1993-1996 – Rebuilding Again

1993

President: David Newton.  Committee: John Boogaard, Ian Blazey, Margaret Beaton, Sally Gouldthorp, Kevin Taylor, Margaret Howe, Mike Snadden, Russell Bourne, Stuart Maddison, Jon Burgess, Jenny Fitzgerald, Sheryl Taylor, Ray Barry.  Juniors: Dennis Wills.  Senior Men’s coach: Ron Glew.

Kim Ledger did not renominate for President, and this role was filled for the first time by David Newton.  Kim was also not in a position to offer the same financial support to the club, and this contributed to the departure of men’s coach David Audesho to Melville City in early 1993.  At late notice Ron Glew accepted the coaching position and maintained his playing role.  He would either play or coach at Kalamunda for the remainder of the decade.

Andrew Scanlon joined David Audesho at Melville City (and is still there today), and his younger brother Matthew also departed, leaving Kalamunda without a Scanlon in the club for the first time in 25 years (Matthew returned for a season in 1995).  John Baker was playing in the 1B side but left part way through the season to concentrate on his coaching role with the Canning Districts women.  Todd Dunstan found himself elevated from the thirds to be the number one keeper, and 1993 proved to be his most outstanding season.  The team’s first game resulted in a 1-1 draw with Rockingham, which seemed a reasonable start.  However, Rockingham were destined to finish last, with just two wins and two draws for the season.  As string of losses followed, including a 5-0 loss to Bunbury in the first round of the R&I Cup.  The 1B side lacked pace and cohesion, and despite some good results (such as a satisfying upset win over Melville), they finished second- last (three wins, two draws) and were relegated.   Bayswater-Morley were able to earn a point from their last game of the season to sneak above Kalamunda to third-last.

Despite the difficulties experienced by the 1B side, Kalamunda went on to achieve its best ever result in the 2B grade.  In 1993 2B still consisted of only nine sides, with all qualifying games played on grass.  The 2B side was captained by Brett Tyrie with coaching support from Mike Snadden.  The team also occasionally called upon the services of Jamie Snadden, and in one game against Curtin-Trinity the addition of Gerard meant all three Snadden brothers were on the field.  David Newton had a young Sean Hamilton with him at full-back, while Phil Fawell returned to WA from two seasons with the Essendon Hockey Club to be 2B goalkeeper.  Ben Rowcroft, then Under 17’s keeper, also made his senior debut in the 2B side. Two former juniors established themselves as regulars in the top squad in 1993 – Karl Morton had been a goal scorer in Under 17s, but developed as a close tagging defender in the 2B’s, while Darren Chiari began to show signs of the damage he could cause on the wings.

Their season didn’t start well, and after six games they were second last (1 win, 1 draw, 4 losses).  The grade was dominated by Curtin-Trinity (down from 2A), Willetton and Modernians, but Kalamunda sneaked into the final four (6 wins, 3 draws, 7 losses, goal difference +2) despite a less than 50% match ratio, with the extra satisfaction of pushing Melville out of the finals, thanks to a win over Riverside in the last qualifying game.  This was the club’s first (and to date only) appearance in finals at 2B level.  Modernians had beaten Kalamunda twice on grass, and seemed to assume they’d have no trouble repeating this for the semi-final played on Field 2. However, much of the Kalamunda side had been regular turf players in previous seasons, and recorded a comfortable 2-0 upset.  Unfortunately they couldn’t play at the same standard the following week, going down 7-0 to Willetton.

Metro 5A finished second-last in a nine team grade.  The Metro 6B Side, with John Boogaard, Kevin Taylor and Peter Evans, also featured a new player in Marty Campbell.  They performed well throughout the season, and players in the higher grades were noticing in the match reports that Marty was scoring quite heavily.  However, when asked about him, Marty’s team-mates insisted he wasn’t a great player, just “quite fast.”  This proved to be a major (and deliberate) understatement – Marty’s amazing pace and desperate tackling style became a feature of the top sides over the coming seasons, as were the goals he scored after winning balls in seemingly impossible situations.  However, for 1993 he remained well hidden in the Metro 6B side, which just missed out on playing in the Challenge Cup.  They went on to win the Minor Premiership, but lost the Grand Final to Suburban (goalkeeper Cory Jones arrived late, and the side was already a goal down by the time he was padded-up).

                                        Metro 6B Minor Premiers 1993

Back row: John Boogaard, Stewie Maddisson, Brett Maddisson, Jeff Hortin, Marty Campbell, John Angove, Mike Price, ??

Front row: Cory Jones, Peter Evans, Mal Butler, Kevin Taylor, ??, ??

The Masters side finally graduated to Veterans, but were forced to start in the lowest grade (Veterans F).  This they dominated, winning all three available flags in an undefeated season.  This included an 8-0 win over Hale in the Challenge Cup (despite Ian Gould being carted off to hospital after collecting a ball between the eyes).  At halfway through the season, their record was 8 wins from 8 games, 49 for and just one against.  Their only blemish on the season was a solitary draw.  Alan Mihala won the team’s Fairest & Best trophy.

Ian Blazey coached the Metro Grade 7 women’s side, which featured Sandy Boogaard, Kerrie Kitson and Kayleen Morton.

Margaret Howe was elected onto the 1993 committee as Minkey Coordinator, commencing the long involvement with juniors that would see her awarded Life Membership later in the decade.  Graham Ryan again coached the Under 17 side to the finals, this time in “B” grade.  Finals didn’t seem likely after a poor start to the season, and having to play qualifying games to even make the grade.  However, in the second round they went undefeated, winning six and drawing one.  The side had Ben Rowcroft in goals, Mark Loohuys, Chris Stoddard. Chris Middleton, Scott Wills, David Smyth and David Hogan.  Carl Pedrotti and Craig Dickinson were used in both the Under 17B and C sides.  They made the first Semi-Final against Willeton, but lost on a penalty shoot-out.

The Under 17C was coached by Dennis Wills, while the club also had Under 15B South (finishing 7th of 8), Under 13A (5th of 8), Under 13 Regional South (4th of 10), Under 11A and 11 South-East (8th of 9).  The Under 11A side was under the control of John Ingram, who had by this stage closed his long playing career.

1994

President: David Newton, Secretary: John Boogaard, Committee: Margaret Beaton, Sally Gouldthorp, Sheryl Taylor, Phil Fawell, Ian Gould, Kellie Starcevich, Mike Snadden, Margaret Howe.

Mark Weinman retired, while many of the remaining players attracted to the club in the Ledger/Audesho years filtered away to other clubs.  The grand dreams that had kicked off the 1990 season seemed on the surface to have failed.  However, the club was stable at 2B level, and this provided a valuable platform for the development of players throughout the 90’s.  Kalamunda also gained vastly improved lighting through the Ledger presidency, which was further upgraded in the late 90’s.  Perhaps most importantly, the brief taste of 1B hockey after a decade away from it gave the club an incentive to not settle for 1C again.

With the top side back in 1C, coach Ron Glew commenced on a rebuilding process.  Marty Campbell could no longer be hidden, and despite his police duties limiting his availability, he became a top squad fixture for the remainder of the decade. Marty’s pace on the field was always amazing, but it was possibly exceeded by “Cactus” Heal, back to play seniors for the first time.  An amazing gifted runner, Cactus also amazed with his laid-back, placid attitude, and it was hard to be too angry with him even when he turned up for a turf game without shoes, socks, shin-pads or even a stick.   Dave “Rowdy” Clements returned and has been a cornerstone of the team in every season since.  Murray McKechnie was enticed back to play his first full season of senior hockey and Mark Loohuys graduated from Under 17’s to play most of the season in the top side.  Glen Ryan and Carl Pedrotti played full seasons in Under 17’s while doubling up in many games of 1C and 2B  Craig Whittome enticed Dave Corboy over from Dianella, while Peter Buick, Dave Newton and Mark Lewis added experience. Todd Dunstan was still the first choice keeper.

The knock-out competition for the R&I Cup had become the Bankwest Cup, and by 1994 was slowly dying in importance.  The hockey season had become too long, with Classic League clubs showing little interest, particularly in the early rounds.  However, the competition still had one final memorable moment for Kalamunda when drawn to meet 1B side Melville City, coached by David Audesho.  The game was drawn as a Kalamunda home game, and was therefore played at Hartfield – David and Melville would’ve preferred a turf game.  With the 1C side largely exhausted from a win the previous night, a number of younger players were used to bolster the squad, with Craig Dickinson performing well and Duncan Bell excelling in a tagging role.  The final score was a satisfying 4-3 win (two goals each to Darren Chiari and Murray McKechnie).  In the second round, Kalamunda lost 4-2 to Classic League North Coast Raiders (goals to Craig Whittome and Marty Campbell), the closeness of the result due to the efforts of Todd Dunstan in goals.

The 1C side performed poorly in the second half of the season, losing 1-0 to bottom side Mundaring and eventually only just avoiding the relegation zone.

With Dave Newton returning to the top side, Sean Hamilton shared the full-back duties in the 2B side with Craig Dickinson. Steve Uetake also graduated from junior ranks to play as a forward.  Regulars in the side included Phil Fawell (goals), Mike Snadden (captain), Peter Smith, Steve Stewart, Nantha Satgunasingam, Graeme Jackson, while Peter Buick, Duncan Bell, Darren Chiari and Karl Morton played 2B’s when not in the 1C side.  Peter Buick was actually dominating the best player voting until he was required to play the last third of the season in the top side.

With a large number of younger players in the side, the 2B’s struggled, collecting just four wins and two draws for the season, enough to be above the relegation spots.  The four wins came against the two bottom sides and one draw (1-1) against Blades.  Perhaps the best result of the year was a 1-1 draw with Melville City (David Audesho again coaching) played on the main stadium.  Kalamunda made it into the attacking circle just twice in the game for one goal, scored by Darren Chiari.  Melville were in attack for much of the remainder of the game, with keeper Phil Fawell having his best game for the year in only conceding an equaliser.  When the two teams met again in the second round, injuries meant a number of Metro 5A players were called upon by Kalamunda; the result this time a 9-0 win to Melville.

Metro 5A: Simon Van Weiss, Jamie Duggan, Gio, Ben Rowcroft, Dale Dreezens

Metro 5B: John Boogaard, Kevin Taylor, Stewie Maddison, John Angove, Jeff Hortin

After winning the F-Grade so convincingly in 1993, the Veterans side had skipped a grade to play in Veterans D.  Again they dominated, and despite losing the Challenge Cup to Dale, they claimed both the Minor Premiership and the Premiership (and Alan Mihala was yet again Fairest & Best).



Veterans D Premiers 1994

Back row: Dave Hocken, Peter Robinson, Ken Byrne, Mike Robinson, Max Evans, Richie Griffiths, Graeme Fletcher.

Front row: Glenn Mihala, Ted Thacker, Ian Gould, Ray Barry, Graham Ryan, Peter Hobson, Steve Rowling, Alan Mihala.

Absent: Russell Bourne.

The Metro Women’s side played in Division 9, with the most prominent player being Joanne Baker, enticed across from Canning Districts.  Her friend Cyndi Nicholson also joined, and the two had a major influence on the club.  They filled in regularly with the Hills women and with Craig Whitome and Dave Corboy, provided much of the drive for social activities that season.  The Metro women finished seven out of nine teams in Division 9, with 3 wins, 1 draw and 12 losses, 10 goals for and 40 against.  The Hills women that year included Ally Beaton (in goals), Jodi Beaton, Tanya Ryniker, Ann Clancy, Kellie Starcevich, Kelly Linstead and Eleanor McKechnie, with guest appearances by Debbie Glew and a very young Lisa Glew, making her senior debut.  

Graham Ryan coached the Under 17B side, which included his son Glen, Chris Stoddard, Carl Pedrotti and Simon Fitzgerald, all who played seniors that year.  Others in the side were Scott Wills, Andrew Watts, Jeremy Selley, Ben Orrell and Lyle Robertson, with Mark Whittaker in goals.  They lost the Challenge Cup to Fremantle, but ultimately met Old Aquinians in the grand final (having beaten them 2-0 in the semi), played on the main stadium during heavy rain – pools were formed on the surface, making hitting and passing difficult.  Kalamunda dominated for much of the game, but failed to score, with the result decided on a penalty shoot-out, which Kalamunda lost narrowly in controversial circumstances.  A stroke taken by Old Aquinians appeared to miss off the crossbar, but the umpire on the base-line (Joe Bruers, as it happens) called it a goal, claiming that in its downward path it had crossed in, before bouncing on the line and spinning out. 

The Under 13A side, coached by Ken Byrne, was also highly talented, with Ross Hillier, Matthew Howe, Daniel Byrne, Grant Mappin, Michael Byers and Matt English (goalkeeper).

John Ingram coached the Under 11A side, which featured Grant Fitzgerald, Nick Gamble, Ross Giolitto and Danielle Ingram.  Nick Gamble moved as an Under 17 to Old Guildford, while the Giolitto family moved to the northern suburbs and linked with Joondalup, but Grant Fitzgerald became one of the club’s best junior prospects, and was a senior top-side regular in 2001.

Team

Fairest & Best

Runner-up

Mens

Veterans D

Alan Mihala

Max Evans

Metro 5B

Peter Evans

Brett Maddison

Metro 5A

Jamie Gouldthorp

Ben Rowcroft

2B

Sean Hamilton

Duncan Bell

1C

David Clements

Marty Campbell

Womens

Metro (Div. 9)

Shelley Campbell

Hills 2

Megan Andrews

Desiree Manuel

Hills 1

Sarah Allanson

Kelly Linstead

David Scanlon Memorial Shield (Best Clubman):: Tanya Ryniker

Team

Fairest & Best

Most Improved

Under 17B

Carl Pedrotti

Andrew Watts

Coach’s Trophy: Simon Fitzgerald

Under 15 Reg. South

Andrew Walker

David Rebeiro

Under 13A

Ross Hillier

Michael Byers

Under 13C

Lana Loxton, Kevin Mason

Kristian Eaton

Dennis Wills had been talked into completing Level 1 coaching qualifications by Matt Scanlon back in 1990, then received Level 2 accreditation the following year.  This clearly assisted in his junior coaching at Kalamunda, where he oversaw the development of many players now in senior ranks, as well as running Level 0 and 1 courses.  His efforts were recognised in 1994 with his appointment as State Under 14 Development Coach, a position he held for three seasons. 

 

In late 1994, the Forrestfield Women’s Hockey Club, who had used our fields for many seasons for a nominal fee, agreed to a merger that would take effect in the 1995 season.  Marjory Stanger from the Forrestfield Club was elected as a Vice-President for the coming year.

1995

President: Dave Newton; Vice-President: Ian Gould, Margaret Beaton, Marjory Stanger; Secretary: John Boogaard; Treasurer: Sally Gouldthorp; Committee: Phil Fawell, Joanne Baker, Margaret Howe (Juniors).

The Forrestfield Women’s Hockey Club had ended the 1994 season with several teams in the Metro grades (finishing second in Grade 7 and third in Grade 10) as well as the Hills competitions, and it was thought that the merger would substantially increase the number of women’s teams in the club.  Amazingly, in 1995 the club gained just the one extra Metro women’s side and maintained its two Hills sides, as most of the women who had played for Forrestfield evaporated away.  There were undeniable tensions between the merged groups of women, particularly over selection into the Metro sides.  The wide range of ages and experience within the squad may also have been a contributing factor.  Such issues hung over the club for several seasons.

Keen to ensure that it was a merger and not a take-over, the new committee decided that it was inappropriate to make the Forrestfield women totally relinquish their old uniform.  After much debate and numerous modifications, Phil Fawell eventually produced a design that met with the approval of both groups.  The red skirt, common to both clubs, was maintained while the Kalamunda socks were adopted.  The shirt was predominantly white (consistent with Forrestfield), but now with a “spray” of red and blue dots diagonally across the front, together with a KDHC logo.  The shirt was ready early in the season, and some felt that the men should adopt this shirt in 1996.  However, a number of other clubs adopted a predominantly white shirt around this time, effectively ending any consideration of the Kalamunda men doing the same.  The women’s shirt has remained unchanged in the years since.

Robbie Cameron returned to Kalamunda, this time leaving the goals to become a key forward (later earning the distinction of being perhaps the only person in the history of the club to play in every single position for the top side).  The 1C side now had Glen Ryan and Simon Fitzgerald playing seniors on a more regular basis, together with Mark Loohuys, Duncan Bell, Darren Chiari, Dave Corboy, Craig Whittome, Dave Clements, Murray McKechnie, Marty Campbell and Ron Glew.  Simon Nelson also walked in one night looking for a game and became a fixture in the forward line.  Todd Dunstan started the season in goals, but then moved to the south-west of the state for work.  Phil Fawell was brought back into the top side for several games until the return of Matt Scanlon, who kept for the remainder of the season.  Karl Morton spent the season at Curtin Trinity, before returning in 1996.

The 1C season started with a game on the main stadium against Stirling City (formerly Dianella), which Kalamunda dominated for lengthy periods.  However, the team still found itself down 2-1 late in the game, and it took an amazing individual effort from Robbie Cameron to earn a draw in the last 30 seconds.  This typified a season in which the team promised much but couldn’t deliver consistently.  They had some great performances, including a 1-0 upset of Rockingham in which Matt Scanlon showed why many considered him the club’s best keeper of the 90’s.  Unfortunately, Matt’s knees were no longer up to the rigours of a regular competition, and this was to be his last ever season of hockey.  The team qualified in fourth spot, but were easily beaten in the elimination semi-final by Murdoch University.  Murray McKechnie, who’d had disagreements with coach Ron Glew in the weeks leading up to the finals, was frustrated by the time he spent on the bench during this game, leading to his premature “retirement” from the game.  An occasional spectator in the following years, he even assisted with preseason training by supervising a kickboxing session.  In 2001, Murray was convinced to play a game of 1B hockey, in which he showed glimpses of his old style (even earning a yellow card for old times sake).

1995 also saw the return of Warren Noddings, not as a forward but in the totally unaccustomed role of full-back.  He shared this role with Dave Newton until a serious back injury and subsequent operation ended his season with four games to go.  Warren went on to win the best player trophy for the side from Jon Burgess and Peter Buick, but then went back into retirement in 1996, this time permanently.  Other regulars in the side included Mike Snadden (captain), Phil Fawell, Scott Wills and Nantha Satgunasingam, better known to his many fans by then as “The Snake.”  As became the tradition for the 2B side, over 30 players were tried in the season, with Craig Whittome, Andy Smythe and Marty Campbell used in both of the top teams.  Mark Sandhu also gave the side the benefit of his great experience.  The side finished just out of the finals (5th, 6 wins, 1 draw, 9 losses), but were in with a chance up until the last week.

Phil Fawell announced his intention to “retire” from keeping in the 2B grade late in the season, and organised for Ben Rowcroft and Scott Little to replace him in selected games.  Lyle Robertson, captain of the Under 17’s, made his senior debut in the last regular season game for the 2B’s, showing his obvious class in gaining several best player votes.  He also earned his first senior yellow card for appealing too strongly that a free hit should’ve been upgraded to a short corner.  Lyle would go on to be a cornerstone of the top side in each following season, and along with Robbie Cameron, perhaps the clubs most consistent performer at 1B level from 1997 onwards.

The club dropped to having only three senior men’s sides (staying at that level ever since), but compensated by expanding to two Veterans sides for the first time.  The Vets B side “drew” their grand-final against Melville at Stevens Reserve in Fremantle, having scraped into fourth spot and qualifying through the elimination semi-final (only the Minor Premiers gain promotion to Veterans A).  Scores were level after extra time, and the captains agreed to call it a draw (much to the annoyance of star goalkeeper Peter Hobson, who was fired up for the penalty shoot-out).  





1995 Veterans B “Joint-Premiership” side

Back row: Max Evans, Graeme Fletcher, Ken Byrne, Mike Robinson, Glenn Mihala, Richie Griffiths, Peter Hobson, Ted Thacker.

Front row: Peter Smith, Ray Barry, Graham Ryan, Steve Rowling, Alan Mihala, Ian Gould.

Missing: Peter Robinson.

Playing back-to-back with Vets B, the Veterans F (after finishing second on the ladder to Hale) also won their grand final against WASPs.  The grand final team is shown below.  Gary Fitzgerald (father of Simon and Grant), a strong badminton player and very fit by Vets standards, was a crucial player in their successful season.  Unfortunately, a knee injury the next year would prevent him from playing again.

1995 Veterans F Premiership side

Back: Dave Hocken, Dennis Wills, Peter Benzie, Andy Kirkpatrick, Gary Fitzgerald, Mal Butler, Royce Spencer, Peter Coppin, Richard Lamb (?)

Front: Andrew Creelman, Ivan Vidot, Dennis Sawyers, Chas Spencer

The Metro 5D side was perhaps the strongest played by the club in that grade for many years, with Dale Dreezens dominating up forward and Jamie “Figjam” Gouldthorp a light-hearted but still desperate full-back.  John Boogaard, Kevin Taylor , Jeff Hortin and John Angove provided many years of experience at slogging it out on grass surfaces against physical opposition with minimal umpire involvement.  Key to the team’s success were its youngest players.  One was Ben Rowcroft, in his second year of senior hockey and probably unlucky not to be in the 2B side.  The other was Scott Little, a state indoor keeper who had never played field hockey. The two alternated in goals throughout the season, benefiting greatly from the hard work their team’s loose style of defence gave them.  They easily won the Challenge Cup against WASPs, a hard and uncompromising team that would be their nemesis in the following years.  These teams met again in the second semi final, with top side WASPs winning a penalty shoot-out 13-12.  Kalamunda thought it had won earlier in the shoot-out, but the umpires ruled that John Angove had taken his stroke prior to the whistle being blown.  The following week they lost the preliminary final in regulation time to a much younger JTA side.

Despite the disappointment of missing the grand final, the “thirds” (now a combination of the third and fourth sides) had been very competitive, and with so much experience in their side, looked forward to the coming season.  Little did they realise the side had made its last finals appearance for the decade, and would not have a winning season again until 2001.

The Under 15B side were second in their grade, losing the grand-final 5-1 to a very strong Willeton.  This team would prove to have a great influence of the club, with thirteen going on to play senior hockey at Kalamunda at different stages.  Ian Gamble, Matt Howe and Aaron Basinski were to be regular senior players in 1997 while still in juniors, with Kevin Nagamany and Ross Hillier not far behind.  Josh Harris, Evan Walker and Jerome “Jezza” Goerke would drift away from hockey, only to return in the 2000 season to make their senior debuts, Jezza becoming the natural successor to Marty Campbell in terms of energy and pace.  Mark Pepper waited until 2001 to play seniors, gradually improving that season to become a very reliable and thoughtful defender. The Under 11C South-East won their minor premiership but lost the grand final.

Under 15B

Back: Justin Morse (Assistant Coach), Clinton Mihala, Geoff Gole, Adrian Welton, Tristian Healy, Ian Gamble, Josh Harris, Evan Walker, Jerome Goerke, Daniel Byrne, Neil O’Hora, Ross Hillier, Ben Buchanan, Dennis Wills (Coach).

Front: Kevin Nagamany, Justin O’Hora, Aaron Basinski, Mark Pepper, Matthew Howe.

Some of the above Under 15’s are also seen in the following photo of the Under 17 side, coached by Graham Ryan.  10 of the 14 pictured went on to play senior hockey at Kalamunda

Under 17B

Back: ???, Andrew Watts, Clinton Mihala, Tim Jones, David Lima, Andrew Walker, Ian Gamble, Glen Ryan, Mark Whittaker, Evan Walker.

Front: Graham Ryan (coach), Arun Satgunasingam, Lyle Robertson, Simon Fitzgerald, ???

1996

President: Marjory Stanger (up to 21/3/96), Mark Lewis (21/3/96 onwards); Vice-President: Phil Fawell, Norma Gordon; Secretary: John Boogaard; Treasurer: Sally Gouldthorp; Committee: Ron Glew, Joanne Baker, Margaret Howe (Juniors), Fiona Wood (Minkey).

A typical 1C side in 1996 lined-up as follows:

                                                    Scott Little

                            Sean Hamilton                            Mark Lewis

            Craig Dickinson                     Dave Clements            Duncan Bell

    Robbie Cameron     Lyle Robertson     Marty Campbell        Glen Ryan        Darren Chiari

Simon Fitzgerald was also used as a full-back/half-back, while Karl Morton was used both forward and back.

The side qualified for the Challenge Cup with second place in the 12 team grade, but were thrashed 5-0 by Joondalup.  Kalamunda’s form deteriorated from that point, and it took an upset win by Mundaring against Canning Districts and a Kalamunda win in the last round for the side to scrape into the finals (18 games, 9 wins, 5 draws, 4 losses, 12 points adrift of Minor Premiers Joondalup).  In the elimination Semi-Final against Murdoch, they were 1-0 down, but fought back for a 2-1 win.  This was repeated in the Preliminary Final against JTA, Darren Chiari scoring in both games.  Kalamunda went into the Grand Final against a Joondalup side that had dominated the grade, but who were stunned to find themselves 2-0 down, thanks to goals from Marty Campbell and Glen Ryan.  Joondalup dominated the final 20 minutes of the game, scoring once themselves and earning a series of late short corners.  However, Kalamunda held on for perhaps their greatest Grand Final victory.

1996 1C Premiership side

Back: Marty Campbell, Simon Fitzgerald, Darren Chiari, Craig Dickinson, Craig Whittome, Scott Little, Dave Clements, Karl Morton, Sean Hamilton, Richard Atkinson, Duncan Bell.

Front: Glen Ryan, Robbie Cameron, Lyle Robertson, Ron Glew (Coach), Mark Lewis.

In contrast, the 2B side had a tough year, although they ultimately were able to hold the grade comfortably (sixth with 4 wins, 1 draw, 11 losses), despite using 28 different players.  The season started badly, playing Westside Wolves (relegated from 2A) in the first game, and losing captain Mike Snadden to a serious knee injury before half-time.  This proved to be Mike’s last game as a player, a sad end to a decade as a player for Kalamunda, as well as many seasons as a senior mens coach.  He would later coach the Metro women, but is now better known for his Under 11 and Under 13 coaching, as well as being the father of Luke and Jake Snadden, two exciting junior players.

Rob Smyth returned to the club to join his brother Andy, but a shoulder injury prevented him from wearing his pads.  Instead he became a full-back in the 2B side, and exceeded all expectations.  Mark Sandhu returned and provided much needed experience in defence.  The gentle giant Luke Kirwan joined the club and provided a physical presence in an otherwise very short forward line (finishing fourth in the best player voting).  Ryan Ashworth played, while Ian Gamble made his senior debut 2B late in the season and was voted player of the match.  Craig Whittome had his strongest season for the club and won the best player trophy, with Marty Campbell a close second despite only playing in two-thirds of the games.  In third place was Ben Rowcroft, largely thanks to his outstanding form in the early games when the team was under the most pressure.

Despite missing out on the Metro 5D grand final in 1995, second place on the ladder was enough to secure promotion of the Kalamunda thirds to Metro 4B.  Goalkeepers Scott Little and Ben Rowcroft had deservedly been elevated to the 1C and 2B sides, respectively, but Phil Fawell’s “retirement” meant he was back with team-mates he’d originally kept for back in 1985.  The season started with a stunning victory – playing away with only 10 men against WASPs, they somehow won 2-1 despite defending for most of the game.  Several weeks later they won at home against Vic Park.  That proved to be their last points for the season.  Dale Dreezens had little support up forward, but the defence held up well against quality opposition each week (such as top side Fremantle, featuring Butch Worth).  The main positive for the season was the arrival of Andy Thomas from Adelaide, who became the heart of the team at centre-half.  He was runner-up to Phil Fawell in the best player voting (despite missing the first four games), but was to play his best hockey in the following seasons in the 2B side.

The Veterans B side again won their Premiership, but also again missed promotion to A grade by not qualifying in first spot.   In fact they came into the finals in fourth spot (7 wins, 4 draws, 5 losses), defeating the more fancied Raiders, Suburban and Hale in successive weeks.  Alan Mihala won the first of three successive Fairest & Best trophies in this grade.



1996 Veterans B Premiership side

Back row: Chas Spencer, Andrew Creelman, Max Evans, Norm Brooks, Graham Ryan, Ron Glew, Alan Mihala, Peter Smith, Graeme Fletcher, Glenn Mihala.

Front row: Ian Gould, Ray Barry, Peter Hobson, Mike Robinson, Steve Rowling.

Absent: Mark Bradford, Ken Byrne, Richie Griffiths, Peter Robinson, Ted Thacker.

Under 17C finished first in a 10 team grade.

Matthew Howe and Ross Hillier gained selection in the “South East Region Combined” (SERC) for the Under 15 State Championship, finishing fifth in “A” Division.