One of footy’s great rivalries will have another chapter written this weekend, with Glenorchy and North Hobart set to battle it out on a historic occasion.
Glenorchy, celebrating its centenary season in 2019, will be commemorating its heritage on Saturday night, running out to the field in green and gold – the colours worn by the old New Town Football Club prior to merging and relocating as the Glenorchy District Football Club in the 1940s.
The Tasmanian State League clash between the Magpies and Demons, resumes one of Tasmanian football’s richest rivalries, with the club using the night match as an opportunity to host a Heritage function with Demons club legend Darryn Perry and Magpie great Gary ‘Super’ Linton.
The two Tasmanian Football Hall of Famers spoke of the Glenorchy Football Club’s rich history and the significance of the North Hobart rivalry in the leadup to the round two meeting.
“It’s a proud moment to be involved with the club,” Linton said.
“I’m so proud to have played my part in [the history of the club] as well as hundreds and hundreds of others – we are all custodians of the club.
“It was our job to look after the club, and now it’s the current crop’s and they are aware of the history. They are all custodians now and need to do their best for the club, which I’m sure they will.”
Linton, who grew up barracking for the Demons, before playing 237 games and winning three premierships as a Magpie, has many fond memories of the rivalry.
“The rivalry [with North Hobart] is great and I look back to the John Devine era and think back to some of those North Hobart days, in 1967 – 1969, I just wanted to play for them, next thing I know I’m playing for Glenorchy and trying to beat them up.
“The rivalry has always been great and will continue this Saturday… and I encourage everyone to get out and have a look at some of the great players we have here.”
While Linton barracked for North Hobart and played for Glenorchy, Demons legend Darryn Perry had the inverse – donning the red and blue after years as a Magpie supporter.
And despite heated rivalries on the park, Perry was always full of admiration for the Magpies as a foe.
“The rivalry means a lot,” the four-time North Hobart premiership player said.
“We really admired Glenorchy and respected Glenorchy – they were a strong side, a tough side and a very fair side.
“My first game of senior footy was against the Magpies at KGV and there were some great battles in the mid-1980s when Darryl Sutton was coaching us, and Glenorchy had Super, Danny Ling, David Pearce and Micky Bowden. They had a host of champions and were a great side,” Perry said.
Glenorchy coach Paul Kennedy says it will be impossible to ignore the occasion, but that his side’s focus is clearly on getting the job done on the field first and foremost.
“It’s important that I don’t put too much pressure on them,” Kennedy said.
“We have talked a lot about the centenary year and how important it is, but what’s important is that we win games of football in the centenary year, and this week we need to go out and do what it takes to negate North Hobart and open our game.
“It is obviously a special occasion, it will be impossible to ignore that with all the stuff that’s going on, but what will make this event most special for all the people here, and those at the heritage dinner, the past players, is if they see us win.”
Kennedy recognises the significance of the club’s history.
“This footy club was born with many young men trying to find something that gave them meaning and allowed them to focus on something else after returning from the World War.
That basis of young men from this part of the world built it for the likes of the [Peter and Paul] Hudson’s, the [Jack] Rough’s, [Rodney] Eade, [Adrian] Fletcher, Linton, [Danny] Ling all the way to Jimmy Webster, Jaye Bowden. That’s the basis, and it’s ongoing,” he said.
“It is really important. When I first got this job, one of my friends from home got onto the Glenorchy website and he said, ‘there are 17 legends of Australian football and two of them have coached Glenorchy.’ That was a real ‘wow’ moment, and there is a real responsibility for me to come down and make sure this club continues to succeed.”
“This is still a place where young men and women from this part of the world come together and get an opportunity to get involved in something that has great history and hopefully continues to make great history.
“That’s our focus of the centennial year, it isn’t just about the past – that’s part of it – but the future and now of the club are just as important,” he said.