Stand Your Ground

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Pan Macmillan Australia, Nov 1, 2008 - Biography & Autobiography - 448 pages

There is only one Kevin Sheedy, a man who occupies a unique position in Australian sport - plumber, self-described grubby little back-pocket, legendary coach, master strategist, mad professor, raconteur, and world-wide promoter of the game of Australian Rules. Stand Your Ground is his life story, and it's everything you'd expect from the most surprising, most interesting and most innovative man in AFL.

Stand Your Ground is a journey from the working-class heart of Melbourne to every corner of Australia and beyond, including those well-known football outposts: Dublin, Kentucky and the Beverly Wilshire in Hollywood, a trip that only Kevin Sheedy could take. From his descriptions of a young boy growing up in the inner suburbs of Melbourne in the 1950s, through to his playing days at Richmond and his ground-breaking 27 years as coach of Essendon, and finally to his commitment to take Australia's own game to the world, Sheeds' book is passionate, erudite, colourful, funny and controversial. It is a work of history, memoir and sporting drama as fascinating and multi-faceted as the man himself.

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MY RECENT RESEARCH has revealed that one of the most famous full forwards of all time, Dick Lee of Collingwood, kicked a drop punt for goal. Dick called his kick
for goal “a type of stab-punt.” He is the first VFL/AFL player recorded as kicking The Drop Punt!
“He developed both the place-kick and “A TYPE OF STAB-PUNT” in which he dropped the ball point-first and stabbed it like a shot arrow with hair-line accuracy. He says he always picked a spot in the crowd and took aim at it. Kicking he says is a lost art.” From Trove. Dick! Dick!-Dick-e-e-e by H.A. de Lacy Sporting Globe Saturday 21 June 1941.
Much of the success of a forward depends on the manner in which the ball is passed to him. There is nothing to beat the low, skimming stabkick. The ball should not be kicked at a forward but to the spot where he will be after having made a dash for it. Trove. From an article by Dick Lee in June 9 1927. News Adelaide, SA
JACK DYER SEES RED. As told to JIM BLAKE. Sporting Globe Wednesday 31 March 1948.
JACK DYER, Tiger coach, and captain, had a few hard words to say about forwards on Saturday. “They just wont learn,” he declared. “You can tell then again and again. They do the right thing under instruction, but out they go and forget all about it in a match. . . ,”They don’t kick straight because they won’t concentrate on the right way to kick a ball at goal.” Dyer himself is a deadly kick from 40-50 yards out of goal. He uses the STAB-PUNT KICK, dropping the ball point down and almost vertical, kicking it with the toe of his boot. “Dick” Lee, famous Collingwood forward, used the same type of kick. Dyer says he saw the value of the kick watching Collingwood, and learnt it from the Collier brothers. “But you can’t tell the forward today. He gets the ball well, then blazes away at goal without straightening up. “He swings his boot anywhere nine out of ten times he misses. But he can’t be told.” And he mooched away, still having his say. From Trove..
Comments! Jack Dyer incorrectly calling his Drop Punt as a “Stab Punt Kick” three months before the release of The Sporting Globe Football Book of 1948, Compiled and Edited by H.A. de LACY, with Dyer’s ‘ CRAZY” DROP PUNT on pages 49, 50 and 51. I find this most interesting as Jack Dyer thought of using the “stab punt kick” as a description but never ever thought of kicking a stab punt. Nobody did until 15-year-old Little Jimmy Johnson in May 1949 invented it. The fact that Dyer used the term “Stab Punt Kick” may make it easier for Journalists today to use “STAB PUNT”.
My research has revealed the following information re other early players, mostly VFL / AFL, to kick the Drop Punt in Australian Rules Football.
Dick Lee was followed by Horrie Clover of Carlton, Len Metheral of Geelong, The Collier Brothers of Collingwood, Jack Dyer of Richmond, George Goninon of Geelong. Then fourteen / fifteen year old schoolboy Jim Johnson with the stab kick into his “stab punt” and the drop kick into his “drop punt as a field pass” both kicked at full pace.
See more in "'The First Drop Punt? Recent research from a kick historian"

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About the author (2008)

Kevin Sheedy is one of the best-known names in Australian Football. He was born in Melbourne in 1947, and played 251 games for Richmond before turning to coaching. He coached Essendon for a record-breaking 27 years, taking the club to four premierships. He is currently an ambassador for the AFL, promoting the game both in Australia and around the world.

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