Great work ethic, genuine, trustworthy and the ultimate club-man. All of these and many more have been used to describe Tim Barton, a highly respected member of the Sydney University Australian National Football Club.
The 27 year old from the Western Suburbs of Sydney is set to play is 100th NEAFL game this weekend, all of these in Sydney University colours. Similar to Tom Ayton, who also reached this huge milestone last week, Barton has performed many roles across the club and has been crucial in the development of the Sydney University NEAFL program.
Not only has he played an influential role and achieved excellence on the field, he is also an exceptional leader. Barton is the current SUANFC NEAFL vice-captain and has previously captained the side. He has been selected in five NEAFL representative sides and was named best on ground in the 2015 rep game. He was also named as the NEAFL representative vice-captain this year.
The 193cm centre half back is a three time recipient (2011, 2013 and 2014) of the SUANFC Driscoll Medal, awarded to SUANFC NEAFL side’s best & fairest player. He has been named in the NEAFL team of the year on multiple occasions and is a Sydney University Blue Recipient. Barton was also a member of the initial GWS squad and played a couple of NAB Cup matches for the Giants in 2011. He has achieved all of this while studying and now practicing veterinary science, which is a feat in itself.
Barton’s team-mate Tim Barrett found it difficult to describe Barton and everything he has done for the club in just a few words. “Tim Barton can be defined as the ultimate clubman who does everything he can for the club on and off the field. He will go down in history as one of the greatest ever to pull on the jumper for SUANFC, in my opinion,” Barrett said.
“Tim’s involvement in the club can’t be summed up in one or two sentences, as his attitude and application towards the playing group have been significant in the club’s transition into a well-developed football program.”
“While he will be the first to tell you about his trademark spoil or his run and bounce off the halfback line running into goals, Tim always has put the team first in every occasion at the club. Tim has been one of my best mates at the club and it’s been an absolute honour to play alongside him.
Congratulations on your 100th NEAFL game Tim, I couldn’t be happier for you.”
Another long term teammate and fellow leader, team captain Lewis Stevenson, could only fault Barton on one thing.”Whilst Barto is a current player at Sydney University, he will already go down as one of the greats of this football club. He epitomises what we all strive to be as players and people and he should be so proud of what he has achieved. The only category I can fault him in is his fashion sense,” Stevenson said.
Sydney Uni NEAFL head coach and former teammate, Tom Morrison, reinforced the quality character Barton exemplifies, highlighting his selfless and loyal nature. “Barto embodies everything that we stand for as a Club and a NEAFL program. He has a great work ethic, is unquestionably trustworthy, has empathy, a great sense of humour and is always a Team First person. He is always first to help out with the menial tasks that make a group of athletes a team – helping blokes move house, transporting gear to and from trainings, having the team out to his family home for a meals after games, he even freezes ice-cream tubs of water and brings them to our pre-season trainings when the boys are belting out 3 hour sessions in the heat and humidity.”
“He has even put his full time employment opportunities as a Vet on hold so that he can continue to play NEAFL with his mates. Although he doesn’t like being acknowledged for these efforts, he doesn’t do it for that – he does it because he genuinely cares for people and loves his team mates. He desperately wants to win a flag with this group and will do anything to achieve that.”
“Barto is a genuinely great friend and team mate. He will be one of the greats of this club when his career is all said and done, to be honest he already is but you just wouldn’t know it because it’s never about Tim Barton, it’s about the Team,” Morrison added.
As expected, Barton was extremely humble when asked about his experience at SUANFC. “My time at Sydney Uni has been an absolute privilege and I have made many lifelong friends. I love how SUANFC attracts the best people from all walks of life. Each week I have the fortune of playing the sport I love with my best mates,” Barton said.
“I am immensely proud to play and represent such an inclusive club”
Barton will take the field for his 100th NEAFL game when his team comes up against the Canberra Demons in Round 15. The match will be played at Blacktown International Sportspark on the 8th July at 2pm.