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ST. KLLDA'S TROUBLES.

TEAM AND COMMITTEE.    

HALF-HEARTED GAME.  

There was an atmosphere of excitement  

on the St. Kilda Football-ground on Satur-       day afternoon, just as if it were the eve of

a political crisis and the scene the Par-

liamentary lobbies. The match was be-       tween Melbourne and St. Kilda, and it was     chiefly interesting on account of the dis-  

satisfaction existing among the players and      

some of the supporters of the St. Kilda   Football club with regard to the manage- ment of the clubs's affairs. The players first  

became aggrieved because the committee did not entertain them as they consider   they have a right to be treated and now   They are grumbling at the withdrawal from     a number of the supporters, especially       Messrs. G. A. Eicke, the dather of one of their number, and Mr. J. D. Hogan, of the right of entry to the dressingroom of the team. About 6,000 people were present and all weer eagerly awaiting developments.   Mr. Hogan held a reception in the members' reserve, and right around the ground the attitude of the committee and the griev-  

ances of the players were subjects of keen   discussion. The spectators were fortunate   to have those matters to discuss, for they were of much more interest than the play proved to be.    

The Melbourne men had the ground to     themselves for some minutes, but just when the crown were beginning to think that the       St. Kilda players were not going to appear Lever, the captain, ran forth on to the held             at the head of his team. The ball was bounced, and for the next 25 minutes it was mainly a game of kick for kick, with all   the Melbourne players at the one end kick-   ing to Eicke, of St. Kilda, at the other end.     The whole object of the Melbourne team         appeared to be to kick the ball to Eicke, and   to no one else. At any rate he obtained 99   per cent of the kicks on the half-back line.   and for the greater portion of the quarter the ball was being kicked from the centre towards St. Kilda's goal. The state of the     game at the end of the quarter was that   on eight occasions Eicke had not been able           to prevent the ball from going past hima       and Melbourne had 3 goals 5 behinds to their credit. St. Kilda had scored one be-   hind. Thenceforward the play was mostly a scramble, during which some of the St.  

Kilda men livened up, but to very little     purpose. The bright features were two runs   by Pearce, of Melbourne, from his goal along the wing to the centre line; a goal   kicked overhead by Sellers, of St. Kilda while he was being swung; and the ludic-   rous mistake made by Parker, a St. Kilda   forward, who was so entirely alone when           he got the ball in front that he might have     crawled to the goal line, but who from the distance of a few yards mistook the open-   ing and kicked a behind, amidst much   shouting. Such ironical cheering arose when the St. Kilda men sent the ball across     the centre that they began to exert them-         selves to greater efforts in the final quar-   ter, and did as a team make a serious at-    

tempt to increase their score. It was a  

poor game. Odgers for his play on the half back line stood out shoulders high above the other Melbourne players, the best of whom were Pearce, Naismith, M'Kenzie,   Smith, Hendrie, Tomkins, and Politz, who kicked four goals. Apart from Eicke, St.   Kilda's hardest workers were Pierce, Scott, Baird, Sellers, and Thomas.    

When at the end of the game, with the   scores Melbourne 11 goals 11 behinds (77   points) and St. Kilda 5 goals 9 behinds (39     points) the players were leaving the field for their dressing rooms, a section of the       crowd in front of the grand stand booted and taunted some of the men. Lever the captain, increased at one of the barrackers         jumped towards the pickets at players'       entrance, but two of his comrades pre-

vented him from scaling the fence, and   dragged him away.  

Mr. H.W. Stoddart the secretary of the         St Kilda club, made the following explana-   tion with regard to the trouble that has arisen between the players and the com-     mittee:-"At the commencement of the   season the committee issued a number of   tickets to former committeemen and promi-     ment supporters of the club to enable them   to enter the players' dressing room as they desired. In addition, I had a supply of    

tickets for those who on occasions expressed       a desire to see the players in their room. These tickets, unlike other tickets             were collected at the door. As one rooms are very poky, the committee

decided to call in all the permanent tickets        

of admission, and in future to admit only   the executive, honorary officers, and the           players. The decision was arrived at on       Tuesday, July 11, but it was not carried           out untill to-day, as I did not bother to post   the letters calling in the tickets earlier. No exception was taken to any individuals;       the decision had a general application. Over    

a dozen members are concerned and among         them Mr. Hogan and Mr. Eicke. Nearly   all the other tickets-holders were former    

committeemen. From "The Argus' one     would think that only two men   have been picked out. Mr. Hogan    

is very chummy with a lot of the     players and some of them think that he has  

been harshly dealt with. The players have         made representations to the committee that         they desire the tickets to be returned to     Mr. Hogan and Mr. Eicke, and that is  

where the matter stands at present.        

The players held a meeting before the       match, and were unanimous in representing the   action of the committee. Some of them   desire then and there to take action, but     the cooler heads amongst them pointed out       that they had a duty to the league and the     public, and that whatever might happen         they must fulfil their engagement of Satur-       day. While they were discussing the matter     those outside the dressing-rooms knew what               was going on and a massage from Mr.  

Hogan settled the issue. He sent in word      

to say that at all costs they must play. The   committee, or as many of them as could be             called together, were summoned, and   eventually the players decided to take the       held on condition that the committee met     them after the match to discuss the posttion.        

At the conclusion of the game the players drew up a petition, which was signed by       22 playing members of the club, and the-         committee, with Mr. Willis as their chair  

man, heard what the players had to say.       the players pointed out that Mr. Eicke, as     the father of one of the best men on the   side, and Mr. Hogan had been debarred           from entering the dressing-room, and the           team objected very strongly. They made     no threats, but let the committee see clearly           that they were unanimous, and unless the             dressing-room tickets were restored that           there would be trouble.          

the members of the committee present     agreed to call a special meeting of the full             committee this evening to discuss the mat-     ter with a sub-committee of the players,   who have appointed H. Lever H. Danger-    

held, and H. Plowman to represent them.              

The members of the committee asked the          

players what they intended to do, and the       answer was, "We'll give an answer on Tues-    

day, after we hear the result of your meet-         ing on Monday night.      

The players are unanimous, and deter-      

mined to stand together, and make no             secret of the fact that if these dressing-         room tickets are not restored they will not           be prepared to take the field next Saturday.          

At the conclusion of the committee meet-  

ing on Saturday the players assembled in   the bar of the pavilion, where they drank      

the health of Messrs, Hogan and Eicke, and    

cheered them both.    

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