Peter's Blog

100 years for footy clubs

Mr TRELOAR (Flinders) (15:34): The cornerstone of social life in our country towns is country sport, and the cornerstone of country sports, at least in southern Australia, is Australian Rules football. On Eyre Peninsula, this year there are three clubs that I am aware of that have celebrated a centenary season. The Kyancutta Football Club held celebrations between 21 June and 23 June to mark 100 years since the formation of the Kyancutta Football Club in 1919. The event organiser was Paul ‘Gus’ May, a former Kyancutta player and the first ever Central Eyre president. Central Eyre came about as the result of an amalgamation between Kyancutta and Warramboo, but that was to come much later.

On 23 June, there was a meet-and-greet at the Kyancutta Football Club at 6pm, with a meal provided, before Central Eyre faced Wirrulla at Kyancutta the following day, with the Bulldogs to wear a heritage guernsey modelled after Kyancutta’s 1950-65 guernsey. After the match, there was an auction of guernseys, as well as speeches and interviews, with meals available, before a barbecue lunch and a farewell at the club the following day.

One of the former club members present was Henry McKenna, who first played with Kyancutta in 1942, when he was 15 years old and went on to serve the club in many roles, including president. Mr McKenna said that he remembered riding a horse to football, wearing his football gear and ready to go on.

Rudall also celebrated their football club’s centenary. Celebrations were held at the Rudall Community Sports Club, celebrating 100 years of football in the district. The radiant red and gold of Rudall made a comeback on Saturday 10 August. The western rovers football club was formed 27 June 1919—hence the centenary—which later evolved into the Rudall club in 1921.

The Rudall Community Sports Club reverted to the former colour scheme in celebration of a centenary of football in the community as they took on their old rivals, Ports Football Club, which is an amalgamation of Arno Bay and Port Neill. Once again, centenary guernseys were worn and auctioned off after the A-grade game that night. The 100-year milestone comes during one of the club’s most successful periods, with Reserves on a winning streak and the Junior Colts on their seventh premiership in succession. In the 100 years, the A-grade team has one 10 premierships, and that is a tremendous achievement for a small club.

Closer to home for me was the celebration of the Cummins Rambler Football Club, which also formed in 1919 and celebrated its centenary on the 26, 27 and 28 July. There was football played in and around Cummins before 1919, but with the influx of men following World War I there seemed to be enough around for another team, and the Cummins Rambler Football Club was formed. We wore black and white. I must confess that I played all my club football for Ramblers, playing my first minis game in 1969 and my last senior game in 2004, I think—whatever that adds up to.

We wore heritage guernseys of black and white hoops, rather than the black and white Collingwood strip we are wearing now. We took on the cross-town rivals, the Cummins Kapinnie Cougars, and were fortunate enough to win the A-grade game that day. There was much celebration and a huge influx of people into the town. We began wearing black and white, and we have worn black and white all the way through. The football club went into recess during the Second World War, of course, as did many other country clubs. We re-formed as Cockaleechie in 1946 and 1947 but rebadged ourselves as Rambler in 1948.

On the Friday night, we hosted an On the Couch session with four players from each of the decades going back to the 1950s and it included Tom Ferguson, who came back from Western Australia and played his first game in 1948. We launched a club history book on the Sunday. Congratulations to the committees that organised all the events I have just spoken about, because it is such a huge achievement. Finally, on a local level, I congratulate Luke Partington, originally from Tumby Bay, who is the winner of the 2019 Magarey Medal.

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