Player Profile- Ben Taggart
25 years old
35 AFL Sydney Senior games, 62 goals
Balmain Dockers Captain
Formerly of East Fremantle (WAFL)
2011-12 AFL Sydney Representative Squad
2011 AFL Sydney Team of the Year (Half Back Flank)
1) How would you sum up this year so far for Balmain?
It’s been a successful year given we have had a big turnover of players at the end of last year and had a lot of new kids come in. It’s taken a little time to find our feet but the last eight weeks have been pretty good for us.
2) Which players have impressed you this year in your club?
We had Craig White who is our coach as well playing for us. He has had a lot of experience in the WAFL and has been very good for us. As for the younger players, Matty Round who has come up from Tasmania has been strong, as has his good mate Adrian Hill. Then Leigh Conway and Selby Lee-Steere have been very good as well.
3) What initially drew you to Balmain?
I had a mutual friend in Perth who was friends with Nic Fosdike when he was coaching with Balmain. I got told a lot of good things about Nic and it also had a bit to do with where I was living at the time- a lot of those fronts made Balmain a good choice for me.
4) How have you settled into Sydney football and how does the standard compare?
It’s always a bit of a difference with the WAFL but I reckon from last year there has been a big difference. We’re starting to draw some better quality players into the league , like Dane Rampe who has come back from the VFL and is a very, very good player. Things are on the improve.
5) How is the set-up this year with a large turnover in playing and coaching personnel?
I think it has gone pretty well- it’s a pretty hard job being a player-coach for Craig but he’s done a very good job. Garry Bull is our match-day coach and does a lot of work during the week with that setup. It took a bit of time for the boys to gel which is to be expected when there is such a large turnover of players but we are starting to hit our straps now.
6) What are your aspirations this year?
We want to win the flag- that’s what we set out to do at the start of the year. The last few weeks we have started to believe we are good enough. Playing the top few teams we were getting in close games with them and recently we’ve turned the tables and been able to win those- which has given us a bit more confidence.
7) And finally, what is your favourite football memory or achievement?
Winning the Reserves Grand Final with East Fremantle in 2008- one of my housemates in Selby Lee-Steere was playing with me in that side. It was a fond memory winning the Grand Final.