DAMIEN SODERLUND –RESERVES ASSISTANT COACH
The much travelled Damien Soderlund should know a thing of two about what makes footy clubs tick.
Lucky Starr had a big hit in the 1960s with "I've Been Everywhere" and Damien has almost " been everywhere", playing and coaching for 11 clubs in 11 different leagues. He proudly says he has never played against any of the clubs he played for.
He also observes that footy clubs are more alike than different and for the most part are made up of good people. He played in key positions from full back to full forward.
Damien joins the Pies this year as Reserves Assistant Coach after a couple of years away from the game but he missed the involvement of footy and wanted to get back in a club environment.
He grew up in South Gippsland at Foster then moved to Shepparton United as a teenager then to Maffra in the Latrobe Valley League where he began playing senior football.
The wanderlust got to him so he travelled to Fremantle for the 1986 America's Cup. It was supposed to be a short trip-- he says he didn't see any yacht races and stayed in WA for 10 years!
He played for Inaloo ( yes it is true!!) in the WA Amateurs then moved to Geraldton where he stayed for 8 years and played in one Senior and two Reserves premierships for Towns Footy Club.
It was time go back east and ended up at Eden on the NSW south coast then to Mitta near Albury, the famous "Mountain Men"-- tough men and tougher footballers.
It was back to Melbourne where he coached Reserves at Beaconsfield in the south-eastern suburbs and then played in an over 45 year old Superrules Premiership for the club. ( I know a couple of clubs short in the count!!)
He moved to Brisbane several years ago to be with with his new partner, who in true love story fashion was actually his first girlfriend. His daughter from a previous relationship was already in Brisbane.
Damien brings a wealth of experience to the Pies, playing in a number of positions in his playing career, and with a youthful Reserves group in 2017 will be great support to coach Craig Allen this season.