HAPPY is the football club with a good centre man. He can constantly put his team into attack. He can also be a defender. When the ball is bounced he often acts as a rover, and, as he and his immediate opponent stand on either side of the rucks, there are frequently openings in those periods. When the play moves on the two centre men watch each other closely, and frequently engage in hotly contested duels.
This article originally appeared in the Argus Weekend Magazine Argus 3-Jun-1950 p6-7
League Footballers of 1950 – The Men In The Centre By Percy TaylorHeadings have been added to this article
From then he "kicked on" splendidly and played in all 21 games. The premiership was won in that year with the final kick. Fred is not likely to forget it, as it was he who picked up the ball out of a crush, and kicked a goal just before the bell sounded!
In 1948 he was leading in the voting for the club's best and fairest player award, when he broke his wrist. It was in plaster for six months, and when he returned to the game he lacked confidence. Now, however, he is going "great guns."
Fred's great assets are his clever ball handling and ball control, and his real ability in the air. It is probably those assets that make him one of the best basketball players in Victoria, and a regular State player. He is engaged to be married, and is an electrician employed in the Melbourne Electric Supply.
His first experience in that position was in 1949, and he has never looked back. He is quick off the mark-- that is almost the first requirement of a centreman-- has excellent judgment, is a good mark for his size, which is 5ft. 9in., places the ball to advantage either with a stab kick or a long driving drop, and is most tenacious.
Charlie's first experience of football was at St. Joseph's College. From there he went to the Collingwood Juniors, playing in the V.J.F.L. There he was a centre man. A season with the Collingwood seconds led to his promotion to the senior side in 1943. He was first a wing man, then a half forward, a half-back flanker, forward pocket, rover, and then back pocket. He remained in defence for some time, but he ran into a bad patch in 1948. Now, however, he is "on top of the world" again.
There are few better club men, and he spends his Sundays as a special coach of the Magpie Socials, which won the premiership of the Sunday Amateur competition last year. Charlie is renowned for his "pep" talks to the boys, and interested people go into the room just to hear his speeches. He knows the game backwards, and some big club will be lucky one day to secure him as a coach.
Charlie is a dealer and is going into partnership with his uncle as a motor wrecker. He is related to "Tich" Utting, who was formerly a star with Collingwood and Hawthorn. He is single, and lives with his mother in Collingwood.
He was playing with East Brunswick in the League Sub-districts when he sought a residential clearance to Hawthorn. That was the first Fitzroy had heard of him. Not being prepared to clear a player without seeing him, they asked Bob to train with the club. He pleased the critics, and was persuaded to stay. He quickly settled clown to be one of the best players in his first year.
Bob's rugged type of play is of value in his position, although a little more finesse might be of even more value. His ball disposal cannot be faulted, and he marks well.
In business for himself as a painter and decorator, Bob probably found the climb up and down ladders has helped to strengthen his knee. He is married, with two children, and lives in Nicholson street, East Brunswick. He plays a little cricket in the summer time, but prefers to concentrate on football.
Allan, who had his first game in 1939, had played 98 games with Footscray up to 1947, when he was cleared to Berrigan (N.S.W), as coach. He was 5ft. 6in. and a stockily built 12-stoner, whose best work was done at wing half forward. Jack is of a different build. He is 6ft. and 12st and seems a natural centre half for- ward. After playing a grand game at Geelong in that position, he was placed in the centre next game, and seems likely to remain there.
Jack is a nice mover, but, unlike most centre men, he concentrates more on long punts and drop kicks than on stab kicks. He is the adapt- able type, however, and is likely to learn the value of the stab kick pass. To quote a keen supporter, "Jack has everything," and Footscray are in luck to find a ready-made player who is only 20 years, and obviously has the real temperament for the game.
Instead of being a half back flanker, as he was in the State side, Bernie has played most of his games for Geelong in the centre, although he is occasionally swung into the defence when there is a troublesome opponent to subdue. Although mainly the defensive type of centre man, he is a nice ball handler, and an exceptionally good mark.
Bernie is married with one boy, and is living in West Geelong, where the club found a house for him-no mean feat in
George is unusually tall for a centre man, as he is 6ft. and 12st. Thus he has a natural advantage over most opponents, particularly as he shows great judgment in the air. Added to this, however, is a nice turn of speed, and the ability to pass the ball to the right place.
In the summer George plays cricket ' with Old Wesley in the M,C.C. inter club competition as a fast bowler. ' He is a salesman, is single, and lives in Balwyn.
It is strange that Radloff did not play and had no interest in football before the war. While in uniform he began to get interested, and 'showed much natural ability. A Fitzroy sup- porter who saw him play recommended him to that club, but he was residentially bound to North Melbourne. He was persuaded to train, with happy results all round.
For his height, which is 5ft. 7in., Stan is an excellent mark, and is a fine kick. He covers the ground well and is most elusive. He had his first game in 1946, and completed his 50th game in the preliminary final last year.
Before the war Stan had concentrated on bicycle riding, and had a few successes' He is a plasterer, is married, and lives in North Melbourne. During the summer he plays junior cricket, and has a lot of ability.
Stokes was immediately placed on the senior list, because his form was known, and he is one of the best players to come from Tasmania. He is particularly good in the wet probably because he has had so much experience of it in Tasmania. He is adept at the short punt pass, which he learnt from Jack Dyer, and is also a good drop kick. In training, he runs backwards, sideways, and baulks all of which he learnt from Jack Broadstock, the former South Australian.
Ray is an amateur boxer of note, and still boxes at a city gymnasium for exercise. After football training he does ten minutes or so of ball punching. He is also a good cricketer, and has played senior cricket, but he found that it clashes with football so cricket is out, except for games ' with the juniors.
Harold played as a forward pocket and rover in two games for Prahran, and then declared that he wanted a clearance. His friend, Alan Killigrew, took him to St. Kilda. He played with the seniors in the "lightning premier- ship," which St. Kilda won-"our first premiership," as they said at St. Kilda.
From that point Harold has been a regular senior player, and rarely plays a bad game. His record to the end of 1949 was 108 games. The virtue of his play is in his pace-those first five yards that make all the difference-his excellent marking, his evasion, and, most particularly, his good disposal of the ball. All these (Illegible) are the hall marks of a real centre man.
In the summer Harold plays a little cricket with the Richmond Brewery team-he is employed there as a salesman-and he also does a little swimming. He is married, has a daughter, and lives in Albert street, Windsor, which is just a short stroll from the ground.
In that season Arthur was runner up to Ralph Shalless (now at Brighton), for best and fairest player in Mildura-Red Cliffs. He played his first senior game in 1948, and up to the end of last season had played in 24 games. Most of his games have been on the wing, and it was as a wing man that he gained selection in the Victorian team.
In the second game of this. season he was sent to the centre after half time, and did such a fine job that it was decided to keep him there. He has fine pace and dash, and his ball control is admirable. –
At home Arthur is a motor mechanic, but during the winter he drives a truck. He is single.