Gisborne v Golden Square
Jeff Gieschen! What are you doing here!
Well, I’ve adopted Gisborne as my closest-to-Melbourne country team.
Why do you have a country team?
I just love country footy. My first loves in country footy are Maffra and Wodonga, but they’re three hours away and it’d be impossible to get to either of them regularly. Gisborne’s only 50 minutes away.
What’s your connection?
A few years ago I had a strong interest in coaching here but at the last minute I decided not to do it because of work and travel commitments and so on. But from then on I made a commitment to help the club and support it when I can. I’ve become good friends with Rod Sharp, the coach, and Col Rodgers, the president.
What do you like about the club?
The Bendigo league is a powerful league. I admire Gisborne’s … it’s almost courage … to resist going out and spending a lot of money for short-term gain. I love what the clubs stand for. They’re very community-minded and they’re committed to giving their young footballers and netballers every chance of becoming senior players. There is great loyalty and respect in the group.
Do you provide coaching advice?
I did last year. It was Rod’s first foray into coaching. But this year Rod is standing on his own two feet, and I can’t get there every week because I like to watch my two sons play. Nick plays at Old Ivanhoe and Rhy plays up at Thorpdale in Gippsland.
So how often would you see Gisborne play? Three or four times a year?
No, I’d say six or seven. And I see my sons six or seven times as well.
Have you got a favourite player at Gisborne?
I like them all, but Tom Waters plays pretty much a lone hand in the ruck. He’s got a lion heart, he gives everything every week. But they’re all great guys and they all give everything for their club.
What are you doing for a crust now?
Bits and pieces. Some consultancy work. Helping out a few people when I can.
Do you go to AFL games?
I do, when time permits. I love the AFL. I love the ferocious competitiveness of it. But I don’t like it when are all the players are within a 50-metre radius of the ball. It’s only when the game breaks open that we see the outstanding skill of the players.
You’ve watched a lot of AFL footy. Is it satisfying watching country footy?
I love watching country footy. They line up in their positions and most of the time they hold their positions. If someone lines up on a half-back flank, you know he’s going to play there.