2 CFC Games Played
0 CFC Goals
Ivan Clues joined Collingwood early in 1950, from the wonderfully named Clifton Stars. Among those whose permits were granted on the same day were Thorold Merrett, Frank Tuck and Jack Finck.
Without being cruel, it’s fair to say that Ivan ended up being the odd man out of that illustrious batch.
He was a big, strong follower/defender who turned 21 just after he arrived at Victoria Park. He spent his first year exclusively in the reserves, playing 16 games and generally acquitting himself admirably. He did even better during the 1951 practice matches, The Herald noting that he “did a good job” in the back pocket in one of them, and was added to the supplementary list.
He continued to show good form with the reserves in 1951, and midway through the year The Age reported that he might get his first chance as a ruckman because of his consistently good showings.
And that’s exactly what happened. When Bill Tebble was injured for the Round 12 clash against North Melbourne, Clues was brought into the back pocket to replace him, slated to form a second ruck division with Harvey Stevens. The Age described him as “a bustling type of follower defender.” “Clues played the for the seconds last season and has been one of their most consistent players this year,” the paper said.
Funnily enough, Ivan still wasn’t technically on the senior list until he was chosen, at which point he was elevated from the supplementary list.
He seems to have done reasonably well in that debut appearance. The Argus said afterwards that Collingwood officials had been “impressed with the quality of his play”. The same newspaper made positive noises about his debut game when captioning a photo from training the following week.
His second game, against Melbourne, attracted little attention and he was dropped the week after, returning to the seconds.
He fronted up for another pre-season in 1952, but was again heading for the supplementary list when he was approached by Brunswick in the VFA. Collingwood approved his clearance request and he started what would prove to be a fine career with the ‘Wicks, tallying more than 80 games over the next five seasons. He then crossed to Port Melbourne in 1957 where he played a handful more.
In the end, it seems that the VFA was probably about the right level for Ivan Clues, perhaps because he lacked the height and the weapons to have been a force in the VFL. But those two senior games must have meant the world to him.