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Page 60 Thursday, 11 May, 2017

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Big dance segregation By David Nagel Mixed reaction has greeted AFL South East’s decision to host this year’s South East Football Netball League (SEFNL) grand final under lights at Casey Fields on Saturday 16 September. In a massive break from tradition, the SEFNL’s showcase football event will now be held at a neutral venue, under lights, for the very first time. Previous grand finals have been held at the venue of member clubs, with football and netball running simultaneously throughout the day. All SEFNL netball grand finals, as well as reserves and under-19 football will now be played during the day, with senior football to follow. AFL South East region general manager John Anderson made the announcement last week. “There were two stages involved,” said Anderson, who took over the general manager’s role from Jeremy Bourke at the start of the year. “First, I was curious to know why the league wasn’t playing its grand final at its premium venue. “There were differing reasons for that, but once we overcame those it all came down to common sense, it was a no-brainer really. “AFL South East already has a

grand final on the same day with the Nepean League playing at Frankston Park, and the neighbouring Ellinbank and West Gippsland leagues also share the same timeslot. “It just wasn’t great programming. This divides all the clashes and will allow a great crowd to attend.” The venue for the netball has raised discussion, and the ire of some netball stalwarts, with the courts at Casey Fields being further removed from the football than at previous grand final venues since the league first started in 2005. It’s roughly a 400-metre walk from the main ground at Casey Fields to the netball courts. “There was a bit of pushback from netball,” Anderson acknowledged. “But I think everything is close enough where people will be able to watch some great netball action and then work their way across for the football at night.” But Beaconsfield netball coach Simon O’Shanassy disagrees, labelling the decision a disgrace. “It’s a spur of the moment decision that reeks of hypocrisy and detracts from the community spirit that we’ve all tried to engender at our clubs,” O’Shanassy said. “We’re all gobsmacked. The com-

Lights, cameras, action. Casey Fields will host the first ever night grand final in the South East Football Netball League. 101945 Picture: STEWART CHAMBERS

munity spirit, the great relationship between footy and netball on the biggest day of the season, they’ve buried it in one hit. There’s been no consultation with netball and it reiterates my opin-

ion that the sport just isn’t being taken seriously.” In another first for the SEFNL competition, the football and netball preliminary finals will also be played

at Casey Fields, during the day, on Saturday 9 September. Hosting rights for the first two weeks of the finals will be tendered out to clubs in due course.

Billy’s flashback to ’57 By David Nagel Members of Narre Warren’s 1992 premiership team held a reunion in the clubrooms at Kalora Park on Saturday - but 82-year-old Billy Carrott could have held his in a phone box. Carrott - a member of the inaugural Narre Hallam Football Club in 1954 - was the only member of the club’s first ever premiership in 1957 in attendance. Incredibly ... that’s 60 years ago and he still remembers everything as if it happened only yesterday. “We were called Narre Hallam in those days, there was a break away from the Dandenong and District Association and the South West Gippsland Football League was formed," Carrott said. “There was about seven or eight of us who came across from Berwick to form the nucleus of the first ever Narre Hallam side. “The first games were played at Hallam Road, opposite the Hallam Pub; it was a pretty rugged old ground. We changed in the old cow sheds and run around the field which had cowpats all over it. It was pretty rugged but we all thought we were pretty good back then.” In fact Carrott and his teammates - including Frank and Pat Sweeney and Gordon and Lyle McGill - were pretty good, winning the club's first piece of silverware. “When we first started there was nothing,” Carrott said. “We had an old tin shed as our clubrooms and there were no photos or premiership cups like you see

Pramesh Prasad shows off his three gold medals during last month's World Masters Games in Auckland. Picture: SUPPLIED Mr Narre Warren, Roger McGill explains the club's rise to the 1992 premiership to current-day president Stuart Stephenson.

Billy Carrott, an inaugural player for the Narre Hallam Pictures: DAVID NAGEL Football Club in 1954. 168040 here today. It really did all start from there, so to look around today and see what the club has done since then, it’s unreal.” And his memories of the 1957 grand final? “It was against Tooradin at Officer,” Carrott said in a flash. “I played on the half back flank in the grand final and changed as ruck rover. I was lucky enough to be

vice-captain that day which is something I’m still very proud of today.” Carrott, who was a Parks and Gardens Superintendent in Dandenong for 40 years, said the ’57 boys celebrated hard and that he still loved the club. “We went back to the rooms and celebrated and got home about four of five o’clock in the morning ... I don’t remember much about it (laughs),” he said.

“It’s hard to explain, but it’s a special place Narre Warren. I don’t get to many games these days but still follow the results and the club will always be in my blood ... it’s Narre all the way.” Current day Narre Warren president Stuart Stephenson took to the stage to interview 1992 captaincoach Peter Lindsay and premiership president Roger McGill.

It’s gold, gold, gold for Pramesh It was a truly magical week for the Casey Masters Athletics Club in late April, with Pramesh Prasad taking out three gold medals at the recent World Masters Games in Auckland, New Zealand. The event, held from 23 April to 30 April, featured athletes from all over the world, competing in over 28 different sports. Pramesh, who has made quite a name for himself in Victorian Masters Athletics competitions, took out the World Championship titles in three different events, and also managed personal best times in two events in the M40-44 Race Walk. The avid walker, who is a part of the Casey Masters Athletics Club based in Casey Fields each Monday night, tasted glory in the 1500 metres with a time of 6:29:69, 3000 metres with a time of 13:45:40 and in the 5000 metres with an impressive time of 24:57:30 Pramesh will now head to Darwin in June, where he will defend the 3000, 5000 and 10km walking titles at the Australian Masters Championships. If anyone is interested in joining the Casey Athletics Club, they meet every Monday night at Casey Fields from 7pm.

Contact Star Sport with sport stories and results on phone 5945 0666, fax 5945 0777 or email: sport@starnewsgroup.com.au

News - Berwick - 11th May 2017  
News - Berwick - 11th May 2017