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Minyip-Murtoa to celebrate 1996 premierships

HAPPY MEMORIES: Andrew ‘Moon’ Coutts, left, and Hamish ‘Rusty’ Gawith, will be among Minyip-Murtoa 1996 premiership players involved in reunion celebrations at the weekend.

HAPPY MEMORIES: Andrew ‘Moon’ Coutts, left, and Hamish ‘Rusty’ Gawith, will be among Minyip-Murtoa 1996 premiership players involved in reunion celebrations at the weekend.


By DEAN LAWSON
There are many outstanding country premiership football teams. Then there are seriously outstanding country premiership teams, of which there are few.
Wimmera Football League’s 1996 Minyip-Murtoa premiership team was easily the latter.
Members of that incredible group will gather at a club reunion at Murtoa on Saturday, and no doubt will rekindle memories of what was a gripping and exciting era in Wimmera football.
The records show the Kookaburras, buoyant from a merger between arch rivals Minyip and Murtoa, beat an equally impressive Stawell outfit 17.13 (115) to 11.9 (75) at Dimboola.
The grand final was the much-anticipated climax of an absorbing season and final series brimming with intrigue, controversy, personalities and sporting talent.
At the centre of it all was polarising Minyip-Murtoa coach John Harvey, who lived up to a reputation he brought from the SANFL of being willing to push all sorts of boundaries.
Many opposition players and fans despised Harvey, but the Burras faithful adored his ruthless attitude to achieving football success.
His unorthodox clash with Stawell star of the time Craig Evans remains the stuff of Wimmera league folklore and notoriety. It led to heated discussion across the region and even the uncomfortable presence of a police officer with a video camera in the Dimboola press box during the final.
Unpredictable
Harvey was unpredictable and used a hungry press to full advantage. On one occasion he called reporters to pass on information that one of his players was ‘under a form cloud’, ‘making it hard for selectors’ and ‘in danger of losing his position’ in the team.
The report subsequently appeared in the paper and that weekend the player in question featured among the Burras’ best.
Harvey, who lives in Mildura, said he looked forward to the reunion.
“It’s going to be absolutely fantastic. It’s incredible it’s been 20 years. It seems like yesterday. It’s going to be terrific to catch up with a lot of people,” he said.

For full story, see the June 29, 2016 edition of The Weekly Advertiser.
READ IT ONLINE HERE!

Short URL: http://www.theweeklyadvertiser.com.au/?p=34197

Posted on Jun 29 2016

Posted by on Jun 29 2016. Filed under FEATURED, Sport. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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