Barry Hall Comes Home
FORMER AFL power forward, Barry Hall has confirmed he will return to Broadford, where it all began.
The man considered to be one of the best forwards of the modern era has signed with the Broadford Football Netball Club for season 2013 and looks set to give back to the club and community that set him on his way to football stardom.
“For a start I get to pay something back to the club where it all started for me.
“I never really got to just play footy with my mates as a young fella and with some of those guys returning to the club, and this realistically probably being my final year of football, that was the biggest drawcard for my return,” Hall said.
“Every player owes their junior club something. Coming back to Broadford really ticks all the boxes for me.
“Every partnership should be of benefit to both sides and if I can help bring success to the club then we are all winners.”
The appointment of long term friend, Skip Bray, to the senior coaching position at the club has played a huge part in Hall’s return and the incoming coach is confident Hall’s influence and leadership will benefit the already talented group.
“Broadford has a great group of young footballers. The age group is very similar and some on- field leadership will go a long way in providing great experience for this group,” Bray said.
“Barry and the returning past players will do this, and hopefully the club can help him achieve the ultimate success in his last year as a player and see him out with another premiership.”
Bray has set out to ensure he brings to the Roos exactly what they need to achieve success in the Riddell District Football League competition, while remaining true to the ethos of home- grown local talent.
“The club is definitely still sticking with the “local” policy. All our players are home grown and that includes Barry, and we don’t believe any other club in the competition can boast that.
“We encourage all past players to come back and have a look at what we are doing,” Bray said.
Supporting Bray as assistant coach is friend, Gavin Langbourne, fresh from a stint as assistant at VFL club Northern Bullants.
Langbourne was a champion Wallan player and winner of the 1998 Bowen Medal. He is also one of those mates Hall is eager to enjoy his remaining football days with.
These returning sons will have a major impact for the senior football club but are also eager to contribute as mentors to the junior club.
“Mentoring the younger players is a role I really enjoyed in my final years in the AFL, and one I found very rewarding.
“From my experience and the route I took, I think I could have really benefitted from a bit more guidance, because basically knowledge is power,” Hall said.
The 35-year-old enjoyed a stellar career, from its beginnings at St Kilda, to captaining the Sydney Swans to their 2005 AFL premiership, as member of the All Australian team in 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2010 and as part of the 2003-2006 International Teams, Hall is definitely the highest calibre player to join the RDFL.
In July 2011, he also created AFL history by being the only player to kick 100 goals for three different clubs.
Hall is confident his reputation will not cause him any trouble when he takes the field for the Roos in 2013
“There are a lot of former AFL players going back into the local leagues and I think it is because they are not getting targeted. It has really changed and I have enjoyed my time at clubs like Wangaratta where my opponents have been great,” Hall said.
RDFL general manager, Rod Ward described the league as “excited” about Hall’s return home to Broadford.
“This is an incredibly exciting thing for Broadford and the RDFL as a whole. We look forward to assisting Broadford in any way we can to ensure they can maximise the pulling power of some one of Barry’s stature.
“We are very happy for Broadford as they have done it tough over the last couple of years and something like this will be a huge benefit to them,” Ward said.
Panel of talent
Bray’s appointment as senior coach heads a strong list at the Roos, assisted by Langbourne, and with Andrew Donovan in the Reserves chair, and Graham Milner remaining at the helm of the Under 18s.
The group is keen to utilise Hall and his experienced team mates to ensure the development of the younger players is maintained as the major focus to continue the club’s look to the future.
“The club has always been bigger than one person. We will continue the push to promote the group under the banner of family, fun and friendship because that is what will carry the club into the future,” Bray said.
Milner coached Hall in the Broadford Juniors at Under 10s level in 1987, and recalls a talented youngster.
“He was just a natural, he ran and ran and ran all day. He won the league best and fairest, the club best and fairest, and our records show he also kicked 100 goals,” Milner said.
All players are invited to a meet the coaches night on Monday, October 29, at 6.30pm in the club rooms.
All current and new players are asked to attend and Hall will be present.