Football legends Jonathan Brown and Bachar Houli recently visited Spotswood Football Club, the place where Houli and a host of other aspiring young footballers started and have turned into premiership heroes.
Returning to his home town, where Houli first began his football career, the Richmond premiership hero recalled many memorable moments including a time when he kicked 39 goals in two weeks.
“It was to bring up my 100th goal and I had six goals in ten games. I played majority of the game on ball and then last quarter if I was a little bit down I went and spent a bit of time half forward to top it up,” Houli said.
From the home turf at Spotswood to the roaring stadiums around the country, Houli has had played a lot of big games, but one of his most memorable ones was last year’s preliminary final against GWS at the MCG.
“I remember that prelim final, ninety-six thousand fans and I recall ninety-four thousand were Tiger fanatics. When we kicked those first two goals it was like the whole stadium was shaking. I’ve played in many big games, but that game was right up there,” Houli said.
Richmond’s roar in recent years, which comes after a 16-year silence on the finals front, has been partly attributed to the club’s very close-knit culture, which Houli said has been all about creating a team that loves each other.
“We’ve been working on a good culture for the last few years, recruiting players to the club that have really good character, people that are humble, people that take their football seriously but at the same time, respectful and value life more than just football,” Houli said.
The love and respect for people and the game was something that was developed at an early age for Houli, who actually started playing football without his Mum and Dad really knowing what was going on.
“Yeah, they had no clue. They thought I was just down at the local park having a kick with the boys. I used to get picked up from the corner block, get dropped off there and I was really looked after. For me it was really secretive that whole year,” Houli said.
Editor’s note: This story was produced in conjunction with Fox Sports and Patties Foods.