JUST A FOOTY NUT

29 JAN 2015 | BY JUSTIN GROSE


Having taken over from Murray Wilson as Head Trainer at the Rowville FC it is my intention to build on the knowledge and expertise gleaned from him and make sure that the Medical Department is run as effectively and efficiently as it was under his guidance. This is going to be a tough act to follow but I’m up to giving it my best shot, this was the strong commitment from new Head Trainer Wayne Fielding.

Wayne played a little bit of junior football at school and at Chelsea in his younger days, Wayne who has been a member of the Victorian police force for 43 years and holds the rank of Senior Sergeant went on to tell us all about his “football journey”.

He proudly told us, he was playing with the police football team in 1972 when(by his definition) he put in a blinder, had a couple of touches, and was invited down to Hawthorn Football Club to train with the U/19’s. Living in Chelsea at the time saw me tied to Hawthorn’s Recruiting zone where I lasted one training session, but I did get a pair of socks and shorts for my effort (I think I still have them somewhere, I don’t throw much away!) Wayne laughed.

Later in life he was a trainer and member of the Support Staff at Essendon Football Club for ten years from 1986 to 1995. When reflecting he reminded us he was Involved (to a small degree!) in the infamous 1990 Grand Final brawl between Essendon and Collingwood which saw a number of Players and Officials suspended.

Another claim to fame Wayne boasts was when he kicked a goal at the MCG on Grand Final Day in 1993.

I was carrying footballs from one side of the MCG to the other, before the game started, when I saw an opportunity to kick a goal at the Ponsford end of the ground. I was 3 metres out directly in front and slotted it through with relative ease (Hawthorn don’t know what they missed out on), to the cheers of the Carlton Cheer Squad who were directly behind the goals! I guess I saw an opportunity to be immortalised in history and took it, I mean there aren’t many people who can say that they have kicked a goal on the MCG on Grand Final Day he fondly remembered.

Today he is still a current member of the Essendon Football Club Past Players and Officials Association which keeps him in contact with some of the players from the era of his involvement, including great blokes like Paul Salmon, Gavin Wanganeen.

I suppose you could just call me a footy nut and have been for many years Wayne declared.

I just love that footy atmosphere, you might say that the smell of the liniment gets into the nostrils and white line fever sets in.

Married to Deb for the past 5 years, Wayne also has three wonderful adult children, from his previous marriage, who I would do anything for he said with passion. He currently lives in Rowville and has lived in the area for 30 years or so. Prior to this Wayne told us he lived in Chelsea during his younger years and went to Bonbeach High School, a couple of years behind Leigh Matthews and his brother Kelvin, prior to commencing work in 1972.

It was his wife Deb who actually got Wayne involved in the Rowville FC.

He reflected it was Deb who was going to Rowville/Lysterfield Rotary Club where some bloke by the name of Murray Wilson was also attending. She came home one night and said that Rowville were looking for a trainer and that I should go down and see Murray, which I did and that was it. That was in 2012 when l became involved which was the year of our Second Division Grand Final victory. They say “timing is everything” Wayne laughed.

Over the four years I have been involved I have noticed a more professional approach in all areas of the club. The One Club – One Culture attitude has certainly drawn the Club closer together, previously as l understand it the mentality of two clubs (Junior and Senior) within the one was not working. Now there is a lot more attention to the overall club which is great.

I have to say the thing I really enjoy most about RFC is the close camaraderie amongst those who work/volunteer each weekend. We give each other a bit of stick now and then but when it comes down to the serious side of footy we all get together and get the job done, Wayne said. Some of those volunteers are dead set rippers and genuine people, you cannot go past Crackers (Craig Williamsz) in that regards and he is one of the true characters of RFC.

But then there’s my old mate Muzza (Murray Wilson) who loves to rib me about the on-going ASADA investigation at Essendon, he’d be a good bloke if it wasn’t for the fact that and he he barracks for Brisbane Lions. I can remember in 2013 Muzza and I were just about to leave the ground for the commencement of a Senior game when he said, with a straight face, “I hear that Hirdy has just been sacked”.

My jaw dropped on hearing this and I was devastated. I didn’t take kindly to this comment, especially not when I found out that Muzza was just having me on! We’re underway at repairing our relationship since that comment but it’s going to take a lot more time and effort, on his behalf!

On field it would be great if we could recruit a few bigger bodied boys if we’re going to match it with some of the other Clubs, but having said that I’m really pleased with the way RFC develops players from within. There is some great lads amongst them and without placing too much pressure on the boys I’m expecting a finals berth this year, nothing less.

THINGS WE LEARNT ABOUT WAYNE

Favourite song

Pretty Woman by Roy Orbison (the first record I bought, drove my mum up the wall by playing it over and over and over) Favourite movie

Any of the James Bond movies. AFL team

Essendon of course (and any team playing Collingwood).

Other sports you watch/play

Passing interest in Tennis and Cricket, but only watching these days, was pretty handy with the racquet in my younger years, winning a number of junior tournaments.

Favourite holiday destination

Don’t get away much but Apollo Bay is where I’d head.

Favourite restaurant

Don’t really have one but anywhere that does a good chicken parma.

Favourite dish

Hard to beat the Chicken Parma

3 people you’d invite to dinner:

It would be my two sons and my daughter any time, and if I could squeeze in a fourth it would be my mum,even though she’s not with us any more, it would sure be good to have her back if even for a short time.