During this episode we catch up with AFL Asia Advisory Board Member Grant Dooley and relive his involvement within Asian footy circles for the better part of the past 30-odd years! ? ‘Dools’ is a Life Member of the Hong Kong Dragons, has served as Player Coach of the Jakarta Bintangs, and along the way founded the South China Australian Football League and the Guangzhou Scorpions! ??
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Nicknames: Dools, Tom, Tequila Tom, The Grey Fox, Hammies, Hooley Dooley, Sputnik (always up there and never down here).
What Clubs have you played for? Harmon Hogs, Crib Point, Parramatta, the Loin Team in WA, and across Asia we’ve got the Wombats, the Dragons, the Scorpions, the Bintangs, and played for China.
Preferred position/s: Loved ruck-roving when I was younger, and half-forward flank.
Best player/s in Asia: Will Hamilton, Ricky Riddell, Garth Mclarty, Chirssy Pick are all legends of the Dragons. At the Bintangs, Matt Jolly was the little master, but Chris Elliot was the best player I played with there (nickname was Teabags because he used to do bungy jumps). Towards the end at the Scorpions Matt Warren was not a bad player. From the guys I played against, Stutchy was great, but probably the best footballer I had the pleasure of playing against was Gunny, big Gunny Muer from the Geckos.
Best teammate/s: Matty Warren from the Scorpions, from the Bintangs there’s way too many, guys like Matt Jolly, Stevo, John Williams, Timmy Hackfort, Rob Spurr, there are all good blokes. From the Dragons, Ray Wood was a great mate there.
Most annoying teammate: Iain Shearer. I nicknamed him Krakatoa because he used to blow up like a volcano. Harper, played with in Guangzhou was pretty annoying.
3 things people don’t know about you: I’m an astronomer and spend a lot of time on the balcony with my telescope looking at the stars, I studied Song dynasty poetry at university and I also speak Bahasa Indonesia (pretty badly these days).
Invite 4 people of your choice to a dinner party: Scarlett Johansson, Michelle Pfeiffer, Chris Judd, and Pete Garrett.
Best footy trip: The 2005 Singapore trip (many things like the government grant was born and the tequila legend, among other things).
What do you like the most about playing footy in Asia? What I like about football in Asia the most is the players. I’ve made so many friends through football in Asia, and when I’m back in Australia there are great catch ups from the Bintangs, the Dragons and even at the Shanghai game and catching up with Zhang Hao and the Scorpions. It’s given me so much in that sense. It’s been a big family for me, even here in Singapore at the Wombats functions. It’s that sense of community that I like about it. It’s also prolonged my footy career by about 35 years!