#89: Gath

Coach, Ainslie U11's, 1990

The first game of Australian Rules football I ever saw, I played in. When we moved to Australia my dad signed me up to the Ainslie Football Club Under 11's and Gath was the coach - a boisterous man-mountain who played forward pocket for the seniors. I tried to explain that I really, literally, didn't know what to do but he not only put me in the starting line-up, but he put me at ruck, the first guy to touch the ball in the whole game.

Like I said, I'd never even seen the game played. Round field, four posts, no sleeves. I ran around getting penalised and laughed at all day - running the wrong way, throwing the ball, tackling rugby style around the legs. And Gath was laughing his bloody head off.