The All Australian National Football Championships in Melbourne.

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The All Australian National Football on 1968 Championships in Melbourne.

In 1968, I was in my second year as coach of a Queensland school boys’ team that competed in the All Australian National Football Championships in Melbourne. Our first match was played against Western Australia at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, the home of our national game. It was a great pleasure for the boys to play there and I also became a coach.

Below are the notes I mentioned or made before our first game at the National Football Festival. Before the team was named and the pre-game address, I talked to each team member and checked how he was feeling.

These are the points I have set for the players. As a young coach, I now realize, that I almost talked too long and said too many things. But, coming from the developing country of Queensland football, we were in a position to educate our boys. We needed to keep emphasizing the basics of our game plan until the second environment.

• Play whenever you can. Play well; hard; front; inside your man and move the ball wide across the backline.

• Team work: remember to make a backup copy; keep talking; pay close attention when the ball is moving twice and continue to watch.

• Dealing should be difficult / firm. Compete with everything; close the ball; and dismiss everyone.

• Playground:

Forward-flankers should play broadly; look at the crumbs; be strong before goals; keep talking and looking forward to your complete.

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In front of the pack and the winged players behind the pack.

Backs- should be strong; shoulder to shoulder with their rival; play inside your person; and use a long-distance kick kick. By kicking back at the fullback, the rovers must be in front of the pack and the winged players behind the pack.

• Kick always use punts when passing or long drive to kick directly at the goal to the goal line from the center. Be aware of the effects of oil and air and use them to your advantage.

• Note that the oval has broad wings and deep pockets. Use the north side of the oval to attack.

• Warmth: It is important to do it well

• The ball will slide. So watch the ball fly behind the pack in the top marking tournament. Keep the ball in front of you always and the ball if you do not lift it clean.

• Umpiring-play whistle.

I made that point because in the same game in 1967 at Hobart Western Australia I scored two goals for a defender who told the referee that he had touched the ball marked twice. The Western Australian midfielder was playing for two goals

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The All Australian National Football Championship Other Note:

1. There were no small clubs with much experience or school coaches in Queensland in the 1960’s. So we had to teach the players the reasons for the game. Given that, the length of my team address may be allowed. This would not be the case in the 21st century as I write this.

2. The team had the most players in the team who were in their second All Australian Carnival. Their sense of humor helped to improve the team’s performance in keeping it competitive with each game. Qualification and skill levels make the team go down as fatigue enters late in each game.

3. The players of the less successful clubs in our team quickly learned from our training program and outperformed their top club rivals. We often used these players in new positions to see them thrive.

4. The players found the soft pitch in Melbourne difficult because they were accustomed to the ball bouncing on the solid stadiums in Queensland.

5. Players find the referee’s explanation of the rules different from what happens at home.

6. It is important for the reader to understand that the game has changed a lot since the use of these notes. Some may seem insignificant in the 21st century.

The All Australian National Football.

Our writer started playing Australian Football at the age of ten. His coaching career began at the age of 20 and continued into his 60’s. She has coached teams at school, regional, regional and national competitions. During most of his high-stakes play, he spent most of his time playing as an attacking player; rear pack and kick in the back of the packet rack area. You bring that experience to this article. She has written a tutorial for young teachers and trainers called “Flying High for the Footy and Kicking Goals” which is available by email to

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