Jump to content

  • Podcast:      

  • Podcast:     

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

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?

 

 

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

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?

Edited by mo64
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

Geelong knew what they were doing?  All credit to them, then.  

Other clubs had the same opportunity but didn't take it.

As much as I dislike Geelong, you have to give them credit for smart recruiting.

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.

 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Match Previews, Reports & Articles  

    BLUE VIBE AT IKON by Meggs

    It was such a nice vibe at Ikon on Friday night.     Princes Park looked in excellent condition, a relaxed but modest crowd and President Kate Roffey and CEO Gary Pert in attendance, greeting fans and shaking hands.     It was an evening with little to complain about for Dees supporters, save for some drizzling rain, a few missed scoring opportunities and the fact that the Dees as raging favourites duly took the four points.   Carlton was always going to struggle to cover

    Demonland
    Demonland |
    Match Reports

    BLUES AWAY by Meggs

    This Round 5 clash against the Blues at Princes Park (officially known as Ikon Park) is a great chance for the Dees to bounce back to the winning circle following our top-of-the-table loss to Brisbane last week.     Carlton will be missing several key players with the pundits calling 10 to nil.  Raging favouritism is never a comfortable thing for Melbourne supporters but we simply must deliver on Friday night.   History has seen these teams play four times since 2017 with the Dee

    Demonland
    Demonland |
    Match Previews

    LIONS POUNCE by Meggs

    Early Sunday afternoon Meggs was coffeeing in Mornington and witnessing hail, thunder, lightning, rain, wind and feeling the freezing temperatures and knowing all these elements were heading towards Casey Fields.  Oh dear.  The Brisbane coach had said during the week that he wanted the game moved to Marvel because “if you're going to have two of the better teams in the comp playing, (it warrants) a venue and deck that suits the occasion”.  However, Casey Fields was uncharacteristi

    Demonland
    Demonland |
    Match Reports

    RAINING PREMIERS by KC from Casey

    If the threatening dark grey skies that loomed above Ikon Park before the VFL Grand Final didn’t provide a sufficiently inhospitable reception for our visitors from sunny Queensland, the rains that bucketed down after quarter time certainly did. For years, the Casey Demons have welcomed opposing teams at their home fortress with rain, hail, wind and frosty conditions and it was just Southport’s luck that they met those conditions head on in the VFL’s big dance. They suited Casey’s skillful

    Demonland
    Demonland |
    Casey Articles

    PRIDE OF VICTORIA by KC from Casey

    When Casey Demons coach Mark Corrigan talks about his charges putting their “best foot forward” on Sunday when they take on the Southport Sharks in the 2022 VFL Grand Final, it’s a signal that his team is on a mission not only for themselves but in  the name of their forebears, the Springvale Scorpions, and indeed for the pride and honour of the entire State of Victoria. The VFL club now known as the Casey Demons last won a premiership flag under the name of the Springvale Scorpions but tha

    Demonland
    Demonland |
    Casey Articles

    NARRM AT HOME by Meggs

    For the fourth consecutive week, and the second week as the mighty Narrm, we take on a Top 8 team. Could this match be a preview of the Season 7 Grand Final?   Our opponents this week, Brisbane, stand undefeated atop the AFLW ladder after slaying the struggling Freo, and the unrated Giants and Gold Coast.  After amassing 225 points for and only 56 against, for a percentage of 401.8%, the pundits are claiming the Lions have the best attack the competition has ever seen.   Brisbane

    Demonland
    Demonland |
    Match Previews

    CHANGES 2022 by The Oracle

    Part 1: The year we stood still (or did we?).  Premiership coach David Parkin who  coincidentally turned 80 yesterday, famously used to say that even a premiership team needs to bring at least five new players into the fold in order to advance from year to year and therefore, if this adage remains true, then the Melbourne Football Club really did stand still in 2022.  Of the players recruited after the club’s premiership in September, 2021, only Luke Dunstan (5 games) managed to provid

    Demonland
    Demonland |
    Special Features

    NARRM BLITZES EARLY by Meggs

    The last time we played the Saints, Pride Round 3 January 2022, it was an arm wrestle for 3 quarters and a Demons highlights package for 1 quarter. Oddly familiar was our outing to Moorabbin on Sunday, except this week we are Narrm and it’s Indigenous Round.   Our highlights package was contained to a first quarter onslaught. Superior work at stoppages and our mids dominant.  We showcased our run and carry and our dynamic forward line.  With Hore, Zanker twice, Bannan, Fitzsimon and Paxy al

    Demonland
    Demonland |
    Match Reports

    THE CASEY SHOW by KC from Casey

    The Casey Demons will play in the VFL Grand Final at Ikon Park next Sunday after overturning their final round loss to the Brisbane Lions Reserves and dominating the Preliminary Final to emerge victorious by 51 points.  And while the distance in standards between the AFL and VFL at finals time is admittedly a wide one and the opposition and conditions different, there were a few Demons on display who excelled to the point where one was left to ask whether they could have made the difference

    Demonland
    Demonland |
    Casey Articles
  • Tell a friend

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