From managing two football teams to dropping off muddy jumpers at the dry cleaners, Stuart Balloch is not afraid to roll his sleeves up and get a little dirty.
A self-described ‘jack of all trades’, Balloch joined the club in 2008 and since then has shown a massive amount of commitment to his job and the team.
Balloch’s title is Operations Manager, which includes a vast amount of jobs, both during the week and on game day.
“I do a little bit of everything, anything that needs to be done around the club, [I am] happy to help.”
After completing a Bachelor of Arts in Recreation Management at Victoria University, Stuart had several jobs at sporting venues in the area before joining Werribee in his current role.
In his time at the club, he has seen some exceptional players. Michael Barlow (now at the Fremantle Dockers) and James Podsiadly (now at the Adelaide Crows) are two that stay in the memory for most people who followed the club at that time.
“I was very lucky to see these players, they were incredible to watch and great to work with.”
Being in the inner sanctum, he loves to see the development and success stories that come out of the team.
Balloch was a handy footballer, too. He played in the Victorian Amateur Football Association for both Old Westbourne and Old Essendon. Once seen as a talented young player, he joined the Western Jets in the TAC Cup Under 18 competition.
Making his way to the Werribee pre-season training list in 2004, Stu had his first taste of the club he would later be employed by.
As he sees everything first hand, he described the disappointment of seeing players with an immense amount of talent lacking work ethic and ultimately not succeeding. In his eyes, these players could have been something very special had they applied themselves to their training.
The passion he has for the club is evident in the way he speaks.
When asked for a memory that sticks out in his mind from his time at the club, one he spoke very strongly about was how he felt when the team would miss out on finals or big game wins by the smallest of margins.
“It was a feeling of anguish losing those games, I think everyone felt the heartache.”
Stu says his favourite part about being involved with the Werribee Football Club is being around the other people who call the club home.
“I really like being around other people who love the club, the volunteers and people who want to see the club succed.”
Integrating with these people is a real driving force for Stu and is such a rewarding experience for his efforts.
He is very excited for the year ahead with the young team making positive waves drift through the club.
With a young team, he believes that fans will see some very exciting football played over the rest of this season.
Written by Tom Harrison