Name: Anthony Cahill
Playing Years at NOBs: 1983, 1985 – 1992
Numbers Worn: 4 & 6
Premierships & Grand Finals Played in: Seniors 1986 Grand Final & 1991 Grand Final
In a paragraph or two, give a brief overview of your time at NOBs:
Nothing ever beat playing good football in a winning side and then walking off the ground singing the club song. We played hard, trained hard and partied hard. The families involved (ie. O’Toole’s, Moloney’s, Fennelly’s, Hibbert’s, Weir’s, Considine’s, Egan’s, Griffin’s, Leigh’s, etc) made it a very special place for me and most of my family for many years. Also, I will never forget the excitement and entertainment Darren “Eggie” Edwards, a recruit from the Carlton Commission flats, provided both on and off the field. His involvement epitomised the welcoming and inclusive nature of North Old Boys Amateur FC.
Most Memorable NOB’s Games:
1. First senior game (r1 v De La Salle: 1985). We won well against a very strong De La team at Brens Oval (our original home ground) 1985 match v St Bernard’s (our Arch Rivals in those days) at their home ground in Essendon. Our Coach at the time, a feral Jim Durnan, urged us before the game to achieve 3 things for the day: Win the game with tough, hard football, then drink their beer and F… their women. Unfortunately I only achieved 2 of the 3…I was off the grog at the time.
2. 1986 2nd Semi-final win v Old Collegians to advance straight into the GF. I think I got a few touches that day in the midfield. Rd.1 v Old Melburnians (1991). It was my first game back after almost a year off because of a shoulder and knee reconstruction. We had a huge win on a beautiful sunny day in downtown Toorak. Rebounding off the half back flank in a team that showed the qualities that would see us finish 4 games clear on top of the A-grade ladder was extremely satisfying. Being called up for the traditional ‘beer skull’ at the after-match topped off a perfect day.
3. Memorable for all the wrong reasons…my last game (Rd.10 ? 1992). As it was for my senior debut, against De La Salle, the team that beat us in the GF the previous year. We beat them in a tight contest in r1 at Brunswick earlier in the year. The return match out at Malvern saw us control the match from the start. We were never going to lose. We were about 10 goals in front with about 10mins to go. In a one-on-one marking duel on the HB flank with my opponent, I turned to run on to the ball, anticipating that it was too high for either of us to reach. I had no idea there were two others flying from behind. A knee to my forehead and the resultant depressed fracture was enough to book me a ride in an ambulance and meeting with another surgeon. My sixth in as many years. There is nothing I would enjoy more than one more game of footy at NOBs with my mates.
Greatest Memory from your time playing at NOBs:
Making it to 2 Grand Finals.
Biggest Disappointment/Lowlights whilst at NOBs:
2 GF losses. Retiring early due to injury. Losing the Coaching job.
1983 U19s player. B&F. Coached by Pat ‘Fuzz’ Fennelly. Fuz gave a group of young blokes a great sense of worth with this Club. He loved the Club, valued us as players and showed us how to love and enjoy the Club. It possibly cost him his second marriage, but he thanks us for that now.
1984 Played U19s at North Melbourne under Denis Pagan (Premiers).
1985 Returned to NOBs. I received my ‘thanks for coming’ from Coach John Kennedy after Wayne Schimmelbusch embarrassed me in an intra-club pre-season match.
1986 Victorian Representative. Best Finals Player.
1988 Studied a Dip. of Ed. in Perth. Signed with Wembley Amateur FC (the equivalent record to Ormond FC). One practice match = One Shoulder reconstruction.
1989 – Victorian Representative. All-Australian representative in the Australian Football Carnival played in Tasmania.
1990 4 games only.
1991 Grand Finalist
1992 Cashen Fogarty Tophy.
1994 North Melbourne Team Manager.
1995 Senior Coach of Club. Relegated to B-grade with only two wins. This was a testing year. Before the season, we had numerous retirements and several others that left to play elsewhere. The most inspiring feature of the year was the commitment and determination of an under-manned playing group and the blooding of many u19 players. The u19s went on to win the Grand Final against Marcellin. The senior group never gave up all year, highlighted by Luke Boyle’s left foot goal just before the final siren to win the game against De La Salle.
1996 Senior Coach to Round 3. An untold story which will remain untold. Not as disappointing as losing the ’86 and ’91 GFs, but has had a greater impact.
Best Players played with at NOB’s and why:
Paul Considine -Cono was a terrific competitor who would continually take strong marks across CHB or when needed, in the forward line.
Steve O’Rourke – Steve knew how to get the ball often (especially in traffic) and more importantly, disposed of it very effectively.
Tony Egan – Another great mate who was exciting in front of goal and difficult to beat when ‘on song’. A brilliant kick for goal, especially from 40-50m.
Bruno Conti- As well as being a great mate, Bruno was a great leader and a very reliable player. He was rarely beaten and usually had the job of stopping the best opposition forward. His poise and composure under pressure was outstanding.
Michael ‘Midge’ Hedley- Probably one of the most consistent and reliable players in the team. Not quick, but read the play well. In fact, he, Jerome Griffin and my brother Joe were the only three players I could beat in a sprint.
Jerome Griffin- A fantastic leader. He loved the club and loved to win. He did not tolerate players who were there for a ride, especially those regarded amongst the better players . The best full back I had seen at the club.
Mauro Borcich – Mauro was a terrific role model for the young midfielders when I started out at NOBs. His speed and strength in and around the packs was exciting to be alongside.
Steve Moloney & Tim Jones
Best opponents in the Ammo’s:
James Bennett & Stuart Hinchen (Old Collegians)
What do you like Best about NOB’s:
The quality of football and the quality of the people.
A word of advice to current day players:
Embrace the club because you are now an integral part of it. Give your best and don’t be selfish. Every week I check the results on the internet and I still enjoy a NOBs win ‘…just for recreation’s sake to pass the time away’.