Sporty Jim's 300th game
Moonee Valley legend Jim Polonidis has become the seventh player in our history to play 300 games.
Teammates and long-time clubmates formed a guard of honor for Jim to take to the ground in the Seconds game on January 25 - fittingly on our own turf at Ormond Park.
The tributes to Jim’s milestone on social media showed just how respected and revered he is around our club.
At right: Moonee Valley great Jim Polonidis runs onto the ground through a guard of honor of teammates and clubmates.
A former vice-president, Jim has been selfless in his commitment to Moonee Valley.
An accomplished player with bat and ball, Jim last season brought up 4000 runs for the Valley, and this season became just the fourth player to top 400 wickets.
He joins illustrious company with his 300 games – Darren Nagle, Ian Denny, Mark Gauci, Danny Terzini and Joe Ansaldo.
For a while he was jokingly known as Mr Ha – Jim’s wife Tien played 46 games for the Valley, and in 2009/10 won the batting, bowling and fielding awards in our Women’s First Eleven – and the MVP medal.
Jim’s a three-time Premiership player – including a flag in the Firsts, and a five-time Wisden Cricketer of the Year.
He’s won the Second Eleven bowling award the last four seasons in a row, and for good measure won the batting award as well in 2016/17.
At left: Teammates and clubmates gather with Jim in the rooms before the game. L-R: Back - Michael Ozbun, Mark Gauci, Danny Terzini and Tony Gleeson. Front - Daniel Phillips, Dean Lawson, Bob Sciacchitano, Sean O'Kane, Darren Nagle, Dean Jukic, Jim Polonidis, Geoff McKeown, Jesse Nankivell-Sandor, Stephen Ward, Joshua Norsetter and Jaykumar Patel.
He’s been in our Moonee Valley Team of the Year four times – three as captain, and won the revered Lindsay Jones Best Clubman award in 2000/01 – is there anything that Jim hasn’t done?
Congratulations to a great bloke. And the way Jim’s going, 400 games is in his sights.
The 200 game milestone is the latest accolade for Moonee Valley’s Matt Thomas, who has spent more than half of his life at our club.
Above: Peter Golding and his milestone team: L-R Sunil Bhandari, Daniel Phillips, Matthew Esmore, Sohail Hussain, Domenic Gibaldi, Dean Jukic, Peter Golding, Ian Denny, Joshua Norsetter, Stephen Esmore and Sagar Bhatia.
Peter has been an integral part of Moonee Valley since 2007/08, when we lured him out of retirement with a call to junior parents for conscripts to bolster our one-day teams. Son Sam was playing juniors at the time, and Peter thought he might give it a go. He hasn’t looked back.
Peter’s one of our finest glovemen, having won our Wicketkeeper of the Year award four times since 2012/13.
He’s also made a telling contribution off the field, as our treasurer for the past six years and as secretary for four years before that.
Peter’s played everywhere from the First Eleven down, and is a two-time Premiership keeper – in the Seconds flags in 2009/10 and 2014/15.
He’s a dour and gritty batsman, and has been known to offer advice to the opposition fielders and bowlers as they try in vain to blast him out. Peter’s happy to play the waiting game at the crease, and has time and again frustrated the opposition as he accumulates a total against all odds.
Peter’s 200th game will elevate him to Life Membership at the end of this season, and it was fitting that his milestone game was played with two revered Life Members – Ian Denny and Dean Jukic – in the team.
There’s nothing much at Ormond Park that Pete doesn’t know about – he’s a regular down there with his morning walks with his two dogs, wearing his familiar bucket hat. If you want a pitch report on Saturday morning, phone Peter – he’s invariably down there with the dogs, or has already had an inspection.
Main Club contact details:
* Charlie Walker - President/Secretary 0411 705 381; 9370 1802