We continue today with Part 2 our interview with Sean Randall

Haze – now where we left it last time Sean I had compared you to Jimmy Bartel. Enough of that. Tell us a little bit about you. Give us a bit of your football background. Where you played as a junior and all that sort of stuff.

Sean – I played a bit of junior footy. Then I played a little bit of school footy but didn't really play school footy properly till year 10 or year 11. I never really tried out for many teams. Year 10 and 11 I sort of got a bit better

Haze - You played junior footy from under 8,9,10 or did you start late with your juniors.

Sean – Nah I played from under 9 and 10. Didn't really have much going for me though.

Haze – Hmm. You might have be like my eldest boy when he started playing footy – he loved being in the forward pocket and just dancing on his own.

Sean – Nah – no dancing. But I remember one game when it was pouring rain and I was playing full forward and my teammate was playing forward pocket and we sat down in the goals square and we were being beaten by 120 points. So we're sitting down in the goal square and having a chat and the runner comes out and drags us ----- gives us an all time spray for sitting down.

Haze – As an 8 or 9 year old?

Sean – I think I might've been a little older so maybe under 11. We just had no idea what we were doing.

Haze – Now are you studying at the moment, or working. What do you do outside footy?

Sean – I'm studying in Frankston to be a paramedic so working with the ambulance. So I've done some placements recently up in Sale. I also work at the house of golf in new DFO. I thought while I'm at uni, I might as well get a job that I enjoy.

Haze - so when do you graduate from uni, how many years is it? What's the name of the course? Is it a specific paramedic course?

Sean – Bachelor of Paramedicine. I'm really enjoying that. It's a 3 year course, I'm kinda doing it over 4 years, just to take a bit of the load off. But yeah I still have a year and a bit to go and then I can start looking for a job hopefully.

Haze – Is it the sort of Industry, a paramedic, where the job opportunities are good or is it sort of lots of supply and no demand. How does it work?

Sean – In Victoria there's a lot of demand of jobs. So I finish my course and its maybe a 12-18 months in Victoria.

Haze – Ok, that’s a while

Sean - But If you're flexible, if you want to look interstate, if you want to look overseas, there's job opportunities everywhere. Australia's got the highest standard of paramedics in the world. So places like the UK that don't really have a course for the job, they just eat up Australian paramedics. They love them. Yeah so if you want to move overseas and do a bit of travelling, and always good to get some experience, I'm thinking of doing that.

Haze – It's as bit like most medical careers where you can go overseas and be international. It's great those sorts of careers, especially in your 20's.

Tell us a couple of your football memories, any premierships as a junior or under 19's. How'd you go?

Sean - No premierships

Haze – AFL, Geelong, you would have a few good football memories there?

Sean – Geelong gives me my good football finals memories. Geelong premierships are obviously great memories. In terms of my footy I went to one grand final in under 17's. I was playing in the seconds because I did my knee, earlier in that year.

Haze – Like a proper ACL knee?

Sean - So it took a little less time to heal. So I got back to finals. We got to the grand final we they were playing Highett or someone like that and they brought back a heap of rep players.

Haze – That's a bit annoying.

Sean – That's the only grand final I've played in.

Haze – Have you been to any of the Geelong AFL Grand Finals? You would have been a baby in those early ones. So what were you born, 2000 or 99, what were you?

Sean – I was 98.

Haze – I guess you would been like 10 when they had their little run.

Sean – Yeah I do remember it. 2007 I reckon was a bit early for me. I remember watching it, but a bit early really to celebrate it. 2011 was a good one, beating the pies.

Haze – Thanks for that. You know what's funny about that game is that I was there it was closer than everyone thinks. At ¾ time there was only 8 or 10 points difference. Oh well.

If you could play another sport mate what would it be? What else did you play when you were a kid that you loved? Probably golf by the sounds of it.

Sean - Yeah could be a golfer, wouldn't say that dreams realistic. I would also love to be a basketballer.

Haze – It's a good game isn't it.

Sean – It's so big now, so worldwide and the social media whole aspect of it. So its very relevant, I think I'd like to be a basketballer, lots of money involved as well.

Haze – Yeah look I played basketball in my juniors. I loved footy a little bit more. It's such a great game though basketball. I'll have to make sure I have a 1 on 1 with you at some stage this year when my knee's better. I'll teach you a lesson and give you a bit of trash talk while I'm at it as well.

Haze – I have been to America and watched a few NBA games.

Sean – I went to San Fran to watch the Warriors, that was unreal. Yeah NBA is a great sport, yeah so if I was to pick another sport it would be an NBA player.

Haze – Well you'll earn a little bit more money playing NBA than VAFA.

Tell us the aspects of football you get the most excited about.

Sean – I like the competitiveness, a quick drive in and just the feeling, just wanting to play. Getting a bit of an adrenaline rush. I think that’s why I play footy. I like the competitiveness and obviously the mateship. It's not a sport where you go off and practice or play by yourself, the only reason you really play is to be with all the boys and all the mates at the club. So probably that and the competitiveness as well.

Haze – That's a very good answer Sean. I have this phrase – the thing about football, it lets you experience things in life that you don’t really get to experience in any other forum or anything else you do. And that point about competitiveness and getting the adrenaline rush when you're driving in your car. It's the sort of thing you don't get to encapsulate in any other part of your life. So very good articulate answer mate. Well done.

Sean – Yeah that's true, there's not many sports where you can get an adrenaline rush with your best mates. Like people can get it from car racing and what not, but footy is sort of different in that way.

Haze – The pre-game too. It's always exciting for yourself. I always find it exciting, that period as well.

A couple of little quirky/tricky questions for you.

If a six year old asks you If Santa Claus is real what do you say? I'm trying to test your personality here.

Sean – I would say that he is real.

Haze – You're on death row, what is your last meal?

Sean – Last meal would probably be pizza or Parma, toss between the 2.

Haze – What's the best thing you've done this summer Sean? You're gonna have to mention your girlfriend, just be careful.

Sean – Yeah, we'll avoid that. Probably coming to Sale for work placement. You sort of dread it when you're going there, bit nervous meeting new people and being in a new town ----- but when you leave and get home, you sort of realise that was really good. You get good memories and good fun. So that's probably the best thing I've done this summer, placements and working on the ambulance.

Haze – So you did a short placement up there, for a few weeks?

Sean – Yeah I was up there for 2-3 weeks. Sort of had to fend for myself – no one was cooking for me, random Airbnb's and hotels. Only getting up there is a bit of a pain. I was working through Christmas; I started on the 19th had a bit of break and then went back on boxing day. VET didn’t finish till the 29th of December. So got back and realised it was actually really good fun.

Haze – It's good to have experienced that now so you know what you’re going to be getting into. It's a great experience.

What's your most used emoji? You young blokes like using emoji's, what's your most used one mate.

Sean – I have to take a look on my keyboard, it’s the little man with the cowboy hat.

Haze – What's that one, that's a good one

Sean – It's just a small emoji with a cowboy hat. It's a bit of a sinister meaning with the boys, whenever you're doing something naughty, you send an emoji of the man in the cowboy hat

Haze – I'm pretty basic, I'm just a thumbs up because I'm a bit of an old man, but I like that one. I might have a look at that a bit later and see what it looks like.

Final question mate – You looking forward to footy this year? You enjoying it? You like the place since you got here? Give us your view.

Sean – Yeah, I'm really loving it, really looking forward to. Pre season. There's always a great sort of vibe around the club. The core boys rock up every year and hopefully we can get a further integration with so many new people over the past 12 to 18 months. It's going to be exciting with the new club rooms, really looking forward to the year. Think it's going to be a pretty special one.

Haze – Over last year and this year, its like a new fresh coat of paint. You came up from under 19s, and this is no disrespect to other 19 kids that came up with you, but there were only a few ready or almost ready for senior footy. But this year it might be different I think, which is exciting. We also had a lot of guys who came in last year who were first years guys like Nathan Fahey, Membrey boys and a heap like that and a few others who tasted senior footy, who are just going to get better which is great and a couple of new recruits this year. Then you throw in the great core guys across the three senior , the new facility. There's a fair bit of new stuff happening which I think you always need at a footy club to keep it fresh and new faces.

Sean – I'll tell you what I'm really looking forward to – Alex Browns new sort of shredded frame in action.

Haze – Did you see his body the other night. It's extraordinary. I think I even had a dream about him the night after I saw him first time at training. Nothing dodgy or anything.

As you know we picked him in the last game last year. Hopefully that has helped him.

I appreciate you time mate, this is the first Switch the Play. You’re first cab off the rank. Appreciate you sharing a little bit about your background and what not. Its great having you at the place.

Sean – Thank you very much, you're a good interviewer, made it very easy.

Haze – Huh. Spending time in court teaches you.

Thanks everyone for catching up with Sean Randall and I.
I am sure you will agree he is a great person to have down at the club.
Over the next week or two we will be catching up with someone new, perhaps someone from the coaching staff.

VAFA Presidents Welcome 2020

On behalf of the club, I would formally like to welcome back all of our players, partners and their families, along with all our club members, supporters and sponsors from your Christmas break. There has been so much going on behind the scenes since the completion of the 2019 season heading up with the appointment of our new senior men’s coach Adrian McBean. Adrian was Michael Hazell’s senior assistant coach last year and has stepped up to take on the new role after Michael stood down due to hectic work and family commitments. Michael will still be heavily involved in assisting Adrian and all the senior coaches at the club.

We would also like to welcome back Al Gailey as the senior women's coach again for the 2020 season after a tremendous couple of years with the team. Another fantastic inclusion to the women’s team is the appointment of women’s senior assistant coach Belinda Ounsey, who comes to the club with great experience at both from a playing and coaching perspective . The numbers at pre-season training has again been awesome with the women and we will continue to field a second women's team this season with Joey Remman at the helm again, which is fantastic.

Our senior men’s reserves team has also gained the services of a fantastic appointment in Anthony Ashworth, who takes over from Russell Barnes, who did an amazing job in developing our senior players over the last couple of years. Anthony is a young and enthusiastic guy who will complement senior coaching group and we are wrapt to have him on board.

With our Under 19's, due to his years of experience and football knowledge, Brad Berry has been approached by the Highett Football Club and has accepted the senior coaching role for the season. We would like to thank Brad and Russell the tremendous contribution they have both given to the club over many years and wish them both the very best for the season ahead . Taking over from Brad this season is Caine Groves, who comes to the club with a impressive playing and coaching resume. When interviewing potential coaches for the Under 19’s role, Caine was a clear stand out with his thoughts on football and life in general and developing our young players into senior men. Unfortunately, due to a situation where our juniors were short of a team coming through the ranks over the past few years, it has led to us having to field only one Under 19 team this season. We will however be able to provide our Under 19 players with some valuable game time in our senior reserves, and thirds men’s teams throughout the season to help grow their experience.

Due to popular demand, and after building a fantastic list of players last season, our senior third 18 team, led by coaching royalty Fin Neaves will be looking to grow on their first season back in senior football for quite some time. This season, we are hoping to develop a group of players that can potentially move up through the ranks and eventually play senior 1st 18 football. Onshore with dinner at the helm in ably supported by Jake Goodchild and Stephen Clarke, it promises to be an enjoyable season ahead for the team. The Club 18 competition will allow these players to be able to enjoy their football at a more social level and it will be great to have these players back at the club.

With every new season, we welcome in all our new recruits, existing long serving players, our junior players who move up into senior ranks, and we also acknowledge many of our senior players and coaches who won’t be involved with the club this year but have given so much to the club over many years. On behalf of the club, I would like to formally like to sincerely thank Russell Barnes, Brad Berry, Dan Young, Pat Tyquin, Chris Richards, Dan Garside, Jarryd Robertson, George Rowlands and Lachie Mirams for their outstanding contributions to the club over many years, and wish them all the very best with all their future endeavors.

On another exciting front, we will be soon taking possession of our brand new state-of-the-art two-storey facility at Brindisi Reserve. Although there has been some inconvenience over the last 12 months, the finished product looks amazing and we can't wait to move in in the next week or so. We are also involved with Kingston Heath Cricket Club in some much-needed improvements to the facility at Southern Reserve which should be ready by the middle of the season. Special thanks to Peter Davis and Mark Tyquin for all their amazing efforts in making this possible along with local, State and Federal funding, and the City of Kingston Council who have also been fantastic supporter of our club over many years.

With Samuel Browne and Rebecca Dee at the helm this year, along with our SMJFL committee, will be more prominent this year with our social media/communications to all our club members and sponsors and will inform you of any upcoming events including our season launch prior to the commencement of the 2020 season. Thanks again for your continued support of the club and we look forward to an amazing year ahead.

Kind regards

Paul O'Toole VAFA President

St Bedes/Mentone Tigers AFC

20 Bek Dee She Can CoachOur very own U18’s Girls Coach, Bek Dee, has been chosen to join the “She Can Coach” Southern Melbourne Academy. The aim of this program is to identify, develop and fast track current female coaches and to open opportunities to coach at higher levels in community football that act as a talent pathway. Well Done Bek, no doubt you'll learn a things or two in the program workshops!

In the first of this interview series called Switch the Play, Michael Hazell recently sat down with Sean Randall, senior player at St Bedes/Mentone Tigers for a discussion about life, footy and a few other things. As the year progresses we will try and interview a few players and even a coach or two.

Today we focus on Sean’s football. In the second half to be aired next week we learn more about Sean’s life outside football. 

Before we get started, the attached short video clip from last year really neatly demonstrates what Sean is about. The first clip shows Sean spreading from the forward line out wide to the wing and linking in with Damon Schultz for an end to end play which was just outstanding. The second clip shows Sean taking on one of the opposition’s biggest players with a tackle. The tackle was not only a great tackle, but was at a critical part of the game. We held on that day for a close win, keeping alive our finals hopes. 

Here is the first half of the discussion with Sean.

Haze – Welcome Sean. Great that you have given me some time to learn a bit more about you and so others at the club can learn a bit more about you. 

Sean – No worries Hazell. 

Haze – Back to last season, from memory, you didn’t get picked for the first couple of rounds so didn't play until round 3 against Uni Blacks. Early on we worked out that Uni Blacks were a very good team so it was a baptism of fire of sorts.  To get your first game against them and do so well was just so pleasing for any coach – you had 16 possessions, 7 tackles and it was pretty clear from then that you were going to fit into senior footy pretty well. Was that your first ever senior game at the club Sean?

Sean - Yeah and I think it was a rainy windy day, very contested so it was a bit of a shock. I sort of enjoyed it because it was kind of the way I have always played. It's a really big jump from reserves. Seniors was a whole new level of physicality which was actually really enjoyable.

Haze – Yes.  I know what you mean being a very physical and tough player myself.

Sean – Yep, sure mate.

Haze - You came up against one of the best teams that day  – in fact them and Caulfield were two of the best 2 of the best B grade teams I think I've ever seen and have been involved in amateur footy for almost 25 years. Their on ballers were strong and very hard to stop. You were off and running though in your first game so certainly as coaches, we remember one of the big positives that game was your game which was great. 

Sean  – It was very intense, I kept throwing a quick handball without thinking to nobody, stuff like that.

Haze – I don't remember handballs to nobody, better check the video.   Next game was then Round 4 against Fitzroy, I have no idea how you went because I threw away or deleted everything after that game including stats, video, notes. I was so annoyed. Then we had Scotch the week after. Against Scotch you had a lowish possession count, but had 8 tackles. Just on this  and looking at all your stats for every game, Sean the description I use to sum you up and certainly for those 19's blokes coming up and new players and even the guys that were there last year – the best phrase for you is Mr Consistent and Mr Reliable. I think except for one or two weeks, you consistently had 10 to 15 possessions every week and between 4 to 8 tackles. 

Sean – I felt like really comfortable in the 5/6 role. I would always try to get like 20 touches and like 10 tackles – that was the target. Also the game against Fitzroy and what not, where I felt like I disappeared I think that was probably just a first year thing. Apart from that I felt comfortable in that role all year to have a consistent sort of thing going.

Haze – Agree.  For a lot of the older more senior guys, it really helps for kids coming up to know what a role is and to fit into that. You did that so well. In the olden days, half forward flank was one of the hardest positions to play and it was one where you struggled to get many touches, but you really nailed that role well. 

Sean – Thanks Haze. 

Haze – Another thing a lot of people who didn't come down and watch many games wouldn't know about you is your overhead marking for your size. Pretty good. Where'd you learn that?

Sean – I reckon I learnt that from going away from footy for a while and then coming back and then realising that I might put some work into marking. I just don't think I ever put any work into marking and I came back one year and was able to mark so I don’t know what happened. Maybe a bit of development or a bit of luck.

Haze – Well the marking does really round you out nicely in terms of footballing. My little thing for footballers is to develop a trick or a quirky thing or something that is very hard for someone to match up on. Your marking is very hard to match up on. The other thing that I noticed last year about you marking is you used to put yourself in a dangerous position in that hole, right sort of in the middle of the ground where it was pretty contested and you're likely to get 8 blokes putting their knees into your back. Like we asked, you'd never stay there long, you'd always duck in and out, but you were always happy to go into that spot and take a short pass and take an overhead mark and there was always pressure behind you and you were able to hold those marks really well. It takes a bit of courage to do that.

Sean – Well if you don't get in there, you'll probably cop a spray or something. I guess it's a good trick as you say. I sort of surprise myself sometimes when I take those marks cos I'm not very tall.

Haze – very Jimmy Bartel like.

Sean – Not sure about that but being a Geelong supporter I loved Bartel as a player.



Stay tuned as we hear the second part of our interview with Sean in a few days’ time

Click for short clip.

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