VAFA Premier C – Fitzroy v Old Ivanhoe: Veterans deliver: Dan and Dave on our selection

by King George!III


Danny Wilson long time FFC raconteur and U19 player at Fitzroy, when the club played at the BSO in the VFL, hosted the guests at last Saturday’s President’s Luncheon with the deft skill of one who trained for war and sport but knows the gulf of reality between the two.


Our host Danny used the interview he conducted with Dan Cairnes and Dave Farrell, both returned distinguished Australian Defence Force veterans, to tease out the their current careers as founders of Veterans in Construction (VIC) a project designed to assist returning service personnel to reintegrate into civilian worklife as seamlessly as possible after what for many is a period of service, sacrifice and gallantry without decoration and can often create a disconnect on return home.


They pointed out that though the Defence forces tried to accommodate their ambitions with an array of opportunities, on return, within the military, once the decision to leave was made, structures to assist transition outside the military were as thin on the ground as had been their situation in theatres of war where they had needed to summon all the ‘groundhog day’ repetitive training to bring them from the dark into the light.


Their enlightenment of the gathered was warmly appreciated and especially by David Leydon and his Union guests when Dan mentioned that many of those that availed of jobs sought and sorted by VIC became members of the CFMEU!


Onto question time our guests were Bren gun fired by Mandy Hudson –mother of Toby Hudson – Bevege, Gabrielle Murphy – mother of ‘Good one’  Max Ellis, and the delightful Aunt of Rory Angiolella before Madame President Mother of ‘Top Cat’ Tom Cheshire pointed out to MC Danny that even in a femocracy we should allow a question from a father of one of our senior players!


After official proceedings ended Fitzroy ‘diehard’ (we exchanged triple bypass stories whilst carefully selecting our buffet lunches) MP Dick Wynne drew the raffle ticket prizes and like the two left wings of the ALPatross – the ACTU and GetUp – he could only find red and green wynners in the bowl leaving we other ticket holders very blue indeed. We hope to see you winging it to Fearon Oval next week Dick as everyone will be needed in the field.


At least one veteran lion won a prize – Dyson Hore–Lacy, an oversized bottle of Tahbilk wine, in no way enough compensation for the battles he and Bill Atherton fought against all odds way back when to keep the Fitzroy entity going even in exile until it re-emerged in its current metamorphous state. Even the record defamation compensation payment he retains after Rebel Wilson’s failed Court of Appeal case is minuscule reward for his truly lion-hearted efforts on behalf of Fitzroy Football Club and the army of unfortunates he has helped during his legal lifetime.


On the field of dreams…


Veteran ‘Bungalow’ Borland back from basking in Botswana barrelled a binary for Bernie’s brigade in the twos while Michael Cussen and Will Pickering kept the heat on their protégé forwards in the ones with their performances.


In the seniors the twin ‘tow balls’ Jack Dalton and Rory Angiolella continue to impress while the Baker and the Brazier keep cooking their opposition and Nino showed he could kick running goals with either foot.


Some weeks ago we saw a veteran of another side, Robert Campbell of Old Camberwell a 2008 AFL premiership player with Hawthorn, give one of the best performance seen by this scribe in any of the games watched this year. That he did so in a skilful and fair way provided a lesson to our own players who played on or against him that day namely Jack Hart when RC rested in the forward line and Matt Gaite, Andrew Pettigrove, Bill & Ted Clayton when he rucked at centre bounces and around the ground. Gaitor grew in stature immediately doing a double Dusty fend off and a well feigned look ahead 25 metre sideways hand ball in the said game. Each of these boys games have positively incrementally improved since that encounter which is important for the denouement of Fitzroy’s season.

As always the Admiral of the ship Coach Luke Mahoney in well measured tone told the players following the victory over Old Ivanhoe we now have the opportunity this week to do what no other team in our competition has done this year-defeat Willy at the Fearon Oval. Scouting the ground after the magnificent victory by Coach Simon Jackson and Captain Rachel Telfer’s Fitzroy – ACU Team in the curtain raiser at the nearby Seagulls VFL homeground this observer saw what he thought to be CYMS stalwart Smokie Dawson’s rust chassised VW Kombi van with trailer parked oblong to reserve car spots for the big game. Don’t worry Smokie we’re coming by car, train, boat, bus, helicopter or on foot. See you all by the seaside Saturday.





  1. Excellent report, King George.

    I can confirm that parking will indeed be at a premium this Saturday on Osborne Street.
    Alas, I most unhappy to report that work commitments will preclude me from attending.

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