Jump to content

Sign in to follow this  


Recommended Posts

When the Melbourne Football Club introduced the concept of a scholarship squad in the mid 1970s the first player to graduate from there to the senior team was half forward flanker Andrew Moir from Beaumaris who played in the Demons' Under 19s in 1976 and made his debut as an 18 year old in round 1, 1977 against South Melbourne at the MCG.

Coach Bob Skilton placed the Mentone Grammar graduate on the wing in his debut game which saw a bad loss for the Demons who struggled throughout the season and finished second last. Moir played the next four matches (2 goals), all of them defeats and then lost his place in the team to Tom Flower, brother of champion player, Robbie. He didn't reappear in the senior team until the opening round of the following season under new coach Dennis Jones. That season was a disaster for the club but Moir established himself as an elusive half forward who could take a grab and kick goals, playing 18 games (13 goals) in his team's wooden spoon season.

Moir remained a regular under his third coach Carl Ditterich (1979-80) and again in Ron Barassi's first year at the helm but he played his last game in round 22, 1981 against Hawthorn at Princes Park to finish with career statistics of 73 games for 68 goals.

He remained at the club in 1982 but failed to play a game and was traded to North Melbourne in a straight swap for Rodney Wright at the end of the year. He did not manage a game for the Kangaroos.

The 183cm, 74.5kg Moir's best season was 1979 when he kicked 25 goals including a career best five goals against North Melbourne in round 9. He was fortunate to be missing injured later in the season when the club recorded its worst ever result in its history - a 190-point loss to Fitzroy at VFL Park.

Times were tough around the club during Moir's career. He didn't play in a winning team until his second year at the club, had four coaches, the team took two wooden spoons and he personally tasted victory only 12 times, a winning percentage of only 16.43%.

Fast forward three decades into the future and Andy Moir, as he was often called and who wore guernsey number 29 during his time at Melbourne, will fittingly passing on that jumper number to his nephew Jayden Hunt who was drafted at number 57 in last month's national draft.

While Jayden's uncle made his path to the club via its scholarship squad and under 19 team (now superceded as a talent pathway by the TAC Cup), Hunt came onto an AFL list quietly, without any fanfare. He is the quintessential smoky.

He played his junior football with East Sandringham and at Brighton Grammar where he was small but dogged in his early teens. Then, between school years 10 and 11 he grew over a foot in height. His growth spurt which has taken him to his current 187cm and 76kg caused him to miss a lot of football (he captained the school tennis team instead) and he was far off the radar when he tried to make the Sandringham Dragons Under 18 squad earlier this year.

The youngster who has amazing talent, dexterity and pace missed out, meaning that he was never in the AFL's main talent programme. Instead, he was confined to school football at Brighton Grammar and a couple of games for the old boys under 19 team in the VAFA. He was impressive enough at that level to make the APS representative team where he starred and that effort earned him a place in the Young Guns squad that played in the week before the VFL grand final.

Hunt was the only member of two teams of hopefuls who was TAC Cup age and he impressed enough to be selected in the main draft. A top sprinter who has run an 11.1 second 100 metres at APS level, his pace makes him a stand out. Those attributes must have impressed some of the talent scouts who came to watch his more fancied schoolmates.

On the night of the draft, SEN's Mark Fine described him as an outstanding prospect. He told of how he went to an APS game to watch co-commentator Robert Shaw coach Brighton Grammar at Caulfield Grammar. Shaw's team contained two top 10 draft prospects in Josh Kelly and Christian Salem but it was speedster Hunt who caught his eye. He took kick outs playing off half back and ran and carried all day.

Shaw was equally effusive calling him a "revelation" in his team when asked about Hunt but added that he was light and would need plenty of time. Shaw explained that the down side with Hunt was that "he's never run a lap or lifted a weight". In that respect, his story is not dissimilar to that of Collingwood's Paul Seedsman.

If Hunt is to follow in that player's footsteps, he has also has some good football genes. Apart from his former Demon uncle, Jayden is said to be a descendent of five-time Collingwood premiership player Harold Rumney, who was part of the Magpie era when they won four successive flags from 1927-1930. And his mother plays golf with the mother of another celebrated Brighton Grammarian Jack Watts.

It might be a while before we see the raw youngster in Melbourne colours, but Demon fans are a patient lot. We've waited thirty years to see the next coming of Andy Mohr wearing the number 29. Let's hope Melbourne is more successful in Hunt's time at the club.

  • Like 1

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.