Long hair, moustaches, and mutton chop side burns abounded at Southport AFC as the Gold Coast began to emerge into a very different place than it had been when Magpies commenced in 1961. In 1969 the GCAFL was well organised and the action on the field was at its most competitive in eight years of football on the Coast. 1968 easy beats Lismore were to finish third and their round five win over
Several new recruits bolstered the Magpie ranks with Peter Sapwell (Photo) from Frankston being a great find and an eventual club stalwart. Guy Zamarini (Moreland) (Photo), Lee Saltzer (Wilston Grange), Laurie Monson (Albury via Surfers Paradise) all arrived and Frank O’Rourke returned. Wayne Reibelt graduated from an under 17 team in which Mick Kelly was also developing. Under 17 star Brian McDonald was the club’s first state representative when he was selected for the Queensland Schoolboys (Photo).
The quick development of the code on the Gold Coast and its position as the number one sport through the 1960’s was, in no doubt, largely the result of a wave of southern migration. But the Southport AFC (and other Coast clubs) was also proactive in junior development. The 1969 Magpies was a young team and it boasted many accomplished locally developed players. Some of these included club greats Dave Burns and Ken Best. Others to graduate during the 60’s and play in season 1969 were Paul Hood, Warren Burns, Kerry Reibelt, Wayne Reibelt, Alan Watkins, Les Napper and Peter McGrath.
The Magpies were to have their first genuine ex-VFL player in Max Nowlan (
Bob Burke (Photo) originally from Launceston, spent 1967 and 1968 at Kedron (Brisbane) before shifting to the Coast to coach the Magpies in 1969 (Click here to read article). In a record-breaking effort he was to kick 100 goals after 11 rounds, 118 in the 15 home and away games, 13 in finals, 35 in the preseason, and eight for the Gold Coast representative team (Click here to read article). In 22 games he amassed 174 goals. This herculean effort was capped with a record 24 goals against Lismore in round 10 (Click here to read article).
The season started inauspiciously with Ken Best injuring his shoulder in a surfing accident on the morning of round one. However a round nine, 98 point drubbing of arch - rival Surfers Paradise saw the Magpies established as clear premiership favourites. A Second Semi-Final win over the Demons confirmed that the club was on track for another flag. A three quarter time Grand Final lead was run down by Surfers Paradise however, and the Demons took out their third consecutive GCAFL Premiership.
The under 17’s failed to make the Grand Final, but under the guidance of coach Bevan Walters, amassed the huge score line 41.26.271 to 0.1.1 against Lismore during the season (Click here to read article).
The Owen Park precinct was now shared with other sports. It was not unusual for sports lovers to be able to enjoy Australian Football, Equestrian, and Rugby League on a Sunday afternoon. The Gold Coast Tigers Rugby League club was based at Owen Park and had been joined in the Northern New South Wales Group 18 competition by the Burleigh Bears. Gold Coast Rugby Union, after winning a
Rugby League was gaining in strength and whilst Australian Football had strong juniors and many more senior players, league now dominated the school sport scene. Media coverage of Australian Football was also being challenged by League. Gold Coast Bulletin scribe Dick Wilson, in his popular weekly column, could not contain his bemusement with Australian Football through constant references to it as APP (Aerial Ping Pong).
Popular new club President Leo Busch made his mark in his first season as the club strove to be run on more of a business footing (Click here to read article). Busch was also active in promoting the game to the likes of Dick Wilson at the Gold Coast Bulletin. Social functions for the season were often held at Ossie McDonald’s Queen’s Hotel in Nerang and a Ladies Committee was also in full swing.
The Gold Coast representative team played a
|Date||Venue||Home||Away||Southport Goalkickers and|
|Round 1||19/04/1969||Salk Oval||PBC||8.8.56||Southport||14.14.98|
|(Burke 4, Doyle 2)|
|Round 2||26/04/1969||Owen Park||Southport||22.22.154||Labrador||5.6.36|
|(Burke 8, Sapwell 3, W Burns 3, Doyle 3, Whitfield 2, Manuel 2, Zamarini, Nowlan, Whinchester)|
|Round 3||4/05/1969||Owen Park||Southport||35.22.232||Coolangatta||3.7.25||(Best: Nowlan, Alexander, Sepwell, Burns, Whittaker, Burke)|
|(Burke 11, O'Rourke 5, D Burns 5, Doyle 4, Nowlan 3, W Burns 3, Alexander 2, Saltzer, Sepwell)|
|Round 4||11/05/1969||Owen Park||Southport||17.13.115||Surfers||16.16.112||(Best: Nowlan, McGrath, D Burns, Alexander, W Burns, Whittaker)|
|(Burke 8, Doyle 5, Nowlan 2, McGrath, Hood)|
|Round 5||18/05/1969||Albert Park||Lismore||8.14.62||Southport||6.18.54||(Best: Whittaker, Burke, Alexander, Burns)|
|Round 6||1/06/69||Owen Park||Southport||14.17.101||PBC||9.14.68||(Best: Roden, Turner, Best, W Burns, Nowlan, D Burns)|
|(Burke 4, D Burns 3, Doyle 2, Alexander 2, Best, O'Rourke, Nowlan)|
|Round 7||8/06/1969||Labrador||Labrador||5.7.37||Southport||20.25.145||(Best: McGrath, Doyle, Monson, Alexander, Thrift, Best, Burns)|
|(Burke 10, Doyle 3, D Burns 2, Zamarin, Alexander, Hood, Sapwell, Wyeth)|
|Round 8||15/06/1969||Len Peak Oval||Coolangatta||9.8.62||Southport||22.11.143||(Best: Monson, Alexander, D Burns, Watkins)|
|(Burke 13, Zamarin 5, Doyle, McGrath, Potter, Warren)|
|Round 9||22/06/1969||Isle of Capri||Surfers||2.6.18||Southport||17.14.116||(Best: D Burns, Nowlan, Sapwell, Burke, Doyle)|
|(Burke 6, D Burns 5, Sapwell 4, Nowlan, Doyle)|
|Round 10||29/06/1969||Owen Park||Southport||38.36.264||Lismore||5.4.34||(Best: Burke, Doyle, Sawell, Potter, Alexander)|
|(Burke 24, Sawell 5, Zamarin 2 Potter 2, Hood, Saltzer, Alexander, Doyle, Nowlan)|
|Round 11||13/07/1969||Salk Oval||PBC||9.15.69||Southport||20.12.132|
|(Burke 8, Sapwell 4, Nowlan 2, Monson 2, D Burns 2, Webb)|
|Round 12||20/07/1969||Labrador Oval||Labrador||10.12.82||Southport||17.17.119||(Best: Thrift, Webb, Monson, D Burns, Burke)|
|(Burke 8, D Burns 2, McGrath, Monson, Wyeth, Sapwell, Alexander, McLean)|
|Round 13||27/07/1969||Owen Park||Southport||n/a||Coolangatta||n/a|
|Round 14||3/08/1969||Owen Park||Southport||12.9.81||Surfers||12.17.89||(Best: Sapwell, Nowlan, Alexander, Whittaker)|
|(Burke 5, Nowlan 2, Alexander, Monson, W Burns, Doyle)|
|Round 15||10/08/1969||Albert Park||Lismore||3.3.31||Southport||8.15.63||(Best: Alexander, Monson, Best, Turner)|
|(Burke 4, Zamarini 3, Alexander)|
|First Semi||17/08/1969||Salk Oval||PBC||7.13.55||Lismore||13.10.88|
|Second Semi||24/08/1969||Owen Park||Southport||13.13.91||Surfers||10.17.77||(Best: Webb, Burke, Sapwell, O'Rourke)|
|(Burke 8, Sapwell 2, Webb, D Burns, Zamarini)|
|Grand Final||6/09/1969||Owen Park||Southport||10.9.69||Surfers||14.10.94||(Best: Webb, Burke, Rodden, Whittaker)|
|(Burke 5, Webb 2, Doyle, W Burns, Alexander)|