GALLERY | Minnipa is celebrating a century of footy

Minnipa will be celebrating 100 years of football this weekend with a blend of old and current stars getting the chance to take centre stage.

On Friday the Minnipa Hotel will host a dinner with star guest former Port Adelaide and Collingwood player Greg Phillips, who played colts football for Minnipa Football Club, as well as past Minnipa and Western Districts premiership players.

The following day Western Districts will be wearing Minnipa commemorative guernseys in the Mid West Football League match against Wirrulla at Minnipa Oval which starts at 2:30pm.

There will be a best on ground medal awarded after the match, in addition to auctioning off the commemorative guernseys and a limited edition print of 150 years of football in Australia framed and signed by Kevin Sheedy, plus a raffle draw and live entertainment from Bonkers.

Event committee member Jacqui Daniell said it was a chance to remember a century of memories.

“The town celebrated 100 years a few years back which was a big success and we thought we would recognise the footy too,” she said.

“There will be players from the 1951 and 1957 teams, plus the 2002 and 2004 Western Districts teams, who will be interviewed ‘on the couch’ to reminisce and it will be a chance for former players, coaches and supporters to get together.”

Minnipa was formed in 1917 and entered the Central Eyre Peninsula Football League, later known as the Le Hunte Football League, when it started in 1920.

Minnipa won 10 premierships in 1931, 1932, 1933, 1934, 1939, 1940, 1946, 1951, 1953 and 1957. 

With the introduction of the Mid West Football League in 1988, Minnipa and Poochera’s Central Areas amalgamated to form Western Districts, going on to taste premiership glory in 2002 and 2004.

Today, the Tigers play out of both Minnipa and Poochera.

Past Mail medallists include Ron Carlson in 1950, Murray Phillips in 1952 and 1955, Peter Smart two years later, Neville Phillips in 1975, Kym McBeath in 1978, John Linke in 1979, Jeff Page in 1984, Noel Mullan in 1985 and Darren Coffee in 1987.

Western Districts have also had two Mail Medal recipients, David Kuhel in 1991 and 1993 and Scott Feltus in 2003, 2005, 2007 and 2010.

Ms Daniell said the sport meant a lot to people in Minnipa.

“The committee are excited to bring the past and present together and believe that football is the heart of any small town, so it is important to reconnect with the past to help move forward in the future to keep the clubs going and it is also a great place for social gathering and catching up,” she said.

“The club started as a social gathering in 1917, before the league started and there have been several good players over the years plus the premierships and nine different Mail Medal winners from Minnipa and two from Western Districts.

“There are some fascinating stories from those early years in the 1920s and 1930s.”

Ms Daniell said they were expecting more than 100 people to attend the Friday night dinner which starts at 5:30pm.

She said they were looking forward to the opportunity to celebrate the milestone achievement.

“100 years and we are still going.”

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