SCOTTSDALE’S BEST: Members of the 1964 NTFA premiership-winning Scottsdale team, before it defeated Sandy Bay in the State preliminary final at North Hobart. The team was eventually defeated by CooeeBlack and white blood runs in the veins of football followers in the North- East of the State and followers one of the State’s proudest and most successful football clubs will celebrate an important reunion on Saturday night.
The Scottsdale Football Club’s 1964 side captained and coached by Brian Donohue won the club its first senior NTFA premiership.
That milestone will be remembered when the members of that history-making team celebrate a special 40-year reunion this week.
The team included many famous Magpie names of the time such as vice-captain Don Millwood, best and fairest winner Karl Beattie, Stan Wilson, Mannie Goninon and Kevin Symons.
Youngsters and future Scottsdale stars in Ron Hall, Max Hadley, Peter Millwood and Ken Lette, who were just arriving on the scene in 1964 and quickly blossomed into seasoned senior footballers.
Winning the club’s first senior NTFA flag in 1964 heralded the start of a golden era for Scottsdale in the 1960s and 1970s which saw the club go on to win 12 premierships.
Donohue who had great attributes as a leader was recruited by the club from Essendon in 1961 as a 23-year-old.
“I played about 35 senior games and about 100 in the reserves with Essendon and played in the first semi-final against Collingwood that year,” he said last week.
“I had offers from NSW and Tasmania and my wife and I decided on Tasmania and it was the right way to go.
“My wife and I got married and came to Tasmania the next day and the family always said we had a six-year honeymoon over here,” he said.
“I was only 23 and a bit young for coaching and I made a few mistakes in the early days but I learnt as I went, although some of the players probably said I never learnt,” he laughed.
The 1964 Scottsdale side played 15 roster games during the season winning seven and finishing third on the ladder.
It defeated Launceston in the first semi-final before going on to beat North Launceston in the preliminary final and City-South in the grand final with a scoreline of 8.15 to 6.7.
“It was exciting because it was our first senior premiership but also because we nearly lost the preliminary final against North Launceston and got out of that in the dying minutes of the game and that win set us up in a position to give us confidence to go into the grand final,” Donohue remembered.
“I think we were sentimental favourites for the flag because we had lost the preliminary final in 1962 and there was a feeling that it was going to happen but we didn’t play that well until the last couple of minutes of the preliminary final and after that we found our form back again.”
¤¤¤ Donohue remembered the 1964 NTFA grand final against City as a low- scoring and dour game.
“We got in front early and we just kept control of the game after that and were more intent on winning the game rather than making it an exciting affair,” he said.
Having won the NTFA premiership Scottsdale then went on to distinguish itself further by defeating Sandy Bay in the State preliminary final that year in Hobart, 13.14 to 11.17.
“In the game in Hobart we were down about 17 points at three- quarter time but came from behind to win in the last quarter and played very well,” Donohue said.
That win gave the Magpies the right to meet North-West premier Cooee at Burnie in the State grand final, a game in which the team went down by eight points, 15.16 to 14.14.
“In the State final I got knocked out in the second quarter and I don’t remember much of it,” Donohue said.
“We had a great second quarter which got us going but there wasn’t much in the game at the end.
“We were probably the team playing the ball and we learnt a little bit of a lesson that day.
“Tiger Dowling and a few others at Cooee had the better of us that day but we got them back 12 months later when we beat them in the 1965 State preliminary final,” he said.
Donohue said that while it was a disappointment to lose both State grand finals in 1964 and 1965 the Scottsdale team performed fantastically to get to that stage.
“It’s a big challenge to win premierships and our main challenge had always been to win the NTFA premiership and in both State finals we were at a huge disadvantage because we had to travel and didn’t have the home ground advantage.”
Donohue said the two premierships in 1964 and 1965 were the highlights of his six years at Scottsdale.
“In 1963 we built new clubrooms after the fire of 1962 and the comradeship and the donations from all the people around the town of materials to help us was amazing,” he said.
“I was lucky when I went to Scottsdale because I had the nucleus of a good side with players like Rex Lethborg, Karl Beattie, Stan Wilson and Donnie Millwood.
“Then we added on players from our great under-19 side which went through two seasons in 1962-63 undefeated, such as Ronnie Hall, Puss Hadley, Cracker Casboult and a Kennie Lette and I went down the Coast and got Mannie Goninon and Kevin Symons who both had played in 10 consecutive grand finals.
“To be able to put that experience with what we had gave us the nucleus of a good side.”
¤¤¤ Donohue remembered on grand final day in 1964 having former Scottsdale coaches Bob Chitty, Jervis Stokes and Max Lethborg all sitting in different parts of the ground and coming into the rooms at half-time to give him advice on how the team was going.
“Apart from the players it was a combination of everyone who helped us on that little run that showed what the club was all about.
“The NTFA competition in the 1960s was a great competition and television had just started and it was the start of a new era of football and the whole area got behind us in the 1964 premiership and the clubrooms was chokkers with people that night,” he said.
Donohue said he was looking forward to returning to Scottsdale for the reunion after 40 years.
Reunion organising committee member and fellow 1964 premiership player Barry Whish-Wilson said that all of the members of the team had been contacted and 18 of the original 20 premiership players were attending.
“The football club is putting on a function for the 1964 premiership team on Saturday at the clubrooms and any old supporters are invited to come and see some of these blokes that haven’t been here for years and in the evening there is a dinner for the players and officials and wives at Lloyds Hotel,” he said.
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.