Robert Hogan - My Redan Story
Where did you play your junior football and what were some of the highlights?
Played junior football at Leopold Football Club in Geelong until I moved to University in Ballarat in 1997. We were a very successful football club in Geelong at the time and made finals every year.
Tell us about how you found your way to Redan.
I had 1997 off football, and a few boys from Uni were going to play at Redan in 1998, so I thought I'd tag along. From the very start the boys at the club had this unique bond, which I really enjoyed and regardless of ability simply enjoyed each other's
company. It was great fun!
What were some of your initial impressions of the club?
I could not believe how well everyone got along. We definitely had no superstars therefore there was no pecking order, or anyone with a big ego at the club. As soon as I started there I knew that despite us not being a great team, it was going to
be an enjoyable club to be around.
Which players and coaches made the biggest impression on you while at Redan?
Where do I start. Marty Cusack was coaching in 1998. He was amazing. He was a very good player but his body could not keep up with him. Our captain Brendan 'Bobby' O'Brien was a great little player. He was tough as nails and was one of the nicest blokes I had met.
Brad Paatsch became a very good friend, and a couple of the other boys, like Gary Hickey, Dave Ogilvie, Simon Remington and Brett Stone really kept the club going despite the results. Their positivity was fantastic. Barry Hills took over from Marty and had an immediate impact. He changed how we trained and was a lot tougher, as he had a bit more cattle to play with.
It wasn't until Brett Quinlan came along in 2000 that the hard work we had to go through the previous few years started to pay dividends. I was only there for one year with Quinna but he was such a professional coach and had a massive impact.
How did you find being part of a club that was starved for success for a number of years?
Honestly we didn't seem to care. I remember playing full back one day at Lake Wendouree in an absolute mud heap and they kicked something like 30 points for the day.
I kicked out all day and after the game had Peter Loughnan come up to me, shook my hand and said he'd never seen a Redan player have so many kicks in one game. That sums it up. Regardless of results we found positives out of everything.
Guys playing seniors and reserves, six people at training during school holidays, club officials playing reserves to have enough players, the forfeit against Darley, it wasn’t looking great before the Save the Lions committee was formed?
We had a meeting after that forfeit and it was put to us about what direction to go. As I said, results were irrelevant. We knew how much the club meant to so many people and were prepared to keep going.
To put it into perspective, I remember a day when a guy turned up late for the reserves and Marty simply gave him a game in the seniors, because half our guys were already running around in the two's.
The drought breaking 1999 win over Daylesford was almost like winning a Grand Final, I seem to recall someone kicking a bag that day?
It is hard to describe to people but when some of the old boys are crying as you come off the ground after a win, it made those tough years worthwhile. I was lucky enough to kick a half dozen that day, which was nice because it is fair to say playing forward for Redan in those years you were a bit starved of opportunity.
What were some of your other highlights while at Redan?
The day after our win was like a premiership at the Western Oval. It was great! We were on the front of the Courier and the Footy Show visited that week as well.
Most of the highlights were off the field though. I look back and laugh that our ex-coach Hillsy used to turn up to the Den late at night whilst on duty as a cop and we'd pile into the back of the divvy van and he'd drive us to the Bunch of Grapes or The Chapel!
In 1998 I won the club goal kicking with 12 goals after playing most of the
year at Full back. That was how well we were going!
Have you managed to get along to any of the Redan Premiership wins?
Paatschy and a couple of other boys got to their first flag. We played in that 1999 win with Giblett, Cooney, Barker and co. so it was great to see them running around in that game. It was a great day and even better night. I was very appreciative of the acknowledgement from Quinna to the guys who played in the late 90's.
Tell us about your footy career after leaving Redan?
Since leaving Redan I have lived in Echuca/Moama on the Murray River. Played football until 2009. Lucky enough to have won a flag with Echuca's Reserves in 2006. Since playing I have coached every year until now.
I coached Echuca's Reserves for two years and then the U17's at Moama for the past four years, with the last two resulting in Premierships.
Where are you living and what are you up to these days?
I live on the Murray River in Moama. I teach locally at a Primary School called Echuca Primary School where I have been for the last six years.
I am married with two boys, aged 10 and 7. My oldest boy has started 12's this year and youngest does Auskick, which I am the co-ordinator for.
We follow the local football, Moama Football Club who play in the Murray Football League. I also still play cricket for the Echuca Cricket Club. It really is a great place to live!
What advice do you have for the juniors starting their careers at Redan?
Enjoy your footy. Try to play at the one club, as this is where you make most of your mates and show real passion for your club.
I hope that all the people who play for Redan certainly acknowledge and show respect for those guys who fought so hard in the late 1990's to give them the opportunity to play for Redan, otherwise I doubt the club would even exist.