Jump to content

  • IMPORTANT: PLEASE READ BEFORE POSTING

    Demonland has made the difficult decision to not permit this platform to be used to discuss & debate the off-field issues relating to the Melbourne Football Club including matters currently being litigated between the Club & former Board members, board elections, the culture at the club & the personal issues & allegations against some of our players & officials ...

    We do not take these issues & this decision lightly & of course we believe that these serious matters affecting the club we love & are so passionate about are worthy of discussion & debate & I wish we could provide a place where these matters can be discussed in a civil & respectful manner.

    However these discussions unfortunately invariably devolve into areas that may be defamatory, libelous, spread unsubstantiated rumours & can effect the mental health of those involved. Even discussion & debate of known facts or media reports can lead to finger pointing, blame & personal attacks.

    The repercussion is that these discussions can open this website, it’s owners & it’s users to legal action & may result in this website being forced to shutdown.

    Our moderating team are all volunteers & cannot moderate the forum 24/7 & as a consequence problematic content that contravenes our rules & standards may go unnoticed for some time before it can be removed.

    We reserve the right to delete posts that offend against our above policy & indeed, to ban posters who are repeat offenders or who breach our code of conduct.

    WE HAVE BUILT A FANTASTIC ONLINE COMMUNITY AT DEMONLAND OVER THE PAST 23 YEARS & WE WOULD LIKE TO CONTINUE TO BE ABLE TO DISCUSS THE CLUB WE LOVE & ARE SO PASSIONATE ABOUT.

    Thank you for your continued support & understanding. Go Dees.


Country Zoning



Recommended Posts

Finally some statistical evidence for what has until now been based on anecdotal evidence only. There have been a number of posts on 'Land on this topic over the years but only now are there numbers to support the story.

Note that this only covers country zones that were fruitful at the time but the dorks' zone would today be mostly considered metropolitan (Mornington Peninsula, Berwick).

It is the main reason that the dorks got ahead in the footy world. When gifted the calibre of players from their zone to the exclusion of all others (not just 100 gamers but 300 gamers) it is clear that zoning was unfair. Lolly blues did second best.

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Interesting article, but I remain unconvinced. For example, I find it hard to believe that somehow Bendigo had better talent available than Ballarat. I suspect the capability of clubs to nurture their zones was a significant issue. In other words, I suspect if Carlton had been given Ballarat and St Kilda had Bendigo (ie, the reverse of what they had), Carlton would have produced more talent from Ballarat than St Kilda would have from Bendigo.    

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The champions St Kilda got from Ballarat were Lockett and then Frawley. Not much for nearly 20 years.

From Bendigo the lolly blues got Southey, Ashman and a couple of others but, from their pre zoning success in the late 60s, they had the money and the George Harris cheek to raid WA and SA sides to collect Kernahan, Bradley, Bosustow, Dorotich to toughen their squad. Nobody wanted to go to the sainters.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 minutes ago, DeeGee said:

This is all a bit before my time. Two questions:

1. Where was our zone? 
2. How else did clubs find players if not via the zone? Could you just find a player and sign them up?

 

 

I just finished the chapter of the book answering these questions on the train home!  Our zone was Goulburn Valley.  

Prior to that we were quite successful with our recruiting because Jim Cardwell would travel around Victoria and use the MCC as leverage to attract talent (despite Melbourne being a low paying club).

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites


I always thought that St Kilda got absolutely dudded by zoning in that some of their big names in 66 came from what was now Hawthorn territory.

I think the argument that it is up to the club to nurture players has some merit, but it cannot be denied that the club had much more success when the draft came in place of zones.

Leon Baker I think came from our zone and played in the 84 premiership for Essendon but from memory the Dons picked him up playing in Darwin.  So I dont think too many from our country zone got away.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

30 minutes ago, DeelightfulPlay said:

I just finished the chapter of the book answering these questions on the train home!  Our zone was Goulburn Valley.  

Prior to that we were quite successful with our recruiting because Jim Cardwell would travel around Victoria and use the MCC as leverage to attract talent (despite Melbourne being a low paying club).

Cheers - thanks for that. So who came to us from that region? Was Garry Lyon via the zone?  Yze is from that area but he must have come via the draft.

is there a notable MFC supporter base in that area now? I lived in the Wimmera years ago and there are a heap of Essendon supporters there, which I think is due to the zoning.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I knew there were zones to distribute the player pool up until the draft, but didn't realise the way they were divided up to the clubs.

Explains everything as to why Melbourne weren't successful through the 70's and early to mid 80's.

No wonder there is so much hatred for Carlton and Hawthorn to an extent.

 

Edited by YesitwasaWin4theAges
Link to comment
Share on other sites

44 minutes ago, spirit of norm smith said:

Yes we had Goulburn Valley.  We had to convince blokes that lived and worked 3 1/2 hours away.  Cats were the luckiest. All their local region naturally was allocated to them as well as down the surf coast to Warrnambool.   

Friggen Geelong always kissed on the twigg. Still hiding players away too.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

49 minutes ago, spirit of norm smith said:

All their local region naturally was allocated to them as well as down the surf coast to Warrnambool.

The Hampden League was allocated to Fitzroy, not Geelong.

I was growing up in Portland when zoning was introduced.  Imagine my dismay when our league (Western Border) was given to Collingwood!  It wasn't a fruitful zone however, with the only decent player from the area being Billy Picken.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Goulburn Valley League was the main zone, but every team also got a collection of minor country leagues. Ours were the Kyabram, Picola, Riddell, Echuca, Tungamah, and Benalla leagues.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

12 minutes ago, Demonstone said:

The Hampden League was allocated to Fitzroy, not Geelong.

I was growing up in Portland when zoning was introduced.  Imagine my dismay when our league (Western Border) was given to Collingwood!  It wasn't a fruitful zone however, with the only decent player from the area being Billy Picken.

Ricky Barham who played about 150 games for them lived down the road from me in Hamilton but you are quite correct, Billy Picken was the standout.

Mind you, a number of good ex VFL and SANFL retired in the district (i.e. bought a pub and coached the local team) and the Western Border team was occasionally quite strong.  Part of the problem for Collingwood may have been that there were 6 SA teams in the competition.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

18 minutes ago, YesitwasaWin4theAges said:

Friggen Geelong always kissed on the twigg. Still hiding players away too.

How can Geelong "hide players away"?

Any player that nominates for the Draft may be selected by any one of the 18 clubs.  It's up to the recruiting staff and scouts to identify which of these players is worthy of being drafted. 

Blokes like Tom Stewart and Tom Atkins were there for all to see.  Geelong decided to draft them.  

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites


4 hours ago, tiers said:

The champions St Kilda got from Ballarat were Lockett and then Frawley. Not much for nearly 20 years.

From Bendigo the lolly blues got Southey, Ashman and a couple of others but, from their pre zoning success in the late 60s, they had the money and the George Harris cheek to raid WA and SA sides to collect Kernahan, Bradley, Bosustow, Dorotich to toughen their squad. Nobody wanted to go to the sainters.

 

Yes zoning was part of the story but the money and ability to raid the best talent from SA and WA set the outcomes throughout the 70’s and 80’s. Didn’t Norm Smith in Red Fox identify this as an issue in the 60’s but his pleas to the MCC Board to be able to pay players from interstate fell flat. To the Board it was a privilege to play for the MFC on the G and be offered an MCC membership! Thus consigning us to oblivion for decades while Geelong, Carlton, Hawthorn and Richmond reaped the best interstate talent to dominate the VFL. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

9 hours ago, mo64 said:

It's says we had only 3 country zone players play 100 games. Would they be Lyon, Grinter and Tingay? Didn't Schwarz come from Sunbury which was part of the Riddell League?

Schwerter was a metropolitan zone kid. The three 100 gamers were Keenan, Grinter and Lyon. Connolly would have joined them but for his knee.

Tingay, like Yze, was from our old country zone but was actually drafted a couple of years after the country zones were abolished.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have read Between the Flags and if you care to fully read it, I think you will find that it well covers/addresses all the circumstances, comments and questions above - the author dives deeply into all the contributing factors and backs it up with numbers and references. If you want to understand all that better, as well as post-zoning events and factors, and re-celebrate our more recent better times., I can thoroughly recommend the book.

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

11 hours ago, Demonstone said:

How can Geelong "hide players away"?

Any player that nominates for the Draft may be selected by any one of the 18 clubs.  It's up to the recruiting staff and scouts to identify which of these players is worthy of being drafted. 

Blokes like Tom Stewart and Tom Atkins were there for all to see.  Geelong decided to draft them.  

They knew what they were doing.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

I'm deep into the book Between The Flags and it really is beautifully written as well as being so informative.

I was always of the view that the MFC were diddled by country zoning - especially the decision made not to rotate the zones as originally planned. This really settled our fate and unfortunately, the complacency and lack of commercial acumen of our board and our leadership of the time had a lot to answer for.

In many ways, the conservative nature of the club which served it well as it rose through the fifties and into the sixties, failed it in the decades to follow.

For a better understanding of the issues and also many other aspects of our wilderness years I heartily recommend Between The Flags. A poster on another thread about the book has posted the following information about where to find the book:-

Between The Flags will be on sale at Camberwell Market throughout August - On August 14 (basking in the glow of a return to the winner's list hopefully) at Stall 23; August 21 at Stall 24 and August 28 at Stall 64 (near the donut van).

The best thing about market sales (at Bentleigh and Camberwell so far) has been meeting other fans and sharing stories of our mutual passion for the Demons.

For those who can't make it to the market, the book is also available from Readings; The Avenue Bookstore (where it's made the non-fiction best seller list); Beaumaris Book; Ashburton news extra, and now, for rural fans from Collins Booksellers in Shepparton (the heart of the Demons' old country zone), and from Bookish in Hargreaves St Bendigo.

Looking forward to catching up with anyone able to make it to the market between 7am and 12.30pm.

BTF is also available online at https://www.betweentheflags57.com.au

  • Like 2
  • Love 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Whispering_Jack said:

 

Between The Flags will be on sale at Camberwell Market throughout August - On August 14 (basking in the glow of a return to the winner's list hopefully) at Stall 23; August 21 at Stall 24 and August 28 at Stall 64 (near the donut van).

BTF is also available online at https://www.betweentheflags57.com.au

Of course it would be Stall 64!!!

  • Like 2
  • Haha 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Unfortunately, your content contains terms that we do not allow. Please edit your content to remove the highlighted words below.
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Demonland Forums  

  • Match Previews, Reports & Articles  

    SCRUTINY & RESILIENCE by Whispering Jack

    If the week when preseason training melds into scratch matches with other clubs, is the first marker for the beginning of a new season, then this has certainly been a torrid opener for the Melbourne Football Club in its campaign to remain a leading AFL premiership contender in 2024. The Demons were already under enormous scrutiny from the media and football’s fan base (including their own) after consecutive straight-sets finals exits, with Clayton Oliver’s well documented woes, the Joel Smi

    Demonland
    Demonland |
    Melbourne Demons 20

    Angus Brayshaw Forced into Retirement

    After 167 games including the drought breaking Premiership Angus Brayshaw has made the heart breaking decision to medically retire from football as a result of a series of serious head knocks over his nearly decade of footy. We wish Gus all the best and he'll always be a hero at Demonland. 😢

    Demonland
    Demonland |
    Melbourne Demons 382

    PODCAST: Match SIM vs Richmond

    The Demonland Podcast will air LIVE on Tuesday, 20th February @ 8:30pm. Join George, Binman & I as we dissect the Scratch Match loss to the Tigers and hopefully provide me with some free MFCSS therapy. You questions and comments are a huge part of our podcast so please post anything you want to ask or say below and we'll give you a shout out on the show. If you would like to leave us a voicemail please call 03 9016 3666 and don't worry no body answers so you don't have to talk to a

    Demonland
    Demonland |
    Melbourne Demons 43

    PREGAME: Practice Match vs Carlton

    The Dees will play their final practice match before the start of the 2024 seasons against the Blues at Ikon Park. What are you wanting to see in this final hit out before the season proper? Will Clarry & Salo return to the side? 2024 AAMI Community Series | Carlton v Melbourne Date: Wednesday 28 February Time: 6:40pm (AEDT) Location: IKON Park | Wurundjeri

    Demonland
    Demonland |
    Melbourne Demons 80

    POSTGAME: Match SIM vs Richmond

    The Dees were outclassed and outmuscled in its first practice hit out for the 2024 season against the Tigers going down by 23 points at Casey Fields. 

    Demonland
    Demonland |
    Melbourne Demons 286

    GAMEDAY: Match SIM vs Richmond

    It's Game Day and it's been 156 days since the Demons were bundled out of the finals in straight sets for the 2nd year in a row. Our redemption starts here. Remember it's only a practice match if we lose. Date: Sunday 18th Feb Location: Casey Fields Gate open: 9.30am Match commences: 10am Watch: Foxtel & Kayo Inclusions: Seven-quarter match simulation Signing opportunities Kids' activities Partner giveaways Demons Squad: 1. Steven May 2. Jacob Van Rooyen

    Demonland
    Demonland |
    Melbourne Demons 402

    TRAINING: Saturday 17th February 2024

    On the eve of the Dees first practice match for the 2024 season a couple of Demonland Trackwatchers bring you their observations from today’s Captain’s Run at Gosch’s Paddock.  KEV MARTIN’S CAPTAIN’S RUN OBSERVATIONS Looks a a dress rehearsal Captain's run. 23 out doing drills.  Included is Will Verall, Kynan Brown, Bailey Laurie, Caleb Windsor, Blake Howes, Adam Tomlinson, Kade Chandler, Jack Billings and Josh Schache. Rehab include BBB, Tom Fullarton, TMac, AMW, Woey.

    Demonland
    Demonland |
    Training Reports

    PREGAME: Match SIM vs Richmond

    The Demons will take to the field in their first hit out for 2024 against another team when they take on the Tigers at Casey Fields in a Scratch Match consisting of 7 "quarters". Melbourne vs Richmond Date: Sunday 18th Feb Location: Casey Fields Gate open: 9.30am Match commences: 10am Watch: Foxtel & Kayo Inclusions: Seven-quarter match simulation Signing opportunities Kids' activities Partner giveaways What are your expectations? What do you want to see from

    Demonland
    Demonland |
    Melbourne Demons 130

    TRAINING: Monday 12th February 2024

    Clayton Oliver was integrated back into the main training group today for the first time in 2024 after completing a 2km time trial. FriendlyFellow, a new Demonland Trackwatcher hit Gosch's Paddock on a hot and windy morning to bring you his observations of the session. Disclaimer: Saw on the socials they were down at Gosch’s Paddock so headed down for a quick look. Little to no presence of other track watchers and no current live thread, so as a first time contributor, giving what the peopl

    Demonland
    Demonland |
    Training Reports 6
  • Tell a friend

    Love Demonland? Tell a friend!
×
×
  • Create New...