FORMER football-coach-turned-boxing mentor Paul Hrabar goes Under the Auld Pump with TIM AULD.
Born: In Terang on December 18, 1975.
Wife: Emma. Children: Yes we have children.
Parents: Peter and Elaine. Siblings: Tanya, Wendy and Cindy.
Education: St Thomas Primary School Terang before going to Terang High School.
Sporting highlight: Being a keen boxing fan it would have to be meeting Anthony Mundine after he fought Danny Green in 2017 when they fought at the Adelaide Oval.
Paul, I would think meeting Anthony Mundine straight after one of his fights would be some sort of experience for a boxing fan. Is that a fair comment?
Yes. It's something I'll never forget. Firstly I was only three rows from ringside for the first which was awesome in its self and then to be in the change-rooms with about 70 other people following the fight including his minders was another incredible experience.
There's been plenty of things said about Anthony Mundine on social media over the years but one thing I witnessed was Tony stopped and was talking to an elderly woman in a wheelchair.
He stood and spoke to her for a few minutes which I thought was really good, especially after he was defeated in a controversial decision.
Paul, we'll come back to boxing shortly but you've been heavily involved in local footy over the years. Where did your footy journey begin?
I started playing junior footy out at Ecklin before playing with Terang's under 18 side.
I went to Melbourne with work for a while and my first cousin Ken Hinkley got me doing pre-season training with Williamstown before I came back to play footy with Mortlake.
Ken was the coach of Mortlake back in that era.
We missed the finals at Mortlake but I really loved my time playing with the club. I ended up going over to play at Portland as I was working as a manager of one of the supermarkets there.
My line of work saw me transferred to Ballarat where I managed a supermarket there and played footy with Sebastopol before going to Nirranda where Chris Fleming was the coach.
I then had a stint with South Warrnambool but missed out on playing in the 2011 reserves premiership team as I injured my left knee.
Darren Little took over as the coach at Russells Creek and I knew him at Terang so I went there before taking over as the coach at East Warrnambool Football Netball Club in 2016.
How did things go at East Warrnambool?
We struggled for players like so many other clubs.
From my memory we only had three players turn up for our first pre-season training run which was really alarming.
We ended up getting more players and won three games for the year.
We beat Panmure in one game which was a highlight as we hadn't beaten them in a few years.
I had a break away from the coaching after one year before coming back to give Danny Chatfield a hand.
East Warrnambool went into recess at the end of the 2019 season before it was said it disbanded last year. Did it surprise you the things that happened at East Warrnambool?
Probably not. I said we were struggling for players but lots of clubs are now struggling for players.
The problem appears to have got worse over the last few years with so many clubs battling to get players.
People appear to have more things to do than play footy now.
I would say the shortage of players is only going to get worse in the future. The ones I feel really sorry for at East are people like
Julie Scoble and other volunteers who have put in countless hours trying to keep the club going in tough times.
The likes of Julie were the backbone of the club and it's just so disappointing to see the club has disbanded.
I haven't had much time to be involved in footy over the last couple of years because of other interests.
Did you play much cricket in your younger days?
I played junior cricket with Terang before playing in the under 18 side.
I'll be honest I was not much as a cricketer. I did love playing squash.
I was fortunate to represent Terang in a few tournaments in my younger years.
I've always had a love for boxing and horse racing.
My sister Wendy married Glenn Thornton who is a horse trainer and one of my other sisters Cindy was the foreman for Graeme Rogerson when he had stables in Melbourne.
Glen and Wendy used to be based in Victoria but now train up at the Gold Coast.
I suppose my interest in horses started with the Driscoll family from Terang.
They had harness horses but after a while I started following race horses.
A horse called Dickensian which is trained by Glen and I have a share in won at the Gold Coast on Saturday so that was pretty exciting.
I've had small shares in various other horses over the time including one with Warrnambool trainer Daniel Bowman which I hope will race soon.
Paul, what line of work do you do now?
I work for Warrnambool Bus Lines. I've been with them driving buses for more than 10 years.
I started out driving on the school run for a year before taking over a run around Warrnambool.
I love my job. It's a great way of meeting people and Warrnambool Bus Lines are a fantastic company to work for.
I've got no complaints with how things are going and in my spare time I've set up a boxing gymnasium.
It's just a small gym with 10 clients.
I've based a lot of the boxing fundamentals on my boxing mentor Eric. A. Bradley.
The gym has been open for a year and it's been pretty busy.
We've got some of our boxers who are preparing to compete in the masters in Melbourne in April which is really exciting and we've got some young fighters who are showing plenty of promise and they should be competing in amateur fights later in the year.
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