TAC CUP | It takes more than just talented players to achieve TAC Cup success for the Murray Bushrangers

A LOT of things go into shaping the country's most promising young footballers into tangible AFL talent.

FULL CIRCLE: Long-time Murray Bushrangers' physiotherapist Marty Hogan said Clayton Oliver's rise to prominence is one of his best memories. Picture: GETTY IMAGES

FULL CIRCLE: Long-time Murray Bushrangers' physiotherapist Marty Hogan said Clayton Oliver's rise to prominence is one of his best memories. Picture: GETTY IMAGES

Countless hours on the training track, hundreds of trips to the gym, rain, hail or shine.

Overlooked, perhaps, are some of the other off-field aspects.

Marty Hogan has been the Murray Bushrangers’ physiotherapist since 2004 – his practice has been associated with the club since its inception in 1993.

Reflecting on his time with the club ahead of their drought-breaking grand final appearance this weekend, Hogan said he drew great satisfaction in moulding the AFL's next generation of superstars.

“It's all about the relationships you build with the kids as they come into the club,” he said.

“Some of them can arrive pretty raw, you have to spend a lot of time educating some of them on proper management of their bodies, proper rehab and recovery from injury.

“I can be extremely satisfying to see guys who have a low base of understanding when they first start then evolve into talented athletes who understand the value of the people around them.” 

With the Bushrangers boasting a long history of producing top-level AFL talents such as Steele Sidebottom, Jack Ziebell, Alipate Carlile and Jarred Waite, Hogan said one in particular stood out.

“Clayton Oliver is a great kid with a great story,” he said.

Oliver was the definition of a draft bolter, coming from nowhere to win the TAC Cup's Morrish Medal and be drafted by Melbourne with pick number four in the 2015 national draft.

“He only had one season with us, he arrived in pre-season overweight, deconditioned, and with a disastrous history of issues from a physio's standpoint,” Hogan said.

“But he's a classic example of someone we were able to educate about getting fitter, eating properly, recovering properly. 

“Despite being overlooked for the national carnival, he went on to achieve great success.

“He did all the hard work, but our guidance allowed him to present himself well at the end of the season.

“I think he'll go on to have a tremendous career.

“There are a lot of other players who might not necessarily be household names, but who have had and will have great careers that we have helped.

“It certainly makes watching the footy each weekend very interesting – you don't often see a game where you haven't had contact with at least one player on the ground.”

The Bushies face Sandringham in Sunday's decider.

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