Grassroots Spotlight: Rowan Fisher and Angus Swift

Grassroots Spotlight aims to highlight the contributions of individuals within the NSFA community. This week we spoke to promising young KDFRA referee Rowan Fisher and North Turramurra coach Angus Swift.

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Rowan Fisher

How did you first get involved in football as a sport?

I started playing when I was 5 years old with friends and it was fun so I continued to play for various clubs and 10 years later I still love to play and referee.

How long have you been involved in refereeing?

This will be my second year as a KDFRA referee and first year as a FNSW referee.

What motivated you to try refereeing and what do you enjoy most about being a referee?

My dad started refereeing and I took interest in it and decided to apply to referee once I was old enough (14). The thing I enjoy most about refereeing is being able to watch high level games with skilful and as a bonus, get paid at the same time.

Would you recommend refereeing to other young players in the game?

Of course, it’s a great way to keep active and fit and it can also help them understand the game a lot more clearly and see a completely different aspect of the game. I would highly recommend signing up to referee, especially for young players aged 14-18.

Do you have a favourite club/player? Who/why?

Chelsea and Real Madrid. Favourite player would be Eden Hazard from Chelsea because I really enjoy his style of play and he’s a great player to watch.

What is your best football memory?

My best football memory would probably be when I was given the opportunity to be Assistant Referee for the First Grade Knox vs Barker game. Not only was there a crowd of more than 1500 but the centre referee was Stephen Lucas, a well-known A-League referee. The right wing from Barker also played for Western Sydney Wanderers reserve grade, himself and many other players were great to watch first hand and I was closer than anyone else. It was such a great experience and I enjoyed every second of it and won’t forget it.

Angus Swift

How did you first get involved in football as a sport?

I began playing football at the age of 5. I guess it was just always the sport that interested me the most when I was younger – I played plenty of others, but football was the one that stuck. I was always interested in both playing and watching it.

How long have you been involved in coaching?

I have been involved with coaching for about 5 years now. When I was in my teenage years at high school and looking for work, it seemed like a no-brainer to incorporate my working life with my passion – football. I started out coaching under 8’s with St Ives, and then u13’s at North Turramurra. This year I’m coaching the u14’s and the Men’s All-Age at North Turramurra.

What motivated you to try coaching and what do you enjoy most about it?

On top of looking to combine work with football, my biggest motivator to get involved with coaching was to help teach others how to play it, and how to enjoy it. The first team I coached was under 8’s, so they were very much in the early stages of their involvement with football. Helping them to learn the basics and to learn how to love playing football was a rewarding experience. Going forward this has what has motivated me to keep going. Last year I took up coaching the u13s at my club, and it was an awesome season. Watching the players improve throughout the season is awesome and building that relationship with them makes the experience a whole lot more enjoyable. Ultimately, coaching provides a platform for you to build relationships with the players and to help them improve. On top of this, the more you coach, the more opportunity you have to grow and improve on a personal level as a coach. Another aspect of what makes coaching so enjoyable is definitely that sense of gratification you feel when you know you’ve done a good job.

Would you recommend coaching to others in the game?

I would definitely recommend coaching to others in the game. It may not be for everyone, but for those who are passionate about football and want to get involved with the game as much as they can, coaching is a fantastic way to do that. It’s a rewarding experience and allows people to incorporate their passion into their working life, which is something that can be hard to find.

Do you have a favourite club/player? Who/why?

I am and always have been a massive Manchester United fan. United is a huge club and have had lots of success down the years. I remember as a youngster watching Cristiano Ronaldo play for them, and he and the club were one of the factors that helped me fall in love with football. Nowadays, obviously with Ronaldo not being there, my two favourite players aren’t the biggest names – Ander Herrera and Antonio Valencia. Herrera, despite not playing all the time, shows so much passion for the club, as does Valencia. They are both players who always put in more than 100%, and at the end of the day that’s all you can really ask for from a player, no matter what level of the game they are playing at. Plus, Valencia plays the same position that I do (right back) and has scored some cracking goals this season!

What is your best football memory?

My best football memory is a tough one. There’s definitely a few… winning gala day one year was awesome for example. Recently, my mixed futsal team won champions of champions at Valentine Sports Park, which was also a great feeling. But winning the MAA division 5 grand final in 2015 with my club North Turramurra probably stands out – it wasn’t the highest division, but what made it stand out was that it was such a great bunch of lads that I played with and an awesome team culture. I hadn’t met a lot of them at the start of the season, and by the end we were all good mates. During that year I was doing my HSC, and football was always a way to take my mind off the stress from other parts of my life, so winning the grand final was the icing on the cake!

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