Murchison fan Wayde Petersen took no pleasure in seeing his team thrash Longwood in the opening game of the Kyabram District Football League. Here’s his report:
The Longwood photo is a sad one for me because I cannot help but feel that this will be the last time I will get to see football at Longwood. The club is in serious trouble, just like Swanpool, Tatong, Goorambat, to name a few others. I would love for Longwood to recover and fight on (their hospitality & friendliness is well known), but I can only see either a takeover from Avenel or the club disappearing all together, like Invergordon, Thornton/Eildon & Wunghnu, which have folded in the past few years.
Longwood was formed around before the turn of the 20th Century,and won premierships in the Euroa & District Association (1906,1908,1924,1934,1935 & 1936) and the Hume Highway League (1954). It then merged with Avenel until 1970. Standing on its own two feet again, it won flags in the Benalla District League in 1977, 1985 and 2000. These three leagues have all folded, the Benalla DFL the most recent, wound up in 2009 by the Victorian Country Football League.
Longwood then joined the Kyabram DFL in 2010, knowing it was a lot stronger than the old Benalla league, and although wins for the club have been few and far between, Longwood is a well liked club that treats its guests well. It is one road trip that I enjoy making every time Murchison are scheduled there.
The town of Longwood is nestled on the old Hume Highway between Avenel and Euroa, about 130km north east of Melbourne. The beautiful White Hart Hotel, an English style pub is well worth the stop for any day tripper. Have a beer there, you won’t regret it.
Avenel Football & Netball Club has marvellous new facilities, the best in the league. But the great new facilities haven’t transferred over to the scoreboard, which is painted in a distinctive royal blue & orange (Home Timber & Hardware once sponsored them, hence the colour scheme. It doesn’t match either the change rooms, which are painted silver, or the club colours of the red and white).
Avenel wear the old South Melbourne colours of white with a red V, collars, cuffs and shorts and red and white hooped socks. Avenel go back a hundred years or more, winning flags in the old Waranga North East Football League in 1910, 1921,1932 and 1933. They joined the Kyabram District Football League in 1976, and won senior premierships in 1978,1979,1985,1989 & 1994, along with plenty of reserves and Under 18 flags.
The Swans have produced a number of fine players throughout the years, including Ian ‘Bluey’ Shelton, a mainstay for Essendon in the 1960s and Barry Hall, after playing in the Under 18’s flag in 1994, forged a long, successful and eventful career with St Kilda, Sydney Swans and the Western Bulldogs.
Wayde Petersen is Scoreboard Pressure’s Goulburn Valley correspondent. His previous posts have been about Mooroopna, Nagambie and, of course, Murchison.