Round 1 Match Reports – PHAFC Kick off year with 2 wins!

2017 season underway with two huge wins on a day of sunshine and rain!

It was a huge day for the club on Saturday with the unveiling of the Heritage jumper and two big wins!

It was a day of contrast as the Reserves battled it out in the glaring sunshine while the Seniors slugged it out in some extreme wet weather.

As you can see from the scores below both teams battled it out all day to get the win.

For the Seniors Steve Devine was magnificent all day in the ruck and managed to jag a couple of goals, Nick Nagel and River Carroll we also busy up forward kicking 7 goals between them. Tim Kenneally was tenacious in his attack on the football while Adam Collett and Charlie Betts racked up possessions at will.

The game was in the balance in the last quarter with Westbourne taking the lead out to 10  points, but to the boys credit the dug in and kicked the last few goals of the game. Westbourne are one of the favourites for the D3 flag this year, so it’s a massive boost for us to knock them off.


Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4
Power House AFC 3.2-20 8.5-53 13.7-85 15.16-106
Westbourne Grammarians 4.6-30 9.8-62 12.10-82 14.12-96

Goal Kickers: R. Carroll 4, N. Nagel 3, S. Confait 2, S. Devine 2, L. Stubbs, B. Circosta, T. Kenneally, A. Collett
Best Players: T. Kenneally, C. Betts, A. Collett, R. Carroll, S. Devine, E. Nyary

In the Reserves Westbourne started very strongly before we pegged them back and there wasn’t much in it at quarter time. It was an arm wrestle all day with the lead not getting away from us at any stage. The Third quarter was huge as we rebounded off half back thanks to the vice-like hands of Greg Bell, New players Jarryd Brutonn and John Temme provided some great run.

Pat Healy was also clunking all the balls kicked in his direction, it was an impressive start from Pat which also included a nice left foot snap goal in the last quarter. Old timers Patrick Arnold and Daniel Buckley were accurate in front of goal with 3 majors each and provided good targets up forward.

On the back of Saturdays win in the reserves game we are saddened to hear that one of Westbourne’s favourite sons Mitch Herman has remained in hospital with head injuries after a tackle in the First Quarter.
Powerhouse President Nic Pavlou has offered the clubs full support to Westbourne and the family and has spoken to both the Westbourne President Wayne Flemming and Mitch’s Father Steve.
Steve Herman was very thankful of the care we took to assist Mitch from the field, thanks to Fiachra o deasmhunaigh for assisting Mitch from the field and providing expert medical advice.
Mitch is in our thoughts and prayers and we wish him a full and fast recovery.

It was a rough game with a few tussles, when the final siren went it was pure jubilation! It was a magnificent way ti send off club favourite and life member Paddy Barrett, he was chaired from the ground the sound of thunderous applause. In the room after President Nic Pavlou lauded Paddy for his contribution to PHAFC and presented him with the match ball.

The festivities kicked on well into the night as we gave Paddy a fitting farewell bash, Paddy gave one more emotional speech (maybe it was the beer talking) and then we partied the rest of the night way.

It’s not goodbye, it’s see you soon! Paddy will be back again one day, even if just for a quick visit I am sure!


Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4
Power House AFC 3.0-18 5.2-32 7.4-46 10.8-68
Westbourne Grammarians 4.3-27 7.5-47 7.10-52 9.10-64

Goal Kickers: P. Arnold 3, D. Buckley 3, P. Healey, C. Browne, J. Bruton, P. Ellis
Best Players: J. Temme, S. Circosta, D. Eastey, C. Browne, J. Bruton, P. Healey

Heritage Guernsey 2017 – it’s here!

After months of advertising and fundraising the Heritage kit is here! Celebrating 70 years in the VAFA is a huge milestone for the club and one that we are extremely proud of.

This is a tribute to those players who first donned the Green and Gold PHAFC Guernsey way back in 1947, this is the famous photo that hangs in the PHAFC rooms.
Wearing the Heritage jumper which our 1947 team adorned is a special feeling for the whole group and an honour. Captain Adam Collett had the following to say:

“Power House has a long and proud history in the VAFA so to be able to wear the heritage jumper is a huge privilege for the current playing group.
The heritage jumpers are a great initiative by the club to acknowledge the history of our great club.
I love the historical element of the club and catching up with players from prior years and eras, so it is really special to be able to lead the boys out in the heritage jumper this week to start the 2017 season.
As is always the case at Power House we have had another big influx of new players this year, so for them to immediately be introduced to the history of the club is fantastic as it helps build the link to the past players and those who have been involved in the club in years gone by.
Let’s hope this year’s group of players create their own slice of history for the club!”

If anyone would like to purchase a Heritage PHAFC Guernsey please contact Daniel Buckley – or 0400 304 544. They are available for $75 each.

2016 – PHAFC Season in Review


In a nutshell
The boys believed finals were achievable this season, but a host of injuries and dropping some games to lesser sides saw PHAFC languishing in 9th spot at 4-8. With the news from VAFA that 3 teams would be going down this year it looked as though we were in for a relegation battle if we didn’t lift; and lift we did! With every week a must-win game the boys managed 6 in a row to make the finals for the first time since 2010, they then turned around a 3 qtr time deficit against UHS to storm into the Preliminary Final before eventually going down to the D2 bound Hawthorn.

What we said in the pre-season
We thought that with our best team on the park we could challenge any team. Losing Ben Leske, Rhys Gregory and Ricky Webb was disappointing and the great Dave Burnside’s retirement left a big hole to fill. Nevertheless we were determined to make 2016 a big year, pre-season camp was a great start and the recruitment machine went into overdrive! Finals was always the aim for this season.


PHAFC Boys enjoying the pre-season camp at Lord Somers camp.

What worked
For one, getting youth into the senior team was a key part of the success this season. River Carroll, Ryal Yak, Eddie Nyary, Ben Circosta, Luke Stubbs and the others in this age bracket are what we can build the future senior team around. Also the additions of some likely Irish footballer helped the cause, the ‘Fig’ was a revelation this year and we also saw improved efforts from players like Dec Nannery, Barry Cox, David Kilmartin and Darragh Leonard.

What failed
At times this year we failed to stop the top sides getting a run on, earlier in the season some games were over in the blink of an eye as the opposition slammed on too many unanswered goals. PHAFC will also spend a fair chunk of its pre-season working on its accuracy after its poor goalkicking cost it a couple more wins this year.

Overall rating
B-. In wins and losses it was a tale of two halves. The boys would lament some losses but will also be buoyed by the barnstorming finish to the season winning 7 games in a row at one point, there is still much to work on but season 2016 might be looked back upon as the rebirth of PHAFC.

The coach
Coach Ant Voyage steered the ship beautifully in 2016, by his own admission it was a make or break season for him. Ever the optimist he went back to basics mid-year to arrest the side’s form slump. In his 4th year at the club the coach definitely matured and grew even more into the role. The game plan worked brilliantly for the second half of the year and was clear vindication for all the hard work Ant has put in over the years, both on-field and off-field.

Voyage enjoyed his best year at the club in 2016.

Voyage enjoyed his best year at the club in 2016.

The leaders 
The captaincy once again went to Adam Collet and he led from the front in every game, the leadership group of Ben Circosta, James O’Neill and Aidan Reynolds were also well performed, particularly in the 2 games where Adam was out injured. The leadership group was at all the training sessions and supported their team mates all through the year.

Very hard to call this one! Ben Circosta stepped up this year and played every game, Ryal Yak had a sensational debut year at the club, Euan Edwards trimmed down and was a rock across half back and Adam Collett was his usual dominating self – it’s going to be a fascinating vote count come tomorrow night!

Ryal Yak was a revelation in the 2016 season.

Ryal Yak was a revelation in the 2016 season.

Surprise packet
Dom Mitchell: after 4 years at the club Dom switched to his favourite No.15 and had a breakout year for the club. Dom played every game for the season either in the midfield or on the wing. His run and carry were a crucial part of the team’s performance in the latter half of the year. Dom (along with Adam Collett) was rewarded with selection in the D3 team of the year.

Get excited
River Carrol: River came to us and has had terrific support from the club in finding a new job and a place to call home; in return he delivered an excellent debut year for the club. River played all 20 games and kicked 26 goals, he was a livewire around goal and we look forward to big things from him in 2017.

Luke Stubbs shoulder injury against Hawthorn was one of the low points of the year, the reigning Best & Fairest was taken out by a Hawthorn player and didn’t feature again in the 2016 campaign.

Best win
Elimination Final: UHS 9.14 68(80) defeated by Power House 12.13 (85) @ Garvey Oval
There are so many games that could have been mentioned here, but a come from behind victory in a final takes it! PHAFC were superb in the final quarter of this game led by Nick Nagel who bagged 5 goals.

The House celebrate defeating UHS to advance to the Preliminary final.

The House celebrate defeating UHS to advance to the Preliminary final.

Low point
a Round 10 loss to bottom of the ladder Parkside was definitely the low point, the 5 point defeat really stung as we did everything possible to throw away the game. An inaccurate 7.14 cost us dearly.

The big questions
How will the boys attack the 2017 pre-season after a thrilling end to the year? 
Which of the youngsters/oldies will hold their spots in next year’s best side?
Who can PHAFC recruit over the offseason to bolster the Senior side?

At the Bar with … Reece Humphreys

Reece HumphreysReece Humphreys played 107 games for Power House in a career that spanned 11 seasons between 2003 and 2013. He was a key member of the 2006 Senior Premiership team while also successfully coaching the Reserves that same year to Premiership success. Reece was senior captain in 2010 under Martin Pike and has spent the past two seasons as Senior Assistant Coach supporting Ant Voyage.

Pav: Reece, you’ve been around a while now, how did you first get to Power House?

Reece: A friend of mine Dave Galakos played one season here and was mates with Craig Richardson. When I moved to Port Melbourne in 2003 he told me to give Craig a call and come down to training. It was a great time as my two housemates, Matthew Taylor (Tails) and Damien Glanville also came down and played which was great fun. After a while a few more mates and my cousin (Chris “Dools” Doolan) came down to play and it was an awesome place to be around – playing football with your mates is the best thing you could do which is still noticeable today in the group!

Unfortunately four games into my first season I did my ACL on my left knee and had a reconstruction, missing the rest of the year and came back the following season.

Pav: Ahh Dave Galakos…now he could play.

Reece: He was probably one of the best players ever to play at Power House. An absolute gun player who – by his own choice – never played Seniors at Power House. He must really have loved Richo’s coaching!

Pav: So you walked in to the club when Brett Devlin was coach. What was he like?

Reece: Brett was an intense fella. He actually played at one of my old clubs (Melton South) in the Ballarat League. I later found out that his nick name was ‘Psycho’ which was fitting as he certainly had white line fever! I think we started that year at 3-0 and looked like it was going to be a big year. Unfortunately we had a number of injuries that year and we really fell off.

Pav: And Patrick “Nobby” Haselar was Senior Captain. How did that work for you?

Reece: One of the all-time great blokes. He was a player that didn’t let you down on the field, he gave you everything and you knew he was going to give you 100% in everything he did. I remember having many a chats with him and his enthusiasm was certainly infectious.

Pav: You were kind of a swingman in your playing days, half back to half forward and anywhere in between. Where did you prefer to play?

Reece: I started as a midfielder which is where I enjoyed playing at first. After coming back from the knee reconstruction, I injured my shoulder, came back six weeks later and injured the other shoulder – after that I realised that playing in the midfield was going to be a challenge so ran around as a half back flanker which was fun, although playing with Scratcher was always a challenge when we played as a spare man in defence! The last couple of years I played as a half forward flanker which I really enjoyed bagging a few goals.

Pav: You were injured a fair bit throughout your career. I would say you were unlucky but Patty Arnold thinks you were just soft.

Reece: But yeah, there were a number of injuries as described above. Others included ankles, knees and the usual back related hammy and groin injuries. It got to a point where I was using so much tape to play with both shoulders, ankles and a knee strapped it actually restricted my movement!

I would have loved to be able to play some more but another ACL injury ended it all unfortunately!

Pav: Speaking of Patty Arnold…how do you get on with him. He’s an interesting character…

Reece: Patty Arnold started the same year as me. …He reminded me when we first spoke that we went to school together and I still can’t really remember him….He has done well to win the reserves goal kicking on 23 season goals—a great effort by him!

One thing I do remember of Patty was putting him through the toughest fitness test on the eve of the 2006 grand final and he strained his hamstring on the last drill of the night. It was disappointing for him to miss out but from a coaching perspective meant less selection headache for the game!

Pav: Besides Brett Devlin, you played under a few coaches during your career, Rob Sarosi, Darren Cooper and Martin Pike. We will get to Sarosi in a minute…let’s talk about Coops…but let’s try and keep it short…he’s already got a big enough ego!

Reece: Yes Coops needs no introduction, he can give it all to you himself! He is one of my great mates and one of the best leaders I have had – both on and off the field! His first year of coaching he took us to third and we missed out on the grand final by a 50m goal after the siren to Eltham Collegians. What was most disappointing was the fact that there were four of us in the stands watching the game through injury and were ready to play the following week. Very heartbreaking.

Pav: What about Martin Pike. Was he as tough and hard as his reputation? What was he really like?

Reece: He was tough and scary, particularly when he gave some sprays in the breaks. The biggest thing that stood out for Pikey was that he hated to lose. If we won, he would come up for a beer, but if we lost he would take it very hard. He demanded a lot from his players and he had so much football knowledge that I reckon we only scratched the surface of with him, when he really opened up about his football knowledge it was some of the best stuff that I was ever taught.

I think the hardest thing for him was coming from a structured and professional environment in the AFL the amateur nature of our club was too far removed.

Pav: In your time, you would have seen some great players pull on the famous green white and black. Who really stood out?

Reece: There were a number of great players. In my first few years we had James Marshall from Tasmania who was an amazing player, I think against Syndal he took something like 25 marks. He also brought his brother down in 2003 who had just been delisted by Melbourne Football Club and just wanted to play amateurs with James!

I really don’t want to offend anyone….Paul Edwards was an amazing player, kicked 100 goals in our premiership year and even started a few games as full back! My good mate Matthew Hill was a tough on baller, Tails could certainly play, and Alan Foster was a great mark and tough player, someone I loved playing with…..Damian Boland, Coops, and seeing the player “Ace” Collett has become is great to see!

Pav: Let’s talk about 2006… a great year for the club. A great year for you personally. What do you remember?

Reece: Rob Sarosi coming to the club and bestowing his managerial approach to coaching the team was refreshing and something we needed at the time. We recruited well and Rob was someone who could talk the ear off anyone so was able to generate a lot of excitement for the group.

The seniors actually finished equal top but third on percentage so had to do it the hard way, beating Box Hill North by a few points in the first final, then we smashed Eltham Collegians in the Prelim and our arch rivals Hawthorn in the Grand Final. It was an amazing turn around as we lost to Hawthorn by over 100 points earlier in the year so was very satisfying to win the return match!

In the reserves we lost the first final to Eltham who also reported our captain (Rocket Marshall) who was subsequently suspended for the rest of the finals series. We turned the game around in the grand final by beating Eltham and making it a memorable day and year.

The Youtube clip of Scratcher also makes me smile….

Pav: The way I remember it, you were close to retiring at the end of 2005 after a bad injury and I recall sitting at ET’s pub in High Street Prahran with you and Rob Sarosi with Rob begging you to play and then asking you to coach the Reserves.

Reece: Correct, given my poor injury run over the previous three years, I actually decided not to play at the start of the season and was going to be the Reserves coach only. Rob managed to talk me out of retirement and I think I missed only one game for the year.

I am forever grateful that I was able to win two premiership medallions and will go down as one of the greatest weekends of my life!

Pav: I was Chairman of Selectors that season so I spent plenty of time with you, Sarosi, Glenn Scotland and Darren Cooper in the selection room. We had some “interesting” discussions.

Reece: Selection nights are some of the most interesting nights that can be held, they are fun, tense and very challenging and to tell you the truth they haven’t changed at all in 2016!

One thing I remember in 2006 was the level of pre work by Jason Nicholls with every member of that committee room. He was the consummate “back room politician” ensuring that he had enough votes to make the side in the final as from memory he was coming back from injury and was nervous for his spot!

Pav: We had a fair team back then. Any thoughts on some of your teammates. Let’s see… Alan “Fossy” Foster?

Reece: Fossy was amazing, such a gentle and nice bloke, very casual in his approach, and some of the sharpest elbows going around. He missed a few games with injury but I reckon it was simply to rest his body when it was getting tight.

Pav: What about Preston Miskelly.

Reece: Preston came from nowhere to be a very reliable pack mark in our backline. I think from memory he lost something like 30kgs from the start of preseason to make it into our senior side. Then two years later he was gone!

Pav: Tell me about Matt “Tails” Taylor. He was certainly a character…he could also really play

Reece: It was great to play with Tails. As I mentioned we lived together and are great mates. I used to play against him in the Ballarat League so was awesome to play alongside him.

Off the field he was and still is a funny cat – and on the dance floor his pistol dancing is some of the best stuff you have every seen!

Pav: And Darren Cooper?

Reece: Coops this, Coops that, can we talk about someone else now?!?!….Just kidding, he was captain of our side in 2006 and a great leader. He even won the medal for best on that day which I think we might need to do a re-count!!

Pav: What about Damien Boland. “The Blanket”

Reece: Looking at DB you would think it would be a great day out as he looked about 50 and had zero body fat on him. But to see his opponents demoralised at the end of the fourth quarter was something that we loved to see in the backline. Paul Sosic would always remind the full forwards of this in the most polite way!

Pav: Lastly, Let’s talk about Rob Sarosi. Can you give me your insights?

Reece: Rob Sarosi is a great real estate agent, and he coached our 2006 side….Seriously, he did such a fantastic job in 2006 bringing a club that the year before had only won a handful of games to two premierships is something else. His coaching technique was a little different but it certainly worked!

Personally he was a great mentor for me in 2006 as it was my first year coaching and he really assisted when I needed it.

Pav: You had a fantastic Reserves team that won the flag that year. Tell me about some of the players.

Reece: Did we what! I think we had almost every player in the twos bar one of two at some stage play senior football throughout the year. Where do I start, Chris Stevens in the ruck (he could have been anything) Chris “Bowls” Bowley at centre half forward, Bathy, Neil Seewang at full back and Roachy in the middle, Spudda, Dave Mullen, Nugget, Tim McFarlane, the list goes on!

The best thing about coaching that side was that they genuinely wanted to play for each other and most of all win. There were some really tight games that could have gone either way but running out with the senior side and slapping high fives with all the players was an awesome feeling.

Pav: Rod “Rocket” Marshall was captain…he missed out on the Premiership after being suspended in the Preliminary Final right?

Reece: Yes as mentioned earlier it was one of the most criminal injustices of the last decade. A free kick was not awarded in the incident, the umpires did not see anything, the opposition player managed to play out the game and then a letter was submitted to the VAFA from the players mother. A disgrace!

Pav: How have you seen the club change over your time at the club?

Reece: The club as gone through a massive change which is reflective of society as well. The football club used to be the heart of the community, but these days, there are plenty of other activities and hobbies for people to choose. The playing group we have right now have a real sense of community, which is something that has been missing the past few years, and no surprise it is being reflected by the way we are now playing.

What I also love about Power House, is that we know that the players really WANT to be there…which is what makes us a great club.

Pav: How is life as Assistant Coach working with Ant Voyage as the current Senior Coach?

Reece: Ant has a great passion for football and wants to succeed so much. He is a genuine person who in his four years here still has so much respect of the playing group. It is infectious being with him and I love being a part of the coaching staff with him (although sometimes have to calm him down!!!).

During the games I throw ideas at him and some of them stick some of them don’t (when they do I certainly take credit from him), but all in all, we do work well together and I back him 100%. He tries to squeeze as much out of the playing group as possible and I am so happy for him that we are playing finals this year.

I would have loved to have seen him play, as he tells me how good he used to be…..

Pav: Thanks Reece for your time…




HOUSE make it 4 in a row to storm into top 6!

Saturday was one of those dream days in football where everything just goes to plan! It all started with the Reserves having a thumping win over their Canterbury counterparts, the boys put the game to bed with a 10 goals to 1 first half. Patty Arnold was in vintage form kicking 7 goals while Dan Stuart played his best game for the club in defence marking everything that came his way. The end result was a 70 point thumping to the PHAFC boys and the song was sang with gusto.

An interesting stat on the day was that 14 of 22 players were Irish, there may be a movement to add a Shamrock to the playing jumper if this keeps up! Or perhaps a change of club logo?????


The main event was one of the most important games for the club in many a year, it was a chance to move into the top 6 and also Captain Adam Collett’s 150th game; and as Brian Taylor would say “Boy oh boy” did they rise to the challenge!

Canterbury were fast out of the blocks with 5 majors, but the PHAFC boys reeled them in to face a 16 point half time deficit. The 2nd term saw the House kick 6 goals to 3 to lead by 15 at the long break.

Coach Voyage implored his team to stay the course at half time; but a big 3rd term by Canterbury meant the fellas were 5 points down at the last change. Things didn’t look to good as Canterbury Scored the first goal and then turned the game into a ‘stoppage fest’; and with 8 minutes to go the game looked to be slipping away as the House trailed by 13 points. It was at this point that something clicked and the boys found another gear, the next 6 minutes saw PHAFC slam on 5 unanswered goals which had the local crowd screaming pure bloody ecstasy!

Nick Nagel was the star with 8 goals, Adam Collett was brilliant in his 150th and kicked 3 (including a goal late in the game to seal the deal), River Carroll was enormous with 3 goals of his own; but one of the highlights of the day was Paddy Barrett sneaking forward and kicking his first every Senior goal in 10 years at the club (also his first goal since 2011), it was a sight to behold as the boys all got around him.

It was a fantastic day for the club and a really meaningful performance as we stormed into the top 6, with matches against the 2 bottom teams to come we will be expecting to play finals for the first time since the 2010 Martin Pike era.

The boys kicked on in the night as we celebrated in style with the club’s 80’s night; see below for some photos of the magic day!


Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4
Power House AFC 3.1-19 9.3-57 12.4-76 17.6-108
Canterbury Football Club 5.5-35 6.6-42 12.9-81 13.12-90
Goal Kickers: N. Nagel 8, R. Carroll 3, A. Collett 3, B. Cox, P. Barrett, J. Theofanis
Best Players: N. Nagel, R. Carroll, A. Collett, R. Yak, J. O”Neil, J. Haynes

Match ball presented by President Nic Pavlou to Captain Adam Collett in his 150th game.



President update!

Half way through Season 2016 and it’s probably a good time to take stock of what’s been happening at the club.

On the field the injuries continue to pile up including a large group of key players.  Despite this, the Seniors are making a charge for finals football for the first time under coach Ant Voyage. Some tight pressure and intense football has seen the team push the top side to within a goal and knock off top 4 teams and finals aspirants.

The Reserves have struggled of late but have been playing with heart and effort. They will miss the finals for the first time in many years but continue to play good solid football despite being undermanned at times.

One positive aspect of the season so far has been the form of some of our younger players who are now starting to establish themselves in the Senior team and have impact in crucial games. A great sign for the future.

Off the field we have seen a couple of big events. The 2006 Senior and Reserve Premiership Reunions took place and were extremely well attended with in excess of 80 premiership players, past players and friends turning the event I to one of the best players days in the clubs history.

In the coming weeks we will be holding the now famous Chug-a-Lug Vote Count night on  Saturday  20 August 2016 at the club rooms following our last game.

The 2016 Presentation Night will be held shortly after – please keep an eye out for details.

This will be another night not to be missed with the presentation of the best and fairest awards  Keith “ Bluey” Truscott Award (seniors), Wal Davie Award (Reserves) , Bob Peters Most Determined and Don McDonald Best Clubman trophies as well as the prestigious Peter Hutchinson Medal.

I look forward to catching up with you down at the club supporting the boys or at one of the big social events coming up.

Tear ‘em down


Power House storm back into Finals contention with thrilling 4 point victory!

For those that were there on Saturday afternoon it was an absolute nail-biter.. thankfully the House held on to defeat Albert Park by 4 points in a thrilling finish. The House led by as much as 27 points in the final term before a Albert Park staged a fight back.

Best on ground for PHAFC was veteran Darren Baker who took home the Lakeside Medal, Nick Nagel made his long awaited debut after being injured all year and hit the scoreboard with 4 goals. Big man Steve Devine was also huge in his 100th game and was chaired off with a grin after the final siren.

The Reserves tried hard and were undermanned – but lost their run after half time and suffered a heavy defeat, but the day was all about the Seniors and their gutsy victory…. most importantly the Lakeside Cup was retrained!!

See below for all the numbers and some photos of the day.


Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4
Albert Park AFC 5.1-31 7.4-46 10.6-66 14.8-92
Power House AFC 4.2-26 6.6-42 11.9-75 14.12-96
Goal Kickers: N. Nagel 4, R. Carroll 3, B. Cox, D. Baker, S. Devine, J. Theofanis, R. Yak, P. Mackney, A. Collett
Best Players: D. Baker, R. Carroll, A. Collett, R. Yak, N. Nagel, S. Devine
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At the Bar with the Pres – Stuart “Marv” Craven

Stuart “Marv” Craven

Stuart “Marv” Craven joined Power House in 1996 and played 111 games in 6 seasons.

He won 2 Senior Best and Fairest awards (2000/01), was Senior Captain from 1998 to 2001 and was Captain of the 2000 Premiership Team.

He won the goal kicking at Power House 5 times and the competition goal kicking three times. The VAFA D3 League Goal Kicking Award was named in his honour.

The ultimate leader and key target, at times the game revolved around him.

Marv sat down with Pav to talk about his time at the Club

Pav: Marv, You finished your playing career on a high in 2001 captaining the Club and winning your second Best and Fairest award. You seemed on top of your game at the time. Why did you go? Where did you go?

Craven: I don’t know about it being that much of a high – we went winless that season! My reasons for leaving were life related, certainly not football related. I had just got married to the lovely Kaz & we’d decided that since our nightclubbing days were behind us we might head down the coast & enjoy a quieter lifestyle. We chose Drysdale on the Bellarine Peninsula, the perfect place to raise a family.

Pav: You came down in 1996. I remember your first training session on an oval somewhere in Princess Park Carlton. Peter Olivieri had just been appointed coach. You signed the paperwork that night?

Craven: (I think Cheery had been there a year or 2 already) I don’t remember exactly but that sounds about right. It was definitely Princess Park as we had been kicked off the Ross Gregory for the Grand Prix.

Pav: So why Power House? How did you land at the Ross Gregory?

Craven: The Great Anton Staindl lured me & the legendary ‘John McGrath from the footy club’ to the House. We were good mates & had been since high school. We’d been living in Melbourne for a while but still playing footy in Warragul & had had enough of the travelling. Anton spoke very highly of the social atmosphere at Powerhouse so we couldn’t get there fast enough.

When I arrived in 1996 to join the great Anton Staindl, my good friend John McGrath and I had to sit out the first couple of games due to clearance issues & struggled to come to terms with the no drinking during the senior game rule.

We were playing at Yarra Park just near the MCG & the Tennis Centre at the time due to the Ross Gregory being used for the Grand Prix. I remember me & Macca turning up carrying Myer bags so we looked like we were just stopping off on our way home from shopping. The reality was that the bags were full of VB cans & ice. Worked like a charm!

Pav: You mentioned Yarra Park…we were there for only a couple of seasons while the Grand Prix track was being built. It was a big ground to play on. What can you remember?

Craven: I loved playing at Yarra Park, the MCG crowd would roll in & have a look at us on the way through, Thursday nights we’d be trapped having drinks in the rooms waiting for a Neil Diamond concert or something to finish, & you could catch public transport so .05 wasn’t an issue. Training was always a social occasion, never leaving the rooms til after midnight. After a short amount of time it really did feel like home at Powerhouse & that’s pretty much how I felt until I left at the end of 2001.

Pav: What did you think of the move back home to the Ross Gregory?

Craven: The Ross Gregory at Albert Park which was quite a different venue but just as enjoyable. Socially it was quite an extraordinary time with every function an event. Gambling Nights, Karaoke, Mystery Bus Tours, Talent Nights, Trivia Nights, Balls, Parties, After Parties, Sunday Sessions life was pretty much one big party! We played some really good footy too.

Pav: Ahh…The football…I knew we would eventually get there…You had to wait a while but do you remember your first game?

Craven: The first game I played was against traditional rivals Peninsula & they beat us by 30 goals. I started to wonder what I had got myself into. After 5 rounds we had played a traditional rival every week, I realised that we hated everyone!

Pav: You played under 3 coaches, the fiery Peter Olivieri, the intense Kevin Barnes and the laid back Peter O’Connor. How do you rate them?

Craven: They were all excellent coaches but could not have been any more different. Cheery Oliveri was all fire & brimstone & could really get your heart pumping with a big half time address. I saw him smash mirrors, kick buckets of water flying, one halftime speech he gave the umpire a huge bake calling him every name under the sun, problem was the ump was standing right behind him waiting to get past! Cheery only had about 3 sayings he just used them over & over – If I hear the one about the good horse one more time!

Kev was brilliant & I’m sure that’s not a word that is often used to describe him but he is my favourite coach of all time. He really understood the players, had a few simple key rules & just drummed them into us. There were a few blokes in that team who needed it kept real simple so Kev would have a meeting on the ground before each game with the playing group & he would have messages written on big bits of butcher’s paper. Problem was Kev was a lousy speller. One day he got to the end of his address, turned over the last piece of paper & in huge writing it said “BELIEVE IN YOURSELFS!” Pure Gold!

Pearl O’Connor was just a sensational bloke – maybe too nice. It’s a bit hard to rate him as we only had the one year together & didn’t win a game. That may have been my fault. I made a deal with God during the 3rd quarter of the 2000 GF – Let me win this one & I don’t care if I never win another game. Well, a deals a deal & I wouldn’t change a thing!

Pav: When you arrived, a quiet young wingman by the name of Francis Doyle was Club Captain. You shortly moved him on and assumed the mantle yourself. Leadership is sometimes overrated but you became a great on and off field leader. Did you enjoy it and did you understand the impact you had on the club?

Craven: Well I didn’t think it was fair that someone who struggled so much with the basic skill of kicking a drop punt should also be burdened with the pressure of captaincy, so with Frankies blessing he handed me the captaincy at the start of 1998. I absolutely loved being captain & it certainly made me a better player. It wasn’t a tough job in any way, I had a great bunch of players working with me & we all played really hard on & off the field & seriously we could not have had more fun if we tried.

Pav: What about Craig “Scamp” MacFarlane. You were polar opposites in personalities but he quickly became one of your best mates. Tell me a little about your time at the club when Scamp was President.

Craven: I’m kind of glad to hear you say that me & Scamp are polar opposites because he is one weird little dude. Seriously have you seen the way he always folds his hanky? Did you know he’s scared of elevators? And how tight is he? We were out for dinner the other night & he brought a bottle of wine – with two glasses out of it! Unbelievable! But somehow through all that he is a fantastic bloke & still remains one of my great mates. The highlight of his presidency would have to be the night he’d had a few too many & fell asleep on a table in the clubrooms – it was about 8.30! So we tied him to the table with a heap of streamers, then decorated him with a stack of balloons, picked him up table & all & carried him to the middle of the ground. We then turned all the lights & sprinklers on & stood on the balcony & waited for him to wake up. Priceless!

Pav: You also did alright with a microphone in your hand. Your legendary sessions at the Arcadia Hotel and as lead singer of the Piranha’s Band. Still love to belt out a tune?

Craven: Unfortunately yes I do. It’s a strange condition I suffer from which, after a couple of beers,  I can’t control. I know full well I’m not very good but I just can’t help myself…”Pleased to meet you…won’t you guess my name…Woo hoo…”

Pav: The club spent a fortune on sports tape while you were there. At times you looked like an Egyptian Mummy all bandaged up. Talk us through the injuries and challenges playing each week.

Craven: Ha ha. Yes it was a bit of a battle, probably looked worse than it was though. I was a big believer in prevention so if it was sore I’d just strap the hell out of it. My ankles were the first to go & I simply couldn’t play without strapping them, my knees were both shot by the time I got to the ‘House so I wore braces to keep them warm – got me through til mid 2003 when the left one went completely. I popped my shoulder out in a game in ’99 so strapped that from then on, my fingers were broken & bent so I’d tape them up to keep them straight mainly. It was pretty sad really but I just loved playing so I did what I had to do – it worked too –  I only missed one game in six years & that was for a wedding!

Pav: Is there a single most satisfying moment in your time at the club?

Craven: The 3 victories at Trivia nights were special, winning first place at the Talent Night was big, having my own pewter mug behind the bar at the Arcadia was a real honour, but without question winning the 2000 Premiership was as good as it gets. It was the only flag I ever won, I got to share it with some of the best mates you could ever wish for & to top it off I was the captain. In my first year (1996) we lost the GF after being in a pretty good position (who’s on Hazell!!) so that burned for four years & to get redemption was important. Not only is that easily my most satisfying moment at the club it is one of the best moments of my life.

Pav: In 1996, the team played in the Grand Final. What do you remember?

Craven: In 1996 we should have won the flag with great players like Freddy Phelan, Flash, Rod Devlin, Tim Friend, Fish Clayton, Little Robbo, Richo & Jimmy Hall just to name a few. After losing by 30 goals in my first game we turned the tables on Peninsula in the Semi in one of the best wins of my career to progress straight to the Granny. No. 1 ruckman Rod Devlin did his knee in the last home & away game, so we went into the Grand Final with No. 2 ruckman Doc Morris who broke his ribs in the first quarter of the Grand Final leaving Flash to do the ruckwork. We started like a house on fire & were 5 goals up just before ¾ time.

Flash ran out of puff & I ended up in the ruck & our opponents, Salesian, got on a massive roll & finished all over the top of us. Mick Hazell from Salesian was best on ground & played so well he got drafted to Collingwood! That loss seriously hurt but at the time I thought we’d just get it back next year.

Things didn’t work out that way & our form dropped off a fair bit in 1997. We still had some pretty good players but Freddy’s strings kept twanging & we really missed Tiger Devlin & I think we got bundled out of the finals in week one by our old nemesis Peninsula.

Pav: 1998 was the beginning of the build up to the flag in 2000?

Craven: I’m not sure it was a “build up” but you’re asking the questions! In 1998 we were middle of the road, Southbank had been relegated to our division & they were big & tough & good! I got flattened behind the play at one stage & the guy who did it was standing over me going “You’re not so tough now are you big guy?” & all I could think was “I never said I was tough, this guy’s got me confused with someone else!”

Pav: Probably Richo?

Craven: Yes probably… he seemed to get belted every week!…Stop interrupting me…

Anyway, as I was saying…in one legendary game we really stunk it up & got beaten by St. Mary’s who were not a particularly good team. Doc got sent off & completely lost his marbles – it was quite surreal watching your gun CHB driving out of the ground half way through the third quarter! After the game it was decided that we needed a team meeting during which the aptly named ‘Piggy’ Jackson uttered the immortal words “Who the f@*k is Anton?!?” It was Round 8 & Anton had been called up to the Seniors & Piggy had never laid eyes on him before – fair to say Anton was not the most enthusiastic trainer! It was Cheery Oliveri’s last year & he had lost the players a bit so it was certainly time for a change.

Pav: So it’s 1999 and in walks Kevin Barnes and his “Bible”

Craven: The arrival of Kevin Barnes changed the team. He was a no-nonsense guy with a simple method of coaching that suited us to a tee. He also introduced a level of professionalism we hadn’t seen before. After one particular incident involving Rod Devlin he banned drinking before training – unheard of! We also welcomed some pretty handy recruits, ‘Sticks’ Harris in the ruck, the Burt boys, Bandit, Lloydy, Rolls & Smithers. We had started to form the nucleus of a good side but still had a way to go & just missed out on playing finals. The Bible was legendary!

Pav: So…2000?

Craven: The following year in 2000 things really started coming together. We picked up some more quality recruits in Ben Rampling from Barooga, Blair Turner from Tasmania & a freakish goal kicker named Darren Searle. Searley was one of those really unattractive footballers – long sleeves, socks down, baggy shorts. I don’t think he ever took an overhead mark but he just kept kicking goals – around the corner, over his head, off the ground, it didn’t matter!

I’d had a poor year in 1999 so I lost a heap of weight & got a bit fitter & moved out to CHF & we had the luxury of Lloydy in a pocket & little Robbo on a flank & all of a sudden we had some serious firepower. But it was down back that we had a real edge – Junior, Doc, Frankie, Blair, Wrighty & Smithers – unbeatable! So the pieces of the puzzle had all fallen into place & we played off in the Grand Final against Williamstown.

Pav: The 2000 Grand Final…now that was a day to remember!

Craven: Williamstown had a star full-forward called Dumbo Williams who won the league medal & kicked 126 goals but we had Doc Morris who simply toweled him up every time we played them. It was the same story in the GF & with Rolls dominating the clearances, Lloydy wreaking havoc up forward & Little Robbo playing the game of his life, the dream had become a reality – Powerhouse were premiers!

Pav: Were you emotional? Did you cry?

Craven: I was certainly emotional, but I didn’t cry. I actually went into the game quietly confident that we’d win & the match played out pretty much how I thought it would. There’s an old saying “Forwards win you games but backmen win you premierships” & our backline was unbelievable. After the game it was just pure joy, to share that experience with some truly great mates was very special. One lasting memory is standing in the showers with Lloydy & Smithers, having a beer & singing a beautiful operatic version of our epic theme song. It really was euphoric.

Pav: What does the club mean to you?

Craven: Powerhouse is such a unique place, I guarantee there is not another club like it anywhere. I have played at a few clubs & never enjoyed my footy like I did at the ‘House. I think it comes from how it attracts it’s players. There’s no attachment to a school or suburb it’s just mates of mates & that pretty much ensure that only good people end up there. Weird, wonderful & from all walks of life but on the whole, genuine, generous & down to earth. Work hard, train hard, play hard & party hard – a truly unique organisation that I love dearly.

Pav: You rank highly as one of the great clubmen of Power House. Who did you rate as a great clubman?

Craven: Well there are so many & there’s no chance I’ll single out just one. I loved the old boys Harry South & Hutchy, & Jeffy Scotland was a huge presence when I first arrived. ‘Doc’ Morris gave extraordinary service over a long time, Richo did his best work after I left I think – he was more of a nuisance while I was there,  but without doubt in my time it was Crossy & Scamp. Those two worked tirelessly (well Scamp used to get a bit tired sometimes!) & oversaw a great culture at the club which enabled us to achieve success. I have never seen committeeman play such a part in a premiership as those two did in 2000.

Pav: Your mate Craig Richardson said that midfielders made forwards…any thoughts on Richo?

Craven: Richo was a legend, if I could play football alongside him every day I would be happy. Of course he could really play but it was the joking & sledging & carrying on that made it so enjoyable. Was he fat or barrel-chested? I’m not sure. We swapped roles one day, I played on-ball & he played full forward. Would have worked too but he kicked 1.5 & then went off with a busted nose. Why did people always punch him in the nose?

Pav: What about other midfielders…who did you rate?

Craven: The angry ant Jimmy Hall was a ripper, used to brag about being a trained assassin until I bloodied his nose at the Arc one night. Andrew Rolls was a star, very underrated but invaluable in the clinches – I think he had 18 handballs in the GF. Ben Rampling was all class but the best I saw at the ‘House was Darren ‘Bandit’ Cross. Only played one year, romped home in the B&F, & could seriously do it all, beautifull singing voice too!

Pav: Do you still manage to catch up with your old Power House mates?

Craven: Yes I do quite regularly. I make sure I get down to at least one game a year, usually a past players lunch & catch up with Scotty, Doc, Frankie, Junior, Big & Little Robbo, Smithers, Freddy, Warde, Nugget, Jimmy, Gary Dean etc. Of course I see Lloydy way too much, I still lock horns regularly with Dave & Anton, I’m always in contact with Crossy & Scamp & once a year we have a weekend with Kev Barnes down at Sandy Point which is great. There is no doubt that the friends I made in my time at Powerhouse will be friends for life.

I was amazingly lucky in my six years at Powerhouse to enjoy on field success but it was the pure enjoyment of playing alongside some extraordinary teammates that gave me the greatest pleasure. Freddy Phelan, Flash McCoullough, Jeff Scotland, Richo, Fishy Clayton, Bandit Cross, Shane Cross, Andrew Rolls, Lloydy, Smithers, Johnny Junior, Rod Devlin, Little Robbo, Doc Morris, Frankie Doyle, Ben Rampling, Darren Wright, Jimmy Hall, Searley, Scamp, Swampy Maddox, Mark Braini (remember the talent night where he was lead singer of the Supremes & a bit of his anatomy popped out the leg of his leotard?) Warde Elliot, Anton, Jamo, Nugget, Johnny Hearn & The Danskas – those great guys from Denmark. It was a very special time for me & both on & off the field those blokes were just legends.

Pav: Lastly, any advice for the current group of Power House players?

Craven: My advice would be very simple – give it all you’ve got. You play football for 2 reasons, to test yourself & to have fun & if you don’t give it everything you are pretty much wasting your time. Get involved on & off the field, be a leader, get your mates involved, get your partner involved & experience everything that Powerhouse has to offer. It’s a wonderful, unique club & without doubt the more you put in, the more you will get out.

Pav: Thanks Marv, always a pleasure to catch up and relive the past with one of the all-time good guys at Power House. Expect to see you down at the club this season at the past players reunion…and this time you need to drag Scamp along to pay for a drink or two!

Craven: Ha Ha – I wouldn’t hold your breath! As always I will be looking forward to it. Thanks Pav & good luck to everyone at the ‘House in 2016.

Match Report – Round 4 v UHS

It was a case of ‘should of, could of’ last weekend as both the PHAFC teams went down in the last quarter when they had the chance to win the game. Making matters worse was a long injury list from the seniors game including Luke Stubbs and Charlies Betts who will miss this week. UHS’ Brens Oval has not been a happy hunting ground for us in recent years and last week wasn’t any different.
For the Reserves newcomer Jay Rowe tried hard all day and kicked a couple, Patty Arnold was wasteful in front of goal and another newcomer Jordan Hayne was a solid contributor.
For the Seniors River Carroll was the star with 3 goals as he threw himself into everything, Grant Murphy relished his senior opportunity and the ever reliable Darren Baker was everywhere.


Uhs-Vu Afc 2.3-15 5.8-38 7.9-51 15.9-99
Power House AFC 1.2-8 1.3-9 7.10-52 9.14-68
Goal Kickers: R. Carroll 3, L. Stubbs 2, F. O”deasmhunaigh, L. Johnston, E. Edwards, D. Baker
Best Players: R. Carroll, E. Edwards, F. O”deasmhunaigh, G. Murphy, E. Nyary, D. Baker
Uhs-Vu Afc 4.0-24 5.0-30 8.2-50 9.4-58
Power House AFC 0.1-1 4.4-28 5.5-35 7.6-48


Goal Kickers: J. Rowe 2, P. Arnold 2, D. Nannery, J. Haynes, J. Huf
Best Players: D. Nannery, J. Rowe, B. Cox, J. Haynes, D. Stuart, J. Cheney

Round 1 v Aquinas – Match Reports

Round 1 v Aquinas

What a huge way to start off the year! The Reserves were unlucky to lose after being in the game all day, but the real win was the Seniors getting the 4 points and getting their season off to a flyer against one of the early flag favourites!

There were 15 new players across the 2 teams and the solid pre season and hard work was on show as PHAFC played quick and free flowing football. New players Ryal Yak and River Carroll injected some much needed pace and youth into the senior team while Adam Collett and Ben Circosta were again dominant in the midfield. Big Bad Leroy Johnston made a welcome return to the House with 4 Majors and Ant Stubbs relished a new role at Full back. Overall it was a great team performance and we go into this weeks game against Canterbury with great confidence and momentum.


Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4
Power House AFC 1.4-10 7.7-49 10.8-68 12.11-83
Aquinas OC 3.3-21 5.7-37 8.10-58 9.13-67
Goal Kickers: L. Johnston 4, S. Devine 2, R. Carroll 2, A. Collett 2, B. Murray, L. Stubbs
Best Players: R. Yak, S. Devine, B. Circosta, A. Collett, S.McLEod, A. Stubbs


For the Reserves it was very much an arm wrestle all day. many players were playing their first game for the club but we came out fired up and ready. Patty Arnold was a late inclusion and showed his value with 4 goals, there were also about 10 dropped marks but we won’t mention that!!! Nick Jeffrey was Eddie Betts like with his goal sneaking and Daniel Buckley – now a power backman was cleaning up everything in the backline and managed to sneak forward for a late goal. But it was Barry Cox who was the star of the day, he literally had the ball on a string and must of had 25 kicks with clearance after clearance.

The boys were disappointed with the narrow 8 point loss but we will endeavour to get on the winners list against a promoted Canterbury team

All in all it was a great day for the club and the family day went fantastically, thanks to all those who helped out! Power House is a great family and community club, this was evident as the Umpire ended up taking out the meat tray!!!

See you all next week. GO HOUSE!


Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4
Power House AFC 4.2-26 7.5-47 8.5-53 9.8-62
Aquinas OC 4.1-25 7.2-44 10.3-63 11.4-70

Goal Kickers: N. Jeffrey 4, P. Arnold 4, D. Buckley
Best Players: P. Arnold, G. Cleary, T. O”Sullivan, D. Buckley, N. Jeffrey, B. Cox


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