The Ivies will have their own honour board mounted in the Ivanhoe Park clubrooms later this month. The board, to be named after Ivies foundation coach Bill Emerson, will be unveiled at a club function on Saturday May 15. Emerson coached the Ivies to finals in their first two seasons, making the Division 1 grand final in 2018.
Since their establishment in 2017, the Ivies have become the pride of Ivanhoe Park, with the club now fielding two women’s teams in the VAFA’s Premier C division. Mirroring the growing popularity of women’s football at AFL and VFL level, the club has seen a huge influx of talented young players who developed through Ivanhoe Junior Football Club. Several of the original Ivies are also into their fourth seasons with 40-plus games to their credit, providing inspirational leadership to their younger teammates.
The Ivies are astutely coached by two of our finest – Leighton Pearce and Ian Callahan. Pearce, a life member, was previously an assistant coach alongside Emerson, who took Ivanhoe’s under 19s to a premiership in 2014 and a reserves flag in 2015. Callahan’s partner Kath and daughters Sophie and Talya are also playing for the Ivies – probably a first in VAFA women’s footy – and underscores the club’s family orientation.
The Ivanhoe AFC committee is pleased to invite parents and partners of all Ivies – past and present – to join us in the clubrooms to mark this latest proud milestone in women’s football from 1.30pm onwards. A light lunch will be provided for the cost of a gold coin. North Brunswick players are also most welcome to join us.
The function will be preceded by two matches against North Brunswick. The Ivies reserves (white) match kicks off at Ivanhoe Park at 9.40am. The Ivies seniors (black) game begins at 11.40am.
When Ivanhoe AFC’s reserves coach Ross Toogood was told at very short notice he would have to find another player to cover a late withdrawal in Round 4 (May 1), he had no hesitation in dusting off his well-worn black and white jumper.
Toogood, 44, had filled in as a top-up in previous seasons when the ressies were light on for numbers. And by the end of the 2019 season, his games tally was 249 – one match shy of a huge milestone. Only five other players in the club’s lengthy history have played more than 250 games.
Toogood, a primary school teacher, joined the Hoers in 1997 when the club was in B grade. He initially struggled to get a game in the reserves. But after the club was relegated to C and later D grades, opportunities arose and he was eventually rewarded for his hard efforts with a senior slot in the back pocket, wearing number 48.
What Toogood lacked in pace or height, he more than compensated for with courage, determination, efficient disposal and ability to read play.
With the support of his partner Amanda and their darling daughter Jasmine, he has remained actively involved as coach, assistant coach, runner, and committee member. He is also our website editor, a key administrator of social media platforms, and a proud life member.
For the record, Toogood brought himself on late in the first quarter and got several touches of the ball in a tight win over Yarra Valley Old Boys.
Ivanhoe AFC congratulates our resident gentle giant Wes Mayne on playing his 50th game for the Hoers in Round 4.
Wezza was a late convert to footy, joining the club in 2017 at the invitation of basketball teammates and club stalwarts Lachie Roberts and Conor Mitchell. He spent his first season in the reserves honing his skills and played in a semi-final at Elsternwick Park. By mid-2019 his image was on the cover of the amateur footy record and the VAFA were considering him for rep duties.
Wes is arguably the best ruckman in our comp. He never loses a ruck contest, never loses his cool, takes awesome grabs, and has straightened up in front of goals considerably in the past two seasons.
A very modest bloke, he is one half of a much-loved couple at the club – his partner Tess Vandergriff is a foundation member of the Ivies women’s team and also serves on committee. Well done Wezza, keep it going champ!
Ivanhoe supporters chant in triumph after the senior men’s team clinch a thrilling 2-point win over West Brunswick under lights at Ivanhoe Park on April 10, 2021. It was the opening round in VAFA Div 2 after the 2020 season was cancelled due to the pandemic lockdown. It was also the first time the men’s team had played under lights for premiership points. Despite cold damp conditions, the game attracted a small but vocal crowd of supporters from both clubs. The lead changed hands a couple of times in the final term before the home team goaled with six minutes remaining and hung on until the siren.
A blast from the past has blown us away with previously unseen photos from the club’s 1969 premiership season. Alan Phillips, a photographer and artist in Beechworth, recently contacted the club via our website after he found a collection of 35mm black and white negatives while moving house.
Alan’s brother Peter Phillips played on the wing in Ivanhoe’s B grade premiership alongside his best mate from Northcote High, Dave Berry. Dave recalled Peter had pace and skill as a player and never indulged in roughhouse tactics. “He always kept a cool head – on and off the field,” said Dave.
Peter had been doing weight training in the backyard gym of Northcote High sports-master Alec Weston. Alec was an ace recruiter and under 19s premiership coach and Peter and Dave were among several fine young athletes invited to play under 19s at Ivanhoe in about 1964. “He (Peter) was a very talented sportsman,” said Alan. “He held some Victorian swimming records, he captained the Victorian under 16 basketball side and he was vice-captain of the under 18 side.”
Premiership captain and Hall of Fame member Billy McWhinnie, who also played basketball with Peter, said his skilled teammate played about four or five more senior games in A grade in 1970 before a knee injury ended his playing days. “He had the next year out and then came back as an A grade umpire in the VAFA for a couple of years,” said Billy.
After the VAFA, Peter umpired in country leagues including the Ovens and Murray as well as the Diamond Valley league, forerunner of today’s Northern league.
Hall of Fame member Don Blackwood said Peter found time to join the committee in 1977 when Don was president. Peter wrote weekly match reports for the local paper, The Heidelberger. “He did a terrific job – a loyal person,” said Don.
Peter went on to become a highly respected Commander in the Australian Federal Police and was awarded the Australian Police Medal in 2004. He died in Canberra in December 2004, aged 58. His son Luke Phillips starred in an NRL premiership as fullback for the Sydney Roosters in 2002, playing with a broken shoulder.
Alan never pulled on the boots for the Hoes, but he was quite happy to take match photos with his second-hand Minolta SR-T 101 and telephoto lens. The Minolta was a 35mm manual focus SLR camera that was popular with amateur and semi-professional photographers. Good action prints were sometimes sold and he put the “pocket money” towards film and materials while studying industrial design at RMIT.
Alan’s images are an invaluable addition to the club’s online history, complementing his 8-minute clip of the 1969 grand final against De La Salle at Victoria Park. His stills also capture memorable moments from the 1972 B grade grand final against Geelong Amateurs.
There’s also action shots from several home-and-away games during the early 1970s that featured future stars Andrew Ireland, Mick Callinan, John Rojo, Hadyn Hughes and Billy Phillips (no relation). All five went on to play for the VAFA’s state teams – the first three were named All-Australians.
Keen observers will also note in some of the home game images how supporters were allowed to park their cars almost halfway around the Wamba Road wing. The ground was also particularly boggy in the pocket closest to the clubrooms because of the original location of turf wicket training nets. And in a couple of the 1969 grand final photos, you can see three of the club’s precious premiership flags draped along the fence in front of the Rush Stand.
The Phillips Collection has been donated to the club by Alan and dedicated in memory of his late brother Peter.
After some recent interest in the history of our Under 19s from past players and supporters, Phil Skeggs has done some research and put together a story that delves into our Under 19’s history at Ivanhoe AFC. It is now placed under the ‘Our Teams’ tab in our History section of this website or you can have a read by clicking here. Phil has also put together a list of our Under 19s Best & Fairest winners. There are a few unknown, so if you can help, get in touch with Phil.