VAFA – Premier B: Fitzroy returns to the Junction

Fitzroy was back at the Junction Oval yesterday. When I arrived at the ground the first thing I noticed was a sign up on the scoreboard, “Welcome back Fitzroy.” Nice touch by Melbourne Old Boys but the hospitality stopped there as they “touched’ us up in the main game. They also provided the worst snags I have ever tasted. A bloke on Bigfooty a few years ago, used to do a review of the canteens at Ammo grounds and I wonder what he would say about the grub provided yesterday. My stomach lining does not get a rest.

There was a good crowd at the match as many of the old Fitzroy faithful turned out to reminisce abut the 70s and 80s down at the Junction. George, a patient of mine, refused to join the Tram Conductors behind the goals as he was going to stand exactly where he used to stand back in the old days. Everyone was asking each other “where did you sit or stand when we used to play here?”

Ammo footy in a different beast to the AFL. Players rarely get reported and any “argie bargie” is of a soft kind. The Reds have always had a fine reputation for taking performance hindering substances (beer) rather than what the professionals take and the actual play is played in a different spirit to suburban footy. Those of you who come along to matches know that I am the most obnoxious member of a group of rather un- obnoxious blokes who stand behind the goals.

We spend our time supporting our full forward, Will, and razing the full back. Steve Waugh, when Australia had a great cricket team, used to rabbit on about using sledging to cause mental disintegration of the opposition. Will feels sorry for the full back and apologises each week to his opponent for the sometimes cruel comments from the Tram Conductors. No mental disintegration at the BSO.
We had loads of players out including Parko, Garry McCarthy, Daniel B, Cuzzie and Mick Lee but “Cheap Kick O’Reilly” was a welcome inclusion and he got us on the board with a superb goal from deep in the pocket, a David McMahon special. After missing a few relatively easy shots early, we defended well as we have done all year and scored two goals late in the first quarter to go to the break ten points up.

However the rest of the game was a train wreck. They killed us scoring fifteen goals to five for the rest of the match. We had no structure up forward and continually went wide rather than down the middle. Will Fenton, with three goals, was the only forward to “give a yelp.” How he did not get a free kick in the goal square in the last quarter….??? Bakes kicked three as well.

The Fitzroy players walked off to applause from the faithful. Old Melbournians walked off to silence. Pickers summed the season up by saying the players could be proud of the way they turned the season around after six straight losses to start the season but we are still five goals away from matching the better sides in this grade. He said we have a young side but we are not quite there yet.

Kevin Murray then spoke and said that he played his last game of VFL at this ground. The ground may have an upgrade and so Old Melbournians may not play here in the future. We may have seen Fitzroy at the Junction for the last time but we will be in B Grade again next year.

All our young blokes will be bigger, quicker and stronger next year. If we can get a big ruckman and have a functioning forward line, watch out for the Roys next year. A Grade here we come.

Finally the under nineteens, seconds and thirds are all playing finals next week and I will be there. The Twos are a real chance as the other sides have their seniors playing as well, so unlike us, they will not be able to select from a full list in the Twos. Just think our first B Grade Flag!!!!!!

Go the Roys.

P.S. Paul Daffy has written about the day. The link is below

P.P.S. Pickers has agreed to coach again next year.


  1. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Well done Phil I would be worried if there isn’t a Person on the other side of 50 who hasn’t got a soft spot for The Royston !

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