RUGBY league royalty will hit Diggings Oval on Saturday when the Continuous Call Team cover the CSU Mungoes Yellow team’s Centennial Coal Cup match against the Orange Barbarians.
The team, which features Ray Hadley, Bob Fulton, Steve “Blocker” Roach and cult hero Darryl “Big Marn” Brohman, will be on hand to broadcast their Saturday afternoon show and call the second of the two Mungoes matches.
A huge coup for the club itself, the idea came from ground manager, player and sometime Mungoes secretary Dean Hodges – but even he didn’t think it would ever get this far.
“I’ve been a huge fan of the Continuous Call Team since I was a kid. I didn’t have Foxtel, so it was the first choice if I wanted to listen to the footy,” Hodges said.
“Whatever clubs I’ve been involved with, I’ve always thought it would be great to have them cover a game, and I’m actually friends with Ray’s daughter Emma, who goes to uni here.
“I asked her whether she thought it would be a worthwhile idea, she said ‘yes’, but I didn’t really get around to it. I wanted to make sure I did this year, so I fired off an email and they read it out on air about 10 minutes later.”
From there a producer of the show got in touch with Hodges, made a trip to the venue to make sure it was suitable and suddenly it was happening.
The Continuous Call Team will broadcast from a truck parked adjacent to the half-way line, and Hodges joked that some of the rowdier supporters might have to be seated a fair distance from the microphones.
“We might have to try and funnel a few of the noisier folk to the other side. Things get a bit loose up there from time to time,” he said with a laugh.
“It has worked out quite well, actually. The Yellow side are playing Barbarians and the Blue team in the early game are playing Villages United. They are two teams we have a pretty good relationship with, so it should all be good-natured.”
Meanwhile, Mungoes Yellow captain-coach Brad Dewar says he can’t wait to get on the field and lap up such a rare opportunity.
“It isn’t very often this sort of chance comes around,” he said.
“Excited would be a pretty appropriate way to describe it. A lot of the boys haven’t played in front of a crowd of any sort before and some haven’t played footy prior to this season at all, so they’re pretty keen.
“For me personally I don’t think having the commentators there will make too much of a difference during the game, but I can’t wait for it to happen.”
Dewar will start at halfback in a side which enters the match with a four-from-four record and sits atop the competition ladder alongside the Lithgow Bears.
The Barbarians are sixth with one win from four matches, though their for-and-against indicates they are no longer the easybeats they once were.
“On results so far, I think we’d probably be expected to win, but our starts have been very slow so far. Luckily we’ve probably not met the stronger teams yet, so we’ve been able to claw our way back to the lead,” Dewar said.
“There is still a bit of an element of the competition being a lottery in some ways, with Kandos being so dominant last year but losing a lot of their good players for 2014. It is hard to know where every team is going to end up.”
Dewar is one of a host of current players who attribute the growth of the club, which has previously struggled at times for numbers and to be competitive, to ex-president Andy Banasik, who finished his tenure last year.
“He took the club a long way; we aren’t floundering in Tertiary League anymore. He got us into this competition, which we won in our first year, and we made a grand final in our second,” he said.
“We’re unsure each year how many teams or players we’re going to have but because of his work we’ve got a great club culture and things like Saturday just reinforce that we’re going in the right direction.”