Fitzroy Football Club: Great football, Great community, Great culture.

A pair of Jacks


By Guy Gorilla

The season has been a bit of a poker game, but a 'pair of Jacks' in the Men's senior side have provided some interesting contrast. And similarities too.

Jack Dalton is 30, a combative, committed forward/midfielder, with a shiny chrome top. Jack Hart is 21, a creative key position forward with hair to burn. And shape. And growth. Both Jacks are leaders: Hart in the Leadership Group this year, Acting Captain in most games. Dalton leads by words and deeds, an outstanding role model to all those around him. The pivotal team player.

Dalton is a 4th year teacher at Penders Grove in Thornbury, part of a thriving community, well respected by his peers, parents and of course, the kids love him. They frequently stir him about his hair or lack thereof. He laughs along with them. He has a relaxed approach to lockdown, helps his students with independent work, three or more contacts a day with each student. The parents are very supportive.

Daltz has played all his senior football at Fitzroy since Under 19. He has experienced many highlights, but reflects most strongly on the learnings of his early days, where players like Clark and O'Reilly took him under their respective wings. He learnt the Fitzroy social culture very quickly, togetherness being a given.

As the side's 'senior citizen' Daltz has enjoyed the transition into his role as a mentor. Ask any young player, they love him, hang on his every word. While he has found this year disappointing with its interruptions and under achievement, he is hopeful that the groundwork has been set for higher ladder positions in the years to come.

“We have a great age, height and list profile, we should be banging on the door,” says Daltz. “We can’t accept honourable losses as ok.”

Daltz feels a lot for those who live and breathe the club in our current health predicament.

Jack Hart is an apprentice carpenter with club sponsor Dimpat. He loves his work, they are a great team of blokes, supportive of his footy commitments, and an employer of three or four players. Harty is not a book reader or movie goer, except when he is dragged there, loves his surfing and like the elder statesman, has caught the golf bug.

Neither of them will be winning any pro/ams in the immediate future.

Harty started with Fitzroy Juniors at age 9. He played in some losing grand finals, but always kept things in perspective. He cites long-time Fitzroy Junior coach Robby McKenzie as a great influence throughout his footy career. Double Italian was on the timetable in Year 10 Friday mornings, but latte at the local with Robby provided more meaningful insight.

Harty had a couple of years in the Knights system, but injuries, interruptions, selection ruthlessness led to him committing to the Roys seniors in the second half of 2018. He could then get to know everyone, like the more senior Jack, whom he “adores”. (Bit of man-love there.) Together, they were able to share a premiership.

Dalton's mum Vanessa was Hart's after-school care teacher at Wales Street way back. Daltz' brother Sam took Harty for footy at primary school, so the connection was there well before their time at Brunswick Street. Hart has learnt a lot from Dalton. “He's inspiring, a teacher, doesn't take himself too seriously, knows when to switch off, everyone listens when he talks.” Like the Fitzroy elders treated Dalton in his early days, Hart is firmly planted under his wing.

Jack Hart loves the responsibility of leading, and is learning all the time. He has of course found this year frustrating. “Just when we start to go well and get on a roll, something happens, another lockdown,” he says. “This year is not a true reflection of how good we could be.”
Both Jacks are committed Fitzroy men, both have a clear vision for the club's future, want to be part of it, and want it to succeed however the cards fall. 

Having this pair of Jacks is a winning hand.

Get our Newsletter

Are you a Member?