2000 – A New Century

2000

President: Mark Lewis; Vice-Presidents: Phil Fawell (mens), Angela Penberthy (Metro womens), Clare Munro (Hills womens); Secretary: John Boogaard; Treasurer: Dennis Wills; Committee: Ray Barry, Robbie Cameron, Jo Rowcroft (Minkey), Margaret Howe (Juniors).

The year 2000 changed the face of the club in many ways.  Within a month of the season starting, Kalamunda had lost Duncan Bell, Darren Chiari and Sean Hamilton, three of its most popular players, who all separately went seeking work and adventure in Europe.  Duncan and Darren’s first senior games for Kalamunda were in 1993, while Sean had started back in 1991, either side of the Ledger-Audesho era.  They became important components of coach Ron Glew’s youth policy for the top side, Duncan normally playing at left-half, (a position he never seemed too fond of), Sean at full-back and Darren almost always at right wing.  In 1996 they were part of the side that surprised everyone (including themselves) by winning the 1C premiership from fourth spot.  Sean had also been the club’s treasurer, and his departure saw the return of Dennis Wills to the committee.  Grant Fitzgerald also chose to sit out of hockey for a year, and Tim Jones left after round five on a trip around Australia.

 

The most emotional loss was that of Mark Loohuys.  Mark was a highly popular police officer who had also played junior and senior hockey with Kalamunda.  His work commitments restricted the number of games he could play, but when available he was an automatic top-side selection in the mid- and late-90’s.  In January 2000 he had been enthusiastic at pre-season fitness training, but tragically died on duty one night, in an accident while on his way to a call-out.

 

There were also many new faces, male and female, as these player profiles taken from the Hotline describe:

Anton Brown.  Former Kalamunda junior.  Played seniors previously with Mandurah, Blades and Newman.  Spent more on his latest hockey stick than the GDP of some third-world nations.  Preferred position: right wing.  Really preferred position: running slowly back to the half line after scoring a goal, soaking up the adulation of the crowd.  Current goal tally for season: restricted information.

Chad Brookes.  Formerly with Rockingham.  Excelled in the pre-season long distance running (too bad he sprints at exactly the same pace).  Became a hero while playing 1B’s against Mods by fearlessly making a goal-saving clearance, only to have his nose splattered by the opponent’s follow through – will soon receive a cleaning bill from WAHA for washing his blood from their brand new turf.

Brett Tyrie.  A top-team regular at Kalamunda in the late 80’s and early 90’s.  In 1993 captained the 2B’s to their only finals series, then moved to the country for work with Bankwest.  Last season played in Kalgoorlie.  The sight of Brett heaving in the bushes after a preseason run brought the memories flooding back for those who knew him in his prime.  Has looked the most lively forward in the 2B side, assisted by his low centre of gravity (just above his ankles). 

Ben Thomas.  Younger brother of Andy “Captain Cutthroat” Thomas from the 2B’s; moved to Perth from Adelaide over the summer.  While Andy has the hockey brain, Ben has the temper, having already broken the club record for throwing a hockey stick (previously held jointly by Peter Buick and Ben Rowcroft).  We assume one of the other Thomas brothers has the looks in the family.  Ben also currently leads the club in “might’ve been” shots at goal.  For some reason, Andy is extremely reluctant to pass the ball to his younger brother.

Nicole Thomas.  Not a blood Thomas (wife of Ben) and is therefore able to run.  Thrives on tough training, physical exercise and likes to play the game hard …. hmm, can we play her in the 1B’s?

Jerome Goerke.  Those who watched Jezza in pre-season games voted him “the most likely to take a life while tackling.”  Amazingly, he may actually go through the entire season without even being shown a single card!  While he has shortened the back-swing on his tackles, he still maintains total commitment in chasing and leading.  In the last half of the season Jezza has been the most consistent forward in the 2B side, which may have coincided with the wax and polish he received at one particular function.

Josh Harris.  In total contrast to the raw energy of Jezza, the 2B’s also have the unhurried calmness of Josh.  A feature of his play has been the way Josh receives the ball deep on the baseline, coolly dribbling out of defence, then without fuss giving the ball inside to a team-mate about to be hacked down (fortunately he’s stopped doing the last bit).  His natural ball skills have earned him regular call-ups to the 1B’s, but he needs to develop his bickering and grumbling skills to be a regular at the higher level.

Evan Walker.  Yet another former Kala junior to return this year, playing his best hockey for the 2B’s at full-back (and as kicking full-back at training with a beer in his hand).  Evan’s steely glare is known to unnerve forwards (generally team-mates, but sometimes opposition).  Inspired by Anton, he’s customised his own special hockey stick (The Walkerwand?), which features the largest grip ever seen.  Definitely a stick that requires both hands to handle (hmm, might be just the stick for Marty!)

Amanda Neto.  Previously played under 17’s with the club through one of the St Brigids teams.  Her coach back then played her as a tagging half-back, making use of her ability to talk non-stop to drive her opponents crazy.  We won’t lower ourselves to make short jokes, but she has attracted the eye of at least one Under 13 boy (“can I play in her side?”)

Other gains in 2000 included the former Kalamunda juniors Mark Pepper, Glenn Linstead, Andrew Watts and Jeremy Selley, all but Mark starting in the 3D’s but used at higher levels.

 

State 1B finished ninth, the same result as in 1999.  While avoiding relegation was done with much more ease this time, that partly reflected the weakness of the bottom two sides (Canning and Rockingham).

 

A team that could rotate players like Robbie Cameron, Lyle Robertson, Dave Clements, Marty Campbell, Anton Brown, Brett Heather and Matt Howe through its forward line should’ve done well in 1B’s.  Unfortunately, four of these players were required to play much of the season in defensive roles.  If the team had available one more key defensive player, who knows what might have happened – their first 11 games resulted in two big wins, three unlucky draws, a 1‑0 loss to Mods that could’ve easily gone the other way, and a 2-1 loss to Mandurah in which Kalamunda dominated the second half.  In all five close results, Kalamunda suffered from defensive lapses that gave Scott Little (having his best season in goals and named Club Champion) almost no chance.  After the second Mandurah game, injuries (Matt breaking his wrist, Lyle seriously injuring his knee), Brett’s travels and a general loss of confidence led to a string of poor performances.  Matt Howe summed up the problem in 1B as “There’s no-one here to look up to.”  In the past there had been players like Dave Newton, Mark Stibi, Andrew Scanlon and Ron Glew, strong personalities who could be relied upon to lead by example.  Of the generation that carried Kala through the 80’s, only Mark Lewis was still capable of playing at the top level, but he was now finding it difficult to maintain his fitness over a long season. 

 

2000 saw the introduction of a new alternative strip for the top squad, sponsored by the Kalamunda Hotel.  The side generally preferred this to the plain blue shirts they normally wore, and this started the rumblings yet again for a complete change of strip.  The photo below was taken the night the shirts were first worn, after a game against Modernians.  Chad Brookes was unfortunately absent when the photo was taken, as he was then on his way to hospital after taking a stick to the nose during the game.

 

Standing: Matt Howe, Karl Morton, Dave Clements, Marty Campbell, Carl Pedrotti, Lyle Robertson, Scott Wills, Nathan Basinski, Scott Little.

Kneeling: Aaron Basinski, Robbie Cameron, Darren Chiari, Simon Fitzgerald, Anton Brown.

Absent; Chad Brookes.

 

After a frustrating start in the 1B side, Anton burst out of his drought and finished with 8 for the season, several of which were quite memorable.  However, none could compare with Robbie Cameron’s Goal of the Year, as described in the Hotline:

 

Despite having seen this goal a dozen times on video, it’s still hard to believe it could be done.  In fact, Robbie couldn’t repeat this if he tried.  Contact as he moved the ball towards goal led to him losing his balance and falling forward.  The umpire probably would’ve blown a short corner, but we’ll give him credit for actually holding off for a few seconds.  Robbie was almost horizontal when he somehow flicked the ball up and over the keeper.  The largest Kala crowd for the year was highly entertained, while the confused keeper knew how Mike Gatting felt after being bowled around his legs by Shane Warne.

 

The State 2B side finished with one win and five draws from 20 games, with only 11 goals for the season.  The last fact was the most damning – while the team was able to defend grimly for extended periods of each game, the goals rarely came at the other end.  Only Brett Tyrie looked like ever scoring early in the season.  The team balance also was out of wack, with both Andy Thomas and Mark Lewis both wanting the same position (and the XXXL shirt) and no obvious candidates for the left and right half-back roles.

 

The second half of the season was a vast improvement – Peter Buick and Andrew Watts provided some stability in the half-back line, while Ben Thomas adjusted to the Kala lack of style to become the most consistent forward.  Unfortunately, Brett’s ankle injury, the loss of Andy Thomas in the last month of the season (a new job in NSW) and Mark Lewis being required in the 1B’s effectively ended any chance of holding the grade (or so we thought).

 

Positives from the season:

  • Nathan Basinski had played over 20 games in either the firsts or seconds, and still had two more years as a junior.  In 2000 he gained considerable knowledge on position play and reading the game, which was most evident when he went back to the Under 17’s.

  • Ben Rowcroft went to a new level in goals, and was also developing as a leader.

  • Jerome Goerke was chosen as the best rookie of the year.

 

2000 Kalamunda State 2B side

Standing: Dennis Wills (assistant coach), Peter Buick, Chad Whinnett, Andy Thomas (captain), Jon Burgess, Ben Thomas, Ben Rowcroft, Daniel Byrne, Andrew Watts, Graham Ryan (coach).

Kneeling: Jerome Goerke, Kevin Nagamany, David Simons, Nathan Basinski.

 

When the 3D’s were good they were great, but when they were bad, they were very, very bad.  At full strength and semi-fitness, the team proved it was able to beat the top sides, but work commitments meant that Ken Byrne and Ron Tanner missed most of the season.  Age and a lack of pace had become an issue, with six players 40 or over, and Phil Fawell the goalie not far behind.  Having said that, the three oldest players (Ken, Ian Gould and the ageless Peter Evans) were by far the most consistent contributors throughout the season.  They finished fifth out of six teams, but again well out of finals contention.  Phil Fawell was voted fairest and best (which seemed to be won by goalkeepers in every grade that season).

 

On the positive side, the level of experience present has been of benefit to the younger players who filtered through the team.  The two Bretts (Van Rysinge and Zimmer) learnt a lot about senior hockey, becoming strong contributors in the latter part of the season.  Andrew Watts was the star of the first five games, and was inevitably drafted into the 2B’s.  Don Rosser returned to carry the side, while Jeremy Selley’s late season senior debut after many years away from the game suggested that he could play at a much higher level.  Juniors such as Doug Goodall, David Aylmore and Tyler Lovell all performed well at senior level, the latter two playing important roles in the miracle win at Hale, against the eventual premiers.  That game was won by a miracle goal, described in the Hotline as follows:

 

Even if Stewie Maddison had dribbled this in, it would’ve been a memorable goal, being the winner in a come-from-behind victory against the then undefeated Hale.  Those who’ve seen him play know that Stewie disposes of the ball in only one way – by belting the dimples off it.  He tried that for his initial shot, which rebounded off the keeper.  Stewie then collected the rebound only just in from the baseline, then saw that the goalie was on the ground.  For the first time in all his years in hockey, he tried a variation, and, with almost nothing to aim at, flicked it into the top corner.  After a period of stunned silence, we remembered to cheer.

 

The stand-out performance of the 2000 season undoubtedly came from the Over 40 Division 2 side, perennial finalists and multiple winners of the grade’s Grand Final, but a team that had never been able to win promotion to Division 1.  As shown below, at the half-way point of the season they’d secured a place in the Challenge Cup, but they only held top spot on goal difference from North Coast Raiders.  Kalamunda went on to beat Raiders in that game 2-0.

 

Club

Played

W

D

L

For

Agst.

Diff.

Pts

Kalamunda

8

6

1

1

24

11

+13

19

N/C Raiders

8

6

1

1

22

13

+9

19

YMCA/Coastal

8

5

0

3

21

7

+14

15

Westside Wolves

8

4

2

2

16

12

+4

14

 

Promotion to Division 1 could only be achieved by winning the Minor Premiership, and the crucial moment came late in the season when Kalamunda played at Raiders home ground.  That game ended in a 2-2 draw, and were the only points dropped by Kalamunda in the second half of the season (they finished with 13 wins, 2 draws, 1 loss, 49 for, 19 against).  Raiders faltered against several other teams, holding on to second place, 4 points and goal difference behind.  Kalamunda won the second-semi against Raiders 3-0, and a fortnight later met YMCA/Coastal in the Grand Final at Richardson Park.  Their opponents scored midway through the first half, and despite sustained pressure from Kalamunda from that time on, there was no further score in the game.  This was the only blemish on a great season, and the side had achieved Division 1 status for the first time in the club’s history.  Interestingly, Mike Robinson turned 50 in 2000, and was keen to start an over-50’s side the next year, much to the concern of his team-mates.  It turned out there were insufficient numbers to justify the new side at the start of 2001, and Mike would have to wait another two seasons to reach his objective.

 

Half-way through the season, Over 40s Division 3 was again bottom of their 11 team grade (1 win, no draws, 7 losses).  And once again they did just enough to avoid relegation at the season’s end.  Second last spot was between Kalamunda (12 points from 16 games) and Uni Associates (12 points from 17 games).  Despite Uni Associates having a better goal difference, their match ratio was only 23.5%, compared to Kalamunda’s 25%. Kalamunda’s late season recovery (including 8-0 and 1-0 wins over Newman and Joondalup, respectively, in successive weeks at home) proved that they were good enough to be competitive in the grade, particularly when Ivan Vidot and Alf Schneider were both available.

 

For the State League 6 women, only three points from a solitary win for the season would seem a bad result by most definitions.  However, its generally agreed that this side of mainly young and inexperienced players out-performed last year’s side in terms of effort and team-work.  There’s no doubt they were a more cohesive group, and while frustrated at some of their bad luck and crucial errors, still enjoyed playing together.  Kristi Abbot from the under 17’s definitely added to the side when available, showing the signs of how important she’d be in 2001.

 

The Kalamunda 1B players had worn black arm-bands throughout the season as a sign of respect and affection for Mark Loohuys.  However, all agreed that they wanted to do something more.  The idea for the Mark Loohuys Memorial Match came from Marty Campbell (also a police officer playing with Kalamunda) and his wife Shelley.  The match was held at the end of the 2000 season at the Hockey Stadium, with a team of assorted Kalamunda players (plus coaches Graham Ryan and Dennis Wills) taking on a WA police side (the Nightsticks), led by Marty and featuring former Kala players John Russell and Jamie Gouldthorp.  Several of the Nightsticks had driven from the country just for the match, a reflection of Mark’s popularity.  The umpires were Kalamunda legends Dave Newton and Ron Glew, who took no nonsense but gleefully dished it out.

 

The match was watched by a vocal crowd of about 70.  This included Mark’s parents, Henk and Else, as well as Police Commissioner Barry Matthews (despite being unfamiliar with the sport, an enthusiastic spectator). Mark’s brother Daan played for Kalamunda, for much of the first half in his brother’s position of centre-half.  The only goal of the first half was scored by Lisa Glew (brought back on loan from Harlies for the night) from a short corner.  The Nightsticks equalised early after the break and then went ahead from a well-taken deflection at the post by Craig White.  Brett Heather brought the scores level again and when Karl Morton scored to put Kala up 3-2 late in the game, we thought it was all over.  However, in keeping with the Kala tradition of conceding goals in the dying second of a game, Marty Campbell fittingly equalised right on the final whistle.

 

The crowd was well entertained, not just by the end-to-end hockey, but the chance to catch up with past players and old friends.  The game itself was played in excellent spirit, and was a worthy celebration of a short but wonderful life.  Dennis Wills indicated during the trophy presentation that he hoped this would become an annual event.  In fact support for the game has grown in the years that have followed, both from Kalamunda and the police team, and has proven to be an outstanding way to draw each season to an end.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Police Commissioner Barry Matthews meets the Kalamunda and Nightsticks players, with umpire Dave Newton ready for action