1970 Premiers


L. Thomas (Trainer), M. Aldenhoven, M.Lewandowski, G.Riorden, A.Barker, J.Lillington, R.Thomas, L. Hederics, S. Sleep, J. Fumberger (Trainer)


W. Keeble (Trainer), G. Riordan (Vice President), S.Riordan, J.Taylor, G.Gill, W.Easterbrook, L.Kalms, P.Schofield, A.Bennetto, W.Harmer, C.Coombes (Trainer)


L. Riordan, G. Trinne (Vice President), K. Joy (President), K.Mansell (Capt/Coach), J.Mckendrick (Secretary), L.Skipper (Treasurer), A. Teasdale


D.Mansell, P.Mansell

1969 Premiers


C. Counsell, R. Thomas, G.Brown, G.Bowden, W. Easterbrook, G. Riordan, T.Shrubsole, J. Fumberger (Trainer)


L.Thomas (Trainer), R.Farr (Physiotherapist), J.Taylor, A.Bennetto, M.Fletcher, L.Kalms, W.Harmer, S.Riordan, R.Alderton, R.Beaton, H.Sparkes (Trainer)


L. Hederics, J. McKendrick (Secretary), G. Riordan (Vice President), M. Chirgwin (Vice Capt.), K.Mansell (Capt/Coach), K. Joy (President), L Skipper (Treasurer), R.Pointon



1968 Premiers


J.Cumming, G.Riordan, S. Hederics, G.Bowden, G.Brown, T. Shrubsole, R. Koplin


L.Thomas (Trainer), R.Thomas, L. Hederics, B. Watt R.Alderton, M. Fletcher, W. Eastbrook, R.Pointon, S. Riordan, J.Fumberger (Trainer), H.Sparkes (Trainer)


A.Hardsome, R. Farr (Physiotherapist), L. Skipper, (Treasurer) M.Chirgwin (Vice Captain), K.Mansell (Captain/Coach), G. Collie (President), J. McKendrick (Secretary), L. Sampson


K.Chirgwin, D.Mansell, K.Thomas

Maddy Toms

SOUTH Mildura A Grade netball best and fairest Maddy Toms knows the side is in transition, but is excited for the future.

The captain, who turns 25 on Thursday, was handed the 2021 award over the weekend, with former South junior and returning player Mikaela Saunders the runner-up.

The mid-court star was one of only three players from the 2019 A Grade side still playing by the of the of the cancelled 2021 season.

Toms hopes more talented juniors coming through the ranks will put their hand up to play at the top level next year.

“It was a bit of a rebuilding year for us, I think from the last season we played there was only Demelza Henry, Georgia Chase and myself still part of the team, it was new look line up,” she said. “My sister Rhianna also got injured early in the season.

“Hopefully a few more girls will put their hands up to play A Grade next season, I’m not sure if we’ve got many recruits as yet, but we’ll work with the players we have on board.

“It was great to see a few girls play A Grade whose families have been part of the club for a while.

“Next year there will already be a few changes with Demelza retiring and Loretta Thompson taking a step back from coach. She’ll still be around with her daughters playing but it’s obviously sad we won’t have her on the bench with us.”

Toms, who represented Sunraysia in interleague netball in May against North Central, said the club was excited about the move to their new home at the Mildura Sporting Precinct in 2022.

“I don’t think the netball courts are finished yet but hopefully they will be for next year, it’s something we’re all really excited about,” she said.

“We’ll have a few functions during the summer there which will be good, and I know the footballers have been training there already.”

While it was a different A Grade side in 2021, Toms said some of the new additions have already made themselves at home.

“Brianna Scullino really stepped up this year after having mostly played B Grade, the Telfer girls, Lara and Sarah, were really important and Aimee Ryan as one of our new recruits slotted in well,” she said.

“It was great to have Mikayla Saudners come back to the club, and Morna Naquto who was part of our Under-17s has a really bright future.

“We’re still building that team dynamic but we’re excited about a new season.”

Story and photo courtesy of Sunraysia Daily

Tyler Curtis

SOUTH Mildura ruckman Tyler Curtis hopes the addition of some bigger bodies can help propel the Bulldogs towards a Sunraysia Football and Netball League (SFNL) finals berth in 2022.

The 28-year-old, widely regarded as one of the best big men in the competition, won the club’s 2021 best-and-fairest award, with midfield recruit Jackson McEwen runner-up.

It marks back-to-back awards for Curtis, who also won in 2019, with the 2020 campaign cancelled due to COVID-19.

Curtis admitted it took some time to readjust to playing on-ball after spending most of the previous season up forward.

“After that it went pretty well, although it was probably a bit too much ruck time, which we’re trying to fix if we can get another ruckman into the team to help split that role,” he said.

“Being around the ball was good though. Having Matthew Min come into the side allowed me to play further up the ground.”

Curtis believes young forward Kevin McDonald can take a further step forward next campaign, while another forward-ruckman could help straighten their spine.

“We are probably still waiting on Kevvy Mac to come on a little bit more. When he has a good game he kicks five or six but when it’s not his day he doesn’t get a lot of it,” he said.

“He’s only 20 years old but in our team he’s probably got the highest potential because of his athleticism and height. He’s going to be a very good player.

“We have to patient with those guys. I think he’ll come along nicely next year.

“We also had a heavy reliance on Mitch Undy to help out in the ruck.”

Curtis said Undy hadn’t played a lot of football.

“He’s come from a basketball background. So having him come and do ruckwork is a pretty big ask.

“He’s very good as a centre half-back type of player because of his fitness, he can run with a centre half-forward.

“So that extra player could push him back up there and give us extra backline coverage. It would help us really build that spine a bit more.”

Under coach Ben Dalton, Curtis said there was plenty to be excited about at the kennel in 2022, including a new home at the Mildura Sporting Precinct.

“Everyone is pretty excited. It’s a big oval,” he said.

“Even a few blokes who I’ve spoken to from previous years have said they’re going to come back, even run around in the twos to help build that depth.

“I’m not 100 per cent sure on any recruits as yet, but we’ve been able to retain most of our players, especially the younger guys who are a year older with another 12 games under their belt.

“We’ll be pushing for finals, especially you’ll be turning 29 like me, finals are definitely the aim.”

Story and photo courtesy of Sunraysia Daily

Dalton in charge of the kennel again

SOUTH Mildura Sporting Club coach Ben Dalton knows the field well.

When you’ve been brought up around football, and raised on the sidelines, it’s only natural.

“I was at local football every weekend from a baby,” the 28-year-old told Mildura Weekly recently.

“Coming from a sporting family who was heavily involved in our local club, and also being the youngest of four children, I started in Auskick at six years of age.”

Dalton, who was born and raised in Warrnambool, moved to Brisbane for five years for University, before returning back to his hometown, and then moving onto Mildura.

“I moved to Mildura from Warrnambool in June of 2019 with my wife Rachel to start our business F45 Training Mildura,” the personal trainer said.

Dalton played all of his junior football with South Warrnambool in the Hampden Football Netball Leauge and played his first senior game with the club at 17.

“When I was 19, I moved to Brisbane to play for Morningside in the NEAFL/QAFL for four years before returning back to my home club South Warrnambool in 2018,” he said.

“I missed season 2019 with moving to Mildura mid year, before signing with South Mildura.”

Dalton signed with South Mildura during the 2020 preseason, but with the season cancelled due to COVID, he didn’t play his first game with the club until Round One of 2021.

“There was a nice sentiment in coming to South Mildura from South Warrnambool,” he said.

“I joined South because I saw it as a club that I could have a real impact on.

“It was a great fit for me and where I was at that point in time of my football.

“I have been lucky enough to play in successful football sides, so I really wanted to be able to give back and pass on things I had learnt over my football career.

“I also was very welcomed by the playing group.

“The leaders of the club had started training at my gym, which made it really easy decision to go to South after they became great mates.”

Dalton plays off the half back line for the Bulldogs, believing it assists in controlling the structures of the team.

He said it is the best position for a playing coach as you can see the game unfolding.

“In previous seasons I would say my strengths would have been my attack and skill coming off the half back line,” he reflected.

“Now as a coach, my role has changed and it would now be more about leadership on the field, helping to set up team structure and communicating amongst the playing group.

“I think I have brought a fresh set of eyes to the club with different ideas.

“A big thing I have looked to implement at the club is lifting the standard each player holds themselves to; both on and off the field.”

Next season Dalton said he is looking forward to continuing to see the development in the group and improve on their 2021 season.

He said the club seen huge improvement from the list last season and they will continue to develop that so they are more competitive each week.

“We are looking forward to winning more games of football and getting South Mildura back playing finals football,” he added.

“We want to continue to bridge the gap between South Mildura and the best teams in the competition.

“I will always take team success over any individual performance so that will be my main focus for next season.”

Story & photo courtesy of Mildura Weekly

Football award winners announced

Football award winners announced

With season 2021 now in our rear-view mirror, we have now set our sights on moving to our new home, the Mildura Sporting Precinct. Before we can do so, we want to announce a range of end of season awards that have recently been handed out.

Due to COVID19 we have had to postpone our award ceremonies on multiple occasions, however over the past few weeks we have been able to host our teams for their respective awards. We would like to thank Dennis and the team down at Mildura Cruises for hosting our teams. Without these guys, we couldn’t have been able to facilitate these events given the indoor restrictions in Victoria.

So to the important part…Who won our awards such as the Ken Mansell Trophy, Johns Family Shield, Daniel Cleary Memorial Trophy, and Dod Judd Memorial Trophy?



Ken Mansell Trophy (Best & Fairest) – Tyler Curtis, took out his second Ken Mansell Trophy in season 2021. The number 1 big man in the game and our 2019 B&F winner, Tyler once again had an outstanding season in 2021 where he asserted his dominance in the ruck and was also an SFNL interleague representative.

Johns Family Shield (Runner Up Best & Fairest) – Jackson Mcewen

Des O’Connor Memorial Trophy (Most Consistent) – Jayden Cogan

Vic Berriman Memorial Trophy (Most Determined) – Liam Wood

John Taylor Memorial Trophy (Most Improved) – Taj Stevens

Best Team Man – Nathan Nolan

Coaches Award – Kevin McDonald



Daniel Cleary Memorial Trophy (Best & Fairest) – Brayden Collicoat, our ultimate clubman and reserves premiership coach in season 2018, took out his first best & fairest award for the club after an outstanding season 2021 on the field. This award is well deserved.

Runner Up Best & Fairest – Jarrod Lay

Most Consistent – Fletcher Doddridge

Most Determined – Steven Sellens

Most Improved – Will Spain

Best Team Man – Reece Merlin

Coaches Award – Lachlan Fisher



Dot Judd Memorial Trophy (Best & Fairest) – Brayth Munn, is an outstanding talent who not only showcased his talents in our Under 18 program, he also experienced senior football in the second half of our season where he was able to display some of the skills that earned him a call-up. This guy has the football world at his feet and we hope to see him play many more games for the club over the next decade.

Runner Up Best & Fairest – Joseph Ryan

Most Consistent – Robert Andriske

Most Determined – Flynn Tiley

Most Improved – Tanner Clancy

Best Team Man – Angus Pound

Coaches Award – Zane Hunt

Bulldog Brother – Jedd Anderson



Best & Fairest – Liano Scullino

Runner Up Best & Fairest – Milan Scullino

Most Consistent – Archer Wooton

Most Determined – Kai Andriske

Most Improved – Isiah Bettess

Best Team Man – Cameron Lay

Coaches Award – Angus Bobstchinski



Best & Fairest – Hunter Strong

Runner Up Best & Fairest – Darby Fitzgerald

Most Consistent – A.J. Scullino

Most Determined – Mitch McClure

Most Improved – Bailey McLaughlin

Best Team Man – Flynn Bobstchinski

Coaches Award – Jarvas Munn


The club would like to congratulate everyone who took out an award, all were thoroughly deserved. Our attention now turns to season 2022 where after 76 years, we will move homes from Sarah Oval to the Mildura Sporting Precinct. This facility will provide a central home for a number of sporting user groups in the district, with our club being the sole representative of the Sunraysia Football & Netball League. The facility aims to be a venue for major events including concerts and regional and national sporting events whilst also accommodating the need for community open space and passive leisure activities in the Mildura South area – one of our region’s main residential growth corridors.

Reflections of the 1998 Premiership

With the Sunraysia Football and Netball League finals series having been cancelled, Sunraysia Daily has taken the opportunity to look back at some memorable grand finals in recent history. Today, we start with South Mildura’s 1998 flag, the most recent premiership won by the Bulldogs, breaking a 28-year drought, as PATHI RAJ reports.

FORMER South Mildura captain Denny Fox still remembers the joy and jubilation of South Mildura fans after the club’s grand final victory in 1998.

Fox, who was ruckman on that famous day 23 years ago, admitted the lure of trying to recapture that moment was what prolonged his footy career.

“The feeling of walking in – as you walk to the club room and walk inside, the feeling you got, I honestly would say that the reason that I played for so long … (was) to try and win a premiership and have that feeling again – of walking into the club rooms,” Fox reflected.

On the eve of the ’98 Sunraysia Football League grand final, South Mildura held the unenviable title of the longest premiership drought in the league’s history.

Having won three in a row from 1968 to 1970, the club endured 28 lean years before finally breaking the drought.

The tide began to turn for the Bulldogs in 1993 as they built a team that began regularly playing finals footy.

Alongside a couple of preliminary final losses, South Mildura also lost the 1994 and 1995 grand finals, both to Imperials, who they would again meet in the ’98 decider.

“The South Mildura people, because they had been so starved of success, were up and about. They were all there,” Fox reflected.

“But Imperials … had such a successful history. We didn’t know with them. So people were not sure.”

For Peter Hahn, just being on the ground that day was pure luck. He had been called into the side after Mathew Addinsall’s
suspension, something the club had fought to overturn before the grand final.

“Sometimes the opportunities arise at others’ misfortune – that (suspension) made my opening and I was lucky enough to play,” Hahn said.

Hahn, who ran on in the second quarter when Ross Pointon hurt his ankle, remembered the sight of South supporters around the ground.

“I just remember a lot of blue and white around the oval … we had plenty of support,” he said.

Hahn said South had a strong focus on starting well.

“(We thought) if we were close to them at quarter time, we had a pretty big chance,” he recalled.

But Imperials’ captain Tony Hickey won the toss. Quickly, the Bulldogs faced an

Imperials side with a three or four goal breeze behind them.

It should have made for a tough start.

“If they had kicked goals, (say) four goals, two points. It would have been game on. They would have had some momentum – would have had their tails up. And it would have been a different story,” Fox said.

But in a tense opening quarter, Imperials were inaccurate, kicking six behinds for the term.

“I remember going into the huddle and the conversation was, ‘We’ve got it’ … We took over from there,” Fox said.

South Mildura went on to kick six goals to one in the second quarter, going into half-time with a 35-point lead.

From that moment on, the result was never in doubt, as the Dogs ran away to a 15.12 (102) to 6.18 (54).

South Mildura forward Michael Bilucaglia was described as “near unstoppable” in a report in the Sunraysia Daily, booting seven goals.

He unofficially kicked 98 for the season (finals goals did not count in the season tally). Sunraysia Daily also described the performances by Scott Lawton and a 16-year-old Leigh Gathercole in the backline as “supreme”. Defender Luke Pumpa was voted as best on ground.

Looking back on the day, Fox said despite the 48-point margin, judging from the scoring shots – 27 for South opposed to 24 for Imperials – the result could have been

Nevertheless, Fox said South Mildura came out confident after half-time because things would have to go “horribly wrong to lose it from there”.

“It’s that go harder mentality…(We thought) we’ve got it now. But we need to do everything right. Go harder … Things don’t just happen, you stand up and take it.”

Perhaps the foundation for South’s victory came in the hardship, and the growing sense that something good had to happen, and soon. For Peter Hahn that began at the start of the season when

South Mildura brought in Lawton, Addinsall and Rick Brennan.

“The club really only picked up a couple of players and they were fairly instrumental in bolstering us,” he said.

“I see some photos from time to time different people have and I remember running out on the ground at the start and seeing all the people who were there – all the older South Mildura people.

“I’d been there since 1982, and seeing all these people who’d been there all that time and finally found some success. That was quite exciting,” Hahn said.

Shane Loveridge, who was a runner for South Mildura on grand final day, echoed the sense of relief and happiness in seeing other people’s joy, especially the supporters who “never thought they’d see another premiership”.

Loveridge took special pride watching from the sidelines as a young man he had coached in ’93 and ’94, Darren O’Brien, played until a heavy clash took him off the ground.

“It was a great feeling to see him out there,” he said.

Loveridge, who had played in 400 games for the club, including a grand final loss in 1983, said the win had been “pretty pleasing” and admitted that he had cried on the day.

For him, the highlight was “to see the joy on the younger players’ and recruits’ faces” as well as the payoff for club members who had “put in work over the years to get to that (moment)”.

Next week, Wentworth’s 2012 triumph.

Story and photos courtesy of Sunraysia Daily

Vale Garry “Spaz” Johns

Garry Neil Johns

Garry was born into South Mildura, his father, Neil and uncle Alec, both playing for the bulldogs in the 1950’s. These ties to the club ensured Garry would become a bulldog for life.

Garry played his junior footy with South and went on to debut as a senior footballer in 1976. He played senior footy for a further 10 years playing many reserve and senior games during this time. He played off and on through the ‘90’s and a few games in the early naughties whenever the club struggled to field teams, showing his true colours of always putting the club first.

He, the family and his brothers would have been absolutely delighted when the 3, Garry, Peter and Malcolm all played together as senior footballers for the first time in Round 3, 1980. They all played together frequently through to ’84. The last time they were all on the field together as senior footballers was Rd 2 1985.

Garry was a grinning, laughing and joking, mischievous bloke who had time for everyone and was a genuinely a joy to be around but when he played, he had a short fuse with the term “white line fever” often being coined, however this my have been slightly misconstrued as it was loyalty to his team mates and the jumper that set his fierce demeanor on the field. Everyone knew he had their back, and this was true in football and in life.

When he finished playing, he was not finished at the club, helping them out wherever possible, taking on all types of roles within the club but the role where he excelled was as team manager. His role as the 1998 Premiership Team Manager was a very proud moment. He was the backbone of the clubs spirit being front and centre on match days, camping trips, hosting club functions at his house and always welcoming new players to the club, he was its heartbeat.

His dedication to the club on and off the field was rewarded with a Life Membership in 1989, something he has always cherished.

He was extremely proud that his children all played at the club with Nathan & Brendan donning the hoops and Stefanie playing in winning premierships with the netball club.

He was a bulldog through and through and would do what he could whenever he could to help the club. Even in the recent difficult years he was still supporting, hosting, and fundraising for his beloved Club.

The club is indebted to Garry and the Johns family and he will always be held dear in the hearts of the players, committee members and supporters who knew him.

Bulldog for Life

Rest in Peace


Round 14 – Done and Dusted


The Roos spoiled South Mildura’s going away party at Sarah Oval to record a 22-point victory over the Bulldogs to stay within a game of Mildura in fourth place.

It was a back and forth contest that was even at half time, and South holding an eight-point buffer at the final change, but a 6.2 to 1.2 final term allowed the visitors to run out 12.10 (82) to 9.6 (60) winners.

Roos coach Wade Hancock kicked four majors and big man Damon Tually finished with three, while Kaine Behr, Nick Jensen and Jack Cottrell were all impressive.

A season that started so brightly for South is now done as they have the bye next week.

A bright spot for them was young forward Kevin McDonald kicking five goals, while defenders Jayden Cogan, Ben Notting and Deklan Loveridge all rated a mention in their best players.

Story & photo courtesy of Sunraysia Daily