Born: Melbourne on July 9, 1979.
Wife: Jade. Children: Zoe and Abbey.
Parents: Russell and Anne. Sibling: Courtney.
Education: Good Shepherd Primary School before going to St Joseph's Secondary School Geelong.
Sporting highlight: playing for Spotswood when they won the premiership in 2012.
Torin, I note that you were born in Melbourne and did your secondary school education in Geelong. Why did your family make the move between the two cities?
My dad was involved in the finance world, so we made the move to Geelong. I started my footy career playing in the juniors with St Joseph's. I worked my way through the ranks before I started playing with Werribee when I was 20 years old.
The coach at Werribee in my first year there was Alastair Clarkson. Werribee aligned with the Western Bulldogs in 2001, so Chris Bond took over as the senior coach at Werribee. I played with Werribee for three years.
Did Hawthorn premiership coach Clarkson have much impact on your footy career when he was the senior coach with Werribee?
I learnt a lot from 'Clarko'. I've always been a big fan of Clarko, in saying that, Chris Bond was also a great coach. Clarko and Chris have had a major impact on my footy career. I ended up signing up as the assistant coach of Camperdown in 2003.
Who was the senior coach at Camperdown in 2003?
Wayne Walsh was the coach. I used to travel up from Geelong to Camperdown on Thursday nights for training and play on Saturdays. We had a very good 2003 season only losing the last home and away game but then lost the second-semi final before winning the preliminary final.
Koroit was our opponent in that 2003 grand final.
It's the grand final that all local footy fans talk about but Camperdown fans want to forget. We (Camperdown) were 48 points up at half-time; things changed around in the third quarter.
Koroit's coach Jason Mifsud went up forward and instructed his teammates to keep the forward line open. Mifsud wanted the one-on-one contest up forward. He used his brute strength to turn the game around. We were still a couple of goals up at three-quarter time but Koroit had the momentum. They headed us with not long to go but we came back and hit the front again before Koroit kicked the last couple of goals to win.
Koroit had other players who were very good, including Simon O'Keefe and Ben Goodall.
Torin, you've had nearly 20 years to think about that amazing grand final loss. What would you do differently now if your side was up 48 points at half-time?
We can all be wiser in hindsight but I suppose there are a few things we could have done because footy has changed so much over the last 20 years. The main one was probably to take the speed out of the game and drop players back.
I only stayed with Camperdown for 2003 before going overseas with some old schoolmates in 2004 but I came back to play the last couple of games with Camperdown, including the elimination final which we lost.
For the 2005 season, I went and played with St Joseph's in 2005 before being appointed playing coach with Camperdown for 2006.
The year 2006 was a very tough one for me personally. The night before I was to move to Camperdown, I went and had tea with my brother-in-law and sister. I arrived at Camperdown the next day to get a phone call, which said my brother-in-law had passed away suddenly after suffering a heart attack at the age of 30.
It was a terrible time for my family. I spoke to the players at Camperdown before heading back to Melbourne to be with my sister and family.
I must admit it was that year we ended up losing the grand final to South Warrnambool. The loss was tough to take but I found I liked coaching. We had players like the Sinnotts - Aaron, Matt and Stephen - plus Darren Chesseman and Brian Hinkley, they were all good players.
Where did your footy journey go after 2006 with Camperdown?
I went back to St Joseph's in Geelong. My dad was president of the club. I spent five years there before getting involved with the Western Jets where I filled a couple of roles before taking over as the coach for six years.
An opportunity arose for me to take a development coaching role at Hawthorn in 2019. I found it great to be back working with Alastair Clarkson at the Hawks.
In 2000, COVID hit and everyone was impacted and I was stood down from my job. COVID gave me time to do some work to our Blackburn property. I was lucky enough to secure a job with the Carlton Football Club in November 2020 as the Carlton College Of Sport and Academy Coach, which is a multi-faceted role. It also includes a senior development position within Carlton's VFL program. I'm also the line coach for the Blues reserves side while also working AFL training sessions depending on when I'm available.
Torin, last Thursday night when Carlton played the Western Bulldogs, the Blues senior coach Michael Voss was on the sidelines with COVID. Ash Hansen took over the senior role for the night and you were in the coaches' box doing Ash's normal job as the forward coach. What was the experience like being front and centre when the Blues won?
It was great. We've won two from two, but we're not getting carried away. I don't think people really understand how much planning goes in behind the scenes to be ready for match day. There's a lot of work. All the coaching team at Carlton are doing great jobs. 'Vossy' is a down-to-earth bloke, who gives everyone the encouragement to do their jobs.
One of the key players at Carlton is Sam Walsh. His dad Wayne coached you at Camperdown back in 2003. It must be exciting to see how well Sam has gone with Carlton?
It has been great. I've got fond memories of seeing Wayne and Jackie's children grow up as I spent a lot of time with them when I was with Camperdown.
Sam is a true professional. He's still got the great nature he had as a child growing up.
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