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10 years only the beginning for club champion

08-Mar-2021

Heading into the 2021 season, and with ten fabulous years under his belt, Jack Dalton is looking fitter and stronger than ever. RedRoy looks back on what his performance – on and off the field – has meant to the coaches, teammates and supporters who’ve followed his journey to life membership.

 

 

By Gabrielle Murphy

At Sunday’s Annual General Meeting, Jack Dalton – along with coach Trent Coleman – was awarded life membership of the Fitzroy Football Club. This prestigious award recognises the loyal service Jack has given for over 10 long years.

Throughout those seasons the lively midfielder and opportunistic forward pocket has delighted fans with his dash and courage and, in the process, netted a more-than-handy bag of 146 goals.

Having played 165 games – 149 in seniors – that’s almost a goal a game.

It includes one premiership as a senior footballer in 2018 and one as an under 19 in 2010. A pretty impressive, admirably consistent achievement we’re sure you’d agree.

In accepting life membership, Daltz explained that of the lessons he’s learned over those ten seasons, probably the most important has been the value of humility.


Jack Dalton is looking forward to another stellar season in 2021. Photo: Phyllis Quealy.

And in acknowledging the coaches he’s played under – including U19 premiership coach Tim Bell, senior coaches Michael Pickering and Nick Mitchell, and now Luke Mahoney – you’d also agree that Jack’s learned that lesson well.

“I'm not the smartest bloke going around, not the smartest teacher or academic,” Jack says, “but I hope I've been able to pass on to my students what I've learnt from these great mentors.

“When you've been playing footy for a while, your outlook changes.

“You develop a less selfish perspective, like getting to know and appreciating the people who come to watch you every week. You learn to value the relationships you form with them, and the friendships you make along the way with your teammates.

“These things come as a result of the great culture we have at Fitzroy,” said Jack, “and what makes it so special. That, and the long history we have at the club.”

Jack also admits to facing a few hurdles over the years – and credits footy with helping him overcome them. But also, concedes that these challenges sometimes got in the way of fronting up and making footy a priority.

For Jack, the support and encouragement of his partner Laura Richardson has really helped motivate him to strive for peak fitness late in his career, so that after 10 years he’s actually feeling better and fitter than he ever has.

Senior coach Luke Mahoney can certainly attest to this and thinks that probably the best thing about coaching Daltz has been watching his personal growth over the last few years and seeing it coming out in his footy.

“Daltz is a very smart footballer,” says Mahns. “And very underrated. “He knows what he's going to do on the footy field, and he nails it.”

“He exemplifies the importance of having our experienced senior players in the ranks as role models to the younger members of the team.

“When Daltz has something to offer to the younger players he’s generous in doing so. And when he speaks, they listen.”

Come Saturday April 10 Daltz will be lining up for his 166th game of senior footy for Fitzroy against Uni Blacks.

We all look forward to him running out on to BSO, a ground Daltz describes as the envy of the VAFA.

You never know…perhaps that’ll be the day we celebrate the 150th goal of one of our most respected players at Fitzroy.

Go Dalts. Go Roys.

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