SLICE OF FOOTY HISTORY LOOMS FOR TONNY
Could history be created next year at the Tongala Football Netball Club?
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It almost certainly will when Brett Deledio makes an appearance with the Blues.
With Harley Reid being snapped up at number one by West Coast Eagles in last week’s AFL draft it would mean Tongala will have had two number one draft picks play with the same country club, a first in AFL draft history.
Deledio of course was the 2004 top draft pick when picked up from Kyabram Football Club by Richmond.
He went on to play 275 AFL games for Richmond and Greater Western Sydney, the most games ever at the elite level by a player recruited from Kyabram.
Deledio is a dual Jack Dyer Medallist (Richmond best and fairest) and will be a big crowd puller for the Blues.
And when he runs out on the Tongala Recreation Reserve next year for his first game with the club, it will no doubt bring back memories for him.
Deledio played his first senior GVL game for the Bombers against Tongala in 2002 as a 15-year-old.
He has committed to make some appearances next season with Tongala where his brother-in-law Billy Barnes has been appointed coach and his father Wayne a selector.
While Harley Reid has a bit to go to build an AFL record to match Brett Deledio’s, there are a lot of good judges around who think he could and will all going well.
That is the sort of praise that is going to make Harley’s AFL journey so interesting, particularly for the supporters of his home club which he has never forgotten on his journey so far.
Harley Reid has provided more publicity for the town of Tongala than probably anyone in its history so there is little wonder there is a big buzz around the footy club at the moment.
New Tongala Football Club coach Billy Barnes has felt it and is happy with the impact it has made at the club and interest it has created.
The Blues have been busy building their player ranks with the recruitment of Melbourne Amateurs star Matt Caia, the return of former players Nic Woods and Todd Van Roy from Girgarre, McKenzie Cowley from Mooroopna and the inclusion of Kyabram players Billy McLay and prodigious young talent Angus Scoble.
Scoble is bound for the Bendigo Pioneers, but is expected to be available for several games with the Blues.
‘‘Several players from last year who played only a few games because of injury should also be back for a full season,’’ Barnes said.
The Blues’ main losses are league medallist Coby McCarthy to Mooroopna and former AFL player Brock McLean.
Official training for Tongala kicks off this Monday night.
PAUL’S REMARKABLE PERFORMANCE
In my lengthy time at the Free Press, I have witnessed and reported on some fantastic and almost unbelievable sporting feats.
One of them was revived last week when Rohan Aldous reflected in his Free Press Flashbacks column on Koyuga cricketer Paul McGann’s extraordinary 1987 batting feat in the former KDCA B grade competition.
McGann made 73 that day. His team made 74.
The one run that Paul didn’t score was a leg bye.
And it came off Paul’s batting pad.
Yes, his eight teammates’ contribution to the Koyuga score was exactly nought.
Just think about that.
Surely one his teammates could have edged just one delivery that beat the fielders, but no?
They were all bowled which added more intrigue to the happening.
It is very difficult to comprehend eight batsmen in a side couldn’t even muster one run, but that was the case.
McCann’s feat shares my top gong with trots driver Mark Pitt for the most extraordinary sporting feats I have covered in this paper over six decades.
Two years ago Mark drove a staggering nine winners at the Launceston Pacing Cup meeting for premier Victorian trainer Emma Stewart.
Anyone in the racing (and punting) game will tell you that the odds of this happening would be absolutely mind blowing.
In fact very unlikely to ever be repeated.
Koyuga v Stanhope, 1987
Koyuga 1st Innings
P McGann not out 73
C Souter b D Sloan 0
M McGill b N Donnell 0
B Morphett b N Donnell 0
S Edwards b N Donnell 0
N Tinning b D Sloan 0
L Davis b N Donnell 0
G Burns b N Donnell 0
T Bennett b N Donnell 0
Sundries: 1 lb 1
Bowling: D Sloan 3-47, N Donnell 5-26.
NEWMAN SIMPLY PHENOMENAL
While on phenomenal sporting feats Kyabram Fire Brigade run machine Paul Newman produced one of the greatest innings’ of the modern era in club cricket on Saturday.
His double century against Nondies Cohuna in their one day Goulburn Murray Cricket clash at Kyabram’s Northern Oval included an insane 15 sixes and 22 fours. Combined that made up 178 of the 214 runs he made.
In my 66 years involved in the game locally I can’t recall any batsmen in club cricket scoring more sixes in a game and probably fours for that matter.
Kyabram’s greatest sportsmen of the modern era is 40 years old but is showing no signs of slowing down, although he may debate that the day after some of his extraordinary run making feats.
EAGLES REPLACE PRIEST WITH BEATTIE
Murray Football League club Echuca United has pulled a shock, telling senior coach Farran Priest he is not in the club’s future plans.
Priest has just completed his second season as coach and had recommitted to do the job again next season before being shown the door last week.
United won six games this season, double the amount of last year.
Priest said he was totally blindsided by the decision made by the new committee.
Priest was in Echuca United’s only side to have won a Murray League flag in 2013.
The Eagles delivered a bombshell on Monday night when it announced the man who coached the club to that Murray League triumph, Scott Beattie, would return as Priest’s replacement.
LATEST ON GVL PLAYER MOVEMENTS
Benalla Football Club has been busy resigning locals for next season’s GVL season but one recruit has bobbed up at the right time.
Ruckman Mark Marriott who started his career with the club and the Murray Bushrangers before going onto play with the Geelong Falcons and Geelong’s VFL side is heading home.
He played with Cobden Tigers in the Hampden League this season.
Why Benalla is stoked in getting Marriott back to the club is that its ruck gun and man mountain Josh Marchbank, arguably the best tap ruckman in the league, has hung up his boots.
Euroa is another GVL club with a star returning with Jack Hellier reuniting with new Magpies coach Ryan Pendlebury.
In other GVL news, Mooroopna and key forward Jackson Trengrove are parting ways.
After two seasons with the GVL Cats Trengrove is heading back to the Murray League to play with Cobram.
He formerly coached Cobram’s cross river neighbour Barooga.
Trengove was the GVL’s top goalkicker this season, bagging 59 goals in 17 games.
BIG NIGHT FOR KY CONNECTIONS
They didn’t win, but locally owned trotters shared in generous minor place prizemoney on Breeders Crown finals night at Melton last Saturday night.
Kyabram-owned Shes Ruby Roo finished third in the three-year-old trotters fillies final while Thunda Struck gave his huge local syndicate of district owners a big buzz and run for their money, leading but run down late to finish second in the two-year-old colts and geldings trotters final.