Ultimate Wool Teams: Vic, Riverina, WA and SA


  (From the left) Bill McMaster, Russell Middlemiss, Reg Hickey, Fred Flanagan, John Hyde, Russell Renfrey.



Over the past few years we’ve had some fun picking state teams of footballers who have come out of the wool industry. A (possible) national team will appear in this weekend’s Footy Record.

If you have a nomination, please add it in the comments section that follows – and the information about the player’s wool and footy backgrounds.


Here are the four teams: Victoria, Riverina, WA and SA (and you will find some profiles of the players following the team lists.


Victorian wool team:

Full Backs:         Bill Ryan                         John Hyde                   Peter Walker

Half Backs:           Rupe McDonald         Ian ‘Bluey’ Shelton       Shane Heard

Centres:                   John Goold                 Carji Greeves              Hugh Delahunty

Half Forwards:            Doug Nicholls             Fred Flanagan             Russell Renfry

Full Forwards:             John Sudholz              Roger Merrett             Jim Jess

Followers:             Russell Crow                    Tom Wills                    Des Tuddenham


Interchange (from): Brian Muir, Frankie Coghlan, Bill McMaster, Brian Barney Morrison (gun shearer, national record holder), Fenley McDonald (killed at Gallipoli, 25 April, 1915), Russell Renfry, Ernie Hug, Stewart Gull, John Hyde, John Haygarth, Norman Yeo (leader in the wool industry), George Cuttle, Jack Stevens (once classed 4,500 ewes in a day), Billy McGrath (Member of Parliament), Matthew Carland, Rod Waddell, Andy Collins, John Stevens, Mick Delahunty, Eric Brown, Alister Carr, Geoff Case, Michael Close, Frank Drum, Alan Eade, David Grenvold, Ian Morgan, Bruce Petering, John Thomas, Clyde Vearing, Don Worland, Mike Patterson.

Coach:                         Reg Hickey

Runner:           Jack Curran (also won the Stawell Gift)


Riverina wool team:

Backs:                  Terry Daniher              Jim Daniher                 Anthony  Daniher

Half Backs:                 Reg Gleeson                Jack Hawkins              Mark Bos (?)

Centres:                       Chris Daniher              Peter Box                    Ben Mathews

Half Forwards:            Neale Daniher             Jimmy Prentice            Luke Breust

Forwards:             Henry Playfair             John Longmire            Tom Hawkins

Followers:                   Justin Koschitzke        Ricky Quade               Paul Kelly


Interchange (from):     Mike Quade    Tom Quade     Ross Wells (wool farmer from Jerilderie)


WA Wool Team:

Full Backs                     Allen Mycock             Darren Glass               Justin Longmuir

Half Backs                    Scott Edwards          Billy Duckworth            Ron Quartermaine

Centres                        Peter Matera                Nat Fyfe                      Vern Orr

Half Forwards            Phil Krakouer              Stephen Michael         Nicky Winmar

Full Forwards              Phil Matera                  Ross Ditchburn           Jim Krakouer

Followers                    Aaron Sandilands       Mark Bairstow            Billy Walker


Interchange (from):     Gary (Stretch) Sandilands, John Duckworth and the other Duckworths, Wally Matera, Eric Krakouer, Troy Longmuir, Johnny and Norm Dennis, John Ditchburn, Buddy Franklin’s Dad Lance snr, The Goodings boys, The other Krakouers – Billy, Eric, Andrew, Gary Pope, Neil Williams, Clinton Wolf, Keith Miller, Keith Doncon, The Hayward brothers, Lin ‘Blue’ Richards, Keith ‘Muscles’ Everett, Frank Copeman, Brian Currie, Ron Boucher, Neil Jackson, Don Jackson.

Other Possibles (do any of these blokes have a connection with wool?):

Are the Kickett’s connected with wool? Barry Cable? John Todd? Alec Epis? (What should we do with butchers?) Harry Taylor? Jamie Cripps? Daniel Chick? Josh Kennedy? Andrew Lockyer? Paddy Ryder? Chris Mainwaring? Jaeger O’Meara?


SA wool team:

Backs:                   Shannon Hurn                   Daryl Wakelin                    Mick Redden

Half Backs:          Corey Enright                     Greg Phillips                       David Grenvold

Centres:                 Barry Stringer                    Paul Bagshaw                    Tyson Edwards

Half Forwards:   Jay Schulz                            Len Fitzgerald                    Stephen Copping

Forwards:            Brendon Lade                    Rick Davies                          Rodney Maynard

Followers:           Shaun Rehn                        Andrew McKay                 Bernie Vince


Interchange (from):                         Marty Mattner, John Mossop, Joe Darling, Ian Hannerford, Bronte Mumford

Coach: Don Lindner

Team Manager: Gillon McLachlan


The SA Twos:


Backs:                                   Geoff Phelps                     Danny Hughes                   Rob Ashby

Half Backs:                          Wayne Stringer                 Craig Kelly                           Shane Wakelin

Centre:                                 Tony Burgan                       Rick McGowan                  Neil Stringer

Half Forwards:                   Graham Ashby                  Richard Cousins                  Peter Kitschke

Forwards:                            Damian Kitschke               Chris Paine                          Lachie Neale

Followers:                           Dean Ottens                      Allan Stringer                     Jack Trengove

Interchange (from):  Trevor Sims, Jason McKenzie, Kevin Cousins, Luke Tappscott, Justin Clarke


Vic profiles:


Bill Ryan  Geelong, 1963-72. 167 games, 220 goals. Recruited from Swan Hill. Famous for his high marking. Wool classer. Gordon Institute.

John Hyde  Geelong 1948-54. 108 games, 12 goals. Recruited from Port Arlington. Key backman. Centre half back in Geelong 1951-52 premierships sides. Big strong mark. Cleared to Claremont where he played 1955-56.  One of six Geelong players of the day to be employed in the wool industry or have a wool background.

Peter Walker   Geelong 1960-71. 159 games, 1 goal. From Beeac. Played in the 1963 premiership side. Best and fairest in 1965. Good mark. Loved a run.

Rupe McDonald   Geelong 1929-35. 111 games, 2 goals. Dashing half back flanker from Winchelsea. Played in the Cats 1931 premiership side.

Ian Bluey Shelton    Essendon 1959-65. 91 games, 2 goals. Tough and uncompromising key defender who played centre half back in the 1962 premiership side. Recruited from Avernel where the Sheltons have been stalwarts of the local community since the mid-nineteenth century.

Shane Heard  Essendon 1977-87, 1991. 168 games, 39 goals. An early exponent of the tight tag. Played in the 1984 Bombers flag. Sheep farmer in the Wimmera, originally from the Horsham area.


John ‘Raggsy’ Goold Carlton, 1963-70. 108 games, 3 goals. Usually a back flanker but could take a strong mark and could play in a key position. From Healesville. Something of a bounder who wound up in the fashion industry and has had (still?) an association with sheep properties in the Mortlake district.


Carji Greeves   Geelong, 1923-33. 124 games, 17 goals. 1925 and 1931 premierships Inaugural Brownlow medallist. Geelong Best and Fairest is named after him. Classical mover and great all-round sportsman. From a sheep property near Cressy.


Hugh Delahunty  Essendon 1971-73. 46 games, 18 goals. From Murtoa sheep-wheat property in the Wimmera. Monivae College. Minister for Sport and Recreation in the Baillieu/Napthine Governments.


Doug Nicholls   Fitzroy, 1932-37. 54 games, 2 goals. Legendary Aboriginal (Yorta Yorta) footballer from the Cummeroogunja community near Barmah. Pro runner and Jimmy Sharman boxer. Later an ordained clergyman (‘Pastor Doug’). Knighted. Governor of South Australia. It is said he worked on sheep stations and with river dredging teams as a boy.


Fred Flanagan    Geelong, 1946-55. 164 games, 180 goals. Captain of the 1951-52 premiership sides. From Swan Hill ‘Troubles’ Flanagan (who had served in New Guinea) was a brilliant centre half forward. Wool classer.


Russell Renfry    Geelong, 1946-56, 201 games, 165 goals. 1951-52 premiership sides. Flanker/ruck rover who could win the footy. (one of the six in the famous Geelong wool photo)


John Sudholz    South Melbourne, 1966-71. 86 games, 176 goals. Full forward from a sheep-wheat farm near Rupanyup in the Wimmera.


Roger Merrett    Essendon and Brisbane Bears, 1978-95. Versatile key position player and ruckman. Enforcer. From a sheep-wheat property at Kaniva in the Wimmera.


Jim Jess    Richmond 1976-88. 223 games, 160 goals. Great character who could play pretty well anywhere, forward and back. 1980 premiership. Coached in the country. Shearer who was once offered a mob of merinos for coaching Balranald in the western Riverina.


Russell Crow  Fitzroy 1960-64, 1968-73. 158 games, 114 goals. Shearer from Warracknabeal in the Wimmera. Ruckman.


Tom Wills  Melbourne, Geelong, 1858- (last game?). One of the founders of the game. Of pastoral heritage. His father, Horatio’s run – 120,000 acre Lexington – was near Mt Ararat in central Victoria. The family established a run in central Queensland, which ended in tragedy.


Des Tuddenham   Collingwood and Essendon, 1962-77. 242 games, 316 goals. Half forward flanker, ruck rover and rover. Played in three losing Grand Finals. From a cattle and sheep farm near Ballarat. Could shear 80 in a day.





Riverina profiles:


Terry Daniher: The Danihers grew up with Jim (Dad) and Edna (Mum) on their Ungarie sheep-wheat farm. Terry played 313 games with South Melbourne and Essendon, 1976-92. 469 goals. Two premierships.


Jim Daniher: Father of. A handy rugby league player and key defender. Raking drop kicks from full back.


Anthony Daniher: Sydney, Essendon. 1981-94. 233 games. 80 goals. Reliable key defender.


Reg Gleeson:   South Melbourne 1970-76. 128 games, 11 goals. A strong backman from a Lockhart sheep property.


Jumpin` Jack Hawkins:   Geelong, 1973-81. 182 games, 20 goals. Key position player. A tremendous high mark. Now a sheep farmer near Finley.


Chris Daniher: Essendon. 1987-97. 124 games. 40 goals. Handy utility player. The fourth brother. Went back to the farm and continued playing bush footy until he was a ripe old age.


Mark Bos: Geelong. 1979-89. Half-back. Recruited from Tooleybuc. Sheep? 195 games, 16 goals. Best and Fairest 1987-88.


Peter Box:   Footscray 1951-57. 107 games, 43 goals. Centremen.  1954 premiership player. Brownlow Medalist. Took the coaching position at Grong Grong when Australia was riding on the sheep’s back. It’s said he was the highest paid footballer in Australia in his first year in the Riverina. Shearer. Photographed in his Jack Howe for the AFL’s book of Brownlow medallists.


Ben Mathews:  Sydney 1997-2008. 198 games. 45 goals. Utility. Recruited from Corowa-Rutherglen. Grew up on a farm. Neighbours of the Longmires.


Ricky Quade: One of the 15 Quades from Ariah Park. South Melbourne 1970-80. Ruck rover. Best and Fairest 1976. Captain 1977-79. Coach of Sydney 1982-84.


Jimmy Prentice: South Melbourne 1971-74. 58 games, 44 goals. Centre half forward. Ariah Park. Farmer.


Luke Breust: Hawthorn (current) Brilliant goal sneak, with silky skills. From a seep-wheat farm in the Temora district.


Henry Playfair: Geelong, Sydney. 2003-2010. 68 games, 43 goals. From a sheep property at Holbrook.


John Longmire: North Melbourne, 1988-99. 200 games, 511 goals. From a sheep property. Recruited from Corowa-Rutherglen.


Tom Hawkins: Son of Jumpin’ Jack. Geelong 2007-current. Full forward. 2011 premiership.


Neale Daniher: Essendon 1979-90. 82 games. 32 goals. Brilliant ruck rover, forward who suffered a terrible run of injuries. Then coached Melbourne.


Paul Kelly: Sydney. 234 games, 200 goals. 1990-2002. Ruck rover. Brownlow Medal 1995. Best and fairest 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997. Wool connection: truck driver who carts sheep?


Justin Koschitzke:    St Kilda 200 games 247 goals. Ruckman-key forward. From a Brocklesby farm. Also Tom Roberts painted Shearing the Rams on Brocklesby Station.


Mick Quade: North Melbourne  1966-68. 16 games, 9 goals. Brother of Ricky and Tom.


Tom Quade: North Melbourne 1957-58. 3games. Brother of Ricky and Mick


WA profiles:


Allen Mycock:    Claremont back pocket/ruckman in the early `60s.


Darren Glass:    Northam (Railways). West Coast Eagles 2000-2014 270 games, 8 goals, 2006 premiership, captain 2008-14, All Australian. Family have been on the land in the Northam area.


Justin Longmuir:  (Koorda), West Perth. Fremantle 1999-2007 139 games, 166 goals. Willowy forward/ruckman. Sheep farm.


Scott Edwards:   Claremont. Fremantle 1995-96 in the inaugural team, 15 games, 2 goals. Once sheared a sheep as a Freo promo. Wing/half back. Sheep farmer.


Billy Duckworth:   from the legendary Duckworth family of Dudinin. Sheep farmers and footballers. West Perth. Essendon 1982-90. 126 games, 64 goals. 1984 Norm Smith Medalist. Brother John played for Fitzroy and won a Magarey Medal at Central Districts.


Ron Quartermaine:   East Perth back pocket/back flanker. 75 games.


Vern Orr:   Scotch College Team of the Century, Claremont, Best and Fairest 1972. Wingman.


Nathan Fyfe:   The AFL’s best player at the moment – not often there is such a standout. Lake Grace. Aquinas College. AFLPA MVP. All-Australian. Family is involved in wool industry through rural trucking business.


Peter Matera:  ‘Roo’. Brother of Phil and Wally. Magnificent wingman. South Fremantle. West Coast Eagles 1990-2002, 253 games, 218 goals. Premierships 1992,1994. Norm Smith Medal 1992 (playing on Mark Bairstow for much of that Grand Final).


Phil Krakouer:   North Barker. Calremont 1978-81. Morth Melbourne 1982-90. Footscray 1990-91. Brother of Jim. Rover/small forward. Son of Eric (shearer).


Stephen Michael:  Kojonup, South Fremantle 1975-85. 243 games, 231 goals. Legendary WA footballer who chose to remain in the West despite offers from Melbourne clubs. Has been involved in wool industry. (Please help us with specific info here).


Nicky Winmar:   Neil Elvis Winmar known also as Cuz. Pingelly. South Fremantle. St Kilda 251 games 317 goals. Western Bulldogs. Still a roustabout in the Lake Grace region.


Phil Matera:   South Fremantle. West Coast Eagles 1996-2003 179 games, 389 goals, All Australian 2003


Ross Ditchburn:   Kukerin. Claremont 1975-80. Carlton 1982-83. 28 games, 91 goals. 1982 Carlton premiership. Sheep farmer. (Brother John also a good footballer)


Jim Krakouer:   North Barker. Claremont 1977-81 88 games, 214 goals. North Melbourne 1982-89. 134 games, 229 goals. St Kilda 1990-91 13 games, 7 goals.


Aaron Sandilands:    son of shearer Gary ‘Stretch’ Sandilands who used to ruck for North Barker – to his rovers Jim and Phil Krakouer. East Fremantle. Fremantle: 2003-now, 220+ games, Best and Fairest 2009. 4 x All Australan.


Mark Bairstow:  Lake Grace. South Fremantle 40 games, 32 goals. Geelong 1987-94 146 games, 172 goals. Geelong captain. From a sheep property at Dumbleyung.


Billy Walker:   Narambeen. Swan Districts. Premierships 1961,62,63. Best and Fairest, 1965,66,68,69,70. Sandover Medal 1965,66,67,70. All Australian 1969. Sheep farmer.



Read more footy yarns at www.footyalmanac.com.au

About John Harms

JTH is a writer, publisher, speaker, historian. He is publisher and contributing editor of The Footy Almanac and footyalmanac.com.au. He has written columns and features for numerous publications. His books include Confessions of a Thirteenth Man, Memoirs of a Mug Punter, Loose Men Everywhere, Play On, The Pearl: Steve Renouf's Story and Life As I Know It (with Michelle Payne). He appears on ABCTV's Offsiders. He can be contacted [email protected] He is married to The Handicapper and has three kids - Theo13, Anna11, Evie10. He might not be the worst putter in the world but he's in the worst three. His ambition is to lunch for Australia.


  1. Good teams there, John.
    Not trying to pull the wool over your eyes, but I can confirm that Dale, Derek and Larry Kickett are from my old stomping ground, the “don’t blink and you’ll still miss it” WA wheat and wool town of Tammin.
    For the record, Dale played 181 AFL (Fitzroy, West Coast, St Kilda, Essendon, Fremantle) and 82 WAFL (Claremont) games, Derek played 152 AFL/VFL (North Melbourne, Essendon, Sydney), 25 SANFL (Central District) and 82 WAFL (West Perth, Claremont, Subiaco) games, and Larry played 227 WAFL (East Perth, Claremont) games.
    That’s an aggregate 749 games for 12 clubs (7 AFL/VFL, 4 WAFL and 1 SANFL).
    I believe that Buddy Franklin’s mother was also a member of Tammin’s Kickett family.

  2. Rod Oaten says

    I love the five Danihers in the Riverina team. What a pity Kevin Sheedy couldn’t find a place for Jim when the four brothers represented the Dons against St Kilda at Morrabbin all those years ago.

  3. Believe it or not John, EWE’ve stumpted me, I can’t for the life of me pick another player for any of your teams.

  4. Rulebook says

    Great stuff JTH ire the SA team interesting to see how tall it ended up I probably would have had Lachie Neale and Tony Burgan/Jack Trengove in the 1st team re balance
    A huge amount of work goes in to things like this thank you

  5. That’s a very good point Rulebook – and a function of the fact these were done three years ago when Lachie was emerging at Freo. HIs reputation now certainly suggests he should be in the first SA team. Time to re-do them. WE will get a kick along when noms come in again after the article about wool and footy goes in The Footy Record this weekend.

  6. Dr Rocket says

    Well done Darky.

    In relation to the Riverina Wool Team:

    Alas Mark Bos from Wandella, near Kerang…

    Suggest you bring Dave Honybun in to the forward pocket – his father was singly responsible for the elimination of footrot from the MIA – put Neale Daniher on the hbf and switch Henry Playfair to CHF.

    Also a geography lesson for the Victorians – Cummeragunja is on the NSW side of the border so Sir Doug Nichols can go onto the bench for the Riverina Wool Team.

  7. Great work John and well-timed to coincide with the City vs Country game between Geelong and Essendon.
    I wonder are there any players who make the teams and aalso have appropiate surnames eg Shane Heard (but its a mob of sheep)

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