Journey of many leagues shapes Hawks’ top coach

Justin FrisSouth Western Times
Augusta-Margaret River league coach Matthew Jamieson spends time with his players following Mitch Gerrans’ 200th game last season.
Camera IconAugusta-Margaret River league coach Matthew Jamieson spends time with his players following Mitch Gerrans’ 200th game last season. Credit: Supplied/Busselton-Dunsborough Times, Louise Buckland.

Fresh from a State league premiership with Clarence in Tasmania, Matthew Jamieson headed north to the Gold Coast in 2001 for a season he will never forget.

Jamieson, who now coaches Augusta-Margaret River in the SWFL, played for the Broadbeach Cats in the former QAFL competition, under the watchful eye of VFL/AFL mastermind John Northey.

“The State league in Tassie unfortunately was folding,” Jamieson said. “So I was in limbo there for a bit in terms of playing football in either Adelaide or Victoria.

“My older brother was in Queensland at the time and after talking with the Southport Sharks and Broadbeach, I ended up at Broady with John Northey.”

Affectionately known as “Swooper”, Northey took Melbourne, Richmond and the Brisbane Bears to preliminary finals during his career at the highest level and despite having been out of the system for a few seasons, left no stone unturned during his search for excellence.

“Swoop was really good in the early days,” Jamieson said.

“I was a pretty young kid, only 19, so I would not say he was a father figure to me, but he was a definitely a sort of mentor — someone who I could probably go to with things outside of footy as well, as I did not really have immediate family around.”

Jamieson’s form ensured he was selected in the QAFL State team and the charismatic Tasmanian also played a pivotal role for the Cats as they ditched an unwanted run of results against the wealthy Sharks, whose expensive ex-AFL recruits had tormented them for years on the field.

“We beat Southport twice and had not done it for a while, so it was pretty sweet,” he said.

At the end of the year, Northey was announced as South Fremantle’s league coach, following Peter Sumich’s acceptance of an assistant coaching role at the West Coast Eagles.

Instead of playing for the “Bloods” (West Adelaide), Northey convinced Jamieson to head west and become a Bulldog, playing 11 games across two seasons despite battling with osteitis pubis and a knee operation.

Prior to Jamieson achieving solid senior coaching results in the South West, he enjoyed a lengthy playing and development tenure at the Burleigh Bombers, which ultimately helped shape his approachable but firm coaching style.

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