‘Since 1910’

13 August


By Phil Skeggs

Ivanhoe Amateurs congratulates Pat Lagreca on playing his 100th club game in Round 16.

Pat Lagreca in action in 2019. Pic: Phil Skeggs

Patch joined the Hoers as an under 19 in 2014 and played in a premiership with his brother James that season.

Courageous and determined, Patch plays tall for a small and has proved a handy goalsneak.

Love your work Patch, keep it going!

5 August


By Phil Skeggs

From stories about on-field deeds and misdemeanors to locker-room silliness, party pranks and footy trips, there was no holding back when members of the 1969 B grade premiership team gathered for their 50th anniversary luncheon at Ivanhoe Park on Saturday August 3.

Members of the 1969 B grade premiership team at the 50th anniversary reunion at Ivanhoe Park. Pic PHIL SKEGGS

Coach Syd Neale recalled Euan Logan copping a bucket of cold water from veteran Barry Sproule in the showers. Logan chased his teammate buck naked out of the pavilion, dashing past a surprised female supporter with a laconic “How’re you going”.

Neale remembered feared ruckman Tim Robinson running hot during the 1972 B grade semi-final against Old Scotch and at one stage running through an opponent.  As the runner, Neale was sent by coach John Benetti to tell Robinson to settle down and stop overdoing the rough stuff.

“I went out to Timmy and I looked at him and his eyes were glazed over,” he said.

“I went back and they said ‘what did he say?’ and I said, ‘he didn’t even see me’.”

1969 premiership captain Billy McWhinnie and coach Syd Neale at Ivanhoe Park reunion. Pic PHIL SKEGGS

Tim Robinson had some amusing recollections from the 1969 season. Pic PHIL SKEGGS










Old teammates laughed heartily over the image of their enforcer mate with a serious dose of white-line fever. Neale continued: “I think you got four weeks for that Timmy.”

Robinson, no stranger to the tribunal, lamented missing the rest of the finals.

Premiership captain and rover Billy McWhinnie gave an insight into just how cheeky and competitive he could be.

On a day when a gale was blowing straight down the ground against Uni Blues, venerable club president Harry Thomas urged him to win the toss. “Have no fear, we’ll win the toss,” McWhinnie assured him.

McWhinnie lost the toss, then shocked the Blues captain Barry Church by pointing to the scoring end and telling him firmly, “Stiff s–t, we’re going that way”.

After the Hoers gathered at the same end as the puzzled Uni players, the field umpire demanded to know what was going on, eventually taking both captains aside and tossing the coin again.

“Barry called heads again, and he won it again,” said McWhinnie. “Running back to the centre I said to Haggarty (the umpire), “Jeez, would he take two out of three and he goes  ‘just get on with it’!”

Premiership wingman Don Blackwood revealed a previously hidden side to his mild-mannered demeanour, recalling how he had unmercifully abused De La Salle’s Barry Lyons as he lined up for goal during the final.

“That was the first time I’d ever sighted Barry Lyon … but 50 years later he’s one of my close personal friends. So it just goes to show, sometimes a little bit of abuse can work in your favour,” he said with a glint in his eyes and a smile.

Reunion organiser Don Blackwood remembers the 69er. Pic PHIL SKEGGS

Graham Linley and Robin Hick, both IAFC life members. Pic PHIL SKEGGS









Robinson elicited howls of mirth with an unprintable story about a teammate’s party prank involving a jar of peanut butter and a cheeky lie about “an itchy bum”.

But behind the mirth and laughter, it’s evident the 69ers were a special group of Ivanhoe players who forged a terrific bond on and off the field.

Some had gone to school together at Northcote High, where they were recruited by former Ivanhoe coach Alec Weston. Others had come through the Ivanhoe under 15s in the days before the junior club existed.

Saturday nights after a game they would often be invited back to the Neale’s house in Templestowe for drinks, songs and merriment.

“Syd brought us all together and we were a very close family and very close together and that was the main reason why we had success on the ground,” said Robinson.

They were such a fun crew that the field umpire joined them at the grand final celebration at Ivanhoe Golf Club.

And that’s the way they like to be remembered too.

We are extremely lucky also that video footage of the Grand Final has been shared with the club by Robin Hick. We will be adding it to our history pages, but here it is below.

Robin Hick in the middle foreground taking the field for the 1969 B grade grand final at Victoria Park

The late Peter Quinlivan, who at age 19 was one of the youngest members of the premiership team.

Billy McWhinnie and coach Syd Neale are hoisted up on the shoulders and chaired off as the Hoers celebrate victory in 1969

Ivanhoe supporters getting vocal behind goals during the 1969 grand final







Nearly 60 people attended the luncheon, including half of the premiership team and their coach, plus members of the ’69 reserves team who made the preliminary final.

VAFA CEO Brett Connell was also in attendance, along with Black & Whites members, major sponsors, members of the Miles, Thomas and Burt families, and Ivies team members.

Congratulations to Don Blackwood and Russell Knight on organising such an enjoyable afternoon.


By Phil Skeggs

Ivanhoe Amateurs congratulates Lachie “Dukes” Roberts on playing his 150th game for the club in Round 14.

Lachie Roberts being chaired off after his 150th club game. Pic PHIL SKEGGS

Lachie joined the Hoers as an Under 19 in 2010, debuted in the seniors in 2012, and has been a key member of the team ever since including two grand final appearances (2012, 2015)

Consistency, versatility, modesty  and an unswerving loyalty to the club and teammates have been his hallmark over the past decade.

His penchant for clunking big grabs and delivering quality pinpoint passes have been a joy to behold, whether it be on a wing or as a focal point inside forward -50m.

Many thanks Dukes, everyone at Ivanhoe Park salutes you.

19 July


In exciting news, the coach of the 1969 Premiership team, Syd Neale, will be attending the reunion on August 3. Syd was tracked down with a bit of detective work and is currently living in Whittlesea. It will be fantastic to have him and as many players from that team back at Ivanhoe Park together.

11 July


By Phil Skeggs

Ivanhoe Amateurs is keen to contact members of the 1969 B grade premiership team for a 50th anniversary luncheon to be held at Ivanhoe Park clubrooms on Saturday August 3. This group of players holds a very special place in our club’s history, being the last team to win a senior flag.

Ivanhoe AFC’s 1969 B grade premiership team

Heidelberger front page 1969 flag

Coached by Syd Neale and captained by triple B&F Billy McWhinnie, the Hoers of ’69 defeated De La Salle Old Boys by 21 points, 13.15 (93) to 10.12 (72). Billy McWhinnie was inspirational, the nuggety rover and Team of the Century vice-captain top-scoring with five goals including three in a tight final quarter. It was front page news in The Heidelberger, featuring  a pic of Syd giving the lads a final rev-up before they exited the changerooms at Collingwood’s spiritual home at Victoria Park to secure the club’s eighth senior premiership.

Heidelberger 1969 grand final match report

Under the headline Amateurs win the B grade premiership, a match report gave a detailed quarter-by-quarter account of the grand final. After the final siren, “Ivanhoe supporters spilled over the fence and chaired McWhinnie and coach Syd Neale from the ground”. Billy was best-on-ground along with centre half-forward Robin Hick (two goals), full-back Peter Coulter,  centre Roger Freeman, ruckman John Paterson (one goal), winger Don Blackwood, and ruck-rover Dave Berry (two goals).

Luncheon organisers Don Blackwood and Russ Knight are keen to hear from as many of the 1969 team as possible. Two team members Peter Quinlivan and Wayne Jones have passed away. They are seeking contact details for the following players: Graham Alcock, C.Bennett, Ed Blount, Jeff Brown, Bill Collins, Randall Castle, G.Dowley, Jeff Downing, Robbie Freeman, David Giles, J.Hosking, Bill Kelly, Alan Litchfield, Colin Montford, Robert Phillips, R.Porter, F.Redpath, Ian Riley, Peter Sgro, B.Sunborn, P.Sweet, Stuart Walters, G.Wells.

For more information, contact Don Blackwood on 0402400776 or email donblackwood.10@bigpond.com, or Russell Knight 0448840930, or email russellhknight@bigpond.com

The lunch starts at noon on Sat August 3 at the clubrooms. The invitation includes wives and partners. There’s a two-course meal at $30 per person, with drinks at bar prices. Please RSVP to Don or Russ by July 19.

Ivanhoe’s seniors and reserves will be playing Powerhouse.


Mitch Rees playing his 100th club game for Ivanhoe AFC in Round 9. Pic: Phil Skeggs

Ivanhoe Amateurs congratulates Mitch Rees on playing his 100th club game in Round 9 on Saturday June 15. Mitch began with the Hoers in 2012 and was a key member of the under 19s premiership team in 2014. Blessed with a solid all-round skill set and a cool head, this popular clubman has overcome injury setbacks to become a reliable defender. Well done and keep on motoring out of the back half Mitch.


By Phil Skeggs

Wes Mayne footy record cover June 1

Ivanhoe ruckman Wes Mayne has been enjoying a breakout season in his third year at the club.

After some vote-winning performances in recent rounds, “Wezza” was nominated for the Premier B – Division 4 Big V squad to play against Perth FL (formerly WAAFL) in at Fremantle Oval on July 6. He made it to the last 33 in a star-studded squad (one of only five D2 players).

But there’s no doubt his reputation for dominating hitouts and pulling down big grabs has attracted some interest at VAFA headquarters. Wes was featured on the front cover of The Amateur Footballer on June 1, showing him about to dish off a left-handed handball.

Maybe it’s just a coincidence but the last Ivanhoe player to adorn the cover of the footy record and also don the Big V was full-back Tom O’Donnell in 2015. Other club champions to have earned front cover include goalkicking machine and state rep Ash Close in 2012, former captain and coach Paul Harris in 2013, and Team of the Century member and Big V rep Peter Flynn in 1997.

Keep it going Wes!

30 May


I was delighted to renew a very special friendship today with Timmy Carolane and even more delighted to report that he will be back at Ivanhoe Park on Saturday yelling his familiar “Go Hoes”. Our club prides itself as a place where all are treated with love and respect and I can’t wait for Timmy to meet the folk new to us since last he was there.
Life has dealt Tim a few lousy hands recently and I know our club will again make him welcome. He’s very excited to be coming back and even more excited on finding out we were back to our old colours.
Rob Pearce

Timmy Carolane with his sister and mother.

20 May


Our club is delighted to share the news that Olivia Bandera, eldest daughter of Mario & Melissa has been selected to represent our State in the Under 15 Girls Victorian State Team in July. We wish you all the best Olivia and just know you will do really well. Interstate trips don’t come cheaply so if you would like to be one of her sponsors, please let Mario know.

Olivia Bandera

14 May


Billy Zagontinos, 100th club game for Ivanhoe AFC. Pic: Connie Williams

Ivanhoe AFC congratulates Billy Zagontinos on playing his 100th club game in Round 5. Since joining the Hoers as an under 19 in 2013, Billy has made a name for himself as a bustling half-forward who is strong overhead and accurate in front of the big sticks. More of a regular seniors player in recent seasons, we hope to see Billy’s name featuring among the goalkickers for many years to come.

8 May


By Phil Skeggs

IVIES on-baller Fede Frew has become the first women’s footballer at Ivanhoe to graduate to a major league team.

Fede, 22, has been added to Essendon’s VFLW list after impressing in try-outs during pre-season. She will wear No.17.

Fede Frew in a prac match against Southern Saints. Pic: EssendonFCW

Fede Frew in practice match with Ivies on March 16 2019. Pic: ALISTAIR KNOX










Fede debuted at Ivanhoe during the Ivies inaugural season in 2017, playing three games and scoring two goals. Last year she played seven matches and kicked 10 goals, but missed the finals after returning to the US to complete the final year of a sports scholarship.

A 167cm dynamo noted for her powerful ground kicks and ability to break the lines, Fede’s absence was sorely missed in last season’s Division 1 Grand Final. She polled 12 votes in the competition best and fairest and was recognised with the Ivies’ coach’s award at season’s end.

Fede Frew, Ivies on-baller, Round 13 2018 v Hawthorn. Pic: PHIL SKEGGS

A popular and equally modest player, Fede credits her time with the Ivies with providing her with skills and a pathway to Essendon’s list. Fede intends to play for the Ivies this season when she’s not selected for the Bombers.

Well done and good luck Fede!

For more information about Essendon’s VFLW team, go to:


If you’re interested in playing for the Ivies or know women who might be keen to play football, please contact coach Leighton Pearce on 0402 421 653, or team captain and club secretary Fiona Tansley on 0412 783 870, or email Fiona at iafcsecretary@gmail.com The Ivies play in Division 1 VAFA and train at Ivanhoe Park on The Boulevard on Mondays and Thursdays from 6pm.

19 April


By Phil Skeggs

Ivanhoe’s 1913 premiership team wearing the black & white stripes.

There is no record of what colours Ivanhoe wore when we formed as a social footy team in our first season in 1910. When the Heidelberg District Football Association was formed in 1911, Ivanhoe lacked a home ground and didn’t join the competition.

With the development of Ivanhoe Park, Ivanhoe joined the HDFA in March 1912 and according to a local press report the committee originally planned to field a green and gold strip. But a month later it was reported that the club had adopted the Collingwood colours of black and white stripes. The club may have got hold of a set of old jumpers from Collingwood for those first seasons. We were being referred to as the “Ivanhoe Magpies” by 1912. As evidenced by the premiership team photos from 1913 and 1921, the club wore the black and white stripes until the HDFA disbanded at the end of the 1921 season.

Ivanhoe wasn’t invited to join the newly formed Diamond Valley league in 1922. We joined the Melbourne Districts Football Association, which was later renamed the Sub-District Football League. Ivanhoe were dubbed the “Two Blues”, wearing a dark blue with a pale blue vee in front.  There are historic images of Ivanhoe teams wearing these colours on the club’s website under the heading “IAFC Picture Trove” https://ivanhoeafc.com/club-information/history/iafc-picture-trove/

Ivanhoe coach Ron Dowling post-World War II. Pic: The Dowling Family

We were still wearing the Two Blues when we joined the VAFA in 1934. We wore those colours for the first three seasons, as can be seen from the 1934, 1935 and 1936 premiership team photos. According to past president, the late Harry Thomas who re-formed the club post-World War II, the colours remained the same until the competition went into recess during the war.

During the war, the jumpers were placed in storage with Heidelberg Council for safe keeping. Club legend Tim Robinson said Harry recalled that the council was unable to locate the jumpers after the war and the coach, who had played at Collingwood pre-war, scrounged a set of old Collingwood jumpers from Victoria Park.

“Ron Dowling had been appointed coach and when the Two Blues jumpers could not be found he went down to Collingwood and got an old set of their jumpers. Thus the Black and white stripes,” said Tim.

“What happened to the jumpers was always a mystery. However, about 15 years ago I came across a photo of a West Heidelberg team in two blue jumpers. On inquiring I was told by a West Heidelberg source that when they re-formed after the war they had no money so the council gave them the Two Blues jumpers. This I suspect is the answer to the missing jumpers mystery.”

Others sources have told me they recalled seeing the club wearing green jumpers in 1946. It’s possible these may have been an emergency set supplied by the VAFA before Dowling obtained the Collingwood jumpers that year.

Being in Collingwood heartland, the black and white strip was popular with many players. Our under 19s won flags wearing the black and white in 1949, 1953 and 1955. The senior club enjoyed some its greatest successes wearing the Collingwood colours. The 1954 B grade premiership, 1956 A grade premiership, and the 1969 B grade flag. There was also a swag of reserves flags in those colours too.

Robinson said the club has never been called “Magpies” by players or supporters. It has always been ‘Hoes’ or ‘Hoers’.  But some Amateur Footballer scribes have mistakenly referred to our club as the Magpies over the years.

The Collingwood jumpers remained until the club forged an alliance with Assumption College old boys in 1999. The colours stayed essentially the same but the Assumption school badge was added on the left breast and the club was renamed Ivanhoe Assumption. It stayed like that until the school alliance dissolved at the end of 2006. When the club played in the 2007 D3 grand final, we were back in good ol’ Collingwood colours.

In 2008, club president Chris Tucker redesigned the club’s colours, switching to the all-black that the Ivanhoe Juniors had worn since inception in 1972. This was part of an effort to forge closer ties with the juniors and re-establish an under 19s team. Chris, a graphic designer, added a swooping magpie motif on the front panel as a nod to the club’s historic ties. These colours remained for 10 seasons, despite the junior club switching their jumpers to black with a white vee.

When the Ivies joined the inaugural VAFA women’s comp in 2017, they wore a reverse strip of white with a swooping magpie motif on the front, with black and white stripes below the motif.

The senior club returned to wearing its historic black and white jumpers in 2019 – a decision warmly welcomed by supporters and past and present players.

Ivanhoe skipper James Course leads his team onto the Powerhouse ground wearing new jumpers. Pic: CONNIE WILLIAMS

Danny Jones wearing new Ivanhoe jumper against Powerhouse Round 1 VAFA. Pic: CONNIE WILLIAMS








16 March


Ivanhoe Amateur Football Club Warmly invites you to join them for the 2019 OPENING LUNCHEON

Held in our clubrooms on Saturday 13th April from 12 noon

We would love to see you all as we welcome back an old foe, in Bulleen Templestowe, to Ivanhoe Park.

Come and watch your club back in its famous strip of our past.                                                            

Come meet and hear our new Senior Coach, Mario Bandera.                                          

Come and see the changes to your football club. We are excited, you will be too. 

Come and join old friends over a lovely 2 course lunch and enjoy their company. 

Come and hear guest speaker, Tim Robinson talk of the history of our famous jumper.

We are placing a huge emphasis on families and we would encourage you to join us and bring someone back to Ivanhoe Park who hasn’t been there for a while. For catering purposes please RSVP to club Secretary Fiona 0412 783 870 or to Emily Johnson on 0432 030 006 by Monday 8thApril.

The cost is $30.00 and if you’re a Black & Whites member you are our guest. Drinks at the bar.

11 March


Another two rounds of practice matches for all teams before the VAFA seasons kicks off in April. Everyone is playing at Ivanhoe Park.

16 March:

9:20am – Senior Women’s Vs Brunswick
11:40pm – Reserves Vs St Mary’s Salesian AFC
2.00pm – Seniors Men’s Vs St Mary’s Salesian AFC

23 March:

11:40pm – Reserves Vs Mount Waverley
2.00pm – Seniors Men’s Vs Mount Waverley
4.45pm – Seniors Women’s Vs TBC

All friends and family of The Club are welcome to attend!

7 March


Ivanhoe AFC are seeking applications for Senior Coach for our Womens team (the Ivanhoe Ivies) for 2019. Renumeration negotiable. Applications close Tuesday 12 March. Please contact Secretary Fiona Tansley on 0412 783 870 to apply.

21 February


Come join us on what will be an exciting Sunday in March to watch Ivanhoe Amateurs Football Club put their pre-season training to the test. All teams will be playing their first practise match for 2019 at Ivanhoe Park.

9:20am – U19s Vs TBC
11:40pm – Reserves Vs Manningham Cobras
2.00pm – Seniors Men’s Vs Manningham Cobras
4:45pm – Senior Women’s Vs West Brunswick

All friends and family of The Club are welcome to attend!

16 January


Thanks to our wonderful club historian, Phil Skeggs, we have a new addition to our history section on this website.

Heidelberg Leader feb 21, 2017

The ‘Advent of the Ivies’ looks at the last two years at Ivanhoe AFC, including the addition of our first female team, the Ivies. Phil hasn’t left the men’s teams out, this is a complete piece on our club’s last two years. Please, take a look, just click here.

5 January


The Ivanhoe Amateur Football Club community has been saddened by the passing of Betty, a wonderful and kind person, a very loyal supporter of Ivanhoe and the loving wife of the IAFC Icon, the late, revered Harry Thomas. Betty’s connection with Ivanhoe Amateurs dates back to its earliest days in the VAFA and was fully engaged upon her marriage to Harry, who not only provided Ivanhoe with his well honed administrative skills, but was a great player over a 10 year period from the mid 1940s to the mid 1950s. Like Harry, Betty understood the purpose, vision and values of our community club, living all of her 91 years not only in Ivanhoe, but in the same Ivanhoe/Eaglemont house. Betty was always that calm person in the background, portraying her own thoughtful, caring and supportive manner. Betty sacrificed untold hours in order that the club was properly led and that everything was in place to cover the infinite needs of a football club which always had player inclusiveness, connectedness and security as its mission. Harry, President of the Team of the Century, VAFA Award winner, Inaugural IAFC Legend, Life Member, talked often of his indebtedness to his quiet-humoured, generous and loving partner and through the decades the vision of the Thomas family, together with other great families and individuals such as the Miles, Blackwoods, Flynns, Bill and Lorraine McWhinnie and Tim Robinson to name just a few, have maintained our great club in the good and turbulent times. Vale Betty Thomas, and our thanks to her children Graham, Anne and Robyn for sharing her with us all over so many years.

Betty’s funeral will be held at 10:00am on Thursday 10 January at Le Pines in Ivanhoe. Friends are also invited to celebrate Betty’s life afterwards at Sir Henry Barclays Hotel in Heidelberg.

21 December


Ivanhoe Amateur Football Club would like to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a spectacular 2019. Go Ho Ho Hoers and Ivies!

20 December


By Phil Skeggs

One of Ivanhoe’s great clubmen of the ’60s and ’70s, Ron Lucas, has passed away, aged 81.

Ron Lucas in the 1953 Under 19s Premiership team

In an era when Ivanhoe Amateurs was consistently in A or B grade, Ron was a devoted stalwart whose work on and off the field was recognised with life membership. Ron was a member of the under 19s premiership team in 1953, playing alongside future club greats Rusty Burt, Ian Anderson and John Miles. A brave and skilful player, Ron usually lined up as a small forward and second rover. Anderson recalls that Ron, whom he’d known since he was 14, was “a reasonable player”.

“He wasn’t a champion, but he was a useful player,” he said. And while Ron missed out on the Seniors premierships in 1954 and 1956, he enjoyed success with the reserves when they won a flag in 1958. He went on to coach the reserves, including the 1969 season when the seniors won the B grade flag.

Ron was also active on committee, organising the club’s entry into junior football via the Melbourne Boys League. The club fielded under 15s and under 17s teams in the boys league from 1966 until 1971. At the behest of under 15s coach Tim Robinson, the senior committee formed the Ivanhoe Junior Football Club in late 1971 and entered teams in the Doncaster and Districts Junior Football League in 1972. (The forerunner of today’s Yarra Junior Football League, which was formed in 1997). Ron became the Ivanhoe Juniors’ first president, with a committee comprising John Miles (treasurer), Robinson, Burt, Don Blackwood, John Burns, Peter Cairns, Euan Logan, and John Benetti.

“He (Lucas) was one of the world’s real gentlemen – just a lovely guy,” recalled Robinson. “I played with him a little bit when I was beginning and he was finishing. He was a bloody good player, he wasn’t a standout super champion but he was a good little player.” He said after the senior club committee unanimously backed his proposal to form Ivanhoe Junior Football Club, Lucas went about “quietly and efficiently setting up the new club”.

“It was Ron Lucas and John Miles who did all the work in getting it going,” he said.

Ron Lucas died on December 9 and was privately cremated. The club extends its condolences to his wife Jan, and his children and grandchildren Amanda, Melissa and John, Will, Nick and Anna.

12 November


Pre-season training for all players, Men’s, Women’s and Under 19s, will be held on Monday and Wednesday nights throughout Pre-season. Training will be held at Ivanhoe Park and will commence at 6:15pm.

3 November


It is wth sadness that we report the passing of Mr Ray Foster, much loved father of Melissa Bandera and adored father in-law of newly appointed Senior Mens Coach, Mario Bandera. To Melissa, Mario and your beautiful girls, our deepest sympathy and we assure you of our love and care at this very sad time.