Demons Nation – Connected Where it Matters the Most

June 20, 2020 by
Filed under: NSW Demons, Our history, Our stories 

Demons Nation – Connected Where it Matters the Most.

Nigel Dawe

It’s no exaggeration to say that I’m a fanatical Demons fan, but one thing that forms a keen intertwining feature in this one-eyed fanaticism of mine is the fact that we truly live in a Demons nation. I know, you’re probably thinking where’s he going with this, but one thing I bet you haven’t known prior to now is what our iconic little foot-soldier of Lucifer has in common with so many different places across this wide-brown land.

From Surface Paradise to Mildura, Moonta to Pennant Hills, Alice Springs to North Hobart, Corryong to Casey, Perth to Canberra, Koo Wee Rup to Yarram – they all have a local Demons football team.

And that’s just to name a few, not to mention we also have red and blue coloured demon sides raising hell with their leather projectiles in cities as far-flung as Toronto, Boston and London. So on the topic of keeping exaggeration to a minimum, it’s fair to say that on any given weekend during winter – ‘A Grand Old Flag’ is being sung by a bunch of 18 sweaty combatants, somewhere in not just this country of ours, but right across the entire globe. And I can’t tell you how much the thought of this brings me an outright deep-seated peace and relief.

But the interconnections don’t just end there, the Perth Demons (even though they wear red and black) are coached by none other than Earl ‘Duke’ Spalding, the lovable bloke we all held our collective breaths when he took his set shots at goal back in the 80s, to say he had one of the more ‘interesting’ or outright elegantly wasted kicking styles, would be an understatement.

Then there’s our 2013 runner up best and fairest winner – Col Garland doing his bit to make the North Hobart Demons the best team in Tasmania, not that they need all that much help, seeing they’ve notched a whopping 27 premierships and finished runners-up 17 times in their overall club history.

One of the more little known cross-overs in the game is the fact a former Melbourne player, Lou Suhard answered a call to meet up at a pub in Adelaide one Thursday night in 1878 to form the Norwood Football Club. And of course, Lou suggested what an aesthetically pleasing and no less formidable combo of colours red and blue were for a football team, not to mention the moniker ‘Redlegs’, as Melbourne were then also known, and thus the rest is history.

Whilst in South Australia, I have to make mention of a little town and a football team very dear to my heart – Moonta and their Moonta Demons, who have quite possibly the most sublime red and blue guernsey you’ve ever seen, it actually features a pitch-folk wielding demon on the front.

As some background, my entire family and I used to holiday for three weeks at a time each Christmas in the early 80s in this beautiful old Cornish influenced mining town, come idyllic tourist mecca.

So recently, I got in touch with Mark Durin, Moonta’s club president and Andrew Pearson, the secretary to find out what impact the Covid period has had on their town and club. Unfortunately, I couldn’t have reached them at a tougher time and yet they were the last to complain, as their entire league has been canceled for the first time ever, and the whole region has suffered quite a down-turn.

Having grown up in a small country town I know how devastating this would be, and so on behalf of the broader Demon community I’d like to extend our heartfelt best wishes and sincere hope that come next season the Moonta Demons go on to claim their 14th premiership, the most recent coming in 2018.

For a club that boasted an evergreen (ex-Brownlow medallist) Gavin Wanganeen in their team last year, the boys are surely well placed to do themselves and us all proud. As an excellent and ever-apt promo from the Norwood Football Club hammered home in the early 90s – ‘Times don’t stay tough forever, but tough clubs do!’


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