When the first bounce of any AFL season occurs, excitement reverberates all over the nation, but the Blue Lake Golf Club kicked off the new year in style by hosting three of the sport’s most recognisable names last Thursday
Footy legends Dane Swan, Warwick Capper and Ricky Nixon all shared stories during a special night at the golf club and even took the time to inspire the next generation at the grass roots level.
Just before the sportsman’s night went into full swing at Blue Lake, Kongorong completed an unforgettable training session nearby and were joined by some special company.
Halfway through the session, all three stars dropped by to share some words of wisdom to the Hawks’ playing group.
Swan was perhaps the most recognisable face for many of the youngsters having starred for Collingwood across 258 games from 2002-16.
When speaking to The SE Voice and the team, the 2011 Brownlow Medallist shared an insight into how the Magpies mentally went about winning the 2010 AFL premiership after not one, but two grand finals.
“It has been a tough 18 months, so it is nice to see community sport back and put a smile on a few people’s faces,” Swan said.
“There were a lot of factors and everything had to go right (to win the 2010 premiership).
“We were a young side with a lot of talent and prepared really well.
“We believed in each other and played for each other which helped us win the flag.”
Swan also encouraged the Kongorong players to find the best preparation method that works for them having preferred to relax before stepping onto the AFL field and focusing more on fitness than his skills.
The larger-than-life Capper was in fine form as always entertaining the group with his unique and flamboyant personality.
The 57-year-old still fashions the bright blonde hair from his playing days when he became the VFL’s highest paid player and a Sydney Swans superstar.
Capper kicked over 100 goals in 1987, but was more famous for his high-flying hangers.
The iconic Sydney and Brisbane player shared his marking secrets when he spoke with The SE Voice.
“I used to do a lot of trampolining when I was younger and I was also good at diving,” he said.
“Those two things plus practicing my timing in the park two nights a week and the rest is history.
“They still say Warwick Capper 30 years later.”
But event organiser Bill Burley said Nixon was the man who left the audience at the Blue Lake Bar and Bistro captivated.
He said the former Carlton, St Kilda and Hawthorn player and ground-breaking sports agent opened up on some dark times.
“Ricky Nixon certainly had the room speechless and emotional with a very heartfelt story about his battles,” Burley said.
“The biggest up and coming star in the media world he had was Clinton Grybas, but when he died at 32 that is what started the decline of Ricky with his issues and
“But over the night all three were quite happy to sign autographs and take photos which was great.”