10 October


Andrew Marks, winning of the 2019 ‘Harry Award’. Pic: Ross Toogood

Last night 22 of our supporters gathered and enjoyed a really happy time together at the annual Black & Whites Harry Dinner. There was a lovely rendition of Happy Birthday to our lovely Sue Tucker to kick off the evening, she’s a beautiful person.

Andrew Marks was presented the “HARRY AWARD” for 2019. This award is becoming more prestigious each year. Andy has been our 2’s Team Manager the last 2 years, a very difficult position recently. He has helped with Thursday meals for the past few years and his Saturdays begins at 8am, preparing the ground for the day ahead. He also served on the Committee of Management this year. His contribution to the club is extremely significant, congratulations Andy!

Andy receiving his award from Rob Pearce. Pic: Ross Toogood

Senior Coach, Ash Close, outlining his return and plans. Pic: Ross Toogood

Our special guest speaker for the night was new Senior Coach, Ash Close, who spoke beautifully about what the club means to him and what his plans are for our club in 2020. He spoke openly about his ethos and how excited he is to work with our young (and not so young) squad. Let’s all get behind him and play our part!!


29 September


By Phil Skeggs

Viv Blackmore-Moore B&F 2019. Pic: Phil Skeggs

Georgia Scarce B&F 2019. Pic ALISTAIR KNOX









Connor O’Brien, 2nd in B&F 2019. Pic: Phil Skeggs

Ivanhoe Amateurs congratulates Viv Blackmore- Moore on becoming one of the youngest-ever winners of the club’s senior men’s best-and-fairest award. Viv, 20, was ultra-consistent in his first full season in the seniors, polling votes in 12 of 16 games in Division 2. A silky-skilled on-baller with electrifying pace, Viv was co-captain of the under 19s in 2018 when he made his senior debut against Ormond last year. He has just 19 senior games to his credit, which puts his B&F on par with legends such as Andrew Ireland (1972),  Peter Gittos (1979), Rod Hutton (1978), Brendan Kendall  (1995), and Mitch Lovell (2014) who were all 20 years or under when they won the club B&F. Viv’s brother Reuben Blackmore-Moore won the Rutherford Medal in 2017 when he was 21.

Sam Tansley, third place B&F 2019. Pic: Phil Skeggs

Runner-up was Connor O’Brien (2nd),  a classy wingman who was also playing under 19s last year. Connor played in 10 senior matches this season, polling votes in five games. Ruckman Sam Tansley, who was our 2018 B&F, finished third after picking up votes in nine of his 14 games.  He was also equal-second highest goal-kicker with 15 majors – the same as Viv. Only fellow ruckman Wes Mayne scored more, with 18 goals in 15 matches.

Rachael McLean, Runners Up in 2019 B&F. Pic ALISTAIR KNOX





The Ivies B&F went to hard-working onballer Georgia Scarce for the second year in a row, with Rachel McLean (2nd) and Ireland Hall (3rd). Georgia was a standout in seven of 14 matches, midfielder Rachel was among our best in nine of 13 matches,  while key defender Ireland also polled votes in seven of 13 games.

Reserves B&F, James Pititto. Pic: Connie Williams

Congratulations also to James Pititto who took out the Reserves B&F. Coaches awards went to Mitch Rees (seniors), Paddy Kealy (reserves) and Ivies first-year player Charlotte ‘Charli’ Tyler.

The fantastic contribution of the hard-working Williams clan – Frank, Connie and Gerrard – was also acknowledged with the Tim Robinson award, while reserves coach Adem Shemshedin received the John Miles award for his outstanding efforts week-in, week-out.

The awards night was compered by Dom Mitchell in front of about 60 people in the Ivanhoe Park clubrooms last Thursday night.

The club will hold its AGM on Wednesday October 16 in the clubrooms from 7pm. Nominees for committee must contact secretary Fiona Tansley. (m. 0412 783 870 or

A meet-the-coaches day is scheduled for Sunday October 20 in the rooms from midday.

17 September


By Phil Skeggs

Ash Close returns to Ivanhoe Park. Pic: Peter Rawley

FORMER Ivanhoe goal-kicking machine Ash Close is returning to the club as a playing coach in 2020.

Close, 27, said he was excited to be back with the Hoers after a six-year odyssey that has seen him playing at Morwell, Collingwood VFL and Northcote Park.

“I am really excited to come home – it’s where it all began for me and I owe Ivanhoe everything. It’s a very nice thing to be able to return to the club and to coach this young group is even better,” he said.

Close, nicknamed Moose during his playing days at Ivanhoe, topped the goal-kicking in VAFA Division 3 in 2012 with a tally of 104 goals. He kicked another 13 goals during the finals series when the Hoers made the grand final and was runner-up in the club B&F.

He represented the VAFA on a tour of Ireland in 2013 – the same year he started working for Collingwood as a performance analyst.

Ash Close celebrates a goal playing at Ivanhoe in 2013 Pic PHIL SKEGGS

Ash Close, 2013 Ireland tour










After 67 club games, including 36 in the seniors between 2011-13, Close joined Gippsland league powerhouse Morwell in 2014, starring in their premiership win that season under the mentoring of Harmit Singh, Collingwood’s community engagement officer.

Close, who is 199cm tall and a strong mark, earned an invite to Collingwood where he impressed enough to be selected to try out with the AFL draft state combine in 2015.

He played 16 VFL games for the Magpies over four years to the end of 2018, playing key positions in forward and defence. Over five seasons (49 games) at NFL club Northcote Park he topped the goal-kicking in four seasons. He also represented the NFL in 2017.

VFL Men’s And Women’s Launch at Burbank Oval. Pic: Michael Dodge

Ash in action for Collingwood’s VFL team. Pic: Shane Barrie










Close is not wasting any time in adding to the senior men’s team list, with several past players signalling an intention to return to the club for the 2020 season.

“I think we have a great base on which to build a very competitive team for next season. I have started discussions with some players who are keen to return to the club and help get the club back into playing finals,” he said.

Close is also keen to continue developing Ivanhoe’s young list and foster closer ties with the Ivanhoe Juniors, where he played before progressing to under 19s and seniors. The historic link between the two clubs is something he believes can be further developed.

“This is about building a club that represents the local community, from the boys and girls in the IJFC all the way through to the men’s and women’s senior teams”.

He will schedule a meeting with players after the AFL finals to outline expectations and pre-season training.

Players interested in joining Ivanhoe in 2020 can contact Ash Close on 0433 736 220.

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, or Russell Knight 0448840930, or email

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!

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