Playing long balls into empty space since 2012.

Friday, 18 December 2015

A Chronology of Soccer in Mount Isa

This is another one of my work-in-progress articles. Following on from a previous piece on my personal experiences of soccer in Mount Isa, this is a more sequenced revelation of articles and photographs in the town. I'll be adding more material as I find it.

1929
The residents of Mount Isa are indeed keen on sport and despite the dust the recreation ground sees the Soccer teams on Saturdays and the League game on Sundays. Thanks to the splendid response from the Mount Isa Company, the improvements to the grounds will be commenced next week and it is to be hoped that the improvements will be completed be fore the return match with Cloncurry.
Townsville Daily Bulletin
15 July 1929 p 12

1930

1931


SOCCER FOOTBALL.
A correspondent at Mt. Isa writes: On Saturday last the Mt. Isa soccer association held a social at Hanlon's Cafe, and a very enjoyable evening was spent. Good music was supplied by Mr. H. Shaw and Mr. S. Martin. Mr. E. Thomas congratulated the premiers and presented the trophies. Mr. Panak congratulated Mr. Thomas, and Mr. Earl, chairman and secretary on their good work during the past season. There is no doubt these two men have worked hard, towards making a success of the game in Mt. Isa. We have had three teams here for the past three years, it is pleasing to see how popular soccer is becoming In the Isa. It was with sincere regret we learned of the proposed departure of our chairman, who is very popular amongst the boys, and it is to be hoped he will be with us again next season.
Townsville Daily Bulletin
7 August 1931 p 8



1932
Sport is not overlooked at Mt. Isa. In football the Rugby and Soccer games are played, and there is tennis and cricket.
Barrier Miner
4 April 1932 p 2

1933

1934

Thistles
Magpies
Rovers

The soccer match which was played between Thistles and Magpies on Sunday 22nd. July proved very exciting,   the half time scores being one to nil in favor of Magpies. The Thistles began to warm up towards the end, but   could not hold their opponents the Magpies winning by 3 to 2. Mr. W. Middleton was the referee and gave every satisfaction.
Townsville Daily Bulletin 27 July 1934 p 7

The soccer teams, Rovers and Magpies, met on Sunday last an excellent game resulting in 4 to 3 in   favor of Magpies, and giving this team a fair chance of winning the cup. At times sparkling play worked spectators into excited action, and at times it looked as though Rovers would over-run their opponents. Mr. Middleton gave every satisfaction as a very Impartial referee.
Townsville Daily Bulletin 24 August 1934 p 7

The Soccer teams, Thistles and Rovers, met on 8unday August 26th to try conclusions, and at times it would appear that the Thistles would conquer, but the final scores were one goal to nil in favor of Rovers. Mr. Mlddleton as referee was most impartial. All the players appear to be keen on making the trip to Cloncurry on September 9th.
Townsville Daily Bulletin
31 August 1934 p 4

1935
1936
1937

1938

Corinthians 
Underground

At the conclusion of the soccer and football season the association held an evening in Smith's Hall on the night of November 26. Mr. R. A. Clarke presented the Secretary of the association (Mr. S. Budd) with an inkstand which was donated by the three teams which competed In the games. Mr. Rudd was also the recipient of a pair of cuff links presented by Mr. Ireland on behalf of the underground team. Mr. Rudd in acknowledging the gifts paid a tribute to the energy exercised by all who took part in the soccer game.  Townsville Daily Bulletin 10 December 1938 p 11

There was a very large gathering of soccer players and supporters during Saturday night in the C.W.A. Hall, when the trophies won for the season just ended were handed across. The Corinthians won all three trophies donated by Messrs F. Tadman, H. Smith and Jeff Willan. In the absence of Mr. Harry Smith, who donated the shield, Councillor Norman Smith presented the handsome shield and, In presenting it to the captain of the winning team (Mr. Fairbrother) said the feat was extraordinary, as the Corinthians had won all three trophies donated. He paid a tribute to the players, who had given their best in securing the coveted shield and hoped it would infuse zeal in the years ahead for other teams. Captain Falrbrother suitably acknowledged the trophy on behalf of his team. The evening was then given over to dancing and musical items. Musical Items were rendered by Mr. B. A. Clarke, mandolin, and monologues by Mr Chas. Gray.
Townsville Daily Bulletin
10 December 1938 p 5

1939

Corinthians
Rangers
Underground

1400 MILES FOR SOCCER MATCH. MT. ISA. August 15. The Mount Isa Representative Soccer team has returned to town after travelling 1400 miles to play a representative Ingham team, which was defeated by 4 to 2. The Ingham team comprised nine Italians, a Spaniard, and one Chinese.
Queensland Times 16 August 1939. p 10 

On the night of 30th September, In the C.W.A. Hall, the presentation of trophies won by Soccer teams took place, and were presented to the various clubs. Councillor R. Clarke presided and called on Mr. MacRae to present the Llttlejohn Cup, which had been won by the Rangers Club. Mr. Bob Lawson, in accepting the cup on behalf of the captain (Mr. Les Rudd), of the Rangers, thanked Mr. MacRae on behalf of his team, and said that it was the second time the club had won this cup. The Gray Cup, which was donated by Mr. Charles Gray, was then presented by the donor to Captain Fairbrother, of the Corinthian Club. The speaker congratulated the captain on the success of his team In winning the cup. In responding. Captain Fairbrother thanked Mr. Gray and paid a glowing tribute to his club-mates for the harmonious spirit that existed through out the season. The Jeff Willan Cup was also won by the Corinthians, and will become that club's property tor all time. Mr. Jim Burton accepted the cup on behalf of Captain Fairbrother. The Sari Castle Stewart Cup was also won by the Corinthians and Captain Fairbrother very modestly asked Mr. E. Brewer, a club-mate, to accept the gift. Prior to presenting the cup, Mr. S. Rudd, the president, said that when Earl Castle Stewart was at Mt Isa, despite his handsome donation to the R.S.S.I.L.A., he approached the Earl and asked if he would donate a trophy to the Soccer Association, and the result was the beautiful cup he now asked Mr. Brewer to accept on behalf of his club. Mr. Brewer briefly returned thanks to Mr. Rudd. Councillor Norman Smith was next called on to present the shield that he had donated to the winners of the premiership. He congratulated the underground team in having won the premiership and asked Captain Perry, of that team, to accept the shield. The speaker spoke glowingly of the club's performance, and congratulated play ers on their win. He also referred to the great distance the soccer players had travelled to play a match at Ingham. Captain Perry, in accepting the shield, thanked Mr. Smith in suitable words. During the evening Councillor Clarke entertained the gathering with many popular airs on his banjo mandolin, and Mr. Kerwin, conductor of the Paramount Band, also pleased those present with numerous melodies, on his piano-accordeon. A feature of the evening was the singing of Mr. Pat Harris, a tenor, late of the Adelaide Repertory Company.
Townsville Daily Bulletin
7 October 1939 p 9


1940
reference in Cloncurry Advocate 8 March to the new season

1949

The Courier-Mail 2 June 1949 p 7 refers to the "newly formed Mt Isa Association".

1950
1951
1952
1953

1954

Mt Isa plays Ingham in September
  1. Pannonia
  2. Scotties
  3. St Helens
  4. Hollandia
1955

  1. Pannonia
  2. Hollandia
  3. St Helens
  4. Scotties

1956

  1. Pannonia
  2. 5 others

1957


  1. Pannonia



The Canberra Times reported on an active internationalism in Mount Isa. Soccer gets a mention but not before the Hungarian cricket team.

On the sporting side new Australians have come to the forefront in many fields. They are also trying their hands at typically Australian games such as cricket. The Pannonia Cricket Club is almost totally a New Australian Club. They are also giving zestful performances  on the soccer field and   are represented in every local soccer team.
The Canberra Times
8 October 1957 p 2


1966
  1. Concordia
  2. United
  3. Scotties
  4. Irish 

1967
  1. Irish (winners of Scottish Cup)
  2. Scotties
  3. United
  4. Independent
  5. International
  • (Concordia folded after winning previous year) 
North West Star August 28. 1967
1968
1969
Ampol Cup results
Sunday, 04/05/1969 Mt Isa - Hollandia-Inala 3:0

1970 

Ampol Cup results
Sunday, 19/07/1970 Merton - Mt Isa 6:1

  1. Anglo (claret and white)
  2. Irish (green and white)
  3. Scotties (navy blue and white)
  4. Concordia [German] (white and black)
  5. International [Italian] (all red)
  6. Blue Adriatic ['Yugoslav' largely Croatian] (light blue and white stripes, a beautiful strip)
  7. Scandia [Dutch + other Scandinavian ethnicities] (orange and black)
  8. Eiffel (cobalt blue and red socks) (the only ethnic French team I know of in Australia.)

Sunday soccer at Mt Isa, 1970. National Archives NAA: A12111, 2/1970/33A/1
Concordia v Eiffel, with section of mine site in background.
Notice the banked cycling track encircling Wellington Oval.
The photos below are from the same collection, probably of the same game.

1975
Ampol Cup results
Sunday, 15/06/1975 Mt Isa - Lions 1:5

Hollandia (Mt. Isa)


Many thanks to Adam Muyt who has sent me these reports from Dutch Australian Weekly (DAW) along with his translations.

1955

12 May 1955
In Mount Isa
In de mijnstad Mount Isa, 1500 mijl noordwestelijk van Brisbane, neemt ook dit jaar Hollandia weer deel aan de competitie.
Hoewel er slechts 4 clubs zijn, is soccer zeer populair.
Hollandia wist de eerste wedstrijd met 4-0 te winnen van het vorig jaar zo sterke St Helens.
In de voorhoede waren de oud-Alcmaria Victrix speler Kramer en de oud Be Quick man B. Willemse de grote stuwkrachten.
Secretaris van Hollandia is P.Westwerick, C/- BSD Mess, Mt. Isa.


In Mount Isa
In the mining town of Mount Isa, 1,500 miles north-west of Brisbane, Hollandia are again participating in the competition.
Although there are only four clubs, soccer is very popular.
Hollandia won the first game 4-0 against last year's strong side St Helens.
At the forefront, former Alcmaria Victrix player Kramer, and the old Be Quick man, B. Willemse, were the major driving forces.
Secretary of Hollandia is P. Westwerick, C / - BSD Mess, Mt. Isa.


5 June 1955
Hollandia wint cup
Door de kampion van het vorig jaar, het sterke, Panonia met 4-2 te slaan, heeft Hollandia de Little John Gray Cup gewonnen.
De zeer snelle rechtsbuiten G.Ruigrok maakte 2 doelpunten, de oud-Be Quick man B.Willemse en A. Verbakel ieder een.


Hollandia wins cup
By beating the champions of last year, the strong Panonia, Hollandia has won the Little John Gray Cup, 4-2.
The very fast right winger G.Ruigrok made two goals, the old Be Quick man, B.Willemse, and A. Verbakel, one each.


1 July 1955
G. Ruygrok beste speler
Volgens de plaatselijke pers was de Hollandia speler G.Ruygrok uit Mount Isa de beste speler van het in Townsville gehouden interstedelijke voetbal tournooi voor noordelijk Queensland.
Mount Isa eindigde op de derde plaats.
Terug in Mount Isa wisten de Hollandia spelers revanche te nemen op de Scotties en hen met 4-2 te slaan, na eerst met 1-0 achter gestaan te hebben.
G. Ruygrok maakte 2 van de doelpunten, terwijl Romeijn en Roosmalen voor de andere twee zorgden.


G. Ruigrok best player
According to the local press, Hollandia player, G. Ruigrok, was Mount Isa's best player in the northern Queensland intercity soccer tournament held in Townsville.
Mount Isa finished in third place.
Back in Mount Isa Hollandia players took revenge on the Scotties and beat them 4-2 after it was 1-0 when they first played.
G. Ruigrok made two of the goals, while Romeijn and Roosmalen accounted for the other two.


29 July 1955
Hollandia wint cup
Na een puntloos gelijkspel tegen Panonia heeft Hollandia in de laatse competitie wedstrijd het sterke St Helens weten te slaan en heeft hiermede de Castle Steward Cup veroverd voor het meeste aantal punten uit de laatste 6 wedstrijden.
J. Roosmalen wist voor de rust het enige doelpunt te maken.


Hollandia wins cup
After a scoreless tie against Pannonia, Hollandia made inroads against the strong St Helens in the last league match and has herewith won the Castle Steward Cup for the most points out of the last six matches.
J. Roosmalen did the rest to make the only goal.


16 Sept 1955
Hollandia eindigde op tweede plaats

Hollandia is dit jaar op de tweede plaats in de Mount Isa competitie geeindigd.
Hoewel de laatse competitie wedstrijd in een 4-1 overwinning voor Hollandia eindigde, verspeelde deze club zijn kansen door in de voorlaatste wedstrijd met 2-1 van kampion Panonia te verliezen.
Gezien de betrekkelijk geringe keus van spelers uit de kleine uit Nederland afkomstige gemeenschap van de mijnstad Mount Isa is deze tweede plaats ongetwijfeld eervol.
Hollandia is namelijk het enige team, dat geheel uit immigranten uit een enkel land samengesteld is.


Hollandia finished in second place

Hollandia has finished in second place in the Mount Isa competition just ended.
Although the last league match ended in a 4-1 victory for Hollandia, the club lost its chances by losing in the final match 2-1 to the champions Panonia.
Given the number of players from the small Netherlands community in the mining town of Mount Isa, this second place is undoubtedly honourable.
Hollandia is in fact the only team that is composed entirely of immigrants from a single country.

1956

20 April 1956
In Mount Isa
Ook dit jaar doet Hollandia weer mee aan de soccer competitie in de mijnstad Mount Isa in Queensland.
Zes clubs nemen dit maal aan de competitie deel.
Hollandia heeft dit jaar de beschikking over een nieuw en beter speelveld.


Mount Isa
Also this year Hollandia returns to the soccer league in the mining town of Mount Isa in Queensland.
Six clubs are in the competition this year.
Hollandia this year has access to a new and better playing field.

Note: no further reports for Hollandia appear in DAW for 1956. In light of above report, this is unusual, particularly as the paper provides good coverage of all Dutch soccer teams across Australia each week. However, Hollandia was playing in Mt Isa in 1954 and DAW made no mention of this. DAW coverage only began in 1955.

Perhaps Hollandia didn't end up taking the field in 1956?





Wednesday, 23 September 2015

The lies they tell for the VFL: or taking a proper gander at English soccer

This was originally written and published by Athas Zafiris on Shoot Farken as How Melbourne Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Soccer (well almost). Typically temperate and balanced, Athas's headline does not capture the angst and anger of the debate; hence my new headline.
Perhaps only in Melbourne does a brooding, hidebound and monolithic structure of feeling dominate, where other codes are sometimes humoured and usually dismissed as inferior. 
 – Ian Syson, 
Not many cities in the world can claim to have invented a football code, a code that becomes intrinsic to a city’s cultural and political life. This happened in Melbourne, and as a result, it has over the years manifested expressions of hubris, parochialism and protectionism.
Melbourne in the years after World War 2 was undergoing a massive transformation. It would result in the city becoming one of the most multicultural metropolises in the world. With mass migration came a wave of people who were brought up on another code of football, a British game that had been played on the green fields of Melbourne since the 1880s that went by the name of Soccer. New soccer teams were being formed by migrants and, on a local government level, a turf war was being waged to secure grounds.
To Melbourne’s establishment, this human wave represented a threat to not only Australian Rules football, but also, astonishingly, according to news reports from the time, to a way of life. Sublimating the “Red Menace” Cold War paranoia of the time for its own ends, the sporting public of Melbourne were constantly reminded of the “Soccer Menace” and its inherently inferior nature. And if that reminder was served to you by a highly esteemed member of the Melbourne football establishment, then all the better. He travelled overseas to watch the professional expression of the game, he pronounced judgement, he made up your mind.
In 1950s Melbourne, Frank “Checker” Hughes was a sporting icon. A war veteran and two-time premiership player with Richmond (1920-21), Hughes coached Richmond to a premiership in 1932 and then made the move to the Melbourne Football Club. At the time, they were known as not so formidable “Fuschias”.
“You are playing like a lot of flowers. Lift your heads and play like demons!” – “Checker” Hughes
The Melbourne Fuschias became the Melbourne Demons and Hughes coached them to four VFL premierships. He also coached Norm Smith and then mentored him when he became coach of Melbourne. Norm Smith became the most successful coach in VFL history with six premierships. Hughes helped turn Melbourne, the club of establishment, the original Australian Rules football club, the only club that called the MCG home, into a powerhouse.
On September 27, 1952, Melbourne’s Sporting Globe led with the following headline.
“Checker” Hughes, former famous Victorian and Melbourne football coach, just back from a tour overseas, says: …SOCCER NO THREAT TO AUSSIE GAMEI came up with the following words to describe what you are about to read: inexpert, misleading, ignorant, disrespectful, graceless. Here it is in its entirety.
By “CHECKER” HUGHESAustralian football in Victoria has little to fear from the opposition of soccer. I am making that statement deliberately after having studied soccer in England, among the top line clubs. Soccer lacks what the Victorian fan demands.If the best roster match of the English programme were to be played on the MCG each Saturday it, would attract a crowd, from curiosity, the first day. After the novelty wore off it would be played to empty stands. Attendances would tumble to zero.Even the best soccer lacks the thrills of Australian football, and I take it the best soccer is played between the clubs in England. Soccer lacks the fullblooded excitement that Victorians have been educated to expect by their long association with the Australian code.There’s little of that fast-moving excitement as big men throw in their all to save a desperate position. It lacks the scintillating dashes, seen as a defence breaks free and tears down field, or a wingman tears away.The cleverness of the Australian footballer in disposing of the ball is not surpassed by anything soccer has to offer. The pace at which we handle the ball is amazing.I saw the best ball control soccer has to offer in the Cup semi-final last season. Again, this season, I took a second look. No—the Australian is cleverer and has been educated to expect something with more of the nerve tingle to it.As a coach I went to see the training methods of the teams in England. I had an open mind. I thought I might learn something. I arrived at the conclusion that the average soccer player in England is not physically fit by Australian standards.They practise for hours ball control and heading, dribbling and slamming at the net but it is done at no speed. In fact, a player would not run 100 yards flat-out in the whole of his training week. There was none of the hard stamina-building work the Australian footballer has to do.Maurie Fleming, Richmond secretary, and my son Frank, who had a game or two with Richmond, went with me to watch Arsenal train. Arsenal are a top-rating team. We all came away with the impression that not one player would stand up to a half of a League game in Melbourne.But what did impress me were the appointments at Arsenal headquarters. We can learn a lot about club rooms from these big English clubs. They have their own laundry and dining rooms for players. They all have duplicate sets of uniforms ready for a change at half-time.To see a game one has to pay 12/6 to the grandstand. But this guarantees a reserved seat. It’s yours for the afternoon. It costs a big English team some £40.000 for a season. The average team manager gets about £1300 a year. Some are more highly paid.
I was able to find two letters of response published in the Sporting Globe which endeavoured to set the record straight and highlight the wilful ignorance and delinquency of this coaching legend.
Soccer Fan of St.Kilda wrote,
Mr “Checker” Hughes’ report and impressions of soccer during his visit to England has been widely read and discussed by thousands of enthusiastic soccer fans throughout Victoria and I suggest that, as one born and reared in the Australian code, his mind might not have been so open as he states when he made remarks which, we believe, were not tactful.Surely Mr Hughes does not believe that millions of followers of the English code are all wrong in their adherence to that sport, and that practically every country that has adopted the game cannot see any merit in the game. Even those countries who for many years patronised bull fighting have adopted soccer as a national game.During recent months some football writers have sounded a note of warning that the code would encroach upon the Australian game, but football authorities just say “It can’t happen here.”
Mr. W. Mundie, of South Oakleigh wrote,
The article by “Checker” Hughes is remarkable, not so much for what it tells, but for the facts it fails to reveal. For instance. Mr Hughes states a Soccer player would not run 100 yards flat out in the whole of a training week, but he forgets to mention the fact that first-class Soccer clubs in England play over forty home and away games in a season, which means they often have two hard competition matches in one week.On top of this, teams play in hard knock-out cup competitions, and if they are good enough to reach the cup finals would play at least fifty hard competitive matches in a season. Compare this with the 18 home and away matches played by teams in the VFL and it can be easily seen which players, Aussie Rules or Soccer, require the harder training.The weekly attendance at Soccer games in Britain is proof of the code’s appeal to the sporting public, and the fact that between 30,000 and 40,000 Scots travel the hundreds of miles to Wembley to support their country against England in international competitions needs no further comment.
In the course of executing a propaganda offensive against an imminent threat, a prominent figure of the Melbourne football establishment scraped the bottom of barrel to reassure Melbourne’s hoi polloi of the superiority of the local game.
Frank “Checker” Hughes was not alone. He had powerful allies to fight this war. Not only from the Melbourne Football Club, but also from business and political circles.
One such figure to make his thoughts known was the legendary football administrator, Percy Page. As secretary of Melbourne FC he was instrumental in bringing Hughes across from Richmond and with him transformed a team of “lilywhites” into a team to be feared. He then became honorary secretary to the Australian National Football Council, an early forerunner to the AFL Commission.
Upon watching the 1954 FA Cup Final in England he reassuringly told the readers of the Sporting Globe.
On the field, soccer can teach Australian football nothing, but in administration we can learn ‘heaps’ and we’ve got to learn it.I left the Wembley Stadium after seeing the FA Cup Final between Preston North End and West Bromwich Albion satisfied that as a spectacle the game is dull and lifeless. The players with the sole exception of the full-back is more artist than athlete.
The Victorian government went in to bat to maintain the precious Australian Rules way of life and assuage concerns of the soccer takeover. In March 1954, the Labour Minister of Education, Ernie Shepherd, made an extraordinary appearance in the Sporting Globe with Albert Chadwick, President of Melbourne FC.
SOCCER was no menace to Australian Rules the State Minister of Education and leading football officials said this week. They stressed, however, the need for co-ordination in control of Australian football in Victoria. The Minister for Education, Mr. Erm Shepherd, said — “There are 300,000 scholars in Victorian Primary Schools. I’d say 98 per cent, of them are rabidly Australian Football minded. The boys play. The girls barrack.”Melbourne Football Club president, Mr. Bert Chadwick, said — “Soccer a menace — never in your life. Australian Football has it all over soccer or any other football game as a crowd pleaser. That’s where the final showdown comes — over the turnstiles. The game that has what the crowd loves, holds the crowd.Mr. Chadwick, who holds high executive position in the Melbourne business world, sees football through the eyes of executive efficiency. As a former Victorian captain he knows also the power behind a united team. “I do not want to belittle soccer. It’s a wonderful game, highly scientific and well organised. In fact, in some respects soccer can show us points in national organisation. But soccer just hasn’t got what it takes. It will get a tremendous boost from migration and I’m not unmindful that we are absorbing 30,000 annually in the metropolis. The day comes, however, when the migrant is absorbed into the community’s fashions. However, there is an immediate danger in the possibility of soccer outbidding our code for grounds.”
Albert Chadwick went on to become Chairman of the Gas and Fuel Corporation of Victoria. In 1965 he became President of the Melbourne Cricket Club, a post he held until 1979. In 1974 he was knighted and became Sir Albert.
A powerful nexus of sporting, business and political interests getting together to fight a common enemy and preserve a way of life. Sixty years later it all looks like much ado about nothing. Civilization didn’t collapse. Times have changed. The utterances of “Checker” Hughes and Percy Page would be subject to ridicule if made by an AFL coach or executive today. But they haven’t disappeared altogether, even in this post-Sheilas, Wogs and Poofters era. Because Melbourne’s Australian Rules football exceptionalism is a hardy creature, and next to the cockroach, is the second most likely thing to survive a nuclear war.
“After the novelty wore off it would be played to empty stands. Attendances would tumble to zero.” –Frank “Checker” Hughes

Monday, 7 September 2015

Beach Collection

I don't usually write or discuss poetry on this blog, but here's something I'm pleased with that I wrote yesterday. The bulk of the poem is Kenneth Slessor's 'Beach Burial' (probably 80 per cent) but I have modified it to fit current circumstances. The original was about sailor deaths at the battle of El Alamein in ww2.



Beach Collection
(With apologies to Kenneth Slessor)

Softly and humbly to the Edge of Europe
The convoys of dead Syrians come;
At night they sway and wander in the waters far under,
But morning rolls them in the foam.
Beneath the sombre pathos of the rhetoric
Someone, it seems, has time for this,
To pluck them from the shallows and lie them on a blanket
To clean the sand from their nakedness; 
And each death certificate, the driven prerogative of bureaucratic finality,
Bears the last signature of men,
Written with such perplexity, with such bewildered pity,
The words choke as they begin – 
‘Unknown refugee’ – the ghostly pencil
Wavers and fades, the purple drips,
The cold of impending autumn has turned their inscriptions
As blue as drowned men’s lips, 
Dead refugees, gone in search of the same landfall,
Whether as Christians or Muslims,
Or, God forbid, atheists; the sand joins them together,
In a waiting room for some kind of heaven.

Thursday, 6 August 2015

Putting AFL Cultural Diversity on the Table

Current AFL Players with a Multicultural Background

The table below is taken directly from the AFL's community website. It purports to show the diverse nature of AFL participation. I think it does just the opposite. Leaving aside the utter stupidity of creating two kinds of people: multicutural and (presumably) monocultural, the table indicates to me the paucity of diversity in AFL ranks. 

As a number of correspondents have noted, the table is poorly constructed -- and may even undersell AFL's diversity credentials by failing to pick up some relevant players.

Rather than 'multicultural' the AFL needs to use a different term to cover players whose ancestry is non-Anglo-Saxon, Anglo Celtic, Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander (NASACATSI). The difficulty of coming up with accurate terminology is discussed by the Multicultural NSW website.

It is worth noting that some players in the table below are either not NASACATSI or are borderline
  • Those born in Australian with one parent born in Australia and the other in a commonwealth country or USA
  • Those born in Australia with both parents born in an anglophone country 
  • Those born overseas to Australian parents
These 47 players I have ruled out because it is just silly to include them. That leaves 47 on the list.

Other players are:
  • Those born overseas to non-Australian anglophone parents
  • Those born in Australia (or overseas when their parents were playing/working/coaching in the short term) with one parent born in Australia and the other in a non-anglophone country
  • Those born in Australia with both parents born in a non-anglophone country 
  • Some adult recruits from other sports (these are bolded in red)
These 38 players fall into a category of possibly-to-probably having NASACATSI elements to their background. I have left them as plain text.

The final grouping is those with clear NASACATSI heritage. These I have bolded in blue. These are 14 players out of a total player pool of 811.

Please feel free to challenge and correct any assumption I have made.

Responses 
Much maligned arwon @Arwon has made the point that I had mistakenly given Australian parents to some of the adult OS recruits. This either has been corrected or is in the process of being fixed. He also felt that this should represent its own category. 



Country of Birth
Player Name
Born overseas
Country
Parent/s born overseas
Mother
Father
Adelaide





Brodie
Smith
No

Yes
England
Scotland
Nathan
Van Berlo
No

Yes
New Zealand
New Zealand
Brisbane





Mitchell
Golby
No

Yes

England
Pearce 
Hanley
Yes
England
Yes
Wales
Ireland
Cian
Hanley
Yes
Ireland
WalesIreland
Ryan
Harwood
No

Yes
England

Ryan
Lester
No

Yes
England
South Africa
Matthew
Leuenberger
No

Yes

Switzerland
Jordan
Bourke
No

Yes
England

Dayne
Zorko
No

Yes

Yugoslavia
Carlton





Zach
Tuohy
Yes
Ireland
Yes
Ireland
Ireland
Sam
Docherty
No
Yes
Scotland
Ciaran
Byrne
Yes
Ireland
Yes
Ireland
Ireland
Ciaran
Sheehan
Yes
Ireland
Yes
Ireland
Ireland
Matthew
Dick
Yes
Scotland
Yes
Scotland
Collingwood





Tim
Broomhead
No
Yes
England
Mason
Cox
Yes
USA
USAUSA
Nathan
Freeman
No
Yes
Fiji
Fiji
Steele 
Sidebottom
No

Yes
England

Marley
Williams
No

Yes

New Zealand
Essendon





David 
Zaharakis
No

Yes

Greece
Mark
Baguley
No

Yes
England

James
Gwilt
No
Yes
PNG
Wales
Conor
McKenna
Yes
Ireland
Fremantle





Zachary
Clarke
No

Yes

USA
Sean
Hurley
Yes
Ireland
IrelandIreland
Garrick
Ibbotson
No

Yes
England

Chris
Mayne
No

Yes

England
Tendai
Mzungu
No

Yes

Zimbabwe
Alex
Silvagni
No

Yes
India

Hayden
Crozier
No

Yes

Sri Lanka
Anthony
Morabito
No

Yes
Italy

Geelong





Billie
Smedts
No

Yes
England
Holland
Jarrad
Jansen
Yes
 NZ
Yes
NZ
NZ
Padraig
Lucey
Yes
Ireland

IrelandIreland
Gold Coast





Tom 
Nicholls
No

Yes
Fiji

Danny
Stanley 
No

Yes
England

Aaron
Hall
No

Yes
Fiji

Daniel
Gorringe
No

Yes
Yugoslavia
England
David
Swallow
No

Yes
Netherlands
England
Nick
Malceski
No
Yes
Macedonia
GWS Giants





Phil 
Davis
No

Yes

England
Lachie
Whitfield
No

Yes

England
Rhys
Palmer
No

Yes

Scotland
Stephen
Coniglio
No

Yes
England

Hawthorn





Josh
Gibson
No

Yes

West Indies
David
Hale
No

Yes
Holland

Alex
Woodard
No

Yes
Phillipines

Sam
Mitchell
No

Yes

New Zealand
Paul
Puoplo
No

Yes

Italy
Liam
Shiels
No

Yes

Ireland
Shem-Kalvin
Tatupu
Yes
NZ
Yes
NZ
NZ
Kurt
Heatherly
Yes
NZ
Yes
NZ
NZ
Melbourne





Max 
Gawn
No

Yes
New Zealand
New Zealand
Jack
Watts
No

Yes
England
England
Christian
Salem
No

Yes
Lebanon
Lebanon
Heritier (Harry)
O'Brien
Yes
Brazil
Yes
Brazil
Democratic Republic of Congo
Nth Melb





Majak
Daw 
Yes
Sudan Khartoum
Yes
South Sudan
South Sudan
Michael
Firrito
No

Yes
Italy
Italy
Andrew
Swallow
No

Yes

England
Eric
Wallace
Yes
USA
USAUSA
Port Adelaide





Alipate
Carlile
Yes
Fiji
Yes
Fiji

Daniel
Flynn
Yes
Ireland
Yes
Ireland
Ireland
Cameron
O'Shea
No

Yes

Ireland
Jasper
Pittard
No

Yes
New Zealand

Paul
Stewart
No

Yes

Scotland
Mason
Shaw
No

Yes
England
Scotland
Oliver
Wines
No

Yes
PNG

Aaron
Young
No

Yes
England
Scotland
Richmond





Jake
Batchelor
No

Yes
Wales

Reece
Conca
No

Yes

Italy
Nick
Vlastuin
No

Yes

PNG
Matthew
McDonough
No

Yes
England

Bachar
Houli
No

Yes
Lebanon
Lebanon
Ivan
Maric
No

Yes
Croatia
Croatia
Shaun
Hampson
No

Yes
England
Matthew
Thomas
No

Yes
Seychelles
St Kilda





Farren
Ray
No

Yes
England

Nick
Riewoldt
No

Yes

Germany
Shane
Savage
Yes
NZ 
Yes
Pakeha
Maori
Jason
Holmes
Yes
USA
USAUSA
Cameron
Shenton
No

Yes
England

Sydney





Heath
Grundy
No

Yes
New Zealand

Jarrad 
McVeigh
No

Yes

England
Dane 
Rampe
No

Yes

Germany
Brandon
Jack
Yes
England
No


Michael
Pyke
Yes
Canada
No
Canada
Canada
Aliir
Aliir
No
Yes
Sudan
Sudan
Zac
Jones
No
Yes
Ireland
Ireland
West Coast





Patrick
Brophy
Yes
Ireland
Jack
Darling
No

Yes

South Africa
Nicholas
Naitanui
No

Yes
Fiji
Fiji
Brant
Colledge
Yes
France
No


Western Bulldogs





Jason
Johannissen
Yes
South Africa
Yes
Zambia
South Africa
Alex
Greenwood
No

Yes
Phillipines

Lin
Jong
No

Yes
Taiwan
East Timor
Nathan
Hrovat
No

Yes

Croatia
Daniel 
Pearce
Yes 
New Zealand
Yes
Holland
New Zealand
Tom
Boyd
No
Yes
Denmark
Australian