Googs' Gabble – Adam Guglielmana column May 30

Thursday, May 30, 2013 - 10:37 AM

SOUTH Fremantle is a proud football club with a rich history built on legendary teams of great players and coaches.

To be sitting at the bottom of the ladder after nine rounds is hard for the supporters and players alike.

To start our climb back up the ladder will take leadership and experience, two qualities we have lost a lot of in recent times. The best leaders of the last few years were all different characters that left their heart and soul on the ground.

Jaymie Graham and Ray Smithers were fierce competitors on the football field and two of the kindest and most considerate people off of it.

I was lucky enough to spend a lot of time with 'Jigga' in his last year at the club as we both had knee reconstructions within weeks of each other. Jaymie was a great captain as he got to know every player on a personal level, and treated everyone equal regardless of ability or status.

If something needed to be said or done for the betterment of the club, 'Jig' or Ray would say it, despite it not being in their nature to offend or upset.











The best leaders often prefer to let their actions inspire, rather than words. Toby McGrath was one of these types. He was hard as nails and could get a centre clearance when needed, kick a goal, or play deep in defence. Toby hated being beaten and rarely was. Opposition players shrunk in his presence and as a teammate you always walked a lot taller knowing he was on your side.

In 2009, South Fremantle was lucky enough to recruit two AFL superstars in Peter Bell and Jeff Farmer. As a former AFL captain 'Belly' brought a professionalism to his training and preparation that was to second to none. He was generous with his time and advice off the field as well.

I have to admit that I never really liked 'Wiz' when watching him play for Melbourne and Fremantle in the AFL, but he was an infectious character in person and trained at an unbelievable intensity, which really surprised me. I think he just loved playing football.

Timmy Malseed and Kris Miller were different types of leaders. They were, and still are, knockabout blokes who got along with every age group at the club once they made the switch from East Fremantle. They were important people as they bridged the gap between young and old and always kept a positive atmosphere in the change rooms. Timmy in particular had a horrible run with injury, ultimately costing him a spot in the 2009 league grand final, but he never complained and celebrated as hard as anybody once it was won.

As the season has progressed this year, and we are now almost halfway through, current players have started to show the traits of these leaders gone by, which should be heartening for the supporters.












Each week we marvel at the courage of Nick Borovac and the tenacity of Jacob Martinez, the intense running of Ryan Cook and Toby Bairstow, the ability of Dylan Ross to play through injury, Jarrod Parry’s meticulous rehabilitation from two knee reconstructions, and Sean Tighe’s ability to carry the ruck duties almost single handedly.

Unfortunately this hasn’t culminated in much success to date, but with a little more experience the wheel will turn and hopefully that starts on Sunday in the WA Day Derby. 

By Adam Guglielmana