Vinar’s kicking was legendary

18/05/2018 Posted by admin

IN his heyday Paul “Swede” Vinar was known Australia wide for his ability to kick a football. A prodigious kick he was able to reach half the length of a football ground or could drill an accurate stab pass from a short distance. Vinar, a member of Geelong’s 1963 premiership team and coach of the Longford Football Club for five years, died earlier this week aged 69 after losing a long battle with cancer. Vinar came to Tasmania in 1967 when Longford was looking for a coach from the VFL and someone to build a grandstand. A builder by trade, Vinar was able to fill both roles and he went on to become a valued member of the Longford community. His funeral service will be held at Longford tomorrow at 1.30pm. “Paul was a very good player and I remember him for his strength and leadership,” former Longford teammate Peter Bowles said yesterday. “He could kick a ball further than anyone else I’ve seen, he could regularly kick it past the centre of the ground.” Longford supporters can remember one home game when Vinar kicked out from full-back, the ball was marked by Barry Lawrence who then took two steps and drop kicked a goal. Former teammate Michael Barnes recalls a North versus South game at York Park in 1968 when he kicked a torpedo from the Invermay end of the ground and it landed at centre half-forward. Vinar’s kicking skills were first recognised in the VFL when he regularly won competitions held on the World of Sport television program. Vinar played 132 games for Geelong and was a ruck-rover in the 1963 premiership team. He was highly regarded by his Geelong coach Bob Davis who often wanted him to curtail his physical aggression on the ground. In one game Vinar clashed with Essendon’s non-playing coach John Coleman on the boundary line. After moving to Tasmania Vinar became the “first picked” in many NTFA and Tasmanian sides. He represented Tasmania at the 1969 carnival in Adelaide and played representative games against Victoria in 1967, the VFA in 1968, Western Australia in 1970 and South Australia in 1971 when he was vice-captain and winner of the Lefroy Medal. Last year Vinar and his wife Laurace were able to fulfil an ambition when they travelled on the Ghan from Adelaide to Darwin. He also made a sentimental return to Geelong and the club provided him with an electric wheelchair to help as his health faded.
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