Passionate Paull hits game 250
Wednesday, 21st July, 2021
By Emily Ferguson
Last weekend, Jarred Paull's football career with Central Football Club came full-circle as he played his 250th game against North's Bulldogs - the very same team he played his first-ever game against.
Paull said it was fantastic to have reached this milestone, “It’s taken almost 20 years but I’m pretty pleased that it finally got here,” he said.
In a local tradition, Paull ran onto the field for his 250th game with his daughters Ester and Thea, echoing his love of family and the game, “When Marcia and myself got together and we started talking about when we wanted to have kids, I always thought that I’d have a little boy running around at some stage that I’d be able to kick the footy with,” said Paull. “Now obviously with two girls, they love their sport, they love playing with their netballs and I have something to look forward to once the footy is finished. But it might have to be not coaching footy anymore, it might be coaching a netball team.”
Paull’s first League game was at the Memorial Oval, almost twenty years ago. “I was playing Under 16’s, Under 18’s and A-Grade at the time, we played against North and there was a guy called David Pope and he was a really little guy and used to mouth off a fair bit over the years… We used to have a few goes at each other and call each other grubs later on.
“But in the first game, my first kick I can recall that he got me behind the play and I ended up kicking a goal for my first kick in A-Grade footy, so that was a good highlight to remember. I didn’t get too many kicks after that at all but I was just a young bloke that copped one in the back of the head when he’s gone to his first contest. But you learn and figure out that’s just footy. After the game, I remember he just shook my hand and congratulated me on my first A-Grade game.
“I think that’s the best part about Broken Hill footy, that every player just leaves it on the field once that last siren’s finished. The competitiveness of all teams is great and it’s a scrappy sort of footy at times in Broken Hill, but the players definitely put on a show for the people that watch and at the end of it they’re all willing to have a beer with each other, which is great,” he said.
Having played with the Central Football Club for many years, Paull has a special place in his heart for the club he considers family. “You get to meet a lot of people… Sport is a good way to network and find friendships. Those friendships last for a long time and you always keep connections with them,” he said.
“But it’s something, you get to the Central footy club and it’s like a large family - very welcoming. It’s a good place to be and I’ve seen a lot of great people come through there.”
Paull said he’s never been driven by wanting to win premierships. For him, it’s always been about camaraderie. “Everyone talks about winning premierships and things like that; like I was fortunate to win a couple of them, but I think the friendships that you gain from football is definitely the biggest thing that I feel like I’ve got out of it.
“I’ve not really been driven over the years of wanting to win flags, obviously they’re extras that come along… I think it’s more the teammates and the friendships are why I want to keep going back each year.”
Paull named three Magpie faithfuls as some of the best he’s played with. “Definitely Justin Heath - a close mate of mine. In his younger days he was an in and under player - used to get belted every week and used to front up, so definitely one of the best I’ve seen. I was fortunate enough to be there the night that he won the Lionel Johnston Medal.
“Brendan Cullen… he was an absolute warrior when he was playing - and the way he used to just bring us young blokes confidence up when they’re down - you’d just watch him lead by example and the passion he had for the game.
“Brent Rilen - when I was starting A-Grade footy he was just a guy that you’d look at and think, well, he’s not a muscly guy, he’s not a super fit guy, he doesn’t look like a footballer but, when he took to the field, I think everyone gained respect for him once they saw him play at least one game. It was great to play with him,” said Paull.
Paull admires and appreciates the persistence and patience of his wife Marcia and their daughters when it comes to football. “It’s tough when you work Monday to Friday and you get home at five o’clock and Marcia does as well. In
footy season, Tuesday and Thursday nights, you could be up there for two hours and then all day Saturday. So to have the commitment of a wife like that - and the kids wanting to see me after the game - things like that are what I look forward to.
“I’d really like to thank her (Marcia) for the patience she’s had because obviously they’re long seasons and when it comes to preseason’s and things like that, it’s three quarters of the year that you commit to footy. When you’re not winning games it’s easy for you just to bail out. We’ve lost what? Twelve in a row now? But it’s still a place where I want to be and I just know that when I come home she’s had a big time looking after the kids and things like that. So I’m definitely thankful for the family and their support, for sure.”
Paull also shared a football-related admiration for his brother, Casey. “I’m really pleased that I’ve been able to see him do well in local footy… It took probably a 12 or 18-month period there where he got super fit and all of a sudden the South footy club gave him an opportunity to play some senior footy. I’m really pleased that he ended up getting 100 games of A-Grade footy and extremely pleased that he got to play in a premiership,” he said.
“I know how much hard work he’s done. I know he’s never going to get to 250 games because the body’s starting to shut down now but where he’s come from to get 100, a premiership and to now be a coach, I’m definitely proud of what he’s done.”