Port Melbourne News

From Leader Community Newspapers
Reported by Paul Amy
Full article - Click here

THE milestone comes this Saturday at Punt Rd, against Richmond.

That Port Melbourne captain John Baird played on the famous old ground before its reappearance on this year’s fixtures is an indication of his seasoned status in Victorian football.

It was for Hawthorn reserves against Melbourne in 1999. He can remember a carrot-topped left-footer topping up numbers for the Hawks: Cameron Ling, later to captain Geelong to a premiership.

Sixteen seasons later, Baird returns to Punt Rd this Saturday to play his 200th VFL match.

The right-footer says it “feels a very long time ago’’ that he wore No 42 for the Hawks in his first year out of school.

In fact, he’s been playing in the VFL since it expanded to take in the reserves in 2000. He’s seen a series of alignment changes and teams come and go (Murray Kangaroos, Tasmania and, soon, Bendigo).

John Baird flying high for Box Hill Hawks against Williamstown in 2001.
John Baird flying high for Box Hill Hawks against Williamstown in 2001.

Baird was with Hawthorn for two years. In 2001 he played at the Box Hill Hawks and won the Norm Goss Medal as best-afield in a premiership team containing Sam Mitchell and Chance Bateman.

Fabulous Fred‭ ‬- The Strife and Times‭ ‬of Fred Cook
Written by Paul Amy - Foreword by Sam Newman
Pre-order Now - http://www.melbournebooks.com.au/fabulous-fred.html

FREE postage within Australia for orders placed before 1st August

Fred Cook began his football career with Footscray in the VFL. But he really made his name in the game after crossing to Port Melbourne in the VFA.

His prodigious goalkicking in the 1970s earned him the nickname ‘Fabulous Fred’ and fame at a pop-star level. He appeared on TV, on radio and wrote newspaper columns, and he mixed with Melbourne’s sporting and entertainment elite.

But he fell in with a criminal crowd, formed a drug habit, lost everything and did three spells in prison.

Cook has led a remarkable life, going from hero to zero. He’s always wanted to tell his story, which features football, crime and drugs, and the wider issue of sportspeople who struggle with normalcy once their careers have ended.

Fred Cook’s name still resonates, thirty years after his career ended. Last year he was nominated for the Australian Football Hall of Fame.

From The Age
Reported by Samantha Lane
Full article - Click here

Making history as a woman in football, Peta Searle has been recruited by St Kilda as a development coach.

It is the highest a female has climbed in AFL coaching ranks and comes after Searle, the trailblazer who was the first woman appointed to a VFL assistant coaching job, walked away from the post at second-tier level this season feeling disillusioned by the lack of opportunities to progress.

“I’ve been lost for words. Probably a little bit overwhelmed,” Searle told Fairfax Media, confirming her breakthrough with the Saints.
“I think it’s a bit like when you’re coaching or playing and you win a grand final - you feel a big sense of relief.
“For this situation to have turned around - it’s happening and it’s real – I’ve gone from being grumpy Pete to you can’t wipe the smile off my face.”

Media roundup of coverage of Sam Pleming reaching 200 VFL games.

From the Port Phillip Leader
Reported by Paul Amy
Full article - Click here

IT’S as if his name is rusted to the Port Melbourne results.

In the past few years, more often than not S Pleming has featured in the Borough best.

When Sam Pleming played his 150th senior VFL game a couple of years ago, Port board man Les Quarrell reckoned the defender they call “Plum’’ had been in the list of best players at least 100 times.

Year-by-year results on the VFL website go back only to 2010, but they suggest Quarrell was close to the mark.

In 2010 Pleming has 13 mentions in the top six players. In 2011 he had 10 mentions. In 2012 it was 12. Last year he got up to 15.

The numbers bear out Pleming’s consistency. He has been a remarkably productive player for Port since joining it in 2006 after spending 2004 and ’05 on Carlton’s rookie list.

The sight of him taking intercepting marks across the half back line and turning defence into attack with canny disposal has been a staple of Port games for close to a decade. He reads the game as if it’s an alphabet book for kinder kids.

Durability is another asset: he’s missed only three matches in nine seasons, two with a finger he cut at work in 2008 and one with a rolled ankle in 2010.

Honours have piled up around Pleming: Port’s 2011 premiership, state jumpers in 2012-13, best and fairests in 2010-11, team of-the-year selections from 2010-13 and VFL life membership.

Port Melbourne have also released a highlights video capturing some of the Plemings TV highlights.

From the Herald-Sun
Reported by Paul Amy
Full article - Click here

PORT Melbourne has been numbed by the death of recruit and former West Coast Eagles rookie Michael Mascoulis.

The 20-year-old died in a car accident on Friday.

Coming out of the Northern Knights, Mascoulis spent 2012 on the Eagles' rookie list and played with West Perth this year.

Returning to Victoria, he signed at Port Melbourne three weeks ago.

"I got told at 11 this morning," Borough coach Gary Ayres said on Saturday.

"You just freeze. We saw him at training on Friday night, full of beans and energy and high hopes, and the following day we're told he's no longer with us.

"It's a terrible tragedy. He was a lovely kid coming back here to make a bright and brand new start and was keen to do well.

"You heart goes out to his family and his friends."

Former teammates and friends took to social media in an outpouring of grief to pay tribute to Mascoulis.

From www.localfooty.com.au
Reported by Paul Amy
Full article - Click here

HE'S a veteran of the VFL, but Marcus Marigliani has a schoolboy's enthusiasm as he contemplates the 2014 season.

In fact, he says he hasn't felt as excited about his football since Essendon drafted him in 2009.

The muscle-packed "Rigger'' signed at Port Melbourne last week, cutting ties with Sandringham after three seasons.

He was made captain of the Zebras this year and understood the prestige of the position. Players like Chad Liddell, David MacGeorge and Darren Mitchelson held it before him.

But ultimately it wasn't enough to keep him at Sandy. He'd become fed up with the alignment with St Kilda, thinking the development of Saints players took precedence over winning.

There were occasions this year, he said, when St Kilda players were taken off the ground and rested, leaving the Zebras down on numbers.

From The Age
Reported by Brent Diamond
Full article - Click here

Port Melbourne is expected to churn out more mature-age recruits in the lead-up to this year's AFL draft with midfielder Chris Cain already being linked to Fremantle, which is renowned for picking up late bloomers.

Heading into a semi-final against arch-rival Williamstown at North Port Oval on Saturday, Cain, who has generally spent most of his eight seasons at Port as a half-forward flanker, believes a move to the midfield has paid dividends this season.

"I've been able to play a bit more in the midfield and that's probably helped me go forward and back instead of just playing forward, over the last few years,'' Cain said. ''Some of our better players going down in the midfield has given me an opportunity.

Read more: http://www.theage.com.au/afl/afl-news/ports-chris-cain-shows-vfl-a-ferti...

Port beats Pies to set up Seagull semi-final

From the Sunday Age
Reported by Brent Diamond
Full article Click here

Port Melbourne has breathed new life into the VFL finals with a stunning 25-point win over Collingwood in an elimination final at North Port Oval on Saturday.

While reigning premier Geelong is clearly the team to beat following its comfortable victory over Casey in a qualifying final on Friday night, the Borough is eyeing the possibility of a showdown against the Cats if it gets past arch-rival Williamstown in a semi-final next week.

Former Magpie Julian Rowe stung the Borough into action with two first-quarter goals but it was Heath O'Farrell who drove the stake into the Pies' hearts with three goals in the last quarter.

Midfield warrior Toby Pinwill, speedy Nathan Batsanis and Danny Hughes, who has blossomed heading into spring, were the keys to Port's victory, while former Bulldog and Hawk Wayde Skipper was influential against Collingwood veterans Ben Hudson and Darren Jolly.

Read more: http://www.theage.com.au/afl/afl-news/port-beats-pies-to-set-up-seagull-...

Comment thread: http://www.vflfooty.com/node/8701