SOUTH MELBOURNE CELEBRATE South Melbourne has been a VAFA club for the past 12 years but have a history that stretched back to the year the Titanic sunk. Fortunately for the club they have had a host of football legends that meant the club was never destined to head the way of the fateful ship. This Saturday night, 28th July South Melbourne Districts AFC celebrates 100 years and will announce the first inductees into our Hall of Fame at their Centenary Dinner Dance. The night promises to be a magnificent occasion with close to 600 guests at the Powerhouse Function Centre and the list of possible Hall of Fame inductees is an impressive one. The potential candidates include Roy Cazaly who commenced his career with us when known as The Pembrokes and went onto captain coach the club in 1917. Later Roy became an icon of Australian Football. Keith Forbes was a goal scoring rover who played for the districts from 1925 to 1927 and having been rejected by VFL side South Melbourne, went on to play 10 years at Essendon where he was named one of their Champions and was later Captain Coach of North Melbourne. Rod “Doc” Leffanue played between 1929 and 1931 and then again in 1934 and had stints at South Melbourne and Carlton in the VFL. His involvement with the club is traced back to the mid 50’s at least where he helped coach juniors and in 1963
came out of retirement at the tender age of 50 to held the districts when they were short of players! GV “Bluey” Beard coached the districts to Premierships in 1939 & 1940 following his career at South Melbourne in the VFL where he was a member of their 1933 Premiership and widely regarded as one of the districts greatest ever leaders. Last week the club’s 16 sides (senior and junior) all wore a special 100 year celebratory jumper (pictured below) as a once off for the round – all the best for Saturday night and we look forward to seeing who the inductees are.
I SEE YOUR SAM MASON AND RAISE YOU It seems some of our clubs have kept some very detailed records indeed. One such statistical champion is Ian Job, club historian at Kew Football Club who saw the story on Ormond’s Sam Mason in last week’s FTLOTG. It seems that the record keep at Kew has very specific statistics on the age of their players as they debut. In fact Ian found at least two players that might have taken the clubhouse lead in terms of youngest player to play senior amateur footy. In order: Don Fletcher debuted in round 1 1973 at age 14 years 347 days; Wayne Blay debuted in round 11 of the same season at 15 years 104 days and a certain Robert DiPierdomenico debuted in round
2, 1974 at age 15 years 357 days. Don played 105 games for the club, won a Best and Fairest and represented the Big V, he also managed 7 games at Hawthorn in the VFL. Wayne played 181 games for Kew, won a Best and Fairest, was club captain and was the leading goal kicker and a multiple representative of the Big V. “Bertie” (didn’t know about that nickname) or “Dipper” as he is more commonly known, actually played for the reserves side in round 10, 1973 before playing 15 senior games in 1974 when he won Most Promising Player. The following year he was at Hawthorn where anyone who follows the brown and gold will tell you his achievements there.
THE AMATEUR FOOTBALLER 2012