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Preseason in Review

Paul Shoppee gives his take on how the Falcons are shaping up…

The Pre-season period is nearly over and the real stuff is about to start!

We started Pre-Season in mid November and we have had in excess of 80 players attend training, with nearly 30 new Falcons hitting the track. Unfortunately some of these were just “tyre kickers” but we still have a great influx of quality new Falcons join the nest. This quality is not just to do with their on field ability but they are all men of great character who will only help improve the culture of the club as well.

We have derived great benefit from the camp held in February at the Moorooduc Obstacle course and from the two practice matches against Masala & Lyndhurst. Whilst both practice matches presented some challenges these were overcome with great determination. We were able to see players in different positions and gather some great “nuggets of gold” that we can implement during the season.

Our game style is still a work in practice but improvements were evident in both practice matches. We will be a more aggressive team in offence and a more passionate team in defence. Some new personnel down the spine will strengthen the team overall & provide a great foundation to commence our climb up the ladder.

It is great to have Stu “Disco” Maunder recently join the coaching panel as the Senior Assistant Coach & he is already putting in the work with our midfield group to install structures that we all believe will further improve what was already a strength of our team.

It is also great to have Nick Thurley & Will Ransom as the joint Development Squad coaches & I am excited to see them start out on their coaching careers. They will be faced with the normal challenges that always surface when coaching the Development Squad, but knowing both boys and the fact that they are great clubmen, I am confident that they will overcome the difficulties and also be great support for Stu & myself.

So after a long & hard pre-season we are now a week away from our first match for season 2018 against Aquinas away. They were promoted from D4 after winning the Premiership and will be excited to unfurl their Premiership Flag in front of their supporters.

Let’s ensure that we are wearing the “black hats” this week by being the bad guys & ruin their moment in the sun. Time to go hunting boys!!

Falcons 2018 – Forever Strong.

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New Development Coaches Announced

THE Albert Park Falcons Football & Netball Club are proud to announce the club’s new Development (Reserves) Coaches in Nick Thurley and Will Ransom.

Nick and Will join Senior Coach Paul Shoppee, Senior Assistant Paul Dodd and Head Trainer Tim More as part of the Falcons 2018 Coaching Panel.

Both will continue as playing coaches having been at the club for four (Nick) and nine (Will) years.

Club President Tyson Cattle said it was great to have filled the coaching positions from within.

“It is a great sign we are heading in the right direction when we have two of our own putting their hands up to coach and take on leadership positions at the club,” Tyson said.

“Will and Nick have been great contributors to the club over a number of years, both on and off the field, and I’m sure the playing group will have no issue in supporting them through the season.”

Will and Nick replace former Development Coach, and current committee member, Sean Lewis, who held the position for two years, as well as coaching the Club XVIII side in 2015.

The Falcon’s finished ninth in Victorian Amateur Football Association (VAFA) Division 3 last year, and tenth in Div 3 Reserves.

“We thank Sean for his commitment to the club and the role over his three years, and wish him all the best, although he will still remain involved in the club serving on the committee,” Tyson said.

“We are looking forward to a big season ahead and with some good recruiting, we expect to be a lot stronger on field in 2018.”

*Preseason training has started for the Falcons. If you are interested in joining them please contact Senior Coach Paul Shoppee at coach@albertparkfc.com.au

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Season Review – 2017 Development Squad

Development Squad coach Sean Lewis reviews the 2017 season…

2017 was a tough year in many aspects but also one of promise for the future of the club. Back in February when I presented to the committee on the upcoming season I stated that the coaches felt we were about 10 players short on the training track when compared to previous years and that rang true with the Development Squad playing short in about half our games across the season. Despite this adversity there is one thing the team could not be accused of and that was playing with pride for the jumper.

We had a tough start to the year in Round 1 with only 19 players and Smokes filling in as coach for me, we suffered a big loss at the hands of Swinburne who had continued their strong form from last year. In Round 2 & 3 we showed our Jekyll & Hyde performances as we came up against Powerhouse in Round 2 and got a great win on the back of some scintillating team football while Round 3 saw us capitulate to South Melbourne which was probably the low of the season for me.

Round 4 saw us play at “Home” on Elsternwick Park and despite a huge team performance we were unable to grab a win as we drew with the Canterbury. Rounds 5 to 9 we difficult as we struggled with numbers and attitude, in this period of the season I felt some players were just going through the motions rather than trying to improve. But out of the Round 9 loss to Point Cook we saw the group dig its heels in and be determined not to let the season ‘just play out’. Round 10 saw us thump South Melbourne and show what we could do when we were able to work together. While in Round 11 with 1 on the bench to start the game and no bench from the 4th minute of the game we fought to the bitter end only to suffer slim defeat against Canterbury. This just continued to show the team’s determination and resolve. Round 12 was no easier coming up against a strong Powerhouse outfit we took the game right to them before 1 bad quarter cost us the game but again we paid the price for missed opportunities with 9 shots at goal to 4 in the first quarter only giving us a 10 point lead and 12 scoring shots to 11 at half time equating to us being behind by 14 points, we were our own worst enemy at times in our conversion and scoreboard pressure and I can sympathise with Ken Hinkley on goal kicking accuracy.

After the final bye round we had a tough little run coming up against the undefeated league leaders in UHS, followed by the dreaded trip to La Trobe and then a visit to 2nd place Richmond Central. This was the point in the season where as a coach I shifted the focus from the scoreboard to our development, knowing that we were struggling for numbers we made the last 6 games about us and our development as a unit. Each game we set ourselves little goals to instil our game plan and skills to get reward out of difficult games. Against UHS-VU it was to generate forward pressure by maintaining the ball in our forward half of the ground for 17min versus our target of 10min in the last quarter with only 1 left on the bench, against La Trobe with just 16 players our goal was to not give in and fight it out by laying 20 tackles a quarter which we beat with around 85 for that game and finally against Richmond Central it was to win the clearances which we did until we lost ‘Party’ Joel to concussion along with Simon Hislop and our bench had evaporated before the game was blown out in the last quarter.

We headed into the last 3 games believing we could win all 3 with the type of footy we had been playing against some top sides, the team’s refusal to give in against the odds was inspiring at times and we certainly gave ourselves plenty of opportunity to win but ultimately little errors, lapses in concentration and effort cost us in every game as we let wins slip between our fingers. Many of the team pushed through injuries late in the year to make sure we could field a side.

Up against Westbourne we were right in the hunt up until the last quarter but we left ourselves too much to do late in the game and again with just 20 players we suffered a key injury (broken leg to Blair Kelly) in the first half before Nate Dunne tore his hammy in the last while Conan & Murph were running around on one leg each pushing through the pain barrier for the team. Next up was Swinburne where we gave a Top 4 side a fair shake and if not for the 2nd quarter we probably would have won. It was just 20minutes of poor football that separated us from the 4th placed side which cost us and allowed them to just keep us at bay.

Our 2nd half of the season has built a strong platform for Season 2018 providing the team sticks together. Continuity is a huge part of success and that success isn’t built in just one season but it take a few years together to build something special. This club (both teams, Seniors & Development Squad) have the ability to push higher up the ladder and challenge for finals as we have shown that we can match the top teams but the limiting factor in the team’s success is player commitment. Success is built through a good culture, hard work on the training track and sacrifice throughout the season to place the team above everything but work and family. This year the culture across the whole club was amazing, you can see that just about every club event had more people than in previous years and the team stuck together after games for a beer which only helped strengthen the bonds and that sort of culture in sticking together is a big component in success but it ultimately requires the commitment, sacrifice and hard work to turn that culture into something great.

Next year will be a huge year for the club as we are on track off the field and have developed a good culture to create success from. The committee will be able to put more time and focus into recruiting to improve the depth across the club so we can look forward to adding a few more to the playing group but maintaining the playing core of the group is the key. If you have mates, work colleagues or brothers who would look better in the red & blue next season please let us know and we can work towards a successful year next year. As for all the players from this year, the club and coaches hope to see you down for pre-season training starting in November (more details to come) ready and raring to go.

I will take the chance to thank Shops & Doddsy as I feel we have done a huge job in creating a positive culture around the club and laid a strong base for the club to build success from in the future. Thanks for all your help, support and guidance over the season, it has been a pleasure working alongside you both and I have learnt so much from you both.

Finally, we get to the hardest part of this review; many of you have asked what my intentions were for next season and unfortunately I have made the very difficult decision to stand down as coach of the Development Squad after 3 years of coaching at the club. As many of you know I have a data analytics venture which is expanding over the next 12 months which will require my time and effort to build, when looking at the juggling act I have done over the season it is unfair to the club for me to continue as I would not be able to put in the work required to coach the team effectively. I have agonised over the decision for about 2 months and safe to say it is one I have made with a very heavy heart especially when I know where the teams and the club are heading. With that said, I will still be around the club and I have indicated to Tyson that I intend to continue on the committee in whatever role he needs me to be in for the club. Any chance I get next season to get down and watch a game I will be there and I can’t wait to see the club march onto success next year.

I won’t get into any specific thank you’s as the list is very long but to everyone who has been a part of my coaching journey at the Falcons whether as a player, coach, committee member or supporter I want to say thank you for your support and guidance, it’s been a real privilege to coach at the Falcons and something that I will carry with me for a long time.

I hope to see you all at the presentation night and we can share a few beers together enjoying a ripping night with a few surprises sure to pop up in the vote count.

Cheers,
Sean Lewis

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Season Review – 2017 Seniors

Falcons senior coach Paul Shoppee reviews the 2017 season… 

Highlights of the season:

  • Winning our First Round 1 match for who knows how long
  • Bricky – Leading goal kicker with 23 goals
  • Jack Amies – Leading tackler with 61 effective tackles in the last 12 games
  • Tyson Cattle – Most tackles in a match with 14 against Swinburne Round 17
  • Josh Beets – Most goals kicked in a game with 5 against Westbourne in Round 16
  • Josh Beets – Most goals conceded in a game with 11 against Richmond
  • Josh Beets – Failing to respond to friend requests on Facebook from the Coaches daughter’s
  • Snowy & Jack Amies were the only players to play every game for the season
  • Thush Shrimpton– Attended 66 of the 72 training session including pre-Christmas & Pre-Season
  • Davide Concilia – Worst taste in music

Overall 

Based on pure win & losses we have had a disappointing year after the encouraging performances early in the season. We lost 3 games by < 10 points & 5 games by < 4 goals including to Powerhouse & UHS-VU who finished clear 1st & 2nd on the ladder.

At the beginning of the season we focussed on what we saw as a big weakness in our game from last season and that was stoppages. A big thank you to Heath Wallace who provided us with videos and insights through his connection with North Melbourne & to Doddsy who worked tirelessly with the mids all season. Over the last 12 rounds of the season we won the centre clearances in 10 of those games and general stoppages in 8 of those games.

We will continue working on this aspect of the game to keep ourselves as one of the best clearance teams in the division, but given the solid foundation laid this season we can now allocate more time on our defensive structures and ball movement over the coming pre-season.

It is always good to benchmark yourself against the best to see how far away you actually are. This may become a little confusing but stay with me.

Looking at our scoring for and against for the season and comparing this to Powerhouse who finished on top of the ladder, the following is discovered:

We scored 513 pts less and conceded 461 pts more than Powerhouse.

Over 18 rounds this is 28.5 pts less per game scored & 25.6 pts more per game conceded

Bringing it back to 1 quarter that is 7 pts less per quarter scored and 6.4 pts more conceded

This is basically one turnover per quarter where we turn the footy over in our forward line and the opposition goes down & scores a goal.

Now if we were able to kick 1 goal more per quarter and concede 1 goal less per quarter over the season we would have turned a 4 win – 14 loss season into 14 wins and 4 losses and 3rd place on the ladder.

This small improvement in offense and defence is not overly difficult to obtain if we are prepared to do the work over the pre-season.

The upcoming Presentation Night is when we recognise individual achievements over the season.

Please make every effort to attend on the night to congratulate the winners & to continue to build on the improved culture and feeling around the club that has been developed throughout the season. I will also keep my thanks you for that nights as well.

The journey to success never ends, we have the next couple of months to recharge our batteries, enjoy the end of season trips, AFL Final Series and Spring Racing carnival before we reconvene to begin the work towards 2018.

We are all responsible for recruitment for next season so if you have any prospects for me to contact please email their details to me via coach@albertparkfc.com.au or shops1967@yahoo.com.au or you can text me the details to 0402 126 217.

I implore all players to really commit to being back next season. The platform has been set and the hard work continues so we can build towards achieving the ultimate success we all crave.

Cheers,
Paul Shoppee

One Team, One Dream!

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 &amp; 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

Flown the Nest – Matt Lanigan

Name: Matt “Lanis” Lanigan

When did you play for the Falcons?
Approx 2010-2015

Position played?
On ball / Forward

Favourite position?
On ball with Maunder and Bricky

 

Why did you come down to the Mighty Falcons Nest?
I came down in 2010 the year after the lads lost the 2009 grand final, to win a flag with my best mate Tiller. I got dropped from the 1’s at St. Pauls for the finals series and did a deal with Tiller that if I won in the 2’s granny and he lost in his granny then I would come and play and we’d win a flag together. We won the 2’s at St. Paul’s and Albert Park got done, so a deal was a deal and that’s how it all began, We were close one year but had an unlucky run with injuries to our captain, ruckman, full forward, and centre half forward all going down right before finals.

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 and Brendan Payne. Dallas was a very talented footballer and lead by example as he played as well as coached. He had a good knack of getting the team to gel quickly. Very smart football brain, great man. Payney – I was lucky enough to be Payney’s assistant coach the year I made a come back from hip surgery. It was Payney’s first year and he asked if I would be interested in supporting him, I jumped at the opportunity. My role was more player relations and Payney would do the match strategy side of things. I started training with the guys round 3 and was fairly fit and by round 8 we were 1 and 7 and I was fed up so I asked Payney if I could play and he said yeah that’d be great but you have to come through the two’s, so I turned up the next week racked up 40 odd possies and kicked 3 and came off at ¾ time and went through my normal pre match routine with the boys. Both teams won that week and we ended up going from 1 and 7 to 8 and 7, beat the top side with an unbelievable 47 point come back from 10 minutes in the third, and scraped in to the finals. Was a great way to hang my boots up for the club. No flag unfortunately, but that win out in Coburg was one for the memory banks for sure.

Can you give us a few of your highlights both on and off the field since being at the club?
My highlights from the club would have to be being Vice Captain one year and Captaining a few games due to injuries, Assistant Coach and the comeback year was something very special. My greatest highlights from the club off the field probably can’t be published here, but you may get to read them in my book (still work in progress) but one of the best things about Albert Park is the community it creates. I have many good friends that will be friends for life that I never would have met if it wasn’t for this club and it is a credit to the guys involved this year who are doing a great job at keeping that legacy alive.

What are some of the nicknames you have had during your time at the club, and where did they come from?
Lanaconda (the showers), Silky (Tiller), Angry Elbows (Daniel Lyne… something about me throwing cheapies under the packs), Lanis List (I was a nightclub promoter in a former life)

Greatest player you have seen (played with) pull on the mighty Red and Blue?
Besides myself, I would have to say playing with and watching Stu Maunder turn it on was pretty special. In my first couple of years I used to love playing with big Will and have him palm it down my throat at nearly every stoppage and then I’d lay it up lace out to big Kingy or Beamer, that was real good also. In my final year and had a heap of fun linking up with Bricky in the guts, especially during the winning streak previously mentioned.

Greatest Falcons team you have been involved with?
Would have to be the first two years I was at the club 2010, 2011. That was our window and unfortunately we let it slip away, we had some seriously good footballers that year.

Greatest victory you have been involved with?
I did mention one earlier, which I would have to say was one of the best games in my whole 25+ years of playing football and any time that we beat Powerhouse was always good as well. There was a game where we came from behind and beat Hawthorn, I had concussion that day and am vague on the stats, but I think big Stitchy may have turned it on to win us the game. May have to consult with Stitch and Beamer on this.

Most memorable player you have played with?
There are many to choose from here, and I really can’t single one particular one out, however I am going to take a different angle with this question and take this opportunity to point out that I wore the number 21, which was a great honour in itself as only one other player had ever worn that number for Albert Park before me and that was none other than this years Senior coach Shops.

What would you say were your strengths and weaknesses of your game?
Strengths were hard at the footy, knew where the goals were, team first player, loud voice and listened to coaching feedback  – Pretty much the basic things you need to do if you want to get a kick haha. Weaknesses definitely were no left foot, but had a mean check side on my right, had been known to get sucked in to the niggle from time to time, especially as I got a little older and slower.

What are you doing now?
I own Lucky Penny on Chapel Street and am working on a new venture in the Real Estate industry.

What is your greatest memory from your time with the Falcons?
In my final year at the Falcons, along with the previous mentioned achievements, we also played Powerhouse last game of the year, the winner would go through to the finals. They knocked us off earlier in the year and we had been on a massive roll, as previously mentioned we turned around 1 and 7 to now be sitting 9 and 8. For us this was a mini Grand Final, and from the start we wanted it way more, we ended up winning by 24 or so points, made the finals and took back the Lake Side Cup. It was a fitting way to close out the home and away games, I’ll tell you in person how the final went 😉

Flown the Nest – Dan Lyne

Name: Dan Lyne

When did you play for the Falcons?
Approx 2004-2014

Position played?
Back pocket / Centre

Favourite position?
Centre

 

Why did you come down to the Mighty Falcons Nest?
Worst rated club within walking distance of home, wanted a light hearted club good to get in shape again.

Who were the coaches you have had in your time at the club and can you tell us a bit about each of them?
Shops, what a trooper, club owes him his life. Nath Dallas, star on and off the field.

Can you give us a few of your highlights both on and off the field since being at the club?
Some good footy trips, and an AFL 9’s grand final.

What are some of the nicknames you have had during your time at the club, and where did they come from?
Naked poet, been naked with poetry.

Greatest player you have seen (played with) pull on the mighty Red and Blue?
Bakes (Richard Baker).

Greatest Falcons team you have been involved with?
2009.

Most memorable player you have played with?
Slugger.

What would you say were your strengths and weaknesses of your game?
Can’t kick, but I can get the ball.

What are you doing now?
Lawn bowling.

What is your greatest memory from your time with the Falcons?
Nothing in particular, just the good times…

Flown the Nest – Tristan Tiller

Name: Tristan Tiller

When did you play for the Falcons?
2008-2014

Position played?
Midfield and wing

Favourite position?
Wing


Tiller

Why did you come down to the Mighty Falcons Nest?

I worked with Bill Harris the 2’s coach at the time, I was playing in Bentleigh where I grew up but had moved into St Kilda so was looking for a local team

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 – We arrived at the same time and he had an immediate effect on me and the team, He was the type of coach who lead by example, you wanted to win for him. He would put his body on the line every week going in for the hard ball but had an amazing leap and ability to come away with the ball. As a coach he was able to get the best out of his players, lifting our fitness and skills.

Nath is one of my best mates today lives a few streets away and our boys are only a year apart so look out for them in 20 years time in the blue and Red!

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

Don’t tell my wife, but my time playing footy at the falcons was some of the best times in my life, on the field There are so many but playing Finals are always a highlight I was fortunate enough to play in plenty as a falcon.

Off field I had the honour of becoming President of this great club in 2009 and 2010 and to see the group on the committee over those year take us forward to financial security was a real achievement  (On the back of Jason “The Bizzness” Wier’s amazing 2 years prior)

What are some of the nicknames you have had during your time at the club, and where did they come from?

Not to much to explain here “Till” and then “ The Prez”

Greatest player you have seen (played with) pull on the mighty Red and Blue?

There have been so many Will McIndo would tap it wherever we wanted it and made us on ballers look a lot better than we where. James “Bricky” Brick, Justin “Milkman” Mahoney, Steven “Cowboy” Bennet, Richard “Baks” Baker, Nath dalls, and don’t tell him he will get a big head but Stu Maunder was very very good… Hum all on ballers ok so also Sean Allan and Tommy King where dam good forwards and Lockie “Back door” Brown was a dam good back man as well as a top bloke.

Greatest Falcons team you have been involved with?

2009 – Arguably the greatest falcons team ever, we made the grand final having only lost 1 or 2 games for the year, oh what could have been I am still woken at night with thoughts of that Grand Final day, La Trobe where a seriously good side we where very unlucky to come up against them. The wind even changed to go against us each quarter it was terrible day!

Greatest victory you have been involved with?

Has to be my first win at home with the Falcons in 2008, there was a lot of new players and we are in round 6 and this is our first home game. We had played aright but I don’t think we had won a game. As I remember it, we where down all day but not by much against St Francis when “cowboy” Bennet marks 60m out on the boundary the siren go’s we are 5pts down and he takes his kick from where we now set up the Marquee, I’m in the goal square with the other 30 players on the ground and I see it sail over my head unbelievable we went crazy! Instantly bonded, this set us on a path to success as group…. We went on to win the next 9 games in a row and scrape into the finals; we then won 2 finals that year amazing effort.

Most memorable player you have played with?

You cant beat the feeling of running out with your own Brother, KT being my senior of 8 years we didn’t play together growing, so playing with him for a couple of year was amazing every time I ran out in the same team I definably walked a little taller.

What would you say were your strengths and weaknesses of your game?

Probably my biggest weakens was my fluctuating fitness, my skills where definably not amazing either but I tried. I like to think my biggest strength was my gut running and naturally strong body, I liked getting in and under…

What are you doing now?

I Live in Albert Park with my wife and Son Judson (Future Falcon) we also have another baby on the way, I run a Timber Flooring business in Port Melbourne called Kustom Timber as well as sitting on the Albert Park Committee as an advisor. I still enjoy coming down to watch the Falcons play and I am proud to say many of my now closest friends I met and played football with at this great club.

What is your greatest memory from your time with the Falcons?

Since we didn’t win a flag then I guess it is ok to say footy trips? Arlie Beach or Gold Coast with my mates, unwinding and building stronger bonds with people you wouldn’t normally travel away with…defiantly not playing Knuckles with Lochie “Back Door” Brown.

Flown the Nest – Richard Baker

Name: Richard Baker

When did you play for the Falcons?
2001-2009

Position played?
Midfield

Favourite position?
Rover and wing

 Richard Baker

Why did you come down to the Mighty Falcons Nest?
I was in the UK at the start of 2001 and had had a year off footy—I’d been playing in Geelong—and was keen to find a club in Melbourne. My brother in law Shaun Venables and I were planning to join Fitzroy Reds and while I was overseas Shaun had a chance meeting with Phil Chambers Snr, who was on the Albert Park committee at the time, and I got an email from Shaun saying “change of plans”. The rest is history. I got back with zero fitness and the season was already four games in. But somehow our coach at the time John Ahern saw fit to pick me in the seniors after a training session and I had a good start with two goals with my first two kicks for the club. It did get a bit harder from there!

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 Ahern, aka Horse, was my first coach at the club. He was only in his early 30s and had come from an AFL/SANFL background. He’d coached Hamiliton to a flag in the country. I loved playing under Horse. He was intense but had a great sense of fun at the same time. Horse was the sort of coach you really wanted to play well for. He made me captain in 2003 and working closely with him that year taught me a lot about footy and relating to people in general.

Pete Smith was my next coach. Smithy had been the club captain when I joined. He and I were good mates and I loved playing with Smithy, as he was as tough as nails and consistent. Under Horse we’d had two really strong years in 2002 and 2003, making preliminary finals both years and being desperately unlucky in 2002 with season ending injuries to myself and Andre D’Mingo, who was another key onballer. I reckon if we’d been fit we would have won that year. The team changed a bit in terms of personnel when Smithy took charge and he didn’t have the same cattle to play with. I think it is hard for players to step straight into coaching at the same club as well. Smithy was and remains a terrific person.

Peter Bedford, the former South Melbourne champion and Brownlow Medal winner, took over from Smithy after two years. It was a real thrill to play under such a great guy as Pete and hear his stories from his footy days and cricket days playing for Victoria. Not too many blokes can say they scored 100 against Dennis Lillee and got the Chappell brothers out in the same over! Pete and I worked closely as I was still captain under him. Pete was of the old school and could give off some all-time sprays, usually at the same players who sadly couldn’t do anything right under him. I think the younger or more sensitive guys found this hard to accept. Pete did have some very sound philosophies on football though—such as repetition to build ball handling skills and touch. Sometimes players would get tired of “off the fence” work, but Pete would say “well if you can’t catch the f…..g thing yet, why would you start doing something more challenging”? He had a point. Pete was an absolutely cracking bloke and a gentleman.

Nathan Dallas was my last coach at the Falcons. He was younger than me and clearly a seriously good footballer and fierce competitor. I really enjoyed playing with Nath and he freed me up as a player in my last couple of years after I hit 30. I enjoyed getting out on a wing or off half back to cruise around and have less wear and tear on the body after many years at the coal-face. We had a really good side again under Nathan, with a mix of old and new. We made a preliminary final in 2008 and the Grand Final in 2009 where we were really unlucky to come up against a young Latrobe Uni side that ran us off our feet and went on to win the flag in the next division up the following year. Any other year, that 2009 side would have been good enough to win the flag without a doubt. Nathan improved our fitness and got us playing an aggressive style of footy. I retired in 2010, even though I probably had a year or two left. I’d had some bad injuries such as a broken wrist and a punctured lung and with two young kids at home the missus had had enough.

Can you give us a few of your highlights both on and off the field since being at the club?
Highlights are just playing with so many good people. I think the club has been fortunate in that dickheads are not tolerated and just getting so many good friends through process and having memories of big wins or playing finals with them were my highlights.

Off the field, I suppose just raising two kids who are rapidly growing up and having a pretty interesting job in journalism where you can occasionally put things right in society have been highlights. Winning 3 cricket flags at Flemington with former Falcons such as Venos, Beamer, Kayne Begbie, my brother Grant and Matt Naudi has been terrific as well. I now coach under 12s in footy and get a real buzz out of that.

What are some of the nicknames you have had during your time at the club, and where did they come from?
For the first few years I answered to “Barks” because of a spelling mistake when I joined the club. After that it was Bakes or Rich.

Greatest player you have seen (played with) pull on the mighty Red and Blue?
Tough one to answer…here’s a few in no particular order: Stu Maunder, Lachie Brown, Steve “Cowboy Bennett”, Rex McLellan, Simon Thompson, Sean Allan and for pure talent on his day my old mate Venos.

Greatest Falcons team you have been involved with?
Hard to split the 2002-03 team and the 2008-09.

Greatest victory you have been involved with?
Probably Pete Bedford’s last game as coach at St Mary’s on their tiny ground in 2007. They went on to win the flag that year and we knocked them off in a really tight and tough game after Pete pleaded with us at 3 quarter time not to let it slip.

Most memorable player you have played with?
Steel McKerrow. Unique individual and a really good player.

What would you say were your strengths and weaknesses of your game?
Strengths would have been running ability and being able to be creative due to kicking well on both feet.

Weakness would have been getting pushed off the ball at times by heavier players in the middle, particularly if it was wet. But you find ways to get around it.

What are you doing now?
Still working in journalism with The Age and expanding options for getting stories out through podcasts and co-productions with broadcasters and (hopefully soon) streaming services. Coaching kids footy and cricket and trying to get my surfing skills up to scratch after a relatively late conversion to that sport.

What is your greatest memory from your time with the Falcons?
Probably the days when Brian Bennett would bring a slab in to the rooms after a win and just sitting around with my teammates. Definitely not Brian’s Thursday night “stews”.