Odd Friday Lunch: Neil Balme this Friday, Nov 3.

Odd Friday Lunch – North Fitzroy Arms


Guest: Neil Balme


Friday, Nov 3


Three courses

Drinks at bar prices

Bookings essential: 94864501


Neil Balme started his football career in WA playing for Subiaco, and moved to Victoria and Ricmond FC in 1970. He played 159 games for Richmond including two premierships. He retired at 27. As a forward and ruckman he was regarded as skilled, but tough and physical. He then coached Norwood in the SANFL from 1980-90 where they made the finals every year and won two premierships. He then coached the newly merged Woodville-West Torrens to finals in 91-92 before returning to Victoria to coach Melbourne for five years. He became Football Manager at Collingwood in 1998 and was there for the Grand Finals in 2002-3. He became Football Ops Manager at Geelong in 2007 and was a key figure in their 2007, 09, 11 premierships. Geelong broke a 44 year drought in his first year. He returned to Collingwood in 2014, but then returned to Punt Road at the end of 2016 as GM of Football. Like at Geelong, he has been instrumental in an immediate turn-around of the clubs fortunes with a Richmond premiership year one, after a 37 year drought. He is probably the most experienced and successful football administrator in the game. As a player he was wild and tough, but his calm personality, rational demeanor and casual style has helped in his extremely successful football career, & his popularity.




  1. Jennifer Muirden says

    Totally spewing I won’t be able to make this. Balmey is a bloody legend and it’s not at all coincidental that the Tigers became Premiers in the year that Neil went back to his Alma Mater (sic)! Neil Balme is a beauty!

  2. I remember seeing/hearing Neil Balme speak at a sportsman’s night in Adelaide in 1983, when he was coaching Norwood. Very entertaining (even if the language was more colourful than my father expected when he arranged for his 12 year old son to come along). Disappointed I can’t make this event.

  3. the coach whisperer. get him to Canberra!

  4. A deep thinker Balmy. Make sure someone asks him about the best article he’s ever read on footy coaches.

  5. Please ask Balmey re the influence of John Wynne on his career and life in general

Leave a Comment