Ron Andrews - My Redan Story
Where did you grow up and what are some of your earliest memories playing football?
Born in Ballarat moved to Koraleigh then Nyah Pre primary school. We moved to Melbourne in 1966, played for Healthmont and early memories would be playing in rain and mud.
Tell us about how you came to join Redan in 1971 and what were your initial impressions of the club?
My father being a policeman knew somebody from the club and I joined from there, impressions were I was just happy I had somewhere to play footy.
You made your senior debut aged 16 that season, what can you remember of your first game?
Sorry I can’t remember much other than it was freezing cold.
You won the 1972 Best and Fairest aged 17 from just 11 games which is remarkable. How much did playing so well against the men before you headed to Melbourne help with the adjustment to VFL Football?
I felt at home playing against men, I was a tall kid and footy was easy playing in the juniors side.
During your time you played under Jeff Brisbane and Barry Smart, what can you recall of their coaching styles?
I can’t recall exactly but I was always told to respect my coaches.
What was your best win and what are some of the other highlights of your time at Redan?
Can’t remember winning too many games but one game at Beaufort had my shorts ripped off with a jock strap on, so embarrassed I sat on the ground until someone came with another pair of shorts.
Another thing that sticks in my mind was Doc Hepper after my last game of 1973 came up to me and said to me that was some of the best high marking he had ever seen.
Describe yourself as a player.
Was taught to attack the ball and win at all costs.
Who were the top five players you played alongside with at Redan and your toughest opponent?
Michael O’Brien, Ken Nunn, Ian Baker, can’t remember the toughest.
Is it true had you have played just one more game with Redan that you would have then been zoned to St Kilda rather than Essendon?
I was zoned to Essendon from my previous club Healthmont. In them days you were tied to a zone for three years, the end of the three years I would have been zoned to St Kilda, not one more game.
Once you arrived at Windy Hill, what area of your game did you most work on to make the adjustment to the VFL?
Fitness and learning team oriented skills, using both sides of body kicking handballing etc.
You managed 157 VFL games from 1973 to 1984, what were the greatest highlights of your VFL career?
Playing finals, being selected to represent Victoria in 1977-78. Made captain in 1982.
What are some of your favourite memories of representing Victoria in 1977 and 1978?
Playing with great players in the Victorian side.
Redan found itself on hard times in the late 1990s, the Save the lions dinner was a major part of reversing our fortunes. What are your memories of that night?
I was honoured to be invited to this fundraising night and to see so many familiar faces.
Describe the honour of being selected Centre Half Back of the Redan Team of the Century and how many of the other team members did you actually play alongside of?
Yeah was absolutely honoured to be remembered forever at this great club.
How much of a thrill was it to watch your nephew Drew Petrie’s career unfold?
Yes followed Drew’s career with admiration.
What are you up to these days and do you still get along to see some local football?
Yes still attend local footy to watch the grandkid play and drive busses for a living.
What advice do you have for the boys and girls starting their football careers at Redan?
Listen to the coaches, learn and lots of practice.
1972 Dalton Bayly Medal
151 games and 32 goals with Essendon from 1973 to 1983
With Rob Gaylard at the Save the Lions dinner.