TONY Obst - Bound for Sydney soon?
To most people in Sydney is the bridge over the Harbour, an incomplete opera house and hectic nights down Kings Cross. Not so with Redcliffe and Queensland fullback Tony Obst. Obst sees Sydney as a challenge to himself and his football ability... a challenge that will have to be met and overcome before his playing days are over. And if the money and conditions are right Obst will probably be playing in Sydney before too many more seasons are over.
Not that he doesn?t like Redcliffe and Brisbane. Let Obst explain the way he feels about Sydney: ?I?ve always thought about playing down there. ? I suppose most players have at some time. I know it would be pretty tough, but I would like to play down there to see how it is and how I would go.
?I would like to play down there for a year but it won?t be just yet because I still have a year to go on my contract with Redcliffe.?
Even after that Obst is not certain to look seriously at Sydney straight away. For at the age of 23 he has plenty of time, because he is tough and durable and has a tireless approach to the game. Few,if any in the game today would have as much A grade experience as Obst. For Obst is in his eighth season of first grade. He started his A grade career when he was only 15 years old back in his home town of Longreach in Western Queensland.
?I didn?t seem to fit in with the junior football,? Obst recalled this week. ?So I had a talk with my father and he suggested that I try out for the senior grade,? Obst said. After a couple of games in B grade, Obst found a permanent spot at half-back with the Longreach team in the Central West League inter-town competition. It was a tough school for a young footballer to graduate in - you had to be pretty rugged to survive. The fact that Obst not only survived but flourished in the Longreach competition only goes to prove he was above average in durability for a player of his youth.
When he first arrived in Brisbane in 1969 many League fans mistook Obst?s aggressive stance and equally aggressive play for a chip on his shoulder. But when you know he started at the age of 15 in a rough and tumble League like Longreach you realise that if he hadn?t learned to stand up for himself he certainly wouldn?t be playing League today. Today Obst doesn?t give off the same air of defiance as he did when he first joined Redcliffe, but don?t let that fool you.
You will probably remember the par in the Brisbane Beat column last week on the toughest footballer in Brisbane? Yes it was Tony Obst and the man who named him for the award was none other than another one of Brisbane?s toughest, Peter Kleinhans.
Obst packs every bit of his 13 1/2 stone and 5ft 10in. frame into everything he does on the football field. When he can?t run around someone in attack he can usually run through them and when he tackles he puts them down, no risk.
Obst joined Redcliffe as a five - eighth and centre. At one stage he even found himself in the second row. But when the club?s number one fullback, Rowan Gaylard suffered a serious leg injury, Obst was put back to replace him. At the time Obst couldn?t have had a better teacher, for the club coach was former test fullback Ken McCrohan. McCrohan still passes on tips of fullback play to Obst.Obst said ?I see Ken every week and he is always willing to answer any questions I ask him about football.?
Although he used to be a good goal kicker Obst would prefer to concentrate on attack rather than goal kicking these days. In 1968, his last year in Longreach, Obst won the top goal kicking award. But you get the idea that Obst wants to be selected on his football ability, not on how many goals he can kick.
Right now he doesn?t have any selection problems with Redcliffe, and the way he?s playing he won?t have too many problems when it comes to selecting the Queensland team. He is playing better football today than he was when he made his debut for Queensland in the last interstate match last year in which Queensland defeated New South Wales. Obst is rather unique as fullbacks go. He is not particularly fast but has a highly deceptive change of pace.
MIRACLE Man ? Two days in plaster
Redcliffe?s representative centre Steve Cherry, back in first grade for the opening round of the Winfield Cup after just eleven weeks on the sideline, had his broken arm in plaster for just two days. Dolphin coach, John Barber, revealed this week after fracturing his arm in the third-round Woolies match against Wests.
THE Redcliffe Pepsi Dolphins have been boosted for next season by re-signing several of their current Queensland Cup Squad. ?While there is still a lot of football to go in this season it?s good to get these guys signed early, We can?t afford to sit on hands we have to have an eye on the future? said Dolphins CEO James Hinchey
Queensland Residents and Dolphins Captain Shane Perry has agreed to terms for a further two years while Club Captains Troy Lindsay and Adam Starr have signed on for another year.
Also signed for next year are prolific point scoring centre Greg Bourke, One Hundred game veterans Grant Flugge and Danny Burke, Back Rower Duane O?Grady and hard working utility forward Shannon Fish.
As well as the established players the Dolphins have also signed a group of talented players from their junior ranks with an eye on the future they include Queensland 17 Representative Matt Handcock and fellow Dolphin juniors Asher Elamani, Joel Romelo, Andrew Rickert, Tim Yee, Luke Capewell, Daniel Arnold, Anthony Tonkin, David Hala, Chris Johnson as well as current Colts squad members Jon Broad and Sam Schull.
THE Round 20 bye presented a good opportunity for the Dolphins to freshen up before a tough run into the semis and despite a short sharp training run on Saturday afternoon the Club enjoyed the break.
RAPER-RAPER !! Ron?s sick of hearing the name.
Sons of famous fathers... brothers of famous big brothers... all share a strange dilemma which allows them to enjoy reflected glory, but makes at almost impossible to attain that same glory on their own.
And while people like Ron Raper are immensely proud of their name particularly the name Johnny Raper ?He?s a great footballer and a great bloke? there are times when they wonder...
?Sometimes I wish my name was Smith or Jones... anything but Raper.I get disturbed about my name.It was Ron Raper speaking this week from his home office for Pacific Land Company in Redcliffe. What would disturb a man of Raper?s experience?. Living up to the Raper name,mostly, and maybe not getting credit for your own ability on the football field. Spectators and selectors tend to keep comparing Raper with the former wizard test lock who has been the greatest Rugby League player in modern time and you can throw Reg Gasnier in that list.
So much so Raper?s football ability is not judged by normal standards, but by the standards of a super footballer. When you know this,you can understand how a bloke like Ron Raper can be disturbed by his name. But let us rush on to say that the times Raper wonders if he would not rather be a Smith or Jones are but a drop in the ocean compared to the times when he wouldn?t change his name for a million.
Naturally Johnny Raper?s fame has been the overshadowing feature in the football lives of his eight young brothers, of which Ron is the fifth. When Johnny was in Sydney Ron took every chance he could to see his big brother play... that is when he was not involved in a match himself.?I used to watch him play, particularly when I was younger and I used to try and copy him,? Ron said.?But there some things I couldn?t do.? No doubt his other brothers did the same and came to the same conclusions.
All have found,no doubt,too that is hard to be judged on your own ability if your name is Raper. Perhaps,for one of the rare times in his life Ron Raper is finally being given full credit for his football ability since he joined Redcliffe this year. He has found himself in the position of team organiser on-field and forward adviser to coach Barry Muir.And his ability to organise and lead the team on field is paying off for Redcliffe.
Tactically,Raper is one of the top on-field brains in the game in Brisbane. His raking line kicks under pressure often turn the tables on the opposition. His general play does not have the brilliance of a Johnny Raper, but in this league he is head and shoulders over most opposition.... there we go down a well worn path, comparing a Raper with THE Johnny Raper. Ron has, however the best answer to anyone who compares him with his brother with such quotes as ?You?re not as good as your brother,Raper.? Ron Raper?s simple reply is ?Yes,but who is??
At 26 years of age Raper has come to Queensland to realise a life-long ambition to play in the interstate series.So this year Raper packed his bags and moved to Redcliffe to the mutual benefit of Redcliffe,Brisbane and Ron Raper. Raper is just as happy as his new club with the partnership.
?Sydney players don?t know what they are missing, back in Sydney I used to live in Canterbury Road with it?s never-ending noise. Here at Redcliffe I?m five minutes from the water and the only noise here comes from the birds.? I?ve signed on for four years with Redcliffe and I?ll be playing out that contract if my body holds out. If it doesn?t then I?ll taking on a coaching job around here somewhere.? But I?m staying right here in Redcliffe from now on.?
Now what better sales pitch could anyone want, to recommend a place to settle down? So any of you nervous Sydney players,if you?re looking for a little peace and quiet after the rattle and battle of a big city, see Ron Raper, by the sea, at Redcliffe.
TOUGH as nails,hard as rocks,that?s BevanBleakley
THE Colts had a confidence boosting win last weekend over West?s. After trailing early in the match the Dolphins fought back to be leading 20 points to 10 before the Panthers rallied to register 2 unconverted tries for a 20-18 final score. West?s had the chance to tie the game with a conversion after the bell however the kick was unsuccessful handing the Dolphins their best win of the season. Port Macquarie recruit Brad Massey was outstanding earning himself the LEADING EDGE SPORTS Man of the Match Award, Foisa Peni and Scott Gillis were also instrumental in the victory.
THE Colts kicked off last weekends matches against Ipswich at QLD Group Oval with a solid 34-24 victory. With the Jets defeating competition front runners Burleigh in their last home fixture the game was never going to be an easy hit out and after getting out to an early lead the Dolphins were placed under some considerable pressure by the under rated Ipswich out fit.
AN untimely forfeit by Runaway Bay last weekend saw the Colts miss out on some much needed game time. Although strength and conditioner Tony Guilfoyle gave the side a torrid workout on Sunday morning nothing can compensate for the real thing particularly when the remaining rounds see the Dolphins up against improvers Hill District and competition heavyweights Wests & Norths, although on the positive side of things it gave the side a good opportunity to freshen up their legs for the run into the finals.
LAST Saturday saw the Dolphins leave Kougari Oval having secured victories over Wynnum in three Grades.