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To be part of a premiership is the ultimate for most league footballers, and to share in two is icing on the cake. But for East and South Fremantle wingman, Chris Pobjoy, there were a couple of other highlights that provide an insight into the man and his attitude to the game. “I was never a highly skilled player,” he told us. “I suppose I made up for that with determination and a will to succeed, but throughout my career I felt I got the most out of myself. So to play with the blokes I played with was a highlight in itself. To be at South with people like Worsfold, Sumich, Matera, Jakovich, etc, who became stars at the Eagles, then on a wing alongside Maurice Rioli when he came back from Richmond was exciting. Maurice was brilliant to play alongside, with his advice and support, plus being part of the magic he weaved can't be beaten on any highlight reel.” Then there was his involvement with the new generation of footballers. “Just after I retired, I was chatting with Brian Ciccotosto and mentioned that I'd like to be able to put something back into the game. In 2000, he rang me and invited me to apply for the colts coaching job. I did, and was successful.” “Those two years were the most rewarding of my life. Players who came through that colts side included Ashley Sampi, Mark Williams, Ash McGrath, Andrew Krakouer, Daniel Gilmore, Josh Head, Clint Jones, Jacob Surjan and Haydn North. To be a part of their development was the most rewarding part of my years in football.  Jones was a classic case of a bloke being pigeonholed early in his career and written off. He  had kicking problems, but was so skilled in every other facet of the game, knew where to go to get the ball, always positioned himself so well, and he's certainly put some egg on a few faces, hasn't he?”   Chris Pobjoy was a late starter at the Australian game. A soccer player as a kid, he became bored with it, and joined Willeton under fourteens, before trying out with East Fremantle colts. A couple of pre season trials didn't impress the Sharks, so it was back to Willetton, where he came under the mentoring of ex SAS trainer Jim Geletic. Geletic was a tough but fair coach, who stressed the value of hard work, which laid the seeds of the ethic that would become a Pobjoy trademark, a facet of his game that was also nurtured by Willeton coach, and former East Fremantle forward, Jeff Trott. After the Moss Street flirtation, Pobjoy had no real ambition to try the league scene again, but when South Fremantle invited one of Willeton's leading lights, Doug Gibb, and himself to Fremantle Oval he decided to give it another go. “Stan Magro was coach at the time, and he liked the way I played, so I scored a few league games in 1988, before suffering some injuries,” he said.  Injuries dogged Chris at South, with his fearless attitude no doubt contributing, an abductor torn off the bone killing his 1990 season, but a Roy McGuiness Medal as fairest and best in the reserves in 1991 signalled his arrival as a player, and the following year he became a regular in the league side.   A tough, uncompromising wingman, the five foot eleven Pobjoy would run opponents off their legs, with his one percenters a feature of his game.  Pobjoy made fifty four appearances for South Fremantle, before being a surprise exclusion from their side for the 1992 Derby grand final, which they lost. Although receiving some consolation as a member of the Bulldogs winning reserves premiership side, he was shattered by the omission. “I reckoned that Brownie had put me in some sort of bracket, and weighing up my future under him, made the decision to accept an offer I'd had from the Sharks,” he said. Ironically, Brown was to leave the club before the next season to move to Richmond.  Missing the first five games of the 1993 season because of a clearance wrangle, then playing first up in the reserves, Pobjoy was a revelation for East Fremantle, finishing high up in Lynn Medal voting despite the late start. He was soon an integral part of the side, and the decision to migrate to Moss Street was justified when he was part of the Sharks 1994 premiership win over Claremont. A quad injury before half time proved to be a handicap for Chris, but didn't detract from the experience.  After his hundredth game for East Fremantle in  the 1998 premiership win yielded another flag, Pobjoy decided to quit football, the physical style of his game finally taking it's toll. Family commitments and a business were becoming harder to juggle, and at the age of thirty going on thirty one he felt it was the right time.  After the colts coaching stint at South Fremantle, Pobjoy was league assistant to John Northey for a season, before becoming involved with juniors in the Canning Vale area.  He rated Claremont's Mark Hann and West Perth's Darren O'Brien as hardest to beat, while plumping for Maurice Rioli(“even though it was just the one year, and he was past his best”), Steve Malaxos, Steve Bilcich, and Martin Melody as best he'd played with.  Another star Pobjoy played with briefly was Chris Mainwaring. “I played with Chris when he made his comeback with East Fremantle after injury,”he recalled. “He had a knee bandage on the size of a basketball, and was keen to show the Eagles selectors he should be recalled. I came running with the ball off half back looking downfield when I noticed Chris demanding the ball. It wasn't the best team option, so I ignored him. As I ran past I explained why I'd gone for the other option, to which Chris replied: “ That's OK, I just wanted a touch.”   Chris Pobjoy runs a thriving transport business these days, but isn't content to sit in front of a computer in an office. “I enjoy getting out and about, doing container work,” he said. A playing member of Gosnells Golf Club, he owns and breeds racehorses, with several of his football mates involved. “On The Watch” was one of his handier ones.  He is married to Donna, with two boys, Jake and Riley, and the family enjoy travelling to Bali and Broome, as well as weekends at Mandurah.  Chris Pobjoy was a no-frills footballer, who rebounded from initial rejection at East Fremantle to eventually help the club to two flags, and play a hundred and fifty games of league football. A player who got the most out of himself, his hard work and attention to the one percenters of the game were a lesson to any aspiring young footballers.      

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