Feature from the mag: Sharks’ bold ambition

first_imgIf actions can back up the assured talk emanating from the American consortium that has bought a controlling interest in the Sharks, rugby might never be the same again in South Africa.The Sharks were the trailblazers in this country when rugby went professional in 1996 – the creation of the Sharks brand after more than 100 years of being the Banana Boys – and it is looking probable that they will again be trendsetters with their amalgamation with American investors and the pizazz of international marketing giants Roc Nation, who have on their books such entertainment icons as Rihanna, Shakira and their founder, Jay Z.In months to come, with Covid-19 having emptied the coffers of sporting franchises across the globe, will Western Province be ruing the day they spurned the advances of Marco Masotti’s MVM Holdings? Particularly if the Sharks are flush with cash, are boasting a world-class team and being flaunted across the world by the marketing muscle of Roc Nation.Of course, there are detractors who feel the Sharks have sold off the family silverware in allowing MVM 51% in the boardroom, but the reality is the pandemic has changed the world. The sporting landscape has been radically altered and where some franchises are already holding out their begging bowls – and in South Africa that will be almost every team if the golden revenue from the British & Irish Lions tour does not happen – the Sharks will be laughing when the dollars roll in.Sharks CEO Ed Coetzee, labelled a ‘visionary’ by Roc Nation CEO Michael Yormark, said that when MVM came knocking at the gates of Kings Park, having lost interest in Western Province’s vacillations, they were welcomed with open arms.Why did the Sharks give an emphatic yes when WP could only scratch their heads? Coetzee explains.‘The appeal was that the rugby industry has been hit really hard by Covid, so we needed an outside equity partner that shared our vision and who were prepared to help us in this difficult time,’ says Coetzee, who with the help of his board put together a deal so quickly and efficiently that Masotti likened it to anything he does on Wall Street, where he is a leading attorney.‘From day one, there was a shared vision with MVM to make the Sharks a global brand and that is why negotiations went so quickly,’ Coetzee adds. ‘And we believe that equity partners are essential for us to be competitive outside South Africa, especially with us going forward into Europe this year to play in the Pro16 – we can’t compete in international competitions with a disadvantaged currency, so an equity partner will help us to not just compete but win competitions which will, in turn, bring us new revenue opportunities.’It is a first in South African rugby for a franchise to allow a partner a controlling stake, but Coetzee says this is not as dramatic as it sounds.‘As a matter of interest, the way MVM went about it is that they were not trying to bully the other stakeholders or to impose their will – it is just that if you put in a large amount of money into an organisation, you want a say in important matters in the management of the company. If you look at the minority protection clauses they have put in place to assist the KZNRU and SuperSport, our other shareholder, it shows the intent to grow the game.‘For instance, the deal ensures the sustainability and the future of the club game and the development of rugby in our province,’ Coetzee explains. ‘There is a set amount of money to be paid to the KZNRU to fund the development of amateur rugby. The deal is vital not just for the Sharks but also for the club game.’What is clear is that there has to be a meeting of minds between Coetzee and his board, including the wise head of veteran administrator Brian van Zyl (the president of the KZNRU), and the fast-talking Americans.The traditional South African rugby culture of biltong and beer in the stands cannot be sacrificed on the altar of Yankee flamboyance.Yormark, for instance, boldly says: ‘Fans, the sponsors and the community can anticipate seeing some different things, moving forward. We want to create an incredible product on the field, but also off the field. We want to create one of the most unique entertainment experiences for fans, not only in South Africa but around the world.‘We obviously want the Sharks to continue to be culturally relevant, but we also want people from around the world to connect with the brand,’ Yormark continued. ‘We are developing our strategy for that right now, but we need to tell the story of the Sharks. We need people to understand what the Sharks stand for.’But for all this to happen, the Sharks have to win, and Yormark and Coetzee are in full agreement about this.Coetzee said: ‘The joint vision is for the Sharks to be successful on the field. As soon as you are successful on the field you become significant off it. You can’t have significance without success. We need to win, then our other values that sit around the Sharks, like diversity, our family culture, our links to the community, come in to play, but it is only relevant when you are winning on the field.’And that surely means the Sharks will be buying some world-class players but Coetzee says there will no wild shopping spree.‘It is crucial that we do not overhaul the squad. For the past three years we have built up a young, talented squad that has come through the age groups at Kings Park and are now competing for the national team,’ he said. ‘Our main challenge, even before MVM, was to keep these guys, and now this deal will help us do that.‘But after every competition we play, we do an analysis of where we came short and this where we will bring in quality players in certain positions, but there will definitely not be a squad overhaul.’The Sharks certainly need to beef up their tight five, and there is speculation that Springbok captain Siya Kolisi, who is on the books of Roc Nation, is moving to Durban.Masotti, in answering a direct question as to whether Kolisi is to be a Shark, gave an interesting answer: ‘The Sharks have a terrific, young team and we need to be careful not to disrupt the culture at work. My hope is that we add to what is there in a thoughtful way, to help the team win.’There are also cynics who worry that MVM’s interest in a South African rugby team is a flight of fancy and that they will soon grow bored and move on. But Coetzee says there is no time frame – MVM is in for the long haul.‘MVM has committed to walk the long road with us, which is important because you can’t have a short-term strategy as you do not know what it is around the corner, so it is nice to have a partner in MVM that has a strong footprint in Durban,’ Coetzee says. ‘Marco was born and raised in Amanzimtoti [south of Durban], and within their consortium, there are partners with strong Durban roots.’Masotti indeed comes from humble roots. While studying law in Durban he made pocket money by making pizzas in a Toti takeaway. In an approximation of the great American Dream, he rose to become a hard-hitting lawyer on Wall Street, but he has never forgotten his modest upbringing in a sleepy seaside town in KZN.‘I am a Toti boy. South Africa is in my blood, and I want to give back to the country of my upbringing but, let me honest, this is also a sound business deal with a rugby team that has a good management structure and has made transformation a business priority.‘The plan to establish rugby academies in the Eastern Cape as a pipeline to the Sharks is one example of this,’ he says, before concluding with a punch: ‘The secret to success is to work hard and stay humble. To survive on Wall Street, to quote Muhammad Ali, you have to float like a butterfly and sting like a bee. That is how we plan to operate at the Sharks.’FRIENDS IN HIGH PLACESMarco Masotti, the driving force behind the MVM Holdings group that has bought into the Sharks, counts Hillary Clinton among his friends, has discussed sport with Muhammad Ali, and took a year off from his New York law firm to work for Justice Albie Sachs at the South African Constitutional Court.After graduating with a law degree from the University of Natal in 1991, he won a scholarship to the University of Virginia in the US, where he completed his Masters of Law. He studied with the son of Bobby Kennedy, Max, which fuelled an interest in the Democratic Party, culminating in him being a fundraiser for Clinton’s presidential campaign in 2016.When he joined the law firm Paul Weiss and Associates in New York, one of his colleagues was Ted Sorenson, the former speechmaker for John F Kennedy, who he says became his mentor.In 1997, Masotti chose to take time off from New York to clerk for Sachs in an experience he has described as ‘humbling and life-changing’.A fervent Springbok supporter since his father (an Italian immigrant to South Africa) took him to a Test match against the All Blacks at Kings Park in 1976, Masotti was present at the Boks’ World Cup final wins in 2007 and 2019. ‘ Post by Craig Lewis ‘ ‘ Subscribe here Posted in Features, Top headlines, Top story  335  65 Feature from the mag: Sharks’ bold ambition GrammarlyAvoid Grammatical Errors with This Helpful Browser ExtensionGrammarly|SponsoredSponsoredUndo ‘ Life Exact BrazilGrace Jones Is Now 72 Years Old, This Is Her NowLife Exact Brazil|SponsoredSponsoredUndoWorld Cup-winning Bok quartet in Eddie Jones’ all-time XVSA Rugby MagUndoWatch: Kolbe makes Test players look amateur – Ugo MonyeSA Rugby MagUndo熱門話題不要被酵素騙了!在萬寧賣的「這個」直接針對脂肪…熱門話題|SponsoredSponsoredUndo Published on March 21, 2021 An American consortium’s investment in the Sharks aims to revolutionise the Durban franchise on and off the field, writes MIKE GREENAWAY in the latest SA Rugby magazine.ALSO READ: What’s in our latest issue? ‘ BuzzAura16 Cancer Causing Foods You Probably Eat Every DayBuzzAura|SponsoredSponsoredUndo ‘ Five one-cap Boks that could still represent South AfricaSA Rugby Magazine takes a look at five players who have only represented South Africa once but might do so again in the future.SA Rugby MagUndoLoans | Search AdsLooking for loan in Hong Kong? Find options hereLoans | Search Ads|SponsoredSponsoredUndoHero WarsThis game will keep you up all night!Hero Wars|SponsoredSponsoredUndo熱門話題對肚腩脂肪感到後悔!試了在萬寧賣的這個後…熱門話題|SponsoredSponsoredUndoAlphaCuteOprah’s New House Cost $90 Million, And This Is What It Looks LikeAlphaCute|SponsoredSponsoredUndoCNAHow is life for Cambodian boy linguist after viral fame?CNA|SponsoredSponsoredUndo GoGoPeak10 Most Beautiful Cities You Should Visit Once In Your LifetimeGoGoPeak|SponsoredSponsoredUndo From the magazine: Jano Vermaak names his Perfect XVSA Rugby MagUndolast_img read more

Sharks’ Evander Kane notches hat trick in first period in triumph over Hurricanes

first_img San Jose Sharks, Carolina Hurricanes, Evander Kane His only other hat trick was a four-goal game for the Sharks at Calgary on March 16, 2018. Kane also had an assist Wednesday. Barclay Goodrow and Tomas Hertl also scored goals, and Brent Burns and Hertl each had two assists for San Jose.Penguins 3, Avalanche 2 (OT)In Pittsburgh, Brandon Tanev scored a short-handed goal with 1:03 left in overtime to give the Penguins a win and hand Colorado their first loss of the season.Tanev’s shot from the bottom of the left circle was inadvertently knocked across the goal line by Colorado’s Gabriel Landeskog near the far post.Sidney Crosby had a goal and an assist, Jake Guentzel scored and Matt Murray made 26 saves for Pittsburgh, which won its fourth straight.Matt Calvert and Nathan MacKinnon scored for the Avalanche, who entered the game 5-0-0, the last remaining NHL team without a loss. Philipp Grubauer made 30 saves for Colorado.Oilers 6, Flyers 3In Edmonton, Connor McDavid scored once in a five-point game, and Leon Draisaitl scored twice and added an assist as the Oilers made quick work of Philadelphia with their sixth win in seven games this season.McDavid has 17 points through seven games this season, a feat equaled by in franchise history only by Wayne Gretzky.Mikko Koskinen stopped 49 shots for Edmonton, which has won six of its seven contests.Ducks 5, Sabres 2In Anaheim, Rickard Rakell, Ryan Getzlaf and Adam Henrique scored second-period goals as the hosts rallied to hand Buffalo its first regulation defeat of the season.The Ducks, returning from a 2-2-0 road trip, won at home for the third time in three tries. The Sabres had their three-game winning streak snapped.Victor Olofsson scored his sixth goal of the season on the man advantage in the second period for Buffalo, extending his own record by becoming the first player in NHL history to score the first eight goals of his career all on the power play.Capitals 4, Maple Leafs 3In Washington, John Carlson finished with one goal and two assists and the hosts used a three-goal burst over 78 seconds in the second period to top Toronto and pick up their first home win in four tries this season.Carlson now has three goals and 11 assists to rank among the NHL scoring leaders. The defenseman assisted on Washington’s first two goals and scored the fourth one, while Nicklas Backstrom added a goal and an assist, and Jakub Vrana and Evgeny Kuznetsov also scored for the Capitals.Toronto got first-period goals from Kasperi Kapanen and Ilya Mikheyev, seemingly taking charge with a 2-0 lead.Blue Jackets 3, Stars 2In Columbus, Zach Werenski and Alexander Wennberg each had first-period goals, and the hosts added to Dallas’ early-season misery.Sonny Milano had a highlight-reel, third-period goal, and Joonas Korpisalo stopped 30 shots as the Blue Jackets posted back-to-back wins for the first time on the young season. Columbus also extended its winning streak over Dallas to eight games.The Stars fell to 1-6-1 and continue to struggle on offense. KEYWORDS GET THE BEST OF THE JAPAN TIMES RELATED PHOTOScenter_img IN FIVE EASY PIECES WITH TAKE 5 Evander Kane scored a hat trick in the first period, and Martin Jones made it stand up with 36 saves as the San Jose Sharks picked up their third consecutive win with a 5-2 victory over the Carolina Hurriances on Wednesday.Kane became the first San Jose player to complete a hat trick in an opening period. He also became the ninth Sharks player to score three-plus goals in a single period, the first since Patrick Marleau had four goals in the third period at Colorado on Jan. 23, 2017. The Sharks’ Evander Kane (left), seen in a file photo, had five points against the Hurricanes on Wednesday in San Jose. | APlast_img read more

World Karate Federation provisionally de-recognises KAI

first_img The World Karate Federation (WKF) has provisionally de-recognised the Karate Association of India with immediate effect for infighting and violating the world body’s statutes during its elections last year. WKF said the decision was taken after an inquiry. WATCH US LIVE Last Updated: 24th June, 2020 12:48 IST World Karate Federation Provisionally De-recognises KAI The World Karate Federation has provisionally de-recognized the KAI with immediate effect for infighting & violating it’s statues during the elections last year LIVE TV Written By World Karate Federation provisionally de-recognizes KAIWKF made it clear that it was unhappy with the infighting within the KAI, which resulted in a “flawed” election process in January last year.  “The current management of KAI has lost its integrity and credibility. The current management is now paralysed with part of the management led by Mr Likha Tara claiming that the office-bearers are illegally elected, part of the management claiming control, and part of the management proposing to reinstate Mr Bharat Sharma, as Vice President. “As a consequence, it does not seem possible for KAI to resolve amicably the differences and issues in the foreseeable future. “Instead, the Commission is convinced that the internal struggle will escalate, and the involvement of external bodies is imminent, with potential interferences in the autonomy of the National Federation,” the letter dated June 22 further stated.The WKF, however, said KAI has the option of appealing against the de-recognition within 21 days. “An appeal can be presented before the Disciplinary and Legal Commission within 21 days following the notification of the provisional affiliation or disaffiliation decision by the Executive Committee and/or the final affiliation or disaffiliation decision by the Congress,” it said. The KAI’s provisional disaffiliation will be submitted for ratification before its Congress at its next meeting.  COMMENT Image credits: PTI / Representative image center_img “…further to the investigations and inquiry led by the commissioned members to review the status of the Karate Association of India (KAI), the WKF Executive Committee has decided to provisionally withdraw the recognition of KAI, of which you are the President, as of 22nd June with immediate effect in accordance with the WKF Statutes,” WKF chief Antonio Espinos wrote in a letter to KAI president Hariprasad Pattanayak. First Published: 24th June, 2020 12:48 IST SUBSCRIBE TO US “On that occasion, the KAI will be granted the opportunity to express its view with regard to its disaffiliation of WKF, if it so wishes.”…your federation will, as of today, no longer be entitled to the rights reserved only to WKF members, including but not limited to participate in WKF events, use the WKF logo and name and represent the WKF in India,” the world body said.The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) disaffiliated KAI in January this year for violating its constitution and guidelines.The issue relates to the KAI elections in January 2019 that had no presence of an observer from the IOA and there have been allegations that the process was not valid.  Press Trust Of India FOLLOW USlast_img read more

Carlo Ancelotti: Me and Iker Casillas will be at Real Madrid next season

first_imgCarlo Ancelotti says he sees himself at Real Madrid next season, along with Iker Casillas. 17/04/2015 Upd. at 21:36 He also defended the goalkeeper, amid claims David De Gea may join from Manchester United next season. CEST Sport EN But Ancelotti said: “I see myself here at Real Madrid next season, with Casillas and with all of the others who are doing a good job. It’s not an important question at this point in time. We are focused on what we need to do.” The Italian coach may find himself in hot water at the Santiago Bernabeu if he cannot bring either La Liga or the eleventh Champions League to the table at the end of the season.  “It’s not for me to list a ranking of goalkeepers; I have three very good goalkeepers who I am happy with. The best goalkeepers in the world are the ones I have in my squad. I’ve never spoken about signing another goalkeeper.”last_img read more

BREAKING : Aubameyang says YES to Manchester United approach

first_imgAdvertisement r6xbNBA Finals | Brooklyn Vs2vunzWingsuit rodeo📽Sindre Ejh( IG: @_aubreyfisher @imraino ) yd50eWould you ever consider trying this?😱bkhCan your students do this? 🌚wmqRoller skating! Powered by Firework In what appears to be the transfer story of the year, Arsenal ace Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is on the verge of signing for Manchester United. Memories of Robin van Persie is fresh in the minds of Arsenal fans and another heartbreak could be on the cards for the North Londoners.Advertisement Reports say Ole Gunnar Solskjaer believes the Gabonese international could make a similar impact for United as Robin van Persie did when he left the Emirates for United in 2012.Advertisement The details are unknown but with 41 goals in 65 games for Arsenal, Aubameyang is close to priceless for them at this juncture.Lack of Champions League football has rendered the club with a pocket-change 40 million Euros as transfer budget.Advertisement Manchester United forward Romelu Lukaku has expressed his desire to join Inter which is why Aubameyang is being considered.Inter hope to bring Lukaku to the San Siro on a two-year loan for a £9m fee along with a 55M fee as a mandatory buy clause. Advertisementlast_img read more

Rivalry’s legend lives on

first_imgBy sports editor Russell Bennett The late Gavan Bourke and Bill Drake reminisced about the good old days at a Pakenham Football Club reunion back in 2012. 83941 Picture: STEWART CHAMBERSAs the growth corridor in Melbourne’s south east has continued to rapidly expand in recent years, areas such as Pakenham – once small, country towns – have seemingly been swallowed up and fast become part of the urban sprawl. But Pakenham’s rural roots are never too far from the surface, and the same can be said for the heritage of its football and netball club.Though it seems merely a product of a bygone era in the eyes of many of the younger generation, much of Pakenham’s rich footballing history is intertwined with west Gippsland’s smaller country towns – Kooweerup, Garfield, Cora Lynn, and Lang Lang, just to name a few.But the Lions’ historic rivalry with Nar Nar Goon still lives strong in the memory of those who saw it unfold, played a part in it, or learned all about it as they grew up.The two clubs now compete in different competitions entirely, and have for some time, but the tales of their heritage share some truly incredible chapters.Nar Nar Goon’s 1965 West Gippsland premiership stopped in its tracks a Garfield side that had won two in a row in ’63 and ’64.And arguably the biggest ingredient in that success was Bill Drake, who they lured as coach from Pakenham in the off-season.Bill ‘Doc’ Doherty was officially bestowed legend status at Nar Nar Goon in 2018. 183271 Picture: RUSSELL BENNETTThe great Bill ‘Doc’ Doherty has been a legend of the local footy landscape for decades now – even generations.And in mid-2018, that word – legend – was made official in the esteem that his beloved Nar Nar Goon holds him in.After originally playing for neighbouring rival Cora Lynn, Doc crossed to Nar Nar Goon and though he was a more than handy footballer, his biggest impact was felt off the field. First elected at just 33, he served as Nar Nar Goon’s president for eight years and the crowning glory of that period was the famous ‘65 flag, when he lured Drake from Pakenham to coach for that one season and, ultimately, break a 28-year premiership hoodoo.Doc, as the story goes, was about to give the presidency away ahead of the ’65 season. But first he had to find a new coach.When the club advertised the position, Doc got a phone call from Drake, who suggested he touch base with a bloke from Berwick.At that time, Drake was widely regarded as West Gippsland’s ‘Mr Football’ – having won two Clancy Medals as the league’s best and fairest player, and coached Pakenham to two flags.He sensed Doc wasn’t interested in the ‘Berwick bloke’, and he was right.Doc was only interested in one person for the coaching role – the then coach of Pakenham, Drake.It’s only fitting that a tale such as this could have the name ‘Doc and Drake’ – given how unforgettable it is.The two men agreed to have a chat about the vacant coaching role at the Goon, but back in those days clubs weren’t allowed to talk to coaches from other clubs – so the pair agreed to meet at 9pm one night in December at Doc’s house in the Goon.It was almost midnight by the time Drake signed, and he only did it on the proviso that Doc continued on as president for another year.This was the local equivalent of the coup that saw Melbourne champion Ron Barassi defect to Carlton in that very same year, and didn’t go down too well in some quarters.In mid-May of 1965, Drake came up against his former Pakenham team mates for the first time, and while the Goon prevailed by 52 points, he came off second best from a clash with Pat Monckton (who would later go on to make his own move to Nar Nar Goon) – suffering a dislocated shoulder just before half-time. Drake had kicked four goals by that stage.Later in the year, in the rematch against the Lions, Drake was incredible – booting eight goals in a best on ground effort as the Goon won in a landslide.He gave the Goon faithful hope that 1965 could be just the start of sustained premiership success, but it wasn’t to be. Drake left the following year to play for Ainslie in Canberra, where in his first season he beat a promising youngster – Alex Jesaulenko – to the best and fairest.Truly – when it came to the footy – Nar Nar Goon and Pakenham hated each other.But before the first bounce and after the final siren on game days, they were the same sort of people from the same broader community.It was their common traits, and togetherness in many ways, that made their rivalry so fierce.Incredibly, when the Goon came together in 2015 to celebrate the 50-year reunion of the 1965 premiership, their own ground was unavailable – so they held the event at Pakenham, despite the two clubs being in different leagues at that stage.Stan Young and Graham Treloar were both the subject of paintings for the 2016 Yakkerboo Art Show. 154848Graham ‘Uncle’ Treloar – Pakenham Football Club icon‘Uncle’ tells the story of a Pakenham supporter who wouldn’t even buy meat from Claude Gook’s butcher shop in their own Main Street, simply because he had blue and white tiles out the front of the shop – Nar Nar Goon colours.That’s how deep this rivalry ran.In the book ‘The Goon – Celebrating 100 years of football (from 1910 to 2010)’, written by Gazette editor and former Nar Nar Goon president Garry Howe, Treloar spoke at length about the rivalry, from his early days in footy in the 1960s.“The level of rivalry is captured by the following little story,” Treloar wrote.“A young Pakenham lad broke the news to his parents that he was getting married – and in doing so told them that he had good news, and bad news.“The good news being that the intended wife was of the same faith (no worries there), but the bad news was that she came from Nar Nar Goon!“I feel I can safely tell that story, because both my mother and my wife came from Nar Nar Goon.”But some throughout the generations didn’t quite appreciate the magnitude of what had come before.“I remember talking to Greg Atkins one day, and he made the comment: ‘I don’t know what you are on about, Uncle, with this Pakenham versus Nar Nar Goon rivalry; I’ve been playing for 10 years now and in 20 games I’ve played against the Goon they’ve never beaten us’,” Treloar said.Uncle, the long-time figurehead of Treloar’s Hairdressing and Tobacconist, said the rivalry was also great for business.“Personally, I used to hate it when the Goon beat us, but it was great financially, as everyone in Nar Nar Goon would be down that week for a haircut,” he said.“If they lost, you would not have a customer from the Goon for a month!”Before Bill Drake made his highly-publicised switch to Nar Nar Goon for ‘65, he was the central figure in another famous on-field chapter between the two clubs, as Treloar explained.“In 1961 Pakenham went to Nar Nar Goon for a must-win game for the Lions and our then coach Bill Drake had a broken arm,” he said.“His arm was in plaster but he was so desperate to play, he wrapped it in bandages and took the field.“At half-time we were going alright and Drakey was in his usual superb touch. Then the proverbial hit the fan when the Goon players complained and the umpire said Drakey could not continue.”Treloar said “pandemonium” then broke loose in the Pakenham rooms.“Drakey wanted to cut the plaster off his arm and continue, but fortunately common-sense prevailed and Pakenham officials stopped him,” he said.“While all this was taking place, I was petrified because, being 19th man, I would have had to replace the great man.“All’s well that ends well and, against the odds, we won the game. Then four years later our great coach Bill Drake defied logic and coached the Goon to the 1965 flag. That intensified the existing rivalry to an even greater level.”Speaking to the Gazette for this story, Treloar spoke about the rivalry dating back as far as the 1930s, and a series of hotly contested clashes – including the 1933 and 1934 grand finals, which Nar Nar Goon won in thrillers.That period is widely regarded as Nar Nar Goon football’s ‘golden era’, given the club won flags in 1924, 1929, 1930, 1933, 1934, and 1937.“The rivalry started in the ‘30s and went right through, and every home and home game between Nar Nar Goon and Pakky had a lot of spice in it,” Treloar said.“I reckon in those days, Nar Nar Goon was probably a bigger town – pro-rata – than it is now. The two towns were probably equal in size then, so they had a great competition.“There was this to-and-fro in home and home games up to the ‘60s, and we beat them in the ’61 grand final.”Throughout the ‘60s, Nar Nar Goon and Pakenham clashes were a sight to behold.During that period, Pakenham, Nar Nar Goon, and of course Garfield shone brightest, and then in 1972 the rivalry between Pakenham and Nar Nar Goon appeared to reach explosive new heights.“After one of the games, which we played at Nar Nar Goon and lost, that’s when we went to the pub, which was the thing in those days because you didn’t have social rooms, and that was the night the bloody thing blew up!” Treloar said.“One of the Nar Nar Goon people said ‘they’ve gone too far this time – they’ve blown up our bloody pub!”Of course, the pub incident was accidental and had nothing to do with Pakenham, but the timing was incredible.Legendary coach Bill Drake addresses the Nar Nar Goon players during the 1965 season.The genuine nature of the on-field rivalry is perhaps best summed up by then Gazette editor Herb Thomas, who was so moved by the sportsmanship displayed by both Nar Nar Goon and Pakenham in the 1961 grand final – which Pakenham won by 19 points – that he wrote in a front page editorial on 8 September: “We’ve seen many football grand finals. Some have equalled, a very few have surpassed the standard of last Saturday’s match at Cora Lynn; but the majority have fallen far short of this grand final as far as play goes.“In one respect too, it stands on its own. We’ve never known a grand final where there has been such a nice feeling and genuine goodwill existing between the rival sides; before, during, and after the game.“On the field the teams played hard but always perfectly clean football; which is exactly how it should be, for football is a ‘man’s game’. But when the match was over there was a stream of players and officials between the rival rooms – Nar Nar Goon representatives congratulating Pakenham on a meritorious win; Pakenham players and officials commiserating with Nar Nar Goon. And what’s more important, the nice things said were really meant by both sides.“While this spirit exists, football in West Gippsland must go from strength to strength. Hats off to all concerned for a demonstration of that true sportsmanship on which we Australians pride ourselves.”Treloar spoke about the feeling of anticipation every time Pakenham and Nar Nar Goon faced off.“You’d always look forward to the games against Nar Nar Goon, and you’d always dead-set want to beat them – and they were the same to us, so that’s why it was so great for my business if Nar Nar Goon beat us because all those Nar Nar Goon people would want to come in for a haircut,” he said.“The players and supporters would give me plenty of curry.“But if Pakenham won, it wasn’t great for business that week because the Goon people would stay away.“It’s hard to explain just how fierce the rivalry was back then – even in the seconds and thirds.”While the rivalry continued for decades after, particularly in the eyes of the older generation, Treloar explained that the younger brigade, including the likes of Greg Atkins and Mark ‘Spud’ Carney, formed great mateships with their opposing clubmen.“They didn’t quite have the rivalry then that we used to when I started playing, but they’d have a love-hate relationship. There were good mates on both sides, and then when the weekend came, it was on,” Treloar said.“One of the reasons why the rivalry was so good was that they were the two closest towns, geographically, and a lot of the people who lived on, say, Bald Hill Road or the highway between Pakenham and Nar Nar Goon, would go to either club.“Cecil Andrews was another who went from Pakenham to Nar Nar Goon, and he played for years with them – he lived out at Nar Nar Goon North.“He was a top player, and he ended up shifting into Pakenham – just opposite the footy ground.“I chased his son, Cecil Jr, for year after year to come and play for Pakenham, but he just wouldn’t. The family had a bit of a foot in both camps though.”Over the years, the demographics of the two towns have seen the football clubs head in opposing directions.“But back in the day, Pakenham and Nar Nar Goon games just went up another level,” Treloar said.“When Pakenham played against Nar Nar Goon, that was the best gate for the year, and Bill (Doherty) would say the same thing – as soon as you got the draw, you’d look to see when Nar Nar Goon and Pakenham would play.“That gate would almost double – it had that genuine pulling power.”Casting an eye over the competitions Nar Nar Goon and Pakenham now play in, Treloar wishes the two clubs could still be in a position to play against each other.“It’d be great, but in reality Pakenham would be a bit too strong now,” he said.“Back when we opened the old social rooms up in 1982, we left that for a day we were playing Nar Nar Goon because we knew the crowd that’d turn up.”Dan O’Loughlin – four-time Pakenham Football Club premiership winner, four-time league best and fairest winnerO’Loughlin is Pakenham through and through… or so most people think.He was born in Nar Nar Goon, and his dad Steve – who milked cattle in the town on the family farm – played for the club.“Dad informs us that he was the best player to ever wear the number 63 for Nar Nar Goon,” he said with a laugh.“There really is a family history with the Goon – both in the community, and when it comes to the footy.“The rivalry started well before I got to the club (Pakenham). It was very much passed down to us from blokes like the ‘Spud’ (Mark) Carneys, who ended up being an integral part of the Nar Nar Goon footy club later on.“Mick Keane went on to be president when they won the flag in 2010, and he was the Pakenham president when we won the flag in ‘98 too.“I use ‘hatred’ as a loose term to describe Nar Nar Goon, really. It wasn’t hatred, because – socially – we really were thick as thieves.”But whenever the two clubs came together on-field, it was on.“It didn’t really matter where the clubs were on the ladder – it was on, whenever they played,” O’Loughlin explained.“Nar Nar Goon would build it up as their grand final every year – if they weren’t going to make the finals, they knew playing Pakenham – and beating us – was the next best thing.“And to their credit – and this still doesn’t sit too well with most Pakenham people – in the last game we played at the old ground in the town centre, in the mid-1990s, we played the Goon and they beat us by a point.“God some of the old Pakenham people were so dirty on us for losing that one. How could we allow it to happen?”O’Loughlin said the fact that the Pakenham and Nar Nar Goon groups got along so famously off the field meant that the on-field rivalry meant even more.“It wasn’t necessarily physical – Pakenham certainly wasn’t known for its physicality in my time. It was just a pure football rivalry – they lifted to the occasion, and a lot of the time we just couldn’t take it up to them.”O’Loughlin loved hearing about the rivalry’s early chapters – featuring the likes of Bill Drake.“I remember hearing some of the stories that poor old Bill copped it from the Pakenham people when he went across to the Goon, but in modern times blokes like ‘Jock’ (Michael) Holland, ‘General’ (Dean Blake), and ‘Mitsu’ (Phil Anning) have gone out there too,” he said.“It’s unbelievable, that. If you had’ve told me in my playing days that’d happen one day, particularly with those three, I would have said you were bloody crazy!”The south-east has changed markedly from the heyday of the Pakenham and Nar Nar Goon rivalry, and O’Loughlin said he still misses the country feel of the old West Gippsland days.“I think you’d find now that a lot of the old Pakenham supporters – to some degree – would be following Nar Nar Goon in the West Gippsland competition,” he said.“It’s just a bit of a shame that suburban footy doesn’t quite have that same connection that the country community has.“Saturday was a full day with the family at the footy – you’d take the car there at 9am and you were generally there until nine or 10 at night. It was a full day of community entertainment.“It’s really pleasing that we got to experience what it was like when Nar Nar Goon and Pakenham went head-to-head. That’s something I’ll be forever grateful for, and I still absolutely love running into the likes of (former Goon champion) Nick Collins. They’re just quality people.“On the field it was game on, but socially they’d be the first people to put a beer in your hand and make sure you were well looked after in their company.”In the modern era, two names – in particular – come to mind for O’Loughlin when he thinks of the rivalry.“Mick Keane and Mark Carney are definitely the two that come to my mind – they went there (to Nar Nar Goon) post-football and had an involvement in more than just socially going to the footy,” he said.“They were both on the committee, and Mick was the president there – and is again now.“Spud (Carney) coached Pakenham and then went on to the committee at the Goon, and Mick was president of both clubs – in 1998 when I won my first premiership, which was played at Nar Nar Goon because Cora Lynn’s ground wasn’t up to it that year, and then in 2010 at Nar Nar Goon.“Socially, you just can’t fault the Goon. The banter between the two clubs was sensational, and the Nar Nar Goon pub, as an 18-year-old on a Saturday night, was seriously the place to be.”From O’Loughlin’s perspective, the current day footballer rising through the ranks is a completely different breed to back when he played. It’s not a fault of theirs – it’s just the reality.“Players have changed, for sure. I don’t think they necessarily crave what we did,” he said.“We absolutely wanted the respect of the elder statesmen back in the day. We couldn’t wait until after the game when we could maybe meet a Nick Collins and be in the same conversation as him.“The younger players are so much more confident now, but they don’t crave that as much as we did. That’s fine – it’s just different.“Back when we were coming through, we were told that the first thing you do in another club’s rooms is look on their honour boards to pay respect to the people from that club.”And O’Loughlin misses the days when community footy – even from Monday to Friday – was truly king in the local area.“I held a job in retail where you’d see a lot of people, so you couldn’t escape the footy if you tried,” he said.“Leading up to a Saturday game against Nar Nar Goon, anyone you’d bump into from the Wednesday to the Saturday would talk to you about the footy – who’s in or out of the side, who’s injured, the lot. Everything led up to that Saturday at 2pm.“But working for (Pakenham Football Club life member) Darrell Hardy for 21 years, I know he was extremely clever at remaining neutral when it came to the footy and not putting anyone offside. As a businessman, that’s something he was very respectful of.”Stan Young has fond memories of Pakenham’s famous rivalry with Nar Nar Goon. 197113 Picture: GARY SISSONSStan Young – Pakenham Football Club icon, and former long-time publican at ‘Purvies Pub’ (now the Drake Tavern)As a youngster in his formative footballing years, Young got to witness the greatness of Bill Drake up close.He even called him “a kind of second father figure” at Pakenham.“The year he went to Nar Nar Goon was my first year of senior footy – in 1965,” Young explained.“He was just sensational. You see a lot of good players getting around, but he was the sort of player who could genuinely win you a game off his own boot.“He stood out in the big games – he was a marvel, and in that era, I rate him as the best I saw.”That front-row seat gave him his own perspective on the famous Goon versus Pakenham rivalry.“Being neighbouring clubs, there was always a fantastic rivalry,” Young said.“When I was playing in the thirds, the old rivalry in the seniors had a lot of money change hands over betting on the game.“The late Dan Cunningham would organise the Nar Nar Goon boys, and Gavan Bourke was usually the one to collect the money for the Pakenham boys.“There was always a fair bit of wagering going on, so they definitely played for keeps.”And, clearly Drake’s move to the Goon escalated things dramatically.“Mr Doherty hastened the rivalry when he poached Billy Drake back in ’65 – he was sneaking around after dark with a bag of money!” Young said, with tongue firmly planted in cheek.“Billy was a true champion of the game in West Gippsland and he was a big loss when he went to Nar Nar Goon.“They played for keeps and there were a few blues now and again, but when the siren went that was it – they shook hands, and it was into the pub for a beer.“Even though there was a great rivalry, back in those days you’d always head back to the hotels after the game – either to Nar Nar Goon, or Purvies.”According to Young, his old mate ‘Doc’ has even more to answer for when it comes to the rivalry.“Mr Doherty also caused more trouble when we beat Nar Nar Goon on a very wet day at Pakenham and he declared our ground a cow paddock!” he said, laughing.“That didn’t go over real well with the hierarchy at Pakenham, put it that way.“Mr Doherty has a lot of the responsibility of that rivalry!“But, on a serious note, he’s just so highly admired for what he’s done for football in the area, and what he means to so many people.“Personally, I still love going back to the old West Gippsland clubs because they’re most of the clubs I played my footy against. I love going back to have a beer with a few of my mates from way back.”The drought-breaking 1965 Nar Nar Goon premiership team, from back left: Les Fleming, John Byrne, Phonse Cunningham, Jim Dore, John Simpson, Bill Brown, and John Stratton. Second row: selector J. O’Toole, Peter Cunningham, Graham Leech, Wally Webster, Max Oaten, Kevin Arnold, Robert Forbes, and selector Les North. Third row: Lester Gudgin, treasurer Rob Arnold, president Bill ‘Doc’ Doherty, captain-coach Bill Drake, vice-captain Rod Crawford, secretary Royce Collins, and John McMillan. Front: David Thorn, Ron Milnes, and Cec Andrews.Mick Keane – current Nar Nar Goon president, former Pakenham presidentKeane’s involvement at Pakenham first started when he took over as treasurer in the early 1980s, and escalated once his boys joined the fold as junior players at the Lions.“I was playing there – a lot of my mates were playing at the club too – but I think I only played one year in the reserves,” he explained.“That was back in the days of the 19th and 20th man and I was a very, very, very ordinary footballer. At the end of 1982, I think the coach at the time – Rod Walker – told me I might be better off in an administration role!”To put it simply, Keane saw his point.And in the years since, he served as treasurer, secretary, and then president in a premiership-winning era for the Lions.“The gap between what Pakenham has become, and the smaller towns like Nar Nar Goon and Garfield, has just continued to grow,” Keane surmised.“Those smaller towns just weren’t growing at the same rate, obviously, and we were able to capitalise on that as a club and had so many young players coming through the doors.”One such player that springs to mind is Tim Cantwell.“He became one of our best full-backs – a tall, skinny beanpole – and he left Pakenham and went out to Catani for a few years,” he said.“He came back a better footballer, and played really well at Pakenham after that too.”Keane then brought up the curious story of Pakenham signing a player by the name of Webster from Nar Nar Goon.“Of course, all the people at Pakenham were rubbing their hands together because they thought they had (1980 premiership player) Geoff Webster.“It turned out they hadn’t signed Geoff at all – they’d signed his brother Brian, or ‘Worm’.“That wasn’t ideal for them, because Brian was probably more like me as a player than Geoff!”So, that doesn’t exactly make up for the real coup in 1965 – Drake to Nar Nar Goon.Keane also spoke of what would have been a sliding doors moment when ‘Spud’ Carney very nearly joined the Goon – as a player.“He came to me in 1990 and said he had the Pakenham (coaching) job or the Nar Nar Goon one.“I told him to go to Nar Nar Goon because he was on a hiding to nothing at Pakenham – they’d won four in a row!“In the end, he stayed at Pakenham and only coached the one season.”Keane’s sons, Ben and Matt, started their footy careers at Pakenham before ultimately making the switch to the Goon and winning the 2010 senior EDFL flag over Cora Lynn. Keane was the president at the time.In fact, the likes of Brodie Howe, Adam Marchant, and even former skipper Brent Hughes initially came from Pakenham as well.Having long been part of the fabric at the Goon, Keane loves the genuine country footy feel that still exists around the club.“Just being able to stand around the fire, have a beer, and have a chat – I love that,” he said.“Some people whinge about going home smelling of smoke … please.”It was in about 2004 when Nick Collins called Keane to first ask if he’d join the committee as treasurer.He served in that role for four years, had a season off, and was the president in 2010 when the boys from the Goon held the premiership cup aloft – breaking a 30-year hoodoo.Keane spoke of the feeling around the club at that stage.“It meant a lot more, because at Pakenham I took over as president for 1997, ’98, ’99 and I was told I had a bit of a task on my hands – at that stage it was the only decade in the history of the Pakenham Football Club that it hadn’t won at least two premierships,” he explained.“We won in 1990 and hadn’t won one up until 1998.“But at Nar Nar Goon it’d been 30 years. It was a very different feeling – particularly when you put that season into perspective, with the centenary celebrations and the flag on top of that. The side was similar to Pakenham’s in 1998 in that a lot of the players were young locals, but it was just such a special feeling.”last_img read more