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…




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.

At The Bar with Richo

This is the first article in a series of interviews with PHAFC club legends.

Craig Richardson- 253 games, 1993-2008

Craig “Richo” Richardson played 253 games for Power House in a stellar career between 1993 and 2008. He is a dual premiership player, former President, Coach, and Life Member and was awarded the prestigious VAFA Certificate of Merit Award in 2011. Now a settled family man with twin daughters Millie and Emma and wife Tracey, Richo sat down with “The Pres” to chat about his time at The House and talk about some of the best players he had ever seen during this time.

Richo with one of his trademark rousing speeches!

Richo with one of his trademark rousing speeches!

Pav: Richo, you were one of the all-time greats of the club. Most of today’s playing group wouldn’t remember you on the field. A prolific midfielder, a dynamite left foot, arguably the best kick the club has ever seen.   You finished your playing career at Power House in 2008. How do you spend your Saturdays now?

Richo: Let’s get something right straight away, footy is a hobby, not a career. Now, as a father of twin daughters coming up on 15 months old, I spend most Saturday’s now baby sitting whilst watching the footy and the races on Foxtel and sneaking in a couple of special cokes from time to time.

Pav: You were awarded quite a few honours in your time at the House including Life Membership and the VAFA Certificate of Merit. What do those awards mean to you?

Richo: Plenty, I played footy ‘for keeps’ with my more than strong competitive spirit and it meant everything to me in my playing days and be lucky enough to win a few Premierships along the way both prior and during my days at Power House, which were the ultimate for me. However, to be recognised firstly the club with my Life Membership was something I never expected but it means the world to me that my peers respected myself enough to award me with such an honour and to know that I now get into all home games for free is the added bonus.

Regarding the VAFA award, I was tricked into attending the function by yourself at the MCG only then to be awarded a services to football award in front of the entire VAFA community. Looking back this is something I am very proud of and that I could contribute not only Power House Football Club but have a lasting effect on the people involved within both our club and the greater local football community, more specifically the VAFA, is something I cherish greatly.

Pav: You rocked into the club in 1993…and you were well in to your 20’s at that stage. Where were you before and what were brought you here?

Richo: I was 26 and had played at various clubs at various levels since starting my senior playing days in 1985 at 17 years of age. My first Senior club was the Wangaratta Magpies playing in the Ovens and Murray League, then onto Richmond at Under 19 and Reserve level, back to Wangaratta once they realised I was no good (please note Richmond have been no good themselves since they got rid of me!), then onto Caulfield Bears, then Daysdale in the NSW Riverina, then back to Melbourne to play with Camberwell in the old VFA Division 1 and lastly after Camberwell folded under financial pressure I played for Pearcedale in the MPFL for a couple of seasons, before I saw the light under severe pressure from the likes of lifetime friends Doc Morris and Peter Graham convincing me to play for the House under Jeff Scotland in ’93. I think my sign on bonus was a couple of free pots, which was enough to convince me I was at the right club finally!

Pav: OK, so you have always said that forwards are all glamour and no substance. I know you saw quite a few in your time at the House. Can you tell me who you think who were the standout forwards in your time?

Richo: Don’t ever believe what others tell you, backman play in the backline because they have no skill and need a forward to show them where the ball is… Ruckman are just tall but dumb and on ballers make them look good…and forwards are the recipients of the onballers hard work and skill. That’s footy in a nutshell.

But Power House has had some seriously good forwards over the past 20 years or so.

Just to name number of them in no particular order is as follows:

Craven, Robinson, Pavlou, Edwards, McCullough, Phelan, Ford, Cooper, both Galakos and Searle for 1 year each and even Lloydy when not injured.

Pav: That’s quite a list. Can you take me through some of them and how you saw them?

Richo: Sure, Let’s start with Stuart Craven.

Pav: OK, Let’s see, he played 111 games won 2 Senior Best and Fairest awards (2001/02), was Senior Captain from 1998 to 2001 and he was Captain of the 2000 Premiership Team. A fair CV?

Richo: He also kicked countless goals. He was the complete forward who kicked goals with relentless regularity. During his time, he was the heart and soul of the club. You forgot to mention that he won the goal kicking at Power House 4 times and the competition goal kicking twice and the VAFA D3 League Goal Kicking Award is actually named after him. His biggest asset he brought to the club however was off the field on a Saturday night. Whenever he could, he would grab a microphone and start singing with regular live appearances at the Arcadia Hotel on a Saturday night from midnight onwards. He wasn’t bad either!

The complete player and the complete clubman. For those of us playing on the ball, he was a fantastic target to kick to especially with his ability to time his marking with his great hands.

Pav: Who was his little mate that won the V.B. Zanin Medal for Best on Ground in the 2000 Grand Final?

Richo: That was Andrew Robinson or “Little Robbo” as we still call him. He was really a midfielder but given competition to get on the ball was tough, Little Robbo played up forward for a fair percentage of his time, kicking 50+ goals in a season on 3 or more occasions. He came to the club shortly after I got there, also from Wangaratta, (Rovers) and played all over the place but will always be remembered for his efforts in the 2000 Grand Final where he won the Norm Smith Medal for BOG. He was a small forward that didn’t really crumb but found space and was a great foil for Marv and tall forwards. He was so hard to match up on, he had pace and could always find the ball. Plus he was a left footer!

Pav: Since you mentioned them what about Lloydy and Freddy

Richo: Well, both Lloydy (Chris Lloyd) and Freddy (Paul Phelan) only had fairly brief playing days at the club and due to injuries and never really showed us their full potential – but trust me when they were 80% or better on the day the could both really could play. Both were deceptively tall at 6.3, fast running, high leaping half forwards (Freddy also had great elbows) that marked everything. As mentioned, they both spent plenty of time in the injury room.

Pav: Since we are talking about that era, what about “Flash”? He went all right?

Richo: Gordon McCoullough or “Flash” as he was affectionately known, was an extraordinary footballer blessed with incredible size, a vice like grip and a healthy ego. He didn’t play for very long but his impact on the ground and on the club as a whole at the time was huge. His big game performances stood out during our 4 year finals run in the mid 90’s. He and Stuie Craven used to “wax’ taking hangers during games. You should know…their instructions to you during games were to kick it up high in their general direction and they would do the rest. Talking about you….

Pav:- Oh…here we go.

Richo: You were one of the best forwards in the clubs history. We shouldn’t avoid that. What, you kicked over 400 goals in your career? And you did kick 15 in one game….

Pav: Keep talking, my favourite subject is talking about my career, the famous #3 at Power House…and by the way…it would have been 20 in that game… but you kept me on the bench for 15 minutes in the second quarter when I was on fire.

Richo: If you had of handballed to your teammates more often (or at least once) I might not have had to drag you so much! In all seriousness, you were the first of the modern day “swingman” at the club though. You played at both ends of the ground and coaches used you to plug holes or go forward and kick goals when we needed them. You certainly knew how to find the footy…elusive and clever on both sides.

Pav: It was hard getting a kick in some of the forward lines in our era…Trying to negotiate the talent and ego’s around me!…But let’s move on, what about “Fordy”…1993 Senior Best and Fairest.

Richo: Ahhh…Peter Ford. The 1990’s version of Nick Reiwoldt. “Fordy” came to Power House with a great reputation and certainly lived up to the hype. He was a tall, lean and super fit centre half forward he dominated the forward line with flair and high marking…and a 90’s mullet.

Pav: OK, if I mentioned the name Paul Edwards to you, what would that mean?

Richo: He did it all. Premierships, Best and Fairest awards, 100 goals seasons, Club Captain…he was really good.

Pav: He won 3 Best and Fairests…

Richo: He was the best forward at Power House since 2000 onwards. Big, incredibly strong, tough and durable, “Edo” kicked 100 goals in our Premiership year of 2006. Off the field, he was a quiet and humble guy. Edo was a dominant presence in the goal square kicking more than 400 goals in his 100 or so games and don’t forget he played a good percentage of these at full back, probably his best position. He now has now played in excess of 300 VAFA games when combining his time at his home club of Therry Penola.

Pav: And Darren Cooper? He won flags and best and fairests too?

Richo: Another forward that could play anywhere, given his best position when younger was at full back. Coops, also arrived at the club late in his playing days, but through really high levels of fitness and the ability to really push himself, he too excelled up forward. He won the White Medal for BOG in the 2006 Grand Final at centre half forward. He simply ran his opponents into the ground and with a brilliant ability to take an over head mark made him a very tough opponent to match up on.

Pav: Tell me about Dave Galakos. You always rated him

Richo: He was close to the best player I’ve seen at Power House. In just one season (2000) where he didn’t even play a senior game, (Galakos only wanted to play Reserves), he managed in 13 games to kick 80+ goals playing as a forward pocket/on baller. His attack on the ball and opponent had to be seen to really appreciate but don’t forget, this guy was good enough to play for the Western Bulldogs in the AFL for 3 years.

He didn’t pay Senior footy simply because he didn’t want to train. If he trained that would mean he would miss his favourite TV show at the time, Dawson’s Creek. He did bring a very healthy social attitude to the club in his brief time with us.

Pav: I played with him, he was a freak!

What about Darren Searle, a fair record, 1 season, 100+ goals and a Premiership…he came, he saw, he conquered…and we never saw him again.

Richo: Searley, has any one seen him since? What a bizarre player and person. No doubt he was blessed with extreme talent, in fact, if you did stats on his 2000 season 100+ goals, I think you would find almost 40% of them would have been from kicks off the ground. Unbelievable talent, its just a pity he came to us at age 36 and not 26 !

Pav: Just a couple of questions before we wind this up. Firstly, I once spoke with Jimmy Hall and he said from the minute he retired, he never missed playing again…he was done. Do you miss playing?
Richo: Not for a minute. I played some 380 Senior games of footy in my time, so by the time I played my last year out in the Reserves, having a ball mind you, I was done and I wanted play until I was 40 and I did that so when I struggled to get a kick in my last game (1st Semi final) in ’08 I knew my time was up.

Pav: And speaking of past players, do you still manage to catch up with your old Power House mates?

Richo: As often as I can. My mates are everything to me and when asked what is the best part of playing footy, I always respond with ‘playing with my mates on and off the field’ is clearly the best part.

So now with kids, I cant wait to teach them the benefits of playing team sports and making lifelong friendships.

Pav: That’s a little too deep Richo…You’ve been exceptional player for the club, a fantastic leader as a Coach and President and someone the club holds in very high regard. Your impact on the club has been huge. You should be proud of what you achieved at Power House. Thanks for your time and we will see you pushing the pram at the next Past Players function.

Richo after the 2006 Premiership win.

Richo after the 2006 Premiership win.




Welcome to the Power House Amateur Football Club

Nic Pavlou – President

Hi Crew,

Welcome to 2019 and hope you all had a great Festive Season and New Year.

2019 is shaping up to be another big year at the Ross Gregory with pre-season training commencing next week.

We saw some big numbers on the track pre-Xmas and I know that the guys and girls are all raring to get back into training and improve on their 2018 performances.

We are looking forward to announcing some new recruits in both the Men’s and Women’s Teams as well as launching our new updated and upgraded website with new facilities including a Club Business Directory, Online Store and more features.

Our new Instagram page is gaining momentum and will link with our Website, Facebook Page and new Twitter page.

Round 1 is not that far away, so let’s all get back on the track and work hard over the next couple of months to be cherry ripe for the first game of the season.

Tear ‘em down.

Pav Sgnature

Go House!

Premiership Teams

Power House has a long and rich history, and over the years has achieved some great results.

Power House Premierships

We won our First Senior Premiership in 1959.
We won the U19′s Premiership in 1970.
We won our Second Senior Premiership in 1971.
Our Third Senior Premiership was achieved in 1973.
We won the 1978 Reserves Premiership in 1978.
After a 27 year drought, we won our Fourth Senior Premiership in 2000.
We achieved our Fifth Senior and Second Reserves Premierships in 2006.

See more details about each premiership by clicking on the years stated above.

Go the House!