Team of the Century
(Announced 28 June 2003)
To select the best ever team at any club is always a contentious and questionable assignment, particularly at a club with 114 years of ongoing participation.
Comparing players of the past with their modern day counterparts has been difficult to the extreme, particularly with archival records in the earlier years either non existent or non complete in detail. The merits or otherwise of those selected will differ with just about every individual who has an opinion on the subject and created many a headache to the panel assigned to this intricate and difficult task.
The team was pruned over several weeks from an initial squad of around 60 players, all of whom represented the club with great distinction. The sole purpose of this assignment was to select the best 21 players and a coach, based on their achievements at this club and not on what they have accomplished either prior to or after their involvement with Penguin.
Regardless of their own opinions, most supporters of this magnificent club would acknowledge the talent of the players finally selected in a team that is comparable to any that this State could produce.
Kim Miles, Football Manager (2003)
Backs: Don French, Hec Beswick, Phil Lade
Half Backs: Bill Fielding, Barry Strange, Wayne Manson
Centres: Terry Owens, Jack Conway, Greg French
Half Forwards: Colin Moore, Graham Revell, Fred Wooller
Forwards: Gary Carpenter, Chris Reynolds, Chris Fielding
Followers: Alan Crawford, Rick Watt, Bob Parsons
Interchange: Don Harrington, Trevor Dunham, Ricky Smith
Coach: Warren McCarthy
Don French (Back Pocket)
Don played 212 club games with Penguin and forged a reputation as a resolute and highly skilled defender who had the ability to turn defence into attack with his penetrating disposal. Don was talented enough to win the club Best & Fairest awards in 1951 and 1955 and was inducted into the NWFU 200 Club in 1970.
Jack Conway (Centre)
Recruited from New Town in the TFL in 1952, Jack played a total of 205 games in his 10 years at Penguin including 20 NWFU intrastate games. A brilliant centreman who won club Best & Fairest awards in 1953 and 1954. Jack also served 4 years as club President. He was a natural all rounder who excelled in pro-running, badminton and as an axeman until he switched to lawn bowls where he forged a reputation as one of Tasmania’s best.
Garry Carpenter (Forward Pocket / Ruck)
The tall high leaping follower gave his small men first use of the ball with his accurate palming at the ruck contests. Garry played a total of 187 games for Penguin out of a career total of 217. Garry is also the second longest serving coach in the NTFL with 102 games having coached Penguin in 1996 and 1997 and Burnie in 1988 to 1990. Additionally, Garry has also coached both Penguin Under 18s and Reserves and has served as Club President on 3 occasions between 1993 and 2003. He was inducted into the NWFU 200 Club in 1989.
Ricky Watt (Ruck Rover)
Ricky had two stints at Penguin including one year as Senior Coach in 1973 before returning to play in the 1977 Premiership team. Ricky was a creative on-baller with immaculate disposal and the ability and flair to lift his team in moments of crisis. Ricky also played 95 Senior games at Collingwood, represented Victoria and was an All-Australian. During his time in Tasmania, he also played 2 games for the NWFU.
Bob Parsons (Vice Captain – Rover)
Dynamic rover who was recruited from New Town in the TFL. Bob was appointed Penguin Senior coach from 1951 to 1955 playing 66 club games and representing the NWFU on 6 occasions. During his career, Bob also played 15 State games and was runner-up in the NWFU Goal Kicking Award in 1953, 1954 and 1955. His exquisite ball handling, pace and immaculate disposal will ensure his legendary status as one of Tasmania’s greatest players.
Wayne Manson (Half Back)
Wayne played a total of 227 games for Penguin winning Senior Best & Fairest Awards in 1969 and 1976. Remembered as a courageous and determined competitor with a never say die attitude, Wayne was inducted into the NWFU 200 Club in 1981. He was also an integral member of the 1977 Premiership team and is a dual NWFU squad member.
Hec Beswick (Full Back)
Hec actually commenced his career with Penguin Under 19s bypassing school football partly due to illness. In his 189 games for the club, he asserted himself as one of the Union’s most consistent and reliable fullbacks with his sure overhead marking and frustrating tactics. Hec emphasised his ability by winning the Senior Best & Fairest in 1965. He also twice represented the NWFU.
Col Moore (Half Forward)
Recruited to Penguin in 1957 as Senior Coach, Col soon established himself as one of the premium players in the NWFU. In 1958 he was awarded the prestigious Wander Medal and in his 5 years at Penguin, Col played 70 club games including a second stint as Senior Coach in 1961. During his illustrious career, Col represented Tasmania on 24 occasions, the NWFU 18 times and played 11 games for the TFL during his time with North Hobart. Col also coached Wynyard recording a further 30 games.
Graham Revell (Centre Half Forward)
Graham had his brilliant career curtailed by a severe knee injury after 98 games with Penguin. A magnificent high mark and highly skilled at ground level, Graham represented Tasmania in 1965, being the first Penguin player to achieve this honour. Had it not been for the injury which prematurely ended his career, Graham may have been destined for higher honours.
Greg French (Wing)
Clever winger who won the NWFU Best First Year Player in 1974, the same year that he was rewarded with the club’s Senior Best & Fairest award. Greg repeated the feat in 1975 but moved south in his employment in 1976 and joined Clarence in the TFL. His tremendous ball winning skills, evasion and neat disposal saw Greg win three consecutive Best & Fairest Awards with the Roos and stamped him as one of the State’s premium centre line players.
Don Harrington (Interchange)
Born in Victoria, Don moved to Tasmania in 1940 where he attended Penguin State School and played for Penguin in the Under 21s Association at the age of 15. When the Under 19s Division competition commenced in 1952, Don won the club’s inaugural Best & Fairest award and gained selection in the combined side. Don was credited with 265 NWFU games including 25 Union representative games from 1958 to 1968. The clever rover won Senior Best & Fairest awards in 1958 to 1961.
Bill Fielding (Captain – Half Back)
Born in South Riana and started his junior career with Riana Area School before progressing thought the ranks of Ulverstone High. Bill commenced his career with Penguin in 1972 in the Under 17s before advancing through the Under 19s to the Seniors in 1974, aged 17. Bill was the consummate team player with his fierce determination and penetrating kicking the catalyst for many a Penguin victory. Bill played a club record 422 games, winning the Best & Fairest awards in 1980, 1984 and 1988. He also experienced the exhilaration of Premiership victories in 1977, 1980 (as Captain) and 1985. Bill represented the NWFU on 6 occasions and is a Life Member.
Trevor Dunham (Interchange)
Trevor played 153 Senior games for the Two Blues, mostly in the full forward position where he was the NWFU Leading Goal Kicker in 1956, 1958 and 1960. Trevor booted a career high 10 goals against Wynyard in May 1960, the same year he won the club’s Senior Best & Fairest award. Deceptively agile with sure hands, Trevor was an extremely accurate kick for goal.
Fred Wooller (Half Forward)
Recruited from Geelong where he played 132 Senior games and was a former Captain, Fred was Senior coach at Penguin from 1965 to 1968 playing 60 club games. Fred won the NWFU Goal Kicking award in 1966 and represented the NWFU on three occasions. He is remembered for his accuracy around goals and his ability to bring his team mates into the game.
Terry Owens (Wing)
Brilliant wingman endowed with blistering pace who played 150 senior games after commencing his career with the Penguin Under 19s. Terry won the Senior Best & Fairest award in 1968 and played two representative games for the NWFU. A member of the 1977 Premiership team, Terry was also a former State Amateur Captain who achieved All-Australian Amateur selection in 1972. He also played 22 games for TFL club Clarence in 1973 prior to returning to Penguin. Terry coached Penguin Reserves for four years winning consecutive flags in 1983 and 1984.
Phil Lade (Back Pocket)
Phil commenced his involvement with Penguin in 1962 in the Under 19s, winning the Best & Fairest award in his first year. He was an elegant and dependable defender who enjoyed a stellar career of 238 games. Phil represented the NWFU on 11 occasions and played four games for the State. His career also included 15 day and 7 night Senior games with Hawthorn in the VFL. Phil was a member of Penguin’s 1977 Premiership team and was inducted into the NWFU’s 200 Club in 1976.
Barry Strange (Centre Half Back)
One of Tasmania’s most brilliant and respected players in a career spanning over 385 games. A tremendous mark and reliable kick, Barry was rarely beaten in one on one contests. Barry was Penguin Senior Coach from 1958 to 1960 in which he played 45 club games in addition to representing both the NWFU and the State. Barry was a key member in the first Tasmanian team to defeat Victoria in 1960. He also had the distinction of All-Australian selection during his distinguished career.
Ricky Smith (Interchange)
Ricky played 81 Senior games for Penguin out of a career total of 370. He won three consecutive club Best & Fairest awards from 1971 to 1973 and the Wander Medal in 1972. Ricky represented the NWFU 12 times and was selected in the Tasmanian side on 5 occasions. The strong high marking defender also spent time at Wynyard and was inducted into the NWFU 200 Club in 1976.
Chris Fielding (Forward Pocket / Rover)
Chris played 211 Senior games for Penguin and was respected as a courageous, hard running rover who was always in the centre of the action and creative around goal. Inducted into the NWFU 200 Club in 1984, Chris was a member of the 1977 Premiership team and has also represented the Union.
Chris Reynolds (Full Forward)
Brilliant key forward who was an integral member of the 1985 Premiership team when he notched over 100 goals during the season to win both the NWFU Goal Kicking award and his club’s Best & Fairest. Chris notched a further 99 goals in 1986 despite missing several early games to stamp himself as the club’s greatest Full Forward. Chris played 35 games for Penguin out of a career total of 251. He represented the NWFU on 12 occasions and played three games for Tasmania.
Alan Crawford (Ruck)
Former North Melbourne Senior ruckman who made an indelible impact on the NWFU after accepting Penguin’s coaching position in 1947. The giant follower was extremely agile for his size and was a tremendous overhead mark. Alan coached Launceston in the NTFA after leaving Penguin and eventually retuned to North Melbourne after a stint in Adelaide where he gained South Australian selection.
Warren ‘Putt’ McCarthy (Coach)
After a distinguished playing career with Cooee, Warren was appointed Senior coach in 1976. After winning the pre-season Lightning Premiership, the club had a greatly improved year reaching the NWFU Grand final, but were defeated by arch rival Ulverstone. Season 1977 saw the club go one step further to win their first Premiership in 45 years by defeating Cooee at Devonport. Penguin then beat Scottsdale to win the Northern State Premiership. Warren also showed his immense capabilities as a top order coach by winning Premierships with Cooee in 1982 and 1984 and was appointed coach of the Burnie Hawks in their debut year in the TFL. Warren played a total of 265 games with Cooee and Penguin.
Michael began his football career with Smelters in the rugged Western Tasmania Football Association in the early 1970s before arriving on the coast to play with the now defunct South Riana. Michael also coached at Sprent when they were affiliated with the Leven Association, but is better known for his connection with cricket, as a player with Penguin and his 16 year involvement as both President of the NWTCA and Board member of the TCA. Michael joined the Two Blues as a trainer from 1976 to 1978 and was club Secretary in 1979 and 1980.
Affectionately known as Dorrie, Wayne has been a loyal servant at Penguin in a variety of positions. Commencing with the Premiership winning Under 19s in 1974, Wayne progressed to the Reserves where he also coached, to the position as Senior Chairman of Selectors. Wayne has also served on the general committee and is still actively involved when required to assist the club.
Ted began his involvement with Penguin in 1946 after serving with the A.I.F. during the Second World War from 1939 until 1945 which included service in New Guinea, Europe, Middle East and Borneo. Ted played with the club until 1950 before commencing as a trainer in 1951 and served as Head Trainer at Penguin for many years. Ted also served 21 years on the general committee and was made a Life Member in 1963.
Dudley ‘Spud’ Corbett
Dudley is a respected member of the Penguin community who actually followed the club’s fortunes for 22 years without missing a game! Dudley hailed from Riana and had an interest in the Two Blues from an early age, playing with the Under 19s in 1959. However it was for his administrative ability that he forged his reputation, joining the committee in 1960 for a 20 year term in a variety of roles. Dudley served as President, Vice President, Secretary and as a Union Delegate. Now days Dudley is frequently requested to apply his dulcet voice to a variety of public functions ranging from funerals to Christmas parades.
The Willcox family involvement isi synonymous with Penguin. Lyell played for the Reserves in 1956, was President of the Social Committee from 1970 to 1972 and served as a trainer from 1987 to 1989. Lyell was also a member of the General Committee from 1970 to 1976 and was made a Life Member in 1978. His wife Audrey (deceased) also served the club in a variety of positions while sons Wayne, Darrell, Stephen and Kerry all played and represented the club with distinction. Lyell is still a regular at most home games.
Kim was a former New Norfolk Centre-Half Forward who also spent time at Hawthorn prior to a stint in National Service. Kim also played with Eastlake in Canberra where he represented ACT against NSW and with North Ballarat. He also coached Toorak in the Tasmania Football Association and represented the League on several occasions. Selected in Toorak’s best ever team along side of former Penguin players Barry Gossage, Kerry Aitken and Colin Loring. Kim also spent seven years with Burnie Hawks as Chairman of Selectors, Bench Coach and as Football Director.