Jordan Souter, Tongala Football Netball Club’s senior playing coach, has reflected on his time at the club after its rendezvous with Nathalia at the 2019 Murray Football League Grand-Final.
Having followed his dad and uncle, Jordan Souter, now 28 years old, has been at the Tongala Club since he was an under 14s player. What started as just playing for Tongala, has now evolved into a significant coaching and leadership role.
Born and bred in the area, on a dairy farm, Jordan was quick to establish his love for football.
He began his playing career in 2003 at the age of 12 and continued to develop his skills as a player and then eventually as a coach.
“Football was just something that every kid did when they were younger, and I loved the game so much I didn’t really care which club I played for,” Jordan said.
Thankfully, Tongala was the option for Jordan, and he has celebrated many a milestone since then.
“I couldn’t picture myself at another club. It’s just a great place to play,” Jordan said.
Since joining Tongala, Jordan has gained three senior best and fairest wins, been a coach for the seniors as well as the under 17s, and been a Murray Football League representative. He also was named coach of the year.
Jordan has recently started his own family with wife Paige, who also plays for Tongala. Earlier in the year they welcomed their first child, Barney, who is already donning the navy blue and white merchandise.
Jordan celebrated his 150th senior game earlier this year and attracted a huge crowd at the home game against Mulwala.
“I don’t even think about how many games I’ve played but it is really nice to receive so much support from everyone,” Jordan said.
After all his time at Tongala, this year his candid attitude and friendly approach made Jordan the ideal candidate for the seniors coaching position for 2019.
Up against the odds, with the Tongala senior football side not being a top contender within the league, Jordan wanted to make sure that the clubs’ moto ‘One in All in’ had a formidable meaning amongst players and members of the club and town.
Jordan had a hefty year ahead of him since Tongala hadn’t participated in a senior Grand Final in 28 years.
“Obviously a flag is the end goal, but I just wanted everyone to act as a team, and then hopefully winning would follow,” he said.
Tongala recorded an inconsistent year on the league ladder, getting ambushed by some teams and then winning against others.
“It was hard loosing when we know we should have won but Tonny are an underdog club all round so I wasn’t counting anything out,” he said.
With 11 wins and 7 losses for the season, Tongala seniors finished fifth on the ladder. Having a large hill to climb for finals, Jordan spoke about the commitment that they all had.
“The team really showed so much drive come finals time, they wanted to win,” he said.
Tongala went on to win three games in a row, winning the preliminary final by only 1 point, which put them into the grand final.
The town also showed its support by putting up streams of blue everywhere. Jordan was adamant that, while the players are the ones winning the games, the support of the town and community was invaluable.
“This town has really gotten around the grand final spirit and, in the end, I just want to make everyone proud of their community,” Jordan said.
Going up against Nathalia who had won the last four senior flags, immediately made Tongala the underdogs with everything to win.
“I tried not to dwell on the ladder and statistics too much, I just wanted the boys to put their all into their games, and they did,” Jordan said.
So, when the grand final day came around, Jordan gathered his team and tried to beat the 28-year losing streak.
Whilst the boys fought hard and tried to topple the reigning champions in Nathalia, they were beaten by 45 points.
After the game Jordan spoke to his players and supporting members of the club and thanked them for all their hard work.
“Thank you to everybody that has supported me and the boys throughout the year, and I think you should all be proud just for making it to the granny,” he said.
Jordan says he will continue playing and coaching for the club “as long as they want me”.