My first impressions of football

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My first impressions of football Empty My first impressions of football

Post by Adelaide Hawk on Sun Mar 11, 2012 10:30 pm

I am hoping to hear from other people about the first game they attended, or very early memories as impressionable young men trying to come to terms with our great game. Here is my story.

As a lad, I recall being taken to the football by my parents. I have vague memories of being at Kensington Oval, but at that stage the game didn’t interest me as much as seeking out, and playing with, kids my own age.

At a young age, the only player I knew was Neil Kerley, and I imagined I was a West Adelaide supporter, but my father explained that if I was to play, Norwood was the team I was residentially bound to. Looking back, the truth may be that West Adelaide were reigning premiers, and most young kids love to follow the top side.

I had knowledge of teams and players through my collection of a full set of coca-cola bottle tops in 1963, and gathered a full set again in 1964. I recall my brother doing a paper drive for the scouts and stored papers in our garage. I discovered all these old football budgets and spent hours reading them. Oh, how I wish I’d kept them!! I saw the lists of players for each team, names I could recall from by bottle tops, but I had no idea about the mysterious numbers listed along side each player.

I began to watch football replays with my father and my first real memories are of the 1964 Grand Final in which South Adelaide defeated Port Adelaide. My perception at the time was South were the good guys who everyone wanted to win, and Port were the bad guys. Even at that age, I’d developed this attitude that you either loved the Magpies or loathed them.

Little did I know I was witnessing one of the great moments in SA football history. I had no perception that Kerley had taken a team from bottom to top in his first year at the club. Apart from Kerley, I took a fascination for a skinny aboriginal ruckman named David Kantilla. My brother and sister jumped on the South bandwagon, I persisted with Norwood.

I also collected the 1964 & 1965 sets of Mobil Footy Photos. The deal was if you bought an album, you’d get a few cards to start your collection, and gradually get the others when your parents bought petrol. I bought my album then told the guy my father didn’t have a car, so he let me take the full set!! You can imagine the looks on the faces of the kids at school when I came walking in with a full set only days after the promotion had started.

Dad realised my interest in football and began taking me to games in 1965. The first game I can recall is Norwood v Sturt at Norwood Oval. I was interested at first by the colourful clash of the navy blue and red against the double blue. Players to take my interest were a kid on the wing wearing number 1 for Sturt named Keith Chessell, a thick set blond man named Rick Schoff, a bald man at CHF named John Halbert and a skillful number 8 who kicked long raking drop kicks to perfection. His name was Paul Bagshaw. I was also amused by people signing “three blind mice” as the three umpires ran past in formation before the start of play.

It was a most enjoyable day with Norwood running out victors, 13-15 to 12-11. Who knows what I’d have thought had Norwood been belted that day? However, the win had whetted my appetite for footy, and the Redlegs, and all I could talk about on the way home were the tall rangy ruckman Bill Wedding, the large man in number 31 (Ron Kneebone), and my personal favourite, full-forward Ian Brewer who had kicked 5 goals.

We returned to the Parade the following week and I watched the Redlegs take on the dreaded Port Adelaide. Once again, taken by opposition players such as Geof Motley, John Cahill, Jeff Potter and Eric Freeman, but my favourite Ian Brewer booted another 5 goals to down the Magpies 11-13 to 7-17.

Later that season they played the Grand Final. Port Adelaide lined up against Sturt to determine the best football team in the land. I needed my father to explain to me why those two teams were playing in the Grand Final when we had beaten both of them. It just didn’t seem fair somehow.
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My first impressions of football Empty Re: My first impressions of football

Post by Lee on Wed Mar 14, 2012 7:21 pm

I can't remember the fitrst SANFL game I went to, but it was a long, long time ago.

Great subject, AH and I'll answer in more detail ASAP.
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My first impressions of football Empty Re: My first impressions of football

Post by LEH on Mon Mar 26, 2012 9:50 pm

Great Stuff, most enjoyable... you blokes have been around a little longer than I, so I might take a little different tack, if you don't mind;

Introduction to Footy:

Playing footy on a Saturday Afternoon (with those old brown plastic jobs) in the courtyard @ home, by myself with the K-Mart Transistor Radio on (probably 5DN in those days) as a 4 yr old - 1975. Imagining (OMG - he shudders) I was Peter Woite, Russell Ebert, 'Bucky' Cunningham & all the Port Adelaide Team. Yes, I know, I know!!! To quote Dr. Smith from 'Lost In Space'... "Oh, The Pain of it All" Embarassed

Changed to West Torrens supporter in 1976 - most kids @ Primary School supported them (we were in their zone) - didn't want to be left out & when you consider fellow class mates were sons of Freddy Bills, Rodney Payze & Geoff Neimann, was a given really. Shocked

1st Game:
U/19s Game @ Unley Oval - Sturt vs Centrals, Dad was Field Umpiring (1976)

1st League Game:
Woodville vs Centrals @ Woodville Oval - pouring rain, mud everywhere, freezing cold (1976)

1st Grand Final:
Sturt vs Port Adelaide (1976) - Dad lifted me over the fence on the Outer Wing, I was 5 yrs old

1st State Game:
SA vs QLD (1980) - SA belted them by 30 goals!!!

Most Memorable Game attended:
International Rules Game (1986), Parachutist died because he hit the Concourse Roof.

Best Game attended:
SA vs Vic (1984) was unbelievable, even though we lost... 1st State Game Under Lights... S. Kernahan was incredible that night, still THE BEST individual effort I have ever seen (& I was there the night Modra took 'that' Mark vs Nth. Melbourne)

Favorite All-time Player:
A tie... between J. Platten & P. Motley (I still think he would've been the best of them all that went over the border in the mid-80s).
'The Rat' was a fantastic player - my idol as a young kid playing footy, he was a STAR & 'punched' above his weight category for his entire career. A wonderful footballer.

Most Hated Opposition Player:
No surprises here... David Granger, closely followed by Graham Cornes.

Favorite Ground to View Footy:
Norwood Oval

Best Commentator:
Ian Day... who can ever forget the "Kenmax Goal of the Day"

So there you go, my contribution.
Looking forward to reading others




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Post by Gingernuts on Tue Mar 27, 2012 11:48 am

My earliest football memories are bitter sweet. I would've been about 10 years old, spending cold misty Saturday mornings enviously watching my brothers aged 5 and 6 running around for the Little Saints under 10's on the Littlehampton Primary School Oval. I have a hip defect that rules me out of playing any high impact sport (ie anything with running) and therefore was consigned to a lifetime of football spectatorship, never to pull on the boots and take to the field in anger.

Oh how I wished I was out there with them in the mud and rain. As I sat on the soaked school playground with teeth chattering I used to imagine sequences of play where I would dodge 2 or 3 defenders and kick a winning goal. What a footballer I was, if only I had the chance to show it! Unfortunately the world will never know how talented I was.....lol

As far as attending games, my first memories of SANFL football were watching my brothers play mini league for Sturt at the Adelaide oval.

AFL would be a State game between SA and WA on a Sunday afternoon at Football Park, 1996 I reckon. Really had to convince Dad that it was worth forking out the cash to go. In retrospect the money would've been better spent elsewhere, the game was that uninspiring I remember nothing of it. lol
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Post by Lee on Tue Mar 27, 2012 12:04 pm

I think I was a trainer for that state game, GN.

Same as you, I can't remember much about it either.
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Post by Chambo Off To Work We Go on Tue Mar 27, 2012 12:59 pm

My dad took me to my first footy game when I was about 5.
It was a Woodville v West Adelaide game at the Adelaide Oval and I recall sitting under the Moreton Bay Fig Trees.
It was probably the easiest game to get to where we lived.
He reckoned it was blowing a gale and a miserable day.
I thought it was ok as I got a bag of chips and a coke.

So he said, most kids follow and barrack for one team.
Who was I going to support? Making rational decisions at 5 isn't an easy thing, but I had the sense to ask "Well who wins?"
The year was 1970!

........and since then I have managed to sway the old man around to my way of thinking.
He even owns a Double Blue cap now.
My younger brother came on board shortly after I made my choice, but he was always easy to influence at that age.

We actually lived in Woodville's zone with West Torrens across the road.
I don't recall entertaining barracking for them as they were pretty lowly ranked back then.

And fast forwarding to present day, my oldest lad isn't able to come to the footy much due to his own sport, but has a rather passive following for the Blues. Always query his terminology when he asks how "we" went on a Saturday.

And now my youngest lad is a junior member of the Blues. With a rambunctious uncle and old man, he is bemused by our antics at games and when we sang the "Chambo song"........but the biggest pull for him to come to the footy is as it was for me........A bag of chips and a coke!

It is only now as I get older, that I truly appreciate the sanfl competition with all its quirkiness, the history in every suburban ground and the peculiar banter that only occurs at games.

As evey year goes by, I think I enjoy it more than the previous season.
Whether that has anything to do with that fateful decision back in 1970, who knows?
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Post by Chambo Off To Work We Go on Fri Oct 19, 2012 11:00 pm

....So after 6 months since that post, what is the perspective on these sort of musings?

The biggest thing I fear on looking back over the above thread is that I can't see a direct connection between the kids of today (say from 13 years) and the sanfl comp.

They probably go on the promise of something from their fathers. But will there be a continuance of spectator support in years to come from the group of kids that now are well past both Crows and Port introductions to the SA footy scene?

I still see kids at the footy, but the big majority of those are under 10.
Rarely would I see groups of adolescents wandering about.

I feel there is a rather large disconnect brewing, if it hasn't already taken hold.

I ponder if there is an answer to this issue, but can't really offer one. I just think that on this issue (and many others) if clubs don't collectively consider it and similarly respond to it, then we will be looking at the problem from the other side of the canyon, which will of course, be too late.

I am almost certain that everyone who posts here, will have a childhood "feelgood" anecdote about the sanfl that brings a smile to their face. Some of us will have many of them.

But alas, will our kids have such similar stories to reflect upon?

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