I am often asked “why AP10”, or “is there significance in the name?”
This is usually quite difficult to answer in quickly in passing, so I thought I’d write a little bit about it!
AP are my initials and they are also my fathers and grandfathers, two men that I respect enormously. I grew up on a farm in country South Australia, which is mainly a grain farm, with some sheep and cattle. It is a tough way to make a living these days, but was a whole lot tougher back in the early days when my grandfather was on the property, when absolutely everything was manual! Farming is unrelenting, roll the sleeves up type of hard work. Day in, day out. And in the S.A. summer, it gets even harder! Farmers go about their work typically without much fuss and have a ‘just get the job done’ attitude. I love that. The pic above is of grandfather in the 1940’s working the farm in a hot SA summer – some pretty raw hard work….
These are values that I totally respect both my grand father and mother and father for having and nurturing in me as I was growing up. I had a farmer for a dad and a nurse for a mum… There wasn’t a great deal of sympathy, but plenty of love! However, occasionally I felt it was a bit of ‘tough love’, I now look back with great fondness how I was brought up on a farm, with parents like I have. I believe it instilled values and character traits in me that I hold close and that I now do my best to instil in others in AP10.
As it worked out that now we have a fourth generation ‘AP’, with my daughter Ava being born last October!
The number ten also has great significance for me. When I was growing up, I was obsessed with playing Aussie Rules football and all I wanted to do when I grew up was make the AFL. At the time I had an attitude that I while I may not have been the most talented, I would get there by ‘outworking’ everyone else and every single night I kicked the ball around the paddocks of the farm for hours until it got dark and ran up and down the dirt roads to make sure I would also be fittest on the field. Unfortunately I didn’t make the ‘grade’, but it was not through a lack of effort, knowing I gave it absolutely everything I had, and some! I believe this time also instilled a work ethic in me that has carried on into my adult years.
One of my idols when I was growing up was a fellow named Barrie Robran. He was a player who grew up not too far from our farm, in a country area and played in Adelaide. And – he wore the number 10! Which when I first started playing was the reason I also insisted on wearing the number 10 in every team I played. He was an amazing player, many believe the best to ever play and won numerous individual awards. He also turned down far larger salaries to play in the then VFL (now AFL), as he was loyal and passionate to his club North Adelaide and his teammates. He was a hugely respected off the field, being very much a gentleman with great integrity and humility. But when on the field both in games and on the practice paddock he was fierce, relentless and a tireless worker.
All qualities that I respect fully both off the field and when it comes time to ‘play’!
So these are the real reasons behind the name AP10. For me it stands for;
– Relentless consistency
– Good old fashioned bloody hard work