Penguin, the Two Blues, were formed in 1890 and play in the Northern Tasmanian Football League. While premierships have been rare the Two Blues have produced some fine players including Brendan (Richmond) and Michael (Fitzroy and Richmond) Gale. Garry Cowmeadow, a member of Tasmania’s original Sheffield Shield team in 1977 was one of Penguin’s great all-rounders, he played three games for South Melbourne in 1975 and was a premiership player for Penguin in 1977. Melbourne’s Russell Robertson was also a Penguin boy. In 2012 we asked readers on footyalmanac.com.au for information on boards photographed by Michael Wearne on an epic scoreboard assignment across the nation. “Black Prince” knew Penguin Oval in Tassie very well… On 25 December 2012 he wrote…
“I’ve lost count of the times I’ve played footy (and cricket) at the Penguin Oval. Currently ‘Pirtek Park’…(yes commercial naming rights to major sporting venues is not just restricted to the big smoke you know), I must admit to it being one of my least favoured grounds to ply my trade. For no other reason than its size, and the fact that the visitors rooms have had nothing more than the odd lick of paint, passed off as renovations, done to them since my father played U19s there for Wynyard in 1979! No, I am not exaggerating, they are very uninviting, not to mention bloody cold.
“One suspects a gentleman’s agreement between the local Central Coast Council and the Penguin FC not to replace the said relic. Such is the visiting team’s reluctance to even get changed, let alone participate, fair to say it’s as good as six-goal start to the home side.
“Back to its size. A CHF’s nightmare when a centre square tap to the RR and resultant short pass can end in a shot at goal from 30m. Very small in other words! Seldom would a classical game of Australian Rules unfold, but still, a close game is a good game and more often than not, that is what you’ll find.
“The traditional scoreboard has been replaced in recent years to an electronic version…talk about getting ones priorities arse about face! It provides only the basics. Goals, behinds, total. Q1, 2, 3 and 4. And of course, a time clock. The somewhat irregular nature of this modern beast though is the fact that it counts down…from 20 minutes to nothing, stopping occasionally for time-on. As a player, I hate this. A, because I’m old school and B, I have seen the outcome of a match take a path it may necessarily not have because of this feature…it’s just not cricket!
“It is also worth mentioning that in summer, again due to the aforementioned confines, that a council by-law was introduced after continual bleating from a minority of surrounding residents. Wait for it……….six and out. Yes, over the fence on the full is six and out, noted as ‘retired hurt’ in the book for those of you wondering. Albeit a different sport in a different season, but another example of how a quirk of this tiny North-West Coast oval, has influenced the result whereby it may otherwise would not. I say again…it’s just not cricket.”