Born: Hamilton on August 28, 1972.
Wife: Shelley. Children: Georgia and Olivia.
Parents: Ron and Sharon. Sibling: Luke.
Education: Macarthur Primary School before going to Salesian College, Sunbury.
Sporting highlight: Playing in senior premiership sides with Hamilton Imperials in 1993 and 1995.
Jason, we'll talk about your premiership wins at Hamilton Imperials shortly, but firstly, I want to talk about your new job with the AFL. Can you give details about the job?
I was appointed a few weeks ago as the AFL regional manager for the Goldfields and Western District.
In everyday terms, it means I oversee the footy across nine leagues and 100 clubs from Ballarat down to Warrnambool and across to the border.
It's a big job, but I love footy. We're lucky because we've got passionate volunteers at all clubs working behind the scenes to make sure footy and netball are played each week.
The volunteer base is something we (AFL) are worried about.
I thought the biggest worry was regarding player numbers in the country leagues. The local competitions started last Saturday, and already some clubs reported a shortage of players, and there were some teams that lost games by big margins, but you're telling me the volunteer base is a bigger worry?
The volunteer base is a big concern.
There's so much red tape that volunteers have to go through now and many are deciding not to stay involved.
The AFL has identified the problem and is putting in place volunteer support officers in each district, who are there to help people out.
The volunteer problem is state-wide and needs to be fixed. It's not just a Western District problem in the Hampden Football Netball League or the Warrnambool and District Football Netball Club or the South West League; it's everywhere across the state.
I'm hopeful that the player problems will sort themselves out over the next few weeks. As you said, we've just started the season.
We've got to remember people are busier now than ever before because of work commitments and family matters and that can have an impact on player numbers.
We're hoping to have a forum with the league presidents within the next few weeks to sit down and listen to their concerns and worries about the future of local footy.
Jason, the fear word at footy clubs, is merger, and your old club Hamilton Imperials merged with Hamilton back in October 2012. What were your thoughts when the two clubs joined forces?
I must admit when the merger happened, I was disappointed.
It was a bitter pill to swallow.
There used to be so much rivalry between Hamilton and Hamilton Imperials.
They used to have great games with huge crowds but both clubs came to the understanding that the city of Hamilton could not sustain two sides.
I look back now on that decision today and it was the right decision to merge both clubs.
Do you think there are too many sides in the Hampden Football Netball League and the Warrnambool and District Football Netball League?
I would say having the 10 sides in the Hampden League is the right number but I'm not sure about how many sides in the Warrnambool and District Football Netball League.
We have East Warrnambool in recess and I would like to think later this year, we have that matter sorted out one way or another.
We must remember if East Warrnambool comes back from recess, it will put a drain on player numbers, so we'll just wait and see how that plays out.
Where did your footy career begin?
It began with Macarthur. I was 15 years old when I played my first senior game.
I can still remember playing against Bessibelle in knee-deep mud at their ground.
I also went and played for Salesian College while I was studying there.
I joined Hamilton Imperials in 1991. Kevin Quinn was the coach at Imps.
We really struggled in 1991, as there had been an exodus of players from the club from previous years.
Mick Edmonds came back to play with Hamilton Imperials in 1992 after playing with Norwood and West Torrens in Adelaide and took over as playing coach at Imps in 1993.
Mick was ahead of his time as a coach in the Western Border Football League. He changed the way Imps trained and played. He made us more competitive.
It was satisfying to win the flag in 1993 as the club hadn't won a flag since 1978.
We had some top players, including Darren Templeton, John Uebergang and David Henderson. They were tough, good players.
We had an exodus of players again in 1994 but played plenty of young blokes, including Sam Crange and Julian Brophy, and they took the next step for us in 1995, with other young players, to win the flag.
We were the underdogs in the 1995 grand final but got over the top of South Gambier.
I'll never forget the performance of Mick Edmonds in that game. He led from the front.
I stayed with the club for the next few years before going out to play for Dunkeld in 2001.
We had a really good side at Dunkeld in 2001 but we had numerous injuries during the year, which never helped our chances in the finals.
I went back to Imperials in 2002 and coached the under 18s for three seasons.
One of the under 18 players at Imperials who I coached was Hamish Waldron, who is now the senior coach at Hamilton.
I've taken a keen interest in Hamish and his career. He's been a great person for the club.
I took over as the senior coach at Imperials in 2006. Grant Ewing was my assistant.
We missed the finals before playing in the finals in 2007.
I played in the reserves premiership side with Imps in 2007 while I was the senior coach.
We made the senior grand final in 2008 but lost to Portland, who were a very good side.
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