Pictured: Cootamundra Blues 1973 premiership team.
After a much-needed rest, the Cootamundra Blues will look to turn their season around on Saturday as they host the visiting Belconnen Magpies at Clarke Oval. The Blues will have extra motivation to get the job done as the club will be celebrating the 50th anniversary reunion of their inaugural premiership team as well as hosting their annual Old Boys Day. Adding even more excitement to the festivities will be the 100th appearance in navy blue for Chris Drum. A major milestone in club history, a number of past Blues stars, some of whom have not seen each other for decades, have been confirmed to return to Clarke Oval for the reunion of the 1973 premiership team.
The Blues were a force all year and found themselves second on the ladder at the conclusion of the regular season. Facing East Wagga in the decider, the Blues had a horror start trailing by four goals after just 15 minutes. Terry Whelan was creating havoc for the Blues when coach Ron Milthorpe moved Steven Long onto him. Long held Whelan out of the game for the final three quarters allowing the Blues to run out comfortably 17.22.124 to 14.7.91 winners. Coota’s best were Rob Fairweather, Ken Coggan, Wayne Quinnell and Long.
The club would love as many past players as possible to come along on Saturday to help celebrate these Blues legends. After playing over 200 games for Wagga Tigers and two seasons with Western Suburbs Sydney, the Blues were fortunate enough to land the services of Chris Drum in the 2013 season. Drum showed his class immediately, quickly establishing himself as a core member of the Blues line-up, finishing runner up in the Blues best and fairest in his debut season. Drum would go one better in 2014, claiming the trophy as the Blues best in 2014 while playing vital role in the Blues premiership triumph. A dominant force at centre half forward, Drum’s ability to crash packs and take contested grabs saw him finish second in the league with an outstanding 73 goals. Drum would turn his hand to coaching, taking the reins in 2015 while leading the club to another grand final appearance. Signing as playing coach again in 2016, Drum was instrumental in lifting this young Blues side up to the challenge of playing in a higher grade and was rewarded with his fine form by being selected to represent AFL Canberra against a strong South Coast outfit.
Always one to give back, Drum has spent a substantial amount of time as the Blues Auskick co-ordinator, helping to guide the next generation Cootamundra Australian Rules footballers. While struggling for results in recent weeks, the Blues will go into Saturday’s game full of confidence they can get their season back on track. Played in atrocious conditions the previous time the sides met, the Blues managed to get the job done by a margin of 38 points.
The Blues selectors will be hoping the week off has worked wonders as number of key players were struggling with injury prior to the break. Despite falling short in their last start, Cootamundra played arguably their best game of the season, and will be looking to build off the positive momentum. First bounce is scheduled for 2pm. All supporters are encouraged to stick around after game for a bbq and the game day awards being held in the club rooms post game.