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The best bits: Wanganeen

Wanganeen: I'm a very passionate Port Adelaide person - PTV Gaving Wanganeen from today's presser

PORT ADELAIDE great Gavin Wanganeen held a press conference on Friday afternoon after the news that he had been elected by members to the Port Adelaide Football Club’s board of directors.

In doing so, Wanganeen becomes the first former Aboriginal player to be elected to the board of an AFL club, joining his historic feats of being the first Indigenous Brownlow Medallist and the first Indigenous player to play 300 AFL games.

During his press conference, he spoke about how he feels about being elected, why he nominated for the role and his ambitions during his tenure.

Here are the best bits:

Gavin Wanganeen on why he nominated for the board:

“In the blinking of an eye, your footy career goes so fast and now that I’m out of the game… I’ve watched the club as a fan. As a past player who has experienced success on the biggest stage, and winning premierships, that’s an inner deeper passion of mine and I thought it was time to seriously think about nominating for the board and going into an environment where I was able to make a significant contribution to my club going forward. It just felt right for me and I’m really looking forward to the challenge.”

Gavin Wanganeen on the opportunities he has had since joining Port Adelaide in the under 13s:

“I remember jumping on a bus on Monday and Wednesday at 5pm, a bus that our dear Bobby Clayton – a legend of this club – provided for the juniors in the northern suburbs, I jumped on that bus and little did I know how far it would take me – just that decision to jump on that bus.

Gavin Wanganeen on being the first Indigenous player to be elected to an AFL club board:

“Many years ago I was the first Indigenous player to win a Brownlow Medal and then the first Indigenous player to play 300 game. And now to be the first Indigenous past player board member, you know there’s a lot of first there but it’s something I’m extremely proud about. Indigenous numbers in this great game of ours have been pretty high for a number of years - somewhere around the ten or eleven percent I think - so to see those percentages go up and spread into other areas of the AFL I think is really important and hopefully this is a path going forward for the next generation.”

Gavin Wanganeen on his ambitions for his time on the board:

“I’m a very passionate Port Adelaide person. I played with passion and I really want to see this club, especially the players, experience premiership glory. It’s something that I would like to see the modern-day group achieve in the short-term.”

Gavin Wanganeen on what he brings to the board:

“I’ve only just been elected so there’ll be some meetings and catch-ups with Kochie and the board to see what role I can play. I have many years of experience around football and the football department, in the community, in the Indigenous community, which is something I’m passionate about, so I’ll speak to them and see what role I can play.”