Friday, May 8, 2020

Tassie All-Stars stun the mighty South Melbourne Hellas in 1981

Photo:  The match report in Melbourne's "Soccer Action" of 21 October 1981

Tasmanian coach Steve Darby really put his name, and that of Tasmanian football, on the map when he coached a Tasmanian All-Stars side to a 2-0 win over the highly-rated South Melbourne Hellas at South Hobart on 11 October 1981 before a crowd of 1,500.

South Melbourne Hellas had just finished second in the National Soccer League and their side included Alun Evans.

Evans began his career with Wolverhampton Wanderers and I had seen him play for Wolves in the United States against Stoke City in 1967.

He joined Bill Shankly’s Liverpool in 1968 as a 19-year-old and played for The Reds for four seasons before losing his place to new signing Kevin Keegan.

Evans was the star of the South Melbourne side that came to Hobart but although he went close to scoring several times, the Tasmanian defenders kept him goalless.

Photo:  Tasmanian coach Steve Darby

Tasmania’s coach, Steve Darby, also had an impressive CV.  He had been assistant national coach of Bahrain before coming to Tasmania to coach Devonport.

Darby also played for University and coached New Town Eagles, as well as the State team.

Darby went on to be the State Director of Coaching before leaving Tasmania and becoming a successful men’s and women’s coach in Australia and South-East Asia.

He coached the Matildas and the Vietnam women’s team, and was also assistant coach of the Thailand men’s national side.

The Tasmania All-Stars side was impressive and included former Middlesbrough First Division player Peter Brine in defence.

Photo:  Peter Brine (rear at left) back in Hobart in 2018 to catch up with Craig Jones (front left), Nick Di Martino (rear right) and Denis Payne [PlessPix]

The Tasmanian team was:  Phil Kannegiesser  -  Alan Burton, Peter Brine, Darby Conlan, Chris Hey  -  Steve Kannegiesser, Eric Young, Willy Peters  -  Bruce Ward, Mark Oakes (Nick Cook 60), Ian Parker.

The South Melbourne Hellas line-up was:  Laumets  -  Boon, Lutton, Xanthopoulos, Traficante  -  Stevenson, Shirra, Nicolaides, Campbell  -  Evans, Buljevic.

The Tasmanian side included other imports such as Eric Young (ex-Manchester United), Bruce Ward (one of the most lethal strikers ever to have played in Tasmania),Ian Parker (brilliant left-winger from the UK), Alan Burton (also from the UK) and Nicky Cook (was with Hull City).

Photo:  Eric Young (left) and Ian Parker catch up in Hobart in 2008 [PlessPix]

The home-grown talent was impressive, too, with  Chris Hey, Phil and Steve Kannegiesser, Darby Conlan, Willy Peters and Mark Oakes all playing from the start.

South Melbourne’s coach was former Greek international John Margaritis, who coached Olympia in Tasmania in the 1960s.

The referee was Tasmania’s Norm Johnston, a top-class official who had come to the State from Western Australia.  He was here only a few years before returning interstate.

Goals by Ian Parker in the 11th minute and Bruce Ward in the 79th minute did the job for the home team.

I’d love to see the video of the game.  It was filmed from the back of a ute parked on the grass at the side of the pitch near the present scoreboard.  I know because David Martin and I were the commentators.  David, Reg Tolputt and I used to host a half-hour football show on local radio station 7HT on Saturday mornings.  Reg was one of the founders of new club Salvos (Salvation Army) and he was also the manager of one of Steve Darby's Tasmanian sides.

My match report in "Soccer Action" [see above] didn't appear until 10 days later because Steve Darby and I had been attending the semi-finals and final of the Under-20s World Cup in Sydney [won by West Germany 4-0 against Qatar].

Photo:  Bruce Ward in Hobart Juventus shirt at South Hobart in 1980 [PlessPix]


Mamacas said...

Beating South Melbourne is not that hard Walter ;)



Anonymous said...

And you will never do it again.


Anonymous said...

Tasmania was the place in the 60s, 70s and 80s as there were so many players and coaches who went on to become quite famous in the world of football, nationally and in Asia. It reminds me of that English proverb: "A prophet is not recognised in his own land." The quality of imports was certainly high and there were some really good coaches.

Anonymous said...

Lucky to do it the 1st time.

Anonymous said...

Anon 2.33 am. No they deserved it.
But they will never do it again.