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Where are they now? John Georgiou

John Georgiou debuted at the age of 16
It’s all about the people and I was really well looked after and well treated.
John Georgiou
Born October 5, 1975
16 games, 2 goals

A skilful flanker who debuted at the age of 16 years and 210 days while still in year 11 at St Bedes College, John Georgiou’s St Kilda career lasted just four seasons.

Blessed with nice skills and quick hands, Georgiou was zoned to the Saints prior to the first National Draft in 1991 alongside Peter Everitt and Damen Shaw.

Following his AFL career, he forged a successful career in the SANFL and then VFL, winning the J.J Liston Trophy in 1999.

In 2004, Georgiou was named as the rover in the Greek Team of the Century.

How did you get to the club?
Back then it was Wayne Hughes and Johnny Beveridge who got me here. I was in Melbourne’s zone and moved out to Frankston into St Kilda’s zone. Then I went through the under 19’s system and found myself at the Saints.

What were your first impressions of the club?
I was very young at the time so it was a bit overwhelming to be honest. But like any club it’s all about the people and I was really well looked after and well treated.

Tell us about your debut as a 16-year-old?
Well Tony Lockett kicked 10! Robert Harvey kept feeding him all day so that was a great day and great to be a part of it down in Moorabbin in front of the old faithful, which was always a great experience. I was a nervous wreck before the game and it was just a highlight that I will never forget.

Where are they now? Gary Colling

How was it playing AFL football and being at school at the same time with all your mates?
That was surreal really. After the weekend they wanted to know everything and obviously wanted to know about the main players at the time Plugger, Lowie, Harvs and Winmar and all those sort of guys. That was really good and there was a whole heap of them that came down and came to as many games as possible.

I was in year 11, I was fortunate that my school wasn’t too far away just in Mentone. So I would go to school quickly go home and then one of the boys would pick me up on the way through. Spida Everitt often collected me, or otherwise I’d just jump on a train and walk from Moorabbin station and walk to the ground. It was good times and a fantastic experience.

Who were the best players that you played against?
I’d have to say at the time West Coast were a good side. Being 16-17 years old and playing on Chris Mainwaring on the wing was just amazing and also I played down back on Peter Wilson and Chris Lewis. Probably Mainwaring and Lewis were the best players I played on.

Where are they now? Stewart Loewe

John Georgiou, Austinn Jones and Dean Anderson following St Kilda's round seven victory over Footscray in 1995.

What happened after you played for St Kilda?
Wayne Hughes helped me out and I got a year with Norwood in the SANFL, which was fantastic. They were a fantastic footy club and they love their footy over there so that was great. I came back and spent seven or eight years in the VFL with Frankston. I Won a Liston Medal so that was good but unfortunately we never won a flag we got beaten by Sandringham one day that was probably the closest we ever came.

What about your life away from footy?
When I came back from Adelaide I realised footy wasn’t going to work out anymore. I went over there to try and be redrafted. I worked for a company called Salmat for about 15 years and about a year ago I made a change of industry. I’ve gone into transport and working with Victorian Freight Specialists.

Now I’m married and have one little boy who has just turned six so I’m very lucky with all of that.

Where are they now? Bill Mildenhall

Have you stayed involved with footy at all?
After my time at Frankston I stayed to help Brett Lovett as an assistant. Then I went and coached Mt Eliza for a couple of years. In the end work probably just took over and just this year I’ve gone back to Coach Mt Eliza and in between I helped Brett again at Sandringham for one year as an assistant.

What are your views on the modern game?
To be honest I think it’s gone too far to the modern game if you can sort of say that. I’m probably more for slowing it down a bit with less rotations. Back in my day if you were picked on the bench you stayed on the bench for a fair amount of time. Now if you get picked and played you need to contribute and you’re on and you’re playing all the time so I thinks that’s good but it’s gone too far and probably gone a bit too defensive.

I’d like to see more of those one on one contests and your forwards being one on one with a defender. So if you could find a happy medium between where we are at now and where were we were 20 years ago, I think that would be perfect.

Where are they now? Russell Greene

How would you go in today’s game?
Endurance wasn’t my greatest strength and I think you really do need to have an enormous endurance base now to play the game. But I don’t know really, I think I would be the same because I’d just adjust. It’s definitely an aerobic game now.

Do you have any regrets?
No not really. I think you can only look back and say did I give it everything I had? I think I did. I wish I’d played longer at the Saints and had more senior games but it is what it is and I loved my time at the club.