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Dashing down the Wing

My journey at BHFNC

Dashing down the wing

My journey at BHFNC

By Peter Swinton

It all started back in the premiership year of 1993 where I was the club mascot. I was this snowy white haired kid who kept getting in the way of club legends like Geoff Miles, Timmy Armstrong, Matty Walter and my favourite player Mark Henderson. I really looked up to these guys and I would do anything I could to be like them.

The following year I started playing with my brothers Mark & Rick in U15’s. I was the smallest kid on the ground but I still managed to get a few kicks. One of my favourite junior coaches was a former player of the club, Johnny Star. He always had a smile on his face and always made you feel like a better player than you probably were. He definitely made footy more enjoyable. We were struggling for numbers all year and Starry would be ringing players every Saturday morning to come down for a kick. His fun and energetic attitude to footy brought everyone together.

A couple of years later Barwon Heads formed a U10’s side. I got to finally play footy with my mates from school and kids my own age. Depending on when and where the U15’s were playing, Dad would often be driving me to both games. So I spent most of my Saturdays playing footy which I loved.

In 2003 my Dad (Lenny which most of you would know) got given life membership. He has been involved in club ever since they moved down in 1986. He is always there to lend a hand whether it was bar manager, team manager or being involved in the committee. His love for  the club is second to none so our family had no choice but to love it just as much.

Fast forward a couple years to 2005 where I was top age in U18’s. Our coach was Peter Sutas. We started our preseason early and it definitely paid off. We had some great players in that side including both current coaches Herbi and Bobby. The best thing with that side was we were all good mates and we would do everything together. We were lucky enough to play in a Grand final against Torquay where we were down by six goals at  3qtr time. We managed to get up and win by 2 points. The whole town was right behind us and it is still one of the greatest memories I have of my footy career.

The following year I was no longer a junior footballer, I was playing with grown men and it was a big eye opener. I played my first Senior game against Geelong Amateurs and we got smashed. I think I managed a couple of kicks and a fair few turnovers. I have a had few seniors coaches in my time and everyone of them were different in there own way but they all had the same goal and that was getting the best out of everyone and the best for the club.

A couple of years later I was fortunate enough to do some junior coaching which I absolutely loved. We had some really talented young players who are now playing some good senior football.

In 2015 I lost my older brother Gary who was the head trainer of the club for five years. Every home game against Ammos is a game to honour Gaz. Our family hold this very close to our hearts! The support the club showed us through this hard time was unbelievable and we will be forever grateful.

As I enter my 24th year at the club I will hopefully get to pull on my #35 jumper for the 200th time. It hasn’t be the most decorated career (obviously I would love another flag) but I wouldn’t change it for anything.

Memories that will last a life time include things like the footy trips, Mad Mondays & punters trip. The club is surrounded by unbelievable people who volunteer huge amounts of time and it wouldn’t not run without them.

All the different types of characters that roll through the club are all what makes this club so great to be around.

This club has been a huge part of my life and I am looking forward to my kids one day pulling on the Barwon Heads jumper and giving time back to the club who has given me and my family so much.

Bring on a successful 2018 for the club.

Go Gulls.

Pete Swinton