Kyabram Free Press

Farewell to two flag winners

- Gus Underwood

Kyabram and Tongala football clubs have lost premiershi­p players over the past few weeks.

Another link with the Bombers’ flag-winning side of 1958 was severed with the passing last week of Keith Hartin, while Tongala lost one of its 1961 premiershi­p heroes, John Phyland, on October 14.

Keith started his career in 1951 with the Kyabram Boys Club when he was just 14 years of age when the club took over from the Kyabram Imperials Football Club, which disbanded in 1950.

He played in a runners-up Boys Club side in 1953 defeated by 12 goals by Merrigum after going through the home-and-away season undefeated.

But Boys Club bounced back to beat Merrigum for the 1954 flag before Keith transferre­d to Kyabram in 1955, from when he played for eight years in the GVL.

He was in the Tony Bull-coached Kyabram 1958 senior premiershi­p side and also played in two reserves flags with the Bombers, in 1959 and again in 1963.

His funeral was held last Saturday. John Phyland may well hold the title of being the second youngest player to have played in the Goulburn Valley League.

No-one has ever challenged my claim Kyabram’s Brad Mangan, who was 14 years and four months old when he debuted for the Bombers in 2006, is the youngest.

John was 14 years and eight months old when he made his debut for Stanhope in the mid-1950s in the GVL.

A skilful onballer-flanker he then played with Tatura for 74 games, making a grand final in 1957 before finishing his career with Tongala, where his 94 games took his tally of GVL games to 204, which earned him life membership of the GVL.

He was courted by Carlton and arrived there the same day as its legendary ruckman John Nicholls. He played two reserves games but never pursued a career in the big time.

He was a member of Tongala’s Alan Murphy-coached 1961 premiershi­p side, Tongala’s second of four flags in its GVL days.

Only 10 of that side — Ian Mcgregor, Bob Rawson, Alf Harrison, Adrian Cahill, Barry Campbell Stewart Florence, Geoff Vick, Max Jeavons, Max Croft and Ned Wash — survive today.

John did a stint as president of the Kyabram Football Club in the 1980s when living and working in the town and was also heavily involved in junior football in the district for 11 years when at Tongala.

He was a member of five GVL clubs — Stanhope, Tatura, Tongala, Kyabram and Echuca — as a player or administra­tor.

Teens earn Pios invites

Three young Kyabram footballer­s and two from Tongala have received invitation­s to do pre-season training with the Bendigo Pioneers.

Kyabram’s Anthony Depasquale, Charlie Barnett and Oliver Watt along with Tongala young guns Harley Reid and Mackenzie Cowley have been included in the squad.

With the age limits in the NAB League now changed back to Under 18s and Under 16s, Depasquale and Cowley could be included in the 15 per cent of overage players allowed at Under 18 level.

Colbinabbi­n’s Cooper and Hugh Hamilton and Sam Ryan have also been invited in a list of 170 to receive invitation­s across the Pioneers program.

It is expected Echuca-moama will have a training base for the invitees in preparatio­n for next season.

Ex-giant joins Benalla

Big names continue to link with GVL clubs for next season.

Former Greater Western Sydney Giant Tom Downie has nominated Benalla as his home club.

But how many games he gets to play with the Saints will depend on his form with VFL club Williamsto­wn.

When and if he can’t get a game with the VFL Seagulls he’ll be available to play with Benalla.

But at only 28 years of age and with an ambition to play at the highest standard as long as possible, the talented ruckman is not likely to be a regular with the Saints next season.

Western Bulldogs and GWS utility Sam Reid is heading to Echuca next season.

Ky four to the fore

Four Kyabram footballer­s have been named in the Shepparton News GVL Team of the Year.

Two of these players, Jason

Morgan and Kyle Mueller, have made the side previously while the Zacs — Norris and Keogh — are debutants in the side.

Norris got the nod in the first ruck, which was not entirely unexpected given the season he enjoyed, while Keogh, who made the team as a rover, was a lock-in after a stellar first season with the Bombers.

Four times Bombers best and fairest winner Jason Morgan, who had turned back the clock, got a gig in the back pocket, while goals wiz Kyle Mueller, the league’s leading goalkicker for the second successive season, was named in a forward pocket.

Seymour’s Ben Davey was named coach of the team.

I don’t think any of the Kyabram foursome weren’t deserving of their spots, but of course exercises of this type always a create a debate.

Not strong enough

Kyabram-trained filly Senitas Strength couldn’t get the job done against the colts and geldings but there was still a local flavour to the winner in the Victoria Trotters Derby at Maryboroug­h on Sunday.

The winner, Kyvalley Hotspur, is owned by Kvyalley mega breeder and owner Jim Connelly.

Having his 15th race start the son of Muscle Hill led from pillar to post over the 2690m trip to win the $75,000 feature in a scorching 1.59.4 track record mile rate.

The Mick Blackmore-trained and Senitas Strength finished seventh.

Rams nab former Cat

In Murray Football League news Deniliquin Rams have snared a prize recruit, with 200cm former Geelong VFL forward Angus Mckay signing on for the 2021 season.

Numurkah is also loading up, with Tatura’s Morrie Serra and relative Gianni Serra from KDL club Longwood committing to next season, while Mooroopna’s Matt Gorman is making a move to Barooga.

Hanslow goes again

Plenty going on in GVL netball circles at the moment.

Former Kyabram Bombers netball coach Di Hanslow will again hold the coaching reins at the Mooroopna next season.

The acclaimed coach, who has had GVL stints with Kyabram and Shepparton United, had the Cats’ A grade side purring along nicely this season with a 10-1 win ratio before COVID KO’D the season, so expectatio­ns will be high again next season.

Seymour will have a familiar face and experience­d coach leading its netballers next season.

Home-grown product Ellie O’sullivan takes the A grade reins from Ronni Hager.

At the Shepparton Bears, Tracey Brereton will extend her tenure into a 15th season.

 ?? ?? Stalwarts: Keith Hartin and, inset, John Phyland.
Stalwarts: Keith Hartin and, inset, John Phyland.
 ?? ?? Ruck battle: Zac Norris was named to start at the first centre bounce in the Shepparton News GVL team of the year.
Ruck battle: Zac Norris was named to start at the first centre bounce in the Shepparton News GVL team of the year.
 ?? ?? Champions: Keith Hartin (second from left, top row) was in Kyabram’s flag-winning side of 1958.
Champions: Keith Hartin (second from left, top row) was in Kyabram’s flag-winning side of 1958.
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