Michael, you're in your first season as senior coach at Dennington. The side has not won a game; I was wondering how morale is at the club?
Considering everything, it's not too bad.
We knew before the season started that it was going to be a tough year.
We've lost a strong nucleus of players over the last three years, and that playing experience is awfully hard to replace in any club.
I think we've had more than 60 players have line up in the firsts and reserves since the start of the year.
We've blooded a lot of young players.
We had more than 10 players on Saturday who were under 20.
Football is not a priority for young people now.
The culture of young people has really changed - just a few weeks ago we had six players who went to a music festival at Bendigo and missed out on playing footy. We chased around trying to get players.
I would say that would not have happened say five years ago, and it sure wouldn't have happened 10 years ago.
It's just a sign of the times in a changing world.
We've found that mates recruit mates to the footy clubs.
I would say one of the things which has not helped player numbers has been the changing of the underage brackets. There has been continual change over the last four years.
I think the leagues should set the age brackets of say under 14, under 16 and under 18 and just stick with it, instead of continually changing them.
Did you put your hand up for the senior coaching job at Dennington?
I was involved with some parts of the selection process for selecting the senior coach for this year.
We spoke to 25 people who we thought may make a good coach, but only four showed any consideration.
In the end, we needed to appoint someone as some players were thinking of leaving the club.
I've been at the club since 2002 and held some coaching roles, so I ended up saying I would do the job.
Are you going to coach Dennington's senior side in 2020?
I'll sit down and have a chat with the club at the end of the year.
In an ideal world, it would be great if we could attract a gun Hampden League player to take over for next season, but we'll just wait and see what happens we've got to concentrate on what is left in this season.
Dennington has been renowned for playing hard, tough footy. Where does that stem from?
I would say it goes back to blokes like Boofa Lewis.
He led from the front when he played back in his era and then his children, Darcy and Sam, followed in his footsteps.
Darcy and Sam are playing up at Lake Bolac.
The club is hoping they will come back in some sort of role in the future.
Michael, have you been happy with your own form this season?
It's been all right without being flash.
We play Allansford this week and I will not be playing.
I cracked a rib and got badly bruised against East Warrnambool last Saturday when I collided with a teammate.
I've been pretty crook for the last few days, but I'm getting better.
Where did your footy career begin?
I played school footy at St Pats in Port Fairy before playing in the under 13s at Port Fairy. Maurice Kelly was the coach.
I played a year in the under 18s at the Seagulls before transferring over to Dennington.
The reason I went to Dennington was my two elder brothers Wayne and Mark played there.
I was fortunate to have played a couple of games in the same side as Wayne and Mark.
I haven't had a good run playing in finals with Dennington.
I've played in four losing preliminary final sides and four losing grand final sides, and I missed another grand final because I had injured my knee.
Have you had many injuries during your footy career?
The main problem I've had is with my knees.
I missed the 2018 season when I injured my right knee at preseason training.
I tore the ligaments and could not get operated on until May.
It took a while to get over that problem.
But I've also had a couple of operations on my left knee.
Michael, away from the football, I note that you must have played a bit of basketball. How did your basketball career come about?
I played in a junior competition at the stadium in Port Fairy on Friday nights before going on to play with the Seahawks.
I used to do preseason training with the Seahawks on Tuesdays and Thursdays and do footy preseason training on Mondays and Wednesdays when I was young.
I was pretty fit back then, and for a couple of seasons I played footy with Dennington on a Saturday afternoon before going over to play basketball with the Seahawks on a Saturday night.
Travelling with the basketball was the biggest bugbear for me.
We could be playing in Melbourne or at places like Bendigo or Shepparton.
I often think back now, I don't know how I fitted everything in.
I also played a bit of cricket when I was younger.
I played in the mini-colts with Port Fairy and then the colts at Killarney before playing with Dennington.
I suppose the main memory I have of my cricket career at Dennington relates back to our division 2 side making the grand final.
I missed the grand final because I had to go to my brother Mark's wedding.
The side won, but I missed out on the victory.