Sam Giblett - My Redan Story
Tell us about your first memories playing footy and some of your early highlights at North Ballarat?
We moved from Charlton in the North Central/Mallee area to Ballarat in late 1992. Dad got a transfer with Boral in 1991 and come across a local Barber in Doveton street called Mick Daly who got me involved with North Football and Cricket club.
I remember my first game at North was Under 12 reserves and I got dragged at half time to play Under 12 seniors. I was fortunate enough to kick 70 odd goals and win the B&F that year. But above all it was a start of very successful period with close mates who I later joined with to play in senior premierships with at Redan.
In regards to highlights, there were a few individual ones including kicking 110 goals in Under 16s in 1997 but to play in six premierships in seven years at junior level and manage five senior premierships at senior level with Redan definitely would be my career highlight.
Who in your age group did you later become Senior premiership teammates with at Redan?
In 2002 it was Chippy (Ash Barker), Julian Vallance, Adrian King and Luke Cooney. Knowlesy (Ryan Knowles) and Nunny (Luke Nunn) were a bit younger and I didn't play juniors with them but they come thru the North junior ranks similar to main group that joined Redan.
Rick Cummins was injured by memory in 2002 but I managed to play in premiership with Ricky in 2003. To make it even better I got to also win premierships with Jake Bridges and Justin Simpkin as well in later years. So to play in flags with six mates from Under 12s was something special to all of us.
Following North Ballarat’s decision not to field Senior and Reserves sides in 1997, did its decision to abandon the Under 18 competition in 1998 still come as a surprise?
It wasn't really a surprise as we heard it maybe a possibility throughout our Under 16 year. I suppose it was just disappointing as I remember a show of hands of support to stay and only two hands staying down in a packed room at North sports club but ultimately it was the Rebels proxy votes that got that decision to leave us with no home for following season.
I loved my time at North and I'm sure I was one of many who wanted to play a senior game as a youngster but in hindsight, I'm pretty happy to call Redan my club. I was also happy not to play in a losing game against North City in my time at Redan!
What were some of the other options your teammates were considering at the time?
There were plenty of options and in my case I remember Alistair Ford coming to our house and inviting me to train with East Ballarat. I trained once with them then also trained with Ballarat as Paul Aikman was involved there which come about having a beer at the Minerdome with my old man.
Pete Bridges (Jake's father and our junior coach) had agreed to coach Golden Point Under 18s. Pete no doubt did this in a way to help us stick together as a group but to me personally, I wasn't a big fan of Golden Point in my junior playing days so it was still very much in the air where we were going to play.
Some may disagree with this and I can only tell how I remember ending up at Redan. How we chose Redan had a lot to do with Jaan Conheady. Jaan played a big part of our decision that ultimately saw us join Redan.
Jaan was from Sea Lake and a boarder at St Pat's. He played in our Under 16s premiership side and was getting a bit of pressure of other St.Pat's boarders to join Ballarat. Myself and Jaan had a close friendship with Redan's Marty Porter at St.Pat's which started the ball rolling.
It was Jaan that mentioned to me that he was going to train with Redan. Myself and Simpko actually rode our bikes from Wendouree to train along with Jaan at Redan that night and it was shortly after training that we talked to coach Steve Braybrook and committed to join. Marty also captained us in both Under 18 premierships.
What was your view on the Redan Roosters name itself and did it help in your decision to join Redan?
In my opinion and I'm sure it's different to some others, but I felt a lot of anger towards North on how we were treated and I suppose I'm mentioning this due to how strong I feel about it.
I felt the creation of Redan Roosters was an afterthought from North after we chose to play at Redan. I personally would have been happy to keep as Redan Lions in Under 18s as we made the decision to join Redan on our own account to play with friends and school mates, not because North did anything to help us find a new club. They had bigger things to worry about with VFL and rightly so.
What it did do though for a few later was provide a pathway for North Under 16s to have a club to go to, which Redan benefitted from very well but in regards to our group. We made the decision ourselves as the only way we were going to be able to stay at North is if we were good enough to play Rebels. That option wasn't viable to many of us.
Tell us about some of the players who you played alongside in the Redan Under 18 side that helped form the nucleus of the senior side over the next decade.
We had a good core group in Under 18s that went onto seniors Chippy, Bomber (Justin Rumble), Julz Vallance, Marty Porter, Luke Cooney, Simpko (Justin Simpkin), Adrian King, Eamon Rice, Jake Bridges, Ricky Cummins, Paul Brick are just some that played a big part of the nucleous of senior side for years to come and even today it's great to see Chippy still involved (Chip tells me he's just warming up for a crack at finals this year!)
We had players commit to full senior years in 1999 who sacrificed opportunities to play in a successful team in Under 18s. Adam Wilson and Ricky Cummins both won senior B&F at very young ages, Luke Cooney won BFL Rookie of the year in 1999 when he pretty much sacrificed a premiership to play senior footy all year.
In terms of one bloke making an impact at senior level, it would be Luke Cooney in my view. Number one ruckman in our very first premiership in 2002, making a stance against Darley by busting Dave Barnes' nose during an all in brawl after they tried intimidating us, he only played a few senior years at Redan but had a big impact in his short time.
Did you play any senior football with the club during 1998/99 and how did you find going from a side that rarely lost, to one which was in the midst of a four year losing streak?
I played my first senior game in 1999 v East Ballarat. Massive difference, I just remember lining up on a wing and thinking sh*t these blokes are big. I reckon during my time at North and Redan juniors I lost in total about ten games of footy in seven seasons.
To be on the end of some hidings was definitely odd as we had such a big winning culture during our junior days. It was good to get that winning culture back during our time at senior level at Redan.
Were you part of the Daylesford 1999 or Sunbury 2000 wins at the City Oval and were they your first signs of something bigger to come?
I wasn't part of the 1999 win but remember playing in the 2000 win well. I think it's been well documented but we were fortunate to have some big wins in the Under 18s in 1998 and 1999 and we would stay around to watch the seniors get smashed anywhere from 30-60 goals every week so to play in that win meant a lot after the punishment we were dealt in past.
Jayden Reid dominated and I remember how good it was to have some big bodied players around us slightly built young blokes!
What are some of your memories of season 2000 in terms of Brett Quinlan’s impact plus the new recruits who helped strengthen the side?
Brett Quinlan was one of many players we idolised playing juniors at North. I remember after our 1999 Under 18 premiership at City Oval our coach and president were congratulating us in rooms and a few of us spotted Quinna amongst the supporters in the clubrooms. Not sure if he was sussing out the club or just a keen Under 18 observer at the time!!!
So to play alongside him the following year was exciting for alot of us. Unfortunately my only vivid memory of Quinna playing in 2000 was seeing Justin Simpkin getting in his path as he flew into a pack for a mark. Simpko was sipping soup in hospital for a few days after that!
Five wins in 2000 were followed by six in 2001 and many close losses. At what stage during the 2002 season did you feel the club was ready to challenge for a Premiership?
I went to live in Melbourne in 2001 and played a year with De La Sale, what was most noticeable on return in 2002 was how Quinna had restructured the club in regards to recruiting, line coaching, opposition homework, recovery etc.
It was the sort of stuff you only see at AFL level in regards to line coaches but I felt that played a big part of our success in 2002 as Jacko (Craig Jackson), Piggy (Damian Linton) and Paul "fatside" O'Neil's input along with Quinna's was vital to our team success as well as Mick Ryan's input on providing videos on opposition.
Quinna was the best at giving clear instructions and you knew exactly what was required to do and you would not want to be on the wrong side of those instructions, even the little things like missing recovery sessions. Just ask a few boys who missed them over those days!
We partied hard, played hard and did it together including the coaching staff. Some may disagree but the social culture at Redan is something that many other clubs didn't have and I felt it played a massive part of our team success at Redan.
One Quinna story that stood out to me was an ordinary recovery session at the Clarendon pool one Sunday. It didn't matter how big of a night we had the night before, you simply could not miss getting to recovery as the consequences were too big to even think about.
We had a huge Saturday night at one of Quinnas establishments, most likely Rattle n Hum and after our Sunday morning recovery Quinna told us to get to the Lake View afterwards. Unsure of what was intended by it was clearly understood when we arrived when he had Cookie from Lake View line the bar with jugs at 10am and said get into them!
Not sure if Quinna just wanted to kick on from night before or it was a team building exercise but there weren't too many Sundays from then on that we didn't have a drink and it was some of the best times of my football career those Sunday sessions.
After finishing third with a twelve and four win loss ratio, a big win over Melton in the Elimination Final was followed by a 16 point loss to Sunbury in the 2nd semi. Can you recall what lessons came out of that loss which produced a 75 point turnaround in the Grand Final two weeks later?
I really don't recall anything that stood out that made us flick a switch, a few of our experienced leaders I felt lifted and played big roles in the Grand Final.
What was your role that day and what are your memories of the game itself?
During my early days under Quinna I was a run with/tagger but didn't have a specific role that day, I just remember the last quarter well and the roar from the crowd with every goal we kicked.
Plenty of tears and emotion and even when I look back of photos now, it really stands out how young we were (sorry Parto). To play it with Julz, Kinga, Cooney and Chip who I had played all my juniors with was special and to have the experience and bigger bodies in Sammy Ellis, Dru Quinlan, Jayden Reid, Mark Verberne, Aaron Freeland in that side we knew we had a good nucleus of a good side.
What can you recall of the celebrations out on the field and could you sense what that Premiership meant to the club as a whole and the stalwarts?
Blokes like Flogga, Bobby & Fred Carpenter, (Ray) Kappe, John Lawless, Ted Neville and Sneaky (Ken Delaland) had been some of our biggest supporters in our under 18 days.
I still to this day like to get back to Redan and talk these blokes about the past and present as they are all living legends of Redan and it was awesome to see how proud of our achievements in 2002 on their faces and I think it something these days that I would encourage all current players at Redan to take the time to learn about the history and have a chat to these legends on their views on Redan. They have many great stories to tell.
The celebrations I think ended up a week later in 2002 and It was helped that every establishment was open in Ballarat for the Teacher's games so it was so every night the clubs were packed!
The following season the side again finished third but this time won its first two finals to book another Grand Final berth against Sunbury. What are your recollections of the brawl and which players do you feel helped Redan regain its composure and ascendency on the scoreboard?
Any wonder there was a brawl, when Quinna comes out in the local papers and calls the opposition chokers it was bound to have some venom! That was one of many of Quinna's little victories over the opposition.
I remember him during a team meeting just saying, there is going to be something in the papers and if asked just say "I don't know what the coach is on about!"' He had a unique relationship with the courier reporter Ken Hill and used that to our advantage very well.
Dru Quinlan's effort in the 2nd semi was amazing, one the best individual performances I've ever seen in my football career. And even today I think if we had lost that game not many would of got up the following week as it was a brutal game, I remember Sunbury started resting blokes in last 5-10mins thinking they had it won and I think they would even be amazed of Dru's efforts that day.
Another thing that stood out in that Semi Final win was Dean Lupson shaking my hand after game and simply saying, I'm retiring after the Grand Final! I took that as if he was going to kill me! Did play on my mind cause he was a scary unit but fortunately for me, he whacked Hosey instead in Grand Final and went off his head in the crowd! Sorry Hosey if you're reading.
The peek a boo, good onya Chip.... first goal and starts a brawl. Watching back on the footage, chip had good boxing form and quick foot movement and Sammy Ellis's entrance into it was very good and entertaining. Poor Hosey again, wrestles some bloke in background and gets a week for it! I was comfortably on bench at this stage I think, so I was happy!
One of our most determined players Justin Power had the job Mark Power and I come onto the ground for Justin as Mark thought it was a good opportunity whilst the brawl was on in our forward line to whack Justin whilst in the centre of ground, there wasn't much of Justin but he had a knack to restrict many great opponents and win a lot of footy himself.
You missed the 2006 Premiership through injury but were fortunate to play in another three. Take us through some of your memories of 2007, 2009 and 2011?
In 2006 we were finishing training with a basic five star drill and a young Brett Dickinson had the bump bag, I went through and put my hand up to stop Dicko from cleaning me up and snap, I broke my wrist and had the running duties in grand final with Gerry that year. I did 90% of the running that day too!
2007 was a tough year personally, during the season my eight year old niece Millie died after myself, mum and dad took her to watch a Tigers game at the Telstra Dome. Muzz and the club were a fantastic support and gave me enough time and no pressure to re-join the group as I took her loss very hard and struggled to deal with it for a long time.
I had one agenda after her passing, and that was to win the premiership for her and to achieve that was a very proud moment for myself and all my family.
I also had a dilemma in 2007 as my older sister thought it would be a good idea to plan her wedding on BFL grand final day, she recalls Redan losing first three games so thought it would have been safe that I wouldn't be playing in it.
She got that wrong and it was great to see mum and dad in crowd dressed up in their wedding attire, dad was not impressed and he couldn't walk Beck down the aisle quick enough so he could get to the game!
2009 was a year I really enjoyed, we had a very settled back six that year and our midfield was one the best you'd ever see at Redan. Steve Kane's job on Dan Jordan was a massive victory for us and Jezz Edwards and Damian Horbury had huge input in the win as well.
2011 was an interesting one, I'd decided to have a year off as my body was pretty shot. I went and watched a few Springbank games and it wouldn't be a surprise to the coaching panel that I'd agreed to coach them in 2012.
I played a handful of games in the reserves late in the season and if I had to thank anyone for being a part of the 2011 premiership it would be Grant Polkinghorne. After we lost the Reserves Elimination Final, Grant suggested why dont I do myself a favour and keep training with senior group.
At first it didn't sit well and Grant would tell you that as I felt a lot of others did a lot more to deserve the opportunity. There were a few injured players leading up to 2nd Semi and an opportunity come for me to fill a role, if they were fit and ready by the Grand Final I was happy to step aside for them.
I've been told it was an interesting selection with my name dividing a few on the panel. So to play only two senior games for year and win a premiership and close friends missing out had mixed feelings. I am thankful for coaching staff knowing that I could play a role that day down back in our win.
What did you like most about the coaching styles of Brett, Kieran and Brendan?
Quinna - Way ahead of his time, demanded us to do the little things that mattered most if wanting to become successful. Socially he was very good value and he also saved all us young blokes $5 getting into 21 arms and doing what we pleased as our coach owned the joint!
Muzz - Took a while to understand Muzz, he was a bit strange and quirky at first but he one thing that stood out and helped me was the amount of crap he used to cop on the field for having red hair. It took the focus away from me a bit! His efforts with busted shoulder in Grand Final was simply amazing and that's what you'd expect from the leader he was.
Peacey - At first playing under Peacey was a bit odd due to fact we'd been at Redan along time and a bit older than him and I think myself and a couple others probably tested him where we wouldn't dare do that to a Quinna or Muzz.
I remember him pointing myself and Knowlesy out after a game as we did seem to occasionally find ourselves parked up the bar at the Lake View on a Friday evening, I'd like to say we didn't over indulge but that would be false, it wasn't a great look to younger teammates so we put a stop to that ASAP and drank upstairs form then on so no one saw us! Sorry Peacey.
Peacey had an ability to make a stance when game was needing someone to stand up, it would be him that in five minutes might make 6-7 huge tackles or run down opponent which results in a goal, he was huge in big moments.
I will add another coach I played under and did a brilliant job and that was Snibbo (Shane Snibson), he took over the reins after Damian Lubeek resigned on the eve of start of season. We dropped some winnable games that year but I really think there was some opposition thankful we did miss as Snibbo had us playing our best footy late in the season and we beat all the top sides comfortably. A year that got away unfortunately.
Playing alongside Isaac Smith, could you see he was destined for bigger things?
Not sure what goals Muzz gave Isaac but he come back the year he got drafted to our pre-season and totally blitzed. I remember a time trial a year earlier and Nathan Blomeley being about a minute ahead of Isaac. A year later and it was Isaac winning the time trials by that margin.
I remember being annoyed when I heard Isaac was considering going to North midway through the season (maybe my dislike for North was behind my thinking!)
But thoughts were quickly changed on how we all watched with interest him pursuing his dream to play AFL. It's an amazing story and I'm sure we all do the same and follow him closely now at the Hawks.
Which of your five Redan Premierships meant the most to you and which Grand Final did you feel was your best from a personal perspective?
2007 meant the most to me personally due to death of Millie during the year and I also felt that was probably my better performance as well. I had the job on Sunbury CHF Luke Beattie and felt I won that battle on the day.
You had a reputation for being ferocious at the contest despite your lean build. What was your playing weight during your time at Redan and did this come natural to you or something you worked at over time?
Not sure of weight but I was coached from a young age to run straight lines and hip and shoulders were very much part of the game, can't do it these days unfortunately!
I enjoyed the contest, I enjoyed the brand of footy we played at Redan. I'd set myself little targets of trying to get the most 1% stats that Neil Quinlan did, I wasn't a match winner, a goal kicker and felt my strength was doing the little things that matter and beating opponent and focusing on the back six achieving little goals we set.
I woud aim to play my role to get the result we needed each week by focussing on doing the little things that matter and leaving the match winning stuff to the Field, Edwards, Knowles, Waight calibre of players.
Who would be the top five players you have played with and the toughest opponent at BFL level?
Toughest opponent would be Darren Stanley - Melton. Quinna gave me the job on him every time in my earlier tagging days.
Top five you could raffle 30 blokes at Redan.
Julian Field, Jarrod Edwards and Dru Quinlan would be in most blokes top five and I'll add Luke Cooney and Mark Kennedy into mine.
Matt Walsh, Chris Beattie, Gareth Hose, Matty Dwyer, Bredan Peace, Orren Stephenson, Sammy Ellis, Aaron Freeland, Mark Verberne, Andrew Jones, Ash Barker, Heldane Nelson, Nath Blomeley, Ryan Knowles are just some of the many more.
You were one to enjoy your time in The Den, what was some of your memories of the den?
The den... I think I speak on behalf of many that everyone has enjoyed a classic Den session. I didn't miss too many I must admit. I will take the opportunity to plead my innocence that I had no involvement in starting fires, no involvement with late night lock ins and no involvement knocking the tv off the brackets the night analogue TV stopped operating!
The Sundays, the Grand Final celebrations, the AFL Grand Final parties were some of my best times in The Den. There were nights we had cars entering the den, two blokes running at each other as hard as possible for no reason just to see what happens, a possum falling through the roof, the food fights and attempting a bike jump over 30 netballers and footballers.
A five man stack on each other's shoulders, Peacey making out with Cass in front of the whole club for first time, Chippy's famous yabby races, Darryl shutting it down, Fieldy bringing a pet rat to a function, Jezz spending huge $$$ on trying to win best outfit but getting beaten by me every year, the Sunday clean ups with Flogger, Bobby and the gang and many, many more funny moments in the famous den! Great times
You also spent some time with De La Salle and Learmonth, what were some of the highlights of your time with those clubs?
Not many highlights from those years, what I noticed playing in the amateurs with De La was they liked clean, friendly footy. I struggled with that and couldn't wait to get back to Ballarat to re-join Redan.
Learmonth I possibly had my worst injury in career, I tore my kidney after a knee in the back and was in hospital for a few weeks until I stopped passing blood!
Tell us about your time with Springbank and would you like to get back into coaching at some stage?
I had three years coaching at Springbank and rapt to have played a part of where they are to date. I'm still a keen follower of their progress and hopefully they can have a successful period similar to what Redan has achieved. Coaching days for footy are over and I'm enjoying more time with family now.
What was your biggest misconception about coaching going into that role?
Probably the high expectations I set at Springbank especially in first year were possibly too high, I had to adjust them as I simply didn't realise how big of a job was in front of me. I'm proud to see them now exceeding those expectations and getting some reward for their efforts.
My very first training session at Springbank was one to remember, Bomber (Justin Rumble) joined me as an assistant at Springbank and there were about 40 blokes who turned up to night one. After I spoke to the group I think ten actually trained and the rest were up in front of rooms drinking cans!
Tell us about what you are up to these days.
Myself and wife Victoria have lived in Torquay for three years now, two become three at start of the year with arrival of our son Edward Jack. Hopefully in future years he can become a Redan senior premiership player!
I'm currently in second year coaching the Torquay Cricket Club and enjoying this role and the challenges that go with it. I still try to get back when I can and catch up at The Den on Friday nights which is a great initiative by the club this year.
What advice would you give to the footballers and netballers starting their careers with Redan?
Take the time to talk to the Redan stalwarts and supporters. Learn about the past and many sacrifices that were made to get this proud club off the canvas and to where it is today.