Playing Years at NOBs: 1988, 1989, Half of 1990, Half of 1991
Numbers Worn: 2, 6 & 8
Premierships & Grand Finals Played in: 1991
In a a Paragraph or two, give a brief overview of your time at NOBs:
NOBs has been a big part of my life, Brens became a second home for me, with my earliest memories sitting in front of the players as my Dad addressed the senior players before a game and asking for a pie, just as he was hitting his crescendo. The spirit and comraderie showed at the club even in the early days, when the social rooms were at the college hall in North Melbourne. King Browns were sold over the counter and Fuzz use to pay me 5c a glass to collect them. In awe of the names like, Shane Maguire, Mark Hanneberry, Les Murray, Mauro Borcich at the young age, these guys were bigger than the VFL stars. Life long friendships, having played many games with Bruno Conti, Phillip Haratsis, Michael & John Murray in the dark at Brens Oval, while our fathers and brothers drank beer. I later understood why we had to wait around for so long.
The revue nights at the college would have to be greatest social events the club ever held.
Fog’s greatest hits: “Bruno the Diego in the Red Fuego.” Dom’s impersonation of Tom Jones and his impersonation of George Moloney.
4 Most Memorable NOB’s Games:
1. First senior Game against Parade at Parade. Mark Hanneberry was Captain-Coach. It was 1988 and I had just left North Melb Reserves. I was 19 years old and I remember the build up was bigger than anything I had experienced. My first kicked showed how nervous I was, with the ball dribbling along the ground. We ended up winning the game and I was invited down to state training the next morning by Steve Hibbert who was a selector.
2. 1989 NOB’s vs St Bernards at Brens. The loser was to be relegated. The ground was at its best muddy. The atmosphere was unbelievable, as there was no love lost between the clubs. The Colonel spoke before the game and had most of the guys either in tears or ready to run through a brick wall. We won the game by less than a goal. Greg O’Toole sent a wreath to St Bernards during the week
3. First game back after a year at Hawthorn. It was before the clearances closed of June 30 1991. it was against Old Haileybury and I was walking into a very strong side. It was one of the most enjoyable feelings I’ve had in football. It felt so good to be playing with your mates again for a cause, rather than individually as was the experience playing VFL reserves. We won the game easily and I got a few touches.
4. It wasn’t a game as such, it was a Sunday training session after copping a 20 goal hiding from a last positioned Old Xaverians. It was in 1989 and the game was at Albert Park, as Brens was too wet. M Hanneberry was coach and he called 6am training the next morning. We were to run, walk, crawl Princes Park. For every one that was late or didn’t turn up we were to do another lap. Mick “Steiner” Fennelly rocked in at 6.02, so we had to do 3 laps. Mark took off and that was the last we saw of him. When we finished, Fuzz was at the ground inviting everyone back to his house for breakfast. Everyone went back and Fuzz produced a carton of VB’s at about 9am. By 5pm we were all pissed.
Greatest Memory from your time playing at NOBs:
Any game we won to sing “Out they Come, Out they come” with gusto and have a beer with all the backslappers in the social rooms afterwards. Playing in the 1991 Grand Final. The efforts of Paul Lacava, Dennis Fogarty and Dom Perrone in trying to get me re-instated to the amateurs.
Biggest Disappointment/Lowlights whilst at NOBs:
Losing the 1991 Grand Final. I still think about it. Not being able to play when the club was relegated. Not being able to finish my career at NOB’s due to legal reasons. (archaic re-instatement rules)
Twice runner-Up in the Best & Fairest award 1989 & 1990 (only played 9 games)
1989 Co-Captain with Tony Egan.
Victorian rep 1988, 1989 & 1991
All Australian Rep 1988 & 1991 1985-1989
North Melboune FC 1987 Captained Nth Melbourne U19 Premiership 1990
Being Drafted by Hawthorn
1992 South Launceston FC
1994 Sandringham Premiership, would trade for the 1991 flag anyday.
Best Players played with at NOB’s and why:
Mark Hanneberry – one of the toughest and skilled players I have played with. Personally taught me a lot about football and fitness. I remember in my first year we were playing Ormond at Brens. Always a tough game. I was playing on Russell Barnes, who was an amateur legend. I was doing ok, so he started to see how I would go with a clip under the ears. Mark saw what was going on and the next oppurtunity he saw, he dealt a few out to Barnesy. Other Ormond players ran in and ther ewere about 4 or 5 of on top of Mark I ran into help and he just yelled out, “I’m OK, there is no-one on you go and get the ball.” We ended up kicking a goal out of it.
Paul Considine – “Heimi” Conno was the most deceptive footballer. He would always look out of position in a pack, however remarkably he would always come down with the ball. It was always an interesting experience to receive a hand ball from him.
Paul Booth – his record speaks for itself.
Tony Egan – when Eg’s was pushed to full forward he was the best player in the Amateurs. All you had to do was put the ball in front of him and he would run through anything to get it. It was also an experience going out with him after a session at the clubrooms.
Bruno Conti – a great player, a great clubman. Very unlucky not to play VFL football. I never saw him get beaten by his opponent. It was quite humerous when Cake had come back from the off-season and couldn’t put his footy shorts on.
There were so many other great players, Steve O’Rourke, magician without pace, Tim Jones, Anthony Cahill who would put his body where others feared, John Tierney the greatest bench player ever to put on the purple & white.
Best opponents in the Ammo’s:
Matt Galbraith (Old Collegians)
Julian Moloney (De La Salle)
Andrew Smith (Old Scotch)
What do you like best about NOB’s
It’s a family. The families that were involved, O’Toole’s, Cahill’s, Weir’s, Hibberts, Nelson’s, Fogarty’s and Moloney’s. The fact that whenever you bought a player to the club, they were always welcomed into the family. The life long friendship.