Ulverstone/Latrobe, Rover/Forward Pocket, 1923-36
- 35 games for Ulverstone, 1923-24
- 176 games for Latrobe, 1925-36
- Latrobe captain-coach 1929-36; non-playing coach 1937, 1950
- Ulverstone NWFU premiership 1923
- Latrobe NWFU/Central Combine premierships 1926, 1929 1930, 1931, 1933
- 16 games for various NWFU/North-West combined teams, 1923-36
- Latrobe President, 1969-71
One of the finest rover/forwards of his era, Ellis Maney is one of the Latrobe Football Club’s most successful individuals, collecting an abundance of premierships as a player, coach and administrator.
Born in 1905, Maney’s first two seasons in senior football were spent with Ulverstone, debuting as a 17-year old in 1923. It was quickly apparent that the Robins had unearthed a superb young player, Maney playing a key role in the club’s 1923 premiership and starring in a post-season against southern powerhouse Cananore the. Maney’s star continued to rise in his second season under Frank ‘Checker’ Hughes, gaining his first representative honours in an NWFU seconds match against the Queenstown Association. After two seasons with Ulverstone, Maney transferred to Latrobe in 1925, and it was with the ‘Diehards’ that Maney’s glittering legacy in coastal football was forged. Fast, intelligent and possessing a knack of being in the right place at the right time, Maney quickly established himself as a key player, and was a member of Latrobe’s 1926 premiership team under captain/coach Mel Woodfull. Maney’s standing within the competition also continued to grow, representing the NWFU in multiple matches against the Circular Head Association. He also demonstrated outstanding leadership ability, and Maney was ultimately appointed Latrobe’s captain/coach for the 1929 season, aged only 23.
Maney took over the captaincy at the start of a troubled period for coastal football. On the eve of the 1929 season, devastating floods across northern Tasmania washed away many crucial bridges, including those over the Forth River. This cut off Latrobe from the rest of the NWFU, and as a result the club competed in the short-lived Central Combine, later re-christened the NWFU Eastern Division. Under Maney’s leadership Latrobe became the competition’s dominant team, taking out all three Combine/Eastern Division premierships from 1929-31, and going on to annex the overall Union premiership in the latter two years, defeating Western Division premiers Burnie and Ulverstone respectively. After the NWFU reunified in 1932, Latrobe continued to be a powerhouse of the competition, splitting Grand Final contests with Penguin in 1932-33 one each, Latrobe winning the latter. Much of this success came on the back of Maney’s own form: playing a more permanent forward role since becoming coach, he had subsequently become one of the coast’s premier goalsneaks, topping 30 goals seven times in eight years. These performances made Maney a regular in Union representative teams, vice-captaining the team against the NTFA in 1931. A “shrewd leader and canny tactician”, Maney guided Latrobe to many great achievements during his tenure, including an unbeaten record on their home ground for over four years.
Maney retired at the end of 1936 after 227 games; he was a fine player right to the end, kicking three goals in his last game. He stayed on as non-playing coach for one year in 1937 before stepping away, meaning that he had coached Latrobe for nine consecutive years, a remarkably long tenure for the time. Maney returned to Latrobe twice in official roles, once for another year as senior coach in 1950, and again as club president from 1969-71. In this second role Maney arguably made his greatest-ever contribution to the club, playing a pivotal role in luring former Latrobe champion Darrel Baldock back from St. Kilda. Under Baldock, Latrobe claimed four consecutive NWFU premierships from 1969-72, including the club’s only State flag in 1970.
Outside football, Maney was a prominent member of the Latrobe community, serving at various times as Boxing Club president, superintendent of the fire brigade and as barman at Mackey’s Hotel. Ellis Maney passed away in 1987, aged 82.