19 July 2021

As the city continues to age along on its 150-year journey, so do the working-class towns on its outskirts. Out there in the elements, knock about settlements that soon emerged into big name suburbs we know today as Mill Park, South Morang and Bundoora remain fierce and fruitful.

Much like the frenetic uprising of the social structures in name, the people and families that played a hand in their construction, continue to occupy them with pride. Fed by a “never say die” attitude, descendants continue to flock to the stands, where the favour is returned most of all through their beloved Tropics.

Times, however, change and with them people move on. Some searching for greater opportunities, others sadly succumbing to the rising costs of the market. And others of others, tossed out for the spoils of life at sea.

As it stands today, the naughty north is a stretch of its former self and continues to mature. With this, towns such as Mill Park continue to experience a natural untethering of its own former fabric, one removal truck at a time.


The more things change, the more they stay the same, to this day the Mill Park Stables Centre stands tall and mighty. Not even the most ruthless financial punches have managed to land yet, with players continuing to perform in prime-time slots such as Monday Nights.

This week, we look into the Tropics and their continued commitment to their home court. In the past five years, the Tropics have faced, and continue to face, an increase in time spent driving to their motherland.

In 2017, the team average time spent driving equated to 6 minutes. A time where the players encircled a radius no larger than 3 kilometres on the city. Since that time, life in the working force began to flex its muscles.

First was the shift of Macali in 2018, moving from Mill Park to Hawthorn. This pushed his commitment by a factor of 5 as he negotiated a 5-minute journey into the longest on the team, 33 minutes.

Next was Krause (+13 minutes) in 2018, Miller moved east (+17 minutes) in 2019 and Cuthbert stretching out to Doreen (+14 minutes). Romano and Tsonas soon ripped up their roots (+8 and +6), until Maneys Dumpling chef himself, gave Wanless his final entre` for the teams shortest change (+1 minute).

Stelmach appears to feature as the only winner in a time of dramatic change, shaving a whopping 23 hours (-1,300 minutes) off his journey from The Windy City, Boston MC after relocating to Mill Park.

In this five-year period, the average time spent travelling to home court has gradually increased from 6 minutes (3 kilometre radius), to the harsher 19 minutes (13 kilometre radius).

This 300% increase has undoubtably come at a cost to the team’s performance. Since 2017, time spent in-front on the scoreboard has decline as time spent in traffic increased.

While roadworks and population density continue to strangle the players, their commitment to the chase of glory remains true. There is no doubt, that their blue-collar culture has held them at stead, as they continue their climb to the top.

Bumpa da Bryca –