Ballina picks league Team of the Century
FRANK Curran, a prominent Test player of the 1930s, heads the list of nominees for the Ballina rugby league Team of the Century, to be announced on September 27.
Also nominated are two sets of fathers and sons - Alan Miles and his sons Michael and Shane, and Tony Koellner and his son Michael - and one of the great Aboriginal rugby league players of the district, Dick Roberts senior, who has been nominated in two positions - fullback and five-eighth.
A group of local 'selectors' headed by former Sydney Western Suburbs legend Denis Meaney has compiled the list and included players from as early as the 1920s up to present-day players.
Frank Curran was a former Ballina Rovers player who went to South Sydney in the 1930s. He toured England twice as a Kangaroo, in 1937 and 1938, and went down in history as the first Australian player to score on French soil in a 1938 Test.
He returned to Ballina and became a prominent businessman.
Denis Meaney said the final team would be announced at a special event at Ballina Seagulls Rugby League Club on September 27. Such is the interest that the club has hired a marquee to cater for the big crowd expected to attend.
He said the night would celebrate this year's centenary of rugby league as well as the development of Ballina township. Footage of the town's development over the years will be shown on the night.
Almost 80 players are in the early nominations and a final squad, plus reserves and a coach, will be announced on the night. Individual judges know only their final selected team but not what the other judges have selected. Only one person, a Justice of the Peace, knows the final team.
n The Team of the Century committee is holding a competition. Choose a final team from the list below, and those who get closest to the final line-up will go into the draw for one of six dinners with wine at Seagulls.
Drop entries into the footy club or the Advocate office.
Nominees: Fullback: Dick Roberts, Alan Miles, Michael Ross, Michael Miles, Danny Sharpe, Michael Sheather, Shaun Laurie, Theo Cooper.
Wingers: Len McMullen, Ted Kay, Brian Adam, Harvey Kay, Ashley Moran, Marshall Scott, Ron Cooper.
Centres: Jack Reardon, Ron Fenwick, Bob Quinlivan, Fred Pullen, Greg Quinn, Greg Bourke, Balin Couples, Brad Mansfield, Brenton Cochrane.
Five-eighth: Dick Roberts, Joe Morris, John Gillard, Chris Storrier, Graham Lees.
Halfback: Ted Ainsworth, Ray Savage, Podge Holwell, Joe Morris, Rob Murdock, Mick Foster, Wayne Cullen, Darren Hampton, Stan 'Chicka' Kelly, Troy Johnstone, Phil Hawke.
Lock: Jim Cox, Jim Gibson, Darren Gill, Shane Miles, Don Walker.
Second-row: Ian Woodcock, Bob McLaren, Ken Flanagan, Anthony Killingbeck, John Harris, Brett Coombes, Mick Boyd, Mitch Aubusson, Dean Jarrett.
Front-row: Frank Curran, Jack Moss, John Whalen, Ron Shepherd, Fred Mitchell, Barry Glass, Rod Sironen, Mick Koellner, Dylan Montgomery, Steve Parsons, Max Beecher, Corey Windle, Frank 'Bungy' Flanagan.
Hooker: Sprogs Miller, Ron Harley, Tony Koellner, Brenton Bowen, Alan Ward, Matt Temby.
Coach: John Gillard, John Wicks, Jim Gibson, Greg Fryer, Alan Perry.