‘Since 1910’

23 February


Due to the exciting expansion of our on-field participation with 5 senior teams, our club is keen to hear from anyone who is willing to assist as field or boundary umpires for our Senior Men’s and Women’s teams for season 2021. This is a wonderful opportunity to be part of the exciting change that is Ivanhoe AFC.

For further information and renumeration details please contact Rob Pearce on 0438 378 348

Ray Buckley umpires the Reserves in 2019. Pic: Connie Williams

Frank Williams patrolling the boundary in 2019. Pic: Connie Williams










13 February


Unfortunately, due to the current restrictions/conditions in Victoria, the 2021 Big Draw needs to be rescheduled. Please click here to read the letter from President Rob Pearce.

9 February


By Phil Skeggs and Norm Shearer*

John ‘Jack’ Neeson, 1956 A grade premiership star and dual club B&F

There’s not too many blokes who could say they played in three premierships for Ivanhoe. But John ‘Jack’ Neeson was one of them.

Jack was a dynamic rover for Ivanhoe during the 1950s. He and brother Jim came to Ivanhoe with the endorsement of Collingwood Football Club about 1947. The Magpies had a number of brilliant small players in the post-war years and the Neesons, who were blessed with speed, courage and a delightful humorous streak, didn’t make the cut in tryouts. The pair played in our under 19 premiership team in 1949 – a highly talented group that included a few who went on to play VFL. Jim left the club in the mid-1950s to work at the highly classified Woomera Rocket Range in outback South Australia.

Jim and Jack Neeson (right) as under 19s in 1949

Jack went on to be an outright champion at Ivanhoe. He was vice-captain of the 1954 B grade premiership team and also represented the VAFA that year. Jack would have been the smallest player on the park in the 1956 A grade grand final – standing at just 162.5cm and weighing 63kg. He turned on a match-winning performance to help secure our first A grade flag and was duly voted best-on-ground. Jack was runner-up to Lloyd Williams in the club’s best and fairest that year. He went on to pick up two club best-and-fairest awards in 1957 and 1958 when the club was in A grade.

Jack Neeson was club B&F in 1957 and 1958.

By the time Jack hung up the boots at the end of the 1958, he had played 108 senior games. Jack was short-listed as rover in Ivanhoe’s Team of the Century but got squeezed out by Ron Moore, whose role he inherited after Moore retired. Jack was later named as rover in Ivanhoe’s 1950s Team of the Decade.

He was one of 10 members of the 1956 premiership team who attended a 50-year reunion in 2006. Reunion organiser Ian ‘Mick’ Anderson, who played in the centre in the ’56 grand final, said it was a pleasure to play alongside Jack. “He (Jack) was a thorough gentleman on and off the ground,” he said. “He was only a little bloke but a very fine rover. A tough little codger as well for a little man.”

Jack died on February 6, aged 89. Ivanhoe AFC passes on its condolences to his wife Barbara and family.

A funeral will be held on Wednesday February 10 at Alison Monkhouse Knox Chapel in Wantirna South.

*Norm Shearer is a past player and life member who was a mate of the late Jim Neeson, who died in 2013.


By Phil Skeggs

The Ivies hard at work this week.

The Ivies train twice a week at Ivanhoe Park

The Ivies will be fielding two teams in the women’s divisions this season. Ivies head coach Leighton Pearce said women turned out in such impressive numbers that the club notified VAFA headquarters on February 1 that we’ll have enough for two teams. “The VAFA were very happy to hear the good news and began mapping out what division the Ivies would compete in,” he said. “It’s been incredibly satisfying to see new players join in at training this summer and without hesitation, committing to the Ivies.

Coach Leighton Pearce is rapt in the progress of the Ivies

“I’m really proud how our veterans of the Ivies have welcomed so many young guns who have predominantly come from the Ivanhoe JFC. Watching several youth games in 2019 we have many reasons to be excited about this season. “Not only have we built a strong player base but we’ve also welcomed Trent Ryan joining our coaching support consisting of myself, Peter Tyler and Fede Frew.”

The Hoers will also be fielding a Thirds team this season.


The Hoers will be playing three of the first four games under lights this season. Round 1 we’ll be hosting West Brunswick Magpies – a fellow district club who also proudly wear the black and white stripes. The match is on Saturday April 10, starting at 6pm. The Reserves game starts at 3.40pm.

The Mens’ team ready to be the night specialists!

We host Powerhouse the following Saturday at 6.45pm. The third night game is in Round 4 against Yarra Old Grammarians on May 1, also at Ivanhoe Park. Here is a link to the VAFA fixture, which was announced last night. https://www.vafa.com.au/2021-division-2-mens-fixture/

Watch this space for further announcements about fixtures and social events.

30 October


The club held the 2020 AGM on Wednesday night which included the announcement of the 2021 Committee. The committee is relatively unchanged but with Dom Mitchell replacing Pete Rawley as Vice President. Thanks to Pete for his hard work, but thankfully he isn’t going far, he will be taking on some roles in the football department. Alongside President Rob Pearce, the other Vice President Kate McKendrick and Dom, is a number of stalwarts of the club. Click here for a full list of the 2021 committee.

Whilst we have a wonderful committee in place, we would love others to join, especially to represent the Ivies. If any Ivies players have a family member who would love to join the general committee please get in touch with Rob Pearce. We would also love someone to fill the Secretary role. Rob’s number is 0438 378 348.

7 October


We have had a wonderful couple of weeks with announcements of both coaches and players recommitting to the club for Season 2021. Both the Men’s and Women’s teams have confirmed some important players who are returning as well as coaches.

Leighton coaching the Ivies in 2019. Pic: Alistair Knox    

Ross during his first stint coaching the Reserves in 2011. Pic: STW Photography

Leighton Pearce will again be at the helm of the Ivies in 2021 and Ross Toogood will be leading the Reserves again for 2021. Click on the pictures above to read more!

Whilst we will announce more players who have recommitted to both teams in the coming weeks, you can check out those who we have already announced on our Facebook Page (you don’t have to have an account to read them!). They include some young guns, some on-field leaders and an experienced recruit from 2020 who didn’t get a chance to show us what he’s got, due to the cancellation of the season. Click here and scroll through the articles for all the exciting news!

25 September


The IAFC Committee are excited to announce the re-appointment of our Senior Mens coaches Ash Close and his assistant Nick Carlyon for Season 2021.

Senior Coach Ash Close in our Practice Match earlier this year. Pic: Phil Skeggs

Senior Assistant Nick Carlyon in action in 2019. Pic: Phil Skeggs

Having welcomed Ash back to the club as Senior Coach for 2020, he brought an amazing amount of knowledge and positivity with him. His coaching style was clear to all during pre-season and the one practice match, giving the players a voice whilst educating them, it was terrific.
It was fantastic news at the end of 2019 when Nick agreed to work with Ash as his Senior Assistant coach in 2020. Having been at the club in 2019 and forming fantastic relationships with the players, it was a big win for the club.
We are so pleased to have these two guys on board, leading our players in 2021. We can’t wait to pre-season to begin, whenever that is, so these two can continue what they started nearly 12 months ago.

31 July


With a global pandemic comes the cancellation of many things, including the football season. The loss of contact in 2020 meant a lack of revenue that has our football club quite vulnerable and this has prompted us to seek funds earlier than we normally would. We made many purchases pre-season, never dreaming what was ahead.

So we’re going to hold our $3,000.00 Draw in February, 2021 and we are appealing to all of you, an enthusiastic Ivanhoe person and seeking your help. Our question is; are you able to help us? For $50 the purchaser of a number in this Draw will enjoy a delightful spit roast lunch; beer, wine or soft drinks at no cost to them for a 2.5 hour period. The fun we’re all going to have is priceless, we promise.

As an encouragement to help us raise vital funds, we are giving the person selling the most tickets $500.00, our thank you for your efforts. If you’re in a position to help and can buy tickets now or anytime up to the end of January, please contact Rob Pearce at lrprint@i.net.au or on 0438 378 348.

29 June


During this strange year, the lock down provided the club with some fantastic new material for our Picture Trove, through the sharing of memories by past players and supporters on social media. Our diligent historian Phil Skeggs contacted these people and collected 13 new pictures for our trove. Ranging from a 1977 grand final banner to the first ever win by the Ivies in 2017, it has provided memories in that time period we didn’t have. Thank you to all those who shared these pictures. Take a look here! (p.s. we’d love more, contact details at the top of the Trove page).

1977 Under 19 grand final banner with life member Betty Warry (right), pic courtesy Phil Skeggs

Phil has also managed to find 2 more past players to add to our list of IAFC players to play at the highest level (VFL/AFL) and 2 former coaches to have played at VFL/AFL level. Please take a look to see what an amazing connection and influence IAFC has had on the VFL/AFL! Click here to check out the list!

4 April


We’re all going through a lot of challenges, changes and unknowns right now (things have changed even since this letter was written). One thing we do know is that we have a caring, committed and inspiring coach. Hear from our wonderful coach, Ash Close, who brings such a positive mindset, by clicking here.

29 March


Phil Skeggs, Ivanhoe AFC media officer, at presentation night in 2018.

Ivanhoe’s long-time media officer Phil Skeggs has been recognised with a Certificate of Merit award by the VAFA.

Phil was one of seven long-serving club and association volunteers to be honoured by the VAFA on March 26.

The award will be presented at a later date after the league cancelled its 2020 season launch because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Phil, 60, is only the ninth Ivanhoe volunteer to receive the award, which is for long-serving club and association volunteers.

His involvement with Ivanhoe Amateurs spans 50 years. As a primary schoolboy at East Ivanhoe who grew up on The Boulevard, Ivanhoe Amateurs was his local club.

Phil did all the usual things – ran boundary, scoreboard, goal umpired – for a pie and a drink. And with a few of his mates, he would watch some of the top amateur footballers of the era playing at Ivanhoe.

By the time he was in fifth grade, Phil and his mates were playing for the school team and were invited to train with Ivanhoe’s under 15s by one of their favourite teachers Ken Hamilton, a long-serving committeeman whom Phil later nominated for a Certificate of Merit on behalf of committee in 1998.

Phil played in Ivanhoe’s junior teams until 1975 and returned to play under 19s in 1977-78. Ivanhoe’s under 19s, coached by life members David Bartlett and Andrew Ireland, were minor premiers and grand finalists in Junior Section 1 in 1977.

Phil Skeggs as an Ivanhoe under 19 in 1977

After a few years on the Gold Coast where he reported and commentated local football on 2MW, Phil returned to Melbourne for work at the Herald & Weekly Times, covering Brisbane’s first few seasons in the AFL for Brisbane Telegraph.

Phil later joined The Sun newspaper and returned to supporting Ivanhoe. In 1995 he accepted an invitation from former teammate and club president John Sampson to join the club’s committee.

Phil began by organising club luncheons and trivia nights, but his core roles since 1995 have been press and publicity, as well as documenting the club’s proud history since foundation in 1910.

His match reports to local papers have been a constant and earned him three press correspondent awards from the VAFA and a club life membership.

Phil’s voluntary work evolved in step with changes in the media over this period.

It started with hand-typed match reports, live-to-air community radio reports,  pioneering a live grand final match broadcast with Harry Beitzel on 96.5 InnerFM in 1995, and a two-year stint hosting The Ammos Show on InnerFM with another Ivanhoe CoM recipient Don Blackwood in the late 1990s.

Phil produced a popular weekly club newsletter The Hoer from 2001 for several seasons. When the .com era arrived, the club established a website and Phil’s articles were regularly posted, helping to broaden the club’s support base.

Ivanhoe’s newsworthy snippets and pics would sometimes find their way into the sports columns of the Herald Sun where he worked as a senior reporter, night chief of staff and sub-editor. More recently his items have appeared in the Amateur Footballer’s For The Love Of The Game column and the VAFA website.

Digital photography provided Phil with another medium and he became the club’s match photographer and occasional videographer in 2007. His images have documented the life of this club – on and off the field – for the best part of 12 seasons.

In 2015, Ivanhoe’s coterie group the Black & Whites presented Phil with its prestigious Harry Award, named in honour of long-time club administrator the late Harry Thomas, in recognition of his extensive voluntary work.

In 2017 season, Phil accepted an invitation to be a Leader Newspapers contributor covering not just Ivanhoe’s fortunes, but also several other VAFA clubs across eight suburban mastheads. Many of his reports and photos are also published online on the Herald Sun Local Footy web page.

He remains an active administrator of Ivanhoe’s Facebook pages and his weekly match posts include hundreds of carefully edited images.

At the end of 2018 season Phil was highly commended for his work in the VAFA Media awards and was short-listed in two categories again last season.

Ivanhoe Amateurs and the VAFA have enjoyed a top media profile in the city’s northeast for the best part of 25 years because of Phil’s work.

It’s a little known fact that Ivanhoe was instrumental in establishing the Certificate of Merit awards in 1976.

According to life member Don Blackwood, the VAFA executive was looking for a way to properly recognise long-time club volunteers who had also contributed in a meaningful way to the broader amateur footballing community.

Phil Skeggs (centre) with club stalwarts Robert Moszkowicz (left) and Don Blackwood in 2014. Pic: ED PAYNTER

Ivanhoe framed a submission for the Certificate of Merit, which was subsequently ratified by the VAFA executive.

Don’s father John (Jack) Blackwood, who had been a long-time committee member at Ivanhoe, was among the first recipients in 1976, aged 83.

Since then, there have been several Ivanhoe stalwarts honoured with this award. They are: Ida Marcon (1981), John Miles (1986), Harry Thomas (1987), Ken Hamilton (1998), Reg Miles (1999), Don Blackwood (2001) and Rob Pearce (2012). For a full list of VAFA Certificate of Merit recipients, go to:  https://www.vafa.com.au/history/awards/certificate-merit/


“Difficult times” greatly understates our situation and staying at home is a very small price to pay. My thoughts have been for some time now with those whose livelihoods are threatened.

We are blessed with very special people who make significant contributions to our Ivanhoe Amateur Football Club and right now may be struggling. I’m going to suggest we get in touch in some way and ask them if there is anything we can do to assist them through this horrid time. Let’s show our own that we care for them.

Go safely dear friends

Rob Pearce