A former Port Pirie man is likely to make a local homecoming as SANFL Crows head trainer later this year when the team faces Port in a Showdown.
Brendan Schutte, 29, took up his position with the Crows reserves team this season after being the trainer with the AFL Crows and travelling Australia last year.
He was excited at the prospect of fulfilling his role at what he said was the “magnificent” new stadium at Memorial Oval, the venue for the SANFL Showdown on July 13.
“It would be pretty cool to come home to see the family for the weekend,” he said.
Mr Schutte’s parents, Jake and Rose Schutte, still live in Port Pirie. He attended Risdon Park Primary School and John Pirie Secondary School and played as a defender for Solomontown Football Club.
He could have had the prospect of being involved with the AFL Crows in their pre-season Showdown with Port here on March 2, but opted to join the SANFL outfit to further his career.
“In the eyes of the public, it is a step down, but it is more responsibility,” he said.
Despite this, Mr Schutte would be next in line to be head trainer of the AFL Crows if the opportunity arises.
He studied massage and did a sports trainer course to qualify for his role.
“We get a big variety of injuries – hamstrings, calves and other soft-tissue problems and bone conditions such as ankles, ribs and thumbs,” he said.
“It is never one kind of injury that we have.”
He enjoyed travelling with the AFL Crows and learning from the techniques of rival clubs, but he now has a family and relishes his time home.
“I just love the environment – it is a team environment and you can have a joke. It makes it easier and more enjoyable,” he said.
I love the environment – it is a team environment and you can have a joke. It makes it easier and more enjoyable. I love the challenge and overseeing the medical staff.Brendan Schutte
“I love the challenge and overseeing the medical staff.”
Apart from his studies, all his skills have been learned on the job.
He must concentrate to ensure the players receive the best possible treatment including massage which can be tiring for his hands and fingers.
“Your hands and arms do get sore eventually,” he said.
But that is nothing compared with the aches of elite sportsmen who need attention from this gifted son of Port Pirie.
The match will be hosted at the same weekend as the South Australian Country Football Championships, also at the oval.
The Port Pirie Regional Council will put up $25,000 sponsorship for the combined events.
Councillors were told that economic spin-off from the events was estimated at more than $730,000.