Golden Square honours club legends by unveiling Hall of Fame
by Nathan Dole
A TALLY of 3747 games, 53 premierships, 30 best and fairest wins are just some of the amazing figures racked up the inaugural inductees to Golden Square Football Netball Club’s Hall of Fame.
The Bulldogs celebrated the club greats throughout nine decades at Saturday night’s function at Bendigo Exhibition Centre.
Since it joined the Bendigo Football League in 1935, Golden Square has won 17 senior football premierships, been runner-up on many occasions, and unearthed many legends of the game.
Dual Brownlow medallist Greg Williams kicked on from Golden Square’s juniors to become an AFL superstar.
In 56 senior games for the Bulldogs, Williams dominated most as he earned the Michelsen Medal as the Bendigo FNL fairest and best in 1982 and ‘83.
The Strauch family had a significant impact on Golden Square FNC and on football across a much wider region.
The late Neville Strauch played 217 senior games for Square, was a premiership player in 1964, and coached the club in ’77, and coached Bendigo to the country championships victory in 1989.
Strauch was the architect in the formation of the Bendigo Pioneers Football Club in 1993.
His son, Dean was a brilliant ruck-rover for the Bulldogs in 112 matches.
Among the many highlights in his time for the Blue and Gold was the Nalder Medal as best afield in the 1988 grand final victory.
Champion goalkicker Ron Best kicked 14.9 in his senior debut for Golden Square in 1968.
Best would go on to kick 1624 goals in a Bendigo FNL career that included stints at Sandhurst and Northern United.
He is one of 10 inductees in Golden Square’s Hall of Fame who is in the Bendigo FNL Hall of Fame.
Such was Best’s prowess and impact on the league, the senior leading goalkicking award is named the Ron Best Medal.
Gun ruckman Tony Southcombe was Michelsen Medallist in 1972 and ’75, which were also premiership years for the Bulldogs.
A four-time premiership player at Square, Southcombe also won the senior best and fairest award on four occasions.
Peter Moroni’s play from a wing led to the scoreboard wing at the Wade Street ground being named after him.
In a remarkable career of 368 senior games, Moroni was a four-time premiership player in the 1970s.
His non-stop run and skill by foot or hand set up many attacks through midfield.
Moroni played 456 matches for Golden Square.
The first netballer inducted to the Hall of Fame was Karen Erwin, a four-time club champion who played a key role in the club’s success in the early 90s.
Erwin was A-grade captain-coach in 1991-93 and ’95.
A great run across 108 matches by Erwin included A-grade premierships in 1991 and ’93.
Key players in Golden Square’s early run of premiership success in the late 1930s were Carl Rohde and Richie Lee.
They were team-mates in the grand final wins of 1938, ’39 and ’45.
The great Vin Lapsley was a three-time club champion across 227 matches and played a key role in the ’45 grand final win against Eaglehawk.
Ron McHardy starred for the Bulldogs across a 208-game career.
He was a joint winner of the T.R. Davies Medal, the forerunner to the Michelsen Medal, in the ’47 season.
The era from the 1960s to ’79 was one of the club’s best.
The Bulldogs won six premierships in that time.
Bill Bonney played a key role in the premiership victories of ’64 and ’65, and was coach of the premiership team in ’72.
He later went on to become chairman of the Bendigo Football League in the 1980s.
Shane Rodda was a key defender in the Bulldogs premiership-winning years of 1972, ’75, ’76 and ’79 and forged a unique partnership in defence with Peter ‘Charger’ Davey, also inducted to Golden Square’s Hall of Fame.
After a 209-game career which included seven grand final apperances, Rodda played many off-field roles for the club.
Peter Davey’s dash and dare from centre half-back was a highlight throughout a 303-game career.
He represented Bendigo in 17 inter-league contests.
A major contributor to the Bulldogs success, Davey is now a member of the BFNL board of management.
Garry Mountjoy was a brilliant on-baller for Square throughout a 136-game career.
He played in the grand final wins of ’75, ’76 and ’79 and was a three-time club champion.
Mountjoy went on to star in Northern United’s run of four consecutive Bendigo FNL premierships from ’84 to ’87.
In the 1980s, Alan Patterson was arguably the league’s best ruckman.
His athleticism, durability and reading of the game were three of many strengths.
Best known as “Patto”, Alan played 234 games for Golden Square and was a captain of the Brian Walsh-coached premiership teams in 1988 and ’89.
The years 2009 to 2013 certainly were “golden ones” for the Bulldogs players and fans.
Key forward Matt O’Toole and wingman or half-back flanker Mark Lloyd played in the run of five consecutive premierships from 2009 to 2013.
In a 159-game career, O’Toole’s marking, accurate kicking and ability to bring team-mates into the play were key factors in the team’s success.
A three-time winner of the club’s leading goalkicking award, O’Toole was the Ron Best Medallist in the 2006 season.
Recruited from Kerang, Lloyd’s run of 168 games for the club included being playing coach of the 2012 premiership team.
An architect off-field, Lloyd was also one on-field where his ability to find space and then be so creative played such a big part in Square’s game style.
Simon Rosa was a gun midfielder or on-baller in the premiership run from 2010 to 2013.
He was club champion in 2011 and ’13 and earned the Nalder Medal as best on ground in the 2012 grand final.
A brilliant footy career which began in Brim was followed by starring for Bendigo Pioneers, Carlton in the VFL, Bendigo Bombers, Peel Thunder, and Golden Square.
The 2000s kicked off with Christian Carter playing a variety of roles.
Whether it was back-pocket, wing, half-back, or deep in attack, Carter never let his coaches down across a 227-game career.
He played in the first of four premiership wins iin 2001 when Brian Walsh was coach.
Carter was captain of the grand final winning line-up in 2009 and later enjoyed premiership success in 2011 and a year later.