Young men can be turned into great citizens with the help of country football clubs, according to a country footy veteran.ALEXANDRA BATHMAN July 1, 2014 3:04am
Young men can be turned into great citizens with the help of country football clubs, according to a country footy veteran.
Past player, coach and now Goulburn Valley Football League commentator John Ryan, 65, said he had seen a number of young men turn their lives around after being involved with a club.
‘‘In some ways football teaches more than just a game,’’ he said.
Mr Ryan has had experience in clubs across the region including Tatura, Nathalia and Kyabram.
He recalls a player in an under-16s team often in trouble with police and involved with drugs.
‘‘Most people wanted to get rid of him but we persevered. Within 12 months he had really turned around and helped us win the premiership.
‘‘I remember he came up to me after the game crying and we just hugged. He grew up to be quite clever.’’
Mr Ryan said seeing the improvements in the attitudes of some players was just as rewarding as winning a flag, if not more so.
He said a coach’s role was sometimes similar to a psychologist.
‘‘When I was a boy I was a bit of a wild one. But then I did my knee and had to stop playing and it made me realise all the opportunities I had missed.
‘‘I had to stop making stupid mistakes and I used to tell my players not to do the same things I had done.’’
Mr Ryan said he was concerned about the future of sporting clubs in rural towns and what it would mean to the smaller communities.
While he had not seen any closures in his time, the merging of some clubs was a warning sign.
‘‘These clubs are super important for young people to learn discipline they don’t seem get from anywhere else anymore and some kids just need some TLC.’’
Mr Ryan is now involved with the GVFL YouTube channel.
The channel has been a useful tool in keeping country football coverage current and accessible.
‘‘It takes footy to those who often can’t be there. They think it’s terrific.’’
Coca-Cola Amatil has confirmed it will be pressing on with its $100 million redevelopment of SPC Ardmona.
Beautiful weather greeted Tungamah residents for the 18th running of the Tungamah Lions Ten Thousand on Sunday.
When Keith and Marion Grumley and their growing family moved to Tatura on January 18, 1968, little did they know that it would be the start of a long and lasting connection to the town.
A snake was spotted this afternoon.
Rochester Rotary Club has celebrated its 50th birthday in style.
Sorting future of Campaspe pools
A theatre production with a difference is coming to Seymour.
Local athletes will go head-to-head with some of the best competitors from around the world in swimming and athletics in December.
District residents and visitors will be able to enjoy some of the region’s most beautiful private gardens on Sunday.
The 116th annual Cobram Show went off with a bang at the weekend, drawing in crowds from far and wide for two days of fun.
Tomorrow is a Total Fire Ban day in Deniliquin, meaning no fires can be lit in the open and all fire permits are suspended.
Fifty new full-time jobs will be created at Tatura with a multimillion-dollar expansion of the abattoirs expected to be announced today.
Remembering Australian political giant Gough Whitlam who once called on Benalla police to stop then Treasurer Frank Crean on his journey up the Hume to phone the PM.
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