Kinglake footballer and local policeman Cameron “Speedy” Caine today played his 350th game. Long-serving trainer Ray “Wrinkles” Bartlam this morning also joined the Coodabeen Champions on ABC Radio Melbourne for a chat. Here’s what they said.
COODABEEN CHAMPIONS [ABC]: Speedy Caine and Speedy joins us online now from Kinglake. Welcome to the Coodabeens.
CAMERON CAINE [CC]: How ya’ going? Good morning.
ABC: Now, you’ve got to tell us straight up how you came to be called ‘Speedy’?
CC: Well, Under-12s cricket actually. I’m not a fast runner between the wickets but I’m not a quick runner at all. So, yeah, the assistant coach called me “Speedy.” [And then] it stuck. Even my mates grandma[s] call me “Speedy.”
ABC: So when did you play your first game of the 350 Speedy?
CC: Oh, Oh, down at Diamond Creek, years ago. Diamond Creek, then to South Morang then up to the nice sunny Kinglake.
ABC: And is it Kinglake where you played the bulk of the 350?
CC: Yes, yeah, then I [been] came up up here and played my first game in ’94 and we ended up winning the flag that year. So [um] it was great.
ABC: Was that because you moved into town as the local copper?
ABC: ‘Cause that’s always the go isn’t it when some young fella gets assigned to a country town and he’s a policeman they’re straight down the same take if ya want to get on in town you’re playing.
CC: [Aah] No, I was a plumber back then. I’d joined the [police] force and ended up coming up to Kinglake a couple of years later and loved it.
ABC: It was usually the local teacher and the copper wasn’t it that got straight into the team?
CC: [Laughs] Exactly.
ABC: So you arrived in ’94 and played in a premiership straight away which is you know a pretty extraordinary thing to happen. In the 350 since any more grand final appearances?
CC: Aah no, we had a couple of finals appearances but ah no, sorry 95 we were runners up [right] then we came across to the Diamond Valley [Football] League back in the day and then we came back into the Yarra Valley in 2008.
ABC: I’m thinking that 350 games is – ah ah – an extra achievement Cameron because Cameron because you would have been rostered on the Saturday quite often the policeman. Would that be true?
CC: Yeah, look I started work at 5.30 [pm] that afternoon and finished at six o’ clock Sunday night.
ABC: Oh ‘righto’, so you were accommodated then? And there’s a terrific thing the club have done for you. They’ve got a it looks like a commemorative poster and someone’s done a caricature of him. Making you look like Russell Crowe I must say. Who’s done that? Someone at the club?
CC: Ah yeah, no, um, the secretary knows a guy down town that does it and it’s just turned out fantastic. It’s quite something.
ABC: It’s not Paul Harvey is it? You know Harvs?
ABC: Up at Kinglake it’s important to “know someone downtown.” Downtown.
ABC: And ah we’re also hoping to talk today to Wrinkles.
CC: Oh, Wrinkles.
ABC: The head trainer. He’s got the magic hands. But one problem with his magic hands is they don’t know how to press ‘yes’ on his phone to answer the call.
CC: Oh, the silly old bugger.
ABC: [Laughs] I think he might have just come along. Before we talk to him because we weren’t sure whether he was picking up or not.
ABC: To get to 350 games have you had a bit of help from Wrinkles?
ABC: Hmm. Speedy. We’ve lost Speedy. Hang on. Hang on a minute. Pressed the wrong thing on the phone.
ABC: But Wrinkles has joined us. Wrinkles. Welcome to the Coodabeens.
RAY BARTLAM [RB]: Good morning.
ABC: Now we’re told you’ve got magic hands.
ABC: Yeah, Have you had those hands on Speedy to get him to 350 games?
RB: Ahh, lots of times the poor old bugger he’s just about had it [laughs].
ABC: Where did you are um skills of magic hand man from Wrinkles?
RB: Ahh, ohh, I think playing footy. That was 50-odd years ago.
ABC: Hmm. For Kinglake? For Kinglake?
RB: No, no, no, Ivanhoe Amateurs and Fairfield.
ABC: Oh, right mmm. Yeah.
RB: And decided I was going to be a trainer. They [Kinglake] asked me to help so I went and did the courses and I’ve been doing it [trainer] ever since.
ABC: And you’ve tweaked your knowledge along the way haven’t you Wrinkles?
RB: Yes. Yes.
ABC: Now at what point did you realise Wrinkles that you’ve done a trainers course and everything, that you had certain magical powers?
RB: A long time ago. [Laughs] but …. very basic. Yeah. Yeah very basic skills I suppose. You’d work it out as you go.
ABC: Now, Wrinkles. One of the things we’ve learned about you is you had the old trick which I think is you would – if a bloke had cartilage – that might pop out you’d strap a hapney to it.
ABC: Have you still got a hapney anywhere?
RB: Ahh, oh well, I have. I actually collect coins. But. They strap ’em now days.
ABC: It was actually mentioned during the week that was one of the tricks that [Graeme] ‘Polly’ Farmer used to do when he had a dodgy cartilage.
ABC: Polly. Polly used a pen.
RB: A pen or a hapney, whatever you had in your pocket. You know.
ABC: And did it really work Wrinkles?
RB: Well, it used to work on me. Yeah. [Laughs]. Then me leg shit itself and I gave up. Yeah.
ABC: Well, [inaudible] used to tape a penny behind his leg. Yes. Whoa.
ABC: So do you live up Kinglake way Wrinkles?
RB: Yeah, for the last 30 odd years, yeah.
ABC: So how did the bushfires impact the club?
RB: I was particularly lucky all our houses were saved but, you know. There was a whole heap of other people who didn’t make it.
More to come
-With Coodabeen Champions/ABC Radio Melbourne. Transcribed and re-published with permission.
News isn’t news unless it’s Kinglake Ranges News. Murrindindi Shire and North-East Victoria’s #1 – and first – online news service.