Getting to know Jeremy Freeman
By Daniel Kovacevic
In the past few seasons several players have slotted straight into senior contention following strong showings in the Whitefriars Old Collegians Football Club under nineteen team. The man at the helm from the 2013 season is Jeremy Freeman, who last year coached the club’s third senior team. Jeremy’s work last year was of a great calibre and held in high regard by everyone at the club – his ability to personalise his feedback carrying a lot of admiration amongst his players.
Jeremy has been on the track with his players throughout these early stages of preseason, setting the pace for his young athletes. As fit as he is, Jeremy is not too shy to disclose his long history with the sport.
“I’ve been playing this game since I was the age of seven. I played for Chadstone back in the day. I still remember wearing football boots that came up past my ankles and had Alex Jesaulenko written on them. The bottom of my boots were wooden – the stops on them had to be nailed in; I still remember the day, at the age of eight, having one of those nails going through my boot and scraping my feet. That’s how old I am.”
The club has put in the hard yards to retain Jeremy, and his wealth of knowledge and experience will be prove invaluable to the under nineteen team this season.
“I’ve been in footy for a long, long time. I’ve been involved in ammo football since 1990, up with St Kevin’s Old Boys, and 22 years later I’m still involved in ammos footy. I think it’s the best type of football in Victoria, if not Australia. It’s the cleanest football; it’s the best football; it’s the best football for young men.”
A familiar story, Jeremy admits he was initially hesitant to take on the role of coach yet has enjoyed every minute so far.
“I’m a teacher here at Whitefriars, and Chuggas (Peter Ciardulli) has asked me to come along. I was trying to retire gracefully, and graciously, but I couldn’t do it and ended up playing thirds footy, which I enjoyed more than I thought I would. The lure of an under nineteens team was too much for me, and I’ve decided to take on the coaching role.
“I’ve got some good kids at this school, Whitefriars. I’m very proud to be associated with it. I reckon [the] kids here are terrific. I was gently persuaded by a young fellow called Bryan Dinh, who’s a very, very good man; he sort of convinced me [to stay on]. The people power has got this team over the line; I’m very enthusiastic to be involved with it.”
With his time in football Jeremy understands that ability and commitment are important aspects of any football club, but he is very keen to focus on culture and atmosphere. He really wants to encourage everyone at the club to invite friends, families and partners to matches and social events, and believes the under nineteen team can begin to set that example.
“I‘m very keen to make this football club family friendly. I think this under nineteen team is going to build a bridge to the families. I firmly believe that football clubs are built around families being involved in them. Once you get that the club gets stronger.”