“I did a foolish thing,” bemoans Megahertz stalwart and RRR legend Jonnie Von Goes, aka JVG. “Last year was the first year in 16 years that I hadn’t played. I played every game for the Megahertz, but it got to the stage where I had to hang the boots up. I was in a bit of a loss, emotionally I was low. Jason Evans made me this offer where I could come be the assistant coach at The Rockdogs, and it sounded like a bit of fun at the time. But it wasn’t. I got there and realised I was in the wrong place. I was a turncoat. I was a shocking person. I was ashamed of myself. It was horrible,” he recounts with remorse. “Then at three-quarter time it hit the fan. I wanted to see a little more flair from The Rockdogs. I said some things that perhaps I shouldn’t have said. Then I was thrown out. I think the coach’s exact words were, ‘If you’re going to speak to my players like that, then I’m going to have to ask you to leave.’ And I told them they could all go and get fucked.”
After being dismissed by Rockdogs coach Paul Kelly in explosive circumstances, JVG had little choice but to return to his rightful home this year. “I’m back at The Megahertz, it’s a bit like my tail’s between my legs. I’m paying penance. I’ve accepted the role of Manager Of Football Operations, which means absolutely nothing. It’s a bit like being punished. I’m there to try and help The Megahertz reclaim their status on the field. We’ve got a few new players, a few youngies. The fact that I’ve been over to the other side, I know how they work. We’re gonna make mince meat out of ‘em,” he declares.
Also managing with that dangerous midsection contained the dichotomous Venn diagram of Megahertz and Rockdogs is PBS presenter and Bunny Monroe guitarist Ruby Koomen. As well as donning the Megahertz jumper on the day, Ruby will be performing axe-wielding duties with Bunny Monroe as they take to the Elsternwick Park stage. “The first year that I played I put on the Megahertz jumper because of my show on PBS. And you can’t just go changing sides. I’m an Essendon supporter, and it would be like changing to Collingwood. You just can’t do it,” Ruby states. “It’s not long now, so you’ve got to start to get fit, and at the same time, you need to get your guitar licks right because we have to play these Cramps covers,” Ruby explains. “I get to pretend to be [Cramps cofounder] Poison Ivy, so it’s pretty fun,” she beams. “I think it’s gonna be a big year, because you have that hour beforehand to kick the ball around, then the first bands start up – there’s just adrenaline rushing in from everywhere. I’m pretty excited. There’s always little fitness things going on with RRR and PBS, but Community Cup is the only one everyone gets onboard with it. I’m not the best sportsman, but I love having a run. I love footy,” Ruby smiles.
Ruby endured a baptism of fire in her maiden run with The Megahertz, showing that despite its good-natured disposition, the Community Cup is still a very real footy match. “The first year I was taken out within the first ten minutes I was on the field with a bit of a broken arm. But fitness, you booze all the time because you’re young and resilient. You can go out on Saturday night then go play a game of footy Sunday. At the end of the day you’re a bit worse for wear. But drinking a lot of beers during the game helps,” she reveals.
The seriousness of the match was also initially apparent to Megahertz co-captain Maddy Mac as she was initiated into the Community Cup. “It was about five years ago, I was at PBS as an announcer. I just thought it was this random match that happened, I didn’t think there was much preparation involved. I thought you could just rock up with your boots, but it turned out I missed out on selection the first year. I didn’t realise how serious it was taken, that the reason I was covering radio shifts is because people had been training.”
As always, the day will feature more than a few stellar musical acts. Leading the charge will be a freshly reformed ‘80s underground icons Blue Ruin, featuring original members Quincy McLean and Mulaim Vela plus special guests. “Well there’s no mention of sport in the name, just community. And cup, which could mean drinking,” Quincy dissects. “It’s all forms of entertainment, plus sausages and beer. It’s better than the Melbourne Show!”
BY LACHLAN KANONIUK
Photo credit: Carbie Warbie