THE late Billy James, a former Kyabram footballer, still holds the record for the least number of games played before appearing in an AFL/VFL grand final.
The question had been raised after Richmond’s Jack Graham — there’s another famous footballing Kyabram name but no relation — played in the Tigers’ recent grand final win after only five senior games.
Sunday Herald Sun columnist Jon Anderson had an item on the query last Sunday and James is the only player whose first game at the elite level was in a grand final.
That was in the 1920 grand final when Richmond beat Collingwood.
His only goal, late in the last quarter, sealed the victory as Richmond won its first AFL/VFL flag.
James had played in Kyabram’s premiership side in the GVL Wednesday competition the same week so it was two flags in four days for the 20-year-old.
But the Richmond triumph was the last game James ever played.
While out hunting prior to the commencement of the 1921 season, James was accidentally shot in the foot, ending his football career.
Reeves might carry on
KYABRAM District Football League may not be seeking a new coach next season despite former Murchison premiership coach Steve Reeves announcing he will take on the coaching job of Dookie United in the Picola League south eastern division next season.
Reeves pulled the strings for the KDL’s representative side this season, which returned to the interleague winners’ list against the Golden Rivers League.
But he said this week with the Picola League not participating in interleague football he had not ruled himself out of doing the Kyabram League job again.
‘‘I’ve had talks with Wayne (Ryan, KDL president) and we are working things out. There are a few things to be considered.’’
Reeves coached Murchison to a drought-breaking flag win in 2013 and coached Golden Rivers League club Quambatook in 2015 and 2016.
Swans seek new coach
SHEPPARTON Swans are seeking a new coach after this season’s mentor, Paul Griffiths, told the club he was returning to Melbourne due to work commitments.
The Swans will be the fourth Goulburn Valley Football League club to have a new leader in the 2018 season.
Griffith has told the Swans they should seek a development-type coach to succeed him, and club president Richard Bell supports this suggestion.
Echuca has named former local and Carlton star Andrew Walker as its new coach while Shepparton and Seymour are also seeking new leaders for next season.
Dispute over Benalla U12s
JUNIOR footy is getting serious over at Benalla.
Junior football officials in the town are deciding whether to pursue legal action to avoid local Under 12 teams joining a Wangaratta competition next year.
An AFL-sanctioned report has recommended a total union of the Benalla sides into the Wangaratta competition next season.
Some Benalla officials and parents of players aren’t impressed with being told what they have to do and are considering challenging the recommendation.
Todd dazzles on national stage
YOUNG Moama cricket talent Todd Murphy turned heads at last week’s Under 17 National Championships, with his performances earning him selection in the Australian team in that age group.
Playing for Vic Country, he made half centuries against Vic Metro and Northern Victoria but saved his best knock for the clash with the Cricket Australia XI when he blasted 82 off 62 balls after coming to the crease when his team was teetering at 3/18. Due to Todd’s fine knock Vic Country went on to amass 7/302 but unfortunately bad weather halted Vic Country’s bid to win this game.
Murphy, the son of former Moama and Tongala champion all-rounder Jamie Murphy, is to play cricket with Sandhurst in the Bendigo Cricket Association this season.
Former Tatura coach signs with Southport
FORMER Tatura Football Club premiership coach Steve Daniel is to coach Southport next season after coaching AFL club Gold Coast Suns reserves side this season.
Daniel has snapped up the Southport job while other coaching staff who worked under the Suns’ sacked coach Rodney Eade await their fate under newly appointed Suns coach Stuart Dew.
Daniel coached Tatura to the 2012 GVL flag.
Tiana in the money
YOUNG Kyabram trots trainer Tiana McMahon has returned from a successful trip to South Australia.
After winning his heat on September 23, the McMahon-trained Blissfully Unawares had no luck in the final a week later. But her travelling mate Miss Fondue also won a race at Globe Derby on the road tip at nice odds.
Scout Hall Road is another Kyabram-trained winner, saluting for trainer Bruce Rose at last week’s Echuca meeting when driven a treat by his son, Daniel.