Penny-pinching Pies

BERWICK supporters have accused NARRE WARREN of penny-pinching by charging their under-18 players at the Fox Road gate during last Saturday’s clash, despite the lads producing their league passes. The situation arose after the under-18s and Colts games between the two clubs were shifted from Narre Warren’s home ground to Reid Reserve in Doveton in a bid to preserve the Fox Road surface. When the young Wickers finished their game, many decided to travel back to Narre Warren to support their reserves and senior sides, but were met with a blunt “pay-up or leave” message by the Magpie gatekeepers. Despite players and a number of parents trying to explain why they had not been at the ground earlier (as the passes indicate), the answer was the same and, if they wanted to complain they should find a member of the club’s committee. One disgruntled Wicker said that it was not their fault that the grounds had been changed and it was not in the spirit of football to charge the under-18 players who otherwise would have been admitted free.

WHAT a pleasure it was for ROC supporters to watch the future of their club win the club’s second game in a lean season on Saturday. The Kangaroo senior side had five emerging stars from their talented under-18s who combined superbly with the likes of Greg and Ben Tivendale, coach Kris Fletcher and men-mountains Dane Roy and Kym Jones to end the 2010 finals hopes of KEYSBOROUGH by 10 points. One of the best of those youngsters, Brandon Mather, shares a surname with Kangaroo reserves coach and former Burra star Scott Mather, however many at the Rowley Allen Reserve were not quite sure if that was just an accident after watching the weekend’s game. Said one old Keysborough stalwart “the kid is tall, fast, agile, skilled, good-looking and has an even temperament. He can’t possibly be Scotty’s child”.

THINGS are not too rosy at WARRAGUL INDUSTRIALS. To freshen up his charges, Dusties coach Wade McGill intends to stand aside for three training sessions from this week and hand over the reigns to his assistants, fellow former NARRE WARREN lads Shane Brewster and Manny Peresso. McGill hopes the new voices will rejuvenate his listless and underperforming team. “I need a rest as well,” said a weary-looking McGill after Saturday’s three-point victory over cellar dwellers LONGWARRY. “We are not playing as a true team, more like a team of individuals. We’ve only played six good quarters this season, four good quarters against CATANI and two very good quarters against NAR NAR GOON when we kept them goalless for a half. We haven’t been able to capture the form displayed for a good deal of last season.” McGill is yet to be reappointed for 2011 and on-field success over the remainder of the season may have a big say in his fortune.

IT IS great that CRANBOURNE was allowed to play HAMPTON PARK at Casey Fields and host its sponsors at the showcase venue on the weekend, but access to the No. 1 oval is apparently on a week-to-week basis, depending on the weather in the lead-up. The Eagles have been told by the council that the first priority for use of the Casey Fields oval was the CASEY SCORPIONS and then Cranbourne, but word around the traps suggests that the Casey Cardinia League side may have to play third fiddle to the DDJFL under-16s during their coming finals series starting this weekend. That was not the agreement and, if true, that will certainly not please the Cranny faithful.

MEMBERS of one Casey Cardinia League club have had The Riot Act read to them in no uncertain terms by their president in the past couple of weeks, after what one insider described as “an act of disrespect”. The word is that, after a recent social gathering on a Saturday night the bar was closed and locked at the correct time, but a group of players were allowed to remain on the premises for a period afterwards and trusted to lock up and leave the rooms in a clean and orderly condition. However, these instructions apparently fell on deaf ears and officials were dismayed and disappointed to find the area in a “disgraceful state” the next morning. The upshot is that a clamp has been applied on use of the facilities and everyone will be exited from the rooms in strict accordance with the rules set before each gathering from now on. There has not been much to cheer about around this club in 2010 and it is fair to say that a few of the lads are hopping mad about it.

EDFL finals venues will be confirmed this week and it is expected that KOOWEERUP and BUNYIP will host elimination finals, NAR NAR GOON the first semi-final, GARFIELD the second semi-final and LONGWARRY the preliminary final, with CORA LYNN again having the honour of presenting the grand final. With a 19-round home-and-away season, the finals series will start on Saturday 28 August and finish with the grand final on Saturday 18 September. Interestingly, the ground allocations will likely favour clubs closer to Melbourne, largely because of the poor condition of the more eastern grounds in the league. Disappointingly for many Gippsland footy fans, the EDFL grand final will clash with the GFL and Casey Cardinia League grand finals this year. The GFL grand final will be held at MORWELL while the Casey Cardinia League will finish 2010 at BERWICK.

WE HAVE to pity the plight of star HAMPTON PARK defender Ryan Simpson. The senior assistant to Redbacks coach Josh Taylor toes the family line and makes out he is a CARLTON supporter to keep the faith with his AFL-playing brother Kade. But the word is that Ryan did not shed too many tears after Saturday’s loss by the Blues to COLLINGWOOD. It turns out that Ryan was a Magpie fan before Kade was drafted to the Blues and, deep down, he still has a soft spot for the black and white boys. However, he only whispers “Go Pies” and we are not allowed to tell his family.

BUNYIP Recreation Reserve may have a shiny new stadium, but it is still lacking when it comes to football facilities. With no changing room, the umpires are packed off to the stadium toilets to get changed and the difference in the coaches boxes is a little stark to say the least. While the home side plots its on-field moves in the luxury of a two-storey monolith, the visitors are left to scramble for space on a barely covered bench seat. It must have come as a bit of a shock to the visiting NAR NAR GOON teams on Saturday. When they built their new coaches boxes a couple of years back, they did so with both home and away teams in mind.

FORMER HAMPTON PARK and PEARCEDALE coach Jason Chapple has been announced as the new coach of Peninsula League club CHELSEA in 2011. Chapple will replace ex-CASEY SCORPION star Steve Harrison who will see out the rest of the season and then step aside. Harrison has not ruled out remaining at the club as a player under Chapple. Speculation was also raised on radio during last Saturday’s MPNFL Footy Show that former Redbacks and current Panther stars, brothers Kain and Kerem Baskaya, will depart Pearcedale and join Chapple at the Seagulls, along with several others. Not sure Pearcedale officials will be too thrilled with that news.

EVERY local football-netball club is being encouraged to run the compelling drug and alcohol education presentation called Todd’s Story. The hard-hitting, true story is aimed at helping young people make good – often live-saving – decisions in a social situation. The brainchild of youth worker Tracey Montgomery, wife of BERWICK committeeman Brett Montgomery, the program is based on the experience of 15-year-old Todd who made a life-changing decision after drinking with mates and ended up with a brain injury after crashing a stolen car with four of those mates inside. More than 3000 young people in the Casey Cardinia area have been through the presentation and Tracy described HAMPTON PARK, PAKENHAM, CORA LYNN, EMERALD, BUNYIP, HALLAM and FOUNTAIN GATE as stand-outs in the way they prepared their players and involved their coaches and committees. The DDJFL has made the program compulsory for all under-15, 16 and Youth Girls teams. Unfortunately, funding from the Victorian Drug Law Enforcement Agency ends in January and, unless more funding can be found, the program will finish at the end of the year. For details go to

WARRAGUL’S horrible season continued on Sunday with the Gulls failing to kick a goal in its 90-point belting by arch rival DROUIN. The Gulls scored two behinds for the afternoon, one in each half, with one of those being rushed. League statistician Paul Carter reports it was the first time a team had failed to score a goal since SALE had that ignominious honour in 2004. It was also the lowest score since BAIRNSDALE scored two behinds against TRARALGON in 1998. It was the Gulls’ lowest ever senior score, eclipsing their three behinds against BUNYIP, way back in 1909. On the other side of the coin, it was the Hawks’ biggest winning margin over Warragul since 1910 but only goes a little way to settle the lop-sided head-to-head record between the neighbours that reads 65 wins to 12 (with one draw) in favour of the Gulls.

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