Twin Cities side

Whilst we are picking sides from along the Murray River, it would be remiss not to have a side from the twin cities of Albury and Wodonga. There are 5 Ovens and Murray teams there, Albury, North Albury, Wodonga, and the two newer ones, Lavington, and Wodonga Raiders. How does this look?

B: R Henshaw, North Albury/North Melbourne, D Ryan, Albury/Fitzroy, P Baker, Albury/North Nelbourne/Geelong

HB: A Smedts, North Albury/Footscray/St Kilda, D Carroll, Albury/Sydney, Geoff Strang, Albury/Richmond

C: J Perry, Wodonga/Richmond/North Melbourne, H Bunton, Albury/Fitzroy, D Grimmond, Albury/Richmond

HF: D Bradshaw, Wodonga/Brisbane/Sydney, Gordon Strang, Albury/Richmond, W Wood, Albury/Footscray

F: D Strang, Albury/Richmond, F Gehrig, Wodonga/West Coast/St Kilda, V Doolan, Wodonga/North Melbourne

FOLL: B Waite, Albury/Essendon, B Kirk, North Albury/Sydney, D Cross, Albury/Western Bulldogs

INTER: J Duthie, Albury/North Melbourne, A Strang, Albury/South Melbourne, D Ross, Albury/Footscray, P Spargo, Albury/North Melbourne

Emerg: H Mcintosh, Wodonga Raiders/North Melbourne, B Doolan, Albury/Sydney/Essendon, B Hollands, North Albury/Richmond

Not a bad side if i say so myself, and there’s a few unfortunate players passed over. What do other Almanacers think?




  1. One family appears to have a bit of a Strang le hold on the team

  2. Mark Doyle says

    Well done Glen. A great key postion goal to goal line and centre line. Also, a couple of brownlow medalists and several VFL/AFL premiership players. In my opinion, the only bloke who may be a bit stiff not to make your team is Xavier Tanner, who hails from Wodonga and was the centreman in the North Melbourne premiership team of 1977.

  3. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rocket says

    Ripper team!

    Reckon Bruce Waite may have come from Myrtleford, or did he go there to coach after Essendon?

    You missed Kosi who went to the Sainters from North Albury – but he’s a Brocklesby boy anyway.
    Just as Dennis Carroll says he comes from Lockhart.

  4. Mark Doyle says

    I am pretty sure that Bruce Waite started in Albury and ended up at Myrtleford. There are a few blokes who grew up in small towns near Albury and either went to school or played junior footy in Albury, such as Kosi. I am pretty sure that Brett Kirk lived in either Burrumbuttock or Walla and Fraser Gehrig lived in Barnawatha. Sheikh, Are you sure that Dennis Carroll grew up in Lockhart? I thought he grew up in Tumbarumba and he definitely played for Albury before Sydney. Does anyone remember Tom “Turkey” Carroll, who played with Carlton in the early 1960’s? I think he may have played with Albury before going to Carlton. Albury has a terrific history of aussie rules footy and has always had a greater cultural link to Victoria and Melbourne than NSW. Notwithstanding, the official state boundary being the Victorian bank of the Murray River, the cultural boundary for footy and beer was about 50 kms. north of the Murray – I think places such as Culcairn and Mullengandra were the last places to sell Victorian beer. The Riverina area has also had a significant aussie rules history in rugby league country, which I think started with the soldier settlement program after the first world war. Some of the significant families involved were the Carrolls of Ganmain, the Quades of Ariah Park, the Danahers of Ungarie and the Sansons of Lake Cargellico. In Albury and the Riverina, a lot of kids played both aussie rules and rugby league, which were played on Saturday and Sunday respectively. Apparently, some great rugby league players were also very good junior aussie rules players, such as Greg Brentnall (Wagga), Brad Clyde (Holbrook) and Laurie Daley (Junee).

  5. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rocket says

    Thanks Mark,

    You are so right about the Riverina having a rich football heritage.
    And it dates back to 1881 – due mainly to the success of the Land Selection Acts in the late 19th C.
    Then the spread of the railway lines extended the game throughout the region.
    The soldier setllement after WWI was just the icing on the cake.
    Footy was established well ahead of all the other codes in the Riverina.
    For details see my article in the Australian Society of Sports History June 1988.

    Hippie Kirk’s old man played at Burrumbuttock – but he’s a Hopper – idolised Stan Sargeant.
    Dan Carroll worked in the bank at Tumba – his old man, Dooley, originally from Ganmain had a farm at Lockhart – now lives in Albury, as does his brother Tom – a Ganmain man, except for a short stint coaching Grong Grong Matong, and a couple of seasons at Carlton.

  6. Alovesupreme says

    The late Ian Turner defined the boundary as”the Barassi line”, and made some territorial claims that might be resisted by those who worship different football gods.

    “It runs between Canberra, Broken Hill, Birdsville and Manangrita and it divides Australia between rugby and rules.”

    Bear in mind this was from his 1978 Ron Barassi Memorial lecture, so it long pre-dated the Canberra Raiders and the ACT Brumbies.
    Prof. John Molony was an ardent advocate of the participation of a Canberra-based team in the national competition, and was extremely critical of the VFL/AFL (circa 1990) passing up this opportunity and giving Rugby League a free kick in the national capital.
    I’d defer to Rocket as to the appropriate demarcation of the contemporary Barassi line.

  7. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rocket says

    The Barassi Line passed through the Riverina just south of Wagga at The Rock and ran across just north of Narrandera and then over to the border between Hay and Hillston to Broken Hill.

    Coincidentally this was the area in southern NSW where you could get CUB beer and Melbourne newspapers – and if people went to the city – they went to Melbourne – its closer than Sydney.

    Surprisingly Ian Turner hadn’t done the history on it – the reason for the Victorian dominance of southern NSW stems from the goldrushes when the cattle were bred in the Riverina for the miners on the goldfields. The growth of the wool industry provided a further boost – it all went down the Murrumbidgee and the Edwards rivers to the Victorian ports on the Murray. The closer settlement of the area resulted in most settlers coming from Victoria not NSW (see Butlin’s The Riverina) – they bought with them their own football game.

    It was not until after WWI when the coppers and chalkies from Sydney came down to the area and introduced rugby league – by then the railways connected to Sydney.

    I was on the NFL board with John Molony (brother of the VCFL legend Muncher) – the ACTAFL nearly bought the Swans at one stage back in the early 90s!

  8. Thanks for the Feedback. Was ‘Turkey Tom’ from Turvey Park, up past Wagga? Re Xavier Tanner, that was an oversight. I thought he was from Yackandadah or some where on the Vic side. Bruce Waite, might have been raised in Mytrelford, but i’m fairly sure he was picked up from Albury. I have another few sides in the pipeline, so give me a few weeks and watch this space.

  9. Mark Doyle says

    Thanks for the interesting history lesson. Hippie Kirk’s old man wasn’t the only one who idolised Stan Sargeant and the Hoppers in the 60’s. It sounds like the unofficial NSW/VIC state border may have been a bit further north to what I thought. The reference to the Riverina cattle industry reminds me of Joseph Furphy’s (Tom Collins) classic Australian novel ‘Such Is Life’ – a great read! With respect to footy in the Riverina, I think the major league was the South West League and the minor league was the Farrer League. I have a memory of a great inter-league game in Albury between the South West and O & M leagues and the 1954 Footscray premiership player, Peter Box, was one of the better players for South West. Is my memory correct?
    I also find the comment re the ACTAFL nearly buying the Swans in the early 1990’s interesting – this sounds like a Roger Duffy idea. He played and, I think coached Eastlake, and hosted the channel 7 telecast in Canberra in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s – he was a bit of a ‘wacker’ on the TV. Aussie Rules was very popular in Canberra at this time and challenged rugby union as the most popular code. This popularity of aussie rules in Canberra was due to most of the population growth being Commonwealth public servants relocating from Melbourne. However, I think this popularity was starting to wane by the late 70’s and declined further when the Canberra Raiders started in the early to mid 80’s. The Raiders had the advantage over the Canberra aussie rules clubs because of pokie money from the Queanbeyan Leagues club.

    I lived in Canberra at this time and played with South Woden in a league which included teams such as Duntroon, Goulburn and Yass. I also supported Manuka and had a lot of friends who played seniors at the Manuka Footy Club (the Bullants) and have good memories of celebrating Manuka premierships in the ACTAFL.

  10. Mark,
    A couple of others including the Galloping Gasomete Mick Nolen Wang/North. Jack Jones. Albury/ Essendon. Peter Chisnall Corowa/ North A certain G Abblet who spent a year in Myrtleford before heading to Geeling. My father played with and coached North Albury and coached Albury after playing with North Melbourne and Footscray

  11. Mark Doyle says

    Tony, Is that the legendary Tim Robb? He was a bit before my time, but I think he coached the hoppers to their first flag in the mid 50’s. I was aware that he played for North Melbourne, but not Footscray. Was he at Footscray with Don Ross? I can remember a couple of blokes at North Albury, Ron James (secretary) and Kevin Weule (player) telling me how good he was as a player. I cannot remember him coaching Albury, but have some memory that he coached in either the South West, Farrer or Hume leagues in the 60’s.

  12. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rocket says

    Hi again Mark,

    Yes, the South West won the VCFL champoinships in 1963-64 – played over two years back then.

    They beat the O & m in Albury in a semi final – rover Johnny Hawke (father of Paul) got 4-1 & won a motza. Star players included Barry Connolly (father of the Dees’ Chris), ex South Melb capt Ian “The Heap” Gillett, 1956 Brownlow medalist Peter Box (best mark ever in the Riverina according to Ab the concreter) & “Turkey” Tom Carroll – leading VFL goal-kicker in 1961.

    They beat the Hampden league in the final at Narrandera.

  13. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rocket says

    Turvey Park is a suburb of Wagga – established after WWII.

    Had both footy and rugby league clubs – produced the Mortimer bros & Greg Brentnall – all played for Canterbury, NSW & Australia. Steve’s nickname is ‘Turvey’.

    The Turvey Park footy club signed John Nichols to be capt-coach for the 1964 season due to the internal strife at Carlton at the time – but in the end he stayed with the Blues.

    Back in the 50s and 60s you could walk in the suburb to their respective grounds situated to the north and south of the shopping centre.

    TPRLFC are no more – now City South after amalgamating with Magpies.

  14. kevin weule says

    Kevin (Turkey) Weule played from 1961 ( first coach Don Ross ) till 1970, rep O &m seven times, played 3 practice games with North Melbourne 1969 breaking his leg playing for North Melbourne at Wodonga against the O&M left North Albury and moved Brisbane to coach Coorparoo 1971 then Played last coach Bill Ryan from Geelong, kevin was known as Turkey Weule name given to him by Ron James when he played juniors for North albury

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