Former Shepparton Football Club players have met at the clubrooms to trade stories about their premiership coach Tom Hafey.DAMEN FRANCIS May 14, 2014 3:10am
Colin ‘‘Chilla’’ McCartin, Brian Noonan and Gerald Howard met at the Shepparton Football Club clubrooms yesterday to reminisce about their late premiership coach Tom Hafey.
The year was 1965 and Colin ‘‘Chilla’’ McCartin was playing his first game for Shepparton Football Club.
He had just been laid out by Mooroopna playing coach Brian Pilcher, when Maroons coach Tom Hafey approached him.
‘‘I was lying on the ground and Tom came over and said ‘could you get up, we’ve only got 17 men standing while you’re lying down there’,’’ McCartin recalled.
‘‘About a quarter later Pilcher was lying on the ground. Tommy got one back for me.’’
Shepparton went on to win the premiership that season — its third in a row under Hafey, who lost his battle with cancer on Monday, aged 82.
McCartin and fellow Hafey-era premiership players Gerald Howard and Brian Noonan had planned to visit Hafey yesterday.
Instead they met at the clubrooms at Deakin Reserve — named after legendary president Jack Edwards, who famously brought Hafey to the club from Richmond in 1960 — and traded stories.
Shepparton was the envy of clubs across regional Victoria and Hafey was the jewel in its crown, long before his four VFL premierships as coach of Richmond and tenures at Collingwood, Geelong and Sydney Swans that led to his inclusion in the AFL Hall of Fame in 1996.
Noonan, who was Maroons vice-captain for all six seasons under Hafey, said Shepparton was as good for Hafey as he was for the club.
‘‘Shepparton was a very professional club and a lot of this went back to Jack Edwards and the committee at that particular time,’’ Noonan said.
‘‘Tommy was a very humble man and he was rewarded with his successes here to have gone on to achieve so much. It’s hard to believe he started from such humble beginnings.’’
Howard said Hafey’s ability to relate to his players was legendary and the belief and discipline he instilled in them helped the Maroons win a fourth straight flag in 1966.
‘‘I remember one occasion we were playing against Shepparton United and I gave Arthur Reuss from United an absolute towelling,’’ Howard said.
‘‘I was nominated by our committee as best on the ground, but this particular reporter said Arthur Reuss had a field day against Gerald Howard on the half-back flank.
‘‘Tom said ‘don’t read about yourself in the paper, it’s about what you can achieve out there on the ground and what I tell you about how well you’ve done’.’’
Howard said Hafey was a people person above all else.
‘‘The way he would keep in touch with everybody and he had such a brilliant memory, it might be due to the fact he drank black tea and not that other stuff we tend to partake of,’’ he said.
‘‘You would introduce people to him and he would remember their names even though they hadn’t played football and there was no relevance as to why he should remember. He just had a feeling for people, whether they be a high-flier or what, Tommy was just a very down-to-earth bloke.’’
Shepparton police are investigating the theft of an expensive Italian-made Pinarello cycle from inside a house during the weekend.
The Yarrawonga Chronicle and Travel and Cruise Yarrawonga are offering shoppers a chance to win an incredible cruise package this summer.
Last week Victorian Collections passed a major milestone, with the 50000th historical object record from the state’s heritage collections uploaded to the site.
Hellrazor has crossed first to win the 2014 Barrie Beehag event on Saturday.
Rochester Secondary College student Georgia Mundie will perform at an Equitana exhibition in Melbourne.
Fourteen parties and 37 candidates will contest the Northern Victoria Region for the Victorian upper house at the November 29 election, with the Democratic Labour Party (DLP) claiming the top billing on the ballot paper.
Playgroup of the Month for November.
Andrew Richardson and Matt Jackson have been appointed co-coaches of Finley's senior football side.
Two new Neighbourhood Safer Places for the Pyalong and Tooborac communities have been announced.
Runners from the Sri Chinmoy Peace Oneness-Home Peace Run visit local students to share message of goodwill.
Deniliquin’s Luke Harrington is hoping to start a horse riding club for people with a disability.
South African course builder Brian Lavery, now based in Melbourne, set a testing track for the Hunter Group World Cup Showjumping Qualifier on Saturday that brought some of the sport’s big names undone.
Scott Upston had a decorated career as a paralympic coach before moving to Benalla this year.
Discover unbelievable local deals from local businesses every week in the Goulburn and Murray Valley area with Leapon.com.au!
Search properties for sale or rent across North Central Victoria and Southern NSW. Visit your local website for local homes....
Search for published and unpublished photos from McPherson Media Group newspapers and magazines. All our photos are available to purchase.
Place an advertisement in any one of McPherson Media Group's local newspapers.