Scott Easdown - My Redan Story
Where did you grow up and what are some of your earliest football memories coming up through the junior ranks?
I am from a small country town in the Riverina, Oaklands, some of my best junior memories were watching the local Oaklands footy heroes play and then getting a chance to copy them at half time of the seniors. Then moving into Corowa and watching the Corowa/Rutherglen Roos play and then having them take us for games and training.
Tell us about some of your football highlights and clubs you played for prior to joining Redan?
One of my fondest memories was playing my first game of Ovens and Murray football for Corowa/Rutherglen at 15 yr olds. It was the last game of the season and we played Yarrawonga who were our arch rivals.
I managed to play pretty well and get best on ground in my first game. This lead to me playing in a drought-breaking premiership in the year 2000 where we won by 108 points against North Albury.
Who or what was it that attracted you to the club and what were your initial impressions?
I attended Uni in Ballarat and played with North Ballarat on and off in 1999 and 2000. I probably didn't give it the time it needed and I ended up playing the rest of each of those years back at Corowa which was good as my girlfriend (now wife Elise) was still living in Corowa.
However in my final year at Uni, I wanted to stay in Ballarat and had formed some good relationships with some of the North boys who went to Redan. I liked the idea that they were rebuilding and the club had a really good vibe around the place with a good coaching team and committee.
Who were some of the players who really impressed you during your time at Redan?
We were very blessed to have the best two tap ruckmen going around in the Big O and Coons, not only did they ruck well but got around the ground and were very good defensively.
I was impressed by the young blokes as well such as Robbie Greenbank, Luke Nunn and on their day Knowlesy and Justin Rumble could really turn it on.
What were Brett’s greatest strengths as a coach?
Brett was very much a people person, he was able to make you feel 10 foot tall and run through brick walls. As we had a lot of young blokes that kind of confidence was excellent. He also did his homework on the opposition so was tactically organised.
How was your 2002 season and at what stage did you think a premiership was a genuine possibility?
I had a pretty good year coming second to Kenno in the B&F and also I think I was runner up or third in the Henderson Medal.
We lost the first three games and a few people were a bit worried but I remember having a beer with Quinna and chatting about it and he wasn't worried at all.
He just noted that when we clicked other sides better be ready or get out of our way as he could see what we were capable of.
Who were some of your toughest opponents and how did this level compare to other leagues you have played in?
Mark Power and I always had good battles. I got to go head to head with Jarrod Edwards one time and I really learnt a lot about gut running and positioning playing against him. I found the league to be more stoppage based which suited me being an in and under player.
What are your memories of Grand Final day 2002 and did you get a feel for what this premiership meant to the club?
I had an absolute shocker in the Grand Final. I got gastro during the week (must have been from the one time I cooked) and I was pretty much useless all game.
I remember getting dragged twice by Quinna and being really dirty on myself but thank god the boys didn't need me and got us over the line.
The celebrations were massive - I love the first ten minutes after winning a premiership, the amazing feeling that you get to share with 20 mates. Nothing else in the world matters for those few minutes and no one can ever take that memory or feeling off you.
I have won five premierships at four different clubs and that feeling is always the best!
At Redan it was amazing to see so many older supporters there to cheer the players on. You could really feel what it meant to them, especially the committee who had put so much time, effort and their own money into the club. To be able to give something back to them was great.
Aside from the premiership, what were some of you other best memories of your time with Redan?
We played hard on the field and very hard off the field. Our social functions were a lot of fun. I guess it was the welcoming nature of everyone at the club, from the committee, players and the supporters. We worked very hard as a collective to make 2002 our year.
Tell us about your football career following your time at Redan and some of the highlights?
After the 2002 season I graduated from Uni and moved to Brisbane where I won two premierships with Morningside in the QAFL. I was able to make up for my terrible 2002 Grand Final by winning the Joe Grant medal for BOG in the 2003 Grand Final. I gained selection for Qld in 2004 and 2006.
I moved overseas to Doha, Qatar in 2006 and started a footy team there called the Doha Kangaroos. After a year, I moved to Dubai and joined the Dubai Heat and we won 2 premierships there and were crowned Asian Champs three years in a row.
I was fortunate to win BOG in one of those grand finals and make the All-Asian team in 2009.
I moved to Wagga Wagga and coached Coolamon Hoopers in the Riverina Football League in 2010 and 2011 and suffered my first Grand Final loss in 2011.
I retired in 2011 with bad knees however, I have played with the Uni of Qld and won a twos premiership in 2013 and now play Masters footy back with Morningside.
I also have coached some rep junior teams in Qld and love the fact that some of my Under 16 players are running around getting a kick in the AFL, Tom Bell, Adam Oxley and Ben Keays.
You have played with some former Redan teammates along the way I believe?
I got to play with Benny Simpson in Qatar - he was a freak with a footy - that was awesome and then I also got to play with Matty Walsh when we both played for QLD, how that bloke never played AFL is beyond me!
Our last interview with you was ten years ago. You had recently arrived in Qatar. Tell us about your time over there and your experience of setting up an Auskick for the locals.
I was able to introduce AusKick into my school over there, it was a local royal school with a lot of the students Qatari Nationals. They were soccer mad but seem to enjoy the fact you could tackle each other.
Once AFL Middle East was set up, it was more about recruiting players to play with us and then getting the Expat children down to the games to have a kick around.
What are some of the best things about living in Qatar and the places to visit?
Qatar was very interesting - it was a very rich but still a developing country. The locals were very nice but there was a distinct separation from the rich and the poor and your status really depended on which country you were from.
Dubai was very different - we got to experience living in one of the fastest growing countries in the world and then got to experience the downturn when the GFC hit in 2008.
We visited most of Europe and Asia. Our first son Julius was born in Dubai so that was a very special experience.
What are you doing with yourself these days and where are you based?
I am currently the Primary Head of Sport at a private school in Brisbane. I have 3 great children, Julius, 7, Charlotte, 5 and Eli, 20 months. I am married to Elise who I was with at Redan.
Do you still have an involvement with football at club level?
I help out with Julius's Under 8s team and coach school footy and as I said earlier I play masters footy.
Quite a few of these interviews feature coaches with a teaching background. What do you make of former teacher Brendon Bolton’s rise to AFL Senior Coach without having played AFL? Is the AFL missing out on something due to most coaches being past players (and full time professionals) with no time for a second career such as teaching?
I think coaches in the AFL need to have fresh and new ideas and when you elevate a player who hasn't experienced a different environment then most will lack the skills and knowledge to think outside the box.
AFL is changing at a rapid rate and the coach is more like a mentor and motivator - their assistants do the coaching. The senior coach needs to be able to get that extra 5% out of their players and I think that is what Bolts is doing.
He is instilling belief back into some shattered players and building their confidence - exactly what you would do with students at school - give them to confidence to succeed.
He would be doing exactly what Clarkson did with him, Beveridge, Cameron, Hardwick and Simpson - he gave them the confidence and ability to succeed. Isn't it interesting that Clarkson is also a Teacher?
What is the best piece of advice you could give the young boys and girls starting their careers at Redan?
Work harder and smarter than the person next to you as your sporting career goes quick so make the most of it.
*Funny fact, I was on Family Feud last year and this year got Hypnotised on You're Back in the Room.