1909 State Team

Northern Districts 4 Western Australia 0

Status: Friendly
Date: 8 May 1909
Venue: Show Ground, Broadmeadow, New South Wales
Northern Districts: Robert Elgey, R.Campbell, W.Maxwell, J.Jones, W.Harris, J.George, D.Russell, W.Jennings, Alf Jennings, R.Lidbury, E.Price
Western Australia: Arthur Bennett, Charles Bodenham (c), Jack Booth, Bill Roskams, J.McLaughlin, J.O’Neill, Vic Allen, Royston Evans, George Burt, Evander Robertson, Clem Bogle
Referee: J.D.Hamilton

The first trip outside Western Australia by a State team was a gruelling 49-day, 10-game journey which took in New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia across May and June 1909. The fifteen-player squad made the trip east aboard the Royal Mail Steamship ‘Victoria’, departing Fremantle on Tuesday 27 April and disembarking in Sydney ten days later.

The squad for this historic tour comprised Vic Allen, team captain Charles Bodenham, Clem Bogle, Arthur Bennett, Jack Booth, George Burt, Royston Evans, Tommy McCreery, J.McLaughlin, J.O'Neill, Evander Robertson, Bill Roskams, Henry Scott, Micky Taylor and James Woods. William Thomas (team manager), C.Bogle (assistant manager) and suppoters F.McCreery, P.Renfeld and S.Woods completed the travelling party.

Two days after arriving on the east coast, the State team stepped out against Northern Districts in front of a crowd numbering around 1,000. Still recovering from their ten-days at sea, Western Australia was very quickly on the back foot to a fresh and lively opponent. Even so, Evander Robertson could have given the visitors a dream start but was denied by goalkeeper Robert Elgey.

Northern Districts hit the front midway through the first half after Alf Jennings, W.Jennings and D.Russell combined to set-up E.Price for the games opening goal. Price then turned provider just minutes later with an accurate ball in from the wing which Alf Jennings sent into the net. Alf Jennings got his second of the afternoon shortly before the break by punishing the defensive hesitancy of goalkeeper Arthur Bennett and Charles Bodenham.

Western Australia had the benefit of the breeze for the second half but still struggled to create much in the way of genuine chances on goal. The closest they came to scoring was in the 75th minute when Royston Evans shot crashed into the underside of the crossbar and ricocheted into the welcoming arms of Elgey. As the final whistle approached Russell made it four-nil from a corner which resulted from a fine counter-attack involving W.Maxwell and W.Harris.

South Maitland Association 0 Western Australia 2

Status: Friendly
Date: 12 May 1909
Venue: Albion Ground, Maitland, New South Wales
South Maitland Association: W.Neal, R.Cartwright, G.Cartwright, A.McNaughton, W.Howe, R.Harden, J.Jowett, T.Wardrop, W.Ashman, A.Corrigan, G.Coulson
Western Australia: Arthur Bennett, Micky Taylor, Jack Booth, Bill Roskams, Henry Scott, James Woods, Vic Allen, Royston Evans, Tommy McCreery, Evander Robertson (c), Clem Bogle
Referee: Mr Jennings

Goals in each half by Evander Robertson and Royston Evans gave Western Australia a 2-0 win over the South Maitland Association in their second tour game. This was the first time football had been played on the hard and clayey Albion Ground and, as ground authorities would not allow football goals to be erected, the game was played using rugby posts which were widened to the conventional eight yards.

Robertson, wearing the captain’s armband in Charles Bodenham’s absence, won the toss and asked the home side to kick into the setting sun. Western Australia wasted no time pushing into attack but neither Vic Allen nor Tommy McCreery was able to make the most of early chances. Goalkeeper W.Neal was forced into a good save by Evans, who followed up with a long-range effort that sailed just over the crossbar.

So there was little surprise when Western Australia took the lead on the quarter hour when Clem Bogle’s corner was cleared by the South Maitland as far as Robertson, who smashed the ball past Neal for the teams first goal on tour. Robertson could have had another a minute later but on this occasion scuffed the wrong side of the target. South Maitland’s only chance of the period was a shot which cleared Arthur Bennett’s crossbar by a comfortable margin.

Western Australia remained in control after the break and through the game’s best move doubled their advantage. A mazy run by man-of-the-match Robertson saw him go past several opponents before slipping the ball into the path of Evans, who found the net with ease. South Maitland didn’t really come into the game until late as their opponents began to tire, however, Bennett remained untroubled thanks to solid defensive work by Micky Taylor and Jack Booth.

New South Wales 2 Western Australia 2

Status: Friendly
Date: 15 May 1909
Venue: Sydney Cricket Ground, Sydney, New South Wales
New South Wales: Robert Elgey, R.Campbell, B.Ferguson, W.Maxwell, S.Condon, Jack Rhodes, James Jones, Will Carey, Arthur Jones, W.Carroll, W.Stewart
Western Australia: Arthur Bennett, Charles Bodenham (c), Jack Booth, Bill Roskams, J.McLaughlin, J.O’Neill, Vic Allen, Royston Evans, George Burt, Evander Robertson, Clem Bogle
Referee: W.Goldsmith

One of the early highlights of West Australia football history was a pulsating 2-2 draw with New South Wales. George Burt put the west ahead with only a few minutes but two goals from Will Carey put the hosts in command at the break. Evander Robertson restored parity before Western Australia survived a late onslaught to earn the draw. “The play was most exciting, every movement being brimful of cleverness, and spectators who had attended out of curiosity soon gripped the good points and were applauding,” reported the ‘Sydney Morning Herald’ (1).

Despite the drizzling conditions, the game was played at a frantic pace with both teams creating chances from start to finish. Western Australia made a positive start by going ahead in the 3rd minute when Burt clipped a first time shot past Robert Egley after meeting Clem Bogle’s precision ball in from the left. But the lead would last all of ten minutes before Carey succeeded in beating Arthur Bennett at the third attempt, the visiting goalkeeper having beaten away the preceding two attempts.

The next twenty minutes may have been end-to-end but few scoring opportunities presented due to a couple of very committed defensive units. Jack Booth was without a doubt the visitors’ key man, while at the other end R.Campbell turned in an equally commanding performance. An unfortunate mix-up between J.McLaughlin and Charles Bodenham was met with swift retribution as slick interplay by W.Carroll, W.Stewart and Arthur Jones was sent into the net by Carey after his initial shot was parried by Bennett.

The rain eased up for the second half which opened with James Jones tearing down the right and playing in Carey but his attempt on the run flashed wide. Ten minutes later the teams were back on level terms, Vic Allen crossing from the right for Robertson, whose looping header was punched into the net by Elgey. New South Wales peppered the visitors’ goal over the closing stages but the closest they came to scoring a third goal was a shot that smacked against the crossbar.

(1) p.10, the ‘Sydney Morning Herald’ newspaper, 17 May 1909

Granville District 1 Western Australia 1

Status: Friendly
Date: 19 May 1909
Venue: Parramatta Oval, Parramatta, New South Wales
Granville District: W.Pagden, A.Peaty, W.Hunt, A.Howieson, A.Halls, P.Thompson, W.Willesford, A.Graham, W.Baker, W.Brickley, J.Fairweather
Western Australia: Arthur Bennett, Charles Bodenham (c), Jack Booth, James Woods, J.McLaughlin, Micky Taylor, Vic Allen, Royston Evans, Tommy McCreery, Evander Robertson, Henry Scott
Referee: W.Lincoln

Western Australia’s fourth game on tour ended in a 1-1 draw with Granville District on a muddy Parramatta Oval pitch. Evander Robertson got the first half breakthrough with J.Fairweather replying for the hosts after the turnaround. It was a less than full-strength State side that took to the park, an ankle forcing George Burt to miss the game while Bill Roskams and Clem Bogle elected to rest with the second test against New South Wales just days away.

A promising start to the game had Robertson get off the first shot, which was wide, before play transferred to the opposite end and Fairweather also put the ball off-target. Charles Bodenham blocked a W.Willesford strike, then Royston Evans headed over the crossbar. Unfortunately, the poor quality surface contributed greatly to the game’s deterioration with much of the play bogged down in midfield.

Neither side created much of any substance until midway through the first half when Robertson completed a swift counter attacking move with a fierce shot that had goalkeeper W.Pagney grasping a thin air. Granville District lifted their game upon the restart and W.Brickley closed the half by shooting harmlessly over the bar, leaving Western Australia a goal to the good at the break.

A.Graham forced a good save from Arthur Bennett as the hosts started the second period on the offensive. The equaliser arrived twenty minutes in, Brickley going past Bodenham and Jack Booth on the left before centring for Fairweather to quickly despatched the ball into the net. Bodenham came to the rescue later in the half by conceding a corner after Bennett dropped the ball amongst a pack of opponents.

Western Australia was denied a late winner when team mates Henry Scott and Robertson collided in their keenness to score, leaving the ball to end up in the hands of a grateful ‘keeper. A strong showing in midfield by J.McLaughlin earned him best player honours for the west, who on the balance of play were fortunate not to lose. This was to be the last game on tour for James Woods who was forced out by injury following a nasty kick to the ribs.

New South Wales 3 Western Australia 1

Status: Friendly
Date: 22 May 1909
Venue: Sydney Cricket Ground, Sydney, New South Wales
New South Wales: A.Phelps, R.Campbell, B.Ferguson, Sid Hilder, J.George, Jack Rhodes, E.Price, James Jones, Arthur Jones, Will Carey, W.Carroll
Western Australia: Arthur Bennett, Charles Bodenham (c), Jack Booth, Bill Roskams, J.McLaughlin, Micky Taylor, Vic Allen, Royston Evans, George Burt, Evander Robertson, Clem Bogle
Referee: W.Goldsmith

A classy New South Wales eased to a 3-1 victory over Western Australia on a sunny afternoon at the Sydney Cricket Ground. Some 2,000 spectators were treated to a fast flowing game in which Evander Robertson’s strike was the only response to goals by James Jones, E.Price and W.Carroll. “The play was of the keenest description,” reported the ‘Sydney Morning Herald’ (1). “Excellent combination was shown on both sides, though the better came from the light blues.”

The first half was dominated by New South Wales but it took until the half hour for the hosts to craft a goal through a slick move featuring Will Carey, Arthur Jones and Carroll which James Jones finished. The hosts doubled their advantage five minutes from the break when Charles Bodenham’s clearance fell to Price, whose lofted ball into the 18-yard box slipped through Arthur Bennett’s fingers and into the net.

Western Australia had until now been totally outclassed but in the shadows of half time reeled in the difference with a goal of their own. J.McLaughlin and Clem Bogle combined cleverly in the build-up with the latter evading a couple of challenges before centring for Robertson to lash into the net, albeit deflected off the head of defender R.Campbell.

The second period was much more balanced with both teams creating good openings. Royston Evans was presented a clear opportunity to level but headed over from a free-kick, then George Burt failed to hit the target when well positioned. James Jones placed over the crossbar while Bennett blocked a shot by Carey, who put the follow-up high.

New South Wales’ third came on the counter attack, Carroll rounding a couple of defenders before putting the result beyond doubt. Shortly before the final whistle Bogle got down the flank and centred for Evans but his shot was off-target. Only Bennett, McLaughlin and Booth could say they matched their opponents, whose inventiveness was at odds with the wests’ long ball approach.

(1) p.10, the ‘Sydney Morning Herald’ newspaper, 24 May 1909

Metropolitan XI 0 Western Australia 4

Status: Friendly
Date: 26 May 1909
Venue: Agricultural Ground, Sydney, New South Wales
Metropolitan XI: T.Spencer, G.Turner, W.Bridge, C.Mason, J.Davidson, T.Dennis, M.Dennis, E.Bennett, R.Harper, J.Adams, G.Holcombe
Western Australia: Arthur Bennett, Evander Robertson (c), Jack Booth, Bill Roskams, John McLaughlin, John O’Neill, Vic Allen, Royston Evans, George Burt, Tommy McCreery, Clem Bogle
Referee: H.G.Smith

Western Australia put the flat performance of a few days prior behind them by thrashing a Metropolitan XI 4-0. The visiting team had eagerly awaited this game after being given the impression the Metropolitan outfit was equally as skilled as the New South Wales State team. However, with several of the host players unavailable due to work commitments, Western Australia ran out winners by a very comfortable margin.

The coin toss was won by Western Australia who elected to have their opposition play into the setting sun, but with the aid of a strong breeze. The Metropolitan XI did much of the attacking in the opening quarter hour and would have had the lead if not for Jack Booth who headed a goal bound attempt away from the net. The visitors eventually got into rhythm and on 35 minutes took the lead, Clem Bogle’s searching diagonal pass picking out George Burt, who deftly beat one opponent before setting up Tommy McCreery to slot past goalkeeper T.Spencer.

Second half play with frenetic with Western Australia displaying by far superior skills. Burt tried his luck immediately from the kick-off and Royston Evans failed to make the most of a fine chance created by Bogle before the Metropolitan XI replied through a T.Dennis shot that brought a spectacular save from Arthur Bennett. A dazzling solo run down the right from Burt ended with a powerful strike that had the pace taken off it by C.Mason, presenting Spencer with an easy gather.

Burt turned provider not long after by laying the ball off for McCreery to unleash a fierce grass-cutter that bulged the back of the net. Victory was assured after lead-up work by Bogle and McCreery culminated in Burt finding the back the net via the underside of the crossbar. The game was near an end when Bogle and McCreery once again combined with Burt driving in the final goal. Spencer prevented the margin from being greater by diving on the ball amongst a sea of legs in the closing seconds.

South Coast XI 2 Western Australia 2

Status: Friendly
Date: 29 May 1909
Venue: Bode’s Centennial Ground, Wollongong, New South Wales
South Coast XI: James Drain, William Compton, J.Craig, W.Pallier, A.Gray, Jack Rhodes, Robert Masters, James Jones, Arthur Jones, A.Oldfield, W.Stewart
Western Australia: Arthur Bennett, Evander Robertson (c), Jack Booth, Bill Roskams, John McLaughlin, John O’Neill, Vic Allen, Royston Evans, George Burt, Tommy McCreery, Clem Bogle
Referee: Tom Thompson

A controversial 2-2 draw with a South Coast XI completed the New South Wales leg of Western Australia’s tour. South Coast entered the afternoon unbeaten on home soil but it was the visitors that the bookies installed as favourites to claim victory in front of a crowd in excess of 1,000. There was drama before the game had even commenced with respected Balgownie official Tom Thompson taking the whistle after the districts’ only qualified referee refused to participate due to a dispute with the New South Wales association.

The west dominated the early exchanges through swift movement of the ball, however, it was the South Coast XI that posted the first goal. Bob Masters was lining up the target when Jack Booth intervened to concede a corner which was returned by the visiting defence to W.Stewart who from an acute angle arrowed into the roof of the net, albeit after taking a deflection of Booth. Western Australia responded with a barrage of attacks that had John McLaughlin go close to equalising on a couple of occasions and Tommy McCreery thwarted by a defender.

Barely a minute of the second half had been played when Western Australia were level, McCreery slipping a pass through for George Burt to skip past several challenges before drilling beyond the despairing gloves of James Drain. The crowd were by no means pleased by this and broke down the rope barriers that surrounded the pitch, watching the remainder of the game literally on the touchlines, and at times encroached onto the field of play, with referee Thompson seemingly too intimidated to do anything about it.

Evander Robertson, Booth and ‘keeper Arthur Bennett found themselves under siege as South Coast pressed to reclaim the lead. James Jones fired just high, A.Gray’s attempt was deflected over by McLaughlin and A.Oldfield drew a world-class save from Bennett. So it was against the run of play that Western Australia went ahead with ten minutes to go, W.Pallier slicing an attempted clearance to Royston Evans who weaved between several defenders and rifled low into the net.

Pallier almost immediately redeemed himself with a long-range strike that glanced off the bar. Then arrived the pivotal moment with play held up for a few minutes while Burt received treatment for a heavy knock. Then, with the sun setting and regulation time seemingly over James Jones was charged off the ball by Evans, leaving the referee no choice but to point to the spot from where the South Coast player coolly tucked away the equaliser.

Victoria 0 Western Australia 3

Status: Friendly
Date: 2 June 1909
Venue: East Melbourne Cricket Ground, Melbourne, Victoria
Victoria: Jamieson, Smith, Elliott, Gorrie, Evans, Menzies, Ellison, Holford, Cairns, Hall, Young, Aikman, Bill Cumming, Jackson, Bowie, Bird, Voss, Hodgkinson
Western Australia: Arthur Bennett, Charlie Bodenham (c), Jack Booth, Bill Roskams, Micky Taylor, Henry Scott, Vic Allen, Royston Evans, George Burt, Evander Robertson, Clem Bogle
Referee: H.Masters

Western Australia handed out a lesson in the round ball game by defeating Victoria 3-0 on an otherwise dismal afternoon at the East Melbourne Cricket Ground. A crowd of just 300 braved biting wind and driving rain to watch Evander Robertson, Royston Evans and George Burt guide the visitors to victory. The game itself was little more “than a scramble in the mud” (1) due to the playing surface which had been given a layer of black top soil prior to receiving four days of rain.

Despite the atrocious conditions, the west were quick to establish control through a series of raids on the hosts goal. They were rewarded on the quarter hour when Clem Bogle’s creativity sent through Robertson, whose explosive angled strike gave goalkeeper Jamieson no chance. As the half advanced Victoria slowly came into the game but Smith squandered their best chances to draw level. Such was the visitors’ dominance that ‘keeper Arthur Bennett was called upon only twice to take goal kicks.

Referee H.Masters, no doubt struggling with the conditions as much as the players, agreed with both teams’ requests and re-started the game without a break at half-time. Western Australia doubled the lead on the hour through a tidy move finished by Evans, whose shot trickled into the net after the ‘keeper took some of the pace off it. Ten minutes later Burt sealed victory with a long-range effort into the top corner. The game ended on sour note for the visitors with Bill Roskams carried off after receiving a nasty kick on the knee.

(1) p.41, the ‘Kalgoorlie Western Argus’ newspaper, 8 June 1909

South Australia 4 Western Australia 4

Status: Friendly
Date: 5 June 1909
Venue: Jubilee Oval, Adelaide, South Australia
South Australia: Ted Rowley, Stanton, Jock Wilde, R.Adams, E.Smith, G.Spencely, G.Roffey, Tyrell Smith, G.Wright, F.Nicholls, Jess Nicholls
Western Australia: Arthur Bennett, Charlie Bodenham (c), Jack Booth, John O’Neill, John McLaughlin, Henry Scott, Vic Allen, Royston Evans, George Burt, Evander Robertson, Clem Bogle
Referee: F.Storr

Western Australia overturned a two-goal deficit to record a pulsating 4-4 draw with South Australia in the first ever meeting between the states. Evander Robertson scored twice with George Burt and Royston Evans also netting to negate goals from G.Roffey, G.Wright and Jess Nicholls (2). There as a strong west coast flavour to South Australian line-up with Tyrell Smith, Stanton and goalkeeper Ted Rowley having previously played in Perth.

The 1,000-strong crowd were on their feet in appreciation early as G.Wright took South Australia straight into attack but his shot cleared the crossbar. Burt placed wide Western Australia’s first opening after which Royston Evans found the net only to it disallowed for offside. The home team went in front when Henry Scott’s poor clearance went to Roffey, who waltzed past Jack Booth and fired into the net.

With the confidence boosted, South Australia continually surged forward in search of a second goal but were turned away by a composed back line in which Charlie Bodenham shone. After soaking up the pressure, the west hit back but appeals for a penalty after Clem Bogle was taken down by Smith went unheeded. Robertson sent a free-kick into the side netting, then Burt lifted high of the bar.

Play moved moving quickly from one end of the park to the other as the half progressed. Jess Nicholls’ shot high on the run and F.Nicholls put the ball too close to Arthur Bennett, while Burt hit a low shot that passed the wrong side of the post. The equaliser came following a scramble inside the visitors 18-yard box, the ball squirting out to Robertson who turned sharply and caught Rowley by surprise with a crisp finish.

Just moments into the second half Wright tore through the visiting defence to unleash a powerful shot that flashed into Bennett’s net. South Australia needed only a few more minutes to extend their lead with Jess Nicholls converting after the west failed to deal with a corner. With his team three-one down, Robertson brought Western Australian back into the contest by punishing an error in the home defence and reducing the deficit.

The visitors were growing in confidence and soon after were back on level terms with Burt converting from the spot following a handball infringement against Jock Wilde. With twenty minutes to go a handball decision against John O’Neill gave South Australia a free-kick on top of their area, Wilde laid the ball into the path of F.Nicholls whose shot was parried by Bennett with Jess Nicholls knocking in the follow-up to restore the hosts advantage.

A pulsating encounter continued Rowley keeping out Robertson’s powerful strike as the west went looking for their fourth goal. It arrived soon after when a partial clearance sat nicely for Evans to lash into the top corner from 9-metres. The momentum was by this stage very much with the visitors and Burt’s attempt from distance almost snuck in before Robertson put the ball wide with a low free-kick.

As full-time approached Western Australia were denied a blatant penalty when Robertson’s dazzling solo run was snuffed out by Rowley’s courageous smothering save, after which the striker receiving a crunching sandwich tackle from Wilde and Stanton with the referee oblivious to the indiscretion. The games final action saw F.Nicholls lift high of the bar.

South Australia 4 Western Australia 4

Status: Friendly
Date: 7 June 1909
Venue: Jubilee Oval, Adelaide, South Australia
South Australia: Ted Rowley, Stanton, Jock Wilde, R.Adams, E.Smith, G.Spencely, G.Roffey, Tyrell Smith, G.Wright, F.Nicholls, Jess Nicholls
Western Australia: Arthur Bennett, Charlie Bodenham (c), Jack Booth, Micky Taylor, John McLaughlin, John O’Neill, Vic Allen, Royston Evans, George Burt, Henry Scott, Clem Bogle
Referee: F.Storr

Western Australia’s historic tour of 1909 came to a close with a second 4-4 draw against South Australia in three days. Playing nine games in four and a half weeks had taken a considerable toll on the State players with Evander Robertson (leg), Bill Roskams (knee) and James Woods (rib) suffering injury while Tommy McCreery parted company a week earlier to stay on in his home state of New South Wales. Selectors initially called a local player, Muir, into the line-up against South Australia but Charlie Bodenham’s last minute decision to play despite an ankle problem meant he wasn’t required.

Western Australia won the toss and conceded kick-off to their hosts, who were soon on the back foot. Royston Evans was first to call Ted Rowley into action when he was unable to find a way past the goalkeeper, while an offside flag halted a promising move between George Burt and Clem Bogle. South Australia also had their chances but found Bodenham and Jack Booth formidable opponents. With 20 minutes gone Western Australia finally broke through, Burt putting the ball with Bogle who stormed past Smith and Stanton before beating Rowley.

Burt and Micky Taylor put shots high while Evans headed just over the crossbar as the visitors attempted to double their advantage. Those misses were punished when G.Wright gained the ball in midfield and showed the defence a clean pair of heels to net the equaliser. Chances flowed freely as the ball moved swiftly from one end to the other and, with the break approaching, Jess Nicholls found himself perfectly placed to tuck the ball in at close-range after Arthur Bennett fumbled a cross by Wright.

End-to-end action opened the second half, Jock Wilde intervened to thwart Evans before Jess Nicholls got down the left only to have his run halted by Booth. The visitors slowly took hold but were unable to capitalise with Henry Scott rifling narrowly wide and Taylor lifting high of the bar. South Australia then added their third goal when R.Adams broke away and teed-up Wright to unleash a fierce drive past Bennett.

Western Australia regrouped quickly and were soon enough back in the game, Bogle centring for Burt to hit a low long-range shot that beat Rowley, whose attempt to clear saw him miss the ball completely. Evans, who was prominent for the visitors, brought the teams level with a surging run that he complimented by beating the ‘keeper. The momentum was very much with the west and a sweeping move had the ball move from Burt to Scott, who put them ahead from the top of the 18-yard box.

It was looking as though that was the end of the scoring when Bennett was sandwiched between two opponents as he attempted to gather Wright’s hopeful lob, making it four-all. Evans had a chance to put the west back in front but was denied by Rowly’s spectacular save as the clock ticked down. There were literally moments remaining when G.Spencely accidentally handled inside the area, Evans stepped up to the penalty spot but blasted straight at a grateful ‘keeper.

The final whistle sounded soon after but rather than head for the change rooms both teams remained on the pitch expecting to play extra-time. Having played out their second 4-4 draw in a few days, both sets of players wanted an outcome, however, team officials Bob Holiday and William Thomas decided the game would not continue. Owing to Western Australia’s lengthy injury list, a proposed friendly against Cambridge the following day was called off.

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