Ben, you've rated the 2017 premiership win with Kolora-Noorat as your sporting highlight. Why was that win so significant for you?
It was the first premiership that I had played in.
I played with Koroit in 2016 when they won the flag.
I had played in the seniors for most of the year before I got a phone call from coach Adam Dowie on the Wednesday night before the grand final to say I was not in the side. I must admit I was pretty shattered, but I knew it could happen because Willie Drew and James Gow were available and they both deserved to be in the side.
I know I was only a fringe player. I suppose I was disappointed at not being in the side because I was born and raised in Koroit.
It would have been nice to say I was a premiership player at Koroit.
Was it hard to join in the premiership celebrations after you were dropped from the 2016 flag side?
Yeah, it was a bit difficult. I ended up being the runner for the grand final.
I thought it was better that I stayed involved in the game. It's fair to say my emotions were like a roller coaster - you want to see them win, but you know you're not part of the action, especially when the players receive their premiership medals after the game.
The Koroit Football Club embraced me after I got dropped. It's a sensational club - full of wonderful people from players to officials to volunteers to supporters.
There's a lot of similarities between Koroit and Kolora-Noorat as far as clubs are concerned.
Ben, I take it that you would have played in the junior grades of football at Koroit before playing in the seniors. Can you remember your first senior game?
Yes, it was in 2004 and I was 16 years old.
We played Cobden at Koroit. Jason Mifsud was our coach. My main memory is that it was a very close game in the last few minutes; I had a shot at goal and missed.
We got beat by a couple of points, so it finished up disappointing.
Who were some of the players that played for Koroit when you made your senior debut back in 2004?
Blokes like Damien Dobson, Peter McDonald, Chris McLaren, Shane Bell, Mark Bowman and Ben Goodall were among the players that played back in 2004.
I'm still good friends with them all, but I'm best mates with Ben Goodall.
He's a legend at the Koroit Football Netball Club.
His record in finals at the club will never be beaten.
He's got a wonderful outlook on life.
He just keeps things really simple as far as sport and life are concerned.
I chat to Chris McLaren each week.
He's a very unassuming person. He's a great role model.
He has been a big part of the success at Koroit for so many years.
He was well respected as a player and now as a coach.
I went and played with the Ballarat Swans in 2007, 2008 and 2009 before going out to play with Buninyong in 2010.
Former Richmond champion John Northey was the coach at the Ballarat Swans.
He was very motivational type of coach. I learnt a lot from playing under him.
I came back to Koroit for the 2011, 2012 before playing under Adam Dowie when he took over as coach at the Saints in 2013.
Ben, you've had a fair bit to do with Adam Dowie. What makes him such a good coach?
His coaching record is amazing.
Adam has the knack of putting great faith in his players.
He can sum up the positives and negatives in players and people pretty quickly.
He puts an enormous amount of time into researching players strengths and weakness.
He gives players individual feedback which is a great thing.
I helped him do the video stuff for a while at Koroit.
I don't think he'll mind if I say he's not the greatest with technology.
He would have someone doing all the technology stuff at North Warrnambool for him.
You took over as the assistant coach to Danny Finn at Kolora-Noorat in 2017. What was the main reason you went to the Power?
Danny is my cousin and I wanted to put my toe into the water as a coach, so I joined the Power. I cracked my rib in the first final for Kolora-Noorat against Nirranda.
I missed the second final but was back for the grand final in 2017.
Late in the grand final I got a bit crook and was sick on the ground after the win I went to the Warrnambool hospital because I was coughing up blood.
The doctors told me I had ruptured the lining on my stomach. It was pretty serious.
I stayed in hospital all night on a drip, but I got out late Sunday afternoon and went out to the premiership celebrations.
I was still not right. I never had a drink at the celebrations; matter of fact I never had a drink for a month.
Ben, this is your first year as senior coach at Kolora-Noorat. The senior side appears to be going very well, having won all their games. You would have to be very pleased with things at the stage of the season?
We're going all right, but we're not getting carried away.
Nirranda, Old Collegians and Merrivale are all good sides. Merrivale may be the one to watch.
I think they will be dangerous late in the year.
I've been very fortunate to be coaching a group of very good players at a top club.
It's amazing how much community support is at Kolora-Noorat.
There's a very strong local connection.
It struck me last year after the under 13 netballers and the under 14 and under 17 footballers won.
The social rooms were packed at the function after those wins and I understood how much footy and netball means to the community.