Sunday, June 5, 2011

Kardinia Park: the early years

My early experience of Kardinia Park was as a toddler. I faintly remember sitting in my pusher and being totally bored because I couldn't see anything except people's legs. When just a little older, but still not very interested in the games I couldn't see, I used to wander off and climb the pine trees at the river end of the ground, near where the Doug Wade stand is now.

As time moved on and I developed an interest in the game, my sisters and I would get to the ground early so we could sit on the seats around the boundary line. Those were the days of Polly Farmer, Billy Goggin, Paul Vinar (my favourite, for some reason), the wonderful Lord twins, Terry Callan and John Sharrock.

Sadly we moved to Melbourne and the trips to Geelong gradually became less frequent as family commitments took over. We saw Geelong through the dark days of the 70s and 80s mostly at Waverley and the MCG. On one memorable occasion in the 1970s we spent a weekend in Geelong and rejoiced in an unexpected victory over Collingwood at a packed Kardinia Park. We had to hitchhike home because of a train strike, but it hardly seemed to matter.

The later 1980s and early 1990s were the Gary Ablett years. What excitement Gary and Malcolm Blight brought to Geelong! We have rarely missed a game at Kardinia Park ever since.

1 comment:

  1. I used to love going to Kardinia Park with my dad and sister. We would stand in the outer next to the RJ Hickey Stand with my dad's friends from work. I remember my sister getting an autograph from a young Billy Brownless in his first year playing with Geelong! With a weekend job at Myer my football days were curtailed, but it has always stayed with me :)