well for country clubs just out of Wagga like Collingullie and Mangoplah.

    Still the tradition lives with Calivil. You’ve made them a powerhouse

    Enjoy the celebrations!

  2. Was that the same Peter Fyffe who played a few games for Carlton in the early 70’s ?


  3. Peter Fuller says

    I waited assuming that Trevor would answer your question. It seems your surmise is correct, as Carlton’s Peter Fyffe was born in 1951, and came to the Blues from Newstead, so although I don’t have direct knowledge he seems to fit.
    Congratulations on the piece Trevor; it’s an interesting account of a distinctive country club. I’m also impressed by the extent and range of your personal career.

  4. Wayne charleston says

    Just doing a little research did a Peter Boak play for northern United and if so how many games did he play?

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