In the build up to this weekend’s NEAFL Preliminary Final between SUANFC and the UWS Giants, Jack Prato caught up with club favourite Tim Barton to discuss what playing for SUANFC means to him.
JP: Thanks for sitting down with us Barto. What’s your first memory of playing for the Students?
TB: My first game was in 2009 for the Reserves, playing under one of the best coaches I have played for, club legend David Pearson. I don’t remember much from the game but I do remember having to run water for the Blues and watching the seniors play afterwards, hoping I’d be playing in that team one day.
JP: You’ve been studying Veterinary Science at Sydney University for many years now through the Elite Athlete Scholarship Program. Are there any animals you’ve worked with in the past that resemble your SUANFC teammates?
TB: Is this a stitch up? Tom Young is like a bull. Strong and confident, but if you upset him, you better watch out. Matt Rawlinson resembles a warthog. Loves the mud and is so tough that lions leave him alone. He also has pig trotters for feet. Nick Foster seems like a boxer dog. They look scary but are one of the friendliest breeds and just want to cuddle all the time. Tom Ayton is like a squirrel. He hoards foods, especially pastries, but also has a relentless work rate. Gabe Orr comes across as a honey badger. Toughest animal on the planet and refuses to back down in any situation.
JP: Who has been the most influential SUANFC Club Member since you’ve been at the Club?
TB: This is a tough one because there are so many great choices. It’s hard to go past Mark Egan. Love the way he lead from the front and consistently performed every week. Jess McGuirk has always provided great life advice too.
JP: What would making the NEAFL Grand Final mean to you?
TB: In 2010 I had to sit out a Grand Final through injury and watched East Coast run away with the game in the last quarter. It was absolutely heartbreaking and all I’ve wanted to do since is play in and win a Grand Final. To do it this year with a team of great mates would be unreal.
JP: You’ve played in almost 150 games for the Students, do you have a memorable game or moment?
TB: The best game I have played in with the Club was Old Boys Day 2009 against UNSW. The atmosphere coming from the crowd was awesome and got us over the line in the melee at 3/4 time and the game, which we won by a goal. It was a full house in the sheds for the song.
Come and see Tim this Saturday afternoon when the Students take on the Giants for a spot in their first ever NEAFL Grand Final. A pre-game BBQ and drinks will kick off at No.1 Oval from 11.45am, before a chartered bus takes supporters to the game. Click here for more information.