Matthew, I note you were born in Warrnambool but were educated in Ballarat. Can I ask the reason for the change in towns for your education?
My parents had separated and I moved to Ballarat with my mum Sue when I was growing up. I enjoyed growing up in Ballarat but spent a lot of time in Warrnambool.
I started playing junior footy with Golden Point as a nine-year-old and worked my way through the different grades of footy. I was 20 years old when I made the decision to move back to Warrnambool to live.
Matthew, when you made the move back to Warrnambool as a 20-year-old, who did you play football with?
That's a funny story. I had full intentions of going out to play with Deakin University for the 1993 season as I knew a few blokes out there but I had started working at Captain Snooze as a salesman.
I'll never forget I had sold a bed to Leon 'Coey' McCluskey and his wife Faye late one Friday night as there was Friday night shopping and we started talking about footy. Coey informed me that he was connected with Northern Districts Football Club. He purchased the bed and I was to deliver it to his house on the Saturday morning with my boss at Captain Snooze - Pat Green. We arrived at his house and Faye was lovely but she said I had to wait for payment from Coey. Pat and I waited there for about 10 minutes. It was highly embarrassing for me as I had only been working at Captain Snooze for a short time and I could see Pat was getting worried about the payment.
The next minute a car came up the drive and out jumped Coey plus Lindsay Cottee, Mick McKinnon and Jimmy Bligh. Little was I to know Coey was one of the back-room powerbrokers at Northern Districts and Mick was captain-coach, Lindsay was assistant coach plus selector and Jimmy was president. Coey said he wasn't going to pay for the bed until I signed on the dotted line for Northern Districts. I'm sure Coey was only joking but I signed on the dotted line, we got paid for the bed and I went on to be a premiership player with Northern Districts in 1994 - so it all worked out good.
Can you remember much about the celebrations after winning the flag in 1994?
The only memory I have of the celebrations is they were long and hard. I would say one of the best things about winning the flag with Northern Districts was watching the expressions on the faces of its supporters after we defeated East Warrnambool to win flag. A lot of their fans were farmers and they were very emotional.
Matthew, how did it come around that you played for South Rovers?
South Rovers had asked me to be captain-coach in 1997 but Lindsay Cottee convinced me to stay at Northern Districts - as they had only entered the Hampden Football League - for a couple of seasons before joining with South Rovers in 1999. Tim Rantall was the coach at Rovers. I respected Tim and I knew a few of the players through my days playing cricket - so it was a good fit. We defeated Timboon to win the 2007 flag which was a great result.
The history books show Matthew Wood played senior footy with South Rovers as a 50-year-old last season. Is there any chance that you'll play in 2023?
From where I'm looking there's no hope I'll be playing this season. I played one senior game last season because we had a player out with COVID and our reserves side had to forfeit. I had told coach Adam Matheson I was right to play in the seniors after I had played numerous games in the reserves. I was quite happy at the end of the game that I got a couple of touches and we had a full team on the ground. I'll be having limited involvement with the club now as it'll allow some fresh young blood to jump on board at South Rovers.
I've been giving Paul Hyland who does a wonderful job as secretary a bit of a hand but it'll be limited time I'll be at the club.
Matthew, I take it your job as a partner at Harris Wood Real Estate with Danny Harris would take up a fair bit of your time. Is that a fair comment?
Yes. We've been very busy. Danny and I started Harris Wood Real Estate in 2014. We've got 10 staff plus Danny and I on the books.
We moved to new premises in Koroit Street 18 months ago and the move has been very beneficial to us. I've been selling real estate in Warrnambool for 24 years and the market is the most buoyant it's ever been. It's come back a bit over the last few months but it's a lot stronger than it was before COVID. The current prices for commercial premises and houses are still very good. We're very lucky to live in a great part of the world in the south-west part of the state and in particular Warrnambool.
Over the last two years you've been heavily involved with the sale of land and houses in two big Warrnambool developments, namely Logan's Beach Coastal Village and Hopkins Heights. What can you tell me about the developments?
Our business has been very fortunate that the developers have seen fit to see us sell the subdivisions. Logan's Beach Coastal Village and Hopkins Heights have been wonderful additions to Warrnambool. They both offer wonderful lifestyles in community type villages. Both projects offer some magnificent views back over Warrnambool, the ocean and river. They take living in Warrnambool to the next level.
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can access our trusted content:
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.