Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Tasmanian football has had some fascinating club names

I recently decided to have a look at club names in Tasmanian football and seek out some of the unusual ones.

I am indebted to Keith Roberts, whose 2018 booklet entitled “Tasmanian Soccer:  Winners and Losers”, was compiled from Keith’s records and his extensive research of Tasmania’s three major newspapers.

Once upon a time, large industrial firms often had teams.  Hence, we had ANM (Australian Newsprint Mills), a southern-based team that played as New Norfolk from 1948-50 and 1959-60.

And then there was the North-West Coast side, APPM, which I assume represented the Burnie paper manufacturer, Australian Pulp and Paper Mills.  They were in existence  from 1950-53 and 1957-58 before becoming Burnie Rovers in 1961.

Some readers may remember the Titan ground in Moonah.  It was the home of the Titan club, which became Moonah in 1952.  Titan was an English tool manufacturing company with a plant at Moonah and the ground was beside the factory.  I can recall coaching a Claremont school team in a cup final at that ground back in the 1980s.  Our opponents were a Dominic College team coached by former Rapid and State goalkeeper, Phil Kannegiesser.

Zinc Works was a club in southern Tasmania in 1953.  Papermakers played in the North-West from 1955-63, while Patons & Baldwins were active in the north in 1925-31, 1936-67.  They held the State title in 1926 and 1930.

There were some very interesting club names in Tasmanian football last century, including Berea, a minor southern team in 1947.  Berea is a city in northern Greece and I wonder if Greek immigrants were involved in this club that survived just one season.

Black Bears is a fascinating name.  They were a minor league side in northern Tasmania in 1952 and I think their players were often German immigrants working on the Hydro power scheme.

Bohemians was another interesting club name for a southern Tasmanian team.  Bohemia was a European region that now forms the western part of the Czech Republic, so it would be interesting to know if the club was funded by Bohemian immigrants.  ‘Bohemian’ also elates to an unconventional lifestyle, so it could have been a club formed by Tasmanian hippies!  It only lasted for one season (1954) so perhaps all the players moved to San Francisco and were the founders of the Hippie movement there a decade or so later.  I am, of course, speaking tongue-in-cheek here, so don’t get too excited.

Brighton Olympians played in the minor southern competition in 1950.  Perhaps there was a Greek connection there?

The Central North-East of Tasmania had the Break O’Day league in the early 1930s and Cornwall was one of the teams.  I wonder if it was founded by Cornwall miners who had moved there from England and worked tin mines?

The two teams that really fascinate me from that region are Rossarden and Story’s Creek.  They apparently played in the northern league based in Launceston.

Rossarden existed from 1959 until 1961, when a thriving mining community existed there.  Story’s Creek, a little way up the road from Rossarden, lasted just the one season (1960).  I’d like to think there was a fiercely contested local derby played there, but my research has unearthed nothing of the sort.

I have been to both towns and recently directed a couple of mates that way, but none of us has ever found the remnants of a football pitch.  Story’s Creek is now a ghost town and my friends found what may have once been a small oval with a crumbling cricket pitch in the middle.

I did manage to contact a former player of Rossarden, Michael Kvarantan, who played for Croatia in Hobart in about 1960 before heading north to work at Poatina.  He told me he played for Rossarden but had never actually been there.  He said the team played its games in Launceston and the players would gather in Launceston for the games.

Michael scored the only goal of his career playing for Rossarden.  He said it was meant to be a cross, but the ball swung in under the crossbar and was described by The Examiner reporter as a magnificent goal.  Michael didn’t set the record straight!

Michael has no recollection of any derby between Rossarden and Story’s Creek and Rossarden, in fact, became Launceston Croatia in 1962.  He returned to Hobart that season and resumed his career with Croatia.

Excelsior played a few games in the minor southern leagues in 1935.  That’s a Dutch name, but I doubt there would have been many Dutch immigrants in Tasmania at that time.

There were also teams called Glenorchy (1959-60) and Goodwood (1959-60).  I think some of their players joined South Hobart after they were disbanded.

Mt Nelson had a team from 1949-53, while the Hydro town of Wayatinah, where my grandfather Balthazar Pless worked for a time, played in the southern Tasmanian competition from 1961 to 1963.

Fern Tree also had a team in 1975 and they became the Salvation Army team that played under the name Salvoes.  Reg Tolputt was one of the founders of Salvoes.  He was manager of the Tasmanian side in the 1970s and was devoted to football.  He, David Martin (Caledonians) and I had a radio show about football on 7HT on Saturday mornings in the early 1980s.

There was also a West Coast League at one time and Gormanston played Queenstown in 1923, for example.  The mining town Savage River had a team from 1982-83.

Juliana was a team from northern Tasmania in 1957 which may have had Dutch connections.  Queen Juliana reigned in the Netherlands from 1948 until 1980.

Lovett was a club in the Huon Valley in 1914 with British connections.

In the early 1900s, teams from the ships Zeelandia and Paloona competed in Tasmania.  The Zeelandia team played social matches when in port in Hobart, while the team from Paloona played social games and were sometimes included in the southern league.

Malaysian Tigers and their reserves called Harimau played in southern Tasmania leagues in the 60s and 70s.  They were mostly comprised of Malaysian students at the University of Tasmania.

The Peninsula Pirates were a team in the minor southern leagues from 2010-14.

I’d love to know more about the Weisa Bulldogs, who played only social games in the north in 1951, and the team called Tabernacle, which played in the minor northern leagues from 1927-31.

And then there was Cricketers, who started the ball rolling at New Town in 1879 with the first-ever Tasmanian football game.

If you’re interested in Tasmanian club names, why not contact Keith Roberts, who probably has more copies of his publication available at a reasonable price.  I purchased a couple of copies and sent one to a mate in the Northern Territory, who is involved in indigenous football there. He is one of the two people I referred to earlier in this article and whom I directed to Rossarden and Story’s Creek recently.  I’m waiting for the photos they took of Rossarden and Story’s Creek and these may just include the dilapidated oval and cricket pitch (football pitch?) at the latter ghost town.

Sunday, March 29, 2020

1990 was the year of White Eagles

Photo:  White Eagles (circa late 1980s and early 1990s).  Back Row (L-R):  Eugene Mycak (coach), Mark Leszczynski, Michael Driessen, Peter Groenewoud, Scott Young, Craig Pitt, Eugene Banasik, Sean Collins, Neil Morrison, Bobby Rybak (trainer).  Front Row (L-R):  Julian Tattersall, David Stoddart, Franco Previdi, Bob Nicholson, Andrew Leszczynski. [PlessPix] 

The 1990 season was the year of White Eagles.

They won the Summer Cup in the south and also the State League title, despite their final roster match against Launceston Juventus away in Launceston being abandoned in the 69th minute when Eagles trailed 1-0.

Referee Brett MacKay called the game off after he alleged that he was pushed in the chest by a Launceston Juventus official after he had approached the bench to speak to the coach and substitutes.

The abandonment of the game did not prevent White Eagles from winning the title as second-placed Hobart Juventus were unable to make up the leeway after going down 2-1 to Ulverstone.

Incidentally, the State League was a 9-team competition following the withdrawal of Launceston United.

The White Eagles squad was:  Peter Groenewoud (GK), Eugene Banasik, Paul Morrison, Mark Leszczynski, Bob Nicholson, Scott Young, Andrew Leszczynski, David Stoddart, Richard Leszczynski, Craig Pitt, Scott Hadley, Simon Templeman, Michael Driessen.

The Cadbury Jubilee Trophy Final was won 1-0 by Hobart Juventus against Olympia, the goal coming from Romeo Frediani.

In the semi-finals of that competition, Caledonians had lost to Juventus but Calies had given a debut to 15-year-old Martin Collins, who later went on to play in the Victorian State League.

Caledonians at the time were coached by former star winger Ian Parker.

The Caledonians side included Brett Pullen, who had NSL experience with West Adelaide and who was selected for the Australian Under-20s squad for the Youth World Cup which was to be held in Papua New Guinea.

Glenorchy Croatia midfielder Chris Barrell won the 1990 Vic Tuting Silver Medal as the State League’s best-and-fairest player.

The medal was named after Vic Tuting, the Tasmanian vice-president of the Australian Soccer Federation.

Photo:  Lyndon Adams presents Taroona's Brian McKay with the league trophy as Vic Tuting (extreme right with spectacles) looks on [PlessPix]

The 84-year-old Tuting was awarded a medal by FIFA for his long service to the game in Australia and in 1990 he flew to Fiji to receive his award at the meeting of the Oceania Football Confederation.  It was presented to him by FIFA coach Karl-Heinz Marotzke.

I had met Marotzke 9 years earlier at the 1981 International Coaches’ Convention in Sydney, held in conjunction with the 1981 World Youth Cup that was being played in Australia.  I was one of three Tasmanian delegates at the convention.  Incidentally, West Germany won the World Youth Cup (Under-20s) final 4-0 against Qatar at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

Marotzke was an outstanding coach who had been in charge of Schalke 04, one of West Germany’s oldest and most respected clubs.  He had also coached the national teams of Ghana, Nigeria and Botswana.

I recall doing a 2-hour taped interview with Vic Tuting in about 1990, too.  He was a great mentor of Steve Darby, the Tasmanian Director of Coaching and had had a lifetime’s involvement with football in Tasmania and Australia.

The Northern League in 1990 was won by Riverside Olympic and Launceston United, who had pulled out of the State League, came second.

Riverside also won the Northern Knock-out Cup competition, beating Western Suburbs 5-0 in the final.

Taroona won the Southern League title with 62 points, a massive 14 points ahead of second-placed University.

In women’s football, leading club Rapid was stricken by infighting and the club was renamed Hobart Raiders.  They still won the Southern and State League Women’s titles in 1990.

In the following four years, there would be a huge struggle for dominance between White Eagles and Devonport City, while the Tasmanian State team would play some memorable matches against Victoria, New South Wales and Japanese club Nagoya Grampus Eight.

Monday, March 23, 2020

Some squads from 1980

Photo:  The Devonport squad of 1980 pose for the cameraCoach and goalkeeper Steve Darby left the following season and became State Director of Coaching for Tasmania.

Rapid Wrest Point:  P Kannegiesser, Nicholls, Wllis, Nunn, Wilson, Mohring, Schmull, Nikolai, S Kannegiesser, Oakes, D Smith, Willcock, Francis, Southworth, Thompson, Morton.

Devonport City:  Darby, S Rimmer, Rigby, A Rimmer, Zsochoke, Best, Gleeson, Frame, Stone, McKenna, Pizzarani, Robinson, Meldrum, Abley, K Smith.

Croatia:  S Smith, Payne, McGuinness, Weitnauer, Trueman, W Peters, Sarfalvy, O’Brien, Davidson, Spaleta, Thomas, Huigsloot, T Dzelalija.

Launceston Juventus:  Udovicic, D Joss, Kingsley, Hemsley (capt), Butler, Rosetto, Tontari, M Joss, Guest, A Smith, Streit, R Wesson, Garrett, Robinson, Savill.

Ulverstone:  Ron Smith, Stuetzel (capt), Shegog, Green, Carpenter, Hamilton, Kaye, Gale, Foote, Clare, Rush, Koch, Trambas, S Fisher, J Compagne.

Photo:  The Ulverstone squad of 1980

George Town:  Jones, Coogan, Hughes, Davidson, Bull, Morley, O’Sullivan, Schiebl, Djakic, Stalker, Mason.

Metro:  Doig, Schultz, Scanlon, I and P Gill, P Hallam, M McIntyre, J McIntyree, S Brown, C Dolliver, Fone (capt), Pitchford, S Peters, Kallenbach, Bucher.

Juventus-Pioneer:  Craig Jones, John and Jack Dilba, Brine (capt), Lapolla, Cowan, Young, Ambrosino, Parodi, New, Maccallini, Kent, Di Felice, Di Venuto, Fabrizio, O’Donnell.

Brighton ICL Caledonians:  Harrison, Burton, McKay (capt), Charlton, Hey, S Collins, Kirkpatrick, Banagan, Hales, Heap, Parker, Forster, Anderton, Dickenson.

Photo:  The Burnie United squad