Saturday, January 2, 2010

"Salty" in Tassie

Photos (Top to Bottom): Eric Young (left) and Peter Brine at the 1982 Rothmans Gold Medal night; Peter Brine (extreme right, back row) as coach of Juventus on 9 July 1983 at the Athletic Centre; Eric Young, Rothmans Gold Medallist in 1982, with Michael Hodgman; 1982 Rothmans Gold Medal winner Eric Young; Ian Parker with Eric Young at the Rothmans Gold Medal dinner in October 1982; Eric Young and Ian Parker in Hobart about five years ago; Otto Klaus (partly obscured at left), Peter Brine, Steve Darby and Ron Coutts at the Rothmans Gold Medal dinner; The author with Eric Young in Hobart about five years ago.

I am absolutely delighted that Peter Brine has made contact with this blog.

The former Middlesbrough player was one of the finest imports to have graced the Tasmanian scene.

He had a dodgy knee, which ended his professional career in England, but he was still a magnificent player and the local game was honoured to have him here in the early 1980s.

His sportsmanship was exemplary and he was a role model for Tasmania’s young players.

He played for Juventus and Olympia during his Tasmanian sojourn.

Peter now runs a restaurant in Townsville (“A Touch of Salt” - see comments section in the story entitled “A look at the tail end of 1982”).

“Salty”, as was his nick name, came to Tasmania with former Manchester United player, Eric Young, to join Juventus.

They brought success to the club during their short stay in Tasmania.

I recall Eric Young telling me of how his career at Manchester United ended.

Tommy Docherty was manager of Manchester United at the time and, after one particular training session, Young was told to report to the boss.

He found Docherty finishing his shower in the dressing room and walked over to announce his presence.

Docherty was just towelling himself down and, without even looking at Young, he said curtly: “On your bike, son. You’re out of here.”

Sad, but that is how professional careers can end.

Some Tasmanian fans will recall Docherty well. He was manager of Chelsea when the club toured Australia in 1965 and played a game against Tasmania at North Hobart.

Chelsea won 12-0 and Docherty came on for the second half and scored a penalty.

The late Peter Osgood starred in that game for Chelsea, but Terry Venables did not play and stood on the steps of the main grandstand at North Hobart to watch.

Chelsea’s excellent left winger, Peter Houseman, also had a fine game. He was to die in a car accident a few short years later when he was with Oxford United.

After leaving Tasmania, Eric returned to England and became a policeman in Sunderland.

He recently went to the United States of America.

He visited Tasmania about five years ago and looked up Ian Parker and me and it was great to catch up with him.

I hope the above photos bring back some fond memories, “Salty”.


Brian Roberts said...

Walter , someone asked elsewhere why were there "so many" imports .

several factors

1. The creation of a State League had a huge impact on our local Football. Administrators suddenly realised local talent was insufficient to be competitive let alone win the league.

2. An affluent society where soccer was their passion

3. There was still a vibrant migrant community . The 1st and 2nd generations had yet to discover tennis, footy,surfing and the like .

4. At last true intrastate rivalry on a regular basis .

5. Of the above the driving force was passion and an intense desire to win .

South Hobart at that time had the best of the local talent plus a good coach . Their best team in decades but could only finish 2nd last.

Would anyone like to add to the list.

Walter said...

Brian, I think the existence of a State League was the key factor. That created intense regional rivalry, for which Tasmania is always noted (some call it parochialism).

Most club presidents had a vision for their club to be the best, and getting a couple of imports gave the youngsters and the locally produced players something to emulate.

New Zealanders and British imports were the norm in the 1970s and early 1980s, whereas in the late 1950s and 1960s it was British and Continental European migrants that ruled the roost.

A State League and decent prize money for winning it would be a good recipe. But, have we already reached the point of no return? We seem to have professional administrators running what is, at times, almost a social league.

Coxy said...

what is it going to take to get fft or some sort of group to start organising a state league? surely getting thrifty or redline to sponsor the travel would be a start then a main league sponsor like telstra or someone that has something to do with sponsoring football around australia. i would help any cause to get a state league.

Roberto Colanzi said...

A state league in Tassie is not viable, consisting of the current club set up.

The current clubs are simply social gatherings, and no more.

A financially viable state league would require a complete restructure of the game.

The center piece is to run a franchise based 'club' system, with eg: two teams from Hobart, and from Launceston, Davenport, Burnie.

I wouldn't think that the state could run more than 6 teams, at least initially, and certainly not with the prospect of running the teams professionally, both in terms of on-field and off-field staff.



Sad said...

Walter it is a real pity that some of these former players that re-visit Tassie after many years ,cannot find the time to make contact with someone from the club thay played for .These clubs certainly went out of their way to make these imports welcome,and rewarded them very well financially ,to the detriment of many of the local players, yet they are unable to make a small effort to come and say hello.I know that many local players who played with these imports would like to catch up with them.
I find this very disappointing indeed.
There are many reasons why clubs no longer import players to this state ,the main one being finances and the lack of reward to clubs for investing financially in the game locally.
Many of these players that visited the state in years gone by ,did so for their own selfish reasons and milked the clubs for all they could get.Not all, but the majority certainly did. Having said that though , the standard in the 80's was certainly much higher than it has been for many years.

Coxy said...


I don't think any of the premier league clubs in Tas are far off being able to compete in a state league. When our Zebras team went to Canberra in 08 to play Belconnen United from the Canberra state league we only lost 3-1. we were up 1-0 and were missing a few starting players. They are one of the top sides and are always playing Central Coast Mariners in matches and have a few players going on to the A-league. I'm sure from memory that Olympic and Knights have always gone well in Mainland Greek and Croatian Tournaments. I reckon you see clubs as social get togethers because they have to play in a socially ran league

Brian Roberts said...

Roberto , your suggestion was mooted by FFT.

However failed to attract any interest whatsoever.

Roberto said...

Thanks Coxy and Brian - as a former Tasmanian, based in Melbourne, wasn't aware that the FFT had proposed the idea.

PB said...

Top photos Walter. Brings back some very nice memories.

I have just received an email from Steve Darby wanting to make a reservation in my restaurant. The booking is for Nick Cook, Bruce Ward, John Charlton, John Broadhouse, Ian Parker, Eric Young,Denis Payne and Darbs. He reckons you are paying for the food and Roy Stoneman is paying fro the wine (fat chance). Typical of Darby to put the bill onto someone else.

Unknown said...

Canberra State League???? ACT is smaller than Tassie, That's not a great plaudit

Anonymous said...

Brian, in fairness the reason the FFT proposal didn't get much support was because they wanted the state league to run in summer with players returning to their non-state league clubs to play in winter rosters.