Two Old Boys have played in VFL/AFL premierships in their first post-school year.
WORDS: MR BRIAN COSSAR (‘55 ) PHOTOGRAPHY: SCOTCH COLLEGE archives and MR Tim Shearer
It is most unusual for a footballer in his first year out of school to play in a premiership team for a VFL/AFL club – but two Old Boys have achieved this feat.
Terry Waites left Scotch in 1952 and played at centre half-forward in Collingwood’s premiership team the next year. Cyril (Junior) Rioli left in 2007 and played on a half-forward flank when Hawthorn won the 2008 flag.
Terry played in the 1st XVIII for three years. He was vice-captain of football in 1952, when Scotch won the APS premiership, and played mainly on a half-forward flank. The captain was Graham Willey (’52) who played 17 games for Essendon in the mid-1950s and kicked 35 goals. Terry was a probationer in 1952 and captain of Lawson-MacFarland House. A talented cricketer, he also played in the 1st XI for three years, scoring a century against Melbourne Grammar in his final year, which was also a premiership-winning year for Scotch.
Terry was a surprise selection at centre half-forward in Collingwood’s grand final team when they beat Geelong by two goals, but he was named among Collingwood’s best players.
Under the Coulter Law in place in 1953, VFL players received only five pounds ($10) per game, plus a superannuation payment of the same amount. However, well-known Collingwood supporter and entrepreneur John Wren and other Magpie supporters made donations to the premiership players based on the number of games they had played that year. Terry believes he received about 100 pounds ($200), which was then equivalent to about seven times the average weekly wage in Victoria of 16 pounds ($32).
A knee injury restricted his career with Collingwood to only 12 games (one goal), and he did not play after 1954.
After leaving school Terry worked in the motor car industry with Holden and Ford, before operating a successful Mitsubishi car dealership. On retiring in 1985 he went to live at Mooloolaba on the Sunshine Coast where he still lives. His interests include fishing, sailing and travelling around Australia in a motor home.
Cyril Rioli (‘07) came from the Tiwi Islands, Northern Territory. Cyril or ‘Junior’ as he is also known, was born in 1989, and his bloodline includes acclaimed footballers Michael Long and Maurice Rioli. His father Cyril was an outstanding footballer with St Mary’s in the Northern Territory Football League, winning the league’s best and fairest award in 1995/96.
Dr Rob Smith, Scotch’s Teacher-in-Charge of Football, had a long relationship involving the school and indigenous communities in the Northern Territory, which began with a football tour to Darwin and Bathurst Island in 1996, and developed into Scotch’s unique scholarship-based Indigenous Programme.
Cyril participated in the programme and boarded at Scotch for four years. He played in the 1st XVIII for three years, and emerged as a star player in the 2007 AFL national under 18 championships, earning selection in the All Australian team.
He was Hawthorn’s first pick at number 12 in the 2007 AFL draft. He played in every Hawthorn game in 2008, kicking 24 goals in 25 games, finishing second in the AFL Rising Star award and sixth in the club’s best and fairest. At 1.77m and 80kg, he is a speedy left-footer who provides a massive spark around packs and plays mainly on the forward line.
In his second year Cyril won the AFL Players’ Association award for best young player, and finished second in Hawthorn’s best and fairest. He re-signed with Hawthorn for a further three years. In 2010 he came fourth in the club best and fairest, kicked 27 goals and polled six Brownlow Medal votes. To the end of the 2010 season he had played 64 games and kicked 72 goals. At the age of 21 Cyril has a very bright future. GS
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