Trevor, South Australia

It started with a question: “What footy player has had his name spoken in commentary more than any other?” The obvious answer was Jezza. Any time a screamer’s taken, it comes out soon enough. But stuck in a shack for two days in a South Gippsland winter wetter than a flathead’s eyeball, the obvious wasn’t gonna cut it.

“Greatest forward pocket of all time – the one and only Snaps Truly!”

“I’ll give you that. Been around since black and white that bloke.”

“Dead-eye Dick’s probably a close second, but no one’s had more calls than Snaps.”

“Snaps. Absolute legend. Brings a tear to me eye thinking about old Snaps.”

“Nah Mate, it’s just the rain dripping through the roof onto your head.”

 

We sat. We reminisced. We pondered. We may even have drunk some beer.

 

“Tell ya who’d be a bloody great local footy player: Sandy Point. Gutsy little ruck rover that bloke, for sure.”

“And there’s no better ruckman round these parts that the big man himself: Philip Island.”

“Love The Island!”

“And don’t forget the great Barry Beach. He’s a wall in the back line. Nothing gets past him. The Wall of Sand they call him.”

“Big shout out to Dudley South. Brave as. Speaking of brave, who calls their kid Dudley anymore?”

Well it’s the Gippsland Grand Final of twenty-ten, and we’re under way. The ump has to throw it up cause of all the bloody rain, and Island – true to his name – rises up out of the sea and gets the first tap, straight down the throat of Point, who regurgitates it to Tarwin Meadows. The umpire lets play continue and Meadows clears to his brother Devon on the wing. He gathers eventually, and spots up Glen Forbes at half forward. Forbes looks to play on quickly…. And here comes Fiveways! The Big Boy’s leading out and the wormburner from Forbes hits him straight on the chest! Splendid wet-weather footy and Clyde Fiveways will line up from thirty-out, directly in front, for South-West’s first goal of the granny!”

“Holy shit!”

“I reckon. Better get a map. This thing’s got legs.”

And that’s how my brother and I came up with the South-West Gippsland team of the century.

 

South-West Gippsland Team of the Century

B:                     Devon North              Glen Alvie                    Barry Beach

HB:                  Pearce Dale                Grant Ville                   Devon Meadows

C:                    Al Murta                       Tarwin Lower             Leon Gatha

HF:                  Lang Lang                   Glen Forbes                Heath Hill

F:                     Ty Abb                         Clyde Fiveways           Dudley South

R:                    Phillip Island               Sandy Point                 Tarwin Meadows

 

These days, I’m trying to earn a living making this kind of stuff up, and a stuff-up it’s turning out to be. Still, I try, and after my introduction to chicken salt, it was suggested that I prepare a follow up piece on Fritz. Great idea Mickey, could get my name up in lights. Just one problem though… what’s Fritz?

I asked Jim. “Oh, that’s what we call Devon.”

Pause. Blink.

“Devon, you know… it’s, um, Fritz.”

Pause. Blink.

“I think you call it, Strasbourg sausage or something.”

Straz! Right, gotcha. I’m not sure there are any stories or careers there, but I have an idea. I tell Jim its been suggested that – on arrival in Keith, South Australia – the Victorian traveller expects / hopes that the next town will be called Trevor.

“Heard it all before mate, keep the gags rolling. Chicken salt off a Croweater’s hot chip.”

…Yeah, all over the bench, dusting it in a delightful orange hue. But, I persist, its gags like this that make the following couplet grammatically legitimate:

Q: Where ya been Trevor?

A: Yep.

“Look, just deal with it Chief, there’s no Trevor. But keep driving – Murray Bridge would get a guernsey in one of your fictional footy teams.”

True. Very True. Don’t forget Tailem Bend, I add.

“Exactly,” Jim exclaims. “What about Murray River? He played for The Cornstalks, the Big V, and The Croweaters – he’s a journeyman!

Love the journeymen.

“And the full forward’s gotta be Victor Harbour.” He was right about that. But there was one problem:

Mate, half the towns in your state are called Port Something, and the other half end in Bay – I don’t think it’s gonna work. Peter Borough might get a spot on the bench, but there’s no zing. What about first names only? There’s no Trevor, even though there should be, but we’ve got a Bruce and a Keith – what else is there?

“Um… Robe?”

Strangely enough, that’d kinda work as a first name for a kid from Port Something – think of it as the new Rory. Robe! Robe!!! Get outtaya bloody pee-jays and get your clothes on!! I’m not missing the bloody Pageant cause of your lollygagging!  But if Robe was the next best option for a genuine Croweater Team of the Century player, I was losing hope.

Leave it with me Jim, I said. And he did.

I poured over the atlas. I scoured Fleurieu and her young husband. I sifted the Simpson and the Great Stony, and planed the Nullarbor. I dredged the Yorke and the cleaved the Eyre. Cleve! That’d work. But before long I was reduced to thinking of Quorn as Robe’s big brother, and decided I never wanted to meet anyone called Quorn.

And then I saw it: Millicent.

Jim, this is for you.

 

South Australian Women’s Team of the Century

B:                     Alma                Marion             Joslin

HB:                  Tarlee              Concordia       Clare

C:                    Millicent           Adelaide          Elizabeth

HF:                  Maree              Bethany           Morgan

F:                     Mona               Kimba              Marla

R:                    Julia                 Bonnie-Brae    Reynella

 

That’s quite a centre line isn’t it, best of the best. Honourable mentions go to Mary Burts-Corner and Crystal Brook, but now its over to the rest of you. There’s gotta be leagues of teams just waiting for that rainy day when the beer’s gone to your mate’s head and they’re telling you that the best player they ever saw was a rover called Lincoln Park. I don’t think there’s a career in it, but give it a shot anyway, and let us know what you come up with. At least you’ll have tried.

 

 

About nick w

Sports Tragic Writer (put the comma where ya wanna)

Comments

  1. Joe De Petro says:

    Love it, Nick

  2. Trevor, Wisconsin 53179. I’m going.

  3. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says:

    Beverley and Ethel(ton) can start on the bench

  4. Dave Brown says:

    Given SA’s great history of footy commentary, I think this reflects in the place names. Not only do they name the player, they say what they are doing. While Melrose, you should have seen the Renmark which was almost as good as the one Naracoorte. Reportedly the scribes saw Kilburn up the training track during the week but kept their distance from that Wrattonbully and that Iron Knob. During the match Hallett Chapman Bore through the packs and played Booleroo Centre and made Rocky Camp himself in the forward 50. While Birdwood be sad to see McLaren Flat the highlight of the match was undoubtedly the Cape Jaffa.

    I’m going to have a bex and a good lie down.

  5. Great work, Nick

  6. Dave Nadel says:

    Greater Melbourne Team of the Century.

    B: Albert Park Ivan Hoe Carl Ton
    HB: Rich Mond William Stown Collin Gwood
    C: Cam Berwell Al Tona Ken Sington
    HF: Mordi Alloc Frank Ston Hugh Esdale
    F: Glen Waverley Craig Ieburn Campbell Field
    R: Warran Wood Clyde North Glen Roy
    I/C Don Caster Jordan Ville Thomas Town Donny Brook

  7. Dave N, you’re a legend. That’s awesome. Mordi, what a superstar! And Warran Wood. I love it when the planners choose to name the new place between too old places by just combining bits of each old suburb name. I’ve always though Heathmont should have been called Ringburn. Ha! Heath Mont, another superstar!

    Dave B: you’re officially forgiven for your anti-Chicken Salt Sign sentiments. That’s brilliant. Bit jealous.

    Mickey, Jim and I will see you in Trevor.

    Swish, Swish, Swish, i looked long and hard for a Beverley. I’m so glad there is one. Kimba’s full forward slot was always a bit shaky.

    To all, cheers.

  8. Peter Crossing says:

    Well done, Nick.
    Here’s a couple of teams. Apologies for one or two repeats from your list.
    Peter Borough is a big, big CHF so had to get a guernsey.
    Both Glen Roy and Ken Sington were involved in a messy clearance wrangle.
    Adelaide Suburban Team
    B: Gill Man Otto Way Reg Encypark
    HB: Al Berton Kirk Caldy Cam Den
    C: Mitch Am Glen Elg Mal Vern
    HF: Lyn Ton Glen Osmond Lin Denpark
    F: Beau Mont Heath Pool Ken Sington
    R: Gil Berton Wal Kerville Klem Zig
    Int: Hec Torville Al Lenbygardens Campbell Town

    SA Country Team
    B: Brad Bury Heath Field Ash Bourne
    HB: Evan Ston Will Aston Buck Landpark
    C: Will Unga Vic Torharbor Wal Laroo,
    HF: Len Swood Peter Borough Charles Ton
    F: Cal Lington Murray Bridge Hal Let
    R: Glen Roy Glen Dambo Den Ialbay
    Interchange made up of members of the Town family from the Mid-North
    Int: James George Solomon
    Injury list: Sandy Creek, Robert Stown, Kim Ba

    SA Womens Team
    B Myrtle Bank Erin Dale Beverley
    HB: Eve Rardpark Marion Bay Wynn Vale
    C: Elli Ston Mel Rose Milli Cent
    HF: Frances Blanche Town Carrie Ton
    F: Rose Park Virginia Grace Plains
    R: Lea Woodgardens St Marys Viv Onnebay
    Int: Darling Ton, Clare, Hazel Woodpark, Ethel Ton (for Swish), Sal Isbury (also for Swish)

  9. Peter_B says:

    The SA Almanackers Diaspora Assn needs to schedule an annual conference and AGM. Mait Land or Bar Mera?

  10. widawidawida says:

    I imagine Peter Borough a biggie, but Clyde Fiveways has Miller, Farmer or even Coleman written across his double barrel chest. This post is just brilliant all round.

  11. Pete C, there’s a lotta gold in there. Love your work. Lenbygardens and Woodgardens, awesome players. Cometti would have had a field day with that, mouthful for the rest of them. As for the Town family, there’s gotta be a whole team of them doesn’t there? Blanche and Solomon on the same team finally after all these years. Maybe they’ll get a run against the Bay family, Smoky and Venus going head to head against them.

    Pete B, got a spare seat for a blow in? I can take minutes, make the tea, whatever. It’d be helpful if the AGM was in Keith, but wherever, I’ll come to Charlton Gully (CHB) if you need.

    Wida, there’ll never be anyone as great as Clyde, but, speaking as a Port Melbourne supporter, I think there’s something about Peter Borough that could just work after all. No zing, No bling, just a hulking great big thing.

    Hats off to you all.

  12. Peter Crossing says:

    Lads and Lasses
    Please note that Mal Lala was not considered for selection in the Country team due to effects of giddiness as a result of overdoing circle work on the training track.

    On the theme of Town vs Bay teams
    Patriachal team – Pa Rawa Pa Radise Pa Ralowie Pa Racombe Pa Rachilna etc
    Ecclestiastical team – St Rathalbyn St Okesbay St Reakybay St Irling St Ansbury Bro Adview
    Bro Oklynpark + interstate recruit Bro Ken Hill
    I think I should stop this, now.

    AGM.
    Keef works for me, also Maitland (top or bottom pub?) or maybe Mundulla as long as there is a jukebox.on the premises.

  13. Paul Young says:

    Wow, you’ve got a lot of time on your hands nickw – but you are using it better than watching crap reality TV. Definitely food for thought. (Maybe come up with a food related team as your next project?)

    Peter Crossing – You’ve got Beverley and Virginia….but…..a SA women’s team without a first round draft pick in ‘Elizabeth’ would be like leaving EJ Whitten out of the team of the (20th) century. Maybe you did it deliberately with the assumption she’d be coach or president?

  14. Mark Duffett says:

    Very well played on the peninsulas, nickw.

    Felix Stow very stiff not to get a guernsey in the Adelaide Suburban team, Peter C.

    Tasmanian men’s XXI:

    Arthur River, Glen Orchy, Rich Mond
    George Town, Adam Sonspeak, Campbell Town
    Mat Hinna, Ross Arden, Albert On
    Cole Brook, Evan Dale, Cam Pania
    Ben Lomond, Cam Bridge, Stan Ley
    1R: Clarence Street, Gordon River, Lucas Ton

    Women’s:
    Clare Mont, Pat Ersonia, Cat Amaran
    Rose Bery, Ellen Dale, Del Oraine
    Ida Bay, Elizabeth Town, Jackey Smarsh
    Rose Garland, Jeri Cho, May Dena
    Edith Creek, Bea Consfield, Lily Dale
    1R: Bronte Park, Maria Island, Sandy Bay

  15. G’day Nick

    This is great!

    Possibly reflecting the state of the game in Queensland, you will find its rep team dominated by one family, the Islands. Importantly, Queensland struggled to fill the interchange bench and didn’t have a coach. This was solved by recruiting some passers by who refused to give their full names to avoid embarrassment.

    Queensland Rep Team:
    B: Miles End, Orpheus Island, Ross River
    HB: Wilson Island, Norman Park, Patrick Estate
    C: Red Hill, Moreton Island, Tam O’Shanter
    HF: Hamilton Island, Rocky Point, Glen Ruth
    F: Glen Russell, Cecil Plains, Russell Island
    Fol: Smokey Creek, Fraser Island, Gilbert River
    Interchange: Chandler, Nathan, Milton, Athol
    Coach: Theodore

  16. I’ve a fiver if Iron Knob can be worked into a SA country side.

  17. I hear you Peter C, but it kind of just nags around your brain for weeks once you start. Take Lincoln Park’s teammate Aero Smith as an example (hey if the Cordy’s can call a kid Ayce, the Smith’s can do what they want). As for the Bros – marvellous! Bro Ken Hill, a journeyman if ever there was.

    Paul, I might have to pass the food-related team on to another scribe. My team would be 18 members of the Mitani family at this stage, and it could rightly be suggested that I’ve devoted enough WordPress characters to Chicken Salt (this year anyway).

    Mark, if I’m not mistaken Adam Sonspeak has been Alastair Lynch medalist since its inception in 2014. Classic.

    RTB, I confess had to look up Tam O’Shanter, it just sounded to good to be true – very pleased it exists. But my fave is Orpheus Island – no one called Orpheus would be hesitant to provide their full name.

    Cheers

  18. Joe De Petro says:

    There just aren’t nough kids named Orpheus anymore.

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