Country Footy – Millewa League: The Price is Right and so is the Game

by Citrus Bob Utber



What a week it has been in football!  The women’s league introduction, Braddles spits the dummy and Rossy nearly smiled.


But the big news was the women’s game between Bambill (no post code) and Meringur (3496) in the Millewa Football League.


With all the hype that has been going on about women, football and the glass ceiling I thought it was time to investigate for myself instead of going to watch the Cats play.


It was a pleasant surprise, not only was the football of a pretty good standard but the gourmet catering would have left all the major stadiums for dead.


Let’s talk footy first.


Bambill, lying second on the ladder in the inaugural year of the women’s competition and Meringur trailing down the ladder in the six team competition. There is no women’s competition in the major league in the area, the Sunraysia Football League.


The Millewa league do not have any junior football so it has worked out a perfect fit having the women play the curtain raiser and also boost the coffers of the home team catering.


As expected the Bambill Saints took control early in the game and never really looked threatened. They were too big, strong and quick for their younger Meringur opponents.


Veteran coach “Piggy” Robertson proved to be a wily coach from what I observed. He never harassed the women. We do call them women don’t we?  If that is the case why the women’s tennis final is at all majors called the ladies final?


Piggy was great in getting the nuances of the game to his charges and the value of team work. The opposition coach whose name I did not get did not get any bouquets from me with some of his comments.  Get it right fella it is 2016 not 1915!


The best player on the ground was 18 year old Sheree Moore who showed that she has got it with 5 goals and an impressive running game that would have delighted scouts looking for readymade players.  The only problem is that Moore is on a gap year and looking forward to going to USA to take up a tennis scholarship at college.  If I was her I would be forgetting about that and giving the inaugural AFL competition a go.  She has everything to make it both on and off the field


Bambill had many good players and ran out winners by 87 points, 14 – 10 – 94 to Meringur 1- 1 – 7.


Bambill have three internationals in the team from England and they all love playing the game. Sam Bice, Donica Foster and Talia Cochrane impressed.  For Meringur Chloe Minter, Chelsea Dawes and Jasmine Pohlner showed out.


One player Laura Priestly who also plays soccer showed me what tough is. Over the last 12 months she has had a stroke, broken her leg and her nose but says nothing will stop her playing footy.


The crowd, in attendance early, where impressed with the standard of play and the enthusiasm of the women.


As mentioned earlier the fact that the women play the curtain raiser to the seniors has been a boon to the home club’s coffers.  Chatting with the women in the canteen they now more than double their income for home games.


To me it was more than a canteen it was more like a gourmet café.  The variety of fare offered was better than any football ground or any major sporting ground in Australia in my humble opinion.


For a start everything was fresh not made or cooked the day before and the sandwiches where certainly not frozen.

My first taste where the chips ($4) a punnet. Not only did you get it full but where asked did you want a fork with that. “A fork with that” – never heard that at the G!.


I then wandered further into the room and looked at the prices of everything. Take note Bill and Malcolm and sorry, Richard.  I’ve decided if my wife is away again I’ll eat at the Bambill Gourmet café.


My hot dog was $2.50 with free sauce of course. Two small cakes in a plastic container was $2 and a cup of tea $1.  My lunch cost $9.50.  Take note Spotless!  I estimate if that had been at a major stadium I reckon it would have been twice as much at least.


Other delicacies on sale where Donuts $1, Pies/Pasties $4, Slices $2 and Crownies $5 and these were just some of the delights to feast your eyes on.  I can’t praise the caterers enough such was the smorgasbord.


Ah, to be back at country football the home of homemade everything.

About Bob Utber

At 80 years of age Citrus Bob is doing what he wanted to do as a 14 year-old living on the farm at Lang Lang. Talking, writing, watching sport. Now into his third book on sports history he lives in Mildura with his very considerate wife (Jenny ) and a groodle named "Chloe On Flinders". How good is that.


  1. Dr Rocket says

    Thanks Bob for this news.

    As I understand it clubs in the Millewa league only field a senior team so maybe the women’s teams can slot in before the main game. But this might adversely effect the netball competition?

    What I like about the Millewa comp is that clubs don’t have to merge – just to have two teams.

    Wonder if the Mallee league could have continued on using the Millewa model?

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