End of the line for a Jets stalwart
Western Jets life member Alan Hales will make his last train trip to watch the club play when the TAC Cup home-and-away season concludes next week.
Hales has caught the train from Craigieburn to work at the club since 2001, in the role of a full-time office assistant until 2006 and in a variety of match-day roles throughout his tenure.
But his time in footy – which includes periods spent as the secretary of several Western Region FL clubs during the 1990s – will come to a close when Hales retires after Western’s last match for 2015 against the Calder Cannons at Rams Arena next Saturday.
Talent Manager Shane Sexton said Hales had made an enormous contribution to the club and was named a Jets life member in 2005 on the basis of the work he’d done in just five years there.
“He’d come over from Craigieburn every day, he’d get to the club about 8.30am or 9 o’clock and he’d basically jump on the last bus or train on the way home,” Sexton said.
“He did that for probably about seven or eight years, I reckon.
“He’s just a super guy who had the kids at heart, wanted to see them succeed and wanted to see the club succeed.
“Everybody would have a soft spot for Al over the journey and he’s dealt with some pretty impressive names over the period.”
Hales said being involved with well-known Western coaches such as Garry Hocking (2003), Mark Neeld (2005-07) and Steven Kretiuk (2008-12) was a great experience.
“The biggest thrill for me was being involved and being able to help the boys to meet their full potential,” Hales said.