As ranked by spirtual leader, Robert.M.Sheehan

1 J-Man’s Job On Bournon Wind the clock back to September 2008. We hadn’t won a flag. We hadn’t even won a final. We had just come off the back of a 33-point drubbing to Old Geelong. The opponent was Old Mentone and the man to stop was Bournon, a veteran and prolific goal kicker who’d had a day out when we last met them (and they dished out a 15-goal thumping). Coach Rush looked no further than Joel aka J-Man aka Cuz Scanlon to the do the job. J-Man scratched, bit, pinched, punched and mauled Bournon into submission, kept him goalless and we won by 8 points catapulting us into our first of 3 grand finals and a streak of 7 successive finals wins. J-Man forever earned himself a place in Rushy’s dreams and Bournon’s regular nightmares.
2 “You owe us” 2008 was a glorious premiership and as far as we all knew was the culmination of effort from everyone in a wonderful day. Little did we know that grudges were harbored. There was unfinished business? How, you might ask, when we won by 38 points? Well, on the Thursday night before the 2009 Grand Final, Coach Rush called us into a huddle before we walked off the track. We listened intently. What strategy did the master have in mind to defeat Whitefriars? “Hunts you were terrible in last year’s grand final…you owe us…you too Spud….you owe us on Saturday”. I’m still unsure whether the debt was repaid.
3 The Super 9 There are now all sorts of multiple premiership groups in the Dynasty (e.g. Perfect Pair, Batman and Robin etc). But the Super 9 was the first and remains the best. The Super 9 was born when it was decided that those who had gone back to back in 08-09 deserved the additional recognition of being part of an uber exclusive Super 9. The Super 9 was greeted with a prickly reception initially by the non-Super 9 premiership players and Rushy who fundamentally opposed elitism and cliques. This did not deter Weeds, Chin Candy, Sloppy, Spud, Browney, Stribs, Fish and Bobby. And we still meet for a beer once a year.
4 Pezza at Aquinas A crowd favourite, Pezza had suffered the unfortunate fate of breaking his leg in 2007. To his credit, he stuck by the team throughout the remainder of that season and until his eventual comeback in 2008. He made his way back into the Reserves side and at Aquinas was dominant. Charging out from CHF, he was marking everything. Then went down…and stayed down. The ground was hushed except for the whispers of “not again”. He summoned enough strength to call for the stretcher was taken off the ground in “man-tears” not dissimilar from Gary Lyon’s famous incident. The trainers examined the leg and thought maybe it looked ok. But no, Pezza had done it before and knew how it felt, it was definitely broken. He was the first one on the track Tuesday night.
5 The Spiritual Leader Early in 2008, Chris Dobson was awarded the mantle of Spiritual Leader of the Reserves by elder statesman Digger Joyce. It wasn’t without controversy. Weren’t there others who’d epitomised the spirit of the 2s? Some noted that Doblet had several years earlier succumbed to the lure of CASH at an FDFL club. In any event, Doblet discharged his duties with distinction and before leaving kicked the winning goal at Toorak Park that some regard as the turning point in the season (in a game that was also saved by Ryan “Chops” Veal’s lion-hearted and courageous last term).
When Doblet once again abandoned the club mid-season to travel to Mexico, his duties were then handed to Robert Sheehan who expanded the role into encompassing Spiritual Leadership of the entire Club. Under his leadership, 2 Flags were delivered. Doblet then returned and the mantle was handed back. Many doubted whether Doblet could step into these shoes. Doblet defied his critics and, with a best and fairest season, Doblet took the side to a third Premiership and fittingly was awarded Best on Ground in the Grand Final.
6 “If you can crawl you can walk, if you can walk you run, if you can run you can sprint” Aside from perhaps the two Spiritual Leader’s, it is hard to think of anyone more instrumental to the Dynasty than John Rush. And it was these words that he used to drive us when we thought we could go no further. At different stages over ‘08 and ‘09, Rushy was known to spend 7 days a week at the Gillon, training us, teaching speedball, giving us life lessons and all the time wearing his favourite “COACH” shirt. I have no doubt in my mind the Dynasty would not have happened without John Rush.
7 Crackers’ goal The first half was a disaster. We did not kick a goal until 15 min mark of the 2nd term in the 2009 grand final. Down all day, Whitefriars had got the jump and stayed out in front. Coming home with a wet sail we dominated possession in the frantic last term, continually bombing the ball inside 50, peppering the goals but were running out of time. We were gone for all money. Then with seconds to go in a moment reminiscent of the 1979 VFL Grand Final, Weeds Harmes lunged at a ball going out of bounds, he smashed it back towards the corridor, Crackers gathered the bouncing ball, side stepped around a would be tackler and wrote himself into the NOB’s history books with the sealer! The moment has been immortalised on Facebook.
8 Booba’s “goal” To this day, Mick Barker insists it was a goal. His reaction when it sailed past the sticks says otherwise. It would be remiss of me to recall this anecdote without mentioning how the ball got to Mick. The ball was floundering in the centre of the ground, an unnamed NOB overran it before it was scooped up by an unnamed player who duly put it on Booba’s chest. A free kick was awarded and the ball was then in the hands of the best kick in the Ammo’s. He went back…expletive…behind the stick…hang on…GOAL! It would be the difference.
9 The Comeback Kid The 2010 flag gave several big NOBSPC names a well-deserved first flag with the club. None more so than Andrew “AJ” McLarty, who had missed the previous two. In 2008 he was a key player, only for his courage in a contest in the 2nd semi to see him break his leg in a sickening collision. Not to be deterred, all through 2009 he was there every week, running the boundary, doing his bit. Always with a big cheeky grin on his face and never showing even a touch of disappointment or jealousy. In 2010 it was his time, as he starred off half back at the Snake Pit.
10 Willsy Wave Brendan “Burken” Wills is a much loved and talked about character within the inner-sanctum of NOBSPC. Rushy ear-marked him as the “best talker” in the club within his first fortnight at the Gillon, but it was in late 2010 he made his biggest statement. We were having trouble shaking off a persistent Will CYMS outfit, with Willsy having taken a couple of nice grabs and booted a couple of goals to keep them at bay. But still they kept coming, until in the dying seconds Willsy took a big contested grab, and duly raised the ball aloft to show to the adoring crowd. The “Willsy Wave” was born. (and yes, he drilled the goal)
11 Bryyyyyyar “Bryyyyarr” became the catch-cry of the 2010 team, and this nickname is what elder statesman Digger Joyce deems will be his greatest legacy to NOBSPC (and with Sam ‘Caro’ Flett one of the great successes for the nickname committee).  The enigma himself claimed to not like it, but secretly we think he enjoyed it. Whether it was walking in to the huddle to address the players, or to collect his premiership medallion, the crow like “Bryyyyyarr” could be heard. The loudest “Bryyyyarr” came one Thursday night to read the team out. Decked out in a “Pulp Fiction” gimp like attire with a half motor cycle, half footy training looking outfit. And he also set a great example by being sent off 3 times for the year.
12 First Possession Tom Alsop was the engine room of the side in 2008-2009 (in 2010 he was a handbag). Not the prettiest or flashiest football, his thing was to roll-up the sleeves and win the hard ball.  And leading up to the 2008 GF during a JRush inspired heart-to-heart amongst the players in the changerooms as we shared our fears, hopes and dreams, Tommy said how he’d lost all six grand finals he’d played in.  Not a great stat.  But nothing was going to stop him win this one, and he promised that he would win the first possession, and we’d roll along from there.  Come Saturday, he delivered on the promise.  Diving headlong at the ball to win the free kick he showed this was a win that would come at any price.
13 Ronan > Evo It may surprise many of the new lads that Evo was once a Red. The battles for the Red-NOB Cup were always fierce and even more so as Evo became mates with many of the NOBS (often sharing nuggets with Hosk on a Saturday evening). The hysteria before one match at Brunswick Oval hit new levels as the inevitable battle between the housemates was debated on online forums. On the night before they even agreed to eat KFC together so neither would be disadvantaged. But on the day, the crowd gasped when Bobby motioned for Ronan to take the job. And did he do it! In what Ronan acknowledges to be his best game for the club if not his best game ever, he destroyed Evo. Contested mark after contested mark was taken as the pair became acquainted. They are now mates and the encounter that day was undoubtedly a big factor in Evo’s subsequent transfer to the Gillon.
14 The Buckleys Widely credited as the brains behind the coaching team, Josh and Pat Buckley were never vocal (except for the relentless abuse of Verlado and Moloney during the 2009 Grand Final). However, their influence should not be underestimated. Bucks would always arrive with a coffee in one hand and a dart in the other. Those in the know knew he was a star at Old Essendon in B-Grade before being crippled by injury. But for quite a while no one knew who he was. You see Rushy failed to introduce his assistant to the team until very late in 2008. It didn’t matter as Bucks was happy behind the scenes. The following year we were then treated to having his even wiser father Pat join the coaching ranks. His shaded glasses became an icon of the Dynasty.
15 The Perfect Pair What an unlikely couple! One of them doesn’t even divulge in the devils juices whilst the other one pours it over his cornflakes. The bookends of the Reserves over the Dynasty, Digger Joyce and Cuz Scanlon are the only 2 to just play in the 08’ and ‘10 flags, with both missing ’09 with left-knee injuries.
16 Spuds Left Chris “Spud” Le Maitre has played the most games during the dynasty, and his hallmark has been his un-relenting attack on the ball. Goals haven’t been his forte. Though in 2010, he developed an appetite for left-foot snaps, and it was working for him. So much so, that in the backs against the wall win against Monash at the Boneyard, with the game in the balance in the final minutes, from the Social Club pocket, Spud danced onto the left and snapped towards goals through the tricky breeze. It never looked like missing.
17 Scotland the Brave Scott Sleep. 200-gamer. Life Member. Fixture in the seniors for over 10 years. The Silver Fox. As father-time caught up with his body (it’d caught his hair many years before) in 2010, Sleepo spent most of the year in the early game. His class and poise were a big plus. His big moment was in the 2010 GF, when in the midst of a 10-minute burst of Sleepo brilliance in the 2nd term that shaped the game, he ran back with the flight of the ball, took the grab, then from 50m he drilled the goal. If only he’d have thrown in a blind turn and grunted it would’ve been perfect.
18 Ink When Glenn Maxton arrived at North in 2004, complete with shoulder tatts, learned ammos followers estimated he instantly made the club 15% tougher. Tatts were likes hens teeth in the ammos in those days, and little wonder that Maxi was R/UP in the seniors B&F that year. A brilliant player who had no luck with injury, it was great that he could enjoy the September success in 2010, and his first 3 quarters were instrumental in the win. Though ironically he sat out the last quarter with a knee injury…but as he sat on the bench with ole Sleepy, he didn’t have a care in the world as they soaked up the glow of a flag…
But if we thought Maxi was tough, things went up a level when Danny King rocked up in 2006, complete with tatts that would make Swanny jealous, yet still with three years of u/19 football ahead of him. He lives up to the image too, playing the game for keeps, and is a ruthless competitor who also probably the biggest sledger in the team too. He loves a chat on the field, either dishing out the verbals, or pointing out to a Monash player his tatts, how many he’s got, and how tough he is as a result…
19 Evo & the Pit Whilst no doubt a cracker goal, the sealer in the 2010 grand final was merely the icing on the cake on Nick Evan’s love affair with the Snakepit. It is the “three” he kicked at the Buckley Street end that will be forever remembered. It all started in his first appearance at the Snake Pit in the 2009 Grand Final where he went back from the centre of the ground and from a set shot drilled a goal, which was not paid. But things really went up a notch in the ‘09 Prelim when Evo slotted not one but two impossible goals from 60m out. His smile as he bounced back to the back flank could be seen from the grandstand.
20 Riewoldt-esque The Snakepit has many fond memories from ’09 and ’10, and these are well-deserved. In both GFs there were defining moments of courage that were an inspiration. In 2009 it was Josh Hunter who flew back with the flight to take a “Riewoldt-esque” mark, to be matched in 2010, when Brett “Frenchy” Burdeu leap in front of a Monash big-man to take a vital grab.
21 Something Fishy? Some say it was the most memorable function in recent NOBSPC history, but for all the wrong reasons? In ’07 (1 year before dynasty) Cloud 89 was the brainchild of Sleepy and Dobbo, held on the top floor of the Eureka Building, formal dress and classy entertainment. The turnout was huge, with people of all ages enjoying the night, that was until about 12.45am. The crowd was being ushered towards the exit lifts, some not happy with the fact the night was over….enter Jamie “Fish” Fisher. His subsequent actions caused havoc, in particular a stalled lift with some 15 NOBSPC related people trapped on board (for over an hour), the arrival of 2 fire trucks, a large bill for property damage and of course a lifetime ban for the club at the venue. Before this infamous night, “Fish” was a little known member of the reserves…but was this all a part of the reason he went on to become a valued “Super 9” member, we say YES.
22 Batman and Robin If the (office of the) Spiritual Leader was the heart and soul of the Dynasty, then Spud and Browntown were the heartbeat. Different players but both equally valuable. Earlier this year when questioned about his lack of tackling, Browny coolly responded “Spud does that”. And that wasn’t a copout answer. The truth is they had an understanding. Two more important players to the Dynasty I cannot name.
23 Murph There have been so many great Murph moments over the Dynasty that it is extremely difficult to isolate one. Often the bib-wearing defender at training Murph would always be pushing us to strive for greatness. On many weekends Murph would assist both teams as runner, assistant coach or boundary umpire. And this is even since he’s become a father. But it is no secret that Murph loves pulling on the boots. Every week he would have his gear ready for a late withdrawal. The frequency of this made us wonder whether Murph was somehow behind these late omissions. Just how many games he has played for the club is unknown but he estimates it is now over 50. One of my favourite Murph moments was the day Coach Barker was reading the side out that he thought he’d put together to find Murph in the guts. Clearly, Murph thought some grit was needed and Booba did not dare move the magnet.
24 Wheelin & Doolan Many of the newer players at the club would have heard of Phil Doolan.  Not many would know he used to play at the Gillon.  Instead most know him as the high-flying corporate whiz-kid from a Big 4 accounting firm, who’s all about the career trajectory.  They don’t know of the time when he was a bubbly winger/half-back, who provided drive all day long, and racked up the touches in the 2008 GF.  But his time at the club took a turn for the worse at a “Best in Prest” party, when he trod on the turf of Robert Sheehan.  Incensed, Bobby said either Doolan goes, or I go.  The club had no hesitation in the decision, and of course Philthy was shown the door.  He now only plays the annual ICAA day.  And carves it up too.
25 Cool in a Crisis The coaching box during the dynasty has generally been cool and calm during the big moments. But for a moment in the 2009 GF, as things weren’t going our way Josh Buckley delivered a public spray to Mark Verlado on the boundary line, who return fire with interest…. after the game they were mates again…winners are grinners.