Get to know the new Reserves coach, Craig Smith
Name: Craig Smith
Nickname/s: Smithy, Humphrey, The Smythe, Kerna, Barrington! I pretty much answer to anything.
Significant Others: Fiancee Holly and our six kids. Naomi, Caitlin, Jacinta, Lainey, Ben & daughter Holly!
Football Career: I started juniors at Carrum Lions, Daylston in the Bass Valley League then Rosebud. My senior career started at Rosebud where I played in back to back reserves flags in the mid 80s. I left Rosebud for Dromana in the late 80s through to the early 90s as there was more of an opportunity to play senior football there. After a couple of years I was given the privilege to co-captain the club under coach John Joyce. I won two B&Fs at Rosebud and a senior goalkicking award at Dromana. I also played in a losing grand final and made other finals appearances at Dromana. My career was cut short due to multiple knee operations and a full reconstruction. After the reco I had ten years out of the game from age 25 to 35. In those ten years I achieve my black belt in karate, represented Victoria at Nationals and won a host of titles including ACT Black Belt Open Champion and an All Styles Australian Title in 1993. Martial arts was a good outlet but my love was still with football so I made a comeback in my mid 30s for Dromana reserves. I eventually captain coached Dromana reserves from 2002-2004 collecting multiple club goal kicker awards and a reserves league goal kicking award in 2003. This was the year I coached the boys to the club’s first finals appearance in 15 years. I left Dromana in 2005 at 40 years of age to try to live the fairytale of finishing my career by winning another premiership with Rosebud. Nightmare decision…..another knee operation saw me miss out on a flag and retirement was welcomed!
Personal Hobbies: Punting thoroughbreds, riding my Harley, watching all sports, any activity that can be done inebriated and pant less (hence the nickname Humphrey), enjoying a quiet beer with anyone
Funniest Footballing Story: I’ve got a few but I’m tipping this may be read by some of the fairer sex so I’ll go with a clean one! I once played in a side that was so good the ball rarely got into our backline. Approximately six weeks into the season, the backs were so bored they joked about things they could do to occupy themselves while the game was being played in the forward half. Most of the boys were horrified at the thought of taking their focus off the game except for a half back flanker and a back pocket. These two blokes were as thick as thieves, always lined up on the same side of the ground and during the game would have the most animated long lasting debates about any topic they could come up with. This went on for weeks until we neared the end of the season. They must have run out of things to say as this one day saw them both sitting cross legged in the back pocket near the point post just facing each other. A rarity happened, the ball was won out of the centre by the opposition and kicked towards their goal. Our two blokes never moved and the opposition scored easily. When asked by the coach what the hell they were up to, they sheepishly replied that they “got distracted”. One of the boys had tucked a pack of cards in his socks and they were half way through an important hand of 500!
Favourite Raider: Any bloke at training that says I better kick it to the coach!
Favourite Food: Pizza
Favourite Drink: Ouzo! But Holly doesn’t let me drink it so XXXX Gold is my favoured poison
Favourite Football Saying: If at first you don’t succeed….try doing what your COACH told you to do the first time!
Footballing Philosophy: Recognising your team’s weaknesses and coaching to your team’s strengths. Creating a culture and a willingness amongst the group to genuinely want to play for the guys around you. Coming together is just the beginning, staying together is the path to progress, working together is the key to success.