Today we journey back to 1984, the year of the inaugural John Reid Shield Tournament and Victoria’s first Open Men’s team. We caught up with former players Rod Ericksen and Brian Mukhtar to ask them a few questions.
Q: What was it like to be selected in the inaugural Victorian Open Men’s team?
BM: “It was a thrill to be selected in the inaugural VIC Men’s Open Team. We were all filled with a sense of excitement as well as uncertainty. We were unaware of the quality of our opposition and the standard of play. However, we were confident that we could be competitive as we had selected a quality and enthusiastic group of players.”
RE: “To be selected in the side was a great thrill and special time to be a part of the first Victorian team.”
Q: Were there any notable highlights from the tournament?
RE: “Being with this group of guys who had varied back grounds in sport and joined together to be a competitive unit learning from them.”
BM: “The highlight for me was winning a very close game against QLD in extra innings. Both sides needed a win, and we were happy to prevail in game of very tight defence.”
Q: How did the Victorian team measure up against the other states?
BM: “The VIC team learnt a great deal from the inaugural tournament. Clearly we had to do a lot of work and make some changes in order to compete effectively against some of the States that were clearly more advanced in their development and quality of players……a challenge quickly accepted by the Vics.”
RE: “I believe we were competitive but WA showed us (me) the standard required which made me strive harder for the following Games every year.”