Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Tassie football in 1960, an age of golden imports and when a cup final was won on corners

Now that football has been suspended until at least 14 April 2020, it is an appropriate time to look back at the history of the game in Tasmania as there is not much else to write about.

In this article, I will examine the 1960 season, a year when South Hobart was the headquarters of the game and the main venue for the top-flight matches.

The official name of the ground is South Hobart Oval, but the media these days, and the South Hobart club, call it Darcy Street.

Back in 1960, if anyone asked you where the games were, ‘South Hobart’ was the answer and everyone in the football community knew exactly where that ground was.

If you got lost, you just looked for the “Keen’s Curry” sign on the hillside (it’s still there) and you knew you were close.

There were some clubs in 1960 that are now long gone.  Arcadians, Goodwood, Glenorchy, New Norfolk, Rangers, Caledonians, City United, Hollandia, Kingston and Rapid are examples.

University, Juventus, Croatia, Metro and South Hobart are still in existence, although some have assumed new names (Glenorchy Knights instead of Croatia, Clarence Zebras instead of Juventus, Kingborough Lions United instead of Caledonians and Rangers).

Rapid had been in existence for about three seasons, while Arcadians and City United were soon to become Olympia.

There were eight teams in the First Division, which was the top flight.

Three rounds into the league season (in May 1960), the standings were:  Caledonians, Juventus, Metro, Rangers, South Hobart, Croatia, Rapid and City United.

The first round of the Cup was also played in May and, in one game, Croatia drew 3-3 with South Hobart, but it was too dark to play extra-time.

Imports featured in those days, as they do now, and the quality was impressive.

Rangers had five imports and all had played a bit.  There was Ted Huddlestone, a Nottingham Forest amateur; Peter O’Brien, a Scottish schoolboy star;  Norris was a Queensland State representative;  Booth was a Notts County amateur;  and Fulford was from the Birmingham League.

Roger Nixon was already at Rangers and he had been a Derby County amateur.

Caledonians lost three star players when Jim Harris, Bob Ferguson and Bill MacMillan, all imports, went to the Mainland.

Despite this loss of talent, Caledonians won the 1960 First Division title, 2 points ahead of second-placed Juventus, after the 14-game programme.

The other standings were Rangers (3rd), Croatia (4th), Metro (5th), Rapid (6th), South Hobart (7th) and City United (8th).

Walter Worsey of Caledonians was the leading marksman with an incredible 34 goals in 14 games. I recently called in to Walter's place to return some of his newspaper clippings.  Worsey was from Scotland and was also a professional sprinter.  He was the fastest player in the league.

In the mid-1970s, he coached Croatia.  I coached Croatia's Under-18s at the time and we had many dealings with each other.

Ted Huddleston (Rangers) netted 17 goals, Olden of Metro 14 goals, McGuinness of South Hobart 11 goals and Booth (Rangers) 10 goals.  Huddlestone went on to play for Olympia and Eastern Suburbs (later Clarence).

Intrastate representative games followed the completion of the roster games and involved South, North and North-West.

The North defeated the North-West 2-0 and earned the right to meet South in the final.

South beat North 3-0 in the final to win the title for the second year in a row.

Incidentally, the Northern juniors beat the North-West juniors 11-1.

A Tasmanian squad was selected to play against Victoria and it comprised 12 Southerners, two Northerners and two players from the North-West.

The squad was:  W Firkins, A Galloway (Goalkeepers);  R Smith, G Arnott, R Parker (Backs);  A Goodman, J Hunter, J McDermott, E Matthias (Half-Backs);  R Girling, R Rawlins, E Huddlestone, H Pattison, E Booth, W Worsey and M Clifton (Forwards).

Two games against Victoria were played the following season on a long weekend and resulted in a 3-3 draw (Worsey scored a hat-trick) and a 3-0 win for Victoria.  The first game was played on a heavy South Hobart pitch and the Victorians simply could not cope with Worsey.  It was dry for the replay on the long weekend Monday and the Victorian defence had worked Worsey out by then and he was contained.

The 1960 Ascot Gold Cup Final was between Juventus and South Hobart, at South Hobart.

The game was goalless after extra-time (the match went for 129 minutes) and a replay was ordered.  Juventus had 10 times as many chances as South Hobart, according to ‘Winger’, the soccer writer for The Mercury of the day.

South Hobart suffered an injury to Oakes early in the game after a tackle by Di Martino and that handicapped them, but the dangerous Jimmy Dolliver was still a threat.

De Schipper and Tony Goodman were among South Hobart’s best players, while Lattanzio was ‘a livewire’ on the wing for Juventus.

Juventus keeper Damato did not have a save to make.

Caledonians were crowned State premiers and Southern champions in 1960, while they also won the Lucas Memorial Trophy.

Rangers won the Falkinder Cup.  South Hobart, celebrating their 50th anniversary, won the second tier title and Caledonians the Knock-out Cup.

University won the third-tier (Division 2) title and Hollandia the Knock-out Cup in that tier.

The fourth-tier (Division 3) title went to Kingston.

Two foundation members of the South Hobart club, namely George Cracknell and Bernie Vout, attended South Hobart’s 50th anniversary dinner in 1960.

Rapid’s Fritz Umgeher returned to Tasmania in November 1960 to rejoin the club after a season in Melbourne with Austria, for whom he scored 24 of the club’s 30 goals.

I see and talk to Fritz quite often at the Northgate Shopping Centre, but he no longer attends games.  He had a brief spell as coach of Hobart Juventus in the 1980s.

The proposed new club, City-Olympia, played Rangers in a curtain-raiser to a Lucas Trophy semi-final in September 1960 and a feature of the day was the presence of the Lutana Marching Girls.

Oh, by the way, the Ascot Gold Cup Final was never replayed.

In a first for Tasmanian soccer, the Tasmanian Soccer Association awarded the Cup to Juventus on corners.


Anonymous said...

Nice Work Walter. Will you continue through the 60's to educate us all?
Corners are the most sensible way to decide these things. Much more reflective on the game it self. 8 corners to 1 who do you think had the better of the play and more chances?

Anonymous said...

How about number of shots at goal.
If one side has 25 and other 5, then wouldn’t the side with 25
shots be regarded as dominating? I think so .

Anonymous said...

Shots at goal are an arbitrary subjective stat. Corners are definitive clear cut. Either the team took a corner or they did not. I agree with the corners.

Anonymous said...

Corners clear cut are they? What if the defending team puts ball out for
corners due to mis kick or just unable to clear up the ground or throw in?
You may argue that shots is subjective but if the count is 25 to 5
how many do you think would be shots from 50m or unlikely areas ?
Even if you presumed 30 % are from unrealistic areas that is still 18 shots to 5.

Anonymous said...

I would think that most 95% or more of the time the ratio of corners to shots would be in sync. Very unusual game where to take your example 25 shots to 8 is not reflected in the corner count. But in close games I think corners more accurate.

Anonymous said...

Love these articles. Would love you to do a round up of decades from 1960 to now over the this downtime period

Brian Young said...

Dnipro not cited

Graham said...

I recall watching Caledonians in the 60 's at South Hobart .Jim Harris brilliant forward
I was a schoolboy and played for Taroona High . Also a season with Dnipro and then University
Played a number of games with them at South Hobart as a forward Graham Burton