The OzSoccer Articles

The following article is taken from "Soccer Weekly News" of September 10 1949, the program for the fifth test between Australia and Hadjuk Split from Yugoslavia. I used this article to construct the makeup of the Victoria vs Hadjuk Split game and have since verified the score. It's not quite "Politically Correct", but it is a good yarn.

...and it came to pass!

The following summary of the Yugoslavian team's sojourn in Victoria was compiled by the great Melbourne philospher, "Dicko", and is here presented as published in the Official Programme of the Victorian Soccer Assosiation.

A Vision of the Prophet "DICKO".

Now it came to pass in year 1949 that a host from the land of the Yugoslavs descended on the country of the Sydneyities and fought a great battle with the local lads at a place called Showgrounds and lo! the Sydneyites were defeated with much slaughter. And the Sydneyites lifted up their voices and called unto the Queenslandites "lend us the three blokes who will help us against these Yugoslavs" and the three Queenslandites did so, and they fought another great battle and again were defeated, and the slaughter was nearly as great. And the Sydneyites cried unto each other, putting their heads together and one spake saying, "let us fight the Yugoslaves in the land of the Melbourneites, and perhaps it shall be that these Melbourneites may give us some trifling assistance".

And Bill, the son of Thomas, spake saying, "Bring the beggars down here and we will lend two of our most stalwart warriors - even Angus, the son of Drennan and Barr, Barr the black sheep"- and it was so. And once again they were defeated, and this time the slaughter was even more terrific.

Now the Sydneyites spake together saying, "let us return to our own country for surely it is not meet that we should stay and see the Melbourneites get pasted. For it is not written that they are but a bunch of monkeys, and as footballers, lo! they smell. And when the Yugoslavs have done with them, we will return and take their M.C.G. and dump it in our 'arbour".

So they up with tents and departed, leaving only Doug, the son of McLaren, to keep watch on the Melbourneites and give them the good oil when he returned to the land of the Sydneyites.

Now when they heard this, Alec the son of Kerr, and Andrew, the son of Herd, spake unto the blokes saying, "surely this is a bad show for are we not deserted?" But Tom, the son of Jack spake saying, "let us get stuck into the cows, for what have we to lose?" And they arose and, seeing the Yugoslavs coming afar off, got fairly stuck into them. But the Yugoslavs laughed saying, "have we not Frane, the son of Matosic, and Bernard, the son of Vukas, and are they not equal to fourteen Australians, twenty-nine Pommies or thirty-seven of the wild hairy men that the Pommies let live in the extreme northern part of their country". And they up and put on two goals and ran together saying, "PLES U PROSTORIJAMA NOGONESLOCOG KLUBA". Which, being translated, means "ain't it bonza".

But whilst they still spake, Bertie, the son of Grix (he with the red hair), ran up and sank a sly one. But whilst he stood tying his ribbon the Yugoslavs rushed up and smote the Melbourneites yet a third time, and behold they were two up again.

Now as they stood singing and dancing, Reg, the son of Hardman, "belted a beaut", so that it made it a great dent in the Yugoslav net, and lo! it was the best goal of the battle.

Now seeing this the Yugoslavs ran to and fro tearing their hair and lost heart, so that they returned to their house which is below the hill where sat the High Priest, Ingham, together with his lesser Priests and many beautiful damsels, all chanting hymns of praise and banging on the loud cymbals and saying to one another, "surely in the second half we will belt the pants off them".

And when the battle was resumed it was so. For Jackie, the son of Wilson, sank another, even with his head, which as all men know is exceedingly thick. And Vladimir, the son of Beara, rushed madly around, wringing his hands and saying "I CAGANHA POSLE PODNA" which means "turn it up chaps". And the noise from the hill was very great, and loudest of all spake Alec, the son of Kerr (he with the shekels), saying, "surely this must make all our fortunes". And Jack, the son of Olsen, cried unto the prophet Dicko, "did we not TIP it in 'Soccer News'" (even though we believed it not). "Surely we must go into the racing game and collect many pieces of silver and much folding money".

And Tom, the son of Jack, and Ralph, the son of White, and Joe, the son of Kennedy, withstood the Yugoslav attacks, together with that hairless one - the laird of the McDougalls - and Angus, the son of Drennan. And Charlie, the son of Weight, stopped many hard and awkward shots from the Yugoslavs, adopting many strange and unconventional attitudes to do so. And Dave, the son of Stoddart, ran right fast with the ball and the Yugoslavs muttered together saying, "let us kick his legs from under him else we are lost". And it was so, even in the goal mouth, and so they brought him down, and his best effort came to nought, but the people were with him and said so.

And Alec, the son of Barr, took many pot shots but the luck was not with him, so that they passed over and around the goal and the Yugoslavs made use of their praying mats. And Tom, the son of Jack, arose and spake saying, "let us wear them down and when they are in bad nick we will send them back to Sydney so that the Sydneyites may beat them and make much money, and not have to sell their bridge to buy tucker".

And lo! the score was 3-all. And the Melbourneites rejoiced even as if they had won. And Andy, the son of Herd, spake saying, "these lads have done a great job and should any not be mentioned by the prophet "Dicko" surely shall he receive as much credit as the others".