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Greta Football Club - History
1901:Whitegate:7.15-57 d Greta:2.3-15. From Benalla Standard Newspaper, 20 Aug, '01 http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/152319884 (First recorded match we have found)
1902 - Whitegate - 5.2 d Greta - 3.4 at Mollyulah. N E Ensign, 8th Aug,1902
1905 - Glenrowan-6.8 lost to Greta-9.12, from Wang Chronicle, 8th July,1905
1906 - Greta & Glenrowan F A - Greta participated.
1907 - 1909 - Greta / Thoona Association : Greta participated
1910 - Fifteen Mile Creek Association: Team entered as Greta South, undefeated.
1910 - Greta South - 5.7 - 37 defeated Glenrowan - 0.7 - 7 in the Grand Final.
1910 - Greta South wore white guernseys with a dark-coloured sash.
1911 - Greta South refused entry into the Mt. Pleasant FA ! See linked article.
1912 - Mt. Pleasant F A : Greta South 4.6 defeated Mollyulah 4.4 in Grand Final.
1913 - Thoona / Glenrowan F A : Winton 3.12 - 30 d Greta 2.4 - 16 in Grand Final.
1914 - Winton / Greta F A : Glenrowan 5.5 - 35 d Greta - 2.4 - 22 in Semi Final.
1915 - Winton / Glenrowan Association : Greta South disbanded early in 1915 &
donated its balance of over 5 pounds to the Hansonville Red Cross.
1916 - 18 - Unsure of Greta's history during this World War 1 period.
1919 - Greta South / Thoona Association : Greta participated.
1920 - King Valley FA Grand Final : Greta 3.5.23 defeated Whitfield 0.3.3.
1921 - King Valley FA : Grand Final : Greta 6.7 - 43 defeated Whitfield 2.1 - 13.
1922 - King Valley FA : Grand Final : Whitfield 3.6 - 24 defeated Greta 2.5 - 17.
1922 - Greta / Glenrowan Association:In the Glenrowan team, 6 O'Brien's played.
1923 - King Valley FA : Greta participated.
1924 - 25 - Greta / Thoona Association reformed in May, 1924 : Greta participated.
1926 - Greta / Thoona Association : Greta participated, in red & white jumpers.
1927 - 28 - King Valley FA : Greta participated. In '28 Greta runner up to Whitfield.
1929 - Greta F C disbands. See article at bottom of this page.
1930 - 38 - ? Unsure of Greta's history during this period. Please assist !
1939 - 40 - Tatong & Thoona FA : Greta participated. 1939 1st SF - Greta v Tatong.
1945 - Ovens & King FL : Greta participated. Jumpers were in short supply after
the war, Greta made do with plain jumpers, with hand sewn attachments on them.
1946 - Ovens & King FL : Greta were premiers.
1954 - Ovens & King FL : Greta were premiers. Greta & Chiltern played a 44 & 1/2 minute
last quarter in the Grand Final to help Greta turn a 25 point deficit in a 8 point win!
1965 - Ovens & King FL : Greta were premiers.
1966 - Ovens & King FL : Greta were premiers.
1967 - Ovens & King FL : Greta were premiers. All 3 flags coached by Maurie Farrell.
1980 - Ovens & King FL : Greta were premiers.
1991 - Ovens & King FL : Greta were premiers. Greta defeats
1993 - Ovens & King FL Grand Final : Greta defeated Chiltern.
1999 - Ovens & King FL : Greta 14.16.100 were premiers over Moyhu 14.11.95.
One of country Victoria's most successful teams does not even have a home town.
A team known as Greta South played in the King Valley Football Association a century ago;
a 1910 Greta South team photo now hangs on the wall of Greta's clubrooms. Footballers from the
Greta district, which is 20 kilometres south-east of Wangaratta, combined in various forms before
the Greta Football Club was formalised in 1945, just after World War II. The club played in the
Ovens and King league's opening round on June 2, 1945.
Before World War II, teams from Greta played in the King Valley Football Association, the
Fifteen Mile Creek Football Association, the Benalla and District Football League and the
Glenrowan-Thoona Football League. Since 1945, the Greta Football Club has played in the
Ovens and King league.
Greta first played in McKenzie's paddock, opposite the Greta cemetery. After bushfires had raged
through the area in 1952-53, the Greta Recreation Reserve was created from a paddock next to the
Greta-Hansonville hall and the club moved there. There is no township of Greta; it is a farming district
that is occasionally referred to as Kelly Country because it was the home of Ned Kelly.
The Greta Football Club is one of only a few remaining clubs that is not based in a town.
In the club's early days in the Ovens and King league, Greta wore a navy blue with light blue vee jumper.
Soon afterwards, it swapped to purple with a gold monogram. In 1986, the club swapped to Carlton's
navy blue with a white monogram. Greta's nickname is the Blues.
Greta South won the King Valley Association premiership in 1910. Since the Greta Football Club joined
the Ovens and King league, it has won nine flags: 1946, '54, '65, '66, 67, '80, '93, '95, '99.
DOUBLE DIPPING :
The great Nash trained with South Melbourne during the 1946 pre-season but ultimately retired from
VFL football to accept a position as captain-coach of the Ovens and Murray Football League side
Wangaratta for a salary of £12 per week, four times the wage he would have received playing for
South Melbourne.The high wage also meant that Nash was not required to find additional employment
to cover his family's expenses, and in so doing, became one of the first fully professional Australian rules football players.
Nash not only led Wangaratta to a premiership but, as a favour to a friend, also coached another
country side, Greta in 1946, leading them to a premiership in the Ovens and King Football League,
becoming one of the few people to have coached two different teams to a premiership in the same
season. Nash is still remembered in Greta for placing a football in a cowpat and placekicking it over a
tall gum tree.
In 1946, former South Melbourne great Laurie Nash achieved a rare feat when he coached two clubs
to premierships in one season. He coached Ovens and Murray club Wangaratta at training during
the week and on Saturdays; on Sundays, he ventured out to Greta to guide the Ovens and King
club's weekly training session. Present Greta committeeman Laurie Wallace admitted that Greta's
1946 captain, Fred O'Brien, did much of what would be considered the coaching duties, but no
one can deny Nash's place in the premiership records. "He's in the picture as coach," Wallace said.
Nash trained with South Melbourne during the 1946 pre-season, Wallish, p. 259,but ultimately retired from VFL football to accept
wage he would have received playing for South Melbourne.The high wage also meant that Nash was not required to find
additional employment tocover his family's expenses, and in so doing, became one of the first fully professionalAustralian Rules
Nash not only led Wangaratta to a premiership but, as a favour to a friend, also coachedanother country side, Greta in 1946,
leading them to a premiership in the Ovens and KingFootball League, becoming one of the few people to have coached two
different teams toa premiership in the same season. Anderson, J. (1997) "Maybe Laurie's Right, After All",Melbourne Herald Sun,
p. 91, 28 July 1997. Nash is still remembered in Greta for placinga football in a cowpat and placekicking it over a tall gum tree.
In 1947, Nash was appointed captain-coach of Casterton, in western Victoria. He took Casterton to a grand final that season,
losing by a point. The grand final would be Nash's final official game as a player, although he did play in charity matches forsome years.
FIFTH QUARTER :
In the last quarter of the 1954 grand final between Greta and Chiltern, umpire Alan Arvidson blew time-on
so often that the final minutes seemed to drag on forever. Many spectators left the Tarrawingee oval,
believing that Chiltern had won, before Greta staged a dramatic comeback. In the 44th minute, just before the siren,
Greta centreman Bernie Greenwood, a primary school teacher and one of only a few non-farmers in the team,
kicked a goal to put Greta eight points ahead. Greta's timekeeper, Ted Jones, and his Chiltern counterpart,
Jim Lappin, explained that they were forced to take their cue from the umpire, but Chiltern's anger over the
result lasted for decades. John Tanner, a defender in Greta's 1954 premiership team, who is now 71, said:
"There was bad blood between Greta and Chiltern from that day on".
WALLACE THE GREAT :
Lionel Wallace, a centre half-back in Greta's premiership teams in 1946 and '54, is said to be one of the
greatest player in the history of the Ovens and King competition. As a young serviceman during World War II,
Wallace reportedly eclipsed Carlton's Bert Deacon, a future Brownlow medallist, in a servicemen's match in
Melbourne. "They reckon 'Liney' never gave him a kick," John Tanner said. After Wallace had returned to Greta,
Laurie Nash apparently said the high-marking defender would be the biggest drawcard in the game if he
would leave the farm and play in Melbourne.
Ovens and King Football League (OKFL) since 1945 Colours: Navy blue and white
Senior OKFL Premierships:
1946, 1954, 1965-6-7, 1980, 1993, 1995, 1999 (9 total)
Colin Barnes 1960 & 1961; Eddie Hooper 1964; Terry Wadley 1978; Geoff Lacey 1984; Tony Gleeson
1988 & 1990; Paul Hogan 1995; Tom Hazell 2006 (7 Medallists/9 Medals)
Highest Score: 33.19 (217) vs. Milawa on 12th August 1995
Prior to the second World War Greta participated in a number of different competitions, including the
King Valley Football Association, where a Greta South won a premiership in 1910, the
Glenrowan-Thoona Football League, and the Fifteen Mile Creek Football Association. In the years
leading up to the outbreak of war, the club was a member of the Benalla and District Football League, but when football resumed in 1945 it had joined the Ovens and King competition, in which it has competed since.
Greta quickly made its mark in the OKFL, winning a premiership in only its second season.
Coached by Fred O'Brien, it overcame Myrtleford by 9 points in the 2nd semi final, and again in the
grand final when straight kicking was the key to its success. Greta won that grand final by 27 points,
8.5 (53) to 2.14 (26), with O'Brien receiving coaching assistance from the great Laurie Nash, who was
employed as coach of Ovens and Murray Football League club Wangaratta at the time. Greta regularly
contested the finals over the ensuing decade, but only once, in 1954, under the coaching of Ken Bodger,
was it successful in claiming a premiership. The mid-1960s saw the Blues embark on their most sustained
period of success to date, contesting five consecutive grand finals between 1964 and 1968, for flags in the
middle three years. All three of these premiership sides were coached by former Moyhu player Maurie Farrell.
The early 1970s saw Greta continuing as a regular premiership threat without managing to break through,
but then in 1976 the side failed to qualify for the finals for the first time in eighteen seasons.
The 1980s started in the best way imaginable with the club's sixth OKFL premiership which
came thanks to a solid 16.15 (111) to 13.6 (84) grand final defeat of a Whorouly side that had won
the 2nd semi final encounter between the teams by a point.
Geoff Lacey, who would go on to win a Baker Medal in 1984, was in the first of an eventual three
season stint as captain-coach, but he proved unable to build on the 1980 success. Indeed, although the
Blues fielded some talented teams over the course of the remainder of the decade, it was to be 1993
before they again went top. Opposed in the grand final by arch rival Chiltern, Greta was really only
supposed to be there to make up the numbers, but ended up winning at a canter by 66 points,
1 9.13 (127) to 9.7 (61).
Further grand final appearances followed in 1995 (beat Beechworth by 20 points), 1997
(lost by 84 points to North Wangaratta), and 1999 (won by 5 points against Moyhu).
In addition to its 9 senior flags, Greta has won reserves premierships on 4 occasions.
In both 1965 and 1999 it achieved the 'double' of senior and reserves premierships in the same year.
Arguably the club's most famous playing product was Ian Montgomery, who played for Greta
between 1960 and 1962, spent a season with Wangaratta in the OMFL, and went on to play
From - The Argus Newspaper, 16th August, 1928.
From the - Wangaratta Chronicle, May, 1929.