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Former Ulverstone Premiership Player Kent Abey, now playing with Morningside in Queensland, recently appeared on the Footy Show's 'Almost Football Legends'. Kent took a mark right on the goal line and quickly kicked the ball across the line, only to find out that he was infact kicking a point and not a goal! Kent was voted the winner on the night so congratulations to Kent. We must say though your goal kicking ability seems to have gone downhill since you last kicked at the big sticks for the Robins!




Congratulations Luke Marshall 200 Senior Games


Luke Marshall will play his 200th game for the Ulverstone Football Club this week against Smithton. Luke is a product of Ulverstone High School and first played under 19 football for the club upon leaving school in 1996 but unluckily missed selection in the premiership side of that year. Undeterred Luke rose to the challenge and played in the 1997 unders flag before he made his senior debut under Ritchie Elliott in 1998. 2000 was a great year for Luke being a key player in the Senior premiership team and winning the senior best and fairest that year. He has been a loyal and respected player over the years and who would forget the great job he did on Launceston star Adam Derbyshire in the mid noughties. His other brush with fame was the helicopter ride from Aurora stadium after a final so that he could get to his sisters wedding near Hobart in time and still be able to play. His loyalty to Ulverstone was rewarded last year with another premiership in 2009. Bazz will join an illustrious group of players to play 200 games for Ulverstone and become a playing Life member. Well Done on a great career and hopefully there will be more games to come.




Congratulations Justin and Janelle Hayes


Congratulations Justin and Janelle Hayes on the birth of the first baby Inika seen here with Justins mum Barbara in club last week.




Two of our Great Sponsors


Great to see two of our great sponsors Taspak and Gowans Toyota doing business with each other.Gowans Toyota supplied 3 new Toyota Klugers for the ever expanding Taspak business. Oh what a feeling!!




Harvey Norman Devonport gets behind the "Young Robins"


Rob Wing of Harvey Norman Devonport has got behind the youth of the club by donating 10 new balls for the Unders to train with as we move into the second half of the year. Rob, who is the brother of Director Greg and Club Legend Wayne, is the uncle of Ryan Wing who is having a great first season in the Under 19's. Rob was only to keen to help out and also donated 10 new balls for the teams at Ulverstone High School which is a feeder to the Ulverstone Football Club. Football Director Kurt Crawford was appreciative of the support and coaches Matt Deegan and Shaun Conkie think this will be a huge benefit for the High school teams who are enjoying good seasons so far. A Big thank you to Rob and the team at Harvey Norman Rob Wing of Harvey Norman in Devonport presents the balls to Under 19 Coach Glen Lutwyche and senior player Sam Lutwyche.




Farewell Claude Brown


Longtime Ulverstone supporter Claude Brown is moving to Queensland at the end of July. Claude and Jill are moving to be closer to their family who have been in Queensland for a number of years. The club wishes them well in their future endeavours and the Kitchen co-ordinators will miss Claude's valuable contribution of produce to the kitchen and canteen over a long period of time. In recognition the club is planning a farewell get together at the clubrooms on Thursday 15th July from 6 - 8 pm where there will be finger food served and happy hour will go for 2 hours. Look forward to seeing everyone there to stir Claude along.





2010 | Photo Library


2009 | General Stories

Shock shake-up rocks Robins' hopes


BY CHLOE HOPE

21/09/2009 12:00:00 AM

THE Robins' State League nest now looks empty. When the clubs and AFL Tasmania met on Friday, the issue of Ulverstone joining the State League next season was not discussed at length, and no vote was taken by the clubs. In effect it was put on the backburner by AFL Tasmania's proposal to the clubs about a restructure of the competition next year. A major attraction for Northern clubs to Ulverstone's entry was that the Robins would provide a crucial sixth team to create a fully functioning northern under 19 competition.

AFL Tasmania pulled the rug from under that premise with its proposal the statewide competition involve seniors competition and a youth team competition. Launceston president Mark Thurlow referred to it in the TSL preliminary final program. "The committee at Launceston believe the positives outweigh the negatives as the decision pertains to the regional youth competition," he said. He said one of the positives was a six-club northern under 18 or 19 competition that allowed the three teams from the club to play together on the same day at the same location. Ulverstone president John Deacon said it was a waiting game for the club, and the only feedback he had received from the meeting was that the Robins' situation had not much been discussed. He expected more details in mid-October. However, AFL Tasmania general manager Scott Wade said the atmosphere at the meeting of all 10 clubs on Friday was not positive where Ulverstone was concerned.

"The mood of the room was that it felt that the competition should settle in ... quite clearly all parties agreed that we can't chop and change all the time," Wade said. He added that the Ulverstone Football Club had officially presented its business plan to AFL Tasmania, and that the UFC would receive a response in due course. If AFL Tasmania likes the plan, it could ask the clubs to vote on Ulverstone joining next season. The meeting on Friday also discussed a number of operational issues and possible rule changes from events during the year and in accordance with the submissions from the clubs. Wade expects those changes and next season's roster to be wrapped up by the end of October as well. NTFL president Andrew Richardson was happy for Ulverstone to remain in the NTFL next season. "I don't think there would be any backlash at all ... we need that sixth team," he said.




State League clubs lining up to support Ulverstone's entry


BY MARTIN AGATYN

16/09/2009 9:22:00 AM

REIGNING NTFL premier Ulverstone could have up to five of the six votes it needs to join the Tasmanian State League. The Advocate has learned, from several reliable sources, that an Ulverstone bid is likely to have the support of Burnie, Launceston, Lauderdale, Clarence and South Launceston. Devonport and Hobart clubs have openly stated opposition to such a move, while North Launceston, North Hobart and Glenorchy are believed to be undecided. Of the five clubs believed to support an expansion, Launceston and Burnie have previously publicly expressed support. Robins' president John Deacon said yesterday no club had yet told him emphatically "yes, we will vote for you." "You know more than me," Deacon said yesterday.

But the club could be closer to gaining the required support than it is letting on - as indicated when Deacon reiterated earlier comments that if the vote was taken this week, he was "confident" Ulverstone would get the nod. He said Ulverstone's bid had been presented to every club in recent weeks, except Devonport, which would view the presentation tomorrow night. Deacon said he felt the presentation had been well received by a majority of clubs. AFL Tasmania's business plan includes a desire to expand the competition from 10 to 12 teams. However, its licence agreement with the existing 10 clubs includes a clause stating the approval of a majority of clubs (six) must exist before any expansion.

Club presidents are due to convene for a scheduled meeting with AFL Tasmania on Friday. AFL Tasmania general manager Scott Wade said he had not been advised of an agenda item on expansion of the league. "I don't expect a vote to be taken on Friday," Wade said. "AFL Tasmania will ultimately make the decision," Wade said. "But such a decision would not be made without full and proper consultation with the NTFL."




TSL bid is in the bag says Deacon


[BB] ULVERSTONE BY MARTIN AGATYN

15/09/2009 12:00:00 AM

ULVERSTONE is steaming ahead to join the Tasmanian State League next year and is confident the current clubs will back its bid. The bid has been strengthened by Saturday's NTFL grand final victory. "As the reigning NTFL premier, we make a very attractive prospect for the TSL," Ulverstone president John Deacon said. Deacon said the club had been working hard to shore up support for its bid, which would require the approval of six of the 10 existing State League clubs. Former players helped celebrate the victory over the weekend, including several who now play with Devonport in the State League with former coach and statewide bid supporter Max Brown also in attendance.

Former player Sam Whish- Wilson, now with the Northern Bombers, is considering moving back to the Coast next year for work and said he would love to play at his old club in the TSL. "We have put together our strategic plan, a business plan and a financial plan and we've made presentations to more than half the clubs," he said. It is understood the Launceston clubs saw the DVD and heard the presentation last Tuesday and the southern clubs later in the week. Burnie has also seen the plans. Deacon said he was confident if a vote was taken tomorrow, Ulverstone would get the nod. No date has yet been set for TSL clubs to consider applications from new clubs. He said it was important to take the next step forward for the club and help the players play at the highest level.




NTFL will be left in tatters


[BB] NTFL BY CHLOE HOPE

15/09/2009 12:00:00 AM

THE Robins want to fly the NTFL coop, but AFL Tasmania has the power to clip their wings. NTFL president Andrew Richardson said the departure of Ulverstone - leaving five NTFL clubs - could spell the end of the competition. The NTFL may be forced to rely on AFL Tasmania to save it. Something could be known as soon as Friday when the 10 clubs meet with AFL Tasmania and a decision could be made. Richardson said it would be a "disaster" if the Robins left the league next year, without an alternative team in place. Ulverstone is keen to exit the North-West competition and enter the state league in 2010, and is confident it can get the support of the current 10 clubs. But AFL Tas general manager Scott Wade said he was "very conscious" of the NTFL's situation and AFL Tasmania would have to sign off on any extra clubs joining the league. "According to their licence agreements, clubs have a simple majority vote to agree on expansion of the competition, and AFL Tas may consider such a team," Wade said.

"AFL Tas has been very clear in terms of what's already in our business plan, but we are very conscious of the NTFL's situation," he said. "There is no desire from AFL Tas to just blatantly destroy the NTFL." Richardson was convinced that would be the outcome if the Robins went to the TSL for next season. "There is a chance we wouldn't go ahead - the five clubs could go to the wall," he said. The worst thing for Richardson was the instability at the moment with no answers yet. "It really is a very sad situation if Ulverstone was prepared to abandon the other five clubs," he said. Wade said the focus for AFL Tasmania was helping the NTFL to find a team to represent the Burnie area. Once the TSL season ends on Saturday, Wade said things would begin to happen on that front.




And one for all All for one ...


BY CHLOE HOPE

14/09/2009 12:00:00 AM

WHEN Troy Davies put an NTFL premiership medal around the neck of Chris Haynes, he summed up Ulverstone's success - teamwork. There was a tear in the eye of many after Ulverstone blasted Smithton off the park to win the NTFL grand final on Saturday. For the Saints, it was the agony of frustrated desire and an inability to play their best as they received an 88-point thrashing. For the Robins, it was a victory against the odds. The Robins had managed to rise above the unsettling elements of a new coach, 46 players cleared to other clubs in the off-season and controversy around whether the club should join the State League.

In the rooms after the match, coach Davies praised his players for believing in themselves and then paused before he told Haynes to come forward and accept a medal. Haynes was the player Davies had to drop on Thursday night after training. It was an illustration of how much every contribution counted. None moreso than Jarrad Gale who was a textbook centre half-forward on the day and came home with the Wilf Barker Medal as the best player in the grand final.




Robins use momentum to advantage


THE GAME BY CHLOE HOPE

14/09/2009 4:00:00 AM

NOTHING in the first quarter hinted at what was to come. Both sides were intense and prepared to fight for the ball and a chance at NTFL premiership glory. If anything, Smithton had the edge over Ulverstone as it kicked with a slight breeze and went into the first break a goal up. Josh Smith led the way for the Saints, and forward Damien Medwin was drawing the best defender and letting Vince Elliott have some space - and he was marking well. But the Robins know how to play a grand final, and coach Troy Davies understood the power of momentum. In the second term Ulverstone came out roaring - Davies produced three goals after creating space in the prime goal-kicking area for himself, seemingly out of nothing. Jarrad Gale also really came into the game as a marking presence, and Jeremy Soden and Dwayne Howard were excellent ball movers.

Smithton hardly had an inside 50 as the Robins pumped home 10 massive goals to nil. The large Smithton crowd contingent was stunned into near- silence. But the Saints never gave it up and came out after half-time clearly pumping and ready to shift the momentum their way. Unfortunately, Vince Elliott missed the first goal, and Davies slotted one. All was not lost when Medwin scored a short time later, but after Jarrad Gale replied within a minute, the Saints admitted defeat, 10 minutes into the third quarter. The rest of the match was a matter of pride and whether Ulverstone could beat the NTFL record for the highest score in a grand final. It was close but not quite - the Dockers set the record against Devonport in 2004, with 23.19 (157). The Saints also escaped the lowest losing score by a small margin. Ulverstone scored only 5.12 (42) against the Dockers in 2002.




But Robins coach suspects Smithton might be foxing


BY MARTIN AGATYN

12/09/2009 12:00:00 AM

OPPOSING coaches for today's NTFL grand final at Latrobe weren't letting much out last night, ahead of a match which tipsters predict could go either way. Smithton coach Steven Coombe re- confirmed injured star Scott Bryan would not play in the biggest match of the year, but Ulverstone coach Troy Davies isn't buying it. Coombe said Bryan pulled up sore after training on Wednesday night and despite a light training run last night, the prognosis for his ankle was no better. Coombe won't finalise his interchange bench until this morning when he sees what the weather is doing, after Ulverstone exposed the Saints in a wet second semi- final. He is sticking to his eight-man bench for now, with Bryan and Alex Hursey named as emergencies. "Training has been good and we're quietly confident, but we will have to be at our best to beat them," Coombe said. Davies said he was confident Bryan would run onto the ground at 2pm today. "I don't believe a word of it - they will play him," he said.

But Davies said he wasn't worried about the possibility of Bryan playing and wouldn't change his game plan. "Our structure will stay the same way it has for the past month and I have full faith in whoever gets the job on Bryan to get it done," Davies said. "We won't be changing anything based on who they say is in or out," he said. "And we don't care if it is wet or dry either, so we won't be making any late changes based on the weather." Experts are divided on who will be the NTFL premier at 5pm tonight, with no clear favourite for the flag. Smithton finished on top of the ladder four games clear of Ulverstone, but the Robins won the last two encounters between the two, including the second semi-final, to qualify for the grand final first. The Robins have had a week off, but Smithton bounced back against East Devonport in last week's preliminary final and perhaps the additional hard contest could prove the perfect lead-in to an expected tough grand final.




The rampant robin rides again


GOING back in time to when I was an ankle biter playing in the hedge behind the town end goals on a Saturday, me dear long gone father used to say to me that there are only three certainties in life. ``Young Rampant,’’he would say, ``They are death, taxes and football officials from south of Oatlands who tell nothing but lies.’’But following a weekend of footy that included Chris Judd’s impersonation of a Kung Fu master delivering a claw hold on Rischitelli, own Timmy ``King Hannah’’ Mee being runner up in the Baldock and another Devonport final’s capitulation in the Statewide NTFL second’s competion, we can safely add another certainty in life.And that dear reader is the never ending attack on Footy Tasmania and anyone who dares talk to em by the head honchos of the NTFL.Up at the Mr Magic count last Sunday, the league’s spruikers once again trotted out the tired lines about the southern rotters.They inferred that SWL bigwig Dom Baker couldn’t attend cos the Ulvey table was chockers. Ha bloody ha.Well give it a break NTFL.

The endless attacks on Wade and his cronies aint doing us any favours here on the coast. When the AFL money is divided up - we don’t get our fair portion. Bit like being at a keg with Don Cooper or Bench Coach Brooks, you don’t get your share of the spoils. And whilst I and nearly every coastal footy follower apart from Foxy Brown and Mark and Glenn Lutwyche agree with most of the stuff yous trot out, I don’t think whinging and whining about their versions of the truth and how they stuff up footy in the state is worth it.We need those pricks to work with us instead of against us and I don’t think hoeing the boots in at every opportunity is working. Now if ya wont ease up, maybe we get Juddy to put his thumb into your pressure point. Bit like what happened to me last night when I got back from the Forth Pub. Ol’ Robyn wanted me to split the whisker but I couldn’t rise to the occasion. I suggested I take a quarter pill of Viagra. She said that would be good but why only a quarter? I said I only want it to lengthen enough so I don’t pee on my feet.Anyway you readers will be thinking is why am I back on the web after a long time sidelined.Well I’ll tell ya why. It’s cos the Robroys unders and seniors are in another final and as usual, we are red hot faves to add more silver to our overstocked trophy cabinet.Fair dinkum the Ulvey clubrooms is crowded with premiership flags and cups everywhere ya turn.

It is a bit like the Statewide Linemarking company ute. But instead of trophies and momentos of success, theirs is full of takeaway wrappers and empty gutrot coke cans. Big ressies coach Hoochie Turner, vice president Craig Brooks and T A P (The Annoying Pratt) fair dinkum go beserk at smoko time filling up their ample verandas with anything and everything unhealthy.Anyway, back to the real stuff on Saturday.First up Luttee’s boys will be keen to get us away on the right foot. He has a good team of goers and led by the champ Tyler Tyrell should get up.At 2pm, Troy’s boys will need to be on their game as those horrible Saints looked alright against the ol’ Swans in the prelim.Big Hubba, Sodes, Baldock Hayes, Tyson Gale, Stripper Marshall and King Hannah have to get on top and if they do then we should win. But we will also need SOC Chatty, the Big O, Craig McDermott, Snaggers Leedham, Slip Knott and SOTecka to put their shoulder to the wheel. But in closing I have to say commiserations to Lady Killer and Go Apps who have missed the boat after spending most of the year in the ones. But like the good blokes they are they will more than likely be up on the hill with the ol’ Rampant Robin knocking back the cans. GO ROBINS.




Blow to Saints


BY CHLOE HOPE

11/09/2009 10:24:00 AM

SMITHTON star Scott Bryan is out of the NTFL grand final in a blow to the Saints' preparations. Bryan's injury ill-luck has continued after he pulled up sore yesterday from Wednesday night training. Smithton had hoped the star's strained ankle ligaments, suffered in the round 15 clash against East Devonport, would be better for this weekend's NTFL grand final against Ulverstone after he returned to training last week. Bryan polled three best-on- grounds in the Baldock Medal count last weekend and was instrumental in an early season win over Ulverstone as well as playing well for the NTFL against the NTFA. However, various injuries have kept him out for many weeks, having also dogged him last year. Smithton coach Steven Coombe is not ruling him out entirely and has named him as an emergency.

While Smithton named a considerably extended bench, at Ulverstone, Robins coach Troy Davies and his team slept like logs last night, comfortable in the knowledge of exactly who was and wasn't playing in the grand final. Shaun Knott proved his fitness and has been named on the wing, while Chris Haynes is the unlucky player to miss out. It was not a decision coach Troy Davies enjoyed, but he said Knott had been through two vigorous fitness tests on Tuesday and last night and was good to go. Meanwhile, Coombe was having the hair he has pulled out this week over his selection dilemmas replaced yesterday, ready for some more stressful decisions tonight at the final training session. He said that, apart from Bryan, the rest of his selection decisions would revolve around the weather and if he would be better off with bigger bodies.

Coombe needs to whittle down Isaac Korpershoek, Guy Kearnes, Vince Elliott, Nathan Drake, Martin Woodward, Michael Booth and Cameron Lockett to four players on the day. Alex Hursey is also an emergency. Isaac Korpershoek, Booth, Lockett and Woodward were also named in the 23-man reserves grand final side, so it looks like only one of them will be pulled into the senior side unless the weather is particularly wet tomorrow. Davies, on the other hand, was able to name every player who would line up on Saturday, and made just the one change, which he had already announced.




Smithton may head home empty-handed


MAX BROWN

9/09/2009 12:00:00 AM

WHAT a fantastic effort by the Smithton Football Club to have all three grades appearing in this Saturday`s NTFL grand final. This is reward for a club that has performed consistently over the entire season. Unfortunately for the Saints I am predicting they won't be returning home on Saturday night with any silverware as I believe Ulverstone, Wynyard and Ulverstone will be the premiers in the under 19s, reserves and senior grades respectively. The Saints' improved showing in the second week of the finals would give them some much-needed confidence after their poor showing in the second- semi final against the Robins.

Ulverstone loves playing at Latrobe and it possesses a hard-core group of talented, experienced finals campaigners in Soden, Howard, Hays, Marshall, Gale, Mee, Auton, Chatwin and Troy Davies that will ensure the rest of the team is not overawed by the occasion. Youngsters McDermott and Upton are genuinely exciting, Josh Walmsley is a key at either end of the ground and if Shaun Knott proves his fitness then the Robins look well-equipped. Evergreen Lukey Marshall looms as a pivotal player for the red and black. He is dangerous in the forward line but I would start him at centre-half back to add that bit of poise and stability to the defence, particularly at the start of the game.

For the Saints to issue a real challenge they have to structure their team to be more potent in attack. While full forward Medwin has won the goal-kicking, his returns in the big games have not been great. Jarrod Watling is a hard-running ball magnet and must be watched by the Robins. I believe the Saints don't use the classy Scott Blizzard in the right manner. Rather than have him primarily as a half-back flanker he should be played in the mid-field where his creativeness will really hurt the opposition. The biggest question leading up to the game will be whether the Saints are prepared to play their best player Scott Bryan, who has missed many weeks due to an ankle injury.

Will they fall for the trap of playing an injured player or will they take the attitude that desperate situations require desperate actions? This is all part of the intrigue that makes grand final week so special.




Remember that classic grand final?


BY CHLOE HOPE

9/09/2009 12:00:00 AM

NTFL grand final previews Page 47 SMITHTON has a tiny edge over Ulverstone when they meet in the NTFL grand final on Saturday. The scoreline in the only other NTFL grand final they've met in. It was 1991 and Darren Denneman's Saints were trailing at half time against Max Brown's powerhouse Robins. The players, coaches and 5000 spectators were used to Ulverstone winning flags. But then Smithton stood tall, slammed on 13 goals in the second half and romped to one of the great runaway victories in NTFL history.

Denneman, who now works for AFL NSW/ ACT, said his memory of the victory is the community support before grand final day and after the win. "The victory was a celebration of all good things about that community," he said. To him it seems like so long ago, but he keeps tabs on the team and said it was good to see people like Steven Coombe involved as coach after he had played himself during Denneman's era. A key moment from that 1991 grand final also sticks in Brown's mind. But it's a very different memory. "We were in a winning position and I remember Gavin Coombe taking a great mark (in the goal square) in the second half and it turned the game." Coombe kicked a goal and the tide turned.

Denneman agreed it was a courageous and inspirational act as Coombe took a diving mark in front of Brett Bricknell who was set for an uncontested mark on the goal-line. Brown said the Saints that season had an excellent spine with Denneman, Barry Newman and Scott Knight big targets in defence and attack. He also recalled several Robins had early trips to the Burnie hospital that day.

Brown is confident the Robins can pull off a win this year. "They've recorded two good wins against Smithton not at Smithton this year ... they're peaking at the right time. "Ulverstone's finals experience will come to the fore and it is more potent in attack - has more forward line options." Smithton assistant coach and former player Jeff Triffett said the Saints would combat that with run and overall fitness. "Our run with the ball and support of the ball carrier will win the day," he said.




Chatwin's key role in Robins' chances


BY CHLOE HOPE

8/09/2009 10:06:00 AM

JARRYD Chatwin is the epitome of the Ulverstone Football Club's success this season. Chatwin is Ulverstone born and bred and has played at the club all his life - in 122 games over five years or so - but has not been a key for the team until this season. Last year he was in and out of the senior side, but this season - with players embracing the opportunities available after many left the club - he is one of the first picks every week for coach Troy Davies. "Our coach gave me an opportunity to play through the midfield and I've enjoyed it," Chatwin said.

Quiet and self-effacing, he doesn't mention that he has not only enjoyed the role, but revelled in it, producing plenty of outstanding performances. He is no longer a bit-part player in the back line, he is breaking the lines in the middle. He is one of a number of Robins who were offered a chance to cement a place in the team at the start of the season by Davies when he found himself bereft of almost a team's worth of players. Some stood up, some faltered, Chatwin seized his chance. He said he set the bar higher for himself pre- season and rose to the challenge of being a senior player with the team, as did many others. It has led the Robins to a grand final that many slated as out of their reach at the start of the season. "Troy is inspiring, he put a lot of faith in the older players that have stayed along, and that has encouraged the younger blokes," Chatwin said.

He knows what it is like to play in a losing grand final side, after the Robins went down to Launceston two years ago, and he does not want to experience that again - it might be the edge he needs to spur him on for the big day. "I never want that feeling again," was his heartfelt comment. The 23-year-old - a fourth-year apprentice carpenter - said he has stuck with the Robins for this long and won't be going anywhere next year, but just hopes he will be playing in a side that is defending the premiership.




Ulverstone is into the big one


NTFL BY TERRY MORRIS

31/08/2009 12:00:00 AM

ULVERSTONE is into the NTFL grand final in a fortnight's time after bringing Smithton's home-town record to an end yesterday. The Saints had not been beaten on their home turf all season and as a reward for finishing on top of the ladder were awarded the second semi-final. But it was Ulverstone that proved the better team after relishing the conditions. Smithton will now face East Devonport in the preliminary final at Ulverstone. NTFL general manager Ian Wotherspoon said with the Latrobe ground closed the choices were between Ulverstone and Girdlestone Park for the preliminary final. "The league would prefer to take a neutral ground for the preliminary final as we have done for a number of years," he said. Ulverstone coach Troy Davies said his players had put themselves in a situation where they can start looking at the bigger picture. "All our hard work has paid off to get to the grand final," he said.

The loss was a double blow for Smithton as its under-19 team also lowered its colours to Ulverstone and will now face Penguin in the preliminary final. Beaten coach Stephen Coombe said his team needed to regroup against a revitalised East Devonport for next Saturday. "We lost a lot of our attention when Ulverstone kicked 3.7 in the first quarter," he said. The Saints had been kept scoreless in the first term kicking against the wind and when it was their turn to kick with it they managed just 1.8. Ulverstone, led by its midfield of Jarryd Chatwin, Justin Hays, Jarrod Gale and Jeremy Soden, continued on in the third quarter kicking the game out of Smithton's reach. Then to rub salt into the wound the Robins achieved three goals against the wind in the final term.

With East Devonport injury-free after Saturday's 56-point win over Latrobe, the Saints could now face the possibility of not making the grand final after dominating for the majority of the season. BEST PLAYERS TERRY MORRIS 3 - Jarryd Chatwin (Ulverstone) 2 - Jarrod Gale (Ulverstone) 1 - Justin Hays (Ulverstone) IAN CLARKE 3 - Jarryd Chatwin (Ulverstone) 2 - Jeremy Soden (Ulverstone) 1 - Justin Hays (Ulverstone) ALAN 'DOC' HANCOCK 3 - Justin Hays (Ulverstone) 2 - Luke Marshall (Ulverstone) 1 - Jarryd Chatwin (Ulverstone) TOTAL: J Chatwin 7, J Hays 5, J Gale, J Soden, L Marshall 2. NTFL FINALS TIMETABLE SATURDAY: Preliminary final at Ulverstone - 2pm - Seniors: Smithton v East Devonport; 10.50am - Reserves: East Devonport v Wynyard; 9.40am - Under 19s: Smithton v Penguin




Robins soar as Saints struggle in wet


[BB] NULVERSTONE D SMITHTON BY CHLOE HOPE

31/08/2009 12:00:00 AM

ULVERSTONE has soared into the NTFL grand final with a confident win over Smithton. The Saints have trudged into a preliminary final against the firing Swans at Ulverstone next Saturday. The Robins inflicted Smithton's first loss at home for the season in atrocious conditions and got up 10.11 (71) to a meagre 2.11 (23). "We want revenge, big time," Smithton coach Steven Coombe said after the game. He had just told his players he was ashamed by their performance - especially as they had played some great wet football during the season. "They didn't listen and were undisciplined," he said. "Too many players were down and didn't fire." There were no injuries for the Saints to contend with, although Coombe said Scott Bryan is only 70% likely to play this weekend.

The Saints lost the game by not following instructions and making poor choices for the entire match - they kicked short, handballed too much and did not learn from their mistakes. Ulverstone capitalised on Smithton's errors as well as playing a forward pushing game of taps and soccer kicks along with long kicks. Ulverstone coach Troy Davies won the toss and kicked with the wind, and 3.7 seemed a reasonable first quarter score. The Saints did not make the most of the wind and seemed reluctant to kick into the goal square and let players soccer goals. Davies did not go on until the third term, when his side had the wind again, and his team made the Saints pay.




Robins sweat on fitness of Knott


BY MARTIN AGATYN

29/08/2009 12:00:00 AM

KEY Ulverstone defender Shaun Knott is in doubt to play in tomorrow's NTFL second semi-final against Smithton at Smithton. Knott injured an ankle in last week's final roster game against Penguin and failed a fitness test last night. However, Robins' playing coach Troy Davies said the defender would be tested again this afternoon in a bid to get him fit for the game. "We're giving him every chance we can to be involved," Davies said. "If Shaun gets up, we will be forced to drop someone else out of the team, purely based on what the weather may do," he said.

Davies, who himself returns to the side from a recent calf injury, said the Robins' line- up for tomorrow was their strongest team of the year. "If Shaun comes up OK this will genuinely be the first time all season we've had the luxury of considering who to play based on what the weather might be doing, and not who is injured or out of form," Davies said. "It's a good time to be in that situation. "Our boys have been training extremely enthusiastically over the past three weeks and they're really looking forward to finals football. "It will be a tough trip to Smithton for us, but hopefully all our hard work will pay off." Despite being the competition's oldest player at 37 and having experienced many a finals campaign,

Davies said he was still excited about what lay ahead for the Robins. "I'm champing at the bit and my guts are turning - I can't wait to get out there and share it with the boys," he said. With Davies back in the forward line, the Robins' brains trust has the option of using Josh Walmsley in the back line. "He's been handy up forward and he'll probably start there, but he can also play down back," Davies said. "We've got lots of options now and our younger players have followed the example set by our leadership group and really developed well during the course of the season," he said.

Meanwhile, Smithton defender Scott Jackson, who has also been under a recent injury cloud, has been named in the Saints' amended line-up following training last night. Jackson will start on the interchange bench, along with Martin Woodward, Alex Hursey and Zac Bransden. Otherwise, the Smithton line-up remains unchanged from last week.




Weather won't rain on Smithton parade


BY JONATHAN MALLINSON

27/08/2009 12:00:00 AM

THE Circular Head community is in the process of painting Smithton red. Red, white and black that is, as it gears up to host the town's first-ever Coastal football final, on Sunday against Ulverstone. The club is refusing to allow the weather to drown out its moment in the sun. The ground has traditionally struggled to cope with the volume of rain the far North-West gets and this past month has provided enough to be beyond any ground's capacity to cope. There had been fears that Smithton's first-ever NTFL final might have to be moved.

NTFL general manager Ian Wotherspoon said yesterday that would not happen. "I received a phone call from the (Circular Head) council at lunchtime concerned that the NTFL was going to move the game, citing player safety as the reason. "But this is not the case. The ground is soft, as it would be with all this rain, but we have no intention of moving it," Wotherspoon said. The ground has been closed all week to make sure it is in as good a condition as possible for the weekend. The forecast for Saturday is for mainly fine weather. "I am very happy and excited the club has been given a home final, we have worked through various issues to meet NTFL requirements," Smithton president Michael Emmett said yesterday.

The Smithton Saints have dominated the NTFL competition and have earned the right to host a final on their home ground. Preparations aplenty are taking place at the home of the Saints as everything is swept, cleaned and organised before the big day. "We are currently working with the council to get it (finished)," Emmett said. "The opposition change rooms still have to be prepared as far as Sunday is concerned." "The club has been working closely with NTFL management, the Circular Hear Council and the Circular Head Community Centre and the Circular Head Netball Association on bringing the facilities up to a reasonable standard for a final," he said. Such things as the PA system, security guards, new designated wet area away from the main building, car parking and outdoor food and drink stations had to be completed. Weather permitting, Emmett said up to 2000 people could attend the game.

The NTFL shifted the final to Sunday so it did not clash with the Circular Head Football Association preliminary final on Saturday. The senior game starts at 2pm.




Soden shares spoils


NTFL

25/08/2009 7:52:00 AM

ULVERSTONE'S thrashing of Penguin gave Jeremy Soden just what he needed. The Ulverstone vice- captain scored five goals and a best-on-ground performance as he mounted a late charge to tie for the win in The Advocate-Boag's- Dowling McCarthy NTFL Player of the Year award. Smithton stalwart Scott Blizzard did not poll in his club's win over East Devonport, and therefore Soden caught him for the tie. "Just over the last three weeks I have started to find the ball and play good football," Soden said yesterday. The duo will both receive medals at the Baldock Medal presentation and share the first and second winnings equally between them. When asked about his team's chances in the finals, Soden said they were pretty confident. "We are a pretty experienced group and our form leading into the finals has been solid," Soden said. Soden has found great form just in time for the finals as

Ulverstone is set to take it right up to the competition front runners Smithton. His ability to kick numerous goals as a midfielder makes him one of the most potent players in the NTFL.

Ulverstone has been the only side to defeat Smithton this year. Blizzard has been at the forefront of Smithton's domination of the NTFL roster. His run, carry and delivery has been like no other, racking up more than 30 possessions every game. Blizzard was still good enough to poll enough votes early to take a big enough lead in the Player of the Year award. This weekend, both players will clash in the biggest game Circular Head has seen, hosting its first NTFL final. Ulverstone will find it hard going down there as Smithton plays the ground extremely well.




Matheson may miss finals campaign


FOOTBALL BY MARTIN AGATYN

17/08/2009 10:56:00 AM

East Devonport could be without playing coach Scott Matheson heading into its first NTFL finals campaign for years. Matheson was booked oEASTn Saturday by field umpire Jared Arnol for allegedly striking Ulverstone's Adam Holmstrom in the stomach late in the final term of the round 17 clash. With the finals starting the week after next, taking a two-week set penalty was not an option for Matheson, who will contest the charge at the NTFL Independent Tribunal in Devonport tonight.

The alleged incident occurred on the eastern side of the ground near the players' race after Holmstrom had tackled Matheson to the ground. At the time, Ulverstone had just taken the lead after two goals resulting from 50m penalties against East Devonport. Reporting umpire Jared Arnol is not available to attend the tribunal due to work commitments on the West Coast, but NTFL general manager Ian Wotherspoon said the tribunal chairman would allow Arnol to give evidence by phone. In normal circumstances, the tribunal would be postponed for a week if an umpire was unavailable and the reported player would be allowed to continue playing. But with the finals looming, the case will go ahead tonight. Matheson will plead not guilty and be hoping to present a case for the charge to be dismissed, which would be the best case scenario for the Swans, currently third on the ladder.

However, if found guilty, penalties could range from a reprimand, one week, the original two-week set penalty, or more if the offence is found to be more severe or unsatisfactory evidence is given. If the two-week penalty is upheld, it means Matheson would miss the first semi in which East Devonport is now certain to play.




New academy to foster Tassie's top young footballers


FOOTBALL BY MARTIN AGATYN

14/08/2009 9:57:00 AM

TASMANIA'S football talent identification and development pathway will fall into line with the Australian Institute of Sport and AFL academy program from later this year. AFL Tasmania state manager of coach education and player welfare Nick Probert said yesterday the establishment of the Tasmanian Football Academy, from November 1, would allow the state's most talented young footballers to feed into the AIS-AFL program. Probert said the academy would concentrate on under 16 and under 18 (Tassie Mariners) levels and would be more team orientated. He said it would also include a bigger camp- based focus, providing more mentoring hours. Previous models included an under 14 component and were geared more towards individual player development. Probert said the 12-month program would involve 40 players in each age division and their development would be maximised with involvement from their local clubs.

He said Tasmanian coach Matthew Armstrong had been appointed academy head coach and would provide assistance for the under 16 and under 18 coaches. Former Latrobe coach Manny Lynch coached the Mariners this year, while former North Hobart player Byron Howard coached the under 16 team. AFL Tasmania is expected to announce coaching appointments in the next few weeks, with Lynch and Howard the expected front-runners, if the decision is made to use team coaches. In other states, the academy head coach is also the coach of the under 16s and 18s. Lynch said his season with the Mariners was the most rewarding coaching experience he had ever had. "I appreciate the opportunity I have been give to coach these talented young men and I'm very keen to continue in the same role again next year," Lynch said. "Whatever model Tasmania adopts, I hope it is the best one for the development of these great young footballers."




Soden within striking distance of leader


NTFL BY MARTIN AGATYN

11/08/2009 10:55:00 AM

ULVERSTONE midfielder Jeremy Soden has edged closer to the lead in The Advocate Boags Dowling McCarthy Tyres NTFL Footballer of the Year Award. Soden was one of the Robins' best in their surprise win over ladder leader Smithton in Saturday's round 16 of matches. Best on ground in the same game was Soden's team-mate and Ulverstone centre half-back Shaun Knott, who played a superb game, holding out the Saints key forwards and turning the tide when Smithton went into attack. Award leader Scott Blizzard (16 votes), although one of the Saints' best, failed to poll in the same game, with Soden (13) now drawing to within three votes of the lead in second place. Soden is two votes clear of a group of five players on 11, who are all still mathematical chances of winning the award, including Smithton's Nathan Bransden, who joined the group after polling one vote on Saturday. The other best on ground votes for the round went to East Devonport forward George McLachlan and Latrobe midfielder Kurt Hanson. Swans vice-captain McLachlan was good for East all day, but several decisive marks and goals at critical times during the match stemmed the charge from Wynyard and put control of the game back in the Swans' hands. Hanson put in a consistent, hard working effort and when the Demons went to sleep he kept plugging away to keep them within striking distance.




Demons thwart Penguin


NTFL BY TERRY MORRIS

9/08/2009 12:00:00 AM

The inclusion of three tall players in Josh Walmsley, Luke Marshall and Adam McDermott was enough to give Ulverstone the edge over Smithton. The Robins inflicted the second win over the Saints after beating them by five points at the end of May.Marshall nailed five goals and Walmsley four as they marked almost at will on the foward line. An errant third quarter, which resulted in 2.8 for the Robins, gave Smithton some hope of a comeback in the final term but it wasn't to be. The ladder leaders went into the game without Scott Bryan, Vince Elliott and Damien Smith and their absence was missed. Shaun Knott continued his good form for the Robins to be best afield just ahead of Luke Marshall while the Saints were best served by Guy Kearnes, Luke Korpershoek and Kalon House.

LATROBE'S last-quarter comeback to beat Penguin yesterday may have also ended the Two Blues hopes of advancing to the finals this year. A three-goal effort be the Demons was enough to put Penguin's brave effort to the test yesterday, led by Brodie Deverell in a desperate final quarter. Latrobe was facing a 30-point deficit late in the third term when Penguin applied the pressure and looked a chance of replacing the Demons in the top four. But with the dominance of Deverell and small men Kurt Hanson and Adam Stevenson, the Demons were able to peg it back and take the lead at the 25-minute mark of the final term. In a day when Ulverstone inflicted the second defeat of the season on top team Smithton and East Devonport snapped out of its losing run, the top four teams on the NTFL ladder now seem settled. Twice yesterday the Two Blues had dominated with the wind and extended their lead to five goals only to be pegged back by Latrobe. Penguin gained good service from full-forward Jeremy Leatherbarrow and centre half-forward Matthew Alford who kicked 10 goals between them to set up a possible victory only for Brodie Deverell to snatch it away from them. Deverell, relatively quiet in the first half, started on his goal-kicking spree late in the third term when he kicked two valuable goals against the wind. He was obviously the "go-to man" in the last quarter and managed to level the scores with two off-line shots towards the Gilbert Street goal. He then put the Demons in front when he marked and goaled at the 25-minute mark. A right ankle injury to vice-captain Nathan Ling in the closing minutes could be enough to put him in doubt for next week against Wynyard.

For the second time this year Sam Borlini kicked six goals against Wynyard with his East Devonport team ending a frustrating run of four losses. The Swans led from the outset and in a dominant final quarter booted 5.2 to 3.2 to win by 34 points. Vice-captain George McLachlan and young defender Nathan Applebee were regularly in the play for East Devonport. The litany of injuries for defender Toby Wright (arm) continued and it was left to recruits Rhys Phillips and Brennan Reeves to lead the way for the Cats. Geoff Deverall continued to be a busy player on the forward line with four goals. The make-up of the final four is likely to remain unchanged now for the rest of the season.




Walmsley a secret weapon for Robins


ULVERSTONE V SMITHTON

8/08/2009 4:00:00 AM

CRICKET and Australian Rules Football are two completely different sports - but can training with the bat and ball make you a good footballer? Telling from the form Ulverstone key forward Josh Walmsley is in at the moment, his time in England has done wonders. Walmsley returned to Tasmania after a summer of cricket in England where he finetuned his batting. He has played with the Robins reserves for the past two weeks and has been dominating up forward. "He has had a couple of stand out games and gives us some height," playing coach Troy Davis said yesterday. This week's crunch game against NTFL front runner Smithton will see Walmsley return to the senior side to replace the injured playing coach. Ulverstone has the wood over Smithton - as the Robins are the only team to defeat the all mighty Saints at their home ground.

Owen Clarke kept competition leading goal kicker Damien Medwin to just two majors last time they met and looks to go head-to-head today. "We just got to try and shut down their major ball winners and onballers," Davies said. Jarrod Gale was instrumental in the Robins's upset win in round eight, but will have to contend with Cody Kopershoek who is an inclusion this week. The Saints will be without the hard-running Scott Bryan who will miss this week with injury, but will be rewarded with an injection of height through Tyron Morrison. With only three games left in the season the Robins are just taking things one game at a time. "We just want to get the home and away season out of the way, but it is shaping up to be a great finals series," Davies said. "Smithton will finish on top and have been the best all season which has been a real credit to them, but top teams are there to be beaten."




Mee out, but Robins are doing fine


NTFL BY MARTIN AGATYN

24/07/2009 4:00:00 AM

ULVERSTONE has been forced to reshuffle its back line for tomorrow's round 14 NTFL clash with East Devonport after losing key defender Tim Mee. Mee, a dashing half-back flanker, who led The Advocate player of the year award earlier in the season, is unavailable. But while the Robins back line looks very different without him, coach Troy Davies said it was anything but a case of rearranging the deckchairs on the Titanic. "We've covered our losses pretty well," Davies said. In fact, Mee was the only forced change amongst the Robins' four, which included the return of the nomadic Dwayne Howard. Howard spent a month at State League with Devonport, but has been cleared to the Robins and will start on the forward line. Josh Horton is back, along with injured forward Shaun Conkie, while Hayden Clarke makes his senior debut. Opponent East Devonport has made no changes to the team which went down to Wynyard last week. Papua New Guinea recruit Emmaus Wartovo is due to arrive back in Tasmania today and has been named as an emergency, he will be rushed back into the team if his travel plans come to fruition.

Wynyard and Penguin have made only minor changes for the match at Wynyard as they try to keep finals hopes alive. Rugged defender Tim Gee is back for the Cats along with Andrew House, replacing the injured Brody Allen and Dale Capell, who has been omitted. Joel Dicker returns from injury for Penguin and will help reinforce the half- back line, replacing the injured Jack Templeton. Ladder leader Smithton faces a danger game against in-form Latrobe. The Demons have eased Jeremy Smith to the reserves to make way for Travis Butler while Smithton has made two forced changes, Jarrod Watling has been sidelined by a shoulder injury, while Vince Elliott has injured his back, giving an opportunity to Isaac Korpershoek and Michael Booth.




Robins keep the faith


BY MARTIN AGATYN

17/07/2009 12:00:00 AM

ULVERSTONE selectors have resisted the temptation to swing the axe following the Robins' surprise loss to bottom side Wynyard in last week's round 12 of NTFL football. The Robins have only made four changes to the team to play in tomorrow's top-of-the-table clash against Smithton. Three of the four changes have been forced through injury. In what is always a tough trip to Smithton, the second-placed Robins have lost forward Shaun Conkie, Jay Burton and Chris Haynes with injury and have omitted youngster Brad Chillcott. However, tall forward Jarrad Gale is back from Tasmanian under 23 team duty and will add some bite to the forward line. He has been joined by promising youngster Cameron Upton, Sam Lutwyche and Jarrod Mee, who has returned from injury. The Saints will be bolstered by the return of Tasmanian under 23 trio Tyron Morrison, Chris Smith and centreman Guy Kearnes, who was injured last time the two sides met. Penguin is at home to Latrobe in a game that will resolve the deadlock in the battle over fourth spot on the ladder.

The Demons have made only one change to the team which comprehensively beat East Devonport last week, bringing in young on-baller Andrew Walker for Travis Butler, who is unavailable. Penguin has made only three changes, omitting Will Dau, Callum Webb and Callan Mann for returning Tasmanian under 23 reps Matthew Alford and Rodney King, and skipper Jason Ling, who is back from injury. In the final game East Devonport (third) is at home to Wynyard. Despite its unexpected loss to Latrobe last week, the Swans have only made two changes for the injured Jarrod Aherne and Jeremy Walton, bringing Alex King and Brodie Webb back into the line-up. Wynyard has made four forced changes through injury and unavailability to the side which rolled Ulverstone last week, with under 23 players Brennan Reeves and Rohan Baldock returning, along with James Dawson and George Walker.




NTFL scores big with jump in attendances


NTFL FOOTBALL BY MARTIN AGATYN

3/07/2009 4:00:00 AM

COMMUNITY football is alive and well on the North-West Coast if NTFL attendance in the first half of the season is any guide. The restructured NTFL has recorded an impressive 11% increase in attendance compared to the same stage last year, as five of the six Coastal clubs enjoy bigger crowds. Last year the league included 11 teams which included three Launceston based sides, but this year shrunk to six teams when the three Launceston clubs, along with Burnie and Devonport, joined the Tasmanian State League. NTFL general manager Ian Wotherspoon said yesterday an average of 617 people had attended Coastal games this season, compared with 557 for the same six clubs at the same stage last year. "Despite competing with State League games and the successful country associations the six NTFL clubs, with the exception of Ulverstone, have all seen more fans at their games than last year," Wotherspoon said. East Devonport has drawn the biggest crowds, averaging 732 people per game so far this season. Wotherspoon said games in each region (Mersey, Central Coast or Wynyard-Smithton) every week, combined with a more even competition were the main reasons for the increase. Wotherspoon expected the trend to continue, especially with Ulverstone and East Devonport fighting for second place and Penguin and Latrobe battling for the last finals spot.




NTFL side falls just short in high-quality game


[BB] NUNDER 19S BY JONATHAN MALLINSON

29/06/2009 12:00:00 AM

THE NTFL under 19 representative team made a good account of themselves against the SFL, just failing at the last hurdle to go down by eight points. The game was played at an extremely high standard, with the NTFL team controlling most of the play. "We led by three goals at three quarter time but some indecisions at vital stages turned the ball over," under 19 coach Don Cooper said yesterday. The NTFL should have had the game in the bag but some inaccurate kicking coupled with the indecision and the turnovers cost them dearly. The scoring shots were even in favour of the NTFL 22-20 but they just fell short. Penguin's Jack Templeton was excellent at full back, contesting everything that came his way. Smithton's Nathan Drake provided good run for the NTFL, which was helped by East Devonport's Nathan Applebee. " It was an extremely good game, play at a very high standard and the umpiring was good too," Cooper said.




New-look NTFL squad heads south


[BB] NSFL V NTFL BY CHLOE HOPE

26/06/2009 12:00:00 AM

THERE is definitely a new look to the NTFL side to face the SFL at North Hobart on Sunday. Coach Kent Jackson has called up Brennan Reeves, Matthew Alford, Guy Kearnes, Rohan Baldock, Nick Hall, Nathan Ling, Scott Blizzard, Tim Gee and James Dawson - all for the first time this season. East Devonport playing coach Scott Matheson has retained the captaincy of the NTFL side. The team is missing Clinton Carpenter on paternity leave, Jason Ling, who is still recovering from a corked thigh, and Scott Bryan through work commitments. Jackson was nonetheless confident his team had gelled well and will be ready to face the south, especially as the SFL players will have played a full round on Saturday and have to back up for the representative match. SFL coach Andrew Lamprill and Jackson go way back to old statewide footy days, when they used to play on each other in the early '90s when Burnie and Hobart faced off.

Lamprill is confident his side has some big guns to pull out on Sunday. He has named key position backman Brad Curran, from Dodges Ferry, as captain and said he would be an excellent general from the back line. Brad Carver, New Norfolk's 194cm ruckman, will be a key match-up for the NTFL, as he is also a strong mark and able to kick goals. Nathan Barwick, from New Norfolk, will shoulder much of the work in the centre because of his footy smarts and ability to work hard all day. Forward Tim Bracken will be another to watch out for. Lamprill described him as a versatile, very athletic player with strong marking skills and who is able to attack the footy hard in wet or dry weather. While he is generally a centre half-forward, he is also used in the back line when necessary. Coast FM will be broadcasting the match live for all the people who can't get down to Hobart. Tune in to 106.1 (Coastwide), 104.7 (Devonport) or 88.9 (Circular Head).

REP SQUAD: The NTFL senior representative squad to take on the SFL this Sunday includes (back from left) Matthew Alford, Aaron Davey, Rohan Baldock, Damien Medwin, Tyrone Morrison, Tim Gee, Matthew Langmaid, James Dawson, Toby Wright, Jarrad Gale, Guy Kearnes, Brennan Reeves, (front) Nick Hall, Jeremy Walton, Josh Smith, Rodney King, Chris Smith, Daniel Franks, Scott Blizzard and Scott Jackson. Pi




Cats win in round of NTFL shocks


BY CHLOE HOPE

22/06/2009 12:00:00 AM

WYNYARD defeated Latrobe. By a lot. Penguin defeated Ulverstone. By a lot. East Devonport lost to Smithton. By a lot. Nope, you haven't disappeared for a bye weekend and come down in an alternative universe, this weekend's NTFL results were that strange. The Cats played their hearts out for their first win of the season. Rohan Baldock kicked eight goals in the win over Latrobe. NTFL representative team selector Andrew Richardson said Baldock is certainly in the mix for a place in the side that will take on the SFL this weekend. Smithton proved it is only getting better as the season progresses, as it pasted East Devonport. The Swans at home kicked a miserable six goals for the day to Smithton's 21, and their early season form has faded away.

The Two Blues tasted sweet relief, beating Ulverstone for the first time since 2006.Penguin kicked against the wind in the last term yet extended its lead from two goals to 47 points. However, Jason Ling sustained a corked thigh and struggled to train with the NTFL representative team yesterday. He is over his hamstring injury that kept him out last time, and Richardson said he should be right to play against the SFL this weekend. Nils Williams is still training with the side, but will not be fit enough to play, Richardson said, and Latrobe team-mate Andrew Walker will not be able to play. Ling and Smithton's Scott Blizzard would be walk-up starters if fit and available this time, Richardson said. There are four or five new players in the squad from the last time, when the NTFL drew with the NTFA, who might be a chance to play. Several of the new-comers are part of the squad in preparation for the AAFC under 23 match, when a Tasmanian side travels to take on South Australia on July 11




Ulverstone young guns amazing: Davies


ULVERSTONE V PENGUIN

20/06/2009 4:00:00 AM

ULVERSTONE coach Troy Davies has proven that showing a little faith can often go a long way. Taking on Penguin at home today, Davies will again be looking to his young guns to come through with the goods, especially in the back line. And he has complete faith. "Our young boys have been simply amazing this year ... the likes of (Travis) Davies, (Adam) Holmstorm, (Shaun) Knott and (Owen) Clark who are all under or around 19 have performed beyond my expectations for their ages," Davies said. "I've put a lot of faith in these young guys and they've repaid me in spade fulls ... our back six have really been the backbone of the side this season and have played some outstanding footy." With Clark expected to get the job of controlling imposing Two Blues forward Jeremy Leatherbarrow, who will enter the match full or confidence after last weekend's five-goal haul, Davies said he was up to the task. Tim Auton is out of the side after dislocating his shoulder against East Devonport last weekend and Knott is out with badminton commitments.

Davies said under 19 players Chris Haynes and Cameron Upton will also get a chance to taste seniors footy. Focusing on shutting down the key playmakers for the Two Blues, including the Ling brothers (Jason and Nathan) along with Rodney King and Clinton Carpenter, Davies said his side was treating the encounter as a true danger game. "There was only seven points in it when was last met (in round four) and Penguin always gives a good contest, so we need to go into this game with a strong mindset," he said. "We need to stay in touch with Smithton (who are first on the ladder) and really keep the foot down in the second half of the season because it all comes down to how you play on the day and the way the competition is at the moment, anyone can get up on the day."




Cats purring after upset win


[BB] NWYNYARD V ULVERSTONE BY JONATHAN MALLINSON

13/07/2009 12:00:00 AM

WYNYARD'S run home to the NTFL finals couldn't be better. It doesn't face ladder-leaders Smithton and all games are winnable after the Cats put together their best game of the season to get home over Ulverstone. It was a rare day down at the Wynyard Football Ground as the home side rolled the once NTFL super club, Ulverstone, by three goals in conditions that can only be described as atrocious. The rain came and never stopped throughout the game but that didn't stop the Cats. Even though they were missing five players from their starting squad - four with the under 23 state team and George Walker, who pulled out just before the bounce - the boys worked hard to upset the second-placed Robins by 21 points. "It's been a long time since we have defeated Ulverstone, last two times we have played them they have got over us by over by 12 goals," a very proud Wynyard coach Nathan Hunt said. Even six goals from Ulverstone playing coach Troy Davis wasn't enough for the visitors to get over the line. That, combined with five unanswered goals during the third quarter, still wasn't enough to cull the Cats.

Teenager Nick Hall got Wynyard off to a flyer with three first quarter goals and the rest of the team followed suit. At the first break, the Cats had six goals compared to the Robin's three. The lightning-fast Ben Englund was outstanding for the Cats as he never stopped winning ball and his skills didn't suffer despite the conditions. Brayden White had the big job of stepping up to Brennan Reeves shoes, and he did it faultlessly. "We had six players come up from the reserves and they did a fantastic job which puts pressure on the other players and is a great problem for a coach," Hunt said. The bad news for Wynyard is it's still two games outside the top five as Latrobe got a win over East Devonport.





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NTFL Pre-season preview


NTFL PRESEASON REVIEW With the season fast approaching, we thought it might be interesting to do a quick review of the NTFL teams. Regular readers would be very aware of the work the young Robins have been putting in and who the new faces are so we will not spend much time on them at present. So we will start with our Western friends Smithton who last year dealt us a costly loss at their own home which meant a vital ladder position. They made the first semi-final under coach Cameron Blight but he has jumped ship and headed down south to Kingston in the SFL. Meanwhile a few of their regular players also have decided the heat in the NTFL kitchen was getting too hot. No names have been mentioned in the inbox as yet so one would assume that with no height in their key positions they will struggle a bit. Looking into my crystal ball I the can see them beating Wynyard, Penguin, East Devonport and maybe South Launceston at home so a finish around about 8th is their best result. Fellow Cape Country side Wynyard also have a new leader in noted hard-nut Dale Whish Wilson. But they too have been hit by player losses and will find it hard to compete with the power sides. But Wynyard can be a tough team at home as Ulverstone will remember from two years ago and will beat a few teams if they are under-estimated. The Cats love to flick the ball around and do have a number of topliners but depth (or namely lack of it) will annoy Whish very early in the season. Predicted finish from 9th to 11th. The once powerful Burnie still command respect in the league and have the base for a strong side, but with numbers low on the track at present, they may struggle to match it with the others in the early matches. New coach Rod Keogh has lured the pacy and skilled Robbie Gilligan to the club as well as goal-sneak and noted back jumper, Jarrod Ryan. But they must cringe every time they see a bloke like Brett Wilson sitting in the stands and not out on the field making everyone look good. Big Davis is still the best ruck in the competition and he will make West Park seem like heaven for Gilligan and his midfield mates. But with no height up forward and only the Strettons and Wooldridge in key posts a lot will hinge on juniors like McKenna and Reeves. Final’s star Brett Archer is rumoured to be off to Ridgley so a finish just outside the five awaits. Big money spenders Penguin have lost a heap of players but also have a new coach a some interstate recruits. But again depth will test the Two Blues and another season on the wrong side of the win-loss ratio will eventuate. Clint Carpenter is a solid type in the ruck and Max Brown’s mate Justin Cotton is a goer at full forward, but big things will be needed from the Ling boys as well as a huge lift from the mid-sized type Penguin has in over-abundance if they are to soar again. They will struggle though and I think a spot just below Smithton is at hand. Perennial enemy Devonport have lost some names but have also picked up a few good ones in an effort to offset their losses. Gallagher returns after a good year in the strong Ovens and Murray and a few of Penguin’s better kids have joined the black and white army. But doubts remain over the Pies big-game jitters and maybe their time clock for a flag has passed them by. Langmaid, Lowe, Hazelwood and Clements will be asked big questions and if they answer positively, well they might be there again for the fourth year in a row. Maybe coach Perry might need to be able to leave Langmaid in the square and get a winning ruck into place. Maybe the Hess boys or Clint Matthews will do the job. Fourth or third is my tip for the team everyone seems to hate. Across the river East are in for another long, long year. They could not afford to lose anyone but did and have recruited little to date. Chris Dell’s second year at the job will be harder and more hurtful than season 2006. They are after Ben and Tom Reynolds but will need plenty more to test the others. Tip …last. Latrobe have been busy in the off season and Mannie Lynch is quietly confident. A few noted runners are back in Viney and O’Toole so they will speed up a bit, but they need a regular winner at full forward or centre half. They also have struggled with the bigger sides like Devonport and Launceston with their smallish and treacle-slow backline. The Demons will be hoping Josh Holland comes back from interstate and if Zane Littlejohn gets his kicks middle and forward, they might make the five. South Launceston’s chances of finals went out the window when Westfield joined the Devils. Without him they will be also rans who will win a few home games and a few away. Bad luck Doggies. Somewhere between 7th and 10th for you. North also have shown they are the league leaders in losing players with another two or three hundred taking off over summer. On the credit side a few have come back so they might be okay. Grima, Gilligan and Ryan are huge losses so they will struggle away from home but may just make the five. Premiers Launceston are a bit vulnerable with Derbyshire, Stephens and Carins all training with the Devils. If they go and Shipton sticks true to his word to go, they will come back to the field a bit but still have the goods to make it two flags in a row. They have pace to burn, skills, height a smart coaching panel and final’s nerve. The yardstick for all. So there you are, what do you think? Send Zumbuk your ladder and we will present it for all to see if you are a good judge.




NTFL Preview from Terry Morris





Robins aim for Internet Audience





Robins v Glenochy Preview


ULVERSTONE v GLENORCHY PREVIEW

AFTER the Robins successful outing against Latrobe at Haywoods Reserve two weeks ago everyone at the club is buoyant

and feeling good about the upcoming season.The Robins outclassed the Demons with a number of regulars and recruits doing

well with quick ball movement the key aspect.The 30-point win gave our boys a fantastic kick along after a hard and long

preseason but a much sterner test awaits on Saturday at Aurora Stadium.The Glenorchy Magpies, fresh from a 70-point

whipping of NTFL power Launceston, will present a different challenge to an Ulverstone side that is showing all indications it

will be a stronger unit this season.Under the leadership of former Robin David Newitt, the Magpies have recruited hard off

season with former Robin darling Matthew Smith among its big name recruits.Matty starred in his debut last week but a niggling

hamstring strain will keep him sidelined this Saturday. Another top liner to don the black and whites will be former Melbourne

winger and Tassie Devil captain Ben Beams.Beams has quit the Devils and will add enormously to what already is a strong

Glenorchy midfield.But the Robins can win if they play their best side but will they?

Coach Brown will be aware that the Robins first round opponent North Launceston will be watching on and will be reluctant to

show his hand too early.Some big names may be rested and players may find themselves in strange positions.

Will Hubble, Rodman, Williams, Gale or Vanderfeen ruck? Who will play at CHF and FF? Will it be Good or Horton? Will

McCrossen, Hanson, Hayes, Haines and Banham play midfield or at all? Will Skidmore roam the half back line or start at CHF?

Will Zumbuk get his senior chance to debut and get off the dreaded emergency list?Whatever the result, the game will give the

boys another game under their belts and help prepare them for the season opener also at York Park in a few weeks.




Rumour Mill - True or False????


RUMOUR MILL – True or false????

FORMER under 19 coach Don Cooper made a rare appearance at training the other night.

Now retired from the coaching caper, the football-mad Cooper is ever ready to offer his views about the game to anyone

who will listen and still retains the football obsession he developed as a small boy growing up in Penguin.

Casting a critical eye over the Robins training, Don explained to the bar he no longer had the passion for the game and was pleased to have finished with it

altogether.He expoused how it had consumed his life for over 35 years and how he now had found plenty to do outside football.

Quickly downing his beer, Cooper wished everyone well and added that he had to dash as he had plenty to do at home and was ``under the pump’’ workwise.

Little more than 10 minutes later, ``The under-the-pump’’ Cooper was seen watching his old team Penguin train and over an hour later, was seen and heard

perched at the Penguin bar telling the Two Blue faithful how he no longer had the necessary time or passion to get back into football.

Donny just can’t keep away.




Wesley Grandstand


WESLEY GRANDSTAND

TRAINER Geoff Wesley’s playing career centred mainly on the West Coast where he followed in his late

father George’s footsteps.

George was a lifelong supporter of West Coast football from 1924 to 1984 dedicating 60 years to the Lyell

and Queenstown clubs.

In honour of his outstanding devotion, Geoff has been invited to the Queenstown Oval for Saturday’s historic

Tassie Devils practice match where his father and the late Jan Frimley will be honoured with the oval’s

grandstand to be named after them.Jan Frimley was tragically injured going for a mark on the ground and is

the only footballer to have lost his life on the infamous gravel.Geoff will make the trip to represent his family

despite the Robins playing South Launceston in a practice game.




How Long Randall?


HOW LONG RANDALL

TOUGH, courageous, skilled and quick best describe the likeable Randal Mee and while he is feeling the best he has in some

time, it may be a few weeks before the Oak Tree’s favourite son commences his 2007 season.

Always a crowd pleaser, Mee has once again injured his troublesome knee and will have scans early next week to determine if

and when he makes his comeback.With his bubbly personality and cool demeanour, Mee has been sadly missed on the track over

the break but is feeling well despite the setback.``I reckon I feel good but that is possibly because I have not been running around

too mnuch,’’he said.``I hope to get the all clear next week and then back into it, but realise getting a game will be tough.’’

Whilst Mee is missing, another regular in Jeremy Soden made a welcome return to the oval joining in handball drills and short kicking.

Now well into his recovery from a knee reconstruction, Soden is tipped to make his comeback in round five or six.




Lockie Back on Track


LOCHIE BACK ON TRACK

Great to see popular bigman Lochie Watson make a welcome if overdue return to the training track.

Big Lochie (all 203cm and 130kg of him), has had an interrupted preseason due to a new apprenticeship

as a boilermaker/welder and various trips back to King Island and other commitments.

But now the genial giant is back, and don’t the training crew of Geoff Wesley, Max Walmsley and Rex Bloom love it.

The training trio adore Watson who always seem to have a body part needing some TLC and attention.

This time in it is Lochie’s big right dinner-plate sized hand.

A trip to the Launceston Cup was where the injury occurred with a local pushing Lochie’s envelope a fraction

too far which caused the complaint.The clever ruckman’s hand is broken and will be out for four weeks

– so far no-one has an update on the Launceston local who may be pushing up daisies as a result.




Ryans retention Pays off for the Bombers





Ulverstone starting to roll


ULVERSTONE 3.7 11.11 16.12 21.16 (142)

BURNIE DOCKERS 4.3 7.5 11.10 15.11 (101)

Goals – Ulverstone: D. Banham 6, D. Crawford 4, N. Applebee, J. Rodman 2, T. Mee, N. Williams, J. Hays, J. Chatwyn, B. Johnson, B. Murfet, B. Hennessey. Burnie: N. McKenna 3, A. Saville, A. Hering, T. Mihocek, B. Archer 2, B. Davis, M. Smith, K. Munday, M. Stewart.

Best – Ulverstone: D. Banham, D. Crawford, J. King, D. Howard, J. Gale, K. Hanson, T. Mee, H. Anderson. Burnie: M. Smith, K. Munday, R. Gilligan, B. Archer, A. McCall, N. Stanley.

Injuries – Ulverstone: N. Williams, J. Chatwyn (both hamstrings), Vanderfeen (knee), k. Hanson (groin). Burnie: Nil.

Umpires – B. Shadbolt, R. Mee, S. Matson.

Reports – Nil.

Crowd – 831 at Ulverstone.

By Mark Williams,

A fitter and more talent-laden Ulverstone battled former power the Burnie Dockers for 60 tense minutes at Ulverstone yesterday before shaking them off in the latter stages to run away to a 21.16 (142) to 15.11 (101) win.

Both teams came into the game winless after a poor first round results and threw themselves into the contest that showed all the signs of the high standards set in the club’s previous encounters.

Both teams lost key memebers prior to the match with the Robins losing co-captain Nathan Howard to illness Burnie counting out Tassie Devil Luke Shackleton.

But despite the losses, the Dockers opened up more impressively with possible AFL draftee Nick McKenna and Tassie Devil possible Matthew Smith creating enormous match-up problems for Ulverstone.

McKenna was too quick and strong overhead for two goals in the opening 15 minutes whilst Smith registerd 17 first term possessions before Ulverstone moved quick ex-Devonport rover Kurt Hanson into a tagging role.

The Robins in turn showed indifferent styles operating indirectly for poor results interspersed with direct positive play.

Small forward’s Darren Crawford, Darren Banham and Bentleigh Johnson were creating havoc winning plenty of ball out wide but too often this was ineffective due to tight angle shots.

During the second term, the Dockers jumped away again with its midfield of Mathew Smith, Robert Gilligan, Tyson Mihocek and Kade Munday reaping the benefits of slack Robin tagging to win easy balls.

Time and again they ran hard into defence and equally as quick forward leaving the Ulverstone onballers lagging 20 to 30 metres behind for uncontested possessions.

But the home side lifted as the Dockers tired and goals rained when they went long instead of hugging the flanks.

Crawford, Nathan Applebee, Rodman, Williams, Hennessey and Banham (three goals) hammered home majors to open up a lead of 30 points heading into the long break.

With the game at its mercy, the Robins relaxed displaying their softer side as Burnie showed it still has a capacity to match it with the best NTFL teams for a limited period.

Smith, centre half-forward Brent Archer and the veteran Andrew Hering scored goals reducing the Robins lead to 10 points before Ulverstone’s mindset switched and the floodgates opened.

The Robins nailed the next 10 goals to just five with Banham and Crawford turning on high class displays.

Now stationed at fullforward, Banham was too quick for the Docker defence booting four second half goals whilst Crawford was instrumental in setting up many attacking thrusts.

Smith continued to be his team’s major ball winner but was finding Hanson hard to shake as was McKenna with forgotten Tassie Mariner Hamish Anderson who was hard on his tail.

Tall ruckman Ross Hubble, Williams, Hanson, Crawford, Ken Vanderfeen, Jarrod Chatwyn and Johnson all required injury treatment after the game leaving winning coach Max Brown with a false smile.

``We did well to win as we did with so many players suffering some injury,’’ Brown said.

``But we get back Nathan Howard, Adam Conkie, maybe Sam WhishWilson, Brent Melhuish, Joe Pearson and Jeremy Soden in the coming weeks so we will still be a few weeks off playing our best football.’’




What's it coming too?


IF AFL legend Ron Barassi says there is something wrong with the game, we need to listen.
It is becoming increasingly obvious that the AFL rule makers are slowly taking everything away that makes this great game of ours the standout code in Australia.
From allowing a ridiculous level of defensive flooding to virtually kill off any spectacle for the crowd, to cracking down too severely on melees, this once fast-paced and testosterone-filled game is bordering on its sister sport, netball.
What’s wrong with a bit of biffo? Sure, we don’t want our kids to be imitating this behaviour, but this is why they have parents to show them what is right and wrong.
Fining players substantial amounts for getting a little physical out of sheer passion for their club is one of the first nails in the AFL coffin as far as I’m concerned.
No friendly back-chat tolerated at all by umpires, two hours of short chip kicking around the ground instead of banging it long to a one-on-one contest in an open forward line, and now a stupid ‘hands in the back rule’ which has not, never will be and can’t be expected to be officiated with any degree of consistency.
When will it stop?
And who would want to be a defender today? You can’t apply any physical pressure on your opponent whatsoever, not even the good old fashioned method of taking out his arms out in a marking contest.
In a nutshell, all you can do is stand beside your opposite number and keep him company while praying he makes an error of judgement when the ball eventually comes his way.
The new hands in the back rule even has the game’s greatest ever goal kicker Tony Lockett shaking his head, and one feels his record will be beaten in time as today’s best forwards continue to get it all to easy in contested situations.
What’s more, players and coaches’ freedom of speech has been robbed, making them sound like well-trained robots at press conferences.
You know they want to say more as they bite their lips, but they end up repeating themselves over and over again. And they wonder why journalists are critical at times?
There is an old saying: “If it aint broke, don’t fix it.”
This should have been followed by the AFL a long time ago when the game was running a smooth race.
As a result, the game is now receiving more criticism from past and present players than it ever has before and Barassi is leading the charge.

Brad Clifton -Wagga Daily Advertiser




Bulldogs bear brunt of Robins rebound





Venderfeens Season is Over





Volunteers make our club Tick





Max Brown - Hall of Fame Inductee


MAX BROWN – HALL OF FAME INDUCTEE

By Mark Williams,

WHEN Ulverstone’s Max Brown steps on stage at tonight’s Tasmanian Hall of Fame Induction ceremony there will be more than one person in the 600 strong crowd nodding their head with approval.

Leading the charge and among the first to shake the man known throughout the state simply as ``The Fox’’, will possibly be arguably Australia’s greatest ever player and close friend - Darrel Baldock.

Baldock, the only player ever to captain St Kilda to a premiership, has been a long time supporter of Brown and it was at a Brown-organised get together in 2005 at ``The Foxes’’ Ulverstone home that Baldock said to a group involving yours truly that, ``Max is as shrewd as they come in this coaching game and is one of the coast’s real football people.’’

It is also common knowledge that when new coaches come to the coast some source Brown out to pick his brain on what is required to make a successful team.

Recruiters from local and intrastate seek him out regarding his views on players and whenever St. Kilda’s recruiting guru John Beveridge hits our shores, a contact with Brown is always at the top of his agenda.

But while the accolades will deservedly flow, Brown’s mind will not allow him to get too carried away with the prestigious honour.

``While this is a great and very humbling thing, we still have a game to play and win against Wynyard on Saturday,’’he said.

``I have had a long and very lucky career and thankfully have had a lot of really good players to play with and coach.’’

Now 48 years-of-age, Brown begun his playing career way back in 1977 under Victorian John Keast before going on to play 193 games with Ulverstone and the NWFU. It was a damaged knee that kick-started his coaching career.

``The knee went and I had surgery and I could not play to my best again so I coached the under 19s,’’he said.

Now 271 games later Brown has accumulated four senior flags (1990, 93, 94 and 2000) and is keen to add more to the Ulverstone Football Club’s bulging trophy cabinet.

``We have a good group of players this year and I guess part of my success has been my ability to get on with the players and get the best out of them,’’he said.

``I can mix with them off the field as well as on and they seem to know when it is time to have a laugh and when it’s time to get serious.’’




Brownies best from his Four Flags





Lizzard gets the Staggers


THE RAMPANT ROBIN’S TIDBITS

LIZARD GETS THE STAGGERS

Just where did Lizard Leary (or SOT) think he was after getting collected firstly near the goals and then on the vacant grandstand wing in the second quarter?

The little VC member went to ground twice and after the second brace and bit on his right said Fred, he received a free kick for high contact.

With his head spinning like mine after a big night out, Liz ‘s brain went haywire and the NWTCA’s second worst ever opener turned the wrong way and tried to kick towards the team’s defenders instead of the forwards.

Maybe Lizard has been watching a few of the side’s midfielders who have a penchant for going sideways and backwards on occasions and was trying to replicate their wayward styles.

But in true Leary fashion (his old man Terry was a hard nut) after some half time smelling salts, the Lizard went to the forward pocket to kick three snags in ten minutes and help kickstart the Robroys onto a nine goal third term.




Ulverstone v Wynyard Preview


ULVERSTONE v WYNYARD PREVIEW

By Mark Williams,

ACE teenager Hamish Anderson has been rushed back into the Ulverstone side to play the Wynyard Cats at Wynyard tomorrow.

Anderson, 18, damaged a shoulder in the team’s win over the Northern Bombers two weeks ago but has recovered after a strenuous physiotherapy program and has been named on the interchange bench.

``Hamish is a total professional in terms of preparing himself for games,’’coach Max Brown said.

``For such a young person he has a great sense of responsibility and on how to treat his injuries. We are very pleased that he has come up and his inclusion helps us with our team flexibility.’’

As well as Anderson, tall ruckman Josh McDermott has been given another senior shot giving Brown’s second-placed team a distinct height advantage over the ninth-placed Cats.

``Josh stands around 195cm and along with Nils Williams 194cm, Matthew Allford, Zane Good and Jarrod Gale (all 190cm) should give us an edge in the tall deparetment,’’Brown said.

``Wynyard are not to be underestimated though and we recognise they have some very talented players and they also seem to grow a leg on their home ground.’’

Veteran small Andrew Leary also won a recall after a string of strong reserves performances.

Whilst Ulverstone is careering towards another final’s tilt with a 11 win and two loss record, most of the side will recall a disastrous trip to Wynyard in 2005 when the Robins were expected to easily account for the then lowly Cats.

``We were very indirect and undisciplined that day and I can assure our supporters we will not tolerate that type of performance again,’’Brown said.

Regular stars Darren Crawford, Shaun Conkie and Justin Rodman are expected to be available for next week’s match.

In the reserves, coach Kristian Thomas was faced with a headache of a pleasant nature with a huge number of players becoming available.

``We had about 30 players to pick the side from and some unfortunately had to miss out,’’he said.

Among the players who put their hands up for selection in the reigning premier’s side included interstate ruckman Ken Vanderfeen, Rob Lockett, Ryan Edwards, Ben Murfet, Ben Price and Jason King.




Ulverstone v Devonport Preview


ULVERSTONE v DEVONPORT

CAN Ulverstone go against the current NTFL trend and mount a serious challenge to Devonport and release their iron-clad grip on this year’s premiership cup.

The Magpies, sitting undefeated atop of the ladder deservedly maintain flag favouritism and Ulverstone and Launceston are rated the only two serious challengers at this stage.

Saturday’s match at Ulverstone gives the Robins a fantastic opportunity to dent the Magpies all-conquering game.

Ulverstone sit in second spot a game clear of Launceston and need to win to retain second spot and get a home final against the Blues when September action starts.

But beating the Pies is easier said than done.

Last year, the Robins held sway with two comfortable wins and looked set to repeat the dose earlier this season. Bounding out to a strong second term lead. The Robins inexplicably stopped running allowing Devonport to storm home and gain valuable confidence for Saturday’s game.

In the past, the Robins have held a self belief that they can beat Devonport if allowed to play a physical man on man style.

Do they still have that belief and can they employ the one on one game plan against the fleet-footed Pies this time?

Most of the Robins are in form with Darren Banham and Matthew Allford on fire in attack, the defence of Zane Good, Tim Mee, Luke Marshall, Jarrod Skidmore and Jason King playing tight and Justin Hayes, Jeremy Soden, Trent McCrossen, Jarrod Gale and Nathan Howard all getting plenty of ball through the middle, the signs are good.

But to win against the quality Devonport possess requires all to do well.

Nils Williams and Hamish Anderson will be asked for big games and if the youngsters lift it will help push Ulverstone into a position where they can get over the line.

But can the Robins stop the Magpies midfielders Lowe, Heazelwood and Brown? Who will stop Crowden, Haley, Matthews and Langmaid in attack? All will be revealed on Saturday.

Can’t wait, can you?




Ulverstone v Penguin Match Report


ULVERSTONE 5.11 11.18 15.23 22.27 (159)

PENGUIN 2.1 3.2 8.6 12.10 (82)

Goals – Ulverstone: M. Alford 7, D. Crawford 3, N. Williams, J. Gale, J. Hays 2, J. Soden, B. Melhuish, N. Howard, B. Murfet, D. Banham, T. Mee. Penguin; J. Cotton 4, R. King 3, B. Fielding, J. McDonald, J. Ling, T. King, G. Creedon. Best – Ulverstone: T. Mee, T. McCrossen, J. Hays, M. Alford, N. Williams, N. Howard, D. Crawford, D. Banham. Penguin: N. Ling, J. Ling, R. King, J. Cotton, R. French.

Injuries – Ulverstone: J. Skidmore (back), J. Rodman (ankle), J. Gale (thigh), S. WhishWilson (thigh).

Umpires – S. Van Essen, B. Hayes.

Crowd 750 (estimate) at Penguin.

BY MARK WILLIAMS,

A wasteful Ulverstone threw away any chance of a home final next week despite comfortably beating Penguin by 77-points at Penguin yesterday.

The inaccurate Robins quickly stamped their authority on the game to lead at every change but failed to build their percentage enough to replace Launceston in second place on the NTFL ladder.

The 22.27 (159) to 12.10 (82) win could have and should have been much greater but for the Ulverstone ball carriers penchant for holding onto the ball for too long and the easy shots at goal missed.

Time and again Ulverstone’s runners streamed through the midfield but created extra pressure on themselves and others upfield by attempting to beat one player too many.

But despite the wild goal shooting and haphazard style of attack, the talent-stacked Robins showed enough to suggest they just might create some headaches for the other finalists if they can get their best side on the park and in their best positions.

Pre-game, they lost co-captain Jarrod Skidmore and experienced defender Luke Marshall to back and knee problems and hope to have both back along with dashing halfback Dwayne Howard for the Launceston match.

Penguin had earlier shown their defensive hand by starting number one ruck Clint Carpenter at centre half back, key forward Justin Cotton as a ruck rover and Nathan Ling loose in defence.

But despite these moves Ulverstone dominated the centre breaks and around ground play.

OnballersTrent McCrossen, Sam Whish Wilson, Justin Hays, and Nils Williams were winning plenty of ball and up forward, Mathew Alford (seven goals) and Darren Crawford (three goals) cashed in on the spoils.

But whenever Penguin ventured forward, spring-heeled Robin half back Tim Mee let little through in a best afield display and he gained great support from veteran Nathan Howard, Zane Good and Darren Banham.

With the lead out to 64-points at half time and Penguin down and almost out on the ropes, it appeared Ulverstone were on track to make up the necessary percentage but inexplicably took their foot off the pedal.

The lapse in concentration allowed Penguin to play their best football with a five goal to four third term.

Cotton (four goals) became more of a forward target and quick linkman Rodney King ran free to boot three goals and get under Ulverstone’s guard.

In defence, Nathan Ling was marking at will due to the errant forward delivery and rover Ryan French and Jason Ling lifted their workrates around the ground.

With second spot now long gone, Coach Max Brown asked his charges for a last term lift and they responded with seven goals

With an eye firmly on next week, Brown spoke briefly of the win after the match then turned his attention to Launceston.

``We must now go up two gears to be successful in finals,’’he said.

``We cannot afford to be like we were at times today against the other finalists and I believe we have enough talent to kick a winning score against any of the other teams.’’




Rampant Previews the Final Teams


RAMPANT PREVIEWS THE FINALS TEAMS

I’ve been asked by a few of me mates at the Oak who I reckon are the best teams that we might come across in the next few weeks.

Well, after thinking bout it for a while, I’ve decided all of the final five have something to give and on any day they might cause a bit of grief to each other.

So after analyzing the lot of em, I just thought I’d give you a run down of each of em starting with the team that finished first – Perry’s rotten PIES.

Well they flogged all and sundry with their hard running game and only got touched up once and that was by us at Robinland about two months back.

Since then, they quickly returned to their old ways and have belted every team since including poor ol’East last week by over 200 points.

Their game plan is pretty simple. And if ya think about it, it’s not too bad. They stack their middle with receivers like Lowe, Brown and Hazelwood and get some of their harder nuts in Clements, Astell, Haley and Matthews to get the pill out to em.They then run the aggat forward and have a ping at the sticks emselves or shoot in a pass to the leading SOS (Son of Sparrow) Crowden, or bomb it long to the pigeon roost Langmaid. Ol’ Langas is a bit slow these days and often has the odd bird resting on his shoulders up around the sticks but he still is a good mark and an even better kick. And he generally makes em pay if given any latitude whatsoever.

In defence, they are pretty disciplined and go the punch a bit. But they also sweat on the turnover from teams that like to be too fancy with the nut. They then hare off and go to Hazelnut or the despised Lowe to get their forward thrusts going. Fair dinkum, poor Lowey is under the pump at the Pies a fair bit cos they all hate him. And so do the opposition, they reckon he is a yaffler who talks the talk but can’t back it up. Anyway, I don’t know cos I’d like him here in the red and black jumper someday slamming the ball up to LPPS and co. Lowe is so devoted to the game he only drinks a special blend of staminade and eats so many salads that they thought when he got crook a few weeks ago - he might’ve had mixomatosis.

They are not liked by any other team in the comp however and are generally a fairly dull lot. Fair dinkum, there’s more atmosphere in a Dentists or Doctor’s waiting room or at the morgue than in their changerooms before and after a game.

They have quite a few in their club that reckon they are pretty good and I reckon the only thing with bigger heads than some of the Pies is Don Heads itself.

They are coached by Neddy Perry the self professed optometrist, cos it’s ``I this and I that.’’

Big Nedster shoots from the lip pretty quickly and only ever opens his mouth to change feet.

But at this stage they reckon they are home and hosed and I rate em on the top shelf with the next team I’m looking at in LAUNCESTON.

Now this mob are a different kettle of fish again and they have a really good mix of tall blokes, medium size ones and little VC smart arses.

They are a real danger and I think on their day - if they fire, then it could be all over red rover.

They go at it pretty hard and have a few slick movers that feed off big Nosey Donohue in the Uncle Buck and Taylor and O’Keefe in the guts.

They then head the sausage in Derbyshoot’s direction and he does the business on most occasions. But they do fight between emselves a bit and if things go wrong…they can fly off the handle.

Greedyguts Derbyboot likes all the ball when it comes forward and some of their little VC boys love to have a ping at the sticks whenever they get over the half way mark. If they ignore ol’ Derba, he gets the shits quicker than the Dentist when he’s not the centre of attention. Or like a customer at a dodgy Chinese takeaway shop, or the runs like all the NWTCA openers except Cooky and VC frilled neck Leary.

But they can flog any team when on song and when it’s happening to your side, it’s like comparing a fart to thunder, fair dinkum.

Next up are our lads, the mighty Robroys, who play their own brand of Ruck and Roll footy.

We are a show I think but only if we can somehow get all our blokes on the park at the same time and playing as a team.

Our mob are being barracked for by nearly every other club to hopefully get into the grand final against the Pies, and then hammer them by either a point or 100.

But we gotta get there first, and that wont be easy.

We need all the boys to go hard from the first bounce starting on Saturday against the Blues.

But if we only have 75% on song, we will go down as much as it hurts to say that. We are not as flash as the Pies or as big as Lonnie, but we have heart and guts in abundance – lets use it.

The next cab off the rank is the Bombers.

They have been hard hit with injuries and I reckon are going to struggle against the big three and might even go down the gurgler against the Dees on Sunday.

They have though a great centre square set-up with ruck giant Roozabugledale, then swift types in Wanna Bet Wager, Harding and Wilmott all starring at the right time. But after that they fall away quicker than Don Cooper’s hair when he combs his 16 remaining strands.

Poor ol’ Coop, not only is he ugly as a hat full of arseholes, but he is in poor knick as well. His idea of a balanced diet is a cheeseburger in each hand.

Anyway, then we have last but not least in Mannies Dees.

I like the Dees as they are a good lot and have had a hard time since the great man D.J. Baldock strutted his stuff way back in the early 70s.

Ol’ Doc still goes to some games and you know what, he has so much footy knowledge, I reckon he has forgotten more about the game than all of these would-be Kevin Sheedys in the NTFL have ever learnt.

But with Stevo, Woodpecker and Atom Ant Josh Holland running rings round most in the centre, they might just cause an upset. But it wont be a big one cos if they get past the Bombers they will fall flat on their beer and sarses the week after against either Lonnie or the Robroys.

So there you have it, my finals rundown. But before I go I will let you in on the results cos ol’ Worryspoon at the NTFL headquarters has rigged all the games I reckon so that we get some real crackers later this month.

WEEK ONE

Launceston v Ulverstone: Winner – Launceston by 23.

Bombers v Latrobe: Winner – Latrobe by 11.

WEEK TWO

Devonport v Launceston: Winner – Devonport by 27.

Ulverstone v Latrobe: Winner – Ulverstone by 44.

WEEK THREE

Launceston v Ulverstone: Winner – Ulverstone by 33.

GRAND FINAL

Devonport v Ulverstone: Winner – Ulverstone by 19 points.




Ulverstone v Latrobe Preview


ULVERSTONE v LATROBE PREVEIW

By Mark Williams,

STEPHENSON and Dart versus Williams and Gale, Holland and Littlejohn up against Melhuish and Hayes, Ritchie to take on Marshall, the list of match-ups go on and on.

To watch these beauties you will have to be at the Victoria Street ground tomorrow when the fast-improving fifth-placed Latrobe do battle with the building Robins.

As well as the above man on mans, Demon mentor Manny Lynch, who is fast becoming ``The’’ coach of the NTFL with his innovative game plans and styles, takes on our own, new Tasmanian Hall of Fame inductee, Max ``The Fox’’ Brown.

Can theDemon’s talls get on top in the ruck, can their small brigade run with the NTFL’s premier onball division? The questions abound and will be answered soon.

But despite the what’s, maybes and ifs, are Ulverstone getting ahead of themselves with their huge match against Devonport now only 10 days away.

`We are making sure we don’t get ahead of ourselves and realise Latrobe will be a very tough opponent,’’Brown said.

``They have hit their straps and beaten two good teams in Burnie and North Laubnceston in their last two outings.’’

Ulverstone are in top form and fresh from huge wins over Wynyard and Smithton should be very confident of halting Latrobe’s run.

``We should get Conkie back into the side and maybe Crawford so that will make us a bit stronger still,’’Brown said.

``Both of them are goal scorers and will add to what has been a fairly potent forwardline.’’

Matthew Allford, Nathan Howard, Williams and Gale have all spent time in the goal square in recent weeks and with Conkie, Crawford and Justin Rodman waiting in the wings the big scores look set to continue.

``We have to keep getting clear breaks from the centre to create opportunities for the forwards and if we can do likewise against Latrobe we should win,’’Brown said.

Joining Conkie and Sam Whish Wilson in the team is 198cm tall Ross Hubble who replaces Josh McDermott.

``Ross did well on Stephenson last time and we want a similar effort this week if possible,’’Brown said.

``If he can break even with him it will set us on the way.’’




Ulverstone v Devonport Match Report


ULVERSTONE 4.4 11.7 15.10 18.15 (123)

DEVONPORT 5.2 7.3 10.5 12.7 (81)

Goals – Ulverstone: N. Williams, M. Alford 3, L. Marshall, S. Conkie, J. Rodman 2, J. Soden, B. Melhuish, J. Gale, D. Crawford, T. McCrossen, D. Banham. Devonport: M. Langmaid, P. Crowden 2, M. Lowe, B. Charlesworth, A. Clements, K. Hazelwood, T. Haley, C. Matthews, N. Butler, R. Carroll.

Best – Ulverstone: T. Mee, J. Soden, T. McCrossen, N. Williams, H. Anderson, Z. Good, J. Skidmore, B. Melhuish, J. Gale, J. Chatwin, Devonport: L. Stubbs, C. Plumridge, M. Wooldridge, C. Brown.

Injuries – Ulverstone: Nil. Devonport: J. Marshall (hamstring), K. Hazelwood (thumb).

Umpires – R. Mee, M. James, M. Clarke.

Reports – Nil.

Crowd 1286 at Ulverstone.

By Mark Williams,

DEVONPORT’S unbeaten run at the head of the NTFL ladder has come to a crashing halt after arch rival Ulverstone delivered an old fashioned `Kick in the guts’’ to the league‘s premier team at Ulverstone yesterday.

Hitting the previously unbeaten Magpies hard and often in a superb pressurised display, Ulverstone softened up the raging flag favourites early with ``Hard as nails’’ one on one football to deliver a 18.15 (123) to 12.9 (81) thumping..

With co-captain Nathan Howard a late withdrawal due to illness and kicking against a strong northerly wind, the Robins went goal for goal with the competition’s bully boys in the opening term before booting seven goals to two in a superb match-winning second quarter.

Robin’s coach Max Brown’s superb midfield tactics helped matters with former Devonport player’s Trent McCrossen, Jeremy Soden and Darren Banham being given attacking roles on Magpie star’s Damien Martin, Kurt Hazelwood and Mark Lowe.

The Robins trio reaped the rewards and spoils set up by rugged bigman Nils Williams who played his best game of the year in the ruck.

With it’s onball division on top, Ulverstone created enormous pressure on the famed Magpie ball carriers who were not allowed the luxury to present lace out deliver to it’s two-pronged famed attack of Phillip Crowden and Matthew Langmaid.

Such were the rare forward opportunities, that deep in the second term with the Pies down by 28-points, both Langamid and Crowden were playing loose across half back in defensive roles.

``We got enormous drive from our onballers today and I thought we showed what a willing team will do against a team that have been taking all before them,’’ Brown said.

With it’s even spread of scorers, the Robins continued to dominate with Williams, Matthew Alford, Justin Rodman, Darren Crawford and Luke Marshall all causing huge neadaches for Perry’s Pies up forward.

Down 27-points at the long break, Devonport were expected to come out with all guns blazing but failed to fire a shot in the face of it’s season’s biggest test.

Brown added to their woes by sending State boxing champ Jarrod Gale into the ruck and he continued the good work giving the Robin smalls further first centre square use.

Four Ulverstone goals against the wind saw the margin out to 35-points at three quarter time and the big pro-Ulverstone crowd began to rejoice.

``It is a great thing seeing a bunch of young blokes go up half a notch against the best team in the competition,’’Brown said.

``Today’s result was important to us and we can still improve with Nathan and Dwayne Howard, Sam WhishWilson and a few others still out.’’

Philosophical beaten coach Dale Perry said to his charges that the loss had been coming for three weeks with player training numbers and efforts dropping off in recent times.

But with the Magpies game style being exposed against fierce physical pressure and with Ulverstone joining Launceston as real premiership threats, Perry may need to alter his formula if they are to go one step further this season.





2007 | Rampant Reports

Latrobe Practice Match


ULVERSTONE 5.4 8.6 10.9 11.10 (76)

LATROBE 1.1 3.3 5.4 7.5 (47)

Goals – Robins: H. Anderson, T. McCrossen, J. Gale 2, J. Rodman, R. Hubble, J. Chatwyn, A. Johnson, K. Hanson.

Best – Robins: T. McCrossen, D. Banham, J. Gale, K. Hanson, J. Marshall, B. Johnson.

Injuries – T. McCrossen, D. Banham, K. Hanson (all leather poisoning).

Reports: G. Wesley, R. Bloom, M. Walmsley (all Ulverstone).

Crowd: 17 at Haywoods Reserve.

Can count: Trevor Brooks 14, Craig Price 12, Gary Crawford 11.

IT’S not often a winning coach smiles when he sees three of his star recruits taken to hospital in an ambulance.

But that is exactly what Max ``The Dentist’’ Brown did after watching the ex-Devonport trio of Darren Banham, Trent McCrossen and Kurt ``Anderson’’ Hanson firstly destroy a game

Latrobe at Haywoods Reserve on Friday night then head straight to the Mersey Hospital with severe leather poisoning.

The dynamic threesome lit up an otherwise dull and error-ridden match with their effortless ball-winning helping the Robins to lead at every break on their way to a 11.10 (76) to 7.5 (47) win.

``Banham and McCrossen certainly showed poise and class while Anderson could easily had three or four goals in an encouraging display,’’ the Dentist said.

``We got plenty out of the match and I was also happy to see Ross Hubble do well when he shifted into the ruck and Jarrod Gale kept plugging away in another promising effort.’’

Despite the showing of McCrossen, Banham and Hanson onball, the Robins still wasted the ball with indirect play and poor decision making.

Time and again with a player running free, poor disposal contributed to a turnover with gangly Demon tall Mathew Stephenson the normal benefactor.

Big ``Stevo’’ started at centre half back and had a run in the ruck on his way to a 18 mark game but apart from Charlie Ritchie, he received little support from his mid-sized team-mates.

From the first bounce though the fitter Robins created opportunities with their willingness to run from all lines.

Gale and Hamish Anderson in the key forward posts seemed an unlikely pairing but both were effective and worked hard despite Stephenson’s aerial dominance.

Hanson’s pace was another bonus for the Robin’s with the boilermaker-welder’s first three kicks all registering points.

``I was really nervous and wanted to do well,’’ Hanson told former coach Craig Price after the game.

``I know I have to kick goals and create opportunities if I want to play seniors and was a bit disappointed with my finishing work.’’

In one superb section of play late in the first term, Gale, Anderson and Hanson combined to pressure the undermanned Demon defence into a turnover which resulted in Hanson’s first red and black goal.

Regular defender Jayden Marshall was another to show the benefit of a strong preseason with a good effort on the wing and flank.

``Tigger’’ marked strongly and used his renowned long kicking with effect.

With the scoreboard getting lopsided midway through the second quarter, umpire Ricky Youd provided a game highlight when he showed some unintentional aggression by ironing

out Banham in a comical centre square skit.

Wagga recruit Ken Vanderfeen was relieved by Hubble in the ruck and spent time up forward before settling across half back.

``Feen’s’’ run and the inclusion of Nathan Howard off the bench provided a spark in defence but the Robins could not continue their scoreboard fluency.

With the Demons showing more fight, Hubble decided to audition for the upcoming ``Fight Night’’ featuring Gale in a quick sparring session on the Robins half-forwardline.

The rangy Hubble’s fistic efforts earnt him a cheer from the pro-Robin crowd but an early night on the bench from the umpires. The mini-melee sparked a three goal run by the Robins to snuff out the tired Demons.

Ulverstone’s next outing is at York Park against Glenorchy next week and ``the Dentist’’ may be able to consider rested players Jason King, Jarrod Skidmore, Sam WhishWilson,

Nils Williams, Darren Crawford, Nathan Applebee, Shaun Conkie, Luke Marshall, Randal Mee, Mathew Alford, Ben Murfet, Justin Hayes and the revitalised Geoff Wesley.

VOTES-

T. Brooks ( ex-champion)

3: McCrossen

2: Banham

1: Gale.

Justin Hayes ( current champion)

3: McCrossen

2: Banham

1: Stephenson.




Robins Pump Magpies


ROBINS PUMP MAGPIES

IT may only be a practice match in early March against a team from another competition, but the new-look Ulverstone certainly showed it will be a better and more

equipped team to challenge the big NTFL teams this season following its 77-point thumping of Glenorchy on Saturday.

On the wide open spaces of former graveyard, Aurora Stadium, the Robins displayed plenty of leg speed, clean ball handling and cohesion to smash one of the

SFL’s premier teams in an awesome display.From the opening bounce where Ken Vanderfeen bounded high over the Magpie ruckman to hit a mobile rover, the

Robins were clearly a class above as they careered away to a six goal to nothing lead at quarter time.

Led superbly by teenager Hamish Anderson, the lightning quick Darren Banham, hard-at-it Jarrod Gale, the rejuvenated Jayden Marshall on a wing and unlikely backman

Kurt ``Anderson’’ Hanson, Ulverstone simply displayed all the skills coach Max Brown has been hammering into the squad since October.

Swift handball at the stoppages followed by a long direct kick to one of the myriad of mobile forwards has been a rarity at Ulverstone in recent years but promises to become its

trademark this season. Another pleasing aspect was the way Ulverstone kept its game together in the hot and humid conditions.

In the past with a match well in hand, the Robins have been guilty of relaxing but that was not evident with quarter goal scores of six, four, four and four.

With round one opponent North Launceston watching on, Brown moved his players like chess pieces keeping not only Glenorchy guessing but the Bombers as well.

Anderson played back and forward, Hanson in a back pocket and on ball, Luke Marshall full forward and back, Justin Rodman and Nils Willliams at centre half forward and back,

Gale on a wing and Jarrod Skidmore as a ruck rover.Stand-in captain Darren Crawford snared four goals to be the major scorer with no fewer than 12 players sneaking onto the

goalkicker’s list.Better players were Banham,``Warnie’’ McCrossen, Gale, Rodman, J. Marshall, Anderson, Hanson, Crawford, Vanderfeen and B. Johnson.




Ulvey gets over Bulldogs


ULVEY GETS OVER BULLDOGS

ULVERSTONE’S great preseason form continued last weekend with the team enjoying a comfortable

win over South Launceston at the Robin’s Victoria Street ground.Playing a six quarter mixed match, both

coaches agreed to field their best in the opening three before giving up to another 18 players from the

reserve grade the chance to shine.The Bulldogs jumped Ulverstone early and used the strong Southerly wind

to bounce out to a three goal lead before the Robins hit back hard late in term one.Once again Les Hicks

Medal winner Jarrod Gale shone on a wing opening up the South defence with somesearching runs.

Gale has fitted in well and on present form will be a hard man to match up with for opposition teams with

his height, pace and left-foot kicking.With their turn to enjoy the breeze, Ulverstone cleared out to a 20-point

lead before South rebounded hardin the third stanza.Seeking someone to ignite the Robins, coach Brown

turned to veteran reserves captain Travis “Birkenshire’’Burk.

The “pig’’ booted two rare goals in what is believed to be one of his only forwardline games in red and

black colours to kick the home side on to the winning post.“We ran fairly hard and whilst the kicking skills

left a fair bit to be desired, I thought once again we got something out of the game,’’Brown said.

Another new recruit to make his debut was 40-something backman Daryl Galpin.

The former East Ulverstone star came on late and impressed with his willingness to run hard at the ball

and be accountable.Like all the 2007 recruits, the “Galpinator’’ has breathed fresh air into the club and

looks set to be a top clubman this year.




The Rampant Robin rnd 2


THE RAMPANT ROBIN

Gee, what are those two wackers who run this website doing? Fancy asking me, The Rampant Robin to write a yarn each home game about the mighty Robins smashing all and sundry.

Well I will, and this here is my first effort and I don’t really care if you like it or not, they asked and as my other knickname of ``The Postman’’ says, I always deliver.

First up, I won’t disclose my real name, cause I don’t want any fanmail but anyway if you look closely and have half a brain, you might work out who I really am.

For a start I always hang around the bar before the main game and up at the Oak tree during the ones. And despite being a fair man and impartial, I have a bit to say about our great team and the hopeless opposition.

You might reckon you know me already and maybe you do, but I won’t give my secret away and those pullers who run the website better not either.

Well here we go and today started just the same as any other with me opening my eyes wondering where the hell am was.

Geez I was crook after a big night at the River Arms, the Lighthouse and then at the Forth Pub chasing some skirt. All that knocked me around for a while till some grub from the club canteen during the unders put me right.

As usual, I was impressed with the juniors and why wouldn’t I be, as I have had a fair bit to do with what runs out each week in all grades.

As well as a dead set footyhead, I am a bit of a ladies man and many a player has run out here in the red and black with the old Rampant Robin’s gene in his blood, if you catch my drift.

As the siren sounded to finish another great win for Barney Howard’s boys and for the start of the twos, I cracked my first Carlton Draught can and boy did it hit the spot.

Big Matty at full forward is my favourite in this time slot and I also have more than moderate admiration for the bloke ``Dentist’’ Brown calls ``The Birkenshire Pig’’ in the great Travis Birk.

Birky and big Matty are a lot like me in many ways, and I reckon they must have modelled themselves on my gutsy style when I played the game a few years back. But I won’t talk too much about myself as I might give the game away when I start telling you how good I really was.

The boys as expected got the points despite Burnie havingb an undeserved shot after the siren and I too was hitting my straps with my 2nd, 3rd, 4th, , 5th and 6th cans going down easy.

A bloke from Burnie had obviously stopped in Penguin on the way and had a few heart starters and was chipping away at the boys during the senior warm-up. The stroker was saying Buzzard was too old, Hubble too skinny, Lukey ``Muffler’’ Marshall was a corner kicker and that Joe Pearson should concentrate on triathlons instead of the world’s greatest game. I told him Buzzard and Nugget were not even playing and I nearly had to put him to sleep, but he bought me a can so we now are best mates despite him having no idea about the game.

Well, as expected we were killing them from the first ball-up despite Brown playing them all out of position. Old Barney was having a field day calling on him and despite this - I was enjoying seeing the old enemy who had smashed everyone for years struggling to stay with us.

SOB (son of Barney) and SOL (son of Leigh) were missing but FEDC (former East Devonport champion) Justin Hayes was starring and SOBi (son of Bill), SOA (son of Ampol), SON (son of Nuts) , SOZ (son of Zumbuck) and SOC (son of Chatty) were going okay as well. Up here with me, SOP (son of Polly) and SOT (son of Tex), both injured, were into their sixth cans under the tree and offering plenty of encouragement for their fit teammates.

Former champion goal-kicker Trevor Brooks, Trevor Stephens and ex-defender Clayton Williams fresh from being flogged in the B grade coastal tennis grand final earlier in the day were creating some interest with their creative thoughts at the bar, while Andrew Van seemed to have a oversized megaphone implanted in his chest with his loud barracking.

Some clown from West Park tried to outshout Van and reckoned we had to win this year after buying all the new recruits in the off season. BOT (brother of Trevor) and COS (chairman of selectors) Craig Brooks threatened to put him straight, straight to sleep that is and that shut the him and other yafflers from the world’s windiest footy ground right up.

A few more beers then onto the Black Deaths (Jim Beams) to wash down Ronny Ansells healthy burgers after half time, and I was just like the Robins, flying.

We were home and I was well on my way once again.

As a Robin fan, I was treated like royalty under the tree from most and I even got a phone number from a growler as well. Well as you would expect from a noted ``pants man’’ , that worked out rather nicely for all concerned later that night after another big session at the clubrooms.

So there we have it, my first write up and there will be another after our next home game and four points against the Cats in round four.

By the way here are my votes for the game.

3: Banham

2: Crawf.

1: Frodo, Timmy Mee and Hamish Anderson.




The Rampant Robin rnd 3


RAMPANT ROBIN

WELL after my first offering after the Burnie Dockers mismatch, ol’ Zumbuk has asked me to knock together another yarn about our away run against East Devonport.

I told him I would only do the home games but he said some of you readers wanted a bit more of the old Rampant’s writings on our sensational team.

So I will give you sort of the same scenario starting with when I prised my eyes open after a dozen hours or so of grog-induced sleep.

Like yesterday and the one before that and on and on, I woke as crook as a dog again. Don’t know what it is, but every time I have a large grasshopper or two after a few dozen frothies, I get a bit bilious. For those of you that are not as smart as me, bilious means ``Butchers’’, butchers hook = crook.

So after I emptied my innards into the Fowler, I rocked up to the Clock Takeaway for some fried dim sims, spring rolls, chips and coke (not the sort Benny Cousins likes), and away I went to Swanlake with me old mate Della.

Going past Buttons Avenue I saw The Dentist watering his instant lawn again. This bloke does not give a stuff about water restrictions and maybe he is getting his place ready for Garden Monthly or something. The old Dentist is getting round like a half-shut pocketknife these days and was a slow player in his prime and reminds me of a flat I lived in in Melbourne once – he lacked a yard.

Now in the past a trip over to East was not to be looked forward to if you happened to be a player or even a supporter.

The old Swans were a rough and ready mob who loved a fight more than a feed both on and off the ground, a bit like me in my heyday.

Plenty of players used to run out onto the big ground and on more than the odd occasion - not as many run off. Some came off on stretchers courtesy of the red and white boys and others tore hamstrings in the warm-ups like the old Dentist is rumoured to have done on more than one occasion. But as well as being an on ground minefield, the Swannies could also play a bit. Tim Allen, Peter Borlini, Ross Harris, Boof and Tim Smith and AFL stars such as Graeme Wright, John Greening and David Honeybun all were regular stars in the old days but today’s version are struggling a bit. Anyway, the Robins of today would be too good for any of the teams, new or old.

The unders and ressies belted em as predicted and while I was watching the ones gear up, I felt a bit for new Robin and 2007, 2008 and 2009 Darrel Baldock Medallist Justin Hays.

Now I am no softie, as the smart alec who tried to get into my left jab (cab) at the Lighthouse on Thursday night found out. He will be out of intensive care soon but will have learnt a lesson not to try and steal taxis. But Hays was a dead set champ with the Swans and some of them must have short memories because they were giving him a serve or two as he drilled 55 metre passes in the warm-up.

As usual, me and Della were at the bar belting a few into us and went into bat for the champ. But they soon shut up because Della reckons they must have read the book about me or have seen the DVD, and they soon came around and agreed Hays was and is one of the best in the NTFL. They even coughed up a few cans of VB to calm me and old Della down.

Now you blokes that know Della realise he would not hurt a fly. He is a lot like ex-under’s coach Donny Cooper – terrified. Coop was not a tough player and used to sleep with the light on and reckoned marbles was a contact sport so you get what I mean about old Della.

Anyway, with me backing him up he had plenty to say and nearly got in a fracas with a few old east players, but when I stepped in - they stepped out.

With a few of our regulars still out including SOZ (knee), SOBi (sore arse), Frodo (World Cup), Melhuish (Japan), Triathlon Nugget (married-poor sod), the Hubbilator (knee) and Shaun ``Beckham’’ Conkie (calf), we still had too much on tap for the young cygnets and quadrupled our percentage.

The State boxing champ got a run on ball and didn’t he turn it on. Taps, marks and kicks flowed from the left-footer in a super display.

Junior went to the square and joined Crawford and Hays for some goal-kicking practice and Hamish starred yet again. Where in the hell are the Mariner’s spies? They must be mad not to have him in their side.

I reckon he will be the next senior coach when the hierachy finally come to their senses and sack the Dentist. The 17-year-old Hamish would step straight in as the youngest playing coach of all time.

Votes for the East match-

3: Jack

2: Hays

1: Senior coach Hamish, Crawford, McCrossen, Dwayne Howard.

Running tally –

5: Banham

4: 2007 Baldock Medallist Hays, Jack.

3: Senior coach Hamish, Crawford, McCrossen

2: Frodo.

1: T. Mee, K. Hanson.




Robins must improve


ROBINS MUST IMPROVE

By Mark Williams,

ULVERSTONE’S average 2 win-1 loss start to the season sees the club sitting in fourth place on the NTFL ladder and consequently has placed enormous pressure on the side to lift in the coming weeks.

The shock first round loss to Northern Bombers may come back to haunt the Robins later in the season and highlights just how important each game can be to the team’s final’s chances.

With Devonport surprising some by clearing out at the top of the ladder with three superb wins over pre-season finals hopefuls Launceston, Bombers and Latrobe, Ulverstone must keep winning and not drop the so-called easier matches as top spot, or at least a top three finish, is imperative if the side is to cast any claims on this year’s flag.

The Magpies were supposed to be weaker this season but have ridden out the bumps regarding player loss by producing quality direct team-orientated play resulting in huge winning scores.

In contrast the Robins could not finish off the Bombers when leading late in the game and then when injury-ravaged, limped over the line against Burnie before flogging East Devonport.

Some supporters have been saying that Saturday’s result was a good one for the club , but the reality is East did not provide enough pressure to see if indeed the Robins are improving.

This week against Wynyard is another winnable game but the team must start to produce a style that becomes first nature and familiar and one that the so-called power teams (Devonport, Bombers, South and Launceston) might struggle with.

With the player make-up still unsettled due to injury and unavailability, the mixture may be hard to conjure but with height up the spine and speed and skill on the flanks, the Robins should be able to make a start on the type of game structure required.

Ken Vanderfeen’s knee seems to be on the mend freeing him to play whilst Nils Williams should resume after his lower back problem. The extra talls should allow Ulverstone to once again stretch the opposition’s backline if they so wish.

Justin Rodman can play in either key post which gives coach Max Brown multiple rucking options. Jarrod Gale is a sleeper for a follower’s spot and Ross Hubble may come back in against his old side.

Reserves ruckman Josh McDermott continues to impress his coach Kristian Thomas and many others at the club so a senior call-up should not be too far off for the tall blonde.So the height factor which was missing last year and cost them against teams like Launceston and the Bombers should not be a concern.

In the middle Trent McCrossen, Tim Mee, Kurt Hanson, Darren Banham, Jarryd Chatwin, Justin Hays and Jayden Marshall are in solid form.

This group however can still improve and reach the level of Devonport by increasing their two-way running skills and by speeding up their delivery.

An NTFL premiership coach of not long ago said to me a few weeks back that this group can make or break Ulverstone and holds the key to 2007.

Potentially they can be the best midfield in the league and if they get it right - then the club will reach the upper ladder spots before too long.

Down back Zane Good, Luke Marshall, Jason King and the Howards - Nathan and Dwayne are in good touch.

This should allow Hamish Anderson and Jarrod Skidmore to play onball or up the ground more often giving the mid section even more class.

So with Wynyard, Launceston, Penguin and Latrobe on the horizon, and with Joe Pearson, Brent Melhuish and Shaun Conkie all ready to return in the coming weeks we can reasonably expect to see Ulverstone playing a more direct and free scoring style.




The Rampant Robin rnd 4


Rampant Robin at the Ulverstone v Wynyard game.

Another day and another three wins for the mighty red and blacks.

First up Gazza’s boys belted one of the better-performed junior teams of recent years and then Little Thommo’s mob coasted to another four points in the twos.

Then the ones after a slow start flogged a pretty undisciplined Cats mob to hop into second place on the wozza.

The unders win was made even more impressive as one certain ex-coach who got the sideways shuffle was seen mumbling voodoo chants in the grandstand wanting the Cats to get up.

Despite that they won well and ol’ Barney is to be patted hard on the back for doing a good job.

In the ressies, our boys led by the irrepressible Matty Turner and Tiny Tim Auton helped themselves to a great 100-point plus hammering.

Ol’ Hooch had it on a string when he got the chance without some of the others getting under his feet, but some uncharacteristic inaccurate kicking cost him a 10-goal plus tally. Tip toe Auton did plenty and I reckon he will be hammering on the Dentist’s door asking questions regarding two o’clock for next week.

At the main time slot, the boys crept out of the blocks but had too much in the tank to win going away against an average Wynyard side. Anyway, the day was not the same for me, as I did not wake up my normal crook self. The Friday night was spent watching Frodo’s mob smash poor old Ireland in the Wilson Pickett.

Fancy leaving beautiful Ulvey to go to the Caribbean for a cricket holiday.

Anyway, I did not feel right and got to the footy feeling like I had let someone down. Now maybe I did as Doc Heikenin the best quack in Tassie, took one look at me and immediately booked me in for a service. He reckoned I looked a bit like a 1997 edition of Playboy from the Ulvey market – second-hand.

Without waiting, I snuck into the clubrooms and hit Coxy for a heart starter and presented myself once again to the Doc. Miraculous he said, I had improved so away I went with a gusto.

Well, I was quickly into a shout with a few blokes at the Oak tree and was in full cry once the teams hit the ground.

Boy did we go alright when we went up the guts. Young Josh ``Dermie’’ McDermott starred in the Uncle Buck and goal-sneak Crawf had it on a string again. Wander medallist Hays was good and Junior got a few sausages before rolling his ankle. Down back Buzzard was Buzzard and his cousin was okay as well. Senior coach Hamish got better as the day wore on and Timmy Mee was near BOG.

McCrossen got a fair bit of the pill out on the wings and Kurt Anderson got snottered to go with his good game. His mate SOBi (Nils) landed a few to his antagonist to even the score.

Up in the stands the Dentist was working the interchange just for the sake of it I reckon. He had the blokes going all over the ground. Maybe someone should tell him that it is okay to leave the boys in the one spot for more than two minutes.

Well that’s it for the Cats belting. Here are my votes.

3: Buzzard

2: Timmy Mee

1: Crawf, McCrossen, Basketballer Murf, Anderson Hanson, Senior coach Hamish.




The Rampant Robin rnd 5


LAUNCESTON TOUCH UP

BOY are those commodore cars tough or what.

Everyone knows a commodore story whether it be about an old one like the hoon-mobile SLR 5000 or something like those brand spankers the crusty Robin supporters drive round in.

But after seeing a silver commodore roll into Windsor Park on Saturday in one piece, the legend continues to grow.

At the wheel was the ``Dentist’’, the man who has the club’s top job on short-term loan from his second banana, Hamish ``Senior coach’’ Anderson.

With the ``Dentist’’ hogging most of the front viewing area, not a lot of room would be left in a normal car.

But, somehow in the Car of the Year’s passenger side seated comfortably, was possibly the world’s greatest sport’s expert in Stephen ``Toad’’ Pearce.

``Toad’’, a single figure handicapper in golf, was a great coastal cricketer and is currently among the upper echelon of coastal poker players. He enjoys his footy and loves nothing more than to come along and encourage his beloved Robins whenever he can. And besides, he is always willing to be the designated driver – making him a very valuable commodity.

Crammed into the backseat behind ``Toad’’ was the irrepressible Gerry Callander.

Gerry is very much a ``Dentist’’ fan and rarely ventures far from his side, so he would have found not only the cramped quarters behind Stephen troubling, but the one-one sit away from his leader very upsetting.

On Gerry’s hard right was the new FC.

The ``Forward coach’’ sometimes goes by the name of Trevor Brooks and he too was finding the travelling conditions a little close for his comfort.

When the ``FC’’ played footy, it was usually on a flank and with a job as a greenkeeper - would be used to space, but this was different.

Squeezed in behind the ``Dentist’’ and nuzzled into the FC’s side was Murray’s Big Day Out.

Muzza may not be tall like his son Glenorchy Matthew but he too likes space and was not enjoying the Brant and Todd-like conditions.

So, with the windows wound up and the five larger than large frames breathing various forms of halitocious into the cosy atmosphere, and with body odours permeating into each others clothing, the sardine-like inhabitants’ tempers became frayed.

Tempers became agitated at Latrobe and by Exeter, voices were being raised.

Anderson should be left in one position and up forward screamed the FC. He should be there with champion goal sneak Matty Turner in a pocket. Leave Williams in the ruck croaked Toad. Hanson has to tag Ellis bellowed the Dentist – Gerry agreed. Murray’s Big Day Out yelled that McCrossen should start on the wing and so on and on it went.With each outburst the members puffed out their respective chests causing pressure-cooker like tension inside the silver commodore.But somehow, it made it to the swamp-like oval despite carrying two tons plus of flesh and with a driver sporting less than 20-20 vision.

But the Robroys won easily anyway.

As usual, Jack, Timmy, senior coach and Dwayne starred.

The ressies flogged theirs and the unders chimed in as well.

All in all a great day – Bring on the Two Blues.




The Champ is back


THE CHAMP IS BACK……FINALLY

BY THE RAMPAGING ROBIN,

WELCOME back champ, welcome back to your rightful time slot of 2 o’clock.

For those of you who have been living under a log or in Outer Mongolia or even worse, Penguin, I am giving the old Rampant backslap to none other than one of the greatest blokes ever to pull on the red and black in Matthew Turner.

Hooch, is and has been a loyal and star performer for blokes like Little Thommo, Peter Templeton and others for years, and he makes his long overdue return to the ones today after a break of nine long years in the magoos.

The short-haired one with a head only a mother could love, still may not look the most fashionable player going round like Junior or Buzzard, but when the ball gets in his vicinity, its goodnight as it disappears into his dinner plate sized hands before heading over the white coated clown’s head in the sticks.

Now for those of you are like me, a fair dinkum Robin, seeing the Hooch man back makes you swell up with pride like Don Coopers gut after a big meal.

But I reckon the club should make the Dentist really make the most of the champ’s all round appeal and skills by starting him in the square when kicking to the town end and then rest him under the Oak tree when kicking to the sea end.

Hooch is the tree’s favourite player and would swell the fan numbers and bar profits if allowed to see out half the game on the ground then the other leaning on the bar with us fans.

He is good enough to run rings round most NTFL backs and more than good enough to drink most of the piss pots under the tree under the table.

Imagine when Hooch heads home after the game and the queen says to him, ``How did you go today darling?’’ Hoochie could answer , ``Booted 10 sausages and slammed down a dozen Carlton Draughts and a few Beams, all before three quarter time.’’

What a star he is and I reckon the old Dentist must have been considering him for ages now.

And why wouldn’t he? Big Matty is a bit like me and senior coach Hamish in that he is a student of the game. He knows everything about it and has forgotten more than blokes like sacked unders coach Don Cooper and a few of the Dentist’s cronies combined.

Gee, and to top it all off, he is a great bloke.

So get behind the Hooch today against the Two Blues, he should get his regulation dozen old molls, and later when he is getting chaired off, buy him a coldie like his boss Craig Brooks has too when the great one passes 6 goals each match.




Ulverstone v Penguin Report


ULVERSTONE 5.8 8.13 15.19 19.20 (134)

PENGUIN 0.1 2.2 5.4 8.9 (57)

Goals – Ulverstone: M. Turner, D. Crawford 4, J. Skidmore 3, S. Conkie 2, J. Gale, D. Howard, T. McCrossen, H. Anderson, B. Murfet, J. Rootes, T. Auton. Penguin: B. Jackson, C. Carpenter 2, B. Fielding, J. Cotton, C. McDonald, P. Kelly. Best – Ulverstone: J. Gale, K. Hanson, T. McCrossen, N. Williams, J. Skidmore, D. Howard, D. Crawford, B. Murfet, T. Mee, M. Turner. Penguin: R. King, C. Carpenter, C. McDonald, P. Kelly.

Injuries – Nil.

Umpires – A. Mee, S. Blizzard.

Reports – Nil.

Crowd – 827 at Ulverstone.

BY MARK WILLIAMS,

ULVERSTONE coach Max Brown has blasted Central Coast rival Penguin after his side’s 19.20 (134) to 8.9 (57) win at Ulverstone yesterday saying the Two Blues had let themselves and their supporters down with an insipid display.

Brown had just watched his three-quarter strength team clinically dismantle the upbeat Penguin unit who had in the opening weeks of the season shown vast improvement on previous years.

``I thought with the build up they had after their strong win over the Northern Bombers and ours against Launceston last week, it would ensure a tight game,’’he said.

``But Penguin did not handle the pressure well and I thought their name players let their teammates down.’’

The crushing 77-point win in blustery and slippery conditions showed that Ulverstone with upwards of eight senior players still to return, are building another accomplished side that should mount serious challenges to the NTFL power’s Launceston and Devonport come September.

``We will get Nathan Howard, Darren Banham and possibly Ken Vanderfeen and Ross Hubble back for next week against Latrobe,’’Brown said.

``We also have some others in Jason King, Justin Rodman, Sam WhishWilson, Matty Allford, Nathan Applebee, Zane Good and Jayden Marshall still pressing for selection.’’

But despite the missing soldiers, Brown was highly impressed in his team and in particular newcomer Jarrod Gale’s best afield performance.

Two weeks ago Gale convincingly won the Light-Heavyweight boxing title of Tasmania in a skilled and brutal display and repeated it football-style in only his fifth NTFL game.

Whether on a wing or at half-forward, Gale dominated with his speed, play reading and skill leaving Penguin with one of many match-ups they could not quell.

Joining Gale in the slaughter were fellow midfield runners Trent McCrossen, Kurt Hanson, Justin Hays, Ben Murfet, Tim Mee and Jarrod Skidmore who all ran man-free for most of the game.

Upfront, Darren Crawford and new boy Matthew Turner helped themselves to goal kicking practice.

Crawford nailed four goals and gave off another five whilst Turner, in only his third senior game and first in nine years - kicked four goals and five behinds.

With their supply dry through the Penguin midfield, life took on a different outlook for star forward Justin Cotton.

Big ``Joey’s’’ dragon-like 12-goal performance against the Bombers seemed a distant memory as Robin dragon-slayer Nils Williams torched the big man in a classic defender’s display.

Bodying Cotton off the ball or punching it clear in marking duels, Williams played his best game for the season and showed the benefit of a long and hard preseason.

Joining the Robin bigman shoring up a mean defence was the quick Dwayne Howard and unsung teenager Hamish Anderson.

``I thought our young defence was superb and will only get better with each game,’’Brown said.

Leading at every change, Ulverstone clearly showed superior fitness, skill and football nous but new Penguin coach David Law remained upbeat.

``They are a good side but not the best we have played,’’he said.

``South Launceston have been clearly the best against us and we now know the improvement we have to show if we want to match the top sides and when we meet them again in 11 weeks.

``Today our delivery into our forwards was not good and too often we were led to the ball.’’

A sign of the frustration Penguin players showed came late in the game when battling ruckman Clinton Carpenter raised his arms in jubilation after kicking a 50metre goal – his side being 79-points down at that stage.




The Rampant Robin rnd 6


RAMPANT ROBIN WATCHES ULVERSTONE HAMMER PENGUIN

ONE thing you can never accuse those Two Blue boys and their feral supporters from 11 kms west is not having a dip when things get tough.

Boy, whilst we smashed em from the first ball up, they didn’t give in despite the inequality of the matchup, fair dinkum it was like putting the super unfit Don Cooper up against the super fit Chris Judd in a series of physical tests.

Imagine Cooper, with his pregnant look taking on Judd in a 100 metre sprint. Judd would stop the clock in about 11 seconds while the timekeepers would time Donny with a calendar.

Anyway Donny would seriously think he has done more in footy than Judd with his high school premierships and combined game coaching jobs.

Anyway, us spectators at the Oak had a ball as usual and with our favorite son Hoochie in the team, we cheered his and the team’s every touch and specially Hooch’s four great sausage rolls.

Some of the Penguin yobbs came up for a few lagers but got snakey watching the scoreboard get away from them. They tried to get into us a bit about our side having so many imports, but when they realised that we had snagged McCrossen, Hanson and Dazza from their arch enemy, the puritanical Devonport – they lightened up a bit as well. In the end they too agreed we were too good.

Hooch’s mates from the ressies were here in force trying to fill his shoes in the drinking stakes - but they failed miserably. Just like the Two Blue defenders trying to curb the NTFL’s version of Gary Ablett senior.

Junior, junior Rodman – all 37 kilo of him, set the pace early and he was getting a fair bit of heat from Rudy Mee, third last man standing Hubble, Jade Hughes and the world’s best opener apart from Matty Hayden in Christian Cook. But late in the game the boys started to slow a bit due to the big night ahead at the clubrooms.

But in Hooch’s absence to keep the pace on, I stepped in as usual and kept old grumpy flat out behind the bar.

I started on Melbourne Bitter then onto Carlton Draught, had a few Boags just to give myself some diahorrea to make some room for a few syrups to finish off.

Out on the grass, Jack shaped up to them and they shipped out, he was starring on a wing and the usual cronies of McCrossen, Kurt Anderson, Skiddy, Crawf and Japanese Mel were hogging the spoils like the Dentist and Cooper at a free pizza night.

Ol’ superboot Joey Cotton was struggling with SOBi hammering him at every opportunity and without the goals coming, there stats man went to sleep.

Good to also see Ex-dribbler Ben getting a few touches as I reckon the Dentist has him in the gun waiting for him to fall over. Dribbles is a different bloke; good at any sport and most of the time pretty switched on. But those of you who know him well realise he is not an angel. Just ask him about the time he burnt Bill Williams kitchen down when full of syrup.

Little Thommo is a great supporter of Ben and likes to mother him and the rest of his boys like an old plover. Thommo and Gazza Howard are the real coaches at the club and make the Dentist look good. Boy, the Dentist even got the legend, Wayne Wing in to rev up the boys before the Penguin game.

Thommo and Barney though stick by their blokes and would go to war for them.

Imagine the Dentist beside you in the trenches- gee when you copped one in the shoulder, the Dentist would disappear quicker than a barrel of Kentucky Fried at Lachie Watson’s dinner table.

Well here are my votes for the Penguin belting –

3: Jack ``Tyson’’ Gale

2: McCrossen, Skiddy, SOBi, Kurt Anderson.

1: SuperHooch, Senior coach Hamish, Justin Beam Hays, Dribbler Ben, Japanese Mel, Les Toombs and Tim Auton.




Getting the Team on the ground


GETTING THE TEAM ON THE GROUND

NOT many people at the football might realise the training and planning involved into getting the team onto the ground each Saturday.

An average Ulverstone week consists of an hour and a half training on Monday night followed by a coaches and selectors meeting to pre-select the side and suitable match ups for the coming Saturday. The medical staff are hard at it as well treating minor and major injuries as well as the odd above shoulder-related complaint.

On Tuesday the team meet again for another two hour run again followed by a coaches meeting to update on injuries and availability.

Wednesdays involves coach Max Brown ringing opposition coaches and supporters trying to get any inside information on the coming opposition. It also involves a trip to the club to check with the training staff on injury updates.

Thursday’s usually consist of an hour on the track followed by a team barbecue with Gary Crawford and Murray Smith. Close watchers will also see former running coach and current trainer Geoff Wesley working privately with injured gun Jeremy Soden getting leg speed back into the exciting centreman. Then it’s into the selection room again to redo the whole side following last minute injuries and information.

Some Friday nights it’s another team meeting for an hour.

Saturday’s the side meet at 12.30pm for another meeting where a guest speaker addresses the group. Against Penguin club legend Wayne Wing spoke of the two club’s intense rivalry urging the side to hit Penguin hard early. They did and a big winning margin resulted. Last year Brown called on former Collingwood star Phil Manassa to speak to the players prior to a match against Smithton. Manassa spoke of mateship and love of the jumper – Ulverstone won by 50 points.

After the match, players generally get treatment and take a trip to the ocean and then it’s into the clubrooms for a drink. Some players spend more time in the rooms on a Saturday night than at training during the week and I guess that’s why the club is doing so well this year. A happy and hard training group that love a beer and getting together with their mates.

From president Greg Wing to the trainers Geoff, Mel, Rex and Max to Gary Bates and Tommy Marshall, to video and website manager Zumbuck, to the gate and timekeepers and hard working shop attendants, everyone is the same and Ulverstone must cash in on this workable mix to make season 2007 a winner.




The Rampant Robin rnd 7


RAMPANT AT THE LATROBE GAME

WHAT a great ground the Latrobe Oval is.

Got it all has this place.

Super surface, good size and a great place to hold the finals.

Off ground, they have a great shop with enough variety to keep even the hungriest happy and an old but sturdy grandstand to keep the wind and rain off everyone’s backs.

But the best part of it all is their drinks station up on the hill.

Gee what a ripper, no queuing here and what a range to keep even me, the old Rampant Robin happy.

Plenty of Carlton, some bathwater Boags and a few varieties of syrup – heaven.

And, to make it all better, you get the chance to be served by one of the old NWFU greats in rollicking Rod Butler.

Butts is a diehard Demon and was a champion player 100 years ago and he also is a diehard drinker. Always wearing a smile despite watching the Dees get knocked over quicker than a carton of hot VB cans at Don Cooper’s place. He also has a good word for every customer. As if the Rampant needs a smiley face at the bar to keep coming back but Butts knows a bit about public relations and helped drain my wallet in record time on Saturday.

Unlike some of those wanks from Devonport, Penguin, Wynyard and up north, the Demon supporters aren’t a bad lot and after a few hours rinsing my mouth out with numerous varieties of cans, I reckon they might be my second favorite NTFL club.

Earlier on I got to the ground to watch Barney’s boys battle it out with little Shane Keep’s underage Demons and boy, I was happy cos it was a ripper game.

Big Barn’s lads leapt out to a handy lead only to see the little ex-Devonport rover’s boy’s storm home in a nail-biter. Anyway we won and that got my thirst up so I went up to the hill to watch Thommo’s lads take on their twos.

Little Thommo is another favorite of mine and I like his coaching style. He leaves the blokes in positions for most of the time and unlike his brother in law, the Dentist, does not get too uptight and testy when the heat rises.

Thommo’s boys are starting to fly and he just might get another flag to make it two from two in two years. The Dentist reckons he has been kissed on the pecker by a fairy getting an easy ride, but little Thommo is a player’s coach and I reckon he deserves whatever success comes his way.

Fair dinkum, everyone loves little Thommo, he is a bit like Linda Lovelace, he would do anything for a friend and would bend over backwards for a mate in need.

Anyway, back to the Latrobe soaks at the bar, they were hogging into the piss no doubt expecting another flogging but they still kept their sense of humor with every goal with hit them with.

I joined in a shout with Butts and the memories came flooding back. When he played we hated him cos he kept on getting the ball and around goals was a bit like the Catholic Pope – he wouldn’t pass the pill.

But on the gas he was very sharing buying me a beer every two or three shouts.

Some of our ressies champs decided to have a few after pumping the Dees by 89 points with six goal star Chris Haynes leading the charge.

Haynes is hammering on the senior door and I think he might be the next of Little Thommos boys to get a senior run.

Haynes’ likes a drop but is a bit skinny and has rather small tanks so maybe he shouldn’t drink, but like his footy - he does have a go.

After a few cans he was wound up and he reckoned he was gunna have a few syrups with 2007 Wander Medallist Hays after the game. Well, Haynes’ was gone by half time and looked a bit like Don Coopers beer fridge door handle – stuffed and worn out. Old Donny gives the tucker and snakes hiss a real pasting and loves nothing better than a six or seven savs and 20 or 30 warm VB cans at each sitting.

But back to the game and didn’t Crawf stitch em up. He was good and I reckon in another life he was a 6 foot six ruck or something. Fair dinkum, he loves to get in the corridor and be the man and why not – he is humming.

Anyway, Hooch, Banham and SOBi also got amongst the majors and big Third Last Man Standing Roscoe did a super job on Demon praying mantis Matty Stephenson. Stevo could mark a ball in a typhoon with his eyes shut but Hubble kept him under raps all day.

Dwayne Howard did well as did senior coach Hamish while little Kurt Anderson played another top notch game.

Anyway, after the match some of the Demon supporters got in Anderson’s and SOBi’s ears and now they are going on the Latrobe end of season trip to the Idy 500 at Surfers.

They are a friendly lot here at Latrobe and I might even join them on their trip as well, I might get into another shout with Butts.

Well here are my votes.

3 – Crawf

2 – Dwayne Howie, Kurt Anderson, Third Last Man Standing Hubble.

1 - Max Walmsley, Skiddy, SOBi, Hoochie, Senior Coach and Buzzy.




The Rampant Robin rnd 8


RAMPANT

I rubbed my eyes and banged on my ginger beers hard, what was I hearing?

It was Friday night about 7pm and I had just nipped out of the Lighthouse to get a bit of fresh air and empty my guts of some unwanted liquid when I thought I heard the booming and bellowing voice of ``The Dentist.’’

I couldn’t be hearing his voice as I was some kilometre and a half from the Victoria Street ground but his unmistakable roar was coming through loud and clear - ``Roscoe..chase Murf up the ground, Froggy..get onto Hays, and for frigs sake, Rootsey..find a man when you kick.’’

Yep, it was Brown and it was the footy club he was at, but what in the name of hell was going on?

So I picked up a six-pack of Carlton and headed down for a squiz.

Getting closer I could see the lights on and the noise getting louder.

What was happening? It had to be a game of some sorts and why were the Robins involved? They had the bye and should be getting ready to smash the arch enemy Devonport next week.

When I got to the ground I could see it was a practice match but could not believe my eyes or ears when I saw the self-professed supercoach with a megaphone.

Sheez, I thought Andrew Vanderfeen could not be beaten in the volume stakes but here was ``The Dentist’’ taking the decibels to new levels.

Perched up in the visitor’s stands with all his friends, Brown cast a sad figure watching the two teams go at it. One was coached by Little Thommo and the other by the FC, Trevor Brooks.

Thommo’s mob were behind but rattled hard to get within a kick or two of the FC’s lot when the loudmouth with the speakerphone called it a day.

Down near the clubrooms the knockers were having a field day, Barney reckoned it was a circus with ``The Dentist’’ doubling up as senior coach and clown rolled into one. Les Toombs had never seen or heard anything like it and Max and Rexy just grinned and said thank god no-one else from any other clubs were here.

In the rooms afterwards, the boys were pretty stoked with the hit-out. The skills were good, the kicking clean and for once they seemed to want to go direct with the ball. Old S O Cobber (Dwayne Howard) was again flying and Hoochie had it on a string yet again. Senior coach was getting plenty of it as was Wander Medallist Hays and his opponent ``The Frog.’’

Thankfully ``The Dentist’’ put away the volume blaster to say to the players it was one of the best practice matches he had been involved in.

Then it was into the clubrooms for a few lagers to wind down.

Inside, little Dazza was on his second can and was looking gone. Thankfully he can last a game but in the drinking stakes he is still on his L plates. His bum buddies Hoochie and The Frog were egging him on and trying to get him to fall down. But they did not have to wait long to see someone get hammered by the syrup and it was the FC who provided the boys with some merriment and mirth.

The FC reminded them of his coaching win about a 100 times and kept them entertained with his prowess with the ladies.

Anyway, no game for us so I might spend the day going through my scrapbooks to remind myself just how good I was in my heyday. Go the Robins.




The Rampant Robin rnd 9


ROBINS FALL TO ROTTEN PIES WELL done Devonport, well done you were too good. Gee that hurt to say, but the Maggies and their one-eyed brain dead supporters were too good when it counted and now have one up on us at this stage. But as you know, like the mighty Robins, the Rampant doesn’t take things laying down and I expect us to bounce back real hard after this mid season hiccup. Frig, the day started badly enough with the ressies rubbing the sleep out of their eyes in the dew-kicker time and falling by a kick. Then Barn’s boys who were top of the wozzer got a real wake-up call in the unders. Still I was pretty confident going into the two o’clock slot and after watching the boys do their warm ups, I was quietly thinking we would win by around 100-odd points so I ventured to the Maggies rip-off bar on the hill and settled into a few. Gee, those Devonport caterers know how to relieve the coin off you. A salad roll that would hardly feed a canary was about $4 and a bottle of gut-rot coke was about $3,no parrotfish on the menu to be seen either. Luckily I don’t like to mix food and soft drink with my grog so I gave the roll and black death a miss. Anyway, I nearly choked on my first Carlton when the game started and that mini-Derbyshire Crowden belted in their first in the opening minute. It was only last year that his dad, Kerry Sparrow was a guest of Ulverstone when he sat in on the Smithton pre-game Dentist yak-fest along with Fabulous Phil Manassa of Collingwood fame. Anyway, it didn’t take long for us to get the lead back courtesy of Roota slamming in two and it was then that I made my first mistake of the day. I could see the Pies were shot and we would flog em again. And with the rain on the way and thinking it would be a real low scoring affair, I started spruiking and telling those smart-arse Magpie supporters that I would scull two cans for every goal we let them have. I reckoned they might pinch five sausages for the day and that would make it a comfortable 10-can game. So at the half way mark through the second quarter I was still about .05 on the breathalyser richter scale and was kicking myself cos the Carltons were going down a treat. I was dry as Don Cooper’s wife’s whisker after some of his antiquated foreplay and love-making and thinking gee - I might have to sneak in a few wedgies when the Devonport machine kicked in and the Robins well-oiled unit blew a gasket. They hammered on the goals and for once I was under the pump with the cans starting to line up. The Pie inbreds were laughing at me and our team but like a trooper - I soldiered on. At three quarter time I knew both the team and myself were gone despite being only a kick and four cans down. Six goals in the last quarter meant twelve more cans in thirty minutes and I was like the Robins – stuffed. On the ground, I reckon some of the boys might have made a similar bet to the one I thought up. Only the Baldock Medallist, senior coach, skinny Mee, SOBarn and 250-gamer Skidster were firing. After the belting in the rotten Magpie clubrooms, I had my shirt hanging out, was a bit dishevilled, and was slurring my words sounding like a Don Cooper pre-game speech and making no sense when some of the Robin’s coaching panel saved me. Dentist yes men - Gerry ``Flour Head’’ Callander, FC Brooks, cousin Wearne, Clangers and Little Thommo eased a few cans out of me and suggested I have a rest from the drink. Well I did for five minutes or so and then ended up having a few with some of the Devonport players. Big Sam Hess, Sammy Astell, SOS (son of Sparrow) and Clint Matthews aren’t bad sods to have a pen and ink with. But did we learn a lesson from the hammering? I’m sure the players did and I me too. I learnt to tread carefully in unfamiliar mens rooms cos I nearly went head-first down the Fowler when I was having a Dan McGrew. We have to realise that when in front like we were in the first quarter don’t big note. We also learnt that opposition and the grog alike need respect and I don’t think we showed enough of that at the home of the black and whites. Well here are my votes from a forgettable game. 3 – Baldock Medallist Hays 2 – Skinny Mee, Senior Coach, 1 – SOBar, Skidster, Iron Mike Tyson, Craig Price




The Rampant Robin rnd 10


RAMPANT AT THE SOUTH LONNIE MISMATCH

Every week we see a lot of firsts at this footy club and this weekend when we belted the Bully’s it was no different.

The firsts started against the Bombers in round one when the Dentist and his band of yes men somehow concocted a ploy that enabled Ulverstone to throw away a 20-point lead in time on and lose the game. Then after round two when we got our first win over Burnie, Baldock Medallist Hays nearly blew his stack after he had his first win in about ten years after some barren times with his former club East Devonport. They didn’t win much and used to sing the club song and do a lap even if they won the toss.

Then a few weeks ago, we saw the long overdue selection of Super Hooch into the ones and then against Latrobe, I saw SOBuzz kick straight up the middle for once and Dazza Crawford handball near goal – alright it was near the defensive one - but a handball is a handball.

Against the Doggies - Hooch kicked his first six-goal haul in senior company and the Dentist gave a half-sensible three quarter time address for once.

But, the first on everyone’s lips at the ground occurred in the match involving Little Thommo’s ressies. A team that includes a fair chunk of multi-facetted types – you know- blokes who try and play a heap of sports, with and without success. Blokes like Ben Murfet (basketball, cricket, tennis, knitting), Jade Huge (same as Murf) and Christian Cook (cricket, footy and pocket billiards).

But the main issue involves another bit of this – bit of that type in Andrew ``The Lizard’’ Leary.

After about thirty years of playing for the Robins in footy and cricket, Lizard has never incurred the wrath of the blind, white maggots and been sent off or reported. But that all changed when the man who challenges Captain Cook as the worst opener in NWTCA history - opened up on the Bulldog’s seconds.

The Liz thought he was being picked on or something so he snapped one bloke on the chin and then snuck in a beautiful jumper punch on another. And to top it off he tried to put their ruckman into La La land with a beaut Sleeper Hold reminicent of The Hulkster on WWF. Then with his dander up – the Liz was sent off by the white attired man with a harnessed labrador and cane.

After the match under the Oak sculling a few heart starters watching the ones, the Liz was talking it up big with another member of the VC club.

Now for you who don’t know what the VC club is, have a think. Lizard, Frodo King, Jade Huge, Kylon and Kaden Homan and Kurt Anderson are all the founding members. Little Thommo is on the waiting list to get in as is runner Craig Price.

The VC stands for vertically challenged or short arses in my lingo.

Liz was telling all and sundry about his quick moves and stinging punches. And well into the last term with the Robins close to ten sausages in front – the Liz was starting to get confident about a possible bare knuckle encounter with reigning State champ pug Jack Gale in a clubroom face-off.

Sprouting on about the Fistic Fury he creates and his ability as a Fighting Phenomina, the Liz looked like a courting pidgeon with his chest and chin stuck out. But back in the beer rooms after the senior’s win, the Liz went quiet when it was mentioned to Jack and he came close.

``I am no fool,’’ said the now more-reserved Lizard. ``I reckon I am pretty good at fighting so I might challenge someone a bit weaker - like Frodo or Murf or Huge to a death match.’’

Now a few others at the club have done some boxing also, ex-under 19 player under-developer Don Cooper had 19 pro fights. 18 came by knockout and he won the other one. They used to call him Kid Candles, one blow and he was out.

But I reckon if the Liz wants to don the gloves he should take on The Dentist who couldn’t fight his way out of a wet paper bag. Fair dinkum, he couldn’t knock a sick woman off a stool and is so unfit he would be knocked up after ten seconds of just standing – let alone fighting.

So there you go, my match report on the Bullies belting.

VOTES

3 – Brownlow Medallist Hays,

2 – Jack, Super Hooch, Skiddy,

1 – Japanese Mel, Senior Coach Hamish and Shoulder.

Honourable mention – Lyn Brett and Wayne King.




The Rampant Robin rnd 11


RAMPANT AT THE COLDEST PLACE ON EARTH

YOU blokes that are married will have heard of the old saying ``As cold as a mother-in-law’s kiss.’’

You know what I mean don’t you – no feeling, no warmth and definitely no love from an old boiler who would rather go swimming in a school of white pointers or stuff a Tassie Devil down her dacks than be nice to you.

Well on Saturday, those of you brave and loyal enough or just plain silly went to a place that rates worse than the old mother-in-laws kiss. The place where they make all of the world’s rain and freezing winds – Smithton.

With a bitterly cold zephyr howling in straight from South Africa at around 130 kms an hour and rain cutting through your skin like a razor blade, our three magnificent Red and Black teams did us proud in not only belting their knobby-kneed units, but the roughest elements mankind has had to endure.

You know, even a Himalayan Yeti or our answer to it in Lochie Watson would have struggled to survive in those conditions - but our champs revelled in em.

I arranged for my new workmate Asmak Farnarkle to take me down to Saintsville to see all three games but was frozen solid when we got there.

Farnarkle’s car was a HQ ute that would have been more at home at the tip rather than on the road. It had no heaters or wipers and a housed a huge hole in the floor that a small warthog or Matty Turner could easily crawl through. So you can imagine what I was like when we rolled in at 9.30am.

Fair dinkum it was cold. I was feeling like Donny ‘’I am under the pump’’ Cooper or The Dentist on their first ever sexual encounters with a real female – stiff as a post.

Old Farnarkle has never been to a live game of footy before cos he had just arrived here from Iceland a few weeks ago, but he has taken a shine to our great game.

He reckons he never misses a TV match and was itching to see the real deal.

Gee, he is a nut case.

When we finally got through the gates, I rushed into the clubrooms to sit next to the heater but Asmak peeled off his thin skivvy and sat out in the blizzard to watch the unders.

He soon cottoned on to the player’s names and reckoned young Smedley, Walmsley and Lutwyche starred.

Me, I was necking straight Jack Daniels trying to get some feeling back whilst he was grinning like any of the players at a fee keg.

By now though he was drenched and when the ressies started, I was seriously beginning to think was a dead set lunatic.

He reckoned the weather was just like home in Iceland and he even wanted an ice cream to settle in to watch Little Thommos men get going.

The River Arms and Lighthouse’s number one attendee Jeremy Soden got the Icelander’s main votes with SOT (Tecka) and the world’s smallest ruckman and highest ever paid NWBU player in Ben Murfet filled the minors.

By the time the ones were crowbarred out of the changerooms onto the swamp, I was away with the fairies but old Farny was kicking back in the downpour.

Little Sydney-sider Kurt Anderson was team runner and his New South mate SOBi was taking stats swelling The Dentist’s entourage to around 10 for the game.

Fair dinkum, what would he do without the Hadspen Flyer Price, the wFC Brooks, COS Brooks, Yes man Gerry and his school boss Lutty to help him.

Someone said he is even getting his Father in law Max McKenna onboard for the next game to counsel the players. Old Max is great supporter but asks more questions than a policeman or that bloke from the TV show Temptation.

Anyway after a real arm wrestle we hammered em and won easy but boy were the blokes feeling the pinch on the ground.

Skiddy and the world’s worst opener with their skinny frames had no chance. Both would have to put on weight to ride as jockeys and were gone midway through the last quarter. But they did alright though and along with Dazza, McCrosen and SOC (J. Chatwyn) helped us to another four points.

Now it had gotten so cold, even stats man SOBi had to have a shower after the game to warm up.

On the way home, Farnarkle’s HQ windows were so fogged up he reckoned he had to wind them down to let in some fresh air and clear them.

Farnarkle now looked like he had spent the day at the bottom of the ocean chasing Parrot Fish and was enjoying the ribald elements.

I was getting delirious but just had enough grey matter functioning to muster a brainwave and asked for a slash stop at Tas’s Tavern to work my magic.

With Asmak in the loo washing off the rain with cold water, I jumped in a stranger’s car boot that was in the bottle shop getting supplies.

I didn’t care how I got back to Ulvey but reckoned a trip home in a boot would be better than in Farny’s four-wheeled motorbike.

After a short while, the driver got in and away we went and I quickly drifted off courtesy of the seeping exhaust fumes and was only awoken when the car stopped.

I was rapt to be home and semi dry and waited a few minutes then jumped out – you wouldn’t believe it, I was back in friggin Smithton.

The bloke had been up to Burnie ordering a new wood heater for his house and it was still raining.

VOTES –

3; Jack,

2: Dazza, Senior Coach, McCrossen,

1: Skinny Skiddy, SOBu, Japanes Mel.

Special Mention – FC, Les Toombs, Geoff Wesley, Max Walmsley, Bloomy and Tommy Marshall.




The Rampant Robin rnd 12


RAMPANT AT WEST PARK

``I’m telling you…. heads could roll,’’boomed the Dentist at half time in the ones game at wonderful West Park on Saturday.

``If you guys don’t lift and start playing some selfless and positive football – you might find yourselves out of the side next week. I’m not joking - some of Little Thommos men would be loving this. Watching you guys go through the motions - mark my words – look out if you don’t lift.’’

Well it certainly worked after a sort of uninspiring first half, with our boys getting themselves into gear kicking 13 sausages to five after the Dentist’s spray to win in a canter.

But no matter how I tried to respond like the boys did, the pep talk didn’t do a lot for me.

Sure the lads needed a kick up the Beer and Sarse to get them going, but to me the old Dentist is a fairly tame sort of bloke and in my mind it would not have worked on me if I was still in the button-up jumper and wearing my old Darrel Baldock specials.

Some of the old timers in the sheds loved it. Rexy Bloom, Max and Geoffy grinned and Max McKenna, Neil Rawson and Murray’s Big Day Out nodded approvingly. They reckon the Dentist is sometimes too soft on the boys, but for me it was a bit like going for a walk in the African jungle and getting attacked by a house cat – not very frightening or threatening.

I mean, I can remember the great number 10 in his playing days firstly stalking across the Robin backline snapping off attacks and then when his four by three had gone and he had slowed to a walk, as an opportunistic forward flanker spearing them through after the ball had slipped through the full forward’s fingers for easy ones in the square.

You see toughness was never included in the Dentist dictionary and like today, he was more of a lover – not a fighter.

But times have changed.

The knackered kneed one is normally a pretty fair judge of footy ability and he does seem to get the team up for the big ones. Lets hope he can do it again this week against the Bombers.

But I still smirk when his talk turns rugged and the Dentist fires up.

There is a rumour from his playing days he once pulled his right hamstring late on a Thursday night so that he would not have to play against the NWFU’s toughest team Cooee.

On the Saturday after his team had been beaten and battered by Cooee, the Dentist’s coach asked him how his hammy was, and the old Fox said as quick as a flash it would be right for the following week – while rubbing his left one.

But anyway the half time jar worked against the horrible Dockers and we belted them to cement ourselves a spot in the top three.

Anyway whilst I had a good time at the footy, I also got wondering about a few of Little Thommo’s men doing alright in the warm-up slot.

Murf is and has been on fire since he got the bullet after missing the Devonport match and Hooch was a bit unlucky to get the flick whilst working his guts out on King Island. Fair dinkum, Hooch put in so hard at the home of the world’s biggest under 19 player in Lachie Watson, I reckon he was lucky to even front on Saturday after a diet of crays, prawns and beer.

His boss and COS Craig Brooks said the goal sneak slaved his clacker off whilst working and then would run or when he was too tired – walk to the pub after each day’s work. Can’t be any more dedicated than that, but the crew cutted one will get back in sooner than later.

The suave lady-killer and snappy dresser Chris Haynes continues to impress on and off the field and ex-photographer and new boy Joshie Horton looks to have a great footy brain.

Tecka and Sydneyside recruit Kurt Anderson are hammering on the door as well while Timmy Auton, Frodo and the human iceypole stick McDermott are not far away either.

But back to the main game and I was stoked to see Sodes back and didn’t he work in well with the other centre square boys Dazza, McCrossen, Buzz and SOBi in the uncle buck.

Down back SOPolly, Lukey and Skiddy did well whilst Dwayne Howey, Allford and Jumping Jack shone in the attention hugging section.

So after a rare win at a place that should be bulldozed and turned into a car park or a cemetery, here are my votes.

3: Jack

2: Soden

1: Lukey, SOPolly, Dazza, SOBi, Queen Hannah, Zumbuk and DOZ Kelly

.




The Rampant Robin rnd 13


RAMPANT WATCHED ROBINS FLOG BOMBERS

IS Ben Murfet a better player than Chris Judd?

Now before you say the ol’ Rampant has been on the lunatic soup again or that should be still on it, then you should have been at the Oak tree watching the Spa-boy in action in the two’s huge hammering of the Bombers ressies.

All the regular soaks were there and in unison they were singing like canaries the praises of Benny boy’s super game.

Getting it at will around the middle, the Reece High School educator carried the ball just like Judd and gave it off magnificently by hand or foot just like his pill-popping mate Benny Cousins.

Now if you saw Bubble boy’s huge game you would swear he was like Cousins – full of illegal substances. But I can tell you this, Ben is only full of himself and hates the bath plugs. No I should say that again cos that makes him sound like he is a wanker but he isn’t, he is a good bloke that is really starting to hit his footy straps and me and me mates can’t understand why the Dentist won’t put him back in the ones.

Now I know for a fact the Dentist saw some of the number 40’s game. He was perched around on the bowling green wing with his number one yes man the FC talking to each other in one way conversation and not listening.

I should say watching part of the game in between shovelling down pies and chocolate into his svelte frame.

Now some cruel people at the club say coaches are like baby nappies – they should be changed regularly but I am not that sort of bloke. I reckon the Dentist is doing alright and with a 10-2 record, you can’t disagree. But there are some cruel pricks who also say the Dentist is a bit robust- but I say he is the right weight but should be 7 feet 6inches tall. He says he is in shape – but someone should tell him round is a shape.

But whatever, the team is going alright and so is the Dentist and he might be thinking with Murf’s basketball season coming to a close next week, he might elevate him after that.

But back to the footy in general and what a fantastic day for the Robins. Three huge wins and no serious injuries to boot.

And wasn’t it good to see Sodes starring again?

Gee he is a ball-magnet and unlike a few of the Dentist’s yes men. I just call them magnets – cos they attract nuts, but still they think they are doing a good job and it gives the Dentist someone to talk too during the games.

As well as Sodes or JSo as we under the tree call him, Dazza, Allf and a host of others did alright as well. The Bombers had a dip and had a few irritating types in the side and a few fracas erupted giving us at the Oak a few more things to yell out about.

When Dwayne Howard got snottered his cousin SOBarn did the right thing and evened up but got pinged by the orange clowns and took two weeks spell. Then one of their snipers took a cowardly swing at the champ and he got done as well. Hope he gets 10 weeks for that attack the prick.

But with the 2007 Baldock Medallist starring and his mate Trent Allen sitting in the stands waiting to get a run, things are starting to look alright for the Robins.

Big Rodders continues to improve and I reckon he will start again after the Wynyard game and with senior coach Hamish coming back next week - look out.

And didn’t the crowd roar when the melees started.

Gee I thought COS Brooks was going to jump the fence. He was still going crook about having to buy his number one worker Hooch cans after the great one’s super 9 goal second-half haul when the fights started. Big Brooka used to be a pretty fair ball winner in his day and was one of a few real tough nuts that played with the red and blacks. Well he was getting red in the face and had a leg on the fence and was trying to get over and was only coaxed back by Hoochie buying a rare shout. Big Brooka is also pretty smart and knew there would be other fights but maybe not another Turner shout so came back.

So here are my votes in the most sought after award at the club –

3: Rodders (cos he bought me a can of syrup at the tree)

2: JSo.

1: Baldock Medallist Hayes, Dazza, Dwayne, Josh Horton, Lyn Brett, Wayne King and Wayne Wing and senior coach Hamish.




The Rampant Robin rnd 14


RAMPANT VISITS GIRDLESTONE PARK, THE HOME OF THE ONCE MIGHTY SWANS

THERE is no doubt that most of the Robin’s supporters are amongst the smartest types in NTFL footy.

I mean, one of our boys figured out we would easily do-in the Swans in all grades and had a bet that we would kick a combined total of at least 100 goals for the day.

Well he was a smart man. 23 in Barn’s boy’s grade, 40 in the magoos and another 40 in the ones. All up 103 sausages for the day. Not a bad effort if I say so myself.

Gee, I reckon old Ian Worryspoon from the NTFL will be paying out sick pay to the goal umpies who would have a good case for RSI in their Warwick Farms from waving the two flags at each other.

But while most of our fans are pretty cluey, some of the Dentist’s yes men aren’t.

You know the yes men, they hover round the Dentist’s clacker at the games. Like flies at a barbie they are and they wear out their necks nodding at the super coach’s every word.

Thick they are, and most of em are full of themselves to boot. They reckon they are smart and clever about footy but I don’t know. I think they confuse the players when footy should be an easy game.

I reckon they are like the professor on Gilligan’s Island – you know him, he was the bloke smart enough to make a radio out of a coconut but he couldn’t fix a hole in the boat. Fair dinkum.

One yes man in particular, the FC Brooks is a good sort of bloke for a left footer who played about 60 or 70 years ago in the days of lace-up jumpers, drop kicks and the last time anyone saw Les Toombs smile.

He tries to help out the forwards with their confidence in their kicking, marking and structure and reckons the players adore him and hang on his every word.

But look what happens when the FC has a weekend away from the red and blacks chasing skirt in Melbourne.

The sides kick record scores and play like champions.

Ol’ FC himself also created records of sorts on his trip to the big smoke but of a different type.

First up, he gets asked by the bloke at the flight counter if he has any flammables or dangerous goods in his bag. The FC mumbles that he does indeed, he has some shampoo he has tried to smuggle across the straight. The flight bloke shakes his head and when he looks at where the FC comes from, he understands.

Then on the Frankie Lane just before take off, a horse’s hoof hostie sees him getting a bit nervous and asks him if he is okay.

He replies that he is a seasoned traveller and asks for a seat at the back of the plane because he has never heard of one backing into a mountain.

In Melbourne at Telstra Dome and a bit full, he goes for a slash at half time and gets lost. Can’t find his seat and then gets lost again walking straight to Crown Casino after the game. Anyone who has been to Telstra knows the Cas is only a Jarrod Skidmore drop punt from the ground and impossible to miss.

Then he reckons the beer is weaker in Victoria than his traditional Boags so gets onto the Chardonay instead.

The clear leg-opener has no effect says the FC and promply gets laid out by the vino.

But anyway, he tops it off when he tries to get a drink out of a coin operated machine at the Tullamarine. He puts the coins in one and then presses the buttons on a chip machine beside it.

But back to the game. Didn’t we play well? At half time I was talking to some of the ressies and we all reckoned it was the best we had played all year. And as I was getting ready to go into the rooms to congratulate the Dentist – I saw him walk past with his great mate Toad Pearce.

I didn’t know he had agreed to swap roles with Little Thommo for the day and didn’t the boys respond.

Next week at Wynyard there is talk Les Toombs and Gary Bakes will take the midday boys and Zumbuck and his brother Andrew will do the 2 o’clockers.

Can you imagine Bakesy and Van taking a different tack and asking the players some probing questions to get their minds ship-shape for the game.

``Why does Goofy stand erect while Pluto runs around on all fours when they are both dogs?’’ Van might ask, or, ``Why does a round pizza come in a square box?’’Bakesy will ask. Or maybe ``Why do people say I slept like a baby when the little ankle biters wake every two hours.’’

But whatever we should still win and cement our spot in the top two.

But back to the crushing win at Swan Lake and my votes.

3 – Jack

2 – McCrossen, Baldock Medallist Hayes, Skiddy, Dwayne, SOPoll, Mr Queen Quest Mee, Kurt Anderson, Senior Coach Hamish.

1 – Dazza, Hoochie, Sobi, COS Brooks, Little Thommo and Max Walmsley.




The Return of Junior Rodman


RAMPANT ON THE RETURN OF JUNIOR RODMAN

FOR some people winning tattslotto is all they ever dream about.

For me, all I’ve dreamed about for most of the year is my beloved Robins winning this year’s flag.When I was a bit younger in my prime, I used to dream about other things like having a double date with the Minogue sisters and pegging em both or taking a speccy on some pricks back and kicking the winning goal from 80 metres out.

But lately I have been dreaming about another thing.Now I am not a horse’s hoof – but I have been dreaming about one of our star players who has had a lengthy spell on the sidelines.Big Junior Rodman snapped his ankle a few months ago and has been missing from the onfield action since.When he went down, I heard his ankle snap like a stick and fair dinkum – you blokes know I am as tough as a steak cooked at a Travis Burk barbecue, but my guts churned and I nearly parked a tiger on me mates at the game. Gee I was that crook I couldn’t finish off my Carlton can for at least 15 seconds and could only neck another dozen or so for the rest of the game.

But this week at training I nearly cracked a Ballarat when I saw big Junior stepping out and strutting his stuff in the drills.He was hobbling a bit but that’s to be expected and they tell me he will be back for next week’s home game against the saints.But while my favourite players include Hoochie, Baldock Medallist Hayes, Senior Coach Hamish, Kurt Anderson, Murf, SOBarney, SOBill, SOPolly, Dazza and Macca, Junior is up there with em in my favourite stakes.

So I left training feeling pretty good and was heading off to the Forth Pub for a few extra cans to finish off the night when I saw The Dentist walking up past the bridge. I pulled over and asked why he wasn’t driving his red little shit heap and he told me it had water in the carbie. I asked how did that happen cos it hasn’t rained for ages – the old Fox replied, I crashed it into the river.

Pretty smart answer I thought coming from the man who normally is as sharp as a bowling ball.Anyway, welcome back Junior and one more thing, another reason I want you back playing is that your mum will stick around after watching Ashlyn play to see you turn it on, and us blokes at the Oak like her nearly as much as you.




The Rampant Robin rnd 15


RAMPANT AT THE WYNYARD MATCH

YOU have got to say that there are a lot of different types of people that make up a footy club.

You know what I mean, you have some good ones, some pricks and some that just fit in, some that say too much or some that say nothing at all.

At the game on Saturday as we piled on the goals in the cold against the undisciplined Cats, my mind got thinking that we have two distinct looking groups of players at the red and black club.

Bit like the Aussie cricket team where there are two breeds, one are the ugly sods called Nerds and the other are the good looking roosters known as the Hulios.

Glen McGrath and Merv Hughes were classified as Nerds whilst Brett Lee is considered a suave Hulio type.

Here at Ulvey, we have two classes of lookers and I’ll start with the cockroaches first and rate them with the cricketers and also if they were animals.

Under’s leader Big Barney is a rugged looking type and I reckon he fits into the Glen McGrath category. If I was making a western movie – Barn would be one of those craggy-faced blokes who starts a fight in a saloon and chucks pricks out through the window or swinging doors. Bit like a John Wayne or Chuck Norris sort and he would be a rhino under my scale of things.

Little Thommo couldn’t fit the Lee mob in a fit and he and fellow VC (vertically challenged) club member’s - Lizard Leary, Dazza, Kurt Anderson, Frodo, Ronny Ansell, the Hadspen Flyer Price, little Shelley and the world’s worst opener Cooky could all get roles in a re-make of Snow White, playing the little extras. Thommo and his eight sidekicks would be Shetland ponies or pit-bull terriers.

Whenever I see any of those little blokes scooting round, I check to see if they are standing in a hole or something, fair dinkum they are close to the ground.

The Dentist too is a fairly basic man to be fair and while he is the apple of his fork and knife Roseanne’s eye, and his Mum’s golden boy, if he was to star in a movie it would have to be The Return Of The Elephant Man or Mr. Potato Head. The Dentist would be a parrot fish or maybe an armadillo.

But the players are a different story.

Take a peek at these Hulios – Junior, Senior Coach Hamish, Goody, SOzu, SOBi, SOBarn, lady-killer Haines, Joshy’s ball Horton, Ben (give me some love) Murfet and long prong Allf are easy on the eye if you listen to the oohs and ahhs coming out of the women supporter’s gobs when they strut their stuff. These lot would be cheetahs or gazelles.

But others - like Burkey, Hoochie, Joshy McD, Roota and Don Cooper fit the other category as do Big Lachie (his movie would be The Wolfman or The Yeti Returns) and little Pratty. Sorry boys but you all would be hyenas, geckos or bulldogs.

With his new haircut, Dwayne Howard is now a dead ringer for Trent McCrossen and I can’t find a category for either of em. Fair dinkum they are alike and plain, I reckon they would be jellyfish.

On the committee, El presidente Greg Wing is a real charmer. Pretty swish looking in his skivvies and trendy jackets. Wingy also doubles up as under’s runner and wows the female fans in his tight shorts.

Wingy is a peacock, Black Panther or ocelot.

But Big Botty and Shell are not Mel Gibson or Brad Pitt look-a-likes are they and they come in as orangutans.

The FC Brooks is a bit rugged too but he would be a Labrador as I reckon his loyalty to the Robins is first class.

But anyway, what the heck, as I said it takes all sorts and we have a pretty good bunch who all get along really well.

But back to the game, which I found a bit, boring.

We jumped em early and got some great drive out of Timmy Mee, Sodes, Dazza, Macca and generally the whole lot.

One thing that I like at Wynyard apart from their good food and grog shop, is the bloke who stands behind the goals and waves the flags when a sausage is scored. He’s been doing it for years and I have had a few yaks to him and he is a pretty good bloke.

All we have to do now is get the FC a set as well so that he can do the same when he is on the job coaching the forward blokes.

So another win and another game closer to the revenge match coming up with arch enemy Devonport.

Like our cockroaches, Little Ned is another who certainly is on the wrong list. Cripes he is plain, and rumour has it the players at Devonport call him the optometrist – cause everything he says is I this and I that. But he is doing a good job and has the Pies flying. If we can’t win the flag lets hope Ned’s boys do cos we don’t want Launceston or North to get it.

Here are my votes for the Cats flogging –

3 – Dazza

2 – Sodes, Skiddy, Baldock Medallist Hayes, Timmy

1 – Max McKenna, SOBarn (for his coaching), old Beryl (in the Cat’s shop) and Gerry Callander.




The Rampant Robin rnd 16


RAMPANT AT THE SMITHTON MISMATCH

IT was half time in the ones, I was catching my breath after another scintillating 50 minutes of Robin’s brilliance, the Saints were down and almost out on their knees – (my favoured sexual position for the old ball and chain) when I got to thinking about what great supporters we have here at Robinland.

Since I started following the boys way back in the late 60’s as a long haired yobbo, we have always had a strong and loyal bunch that get behind the lads come rain or shine.

Now I know we have had good sides along the way and have enjoyed a golden run with heaps of flags and even a State premiership back in 76, but ours are a great lot who stick pretty tight.

But imagine if you barracked for East or Wynyard, wouldn’t it be hard to drag yourself off to the games each week. Knowing you would only get to cheer a sausage about three or four times for an entire day and get regular 100 point plus beltings, that would surely test anyone – even interchange man Gary Bakes or secretary Andrea Walsh.

So, I was thinking how lucky are we here at Ulvey, what a great team, great supporters and a great place to watch the footy.

Standing under the Oak is my favorite place on this earth, and when I die, I want to be buried here. Right next to where I saw the World Crayfish Eating champ Lachie Watson down 12 savs in a row on Saturday. Fair dinkum, he swallowed em down like a duck swallowing bits of bread. Later on he went for a hard hit and I swear when they all came out (cos I snuck a peek through the louvers above the crapper), there was not a tooth mark on any of em. Anyway, fair dinkum, the Oak is a beautiful spot.

Obviously it’s got the grog within arm’s length but also it is the best place at the ground to watch the boys. Also, just a Hoochie or Moochie drop punt away are the tucker shops. For me, this place is heaven and nothing would drag me away from it.

Some of you who don’t know me well reckon I just rock up to the Oak and barrack. But I have a game day routine and if you like I will share it with you.

Wake up early as usual about five am with a Ballarat you could crack fleas on. Then I tap the old fork and knife on the shoulder hoping for some pre-game action if ya get my drift. In our early days she used to respond quicker than a Jack Gale left jab, but these days there’s not much life in her.

When we first met, she used to like music and paintings and reckoned I was like Pablo Picasso - an artist under the sheets. She also liked to judge my efforts with recording stars of the day. She used to call me Roy Orbison, cos whenever the bedroom mazurka occurred, I always delivered the Big O. But times change.

But with me pecker still as hard as a cat’s head, all I ever hear her call me now is Alice Cooper – Welcome To My Nightmare. She also reckons if they had sex in the Olympics, I would get the gold every time. For coming first. She’s as cruel type – bit like that nasty fullback of ours from the 70’s and 80’s in Rod White.

Anyway after the traditional knockback, I get dressed and head into the kitchen for my regulation dim sims and savs. Three of each and then a cuppa before having a few cans of Carlton to calm me down.

At seven am and with the time ticking away, I like to head up town to Blakey Davies paper shop to get the local rag and see what crap is in it. These days old Blakey is doing alright and has big Zumbuk working for him whilst he lays at home counting his coin. Fair dinkum, big Blakes is kicking with the wind.

Usually there is a footy story or two crammed in among the adds and if they tip against the Robins - I really get fired up.

From there I slip into the early opener for a few cans and at around 9.40am with a few cans of syrup in my skyrocket I take the cherished walk up Victoria Street to the ground.

I always head round to the bowling green wing to watch the unders and watch future two o’clock stars like Vinny ``Javelin Boy’’Ponsonby, the WEC Watson who has a part-time job keeping the King Island Dairy and Meatworks in business and Smeds starring each week.

With the twos warming up, I head off to see little Lyn Brett and her co-workers in the lolly shop for some smarties, (someone once told me to eat the right foods for your brain so what better than the little chocolate champs), It’s not true that number one yes man Gerry hates M and M’s cos they are too hard to peel either, then to the Oak.

I love it when the Pig, SODeb (Ashlyn Rodman), Lady Killer and The Artist not the politician (Whitely) do their thing. We are rarely beaten in the midday slot and I love it.

Then out come the big boys – gee I get stirred up.

SOBar nailed 6 this week including one of the back of his boot and Slug Alford got four. Sodes, Macca and Japanese Mel turned it on as did the Baldock Medallist.

All in all it was a great day, 102 –points. What a flogging and now for Latrobe in what should be a beauty.

Here are me votes –

3 – SOBarn, Sodes, Baldock Medalist.

2 – L. Brett, Macca, A. Walsh, Dwayne Howey, Paparazzi Horton.

1 – D. Rodman, Roota, SOPoll, SOBi, Little Thommo and Barney Howard for buying me a beer each after the game.




The Rampant Robin rnd 17


RAMPANT AT THE LATROBE MATCH

AS you blokes know, I am not a braggart or blow bag when it comes to talking about my football knowledge or myself.

But I reckon I know a thing or two about this great game after firstly playing and now following it for close on 45 years.

Sure I’ve made one or two blues along the way if you want to get picky.

Maybe my worst blunder was when in 1981 when South Melbourne star John Murphy coached the boys. I reckoned we had a gun side and would remain undefeated until the new millennium. Well I am big enough to admit I was wrong on that score, but gee, we copped some crap umpiring during that time and I still think we should have had at least a decade or two of undefeated dominance if the coaches had played the boys in the right spots.

But at work on Friday as I was having my usual lunchtime infusion of six cans of Carlton, I said to the boys that the I hoped the Robins would get a decent hit out from Latrobe cos we have a tough game next week against the rotten Pies.

Now I like to flog all the teams by as much as possible but I know those mongrels from 17 kms east will be primed and ready to give it to our boys when we meet next week, and on top of that we have had a fairly soft run in recent weeks.

Now those pillocks I work with reckoned I was going soft and that we would flog Latrobe and do the same to Devonport. I secretly hoped so too but realise we want and need a hard hit out.

At afternoon smoko I was still upset about it all and could only have three cans to calm me down in my ten minute smoko break and help me keep a lid on it. I was getting edgy and beginning to think that maybe if the Dees put it on us, how would we handle it?

At halftime I got my answer. It was very close but I was happy.

The boys were being made to work hard for their kicks and in particular I liked the work rates of young Long Prong, Sodes, Roota and the Baldock Medallist. Junior and Kinky Conkie in the magoos got through okay and all seemed fine in the Robin’s camp.

So with a bit of a smile I switched to the syrup to enjoy the rest of the game. But imagine my horror when my mobile went of and it was the old ball and chain having a whinge about me not bringing in some wood for the evening fire.

Crikey, she can call me at work or wherever she likes but not at the games. They mean more to me than she ever did or does and the only interruptions I want at the matches is when me mates tell me its their shout or something like that. I was wild and could have done her in if she was closer and I told her in no uncertain terms what she could do with her wood.

Gee, in her younger days she used to do it all. And I mean all – nudge, nudge, wink, wink. Cook, clean and indulge in the horizontal mambo at a whim. She was the best cheese and kisses in the world, but now as she gets older and lazier, she is starting to get a bit on my nerves. Anyway, I said a bit of wood moving exercise wouldn’t hurt her. She said it would not hurt me also as I had started to spread out a bit and had what she bluntly called a ``Pot Gut and Fat Arse.’’

Now you blokes know I am quick on the reply and almost as quick as the WEC Watson in devouring a barrel of KFC or a carton. I said referring to my blurter, ``You need a big hammer to drive a big nail,’’ As usual it went over her head.

Anyway, things have been a bit testy in the Rampant household for a while and nearly exploded the other night when she said she wanted $8,000 for a get bigger boob job. When I asked her why? She reckoned she wanted to look her best for me. I said a cheaper way would be to wipe her brace and bits with toilet paper, cos it had worked on making her ``Beer and Sarse’’ larger. Went down like a Gerry Calendar and Les Toombs comedy skit at a funeral.

She also reckoned marrying me was a mistake, she wished she could have married The Dentist or maybe Little Thommo instead of the stunners they picked up.

Me, I knew I should have married a bird that looked like Wayne Wing, Clangers Williams or Tex Marshall or some of the other Robin legends. Now I am no Horses Hoof or anything but gee that would be great to have a fork and knife like the ex-Robin legends, cos nothing and I mean nothing gets me stirred up like the red and black jumper.

Anyway, back to the game and as predicted by all we hit the accelerator after the long break and won by nine goals in a canter.

But the Dees after a good start were disappointing and some of their blokes looked like treacle against our whippets, Frodo, Dazza, Lukey Marshall, Macca, Sodes and the Baldock Medallist.

Look at their rucks, Big Stevo, Walsh and the Bullseye (Dart), if they were running in the Burnie Gift, they would start off 50- metres and be timed with a sun dial and not a stop watch.

Up in the stands looking on were The Optometrist and his black and white yes men. Wonder what they thought? They reckon they are too good for this comp, maybe they are, but they should remember they were the whipping boys only a few years ago themselves.

But did we get anything out the game that will stand us in good stead for the Mongrel Maggies?

We lost poor old VC member Andrew Leary for a few weeks with a rolled ankle which is bad. Imagine if you were a doctor having to put the VC club boys in a splint or something, it would be like working on a Barbie Doll using an icy-pole stick and tweezers. Cripes they are tiny - but very, very good when it comes to winning the ball.

We also won without the services of number one Yes man Gerry who was on the ink in Melbourne with his punting pals from Latrobe. How did The Dentist survive you ask? Well he still had his usual quota of 10 head nodders around him so it was okay.

Anyway my votes for the game are as follows and with the season coming to a close it is getting very close at the top of the leader board. I will give you the updated board after next week when we belt Perry’s Pies.

3 – Long Prong

2 – Max Walmsley, Old Happy Peter at the Oak bar, Sodes, Macca

1 – SOBa, The Optometrist, Jade Huge, Roota, Nic Page, Nick Haywood and Little Thommo.




Rampants Missus





The Rampant Robin rnd 18


RAMPANT AT THE DEVONPORT GAME

WELL what a great day for the footy club.

Three super wins against the old enemy and to top it off a great night on the fizz at the red and black ball.

Revenge, how sweet it is and even better if you cast your mind back to the day we got hammered in all three grades over at the oval a few months ago.

It feels so much better to be on the winning end standing under the Oak necking a few dozen Carltons and Syrups.

First up Little Thommo’s mob won in a canter after scooting out to a seven goal lead in the first quarter with the wind. Some brain surgeon from the Pies won the toss but went against the breeze in another mindless display of the black and whites trying to be too smart for the game’s basics. Fair dinkum, those Pies are a breed unto themselves. Remember last year’s grand finals when they went down faster than the jeans and Reg Grundies of women when Lady Killer Haynes walks into a room after some action. They played seven foot Hess on the Hoochie in the magoos and the three footer Crowden on Derbyshire in the ones. As Homer would say – DOH.

Barn’s boys did emselves proud in the unders and then The Dentist’s lot smashed the Maggies from the opening bounce with some good old fashioned tough footy.

But it was to be expected wasn’t it?

Everyone knew it would happen, but what if it didn’t?

I tell ya what, after what Carlton and Essendon did to their cockroaches this week, maybe it would have happened here at Robinland if we lost.

Imagine if the Optometrist’s lads got over us. The Dentist would be called to the board meeting where Greg Suave Wing would stand tall, tug on his skivvy and deliver the hatchet straight into the Dentist’s rather rotund neck.

Who would take over? Waiting in the next room or under the table with a prepared speech would be Little Thommo.

``Members of the press, committee members and supporters,’’ he would say.

``Let me say this that the Dentist’s sacking comes as no surprise. He was no good and I have always wanted the top job and the chance to be the head honcho of this club. I mean, I have the credentials of one flag for one season and I would not roast other clubs like The Dentist did when we belted Penguin a few months back. I won’t give the other clubs ammo and I won’t have half the club’s supporters and players like Barney Howard, Lizard (SOT) Leary, Japanese Mel and Frodo trying to knife me in the back like they do to our former dictator.’’

But who else would put their hand up for the plum position if Little Thommo was considered too surly for the job?

Would yes men Gerry and FC challenge for it? Not sure, but both would have the confidence to think they could and maybe ol’ Zumbuk might chuck his hat in the ring? Could ol’ Donny ``I am under the pump’’ Cooper return. Coop reckons the Dentist is a comfort coach and never takes a challenge, he also calls the Dentist the Mini-Bus, cos he reckons he is half a coach. But for me, I would hand the reigns to Senior Coach Hamish. At 18 – years –old he now is mature enough and he would be smart enough to play himself at centre half-forward where he would share the next nine Baldock medals with Jim Beam Hayes.

Well whoever got the sought after role, it would be pretty easy cos the boys are flying and if they keep playing tough, direct and no-frills footy, they will soon add more silverware to our bulging trophy cabinet.

Anyway, here are my votes from Saturday and as I promised the updated leader-board in the most sought after award at the club.

3 – Queen Hannah’s Squeeze Timmy Mee.

2 – Sodes, Macca, Japanese Mel and SOBi.

1 – SOP, Skidmarks, Senior Coach and Junior.

Leaderboard –

23: Baldock Medallist, Macca and Sodes.

22: Lukey Muffler, Japanese Mel, Dwayne, Skidmarks, Dazza.

21: FC, Senior Coach, SOBa, SOP, Frodo.

20: Long Prong, Jack Tyson, Kinky Conkie, QHS, SOG (Crawf), SOBi, SOM Whishy.

19: SOT, Kurt Anderson, SONuts, Lady killer, SOZ, Roota, Geoff Wesley, Spa Boy Bubble Boy Murf, Hubba Bubba, Joshy’s Ball, Chatty, Dermie, Joey Triathlon, SOT GO APPS, Shell, Owen Clark, SOTex Tecka, World’s Worst Opener, Tim Auton, Pricey, .

18: The Pig, Galphinator, Hooch, Doc Heikenin, KH, Dave ``I Can’t Train I’m Sick Whiteley, Max Walmsley, The Hadspen Flyer, Johnno, Lyn Brett, Rexy Bloom, Junior-Junior Rodman, WEC, Jade Huge, .




Robins Sack the Dentis


RAMPANT ROBIN NEWSFLASH

ROBINS SACK THE DENTIST

AS predicted in my article after last week’s great win over Devonport, the Ulverstone board have expressed their concerns with The Dentist’s coaching performances and decided to give him the flick pass immediately.

In a show of great common sense, he will be replaced by 18-year-old utility, Hamish ``Senior Coach’’ Anderson.

Now as you know I predicted this might be coming after watching him try and stuff up our great run during the game against the ol’ enemy by switching his gun players all over the shop.

I sensed something might be up with the board when I saw our Prime Minister, Greg ``Suave’’ Wing at the Oak necking a few syrups and shaking his head when some strange moves were pointed out. You see they had to be pointed out to ol’ Suave cos he was rubber necking trying to see who was giving him all the slaps on the back. As expected The Oak was alive and buzzing and everyone was screaming their heads off whenever we snagged a sausage, and ol’ Suave being the nearest thing we have here at Ulvey to a Prime Minister or movie star, seemed the natural back to slap.

But when it was mentioned that The Dentist sent Skidmarks up the ground well clear of big Langmaid, and then the ace Pie goal kicker got two in his absence – I knew he was on thin ice.

Now not the sort of Ice that ol’ Benny Cousins likes, but the sort that a few of the senior boys are on as well regarding their spots in the side.

You know the ones I mean don’t you?

A few of the lads are still a bit away from top form and with ol’ SOBa, Dwayno and Whishy coming in for sure and Kurt Anderson, Kenny V from channel 3 and maybe Lady Killer in the mix as well, you don’t need to be a mathematical genius like me to work out that 25 don’t go into 21.

But back to The Dentist.

He also got the Board’s backs up when he got stuck into Penguin earlier in the year saying what everyone was thinking but too frightened to say, and they also remember a few years back when he had the NTFL bosses off side when ol’ John Perkins was the Prime Minister of it. He said they were cheats or pricks or something – again only saying what everyone was thinking.

But the last straw for the club came when he appointed another Yes Man to his already long list.

The Dentist thought he needed another ear to bend and with Gerry, FC, The Hadspen Flyer, Principle Lutty, Craig B, Toad, Wacky Walker, Murrays Day Out, Tezza ``Hit Man’’ Leary, Wayne Wing, Barney, Les Toombs, Geoff Wesley, Wayne King, Shells and Gary Bakes all showing signs of getting a bit sick of him, he appoints his great mate Donny ``I am under the pump’’ Cooper to his team.

Now DC is a former under’s coach and like The Dentist, loves nothing better than to hear the sound of his own name and voice.

But DC has made a 1000 enemies here at Robinland and it seems that the Board have had enough.

So they have made the change and Senior Coach Hamish will step in for the Launceston game. Joining him as assistant will be Andrea Walsh. Andrea takes over from Little Thommo who walked out in protest that he did not get the main gig. She will use Lynney Brett and Jill Price as runners because The Hadspen Flyer quit also in sympathy.

So there you have it, and you heard it here first. As usual the Rampant Robin gives you the good oil and all the updates. More later.




The New Coach's First Day


RAMPANT REPORTS ON NEW COACHES FIRST DAY

Gee, I didn’t realise how hard being a new coach would be especially after how the last one stuffed up what seemed an easy gig.

You see after I broke the news that The Dentist’s days were finally over, I thought I’d hitch a ride on the new coaches hip and give you a run down on his first day in the job. It went like this.

5.30am: Phone call from Japanese Mel and SOTe (The Lizard) who were both on their way to New Zealand for some R and R for one week while we had the bye.

Japanese and Liz had missed their connecting flights from Tulla and had somehow gotten on a plane to Uzbeckistan in outer Wogvania somewhere.

They arrived after 12 hours on the plane and were arrested for being snakes hissed and singing the club song. No grog, singing or happiness allowed in Uzbeckistan. The local cops reckoned they looked a bad duo so chucked them in the slanmmer for a few days. They are not sure if they will be back for the Launceston game.

6.30am: Called to the club by Suave and his mates for a special meeting. Wonders what it can be all about and after two hours of chin wagging he finds out what the big deal is. It is decided to sell musk sticks in the club’s canteen.

8.30am: Off to school for second year of TCE. Get harassed till lunchtime signing autographs to fellow students, I am a big wheel now that I am captain-cockroach of the mighty Rob Roys.

3pm: Get a call from Hubba Bubba and his Siamese twin house mate Whita. They can’t train, surprise, surprise. Hubba has some marking to do (of sheep) and Whita is helping him, despite the students (& sheep) being on holidays.

5pm: Arrive at club for training. Gary Bakes wants a special meeting . I spend one hour consoling him and telling him that Peter Hudson will not be on the club’s recruiting radar now that The Dentist is gone. Bakesy is a died in the wool Hawk man and lives a bit in the past. But is a good bloke on the interchange. Lets leave him there.

6.00pm – 7.00pm: Take training and it goes well except for some of the boys refusing to do the sprints fitness nut Beardy has set out. They reckon 100 x 200 metres sprints at the end of training leading into finals is a bit rough. Skidmarks jobs Dave and the others hop into him as well. WEC Watson did not train and reckoned he had an upset stomach. He sat in the bar and had 12 cans of Carlton and seven bags of Barbecue chips and an ungutted or scaled 1Kg Parrotfish. Must be getting better.

8.00pm: First team selection of his new career and trouble straight away. New seconds coach Andrea Walsh is waving a big stick. She reckons she wants SOBa, SOBi, Junior, Baldock Medallist, Macca, Dazza and Muffler back in the twos. Big Barn in the unders wants a few changes too, he reckons SOP at fullback is needed in the unders and that Bentleigh should join him. He also said that he had proof that Skidmarks was actually 18 and not 30 years of age. But to top it off he said that the new Senior Coach should play unders as well.

8.30pm: New senior coach, Senior Coach Hamish informs Suave he has resigned after too much crap. The club hastily reconvene to re-appoint The Dentist.

The Status Quo returns.




Rampants week off


RAMPANTS WEEKEND OFF

WITH no game this week due to the NTFL’s friggin bye, I was wonderin what to do on my weekend off.

Now I love footy as much as anyone, almost as much as the Dentist loves his daughters, chocolate and himself, but what could I do with no footy to watch on the Saturday?

I wasn’t going out to watch East or West Ulvey get it up the clacker so I weighed it up – spend all weekend with the ol’ball and chain (she is starting to give me the Eartha Kitts big time) or head to where the second best place on earth is – the home of football - Melbourne.

Now I know yous have seen the pics of ol’ Robyn on the footy club website and I agree she looks alright. But those pics are a few years old and while she is a bit like them still, you just add a few wrinkles and pounds, quite a few actually. Nowadays when I head home fresh from a Robin win and feeling amorous, I always stop off at the take-away bottlo to get a few of those brown paper bags to slip over her head when the passion and the ol’pecker rises.

She puts up with it a bit cos she reckons I hit the grog a bit on match days and she thinks the bag helps stifle me syrup and beer induced breath. Anyway, you blokes know where I’m coming from and there is nothing worse than bangin away on the job, doing your best, and you open your pork pies and see someone staring back at you who looks like a gargoyle or a gutted parrot fish.

So with that in mind, I hopped on a Don Lane and headed north.

Got there and went straight out to Telstra Dome for the Doggies and Saints game. After three and a half quarters of handball keepings off and kicking backwards, the game got interesting before finishing in a draw.

Then it was off to Bar 20 for an ogle at some paint strippers doing there stuff on a pole.

Cripes they were fit, and I reckoned they were pretty good stripped down too, but things soured when I asked them if they knew anything about footy, and in particular - the Ulverstone Footy Club.

When they said they didn’t and maybe it wasn’t the ideal place to be talking backyard footy, I got narky and told em that Ulvey had dozens of birds better lookin than them and that they didn’t need 50 bucks to strip off. And also that we had birds that produced the goods for nothing providing you slipped em a few syrups.

One ol’ hag that had had more gum boots than hot dinners, said that if she was my wife back in Tassy - she would poison my beer. I told her if she WAS my wife - I would gladly drink it.

Anyway next day I went to the Gee to watch the Woods and the Blues. It was an okay game but those Collingwood fans got shitty when I said they were just like their Tassie cousins from Devonport - pissweak and over-rated. A few had a swing at The Old Rampant and they soon realised that you don’t mess with the kid.

I put a few of them cement-heads down for the count before the coppers and ten-ouncers chucked me out.

As you know, I take no prisoners and a couple of them will tremble whenever they think back to the day they tried to put a bloke with an Ulvey club shirt with a sticker of the legend Wayne Wing on it, out of the Gee.

Then with nothing much to do I headed to Young and Jacksons for a pigs ear and got into more strife.

Someone was saying how good Wayne Carey was and how good Jonathon Brown is. I told em where I was from and that we had up to a dozen ready made AFL players at the club. They said they felt sorry for me having two heads but no brain. One clown said he knew how they circumcise Tasmanians and that was by giving a bloke’s cousin an uppercut. What a smartarse prick.

Anyway when I come too, I was back in my room and feeling a bit butcher’s hook.

So I headed out to get a few syrups into me before I settled down to some serious drinking.

Anyway, after a few days I was pleased to hop on the Penny Lane and come home to the land of ABC – Apples, Beer and Rex Hunt.

Bring on Lonnie.




Rampants nicknames


RAMPANT’S PLAYER AND CLUB BOSSES KNICKNAMES

Senior coach : Max Brown – The Dentist , Big Noter or Elephant Man.

Reserves coach: Kristian Thomas – Little Thommo or VC Club member.

Under 19 coach : Gary Howard – Barney.

Club President: Greg Wing – Suave, Prime Minister.

Vice President: Wayne King – Wanking, Kingy.

Treasurer: Clayton Williams – Clangers

Committee Types -

Paul Shelley – Shells, VC Club member.

Mark Bott – Bottster, Botty.

Lin Brett – Linney, VC Club member.

Andrea Walsh – Seconds Coach.

Ron Ansel – Lu Lu,Ronny, Hatchet Man, VC Club member.

Greg Thompson – Thommo.

Chairman Of Selectors: Craig Brooks – Brooksy, Witchita Lineman.

Tactician: Gerry Callander – Yes Man, Flourhead.

Runner: Craig Price: Hadspen flyer, VC Club member.

Fitness Guru: Dave Beard – Beardy, Hitler.

Football Manager: Simon Dent – Denty, Brutally Honest, VC Club member.

Forward Coach: Trevor Brooks – FC.

Website Man: Mark Vanderfeen – Zumbuck, Snow, Van, anti-VC Club man.

PLAYERS

No 1: Nils Williams – SOBi or Slin.

No 2: Kurt Hanson – Kurt Anderson, VC Club member

No 3: Jason King – Frodo, VC Club member

No 4: Sam WhishWilson – SOM, VC Club member

No 5: Nathan Applebee – Go Apps, VC Club member

No 6: Jeremy Soden – SOPa or Sodes

No 7: Ken Vanderfeen – SOZ

No 8:

No 9: Jayden Marshall – SOT or Tecka

No 10: Jarrod Skidmore – Skidmarks.

No 11: Brent Melhuish – Japanese Mel, VC Club member

No 12: Jarrod Gale – Jack, Tyson or Tszu

No 13: Luke Marshall – Muffler

No 14: Justin Hayes – Baldock Medallist or Swayback, VC Club member

No 15: Jamie Auton – Moochie

No 16: Christian Cook – (WWO) Worlds Worst Opener

No 17: Josh Horton – Joshies Ball, Snapper

No 18: Shaun Conkie – Kinky Conkie

No 19: Randall Mee – Rudy or (TWLM) The World’s Luckiest Man

No 20: Dwayne Howard – SOCo or Dwayno

No 21: Nathan Howard – SOBa or Buzzard

No 22: Darren Crawford – Crawf or SOGa

No 23: Josh Walmsley – Joshie

No 24: Jarryd Chatwin – SOC or Chatster

No 25: Ross Hubble – Hubba Bubba

No 26: Trent McCrossen – Macca

No 27: Hamish Anderson – Senior Coach

No 28: Mathew Alford – Long Prong, John Holmes, (GPS) Genuine Porn Star

No 29: Chris Haynes – Lady Killer

No 30: Andrew Leary – SOT, Lizard,VC member

No 31: Zane Good – SOPo, Zed

No 32: Kylan Homan KH, VC Club member

No 33: Justin Rodman – Junior, (SOD) Son of Debbie

No 34: Clint Van Neutegem – Van Nitrogen

No 35: Adam Johnson – AJ, VC Club member

No 36: Lochey Watson – (WEC) World Eating Champ

No 37: Bentleigh Johnson – BJ, VC Club member

No 38: Tim Auton – Timmy, Tiny Tim, VC Club member

No 39: Aaron Shelley – Shells, VC Club member

No 40: Ben Murfet – Bubble Boy, Spa Boy (FHAG) Four Hundred A Game

No 41: Jonathon Larcombe – Larks

No 42: Justin Rootes – Roota, Brad Pitt

No 43: Travis Burk – The Pig, (GCA) Greatest Clubman Alive)

No 44: Darren Banham – Dazza, VC Club member

No 45: Ben Price – (SOHF) Son of Hadspen Flyer

No 46: Brent Hennessey – The Hen, Chook, KFC

No 47: Rob Lockett – Tony, Plugger

No 48:

No 49: David Whiteley – I cannot train Tuesdays, Fluff

No 50:

No 51: Ashlin Rodman – SODe, SORi




The Rampant Robin rnd 20


RAMPANT AT THE LAUNCESTON GAME

IT had been a fantastic night and I was enjoying my sleep when it all came crashing down.

It was Friday morning at 4am when the friggin alarm exploded an hour or two earlier than when I wanted it to.

I had been deep asleep dreaming about my favourite player’s Hoochie, Baldock Medallist, Senior Coach and Skidmarks after an evening of rinsing out my mouth with fresh ale at the new River Arms.

I had arrived straight after work at 4pm for a geek at the new place and was still there when kick-out arrived at 1pm.

I then staggered off home dreading what would await me. But was pleasantly surprised to find ol’ Robyn cool, calm and up for some humpo boppo. Maybe she had been watching one of my favourite mens’ only fillums or something, but she was like Trent McCrossen before a game – all oiled up and ready.

So after some of my magic under the sheets, I drifted off before my unwanted wake-up call came.

By gee I was wild, I jumped up got dressed and headed off to work early.

The bosses were surprised to see me get in there early and didn’t I get stuck into my work.

At quarter time smoko, I was still fuming about the alarm and refused to stop, I just kept on going till half time.

Now I usually have half a dozen or six cans of Carlton at lunch but today was different, I had gotten a fair bit of work done in the morning and I was angry and not talking to anyone so I kept on going.

At three quarter time smoko I had calmed down a bit but not even my mate Farnarkle could get me to have a few cans before the run home to knock off time.

I soldiered on and on, when the final siren sounded I had put in my best work day ever, and somehow, I felt kind of satisfied with myself.

Fast forward to Saturday at final siren time with the boys 46-points behind the Blues.

I was wild again, but was calmly thinking – had the boys been a bit like me and been given a wake-up call too?

They had been coasting a bit and after the euphoria of belting the rotten Pies by a 1000 points, maybe we had gotten a bit in front of ourselves.

So with that in mind, I surprised all the boys at the oak by being positive when all around me were going nuts.

Sure we had been exposed by the boys from the Mudflats with their pace and skill which were miles in front of ours, but had the early alarm gone off for the Robroys just in time?

So now we know we are not as good as we reckon, we know we have some work to do to catch up with those Blues and Pies. And given that we have a few weeks left of the season – we just might look back late September and be thankful the kicking came when it did.

But anyway enough of the serious stuff for now, I reckon the umpies robbed us, and fancy the spineless Tassie Devils letting Derbyshoot play for Lonnie.

What weak pricks they are. Why didn’t they let little Whisha play for us as well? He’d be worth 40 kicks and a dozen or so tackles and maybe that’s what we needed. Anyway, who does ol’ Derbyshoot want to play for ? Tassie or the reigning premiers?

Well apart from the sumps who need rootin, did someone inject them blueboys with that EPO stuff that Acne Acka talks about? They looked like they had been on the performance enhancing juice. Meanwhile our blokes just looked like they had been on the juice dealt out by beer taps.

Crikes, and I can’t remember us lookin so flat and slow.

Ex-player Grant ``Smash Em’’ Hearps was at the Oak knockin back a few dozen cans and said we looked slow and small. He is a good bloke and judge of player and if he reckons that is a bad sign - I agree.

So who can we bring in with size and pace to get us going? Maybe ol’ Stu Bennell came be brought back from Forth seconds to do the job, maybe Tex Marshall senior can be coaxed out from behind the newsagent’s counter at Roelf Vos in Devonport or maybe former second’s numbers man, ex-Prime Minister and trainer Slur Useless can fill in at centre half forward? Stuffed if I know, but lets hope we can get the boys back and firing with only a couple of games left in the season.

Here are me votes from a sad, sad day at the office –

3: Tim Auton.

2: Tyson Gale, Tecka (for his centre circle kickout)

1: Benny Johnson, Kurt Anderson, Hearpsy, Barney.




The Rampant Robin rnd 21


RAMPANT AT THE SOUTH LAUNCESTON GAME

I’ve said it before many times and I will say it again, we have a weird but mostly wonderful bunch of people here at the Ulverstone Football Club.

All different types, serious ones, on themselves ones, easy-going ones and mini-hitlers, we’ve got em all.

So it got me thinking on Friday morning when I picked up the toilet paper to find out the sides for the upcoming South hammering. I soon realised something was up when I noticed a fair few changes to what has been a pretty good unit all year.

First up, I saw a number of our key position boys on the outer as well as a few of the flanker types. What was going on I thought?

Now after a few phone calls I got the mail. It seems a number, and I might add a large number of the lads were out the previous Thursday night at the opening of the new bar at the old Swinging Arms.

Now nothing startling in that I thought, but the ol’ Dentist has had a bee in his rather large bonnett brewing for a while and when we got whipped by Lonnie he must have decided it was time to make a stand on the boy’s late-week sipping.

Apparently it is okay to have a few at the club after training on a Thursday but not at the rubbidy in full view of all and sundry. And especially if you decide to get a little snakes hissed and put on the ol’ wobbly boot.

Now I’ve been down that road many a time and when I am at the Oak on a Saturday, I sometimes spill more than most blokes drink.

Well, my spies at the swish lagertorium tell me 12 of our finest were in attendance having a beer or two or three and having a bit of fun.

Now word got back to the Dentist and he hauled them in one at a time to get the story. Two were open and said yes, they had spent a fair time there rinsing out their mouths with litres of lovely Carlton Draught. Some others said they had one or two glasses and another said he had nothing but the clear stuff fish swim, shit and root in all night.

The Dentist and his Yes men take in the evidence, scratch their respective multiple chins and decide they all were on the soup. They deal out the penalties like supreme court judges. All of them except for the first two guilty plea boys get a week’s spell. The darstardly duo with interstate connections get slammed with indefinite stays on the sidelines.

Funny penalties for what are a bunch of amateur blokes having a kick with their mates.

A few weeks ago in the AFL, big Hudson from the Adelaide Crows who is on about $275,000 a season had a crack on the piss and like our blokes, he got found out and got a week’s spell.

Whether the Robroys have dealt with it the right or wrong way, one thing is for certain. If Clangers ever wants to hire any new bean counters for his blossoming business from the club, he had better stay clear of some of the players cos some can only count up to two or at the very best, three.

Anyway, I also reckoned something else was up reading the snot paper on Friday, cos Sooty Walmsley was named as emergency in the ones.

Why would the Dentist think of bringing a bloke back into the side that had not played since he got his old age pension card late last year.

Now I love the Soot as much as any and I can still remember the swelling in me dacks when he took a 100 backline marks to help us win a grand final a few years ago at Laramie. But has the Dentist had one large cake of chocolate too many?

A game like ours is hard to play. It is probably is the hardest in the world when you consider the shape of the ball.

For real, some of the orange Sherrin pills we get are similar in shape to Don Cooper’s twisted cranium. Fair dinkum, they won’t bounce straight back to you and are nearly impossible to boot straight unless you are an expert.

Unlike round ball games like cricket, basketball, soccer, tennis and 8-ball, ours is a tough game to master.

Look at the circular games, shit they are easy. All you have to master in them is how to work the angles.

Have a think about the $400 A Game Spa Boy Murf. He plays basketball for the Warriors in the NWBU. When he gets the ball he zig zags up the court like SOBa when he runs with the footy. Then Spa Boy pulls up 30 metres from the hoop, waves to his bum buddies Pagey, Huge and WWO Cook in the crowd, then banks one in off the glass. Angles see. Further proof is when the WWO and VC Liz play cricket. Both of em get the chance to supposedly take the shine of the new pill, but spend their very limited time at the crease deflecting the aggat into the slips area. More often than not it goes straight to into the keeper’s gloves or first slip’s rubber bands via their hardly-used bats without the scorer even bothering to take out his pen or have his first milo off the day. Angles again.

The WWO and the Frilled Neck then scratch their pointy-heads and walk off wondering why their averages stand at about 2.78 each.

In tennis it’s the same. I remember Clangers, FC yes Man Brooks and 76 State flag flanker Trevor Stephens regularly flogging me and me drunken mates in coastal B grade pennant. They used to chip and deflect the ball at ridiculous angles. A bit like Shane Warne bowling a ping-pong ball on a rocky beach. When they came up against some real tennis types later on they always got flogged but that doesn’t matter. It’s all about angles.

So what was Dentist thinking with the Sootstar? Maybe with three tallish types Long Prong, SOP and SOB getting a spell in the dry-out bin, he was a ruck short.

But what if the Sootstar starred as he probably would? Would the Dentist keep him in at the expense of the thirsty drinkers who had helped get the side to where it is on the footy bladder today?

Whatever happens, it goes to show that the club is bigger than the individual and I just hope the lads all get back in the side and we can get our second spot back and get a home final. I can’t wait.

Next week we head down the track towards Marrawah and stop off to meet Penguin at the ground mini-leaguers would find tiny. That should be a nice little hit-out leading into the finals. Will all the by-now tea-totallers be back in by then? Time will tell.

Anyway here are my votes from the Bullies encounter.

3 – Kinky Conkie, Japanese Mel.

2 – Tyson.

1 – Tommy Marshall, Murrays Day Out, Senior Coach.




The Rampant Robin rnd 22


RAMPANT AT THE PENGUIN GAME

BEEN a while since I last ventured down to the ol’ Penguin ground and heading back there on Saturday morning sure brought back some fond memories.

As usual I was up early on the morning of the big game and I headed over to the home of the Horses Hoofs via the coast road around about 9am.

I was driving past the Three Sisters with me ol’ workmate Farnarkle in his rusted out ute thinking bout the ol’ times as I was gazing out to sea.

What a beautiful spot we live in here on the North West Coast I thought, but it was when I accidentley dropped my can of Carlton on the floor that things started to go friggin wrong.

Looking down to find it I somehow managed to get the ute a bit sideways in the gravel and to shorten a long story, ended upside down on the train tracks.

A geezer who saw the stack ran down to see if we were alright and asked me if I was drunk? I said of course I am you prick, do you think I am a stunt driver or something. Friggin hell.

Anyway, I reckon it was Farney’s fault cos he was egging me on a bit to drive faster and reckons that anyone that drives slower than you is an idiot and anyone going faster is a maniac. Fair dinkum.

Frig, it was a close shave with both me and Farney uninjured but his ute was a bit worse for wear.

So with no transport and the unders only 30 minutes off starting, we gathered up the cans and hotfooted it to the home of Billy Fielding and the great pillock, Sam Ling.

Ol’ Farney was going a bit crook about me wrecking his ute but I said it didn’t matter as we were better of walking into town rather than be seen driving his bomb in. The backward Penguin mob might think we were from Blackbob territory and start playing banjos looking at us in his decrepid ute.

We missed the first quarter of Barn’s boys but it didn’t matter as young Smeds had it on a string and was dobbing them from everywhere. WEC Watson was too big and good as well and it was a nice little percentage booster for the boys heading into next week‘s qualifiers.

In the twos, Little Thommo’s boys started slow against their version of Dad’s Army. Crikey they have a lot of old blokes playing in their seconds. The Hooch was being picked on by one geriatric defender who had on Jenkin Topliner boots and a lace-up jumper. Trainer Geoff Wesley yelled out to the wrinkled prick, ``Why don’t you leave Matty alone and act your age,’’ well, the ol’ timer took the oil spreader’s advice and did act his age – he dropped dead immediately. Fark I reckon he was in his 90’s.

In the ones we had to win by a street and keep them to nothing to make up the percentage we were behind Lonnie.

But after 70 shots at goal in the first quarter I knew we were not going to get there with only five goals 60 points on the board. The Two Blues midgets were trying hard but actually were getting in the way without trying and we found it hard to get the goals.

Well, the boys might have found it hard to score on the ground but for the ol’ Rampant things were a bit different off it.

Now I spent a fair bit of my time around Penguin as a youth and remember a fair few of their birds as good sorts around 30 years ago.

You see, I was having a snakes hiss near the bottom goals in the second quarter when an ol’ scrubber in the crowd recognised my tackle and invited me to resume our old friendship in the ladies restrooms.

What a spot to be put in. I was enjoying the onground flogging and was highly impressed with Tiny Tim, Froggy, Japanese, Dazza, SOBi and John Holmes the porn star. But a gumboot is a juicy fruit so I thought what the hell and went at it hammer and tongs with the 60 plus Penguin fan.

The ol’ Two Blue supporter was a good sort, and despite her being a bit down about her lads getting a belting on the ground, she was enjoying the hammering she was receiving off it.

Anyway, after the long break I met up with Farnarkle at the boozer to find him in a sorry state.

He was blind and had been drinking with Penguin’s resident villiage idiot, Don Cooper.

Cooper would test a Saint with his ramblings and Farney was slurping the syrup into himself flat out trying to forget about Cooper and his wrecked ute.

I too was feeling a bit bad about the car and was wondering how we were going to get home when I saw my new-old female friend at the sav shop. She offered me another ride and even suggested she take me home as well, but I had to refuse. But I did notice her rusted out car parked near the goals and asked her if it was for sale? She said it belonged to her boyfriend who was a Penguin second’s filler-in. The veteran dew kicker had his license taken from him by Service Tasmania recently for failing his sight test and the car was to be sold.

What a bonus, a FJ Holden for Farney for $100, a Bandicoot for me (at quarter time) and three big wins for the Robins. What a great day.

‘Here are me votes –

3: Tiny Timmy Mee

2: Froggy, Hoochie (8 sausages)

1: Sobi, SOBa, SOPo, LPPS Alford, SC, Geoff Wesley, Max Walmsley and Sexy Rexy Bloom.




The Rampant Robin QF's


RAMPANT AT THE LONNIE SHOWDOWN

WELL I used to think when I growing up that I was pleased I wasn’t born into one of those countries like Russia or China cos they didn’t play footy. Well not real footy like our game, they play soccer and call it football but we all know that’s crap, cos ours is the first and only game of football. I also reckoned that in those communist-type joints you couldn’t say what you really think. And if ya wanted to give someone a spray or maybe a friendly uppercut – well, you could get into real Barney Rubble. Imagine watching the Robroys like I was yesterday when we just went down to Lonnie, I was with the Prime Minister Suave, Treasure Clangers, former champion rover Ronnie VC Ansel, FOHooch (Billy T) and board man Thommo. Just having a quiet Captain Cook at our lads. As usual we were getting the big end of the pineapple jammed into us by the orange code cops and we were responding by giving some sound advice to the game controllers.

``For a start,’’ one said, ``Why don’t you throw the ball up instead of trying to big note yaself by bouncing it all over the place ya pillock,’’ nothing wrong with that I thinks to meself. Another said ``If we swapped jumpers would that get us a free kick ya twit,’’ plain common sense again.

But getting back to me opening point, in those round ball countries if you said something like that you might get a tap on the shoulder from a hard looking sod with a cap on, or a stiff-legged copper with a loaded pistol in his rubber-band. You then might get marched behind the change sheds for a flogging and maybe a 15-year spell in the salt mine, just for having an opinion.

Well, after a mid-week event I reckon that sort of thing might be on the way here to Tassie.

Ya see, after last week’s belting of Penguin at their boutique ground in Hicksville, our website man Zumbuk got the word from the Club that NTFL Head Honcho, Mr Ian Wotherfork. Was none to pleased with Rampant’s Rambling.Big Wother’s had a bee in his rather faded NTFL cap and was upset at what the ol’Rampant had had to say bout the Quinns and their banjo-playing deliverance-style supporters.He reckoned I wrote dribble about most things, and reckoned I was a bit harsh mentioning the Uncle Buck I managed to put away during the mismatch.

Well, that’s fair enough I thought, ol’ Mr Worrywart is allowed his opinion but why bother even writing in to the Club to complain. Not the Clubs fault or the zumsters, all he does is promote the club and NTFL footy flatchat and provide a bit of info with his and ``Joshies Ball’s’’ sometimes in-focus pics and club updates. But why even waste time writing to complain about me. Why didn’t he spend that valuable time warding off the Southern invader blokes earwigging to the likes of the TGFTC (Too Good For The Competition) Magpies and North. Add in some time cheering up the spirit-strapped Burnie, or bum-sniffing to the champs Lonnie and poor ol’ injury-wracked South. The Southerners – full of crap with their silver-tongued promises of truckloads of Statewide Footy cash.But no, Mr Worryspoon had to put pen to paper to knock the Rampant’s fictional yarns. But why bother, it’s only meant for followers of Ulvey and IF YA DON’T LIKE IT – DON’T READ IT.

Anyway I agree with Mr Wotherknife that my thoughts sometimes being rubbish. But I don’t care and I don’t - and won’t bow to the NTFL’s self-professed top banana.

Maybe they might have to get big Wothers, Squibby and maybe one or two of the board yes men to tap the Rampant on the shoulder and frog march me away.What do ya reckon would happen to them if they tried?

But if they enlisted the services of former Robin backman and league independent Andrew Richardson it might be different. Big Richo is a huge man these days and out of respect, I might head off to the back of the sheds for me belting without a struggle.

But anyway, who really cares if the NTFL don’t agree with me, a local and at times vocal Robins supporter.

Each club has a Rampant there somewhere and if Mr Reese Witherspoon reckons different, then he is definitely away with the Penguin Fairies. Hang on, that might explain it all. Ol’ Ian lives up the back of the town that spawned footy greats like Billy Fielding and that coaching genius but mental dwarf - Donny Cooper. Maybe my comments hit a bit too close to the mark for him.

What the NTFL’s number one drum beater should be doing is making sure they get the important stuff done. Things like the grand final stuff getting sorted. Get the piss-up invites out to their mates (make sure Donny Coop gets his invite, he looks forward to the day of days) and get the runner-up trophies ready for you know who.

But enough waffling on about the Hitler-like response from the NTFL’s answer to Handy Andy Demetriou, lets get back to the Lonnie game.

We started okay but missed a few easy ones that would have seen us with a seven goal first quarter. But it wasn’t enough and we went down quicker than a Penguin groupie.

Struth the Blue baggers looked good in their neatly pressed Carlton gear.

Tall, fit and oiled up, they even drew a nod of approval from the snooty Pie contingent of The Optometrist, Jaimes (I am a dedicated NTFL – SFL - AFL Tasmania – man) Wiggins, Shane Smith and Fages.

The Blues struggled to throw off our boys despite us getting little from a fair few. But we will bounce back. Lonnie are a good side and I reckon they are on track to give it a shake once again if we don’t win it.

Better players for us were Jack, Japanese, Froggy, Swayback, Mr Queen Hannah (what about the bloke from the papers saying he and Brian Finch were similar builds), Muffler and Roota Pitt.

In the Magoos, we showed more guts than The Dentist, Toad and Don Cooper combined to hold out the fast finishing Bombers. Again Tim VC Auton, Hoochster, SOT (Tecka), $400 A G Murf, VC Shelley, The Pig, VC Bentleigh, and anti-VC Josh McDermot did well.

Here are me senior votes in what will be a friggin nail-biting finish to me best and sometimes fairest.

3: Jack Tyson

2: Dazza, Frog, Muffler

1: Roota Pitt, Queen Hannah’s main squeeze, Derbyshire and Finch, SC, Kevin and Linny Brett, Billy T, Thommo, Suave and Clangers.




Rampant at the Preliminary Finals


RAMPANT AT THE FIRST AND SECOND SEMI FINALS

YOU little beauty, one of our teams in the big one already and the other two in with a real show to make it as well.

It was a weekend of footy that would make a grown man cry with happiness.

The unders winning easy by a point, the seconds getting another chance, the ones hammering the Bombers and the team that reckon they are too good for the competition getting shown up as the big heads they really are.

What a weekend, it finished well but for me started bad.

I’ll wind back the clock to Saturday morning at about five am when I was leaning up against the dyke wall trying to get my aim straight into the Fowler. I was emptying out me bladder of about 27 cans of Carlton and six or seven cans of syrup from the night before.

I had been down to RA’s with three quarters of the seniors and ressies team having a few dozen and after realy tie-ing one on, I was wondering without success how in the frig did I manage to get back home in one piece.

But with me fuzzy head and carpet-tasting mouth, I was in a bad way. I was shaking like a Dentist Yes Man who had been found out after privately going against the mighty leader. But it got worse for me cos after I had finished syphoning the python, I headed back to ol’ Robyn in the Fart Sack with thoughts of maybe having a shot at the title.

She’s only human though and after watching me come back in the raw, also wanted a bit of the ol’ Rampant magic. But she needed a snakes hiss as well. But when I heard her scream from the home of the Fowler, I knew my chances of putting one through the furry hoop were about as good as Devonport’s winning hopes against Lonnie.

You see, when I was having my go I was a bit astray, bit like some of Hoochies pings at goal against the Pies ressies. I had missed my target a bit and when ol’ Robyn sat down to do her business, she felt the warmed up Rampant residue on her Chaminda Vaas and went mad. Doing a Hooch, I had only managed to raise the one flag when two were absolutely necessary.

So with nothing better to do, I had a snack and a heart starter and got ready for the Devonport matches.

I’ve already mentioned Little Thommos boy’s not so flattering form so I’ll head straight to the big one involving the Pies and Lonnie.

I was told midweek about their premeditated plan to tackle the bigger and stronger Blues with a bit of biffo. Their brainless trust never cease to amaze and what a belting they copped. Fair dinkum, I cried my eyes out with laughter watching em get what they deserved. Made me laugh also cos their words from a few weeks back that they were too good for most of the comp kept ringing in me ginger beers. Get rid of East, Smithton, Penguin, Latrobe, Wynyard and South and the Rampant Robin but leave his missus they said. Gee, what wankers.Lonnie were too good and I reckon only a miracle or if someone can find a fountain of youth, so that we can dunk ol’ Here come The Robins Vanda and Wayne Wing in, then we might sneak in or the oily rag is theirs.

But On Sunday, I had to stand and applaud Barns boys after they kept the Dees at bay in a cracker of an under’s game.

Gee those Dees threw everything at us but showing true Robin’s spirit, we held on in one of the games of the year.

At two o’clock, we showed what we can do and leapt out to a huge lead by quarter time.

But with all the excitement of the sausages flying through the big sticks, I let meself down by once again showing off a bit. You see I am a bit like a few of the Pies heirachy, I shoot me trap off when sometimes its better to say nothing at all.

I had fallen for this trap once before and set a target of a can for every goal we got.

Frig, 11 cans in 30 minutes. Even at my best I would struggle with that – but despite being humg over I got em all down by the start of the second quarter.

With the lagers fermenting in my guts, I got the hiccups in full cry. But 5 minutes into the second term I joined in with real tears when the VC Baldock Medalist in Swayback Hayes went down with a hammy.

The champ was killing them and I just thought how cruel for this wonderful man after 10 years of floggings at Swanlake. But all is not lost as he might get back up after ol’ healing hands Teddy Eagling from Penguin gets into him this week.

Gee we were on song though, Junior. LPPS Alford, VC Crawf and Kinky were too good up front, SOBI, Soda, Froggy, VC Dazza, WWO Cook and 200 game legend SOBa were getting leather poisoning in the middle and down back Skidmarks, Senior Coach, Muffler, Brad Pitt Roota, SOPo and co were playing keepings off with the rotten Bombers.

In the end we won easing up and I reckon a few of the sore boys will be right for the Pies.

Timmy Mee has a crook motorboat (throat) and Japanese should be right with his four by three. Baldock Medalist might surprise, Sam VC Whish Wils and Kenny V from Channel Three might get another look in. But whatever, don’t miss this weekend’s game against the Pies.

Will they try to hammer us before the game ? Don’t reckon. But if they do, watch out. The Rampant might jump the fence and join in. Wouldn’t that be a scream? Bet the NTFL wouldn’t report me for defending our honour like they did with Lonnies’ Savage.

Anyway, here are me votes from our semi-win.

3: Junior

2: SOBi, VC Crawf

1: Roota Pitt, LPPS, Froggy, FC Brooks, COS Brooks, Geoff Wesley, Tommy Marshall, Max and Sexy Rexy Bloom, VC Ansel, SC and Clangers The Scoreboard Man.




Rampant Robin at the Semi Finals


RAMPANT AT THE FIRST AND SECOND SEMI FINALS

YOU little beauty, one of our teams in the big one already and the other two in with a real show to make it as well.

It was a weekend of footy that would make a grown man cry with happiness