Get To Know Your New Recruits – A Q&A With Frank Anderson

Thursday, February 13, 2020 - 9:44 AM by Matthew Ogg

New recruit, Frank Anderson, is a big-bodied midfielder ready to make an impact at Swan Districts.

With outstanding seasons at South Croydon and the Northern Blues, his strength around stoppages and power in breaking the lines has seen him become a proven match winner.

His experience and strong leadership skills both on and off the field is pivotal for the club as he helps guide many of his younger team mates through the 2020 Optus WAFL Premiership Season.

Some of Frank’s notable career achievements so far include;

  • Two stints in the VFL,
  • Captaining of Vic Metro,
  • Being coached by a former AFL player,
  • Attending two draft combines,
  • Overcoming a significant injury, and
  • Winning a Premiership.

We sat down with Frank to learn more about his football journey leading up to his signing with the Swan Districts Football Club.

Q. When did you start playing footy?

A. I’ve played footy for as long as I can remember. As a young kid, it was all athletics for me. From there it progressed into footy and then cricket, but footy has been the main stayer throughout my life.

 

Q. Did you have to make a choice between playing footy and cricket?

A. I did, but it was an easy choice in the end. Obviously the cricket pathway is a little more difficult than a profession in footy. I used to spend all summer playing cricket for various teams and toggled between each sport. Back when I was 16 or 17 years old I was getting some really bad pains in my hip area and wasn’t able to bat how I wanted to. So I when I wasn’t able to bat correctly because I was getting too sore, I started to focus on my rehab for footy and it just went from there.

 

Q. You played at the Casey Demons after recovering from your hip issues. How did you find the step up to playing in the VFL?

A. Yeah it was a massive step up. I hadn’t really played footy from the age of 16 to 18, except for a few school games. I interviewed with Melbourne Football Club, and they asked me, because obviously the draft didn’t quite work out during my year 12 year. The jump from getting my corrective hip surgery when I was 18, straight into a VFL program, I wasn’t physically ready. I didn’t start running until half way through March. When you’re not fit enough or strong enough at that level, you are already really far behind the eight ball, by tenfold. I honestly hadn’t thought about how big the jump would actually be.

 

Q. You were invited to participate in the state combine but weren’t drafted at the time. Does missing out on being picked up by an AFL club give you a stronger desire to reach that level?

A. I’ve been to two draft combines now and know how the process works. I’m trying to get better every week. The longer I can stay out on the park and the more games I can play, then the more chance I am.

 

Q. What was it like for you when your name wasn’t called out at the draft?

A. It was completely fair. I wasn’t playing TAC cup footy, I wasn’t even playing under 19’s footy back then. It was just a few school games here and there.

 

Q. You had the opportunity to captain the Vic Metro representative side. What was that like for you?

A. It was amazing. I had a really good interleague game against Geelong at Etihad Stadium (now Marvel Stadium) and I was invited to try out for the Vic Metro team. We had about four or five weeks of training and on the night of selection I was told that not only was I selected for the team, but I was also chosen to captain the side. I was 20 at the time and was the youngest in the team by a couple of years. We had a great coach and it was an awesome experience playing with the boys against Vic Country down in Ballarat.

 

Q. You had the opportunity to choose between playing at Coburg with a former coach, North Melbourne 100 gamer Leigh Adams, or the Northern Blues. Why did you pick the Northern Blues?

A. It was an extremely tough decision. I was playing for Leigh a few years back and we had had some success at South Croydon. We’d won a premiership in 2017 and he propelled me forward in my career. I used to sit down with him after training all the time and we’d go through vision and he’d show me a pathway where I could excel. So choosing Northern Blues was between playing for ‘Patch’ (Leigh Adams) or choosing the guys who I had played some junior footy with. It was a very tough phone call but I have no regrets.

 

Q. After playing just 12 games last season, you still finished 3rd in the Northern Blues Best & Fairest award. What made you decide to come and play for the Swan Districts?

A. It’s a big jump. I left a business back home that I was working on. When Phil Smart (GM of Football Operations) gave me a call, and I had a really good conversation with the CEO, Jeff Dennis, and Coach Adam Pickering, it sounded like they had a great program here. I was looking forward to playing on some bigger grounds, plus the weather is pretty good over here.

 

Q. What strengths do you bring to the team?

A. Definitely some leadership. Off the ground I bring some direction for the younger guys here. On the field it’s my fitness. My strength is breaking through a stoppage and leading the guys around the field also.

 

Q. Which AFL team do you support?

A. I was a Melbourne man, but in saying that I haven’t really gone for a team my whole life. I love watching all the games so I suppose I’m open for going for Freo or West Coast.

Be there to see Frank run out with his new team mates on Saturday April 4th, as the Swans take on reigning premiers, Subiaco, at Steel Blue Oval.