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   CATS'    STORY   

   The Mooroopna Football Netball Club has a rich history...    

A fine brew and the Irish Spirit:

Brewery and the Irish, the ideal start!

From: "Symmetry of the Souls: Blues Brothers and Cats Cousins

A century and a quarter of Mooroopna Football / Netball Club 1877 - 2002"

Author: Tom Carey, 2002

Gardiner and O'Farrell gave Mooroopna the ideal start for an Australian football team.

A brewery and the Irish. Several players were in their employ, and doubtless several more in their pursuit.

In June 1877 over an ale or twenty they conceived of the idea of a practice match for the purpose of forming a club. It was the Goulburn Valley's first football club.

Jock Henderson was Mooroopna's first captain, and a famous one as he led the club for 15 years.

Mooroopna's first published team on May 15, 1880 was Henderson, Jim, Bill and Ned Heath, George and Leo Marks, Mills, Gillam, Matcham, Wadeson, Farrell, Morris, Hainsworth, McFadyen, McCleary, Brian, Haig, Fanios, Robertson and Green.

Henderson fitted the description "coach" better than captain; he was small, he taught at Toolamba West State School, and he was prudent in getting too much personally involved in rough play, but highly intelligent. He guided the team effectively in tactics and inspired wonderful team strategies, yet he seldom touched the ball unless it was delivered right to him, a ploy which may have helped his longevity

Matches were arranged as widely apart as Benalla, Beechworth and Echuca in the 15 years under Henderson's leadership until 1892 for donated trophies like the Lindley Cowan Cup, J.T. Riley Cup, Max Skaller Cup and the Heinze Cup, which until 1928 were displayed at Barrett's Hotel and Logan's hairdressing saloon. Heinze Cup doner was the father of eminent Australian musician Professor Sir Bernard Heinze of Melbourne University and Melba Conservatorium.

The succession of early Mooroopna captains were Henderson, George Hall, Carlie Carpenter, Clarrie " Darby" Doyle, Jack Richardson, Matt Can ham, George Irvine, Jack Britton, and Alex McLennan.

There were no expenses, no payments for time off work, and it was before special trains which were the common conveyance of 20th century football teams and their supporters in clubs affiliated with leagues established along railway lines, but players showed enormous enthusiasm ensuring participation in these social matches.

Goulburn Valley Football League formed in 1893, with Mooroopna a foundation member. 

After 1940 season the GVFL was disbanded during World War Two, but in 1946 when it reformed, Mooroopna did not immediately rejoin but played in the Central Goulburn Valley Football League until 1949.

Copies of this very interesting read are available through the Cats' Store.

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