THERE were no easy kicks in the backyard when the Beams boys were growing up at Mulwala.
With Tom and Jake having three sisters, the pair were left to their own devices with questionable umpiring decisions and scuffles often leading to the match being abandoned.
“Every time it rained my brother and I would be out kicking the footy and playing in the mud together,” Tom, 24, said yesterday.
“I think I had his measure.
“Being two years older helped a bit.
“He was still very competitive and I guess I was too so there were a few blues that erupted.
“It was pretty ferocious at times so the girls stayed inside.
“We got on well though and still do.”
Tom and Jake’s cousin and Collingwood star Dayne also had the occasional game before their family moved to Queensland in the late 1990s.
Besides those backyard matches, Tom and Jake have played the bulk of their football together starting out with the Rennie under-14s when their father Darryl coached the Hoppers’ seniors.
The pair, who are grandsons of Mulwala legend Bob Beams, ret-urned to the Murray league soon after and came through the junior and senior ranks at Lonsdale Reserve.
They played their 50th senior matches on the same day in 2012.
It came as little surprise that when Tom wanted to follow coach Nic O’Bryan to Tallangatta and District league club Wahgunyah this season that Jake soon jumped on board.
“We played under Nic for a couple of years at Mul and decided to come across with him,” he said.
“It would be good to have a few more wins on the board, but hopefully they will come.
“It’s been good.”
Tom and Jake have been among Wahgunyah’s most consistent players on wings this season with O’Bryan being an unabashed fan of the way they go about their business each weekend.
“They are good young players,” O’Bryan said,
“Both have been fairly solid this year and hopefully, like the rest of us, they can kick on over the next month.”
He was still very competitive and I guess I was too so there were a few blues that erupted. TOM BEAMS