Ian Pym - My Redan Story
What are some of your earliest football memories and junior highlights?
I was selected in a schoolboys Under 15 carnival held in Melbourne, a combined Ballarat team. Captain of the Redan Under 18’s.
How did you make your way to Redan and what was the club like back in those days?
My father was a supporter and committee man at Redan. There were many great VFL players playing for Redan and other clubs, Redan have always had great coaches, big crowds came to watch the star players.
Who were some of the Redan junior coaches that had the biggest influence on your career?
Les McKay was a very good junior coach also Len Baker who was a former Redan player.
At what age did you make your senior debut with the club and what can you remember of your first game?
I was about 19 years of age, played my first senior game against Ballarat at the City Oval, Pat Trethowan and former South Melbourne player sat me on my bum early in the game.
How would you describe yourself as a player?
I had won some gift races, so I had some pace, was good overhead. Liked to drop kick out from full back (one of the first things John Northey banned) Always tried very hard.
What are some of the most memorable matches you played in and how many premierships sides were you part of with Redan?
Played in a Grand Final against Ballarat at the City Oval, got a tap on the head from a boot which caused a very big brawl. I was in four reserves premierships, captain of two. Awarded best player in one and received a trophy from the great Keith Rawle (still have it).
Who are your top five Redan players you played alongside and your top five Redan players of all time?
Played with Mike O’Brien, Bob Stewart, Geoff Ward, Peter Bell and Wallace Jenkins. Many great players at Redan some were Graeme Gellie, John Northey, Peter Merriman, Michael Smith and Jarrod Edwards.
Who were some of your toughest opponents?
Played on Plugger Lockett’s father Howard a number of times, Les Brookes from East Ballarat, Laurens Lubeck from North Ballarat (later a great full back in Redan’s 1976 & 1977 Senior Premierships)
With which club do you feel Redan has had a rivalry with during your time with the club?
In past years Golden Point and Redan were great games, always drawing big crowds. Most clubs of today and I would say North Ballarat and also Sunbury.
Take us through the process of producing your book on the club and do you plan an updated version?
I had worked with Ballarat historian Lloyd Jenkins (great Redan family) in doing photographs on about eight of his books, got the ‘bug’ have now written five books of my own plus a number of family histories. Redan has a Great football history so it was the next step, Sam Giblett was of great assistance in the set-up.
Through all your research into the history of the club and the people who have made it great, how can you best sum up the Redan spirit?
Redan has always been a working type of club never was flushed with cash. Teams always tried their best and had great teamwork. Very good administrators like Stewart Pyers, Evan Hicks, John Lawless and Raj Muker. Always a friendly club that had a good social life.
Tell us about how you found yourself still playing matches with the club at age 49?
Redan were going poorly to say the least, Terry McAliece and myself were asked to joint coach the reserves in 1996, we were always short of players, both us had retired some years ago but we played most of year to make up a team, even my son Lyndon played aged 17 years (had never played football before, soccer player!). Very pleased that one of my club records was passed by Andrew Schultz (aged 51 years) recently against Sebastopol.
What were some of your highlights coaching the reserves side in the early 1980s?
I captained two reserves Premierships, but had no luck as a winning coach; we were runners up in those other years which are still a great effort. After coaching the reserves I coached the Under 18’s for four years, it was great to see those players go onto senior football.
You were treasurer from 1988 to 1990, can you recall some of the fundraising initiatives undertaken by the club during those years?
Bingo was our main money earner held twice a week at the Western Oval hall, a special effort for $2,000 was always popular and Redan ball was a big event and we had a bigger membership in 1980’s.
Can you describe how the club found it to be on the brink of folding during the 1990s and the subsequent revival?
We had as a President (a former Carlton official) who thought he was still in the VFL and he overspent on some former Carlton players and other players (you can’t buy Premierships!), this caused a debit flow on for many years.
At what stage did you first take on the role of club historian and who did you take over from?
There was no club historian before me, so in I took on the position so that our history was not lost, this wasn’t easy as a lot of documents, games played , annual reports were all missing when things were going bad in the 1990’s they ended up in a dump master.
The MCC was a great library so I spent time there coping their articles about Redan. In hind-side I should have spent more time there.
What are some of the main accomplishments you’ve made in this role and the biggest challenges?
I still get former players asking about games played. The BFL and the Courier have many times asked for information about Redan. Love doing reunions like the recent 1977 premiership reunion (what a wonderful day, Crow, Swooper many past players from Queensland, Perth, South Australia and Melbourne)
Where do you feel there is still a lot of work to be done in relation to our history?
I would still like to see an honour board in the Den with netball best and fairest winners, also photos of their many Premierships.
What are some of your proudest achievements on and off the field for the club?
My biggest achievements is our Hall of Fame, my strong belief is that players, coaches, trainers and volunteers should be recognized by having a Hall of Fame. We are the only club in Ballarat to have a Hall of Fame except for North Ballarat.
Playing a record 369 games at a great club and had wonderful memories. Redan has been part of my life for over nearly 60 years.
How would you compare the dominance of the 1970s Northey sides versus those of the 2002-2011 eras?
John Northey’s three premierships were all from how Richmond FC set up, tall wingers, tall centre half forward and full forward, there were many great players. Teams from 2002-2011 were very team ordinate less stars than John’s teams, no real tall’s but great teamwork, speed and tackling.
What are your thoughts on the establishment of a Redan Museum and where would be the ideal home?
I thought about this for a while, I have some things that I could add to a museum, but where! Maybe if the BFL moved then Redan could start its museum in Saxon house (wishful thinking). Many years ago we applied to Council to have a building like Saxon House but it was rejected.
Discuss the importance of the Redan Past Players Association and what can we do to re-connect with those who played between 1978 and 2001 who have no premierships to commemorate? What about a match in 2019 to mark the twenty year anniversary of the Daylesford win which would double as an 80s/90s reunion and see us wear the old jumper from that period as a one off?
Sounds good to me! Important to keep important events and to reminisce our past. What a great day that was beating Daylesford after four long years and winning by 108 points.
Where are you based these days and what are your doing with yourself?
Margaret and I own Mt Coghill Winery at Coghills Creek, very pleased that our wines have won a number of wine awards. Restaurants like The Forge Pizzeria, thanks to Chris Matthews for his support. Enjoy doing the afternoon tea raffle, using our wine.
What advice do you have for the junior footballers starting their careers with Redan?
My grandson Cooper Alsop plays in the Redan under 14’s always tell him to have fun. If possible use your other hand or foot. Many of our past junior coaches like Terry Coyle were strong in teaching juniors to use both sides of their body.