Stephen Borg (41) 2004 17 Games (17R), 21 Goals (21R)

FMIA (Fastest Man in the Amateurs) was the nickname Steven Borg bestowed upon himself when he crossed to North at the start of 2004. He came from St Bernard’s, with a reputation for being a creative wingman. Allocated number 41 he wasn’t impressed as he couldn’t think of a famous number 41. Andrew Manning or Adrian McAdam didn’t register with him. And in a strong 2nds side he didn’t get as much time up the ground as he’d have liked, with coach Oraniuk preferring to use the FMIA as a goalsneak. Think Paul Medhurst in his pomp. Much like Medhurst he could be his own worst enemy, such as with the “Borgy’s Ball” incident, when he called for the ball only for it to slam into his face…. But he could play, and Borgy snagged a couple in the big dance as threatened to win the game. But it wasn’t to be, and at season’s end he drifted away from the club. Much like McAdam he was a shooting star.

Damien Browning (37) 2004 20 Games (20R), 4 Goals (4R)

He played a whole season at North and was a member of a Juggernaut GF side yet only his good mate Richard “Richard from NOBs” Citroen could really tell you anything about this young man. I wouldn’t say he rarely spoke, he never spoke. He seemed like a good kid, a Shepparton boy, and he could certainly play football. Rat loved his work on half-back, as DB was as honest as the day is long and would follow the coach’s instructions to the letter. Off field he would open up ever so slightly when he had a few beverages under his belt, but often it was just a giggle and a laugh. What is known is that he would often go away for weeks at a time to camp out in the bush on his own. Didn’t tell anyone where he was going or when he would be back. Just that he was going. And such was his exit from North at the end of 2004, as Damo decided it was time.

Clyde (39) 2001 8 Games (8R), 4 Goals (4R)

In one of the biggest news stories of 2001, Clyde walked out on the club at about Round 11 or so, citing” irreconcilable differences” with both the coaching staff and the players.

Clyde was in his first year at the club, and with his out there dress sense, and down to earth nature he became a much talked about figure. Clyde loved his footy, was partial to a u-turn or three, hated to handball and was deadly around goals. To best sum up Clyde, as the song said, “I’m just a soul who’s intentions are good, oh Lord, please don’t let me be misunderstood”.

Also many people don’t know Clyde played in extreme pain at times, resorting to wearing foam protection under the jumper so he could pull on his beloved purple and white. He also won heaps of respect when he had a go at an opposition player who had just felled Conners. Clyde was heard to snarl “ You can’ t do that to my captain” whilst getting in a few cheap ones. Bravo Clyde, Bravo.

Clyde finished off the year with the UHSOB. Thanks for the memories “glide”.

Leigh Crapper (35) 2004 16 Games (1S, 15R), 7 Goals (7R)

Spud was your stock and trade country lad. The key things in his life were footy, beer, women and racing. He didn’t complicate matters and was well liked. In the pre-season of 2004 he was a regular on the track, and soon it seemed as if he’d been at the club for years. Coach Oraniuk took a shine to him, and he was straight away in the midst of the Juggernaut, whether it be creating off half-back, getting the hard-ball in the guts or even the occasional drift forward. Such as the day at the Gillon against Mazenod where showing nerves of steel he kicked the sealer with a minute to go last in the last. Not satisfied he managed to kick another before the siren went. He got a taste of the late game against Beaumaris at the Gillon in Rd 11, but didn’t quite grab it and was welcomed back to the ‘Naught.

Leigh was part of the 2nds GF side, but with a change in work he went back to Bendigo soon after the season finished. Like a good Spud, he was no fuss but a valuable commodity.

Jason Elms 2003 3 Games (3R), 1 Goal (1R)

Jason Elms was a cock-sure man who was built like the proverbial brick outhouse. I’m not sure how Jase got to North Old Boys, but soon enough he was there, yapping about, telling stories about his days in the Navy. He loved a good story. He had neat skills and loved a contest, and his willingness to dish it out was to be admired. In Round one against De La he also showed he was a passionate man, as he kicked a running goal and gave everyone in near sight a big hug. Sadly opportunities for Jason in the following weeks were lacking, and he soon transferred to North Brunswick where he quickly broke into their seniors. He was happy. Playing footy, having a good time and no doubt holding court in the social rooms post match with his anecdotes. Bliss.

Dino Galetti (39) 2003 13 Games (13R), 5 Goals (5R)

Dino Galetti was a good old fashioned pack buster. He wandered into the club only weeks before 2003 kicked off. He soon found himself under the tutelage of Mark Oraniuk, prowling the half-forward flank of the Gillon, crashing through packs, shrugging tackles and inspiring his team-mates. Dino was raised on Diamond Valley footy. Get the ball, take some blokes on, don’t give the handball just bomb it long. And true to his upbringing this is what he did. Did I mention Dino loved to take blokes on and try and crash through a pack……. Unfortunately this game breaker was often cut down by calf injuries and he never could string together more than a few games in a row. Dino didn’t come back to the club in 2004, and hopefully has found a footballing home where he can continue his pack busting crusade.

Sam Grigg (33) 2003-2004 20 Games (12S, 8R), 7 Goals (3S, 4R)

Where do you start when trying to describe Sam Grigg, a book could be written on this unique character. From the small country town of Patchywalloc, Sam moved to Newman College after spending a couple of years boarding at Ballarat Clarendon College and playing football for the Ballarat Rebels, the boy could seriously play, even sneaking in a few AFL reserves games as a top up player if a team had injuries.

Sam based his game on being a half back that played well above his size, reguraly jumping early and pulling down marks over much bigger opponents, his game was so built around marking, it lead to the coach to make the statement “if you couldn’t mark, you would be as useless as t*ts on a bull”- lucky he could. He was a shining light in season 2003, with his name almost always in the best players in the 1sts in the latter half of the season.

Off the field, the party animal could not be contained which sometimes led to a drop in performance, the issue was that Sam had so many girls on the go, he couldn’t manage to please them all only on Saturday and Sunday nights often resulting in him having to go out during the week and sometimes on Fridays.

Sam left Australia and is now based in rural Vietnam after being transferred with his job, he might have moved but not much has changed, recently when representing Vietnam at the Asian Champs for AFL, Sam was sent off for fighting, one of the few blokes in the whole competition to be sent off, but those who know Sam, they wouldn’t be surprised.

Anthony “Scooby” Howard (51) 2001 8 Games (8R), 10 Goals (10R)

Who was Scooby? To be honest I’m not really sure. He was just a kid in from the sticks, a kid with a plan. Robbo took a gamble, played him in the forward pocket, and pretty soon Scooby was showing back pockets, how the game was played.

Scooby only came down midway through 2001. I’m not sure how he arrived at the club, but before you knew it he was running around the forward fifty, crumbing off Conners and having pot shots whenever he laid his hands on it. He was a good bloke, didn’t say much, kept to himself and just went out there and played his footy.

His form blossomed towards the end of the year. There was a miracle goal down at Beaumaris on the left foot. It was from an impossible angle yet somehow it went through. Then at Therry in Rd 17 he had a blinder. He had the after burners on and no one could catch him. I think he kicked 4 or 5 that day.

I’m pretty sure Scooby played in the twos finals side but didn’t have a great series, although he certainly isn’t Robinson Crusoe there. Then he just faded off the radar, never to be seen at NOBs again.

Saad Saad 2001 1 Game (1R)

Training in blundstone boots and paint stained overalls. This guy oozed character. A quiet and friendly young man, Saad played just one game for the NOB’s, coming off the bench to huge applause before settling in the forward fifty. Like John Elliot his stats were minimal, but that wasn’t the point, he was there, he had a go. It was good for the game. Saad came down to training in his paint laden overalls, pulled on the blunnies and went out there and gave his all. People respected him for that.

Phil Sondhu (8) 2003-2004 7 Games (7R), 2 Goals (2R)- clubbies details TBC

Phil Sondhu is a quiet man, keeps to himself, and only really opens up to his trusted friends. Yet when he crosses the white line he opens himself up to all present, as he expresses himself to the wider community through his football. Phil was blessed with talent. He could turn on a thri-pence, had good awareness and always chose the right option. Reserves coach Mark Oraniuk was always full of praise for this mystery man, who kept his fans guessing with his float in, sneak out way. Phil would often just go home to Horsham for a month and not tell anyone, then rock up at the Gillon on a Saturday morning out of the blue with his boots slung over his shoulder and a cheeky grin on his face. Needless to say he’d duly be slotted in on a half-forward flank and wreak havoc on hapless backmen as he gave off countless goals to his team-mates.
Unfortunately Phil was unable to cope with the expectations at NOBs as many had high hopes for him. His free spirit found the no-training and casual approach clubbies too his liking and played under the tutelage of Cerini & Connolly in 2004. After a solid season there he was lured to the Uni Blacks clubbies in 2005.

Phil is a wild colt who no coach will ever tame. Phil Sondhu is good for football.

Billy (Damien) Visser (29) 2001 8 Games (8R), 8 Goals (8R)

The word enigmatic was made for Billy. A quiet lad who likes a beer, Billy faded off the radar screens at about the halfway mark of the season. Billy knew football, Billy could play football; problem was Billy didn’t want to play football. Just give the man a cold beer, a ciggie and a bird on each arm. An enduring image of DV is him driving out to Whitefriars, chugging along at 50kmph on the Eastern with a flat tyre. Most people would have a frown on their face, not Billy, he was in the cockpit, aware of his predicament, but he kept on driving, and smiling like a man who is content with his lot. Billy, we salute you for your efforts and what you stand for.

Latest sightings have been at the Grand View Hotel near NOBs (his local) and the Commercial Hotel back home up Minyip way (Coopers Crossing for you Flying Doctors fans).