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LEAGUE FOOTBALLERS OF 1950 - CENTRE HALF-FORWARDS

         

More stars of the League teams-one from each club-come    

under the eye of Percy Taylor in another article of this series.

CENTRE HALF-FORWARD is

one of the hardest positions to fill in present-day football.

The ideal centre half-forward needs

height and weight, to withstand the buffeting that comes his way. He must have pace off the mark to race his opponent for the ball, and he

must be able to kick far and accurately.

In League football today there is

a constant search for that ideal man.

In only a few clubs last season was the position handed to the same player in match after match. Those who were permanent, or those who played for most,of the season in that position, are discussed below. Many of them, cf course, are starring in the same post this year.

CARLTON first heard of RAY GARBY- when he was only 17, but it was not for several years after that date that he came to the club. A club supporter at Cohuna heard of a good youngster and passed

the word to Carlton. He was then at Assumption College, Kilmore, but

his father was in business at Cohuna.

Ray played his first senior game in 1946, and did not miss a game in that season. Since then he has played 71 games and kicked 100 goals, and has also played for Vic-

toria. He is small for a centre

half-forward, being 5 ft. 10 1/2in., but

he is 13 stone and a bit.

Spectacular and brilliant, Ray is a little spasmodic, and, perhaps, too individualistic, but he frequently brings the house down with his bril- liant marks, his grand kicking, and his splendid evasion. He can be-and has been a match winner on his day.

He is married, lives at Northcote, and is a salesman.

AFTER much hard

work Collingwood was able to secure MAURY DUNSTAN last year from Preston Association, and officials have had cause to congratulate them-

selves ever since. With some ex-

perience behind him he began this season well, but unfortunately suf- fered a severe eye injury at training.

Maury - naturally he is called

"Mocha"-had been recommended to

Collingwood several years ago. How- ever, he had doubts about his own ability, and went to Preston, where he stayed for two years. Even then Collingwood had difficulty in per- suading him to transfer.

"Mocha" has a pleasing voice, and in a radio contest recently received a "two-gong award" for his croon- ing. He is serving an apprenticeship in the Army, being with an engineer- ing unit at Broadmeadows is single at the moment-that is said advisedly

-and lives at Preston.

TED LEEHANE

broke a bone in his hand half-way through last season, when he was developing into one of Essendon's best players. This smiling, auburn haired six-footer weighs 12 1/2 stone, and has great pace, dash, and ball control, as well as good judgment and anticipation. Probably he would be better able to withstand the buffet- ing of rival centre half-backs if he were a stone or so heavier, but his pace gets him out of much trouble.

Ted was discovered when playing with Brunswick C.Y.M.S., and had his first senior game in 1942. Since then he has played in 67 games, and kicked 117 goals. He has football in his blood, as his father, Steve, was a noted Carlton player in his day. There is now a younger brother, Jack, on the way to becoming a senior player.

NORMAN SMITH, who has been Fitzroy's fairly regular centre half-forward, came to that club last year as captain-coach. He was, for a number of years, one of the best full forwards in the League, and

was a force at Melbourne. His record speaks for itself, as he kicked 541 goals in 210 games, playing from

935 to 1948. His value, indeed, is not reflected in those figures, because he was one of the best team men in the game, and was by no means "goal hungry."

With Eddie Hart, the regular full forward, Smith placed himself at centre half-forward at Fitzroy. He is a great mark, a fine kick, and the possessor of exceptional judgment and anticipation-a really "brainy" player.

It is unfortunate for him - and for Fitzroy-that an old knee injury has recurred, and he has been forced to stop playing. But as coach Norman is popular with his charges, and his influence must be of the best. He is married, with one child, and has his own engineering business. He plays a little cricket in the summer.

BILL SCANLAN was Footscray's centre half-forward for most of last season. With his brother, Frank, he was cleared by Melbourne-in 1948. Bill came from Sandringham Colts, and played his first game with Melbourne in 1943, his tally with that club being 39 games and 23 goals. He played every game with Footscray last year.

Footscray will admit that Bill is not fully equipped as a player, but he is a superb mark, and, for the first time for years, Footscray players have confidence in kicking high to the half-forward line, because they know that Bill has more than an equal chance of marking it. He is not a good kick, but seems to have improved since he left Melbourne.  

Bill plays golf well. Like so many boys who lived at Sandringham, he did some caddying in his spare time, and seems to have copied the stars in his natural and free swing. He is a railways man, employed at Toorak, and lives with his family at Sandring-

ham.

FRED FLANAGAN came from Swan Hill and had his first senior game for Geelong in 1946. Since then he has played 53 games and kicked 43 goals. In addi- tion he played in the carnival games in Hobart in 1947 and against South Australia and Western Australia since.

Geelong is very happy to have the services of this tall, blond, good looking country boy, who is 6ft. 1 in. and 13st. 101b. Few players have developed as quickly, and few players have given such consistently

good service.

r

I Fred was first discovered when he «as in the Army. He was at Royal Park when Ivo Gibson, then Geelong ¿ecretarv, heard of him. He went later to' do a rehabilitation course at the Geelong Technical Institute. First he became a wool classer, and now he is a traveller for his firm.

\s a player Fred is superb in the ¿ir' and is faster than the usual big man. He is not a champion kick, but is more than useful in that department. His association with full Jonvard Lindsay White has been a happy one for all concerned.

Recently Fred bought a new home, and there, with his wife and young daughter, he has little difficulty in filling in any leisure he might have.

TED FLETCHER,

Neil McKinnon, Mel Williams, and Ken Hopper all played at centre half forward for Hawthorn last year, but Fletcher had more games than the others. Ted came from Dandenong in 1944, and bas played 46 games and kicked 31 goals.

He is a beautifully built player, being 6ft. lin. and weighing 13± stone. He is a better than average mark and kick, a cheerful type, popular in the club, and takes hß part in its various activities. He is in the police force, unmarried, and lives in Black Rock.

Probably by design, he relaxes in the summer time, and thus returns to football with added zest. In a badly handicapped team he is one of

the stars this season.

LANCE ARNOLD, the Mildura boy, played in practically ever)* game last year at centre half

forward for Melbourne. This season

he has been playing very well at centre half-back. He came to the club in 1946, when he played four games. Since then he has missed only three games-a tribute to his prowess and consistency.

One of the 11 or 12 giants in the present team Lance is 6ft. lin. and 13J stone. His tally of games is 62, and he has kicked 83 goals. Mel- bourne officials have a high opinion of his ability, but he is somewhat mercurial and temperamental, and

w*!ft...

often beats himself. He could be one of the most brilliant players in the game, as he is big, strong, fast, and a splendid mark and kick-the type who is always bobbing up and doing something spectacular.

Those who have seen him in action say that he could be a first grade cncketer, too. He is employed at the Vacuum Oil, and played with the works' cricket team in the Footscray District competition. He has made a few centuries, and is a good left-hand bowler. However, he has "given the game away" to concentrate on foot-

ball.

FRANK JEEVES as North Melbourne's centre half forward, was a somewhat unusual choice last season, as he had been a rover in 1948. However, it was a sound move, as Frank, until injured toward the end of July, did a grand job.

He is 5ft. Hin. and nearly 12st. in weight, a left-footer with a lovely style, and the ability to pass ac- curately. He came from Wonthaggi to Fitzroy, but that club did not persevere with him, and he went lo Carnegie. While playing there he came under the notice of Fred Fair- weather, former North Melbourne captain, and later went to North.

He played with the seconds in 1947, and was in the prentiership team. His play at wing half-forward

in the grand final showed rhp «*ninrc

that they had some good material, and he has been a regular senior player

ever since.

Frank is 22 years, married, and a painter, in business for himself. He has been busy over the last few weeks v on a job at the ground. He plays

cricket and golf in the summer time.

RICHMOND tried

six different players at centre half forward last year, and, although Noel Ross was there more frequently than any other player, RAY POULTER might be considered as the man for the job, as Noel has now returned to the country. This year Ray has begun as full forward.

There was every inducement for Ray to become a footballer, as his late father, Joe, was one of Colling wood's best players. He came to the club on the recommendation of Bill Brown, secretary of Richmond Dis- tricts, while still a student at Rich- mond Technical School. He was

anxious to play with Collingwood, which was natural, but he was resi dentially tied to Richmond.

Richmond officials believe that Ray is the safest mark in the League. "Once he gets his hands to the ball only a sledge hammer would remove it," said one of them. He is not a spectacular player, but,a most use- ful one. He is a left-foot kick, and although not fast, has splendid judg- ment. Only 21, Ray is just over 6ft. and weighs 141 stone, and lives with his motherjn Prahran. _

UNTIL the last four or five games of 1949 RON CLEGG was the permanent centre half-for- ward for South Melbourne. Then

he was given the task of subduing rival centre half-forwards, and played even better in that position. Ron opened this season as centre half- back, and it was confidently expected that he would hold down that job in the carnival games in Brisbane in July. Unfortunately, Ron broke a bone in his wrist in that game, and will have to look on for many weeks.

Ron, tall, fair, and with a cheery mapner, was a very popular winner of the Brownlow Medal for best and fairest player in the League last sea- son. He himself says that the^change to centre half-back in* those last few games just clinched the vote for him. He might be right, too, but he cer- tainly played some grand games for

South at centre half-forward.

Ron is a beautifully balanced player, with high marking ability, long kicking, and great pace, anticipation, and judgment his greatest assets. He was playing with the South Mel- bourne boys when his ability was dis- covered, and he had his first senior game in 1945, when he was 17 years.

South Melbourne had some anxious

moments when V.F.A. clubs sought the services of their star. Most at- tractive offers were made to him before the 1949 season, but Ron was persuaded to remain with South. He is probably happy about Iris decision now, as, in addition to winning the Brownlow Medal, he won two sepa- rate awards for £100 each, plus several other amounts, and some handsome trophies.

Football is Ron's first love, but lie has played for South Melbourne first eleven at cricket, too.

Ron was married a few months ago,

and is a traveller.

jack Mcdonald, St. Kilda's young centre half-forward, first attracted attention while play- ing with Camden in the "Federal League. In 1947 he established a new record for that body by kicking 144 goals, giving him a total of 250 in two years.

Those performances sent him straight into the St. Kilda senior side in 1948, and he played in the first six games. Last year he was a regular player, being almost exclusively at centre half-forward, although he was

tried several times as a full forward. In one match his bag was seven, and in another six. Altogether he has kicked 36 goals in 25 games for St.

Kilda.

Finely proportioned, Jack is 5ft. Hin. and 12. stone, is a fast mover, a lovely left-foot kick, and a good mark. He is only 20 years,,and will be a better player with the experience gained in all sorts and conditions of

games.

Bom in Nagambie, Jack left there at any early age, but his uncle, Here, is well known both as a cricketer and a footballer. Jack is living in Caul- field with his parents, and is «a clerk in a big wool firm.

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