A game to remember

The Calivil Football Club looks back at its inaugural Loddon Valley premiership

DURING the third-quarter of Calivil’s preliminary final match against Inglewood in 1964, coach Dennis Lee knew his team would win the premiership.

Lee said something had happened during that quarter that he knew almost immediately that his young side would hold the Loddon Valley League’s premiership cup aloft.

“I was extremely confident about the team,” he said.  

“I just felt that at training and even the week before that things had turned around.

“We had been struggling with the young ones and then something happened in that preliminary final about half-way through the third quarter that changed, everyone just clicked.

“We were ready to go on grand final day; I backed them all the way.”

Calivil ended up winning the flag by 44 points against Bridgewater, the final score 14.13.(97) to 8.5.(53).

It was the first premiership Calivil had won in 31 years.

But it wasn’t as easy as that, Lee and youngster Cyril Freemantle were struggling with injury a week out from the grand final.

“We had a ruckman who had a broken bone in his hand and nobody knew about that, he rucked with his other hand and mainly played full forward,” Lee said.

“Cyril, myself and another guy, we weren’t looking too bright after the preliminary so we went down to South Melbourne to see their head trainer.

“The trainer said the three of us weren’t looking too good and that we shouldn’t play.

“When we were travelling home we made a pact to all play and we all stood up in the final.”

Lee said winning the premiership had meant a lot to Calivil.

“It was massive for Calivil because they had gone 31 years without winning a premiership,” he said.  

“The oldest player in the team was about 27 years old, so no one was born when they had last one a premiership.

“We saw grown men cry when the siren had went and we had won.”

We saw grown men cry when the siren had went and we had won. - Dennis Lee

Lee said players as young as 15-years-old were a part of the premiership. 

"People like Andrew Blow, who had won medals and was a great player for years and years probably still one of Loddon Valley’s best footballers, never won a premiership; he retired the year before we won," he said. 

"But guys like Barry Anset, he was a young boy who came into the team mid-season, he played seven games of football and won a premiership.

"Neville Lister, it was his first season playing football, too."

On May 3 the Calivil Football Club is hosting a celebration to mark 50 years since winning the premiership.

Cyril Freemantle said players and supporters from 1964 were encouraged to attend.

“We are having a get together in the afternoon and then dinner in the evening at the Calivil Club rooms,” he said.

“We will share a few drinks and some tall stories.”

For more information about the anniversary celebrations contact Dennis Lee on 5447 8089. 

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