Ian Rothnie had a relatively short league football career of eighty six games for Perth in the late sixties, but was a leading player in two premierships. Hailing from Victoria Park and East Victoria Park Juniors, Rothnie came under the coaching of former Subiaco and State player, Ron Coffey. “Coffey was a great coach of young players, and had a hand in the careers of many footballers,” Ian said. A keen East Fremantle supporter, Rothnie initially had his heart set on wearing the blue and white, but a clearance wasn't forthcoming, so the seventeen year old fronted at Lathlain in 1965, playing in the fourths under former full back Brian Ashbolt as a centreman. In his first season at the Demons he won the J R Madden Medal as fairest and best for the fourths. Promoted to the thirds and reserves(where Jack Ensor was in charge) in 1966, Rothnie was a reserve against South Fremantle early in the 1967 season, playing his first league game the week after, against East Perth on a half back flank. When centre half back Bob Shields was injured early in proceedings, coach Mal Atwell asked the young tyro if he would be able to handle Royals centre half forward Mal Brown. “He doesn't frighten me one bit,” was the prompt reply. The young debutant backed the confidence up with a performance that won him two Sandover Medal votes, and a kickstart to a league career. Although only five foot ten, Rothnie was able to match taller and bigger opponents in the air, and his groundplay was a feature of his game. Moved into the centre at times when regular midfielder Pat Dalton was missing, he proved to be one of the side's most flexible players. An integral part of premierships in 1967 and 68, Rothnie was an unlucky omission from the side that contested the 1970 grand final against South Fremantle. He then retired from league football at the young age of twenty two to pursue a career in the hotel industry, captain coaching Maddington in 1971, 72, and 73 to a premiership in his first year, third in the second(when a broken leg saw him miss most of the season) and runner up in the third. Taking over the Morawa Hotel, Rothnie was immediately snapped up to mentor the local side, where he stayed for a further two years, before returning to the city and becoming Perth's runner in 1976 and 77. A prominent breeder of thoroughbreds, Rothnie has had great success with horses he has bred. He bred the very successful Bletchley Park gelding, Secret Monarch, which won a Group 3 as well as a Listed race just prior to Christmas 2005.Secret Monarch subsequently was sold to Hong Kong interests in January 2006. He rates Takeover Target as the best horse he'd seen, closely followed by Apache Cat. Ian reckons the Perth backline contained the best players he played with. “Bob Shields, Ray Lawrence, Graham Ramshaw, Richie Rigg, and Chubby Stiles...that was a backline,” he reminisced, while not picking out any opponent as hardest to beat. “They were all tough, and every player presented a different challenge,” he said.
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