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