Happy Snap #12 My favourite Player

Stuart Maxfield and yours truly, circa 1994…as if the hair cuts didn’t give that away!

I think that this photograph speaks for itself. The year is 1994. It is my 13th birthday. As a gift of sorts, I was taken to Richmond training at Punt Road. Of course, training was still a Tuesday  and Thursday night affair hence all the darkness.

Richmond had just won four matches on the trot, in what was to that stage by far the most successful and exciting period I had encountered as a young Richmondite. The boys had just defeated Adelaide at Football Park, a year after being embarrassed at the same venue by 137 points. We went on to finish 9th….a joke now but a vast improvement at the time.

Stuart Maxfield. I have never had a player before or since I have loved as much. This may seem odd to some while others may relate. He was scruffy and a bit wild. He thumped the ball onto his boot in the strangest of fashions, and when it worked he could thump it 65 metres. At times it didn’t work but that didn’t bother me. I had his number 27 on my short sleeved guernsey. I bought the numbers and sewed them on myself. The 7 fell off.

I was heartbroken when, after season 1995, which had been a wild and heady time for this young Tiger, both he and coach John Northey departed Punt Road… Stu to Sydney and Northey to Brisbane. And so it came to be that in 1996, I ventured to Waverley Park to see Maxfield in red and white take the field against Richmond. A truly odd sensation. But the game is the game, and once the ball was bounced, it was only a Richmond victory that occupied my thought.

However I did smash my flag in two pieces at the games conclusion, perhaps a mixture of anguish that Chris Bond’s ‘winning’ goal had been disallowed and the subconscious stress of watching my favourite player running around for the opposition.

Seeing Stuart Maxfield named as captain of the Sydney Swans late in his career gave me a sense of pride. Although I’d far prefer that he’d stayed at Tigerland, he sensed that Sydney would provide him with more options, and it appeared to happen that way. It would have been lovely to see him lift the Swans 2005 premiership cup aloft, yet injury cruelled him at the wrong time. I still comfort myself with the fact that he was officially the captain of a club the year it won a premiership.

Stu Maxfield…a fine footballer.

Photo taken by mum…Joy Carr

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Nice Statistic #5 Richmond’s Tassie Gold

As North Melbourne are set to embark on their Tasmanian experiment this weekend with their first home match at the picturesque Bellerive Oval, my mind wandered down to the Apple Isle and it’s impact on Australian Football. The names Nash, Hudson, Balldock and Stewart are uttered with great reverence, such is their standing in our game.

Though recent years have seen Hawthorn, St.Kilda and now North call Tasmania it’s second home, it is my club, Richmond, who appears to have a special connection with Tassie, especially when it comes to the glamour forward.

 Now this is a little strange. From 1967 through to the present day, there have been just three years in which Richmond’s attack has not been spearheaded by a Tasmanian.

 -Royce Hart 1967-1977

-Michael Roach 1977-1989

 -Matthew Richardson 1993-2009

-Jack Riewoldt 2007-?

 Sure, that’s really something. But consider the patterned symmetry of their guernsey numbers-

That’s right… there’s certainly something in the waters down at Punt Road. Yet even more eerily, consider their names…

Royce, Roach, Richo, Riewoldt! The four Richmond R’s! What’s going on here? Is it the ghost of the extinct Tasmanian Tiger leading all these key forwards to Tigerland? Who can be sure?

 

 I have mentioned the symmetry of jumper number, name and position, however there is clearly one piece of the puzzle still missing. Will Richmond recruit a Tasmanian key forward in ten years time, whose name begins with ‘R’ and will he be given the number 4 guernsey? Time will tell.

Now Brendan Gale (proud Tasmanian and Richmondite), there’s a task for you! A tradition worth preserving.

PS. Not only have these players contributed to the Richmond cause, the three players whose careers have been completed were bestowed the honour of making the Tasmanian Team of the Cenruty. Can you spot Royce, Roach and Richo?

PPS. Off the very top of my bonse…I’ve also thought of Benny Gale and Justin Plapp as other Tassie forwards to grace Richmond’s forward line. Who have I missed and who are your favourites?

This post was proudly brought to you by the letter R and the numbers 4, 8 & 12!

With a little help from my friends…
All the stats –http://stats.rleague.com/afl/afl_index.html
Royce pic-http://www.richmondfc.com.au/Portals/0/images_richmond/100%20Moments/Brave%20acts/BAOTC_Hart.jpg
Roach pic- http://www.oztradingcards.com/USERIMAGES/roach78.jpg
Richo pic-http://images.theage.com.au/ftage/ffximage/2009/05/10/richo_highfive_narrowweb__300x375,0.jpg
Riewoldt pic- http://resources1.news.com.au/images/2010/12/14/1225971/137581-jack-riewoldt.jpg
Tassie Team of Century pic- http://www.jcap.com.au/images/jc/TAS-TOTC-med.jpg

Happy Snap #10

Today marks the beginning of the VFL-AFL’s 116th season, the start of what I believe is a new era in Australian Football. Though I’m now 30 years old, the first day of a season brings out the excitable little boy in me. As such, I thought I’d share with you a picture I drew when I was in grade prep (1987). My imagination had already been completely captivated by football, as is seen in my old school books kept by mum. Football everywhere. It also seems fitting to post this picture as my own daughter has just started prep, and I can’t help but consider the change in life, school and more importantly, football! (Wife cringes)

Note the players names I’ve written down…Dyyl Watmen (Dale Weightman) Muc Lee (Mark Lee) Daved Bolters (David Bolton) Woree Capu (Warrick Capper) and Greg Wilyms (Greg Williams). Also note in the background my fascination with cheersquads! Thanks to mum for keeping this…and even dating it! Enjoy

Nice Statistic #4 Andrew Underwood

Having already explored the intrinsic link between David Cloke’s career and the number 3, I thought it time to look at the numbers of another dual club player, Andrew Underwood.

Underwood played with SANFL club Sturt from 1985-1988 before being drafted by then VFL club Essendon. After two seasons at Windy Hill, he transferred to Richmond for a season, before returning to Sturt after not being required by incoming Richmond coach Allan Jeans.

Andrew Underwood at Sturt post AFL career and importantly post mullet! Pic from http://www.sturtpics.com.au

So where does the number 12 fit in? Underwood was the last player to don the number before a young Matthew Richardson commandeered it in 1993, taking the number 12 guernsey in his only season with the Tigers in 1991. He played 12 games with Essendon, and 12 games with Richmond. His career of 24 games saw him play in 12 wins and 12 losses, while in his first season at Essendon, he played no games after round 12.

His first season saw him accumulate 112 kicks, while in his career he received 12 frees for in home matches and conceded 12 frees against in away matches.

While his career at Tigerland was brief, I will forever remember him for his part in Richmond’s shock win over his former club Essendon at Windy Hill in 1991, a lovely way for Richmond to sign off from that suburban ground. Underwood played an integral part in the win, yet the part I remember most was the picture of him in the paper following the match…hulking arms raised in defiance to his former home crowd as he left the field a winner, the last time he would do so as a league player.

I have been unable to locate this picture, though I was able to find the old match report from the Herald-Sun. “Obviously I wanted to play well against my old club, I had a point to prove. They let me go at the start of the season…I wanted to prove them wrong.” The report went on to say that Underwood gathered 23 possessions off half-back, going through four opponents; Ian McMullin, Michael Long, Tim Watson and flatmate Brad Fox! “Not a word was passed between us.” 

Andrew Underwood signed my book at the 1991 Richmond Family Day/Best & Fairest Count. He was soon to be let go.

With a Little Help from my friends…

@andreamaryb for informing me of the Underwood #12 files

http://stats.rleague.com/afl/stats/players/A/Andrew_Underwood.html

http://www.sturtpics.com.au

Tigers of Old, by Paul Hogan

(Interestingly, though Andrew Underwood was the last player to wear the number 12 before Matthew Richardson, Andrew finishing in 1991 and Mattew starting in 1993, a 1992 record I have lists Reserves coach Peter Schwabb as number 12 for the reserves. The book ‘Tigers of Old’ shows no record of him playing a game for the Richmond seconds, though this happened from time to time due to player shortages.)

Video File #3 – Tigerland

As I slowly digitise my extensive VHS collection, I stumble across the odd gem or two. And this, I consider to be a gem. ‘Small Tales and True’ was a series broadcast on the Comedy Channel in 1998, featuring amongst others Robyn Butler, Bob Franklin, Stephen Curry and Roz Hammond.

Each episode focused on a different aspect of Australian life in a mock-documentary style. This particular episode, Tigerland, focussed on the behind the scenes politics of the Richmond Football Club cheersquad. The episode centres on a battle for position of chief ‘slogan-writer.’ As you can see in parts, my video cassette was on it’s last legs when copied, so apologies for a few wonky moments. Enjoy

Happy Snap #7

The coach pointing the finger of blame!

The year was 1987. This is what we simply called ‘footy clinic’, pre-dating both VicKick and Auskick. Yep…that’s me in the Richmond jumper, the only Tiger in my grade the whole way through primary school. Count the Hawthorn jumpers? 1, 2, 3. Oh, and there’s also a pair of Hawthorn socks.

Life at primary school was rather Hawthorn-centric, and this picture was taken before they won in 1988-89-91! Yes, it got much worse! Imagine what it was like showing up at school the Monday morning after Dunstall kicked 17 goals against my beloved Richmond? The horror.

Hawthorn has gradually turned these bandwagon jumping kids into long-standing fans and members, although it took some time. Thanks to my dad for sending me this photo!

Nice Statistic #3 David Cloke + 3 = interesting

Former Richmond and Collingwood footballer David Cloke’s career was dominated by the number 3. So grab a calculator, abacus, your fingers or toes…whatever, and prepare to be awestruck!

David began his career with Richmond in 1974 wearing the number 33 on his back, the same number he took with him to Collingwood some ten years later. When he returned to Richmond he wore number 16.

Clokes career spanned through 3 decades…70’s 80’s and 90’s, and also he played in 3 Grand Finals.

Cloke kicked 333 career goals, and in his final 3 games, he polled 3 Brownlow Medal votes in each match!

Cloke was also a member of the 300 game club….his 300th a memorable affair with a surprise Richmond victory over Carlton!

Dale Weightman and Big Clokey celebrate the power of 3!

He played for 18 seasons and was 36 when he retired, both numbers divisible by 3!

Famously, Cloke had 3 sons that played/play league football, each drafted under the father-son rule to Collingwood. They neatly wore or still wear the 3 numbers, 32 (Travis) 33 (Cameron) and 34 (Jason) that surrounded their own fathers number 33.

Now we get a bit nutty!

David Cloke gave away 33 free kicks in his first year (1974) and also in 1985. Son Jason gave away a career total of 33 free kicks in away matches only, while middle brother Cameron received a career total of 33 free kicks in home matches. Youngest son Travis is yet to join the 33 party, although as a left-footer amongst righties, he clearly doesn’t follow the status quo!

Some other 3’s that cropped up…David Cloke played 33 games against Fitzroy, something his sons will clearly never achieve.

Cloke also played just 3 games at Cararra, now Metricon Stadium.

Cloke senior kicked 3 goals in his last game for Richmond (1982 Grand Final) before moving to Collingwood, where in his first match he again booted 3 goals.

And finally, David Cloke’s final game for the Pies in 1989 saw him have 12 kicks, 6 marks, 6 handballs, for 18 disposals…and 9 hit outs. All stats are divisible by 3!

Interestingly, but not related to the number 3, David Cloke played in the 1990 Richmond v’s Carlton ‘Save our Skins’ legends match out at Windy Hill, only to come out of retirement and play on again in 1991!

Today’s post was brought to you by the number 3.

With a little help from my friends…

http://cloked3d.webs.com/clokemedallion.htm)

http://stats.rleague.com/afl/stats/players/D/David_Cloke.html