Kyabram Free Press
Family in the medal business
Goulburn Valley League best and fairest football medals are nothing new to the Jamesdillon families.
Their total medal count swelled to four after the virtual GVL medal vote counts last week via Zoom.
The late and great Eric ‘Bubby’ James won two Morrison Medals and at last week’s count two of his great, great nephews, cousins Sean Dillon and Coby James, also became league medallists.
Sean Dillon shared the Abikhair Medal with Tatura’s Ben Kennedy while Mooroopna’s Coby James collected the inaugural Scott Watson Medal for the GVL Under 16 competition.
Coby is the son of former Kyabram player and Undera legend Glenn James and his wife Kim.
Bubby James won Morrison Medals — the GVL’S top individual award — playing for Shepparton in 1935 and 1937 after starting his career with Kyabram.
• Can you recognise any of the cricketers pictured?
Well, if you do, you would probably have to be in your 90s or a centenarian, as it is believed to have been taken around 1930.
Or maybe you have a relation or somebody who might recognise some of the Girgarre cricketers in this team.
Girgarre’s Athol ‘Doc’ Mcdonald remembers his parents displaying this photo many years ago and has regretted he didn’t take down the names at the time.
Now Girgarre Cricket Club stalwart Garry Lennie is renewing the search for the names to go with the photo, which will be displayed at the club’s centenary celebrations, which have been postponed from November 27 to Saturday, March 19, 2022, due to COVID restrictions.
Garry would appreciate a call from anyone who may be able to identify any of the players in the photo. To get in touch with him, phone 0450 223 020.
• According to new Free Press editor Rohan Aldous I have caused a bit of a stir with my recent claim Paul Newman is the most successful coach in Victorian country football history.
Rohan even contacted noted country football author Paul Daffey — somebody for whom I have great respect — to get his opinion on my claim.
Daffey agrees Newman could well lay claim if it went on successive wins but is not conceding he is the ‘‘most successful ever’’ because in his opinion Newman hasn’t coached long enough yet to wear that title.
Daffey wants to know how I came my opinion. Was it on successive wins, premierships or longevity — or a combination of all three?
I acknowledge and respect the fact some of the names Daffey has put up have fine coaching records.
But in my humble opinion with 83 wins out of 84 games, including a Victorian record 62 successive wins with three flags and a runners-up finish I stand by my claim that Newman is ‘‘the most successful’’ but not necessarily the ‘‘best’’ coach in Victoria country football history.
I will concede it’s a great topic, for only time will tell how Newman’s coaching record stacks up over a longer period now that he is to return to coaching the Bombers next season.
And he can lose every game for the next four years and still have a 50-50 win/loss record on his resume, which would still be commendable.
• Take a bow Meg Saultry.
The Riverine Herald sports writer was the only one of the Mcpherson group footy experts to name Seymour’s Jack O’sullivan in their top three tips for the winner of the GVL Morrison Medal.
But O’sullivan’s win surprised few at the Seymour Football Netball Club where the former Romsey player made a huge impression during his first year at the club and earned 22 votes in 11 games. He is the first Seymour player to win the medal since 2004 when ruckman Shane Schottner took the award.
O’sullivan beat Kyabram’s Zac Keogh by a clear seven votes, 22 to 15, to win the medal which was a commendable effort in 11 games and which would have still won the award in past years in a full season of home-and-away rounds.
Keogh, who was recruited this season by Kyabram from Seymour, made a huge impression in his first season at his new club.
Kyabram ruckman Zac Norris was also rewarded for his breakout season by sharing fourth position with 10 votes with Euroa’s Andrew Smith and Mooroopna’s Lucas Caccaviello.
Mansfield star Brett Mahoney finished third with 12 votes.
• In the GVL top netball awards Shepparton United’s Jessie Barnes joined the club of dual winners of the Wellman Family Medal.
Barnes polled 22 votes and was also a clear winner, with seven votes to spare over the runner-up, Tatura’s Laura Ryan.