VFL Record RD 10 - Werribee Tigers
Liston Trophy winners: Anthony Eames (1991), Paul Satterley (’95), Michael Frost (’98), James Podsiadly (’08)
‘Frosty’ Miller medallists: James Podsiadly (2008)
Games record holder: Dave Lyons (139)
Goals record holder: Jack Aziz (379)
LONG standing joke around Chirnside Park is that Dave Lyons is invincible, protected by some Bermuda Triangle like force.
As Werribee notches its 500th VFA/VFL Division 1 club match this weekend, Lyons remains the club record games holder – more than 30 years after he last played for the Tigers.
Lyons, who was at the club when they first entered the VFA in 1965, racked up 139 games in two stints – 1966-74 and ‘79-80, according to current general manager Mark Penaluna.
It seems that whenever someone gets close to his record, just as Travis Robertson, Andrew Button, Lynton Fitzpatrick, Michael McMaster, Trent Churchill, James Podsiadly, Nathan Saunders and Scott Faulkner, to name but a few, have over the journey, something happens and Lyons remains the keeper of the record.
More recently, Teghan Henderson has become entrapped in the vortex-like phenomenon that engulfs those who encroach on Lyons’ territory.
Henderson entered the ’09 season on 113 games, but he’s been cursed by injury the past two seasons managing to play just 10 games from a possible 28.
It may be left to captain Dominic Gleeson and vice-captain Robbie Castello, both who’ve just played their hundredth game, to wrestle from Lyons the mantle as club games record holder.
But, it’s far from a shoo-in.
Penaluna mischievously reckons he knows the reason. “Dave is treasurer ... he might be paying them off to leave when they get close to his record,” Penaluna laughed.
To put Lyons’ record in perspective. Of the traditional VFL clubs, the next smallest club games record holder is Northern Bullants where Frank Dowling holds the honour with 174 games.
Apart from Lyons’ record, Werribee can boast four Liston Trophy winners – Anthony Eames, Paul Satterley, Michael Frost and Podsiadly.
Podsiadly also won a ‘Frosty’ Miller Medal, the only time the club won the goal kicking award despite the days when Jack Aziz kicked bundles of goals – 379 to be exact - in the 1990s.
Aziz was a member of the Tigers’ sole premiership, a match against Port Melbourne that erupted into controversy when fans invaded the ground and traded blows with players.
Werribee, led by then rookie coach Donald McDonald, upset the Borough and it launched the career of McDonald who would coach the Tigers for seven seasons and make four finals appearances.
McDonald is the longest serving of the 17 Werribee coaches, one year more than incumbent Simon Atkins, a best and fairest winner under McDonald.
Werribee has provided three AFL coaches – Damien Drum, who coached the Tigers in ’92, and current Hawthorn coach Alistair Clarkson, who had the 2000 season at Chirnside Park, and McDonald, who had a cameo role at Hawthorn.
Robertson may have fallen agonisingly short of Lyons record, but his three best and fairests is a club record while his three years as captain is matched only by McDonald and Frost.
While season 2010 hasn’t started as well as the club would have hope, Werribee owns a clear winning percentage. It enters the Round 10 match against Coburg Tigers with a 280-217 and two draw record.