25 Jul Old head still in control
Every sporting club needs a balance of youthful exuberance and wise, experienced heads to achieve success. There is no coincidence that the arrival of the highly decorated veteran Adam Wiseman at the Thomson Football Club in 2018, lined up perfectly with the success the club has had since, providing that much needed astute head to balance the group. Adam commenced his extraordinary career at the Geelong Amateurs as a junior, finishing his underage years at the Geelong Falcons in 1998. Despite missing the AFL draft, the desire to continue a push to the highest level saw him travel up the highway to Werribee and try his luck in the VFL. His four years there resulted in a mix of senior and reserves games, highlighted by the first of his cupboard full of senior premiership medallions in the reserves team. He returned to the Ammos and collected a second medal, before the desire to test himself in the stronger GFL led him to South Barwon. Nine years at the Swans resulted in an astonishing six premierships from the seven grand finals he played in. As the legs started to ache a little more, Adam eased back to the BFL, joining his good mate James Garvey who was coaching Barwon Heads. Three years at the Seagulls couldn’t add to his premiership medal tally, with a Preliminary Final in 2017 the best result, but his arrival at Thomson struck immediate success, with the Tigers coming home with a withering run to snatch an unlikely premiership from Inverleigh. Despite last week’s hiccup at Werribee, the Tigers are still raging favourites to present Adam with his tenth premiership medallion in an amazing 21 year senior career. His sound body, good general fitness levels and an insatiable desire to compete, would suggest the end is still not in sight. Adam made a failed attempt to put some extra weight on in the gym in his early senior years, finding that the loss of running power that followed was having a negative effect on his game. He returned to a more basic fitness regime and has blossomed into a quality, versatile defender ever since. His great skill is reading the play and having the confidence to peel of his immediate opponent to win the ball. He is somewhat offended by the suggestion that he shows disrespect for his opposition, suggesting they are welcome to any easy possession that comes their way. Most of them would confirm that there is little on offer. While his premiership success would sit well personally, it’s the company he has kept on his football journey that provides a mouth watering list of talent to an outside observer. His coaches at Werribee have all moved deeply into the AFL system, with Alistair Clarkson heading up the impressive list that also contains Simon Atkins, Donald McDonald and Shane Bond. His time at South Barwon allowed him to rub shoulders with Dale Amos, Matthew Scarlett and the Corrigan brothers, Paul and Mark, who are all current AFL assistant coaches. Warwick Knuckey, Mitch Herbison, Clinton Wells and James Garvey are all premiership teammates who have gone on to coach locally, but the jewel in his crown is the success in his own coaching career, mentoring the 2010 GFL Under 18 premiership team that included current AFL players, Tom Stewart and Darcy Fort. He rates Stewart in particular as a ridiculous talent and none of the accolades coming his way surprise Adam. As soon as his early casual attitude was redirected into hard work, the rewards naturally flowed. We salute this wonderful career that shows no sign of finishing soon and we hope the GDFL crowds get to see plenty more of Adam Wiseman.