By Matt Fotia
Dynamic Doveton forward Tristan Fernandez-Phillips says that the experience and knowledge ex Western Bulldog champion Matthew Boyd brings to the Doveton squad is invaluable.
Fernandez-Phillips, who kicked one goal and played a vital role in Doveton’s 14 point win over Officer, says that Boyd has made sure not to override the Doveton coaching staff, despite his extensive understanding of the game, but when he does decide to speak everyone is sure to listen.
“Matty’s been massive, every time he has something to say everyone really tunes in and makes sure that they are ready to take on his knowledge,”
“Sometimes in games he’ll just bring together all the younger guys and tell us what to do, at three quarter time (against Officer) he made sure we all took note of the scoreboard, told us we could take our time and not to just burn the ball rushing to play on.”
Fernandez-Phillips also says that whilst all of the Doveton players have an immense amount of respect for the three time All-Australian, they don’t treat him any differently than they would any other player.
“It’s a massive thrill to play with someone you have a tremendous amount of respect for as a person and a player,”
“I’m getting used to it now (playing with Boyd), he’s not treated as a god or an outsider, he’s just another one of the boys.”
Boyd isn’t the only experienced player on the Doveton list, with captain Matthew Stapleton and president Aaron Henwood also playing a vital role in guiding the younger brigade.
“Stapo (Stapleton) is a great captain – he always knows the right thing to say and keeps all of us in a positive mindset at all times,”
“Aaron is never too serious, he’s a great bloke,”
“When I first came down to the club to meet the president I was expecting someone in slacks and a nice club polo, but instead I was met with Aaron who was just cracking jokes,”
“He’s a great club person, who just wants the best for everyone.”
Doveton are sitting third on the Division One ladder with five wins and three losses. They take on Warburton Millgrove at home this weekend.