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2019 AFL Grand Final – Tigers Connection!

The Tigers Connection to this Saturdays AFL Grand Final

What’s not well known in the AFL world is the connection the Queanbeyan Tigers have to the Richmond Tigers this weekend.

In fact, there are two relatively unknowns that connect the two clubs.

  1. The first is the colours of black and gold and indeed the jumper of black with a gold stripe!

The Queanbeyan Club commenced operations in 1925 when formed by the Mason Brothers, Stan, Fred and Joe under the guidance of Wal Mason, the elder brother who was a prominent businessman in Queanbeyan at the time.

In fact, the Mason Brothers built Hotel Queanbeyan better known now as the “Top Pub”. (Current senior grade player Jack Carroll-Tape is a descendant of the Mason Family).

Any player residing within a two-mile radius were deemed to be Queanbeyan players. The Committee adopted the colours of red and white in its inaugural year. Between 1926 and 1935, the club changed colours to light and dark blue (like the Marist jumper of today) and then to a red jumper with a dark blue sash.

In 1935, a chap by the name of Garton Werne wrote to the Richmond Football Club asking for a donation of a set of jumpers for the Queanbeyan Intermediate side.  The request was agreed too, and the Richmond Club forwarded a set of jumpers plus socks to the Queanbeyan Club.

The Senior Club “borrowed” these jumpers on a permanent basis, hence the name Queanbeyan Tigers was born.

  1. The second interesting connection to this Saturdays AFL Grand Final comes by way of one of its players – Ivan Soldo.

Pictured: The Tigers Preseason Camp held at the Klemke Farm 2014 – Ivan is “Back row 10th from the left – really tall bloke”.

The media refer to Ivan Soldo as a unique and interesting story with Ivan having been recruited from basketball through his sheer size and his athletic abilities. The Canberra recruit is an amazing story to say the least having never really played the game of AFL prior to his draft to Richmond through the rookie system in 2015.

However, perhaps (and only perhaps) one of our current day senior grade players “may” have been partially responsible for his introduction to our great game – although Ivan’s cousin and Richmond star at the time Ivan Maric may also take some of the credit.

The story goes like this – Ivan Soldo attended Daramalan College in Canberra along with Jason Taylor (JT) and Aaron Palarzo being players of the Tigers Under 18 Grade team at the time in 2014. Being good mates of Ivan, they suggested he link up with the Queanbeyan Tigers Under 18 Grade team for season 2014.

Ivan was a huge lad at age 17 and upon entering his first training session one can only imagine the thoughts going through the entire coaching staff at the time asking (including senior grade coaches) who is this bloke!!!!

Ivan trained with the club during the summer of 2014 and as can be seen by the photo below he attended the Tigers Pre-Season Camp which was held in Albury and Culcairn incorporating a trial game against the powerful Albury Tigers. Ivan played in the trial match and impressed those in attendance especially knowing his age and his lack of experience for the game.

Unfortunately, Ivan was unable to register with the Queanbeyan Tigers.

As mentioned, his cousin Ivan Maric had already suggested his name to the Richmond Football Club and hence they had him marked as a Category B recruit under the draft rules which restricted him playing or registering for a club in 2014.

The story goes however, Queanbeyan did source a pair of size 17 boots for Ivan to train and play in trial games for the Queanbeyan Tigers.

Although he never registered with the Club, we can in some way lay claim to having “some” influence on his AFL career thus far with his development and exposure to our great game of AFL.

That’s our story and connection to this weeks AFL Grand Final.

From everyone associated with the Queanbeyan Tigers, best of luck on Saturday to Richmond and Ivan in what will be a fantastic Grand Final – (with exception to those following the GIANTS including 1st Grade Team Manager Steve Wightman).

Party starts at 12.00pm with $11 Lunch Menu plus Happy Hours 2pm – 4pm, $4.20 Schooners and finger food at half time of the Grand Final, various games to be played leading into the Grand Final such as Norm Smith Calcutta / First Goal Scorer / Margin Sweeps and much more –

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