Flown the Nest – Paul Fullarton

Name: Paul “Fluff” Fullarton

When did you play for the Falcons?
2010 – 2014

Position played?
Back Pocket

Favourite position?
I liked sneaking up on to the Wing, but most sane coaches realised that I was too slow to play there and
quickly put my magnet back in the last line of defence.

 

Why did you come down to the Mighty Falcons Nest?
Myself and a few of the boys were looking for a new club and saw that the Falcons had made the D4 Grand
Final the year before, so we thought we would try and piggyback on that success and sneak our way in to
the club’s maiden Senior premiership team…didn’t quite work out that way.
But we quickly realised that we had made a great decision to join the Falcs, lack of on-field success
aside…the lads knew how to socialise.

Who were the coaches you have had in your time at the club and can you tell us a bit about each of them?
Nathan Dallas was my first senior team coach – I’m still not actually sure whether he was a good coach or
not, I was honestly just lost in his smouldering green eyes all the time that I never really heard what he was
saying to me.
Then we had one season with ‘Oopy’ – serious footy coach, he was your ‘smoke 20 darts over the course of
the game, vein bulging in the side of his head while he was yelling us, but quick with a kooky line like ‘the
early bird gets the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese’ type operator. I think Oop was frustrated
with the social side of the club and didn’t stick around too long.
Had Payney for my final two years and I enjoyed it as we built towards finals in my last season. Don’t get
me wrong, there were some times that I was cursing his name – most notably on the 15th f****ing hill run
on pre-season camp in Lorne on a 30 degree day.
I spent some time under the tutelage of Shaun ‘What Not to Wear’ Robinson over the years as well…the
sight of Robbo’s cameltoe in his spandex, yoga pant-style training attire still gives me the heebie-jeebies.

Can you give us a few of your highlights both on and off the field since being at the club?
On-field highlights for a backman usually involve sneaking up the ground and a kicking goal to be able to give shit to your opponent who didn’t chase you down the field – so in my 80-odd games I only have about
5 of that type of on-field highlight.
Off-field…has to be the parties, particularly in my early days of being down at Oval 20. Clubroom lock-ins,
offsite functions, late-night Doll House sessions. The social side of things made (and still makes) the club
exactly what you want in a footballing fraternity…
I’ve made some great friends at the club that I know will be part of my life forever…everyone except
Sloany, haha.

What are some of the nicknames you have had during your time at the club, and where did they come from?
Fluff is probably the only nickname that I have been known by at the APFNC and the story behind it really
isn’t interesting. ‘The Quizmaster’ is one that I’m happy to give myself for my recent attempts at hosting
the APFNC quiz nights.
And I’m pretty sure I heard someone* call me ‘Back Pocket of the Decade’ the other day.
(*This was me as well)

Greatest player you have seen (played with) pull on the mighty Red and Blue?
Perennial Runner-Up Best & Fairest Winner, James “Duckman” Brick is definitely up there. He would
always be working hard to the contest and just seemed to come out of the pack with the pill for his 45th
possession…my only criticism of Duck is that you can never get him to shut up!
I hear Stu Maunder was pretty handy as well, but I’m pretty sure he retired in 2010 or something like that,
so I didn’t really get to see him play (*consults APFC games played records*) – Well, I’ll be damned, he did
manage a grand total of 8.5 games from 2011-2016!

Greatest Falcons team you have been involved with?
Myself and 3 of the boys won the beer-sculling boat race after an away game against Richmond
Central…won ourselves a 6-pack 🙂

Greatest victory you have been involved with?
I’d have to say the comeback against Northern Blues out at Preston against the team that would go on to
win the GF. 7 goals down in the last quarter and down a couple of players on the bench if I recall
correctly…it was an amazing 1-point win. They smashed us in the finals a few weeks later though 🙁

Most memorable player you have played with?
George “The Pirate” Mihelakos was a strange cat. He was 43-years old, had a Mohican-ponytail haircut,
spent the half-time break asleep in the corner of the change rooms and then would come out and smash
kamikaze-style into blokes twice his size and half his age.
His end-of- season trip tactics were interesting as well…Georgie would sleep through the afternoon and
evening while the boys had been boozing all day, wake up at midnight and start his festivities. We would
all be waking up the next morning for breakfast and The Pirate would just be rolling in the front door ready
for bed!

What would you say were your strengths and weaknesses of your game?
I’m pretty sure I was only kept around the club for my strength at writing the club notes, the famed Falcon
Bugle. I was also a 3-time Coaches Award winner…pretty impressive, hey?
Weaknesses…absolutely no left-side usage of the body at all. In fairness, my skills were pretty horrible
across the board. But that’s the thing as back pocket, if you punch the ball enough times and kick towards
the boundary line you can usually con people in to thinking that you’ve played a good game.

What are you doing now?
After retiring from the Falcons I knew that I wasn’t quite ready to stop being an athlete so I’ve turned my
hand to the sport of kings, lawn bowls, and have already become a divisional champion with a few ex-
Falcons. Also dabbling in a bit greyhound ownership with the same fellas…it was an amazing feeling when
she won her first race. I imagine it’s the same feeling that parents get when their children take their first
steps or something boring like that, except heaps better!!

What is your greatest memory from your time with the Falcons?
I think the first Stupid Saturday/Silly Sunday/Mad Monday triple-header weekend that I was at the club in
2010 would have to be up there…I suppose you could say it was Magical.

Flown the Nest – Sean McGuire

Name: Sean “Handsome” McGuire

When did you play for the Falcons?
2000 – 2013ish

Position played?
Centre

Favourite position?
Prior to Albert Park, all my life I had played in the back line, so when I got to the Rats (later name changed to Falcons) I told them I was a forward goal kicking machine.

 

Why did you come down to the Mighty Falcons Nest?
Was living in Southbank at the time and just transitioned out of working for Crown Casino to a 9 -5 job. After some strong performances in the Crown Casino bar challenge games, it was time to find a local club. I was a bit of a footy nuffy, so on a Saturday I used to wander down to Albert Park lake and stand behind the goals, just so I could kick the footys back. It became my Saturday ritual and I’d go to all the games that were on. Later that November as I was nursing a hangover, a car load of drunks I barely knew, said they were going to a meet the coach at the club and there was free piss. “Let’s go” I said. Later that day I was tanked, meet the great man Horse and signed on the dotted line. By the time preseason started (this started in January those days), the car load of drunks I arrived with had been kicked out the club as a result of an incident at a Healesville races club function. It doesn’t matter how you get there, as long as you arrive.

Who were the coaches you have had in your time at the club and can you tell us a bit about each of them?
John ‘Horse’ Ahern (the master), Paul ‘The Frenchman’ Shoppee (the story teller), Peter ‘Smithy’ Smith (unlucky timing), Shaun ‘Snowball’ Robinson (angry but passionate), Tony Boneo (in a game where we had 17 players, managed to start the game with one on the bench) , Peter ‘Wheels’ Bedford (great bloke, angry coach, just couldn’t understand why people didn’t have his skills), Sean Lewis (Clubbies – smooth, the intellectual thinking mans coach).

Can you give us a few of your highlights both on and off the field since being at the club?

On field: 2002 reserves flag was obvious a highlight, but I really enjoyed seeing the seniors getting to the preliminary finals in 2002 & 2003 (stiff to miss out on the grand final in both years great team) and the 2009 team losing to the red hot Latrobe team in the Grand Final. We are still chasing that senior flag.

Off field: Footy trips, best ever Narooma (preseason), it had it all, hot sun, hot fun, ring ins, hitchhikers, an almost carjacking, ambulance rides, stitches, colourful movies, the Torana club, nudity, a love affair and Onions.

Mad Monday: 7am (sometimes 6:45am) at Checkers. You shouted in the order you arrived. We were always greeted by Killer behind the bar and all the other Port Melbourne drunks.

Grand Final Breakfast on the Yarra: Still my favourite event every year.

What are some of the nicknames you have had during your time at the club, and where did they come from?
Handsome, Frank, Only living Premiership Captain

Greatest player you have seen (played with) pull on the mighty Red and Blue?
For me it was Andre Di Mingo, didn’t know how to give anything less than 100%. Hard as nails, just a born winner. Honourable mentions Cowboy Bennett, tough, never lost a contest & Tom King, when he was on, no one could touch him.

Greatest Falcons team you have been involved with?
2002 & 2003 the club as a whole was a great place, with both teams making finals. Horse use to make us do 5:30am Middle Park pier jump and then sing the song in the water to forge our bond.

Greatest victory you have been involved with?
2002 grand final win, I hated Werribee but to be fair, I hated all our opposition, not one of them had a good bloke. My most hated club would be Hawthorn

Most memorable player you have played with?
There have been a few strange units from Steel McKerrow, The Allen Bros, Laurie Barr, Luke Brian.

The two best clubmen I have come across are Jimmy ‘Sutts’ Sutton & Steve ‘Rooster’ Garcia. Sutts was a dominate force on the field and provided off field support to the club in a time of need. Rooster just gave his all to serving the club both on and off the field; he drove a culture change of selflessness. The club was very lucky to have these two individuals pass through the doors.

What would you say were your strengths and weaknesses of your game?
My strengths were I was prepared to do the dirty work when required; I was more than happy to lay the hurt on the opposition to further our cause. I also had a great ability to cut corners on a footy field.
Weaknesses would be my calves (I’ve had a 15 yr strain/tear), lack of pace and probably partying harder than I played.

What are you doing now?
I administer/develop cloud applications at RACV. Also I play Superules for the Bayside Saints with a number of ex-Falcons (we need more Falcons in the club), whilst organising their Footy Trips and Mad Monday activities

What is your greatest memory from your time with the Falcons?
It would be all the friendships made, good times had, seeing the births, attending the weddings, celebrating the lives at funerals of all the great Albert Park Football Club characters