‘Since 1910’

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.

5 October


By Phil Skeggs

Mario Bandera. Pic courtesy Herald Sun and Stuart Milligan © must not be reproduced without permission

A Northern league champion is returning to his football roots as senior coach of Ivanhoe Amateurs next season. “Supa” Mario Bandera, 44, was an outstanding junior footballer from 1986-91 at Ivanhoe before he became a household name in the DVFL and NFL for two decades. Ivanhoe president Rob Pearce said he was delighted that Bandera, whom he coached as a junior, had been chosen for the job. “Mario was very keen to come back to Ivanhoe. He’s a family man and he wants to unite the Ivanhoe family,” said Pearce.

Mario Bandera (left) holding the premiership flag with then Colts coach Rob Pearce at Ivanhoe Juniors in 1991. Pic sourced by Rob Pearce

Bandera said he was pleased to be given the opportunity to coach Ivanhoe, which he considers a “sleeping giant of the VAFA” with a wealth of talent to be developed. “I know it as an iconic football club, with a strong and reputable standing within not only the VAFA, but also, and more importantly within the local community,” he said. “Having attended several games this season, I firmly believe that the current core list of players have the capacity to regroup and create a positive build towards future successes and stability. That same build can create a sustained push to lead the club towards premiership success, and then a deliberate and effective climb up the VAFA divisions.” Bandera said the club’s strong junior program would be a key ingredient in building the foundations for success. Ivanhoe also re-formed its under 19s this year and finished midfield in Division 4.

In accepting the Ivanhoe job, Bandera has an opportunity to restore his reputation as well as the Hoes’ fortunes.  Ivanhoe was relegated to VAFA Division 2 after its senior men’s team finished bottom of the ladder with just one win. In 2017, Bandera received a hefty 12-week ban after he was reported for swearing at two female players and disputing an umpire’s decision during an NFL under-14s match.

Bandera was an elite player and coach in the NFL/DVFL for more than 20 years. He played TAC Cup at Preston Knights and under 19s at Collingwood under the tutelage of legendary coach Keith Burns. The 190cm onballer played reserves for Carlton in 1992 before switching to Port Melbourne in 1993. He was at North Heidelberg between 1993-2002, including the 1994 premiership team, and picked up a club and NFL Division 1 best-and-fairest in 2002. He was recruited to NFL club Lower Plenty in 2003 as a playing assistant coach and won two club best-and-fairest awards during a seven-year stint. He also coached Epping for four years from 2010, taking them to a grand final in 2011 and a Division 2 flag in 2012. He was the Australian Football Coaches Association’s northern region senior coach of the year in 2011 and runner-up in the state award. A level 2 AFL accredited coach, he also mentored Eltham between 2014-16, taking them to the finals in 2015.

Bandera is keen to get to know his players and a meeting has been scheduled at the Ivanhoe Park clubrooms on Monday October 8 at 6.30pm. This meeting is open to anyone who is considering playing at Ivanhoe in 2019, including under 19s.

4 October


On Wednesday evening the Black & Whites held their annual Harry Dinner, at Vasko Restaurant in Upper Heidelberg Rd, Ivanhoe. A lovely meal was enjoyed by around 20 loyal Ivanhoe supporters where the ‘Harry’ was presented to a very worthy winner, 2018 Senior Coach, Leigh Cole. In what was one of the toughest years at the club, Leigh continued to work hard, remain positive and provide leadership for our players. It would have been easy to walk away, but Leigh, a true Ivanhoe person, stuck tough and showed why his such a high quality person. Congratulations Leigh you are such a deserving winner.

Leigh Cole, the 2018 Harry Award Winner. Pic: Ross Toogood


By Phil Skeggs

Rob Pearce, president. Pic: Phil Skeggs

Rob Pearce has returned to the club presidency for a record third time and immediately moved to quash rumours of a merger with Old Ivanhoe. “We are not going to have outside people making decisions for our club,” he said. Rob has formed a selection committee with Ross Toogood and Andy Moore and they are in the throes of choosing a senior coach from applicants. Coaches for seniors, reserves, women’s and under 19s will be introduced to players, members and supporters in the clubrooms on the night of Friday October 19. Rob said the club had much to look forward to next season, with new training lights and an electronic scoreboard to be installed as well.

Rob was elected unopposed at a meeting attended by 28 club members in the Ivanhoe clubrooms on Monday October 1. A tireless servant of the club, Rob was president for five years in seasons 2000-2004 and two years in 2010-2011. He is also convenor of the club’s coterie group the Black & Whites, which he established in 2005. Rob is a life member, Hall of Fame member, 2013 Harry Award recipient, and a VAFA Certificate of Merit recipient. Ivanhoe’s Under-19s B&F award is also named after him.

Joining him on committee of management for season 2019 is another past president Grant Mackenzie, who held the post from 2012-14. Former coach Doni Valkanis has also come on board along with Dom MitchellAndy Moore, Andy Marks and Sue Doman. Ivies captain Fiona Tansley continues her great work as club secretary and Kate McKendrick as treasurer.

Outgoing chairman and vice president (football operations) Bill Emerson will continue as football director and VAFA liaison officer.  Outgoing vice president Ben Joyce (business and finance) will continue in an advisory capacity. Other sub-committee members are: Tess Vandergriff (sponsorships), Phil Skeggs (media), Ross Toogood (website), Emily Jane Johnson (merchandise), Claire Tipping (fundraising), Aaron Marks (social). Other members will be confirmed in coming weeks.

In the annual report, Bill Emerson assured members that the committee had worked tirelessly and  even-handedly in its efforts to keep all teams viable. “I urge all members to put aside any private agendas and work to see Ivanhoe Amateurs FC rise again – what a history we have – too good to lose,” he wrote.

For a full copy of the 2018 annual report, see the attached PDF.

20 September


By Phil Skeggs

More than 100 people packed into the Streeton Room for the club’s annual presentation night at The Centre, Ivanhoe, last night. This was a chance to acknowledge some fine individual efforts on and off the field and thank  committee, coaches and volunteers for their tireless work in making Ivanhoe AFC such a great community club. The club also took the opportunity to thank major sponsor Nelson Alexander Real Estate of Ivanhoe for their ongoing support – senior auctioneer Nick Smith and his partner enjoying the banter around the president’s table. Our special thanks to Claire Tipping for organising a very successful night. There was a really warm vibe in the room and it was encouraging to hear so many players talking about the season ahead. My personal thanks to Ivies photographer Alistair Knox, who gave me a night off with the camera.

Our award winners are:

Under 19s B&F

Under 19s B&F winner, Fonda Kyriakos. Pic: Alistair Knox

1st. Fonda Kyriakos

2nd Viv Blackmore-Moore

3rd. Connor O’Brien

Best team player: Connor O’Brien

Coaches award: Gerrard Williams


John Miles award for best club members

One of the joint John Miles Award winners, Ben Joyce. Pic: Alistair Knox

Ben Joyce (treasurer) and Tessa Vandergriff (sponsorships)






Tim Robinson award for senior-junior club liaison

Tim Robinson Award winner, Jack McDonald. Pic: Alistair Knox

Jack McDonald





Reserves B&F 

Reserves Coaches Award winner, James Meroiti. Pic: Alistair Knox

1st Cam Bath

2nd. Sam Criscione

Best team player:  Jack Wright

Coaches award:  James Meroiti


Women’s B&F

Ivies’ B&F winner, Georgia Scarce. Pic: Alistair Knox

1st Georgia Scarce

2nd Tahlia Day

Best team player: Ireland Hall

Coaches award: Fede Frew

Best finals player: Tahlia Day

Seniors B&F

Seniors B&F winner, Sam Tansley, with Senior Coach Leigh Cole. Pic: Alistair Knox

1st. Sam Tansley

2nd. Lachie Bown & Stefan Zervides

Best team player: James Course

Coaches award: James LaGreca


23 August



Ivanhoe Amateur FC is seeking coaches for Seniors, Reserves, Under 19s and Women’s teams next season.

Ivanhoe seniors returns to Div 2 after three seasons in Div 1 and is seeking coaches to help restore a successful culture. With a young list and a talented Under 19s team and Colts (Under 17s) feeder teams from Ivanhoe Juniors, the club is well poised to rebound.

Ivanhoe’s women’s team the Ivies won promotion to Premier B next year after finishing on top of Div 1 this season and are keen to build on their success.

Applications (including CV) can be sent to iafcsecretary@gmail.com

Inquiries to Bill Emerson (IAFC president) on 0407 921951 or bill.emerson@outlook.com.au

21 August


By Phil Skeggs

Sam Tansley is the Seniors B&F 2018. Pic: Phil Skeggs

Ruckman Sam Tansley is Ivanhoe’s 2018 best-and-fairest after polling 24 votes in 11 games.

Sam, a former Warrandyte player who joined the club this season, polled votes in consecutive games between Rounds 3 and 9.

He played his last game against Hampton Rovers in Round 11 before heading overseas to complete law studies.

Sam was invited to play at ’Hoe Park by coach Leigh Cole after coming down to watch his sister – Ivies captain and club secretary Fiona Tansley – play in a practice match in early 2017.

Runner-up honours in the B&F were shared by another first-year player Lachie Bown, 19, who has had an arduous task as full-back in a tough season, and midfielder Stefan Zervides, playing his sixth season in the seniors. Both played polled 22 votes.

Lachie Bown, equal 2nd in club B&F. Pic: Phil Skeggs

Stefan Zervides, equal 2nd in club B&F. Pic: Phil Skeggs










The club congratulates all of these players on their individual successes and very much looks forward to seeing them back on the park for a red-hot crack in Division 2 next season.

The vote count was held at major sponsor Barr’d wine bar in East Ivanhoe on Sunday.  A special thanks to Ari Menelaou and his crew for hosting our end-of-season drinks.

15 August


Congratulations to all involved with the mighty Ivies on getting through to the VAFA Women’s Division 1 Grand Final this coming weekend. On Sunday the Ivies had a tough 11 point win over St Bedes/Mentone to make their way to the decider against rivals Hawthorn this coming Sunday. It would be great to see all Ivanhoe AFC people get there to support our ladies. Regardless of the result, the Ivies will gain promotion to Premier B White in 2019, however a premiership flag would top off a wonderful year for the ladies. The match will be held at Elsternwick Park, on Sunday 19 August at 9:30am. GO IVIES!!!


Georgia Scarce and the league B&F medal. Pic: Emily Jane Johnson

On Monday night Ivies superstar, Georgia Scarce, was presented with the VAFA Women’s Division 1 competition Best & Fairest. The vote count was held live on 96.5 Inner FM last week. At the mid point of the season Georgia sat on 8 votes but stormed home in the second half of the season to finish with 21 votes, including three best on ground performances. Teammate, Sarah Kerr, was equal third on 17 votes. Congratulations to both ladies and good luck in the Grand Final this weekend.

30 July


Ivanhoe Amateurs welcomes CONOR MITCHELL on 100 club games this season. Conor made his senior debut in 2010, captained the under 19s in 2011, and played in senior grand finals in 2012 (D3) and 2015 (D2). Noted for his iron determination and coolness under pressure, Conor is a brave and reliable defender with great all-round skills. He has taken on a leadership role in the backline and is a shining example to younger teammates. Well done Conor!

Conor Mitchell

Ivanhoe Amateurs congratulates ANGUS WOODWARD on 50 club games for the Hoes last month. Gussy was a relative latecomer to footy, coming from basketball to play with mates at Ivanhoe Park in 2015. He picked a good year – the reserves won the D2 premiership and he played a key role as a strong marking forward with a happy knack of slotting goals in clutch situations. He got his chance at seniors as a second ruck the following season in D1 and hasn’t looked back. A wise old head and a champion bloke. Well done Gussy!

Angus Woodward

Ivanhoe Amateurs congratulates club vice-captain JAMES MORRISON on his 50th club game this season.  Moz started as an under 19 at ’Hoe Park in 2010 and after a stint at Old Xavs returned to Ivanhoe in 2015. A hard-running half-back flanker who regularly turns defence into attack with pinpoint passes, Moz was best-on-ground in the D2 reserves premiership in 2015. He has been a seniors regular ever since. He’s a popular clubman and has helped bring many quality mates into our ranks. Well done Moz!

James Morrison

Ivanhoe Amateurs congratulates STEFAN BETTIOL on his 50th club game earlier this season. Trazzler began as an under 19 in 2012 and played mainly ressies in his first few seasons. He was a member of the 2015 reserves D2 premiership team, though he had the misfortune to break a leg early on. He has since stepped up to become a seniors regular as a hard-running onballer who absolutely loves a goal. Well done Trazzler!

Stefan Bettiol

23 July


Calling all past players, put a red asterix on Saturday August 11 in your calendars. It’s that one day of the year when everyone’s a champion again. And we’d love to see the rooms packed to the max with your big ugly mugs. The club has three matches on: under 19s host PEGS at 9.20am, ressies and seniors play West Brunswick. For catering purposes, please let Rob Pearce know if you’re coming. Text him on 0438 378 348 or email lrprint@i.net.au by Friday August 3. Carna Hoes!

14 May


By Phil Skeggs

Conceptual image of Ivanhoe’s electronic scoreboard. Pic from Electronic Signage Australia

THE push is finally on to install an electronic scoreboard at Ivanhoe Park.

The fundraiser is being overseen by the Ivanhoe Sporting Club – the umbrella body for not only Ivanhoe Amateur Football Club but Ivanhoe Cricket Club and Ivanhoe Junior Football Club.

The scoreboard is worth about $50,000 and the sporting club has had pledges for about half that amount so far.

Donations are coming in from individuals and families in the form of Foundation Family bricks, valued at $1000 and $500 each. There are a couple of dozen $1000 bricks still available and about 37 $500 bricks remaining.

These contributions are being administered through the Australian Sports Foundation and are fully tax deductible.

This is a cause very close to my heart. As an East Ivanhoe primary school kid, my mates and I would often man the old wooden scoreboard on a Saturday afternoon. That was back in the late 1960s and  it seemed like a bit of a relic even then. It’s believed to have been built in the late 1950s, which makes it about 60 years old.

Club record score against Monash Gryphons reserves Round 15 2015. Pic: Phil Skeggs

About 20 years ago, I made an unsuccessful approach on behalf of the senior club to a well known local businessman about sponsoring an electronic scoreboard. The price was less than half of today’s project.

So, as a combined sporting club, let’s get the score on the board and show that we are a modern 21st century community sports club.

For more information about how to donate a Foundation Family brick, contact Andrew Smith on 0417115560, Mark Walkley 0414338866, or Tim Donohue 0418326704.

Alternatively you can click on the Donate Image at the top left of this page or this link here: https://asf.org.au/projects/ivanhoe-sports-club/ivanhoe-sports-club-digital-scoreboard/

Note: If you’re wanting to donate $1000, choose “other” amount and then type in the amount.

Donations can be made via EFT or credit card. Credit cards incur a 1pc transaction handling fee.

If you choose EFT, the ASF’s website will quickly email it’s account details to you:

Bank: Westpac   Account Name: Australian Sports Foundation Donations BSB: 032776  Account: 130159

A donor reference number is also given and must be included in your electronic banking payment.

An official tax receipt will be provided once the transaction has been completed.

10 April



Invites you to join with them to celebrate a

Life Members’ Luncheon

On Saturday, April 21, 2018 at 12.00 noon in our clubrooms

Apologies for such short notice. We would love you to be a part of this day as we welcome





Luke Blackwood  –  Leighton Pearce  –  Daniel Adams  –  Ben Fleming

to life membership of our football club

All have been wonderful servants of this club for many years

The cost is $25.00 per person.  For full Black & Whites Members the lunch is free of cost.  Please if you would respond to lrprint@i.net.au or message Rob on 0438 378 348 by Monday 16th April 2018.