The forgotten Castles of Kyabram | Gus Underwood’s sport snaps

By Kyabram Free Press

Kyabram increased its lead over Shepparton as the Goulburn Valley League club to provide the most VFL/AFL footballers — but not for very long.

It appeared GVL historian Don Kilgour had missed one player on a list of 29 players to progress to the big time directly from the Kyabram Football Club.

But a fascinating scenario unfolded when delving into the name missing from the Kyabram list: Trevor Castles.

Like several other Kyabram players, including the famous Richmond one-gamer Billy James, Trevor is also a one-game AFL/VFL player.

Trevor debuted in round 15 for Melbourne against Carlton at Princes Park in 1983 and it was his only appearance at senior level.

While some footy websites credit Kyabram as the team from which Trevor was recruited, it was, in fact, the Echuca Football Club.

But he played all his junior football with Kyabram and was a member of the Aub Reddrop-coached Bombers thirds side that won the premiership in 1978.

He played senior football that season along with Stuart McKenzie, who also went on to a brief VFL career, with Melbourne.

Trevor played in the Bob Egan-coached Kyabram side in 1979 when eliminated in the preliminary final by eventual premier Echuca and again in 1980, the year he signed with Melbourne.

But because a family tiling business run by his father, Harry, a former Kyabram premiership president, had moved its base to Echuca, Trevor spent 1981 playing with the Murray Bombers.

Trevor then made his way to the Melbourne Football Club in 1982.

But that move created a tussle between Kyabram and Echuca as to who would get the signing-on fee country clubs received for players recruited to VFL/AFL clubs.

Zoning was in at that time, with Kyabram zoned to Melbourne while Echuca was aligned to Geelong.

It was finally resolved, with the fee being split between the Echuca and Kyabram clubs.

Trevor played for three seasons with Melbourne reserves and won a best and fairest award in his time there.

He returned to Echuca in 1985 and spent the rest of his playing days there, clocking up around 150 games for the Murray Bombers.

These days Trevor owns and runs the BuildPro business in Echuca, which employs 25 workers.

He still keeps a keen interest in local footy and is a sponsor for both the Echuca Football Club and Kyabram’s Junior Football Club.

THE original planned starting date for Picola and District Football Netball League on May 2 has passed and coronavirus restrictions are still clouding a starting date — if there is to be one.

League operations manager Shane Railton said options and possible season structures were being considered each week due to the evolving nature of the pandemic.

‘‘We want to get out there and start the season as soon as possible for the benefit of the club and the players,’’ Railton said.

He said the inability to get out and play under the current restrictions was raising mental health issues not only for players but also supporters who were being denied their weekly footy fix.

MORRISON medallist Mick Mattingly’s second round of interviews of Kyabram footballers went off well again, with Tom Holman and new coach Brad Edwards featuring in his latest podcasts.

These interviews can be accessed on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify by searching “Behind The Bombers’’ or right below.

This Sunday, Mick will be interviewing Jason Morgan and Hayden Gemmill.

MERRIGUM trots owners Greg and Jenny Pell are enjoying a good run with their horses at the moment.

Young pacer The Panthiest completed successive wins at the Kilmore track at the meeting on April 24 after winning there at her previous start on April 16.

A three-year-old filly by Bettors Delight, The Panthiest now boasts the impressive record of five wins and three placings from 14 starts.

While being by a top sire, The Panthiest also has strong maternal line breeding with her dam, the Art Major mare Paintball, a multiple winner.

The Pells also savoured another win with Izzy Jolie at a recent Cranbourne meeting.

And the group of Kyabramites who have ownership shares in the trotter Always Ready were basking in further glory at the Melton meeting on Anzac Day.

Always Ready, trained by Anton Golino, is now unbeaten in five runs after returning from an 18-month lay-off due to injury.

One of the Kyabram owners, Phillip Plum, said the four-year-old was still a day-to-day proposition but syndicate members were enjoying the ride.

Always Ready has never missed a place in his 13 career starts, which have produced nine wins, three seconds and a third, and prizemoney earnings of over $120,000.