100 years down, with many more to come, VAFA's Joe Pignataro and Nick Armistead take you through the storied history of the Cardinal, Gold and Blue.
From three players at a ‘Meet the Coach’ BBQ to an A Grade premiership two years later, that was the fate awaiting Laurie Aghan and Old Scotch in 1976.
The underperforming Cardinals were looking to return to the VAFA’s top section and enlisted the services of the most successful VAFA coach of the era when they appointed Aghan. The players, well, perhaps they hadn’t quite bought in to the new direction the club was taking.
Speaking on the latest VAFA ‘Club in Focus’ Podcast, Aghan detailed his initial interaction with the playing group.
“It was a luncheon at Dave Kidd’s place, and everyone was supposed to turn up,” Aghan said.
“Only three senior players turned up for the luncheon and that was Simon Tallent, John Anderson and Bruce Kefford.
“As the day wore on, Lorna and I left and she said to me, ‘Why are you intending to coach this mob?’
“I said, ‘Doesn’t it show you that they need me?’
Aghan, who had taken Reservoir Old Boys from E Grade to A Grade in consecutive years, made an immediate impact at Scotch with a B Grade finals appearance in his first season followed by a flag and promotion in 1977.
Always looking to improve his side, Aghan recruited Michael Bates (Reservoir OB) and Ross Duke (Old Paradians) to the club in 1978, joining stars such as Peter Sherwen, Paul Meadows, Tom Mason, Simon Tallent, John Morgan, Kefford and Anderson.
It took one of the greatest Round 18 wins in history – a 156-point thumping of Caulfield – to secure second spot at the end of the home and away season, before they ran through Uni Blues and North Old Boys en route to premiership success.
Kicking against the wind, the Cardinals trailed by 25 points at quarter-time but by half-time, the deficit had been reduced to seven points. Inaccurate kicking by North Old Boys put them just 17 points ahead at three-quarter time but midway through the last quarter Old Scotch still trailed by 16 points. Long-time supporters feared a repeat of the heart-breaking 1958 grand final loss. But the Cardinals were not about to cave in! Fighting back desperately with two goals to now trail by just one point, a final goal from Stephen Bubb at the 28-minute mark of the last quarter clinched a five-point victory. North Old Boys then had an opportunity to win the match with a long-range kick after the siren which just failed to make the distance. – A Centenary History of the Old Scotch Football Club 1921-2020.
Click on the link below to listen to all of Aghan’s stories in detail + interviews with Geoff McCracken, Jack Bull and Tim Shearer on the Old Scotch ‘Club in Focus’ VAFA Podcast released this week.