Football legacy lives on with Phil Muhovics memorial trophy on the line

The Phil Muhovics Memorial Trophy will be contested on Saturday when Glencoe hosts Nangwarry in round 13 of the Mid South East Football League.

First awarded in 2011, the Murphies have never surrendered the coveted trophy.

Phil Muhovics was a noted footy identity in this region and he died of bone cancer in 2010 at the age of 53.

He played at five clubs across the region and was a senior coach at four of them and an underage coach at the fifth.

Throughout his time in football, he took great pride in representing the various local leagues in inter-association matches.

His footy career began in the juniors at Glencoe and he made his A Grade debut with the Murphies.

He then headed to West Gambier where he played 78 games.

Phil then crossed to the other end of Mt Gambier and played for the East Gambier Bulldogs including two losing grand finals.

The 1987-88 seasons saw him at the helm of his home club of Glencoe.

At the end of the 1980s, Phil was appointed as captain-coach of Robe and the Roosters were runners-up in 1989 and 1990.

After four seasons as a playing coach, Phil returned to the ranks as a player with East Gambier in 1991 and Nangwarry in 1992.

Yet another grand final defeat occurred with the Saints in 1992.

However, sweet victory was not far away for Phil.

Nangwarry elevated Phil to the coaching role in 1993 and this proved to be the start of a golden era for him.

With brothers Greg and Mike in the lineup, Phil took Nangwarry to their first ever premiership.

The Saints also went top in 1994 and 1997 with Phil in a non-playing role.

In the following seasons, Phil had lengthy coaching stints with Nangwarry and East Gambier but could not gain another grand final success.

After a break from footy, he re-emerged as the goal umpire for the West Gambier Under 12 in 2007 and then coached underage teams.

It was an emotional day for all present at Nangwarry in August 2011 when the Phil Muhovics Memorial Trophy was awarded for the first time.

The A and B Grade teams of the Saints and the Murphies lined up at 2.15pm and paid their respects to the memory of Phil Muhovics with a minute’s silence.

Veteran Saints Trevor “Scooter” Fenn and “Bugsy” Harris played in A Grade while members of Phil’s family and the likes of ex-Saints Loyz and “Larry” Neshoda, David Dunn, Steve Wanganeen and Graham Hill were cheering from the sidelines.

Then-Glencoe coach Adam Price spoke well after receiving the inaugural Phil Muhovics Memorial Cup.

This handsome trophy was donated by the Muhovics clan and was supplied by Ian Seebohm, of In2 Trophies.

Field umpires Dennis Matthews and Michael Pink chose Nangwarry’s Nathan Reeves who received the Phil Muhovics Memorial Medal for his outstanding display of sportsmanship.

It is Glencoe’s turn to host the match in 2021.

The MSEFL and the Muhovics family awards the Phil Muhovics Memorial Medal

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