Our Backyard – Anglesea

Only two more sleeps to the big game… my house has never been cleaner as I’m madly keeping myself busy trying not to over think the Grand Final on Saturday. I think it’s only fair that I share my story, as every supporter has one, of how the passion started & what makes us love one team over another. Like most people I inherited the Tigers even before I was born & this team has been a central focus of my entire family. There were very tough times as a result but overall football has been something I hold very close to my heart and I love the emotional roll coaster that comes with it.
My earliest memories being introduced to the fever was spending time hanging out at punt road in the stands whilst watching training & going to games every week as a kid. We lived in Richmond and my dad (Colin Saddington) played and coached for many years. He started the ’55 season in the thirds, was then promoted to the reserves, and made his senior debut with the Tigers in 1956. At 180cm and 89kg, he was a strongly-built player, who was primarily used in the back pocket, minding the opposition’s resting ruckmen.

He was renowned for his marking ability, once taking 16 marks in a match against Essendon, opposed to former Bomber president and AFL commission chairman, the late Ron Evans.

His last game for Richmond was the 1962 night grand final against Hawthorn, which the Tigers won.

All-up, he played 102 senior games with the Tigers from 1956-62, before moving to South Australian club Sturt, where he spent three seasons. He then returned to Victoria as coach of country club Coleraine, guiding it to the 1967 premiership and spending five seasons at the helm. This is where I came into the picture being born in Coleraine in 1969 – funnily enough a tornado hit the town the night I came into the world! Our house without a roof, my first weeks we were put up in the local pub!

In 1971, we moved to Richmond and my father took up the position as coach of the Club’s under-19s team. The following year, he took over as coach of the Tigers’ reserves and then, in 1973, he led a side containing players such as Roger Dean, David Cloke, Graham Teasdale, Robert Lamb, Stephen Taubert, Darryl Cumming, Bill Nettlefold and Francis Jackson, to the premiership. He was subsequently made a Life Member of the Club that same year. He completed his coaching stint with the Tigers after the reserves finished runners-up in 1975.

In the years after, my parent separated and essentially my beautiful mum brought up 4 kids on her own. There is no doubt the emotional struggles that a lot of players go through, having been in the spotlight had an impact on our family. Football comes with a culture and there are great times and tricky times but what I am very grateful for is the joy the journey has given me, sharing the wins and losses along the way.

I’m heading to the match with my older sister on Saturday, which will be sentimental & special. Let’s see if we can complete what has been a week of triumphs for the Tigers, goal of the year, Brownlow medallist & coach of the year…… surely holding a cup will complete this picture perfectly.

Have a great weekend, look forward to seeing you at the opens & private appointments.

Regards

Kellie Saddington
Branch Manager

 

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