Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Michael Withers

Michael Withers
It still mystifies me that outside back Michael Withers left Balmain Tigers after the 1998 season and never returned to the National Rugby League. He was a phenomenal talent and surely his statistics after three years playing Super League in England had to catch some NRL eyes. His Super League numbers with Bradford Bulls from 1999 to 2001 was 61 games played with 47 tries. He played on in the Super League and his final season was in 2007 with Wigan. He had a great career in the Super League, yet one cannot help wondering what he might have achieved with more time in the NRL. Balmain Tigers fans were sad to see him go because we all knew he was a terrific player.   

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Rugby League Community

I've researched and interviewed people from all walks of life and across a number of sports, yet my recent experiences with rugby league have far exceeded my expectations. The enthusiasm towards my book projects from former coaches, players and administrators has been fantastic. Fans of the sport have given me plenty of encouragement, and I've received assistance from rugby league people in England and New Zealand. There is a great rugby league community out there!       

No More Baseball Interviews

During the last twenty-six years I've had a few stoppages and resumptions of interest with baseball. The 2014 Sydney Major League Baseball Opening Series was incredible. For me, it seemed like a perfect ending to over twenty years of interest in the game. My exit didn't go as planned, though, as I felt compelled to stay involved because shortly thereafter a good friend took on the role of interim chief executive officer of Baseball Australia / The Australian Baseball League. So I wrote a couple more books with an Aussie baseball theme and those latter two are probably my best from that genre. Media opportunities have come up along the way and I must admit I do enjoy interviews, but such discussions are keeping me connected closely to the sport, and I'm looking for greater distance. For many years I've had too many disappointments with baseball, and frankly, I should have moved on years ago. Knowing baseball related interviews are now behind me is helpful. I wish the sport all the very best within Australia and abroad, but my days of chatting about baseball are now in the past.

Saturday, November 3, 2018

Peter Wynn Interview

Peter Wynn Parramatta Eel
Peter Wynn's Score is a retail landmark on Church Street Parramatta, and today I interviewed him there. Playing on those phenomenal Parramatta Eels teams of the nineteen-eighties Wynn shared with me many insights about playing against the Balmain Tigers during that decade, and also playing with Balmain players on representative teams. Wynn was humble about his own achievements and praised Balmain as a good opponent on the field. He'll be quoted in one of my Balmain Tigers books. I've been buying merchandise from his shop for nearly twenty years and he's always welcoming. A big thank you to Wynn for his time today.  

Friday, November 2, 2018

Wayne Pearce Interview

Wayne Pearce Balmain Tiger
Today, I interviewed Balmain Tigers legend Wayne Pearce and we had a great chat regarding his playing era. We also discussed some history and popular culture from that time, and he provided so many terrific details. It's important to appreciate he had to balance a job, family, and rugby league during his playing career. Pearce will appear in both of my Balmain Tigers books. A massive thank you to Pearce for his time and many interesting insights. 

Monday, October 29, 2018

Joel Caine Interview

Joel Caine Balmain Tiger
Joel Caine scored 12 of Balmain's points in their 20-10 victory over Parramatta during the team's final home game at Leichhardt Oval, and last ever NRL win on August 14, 1999. It was a team effort and he made a fine contribution in the cold and rainy conditions. What a lot of people may not know is that he completed his electrician apprenticeship as an employee of Balmain Tigers. A man of many talents and it was fantastic talking about his time at Balmain.     

Danny Munk Interview

Danny Munk
Interviewing former Balmain Tigers Chief Executive Officer Danny Munk today was majorly informative for my book research. It's important to appreciate the business facets of the club, and Danny provided me with many excellent insights. We talked well over the allocated time and we could have gone on for hours. I learnt so much and I'm excited about how all the details will enrich the narrative of one of my Balmain Tigers books. A huge thank you to Danny for his time and gems of information.