By Phil Skeggs
When Ivanhoe AFC’s reserves coach Ross Toogood was told at very short notice he would have to find another player to cover a late withdrawal in Round 4 (May 1), he had no hesitation in dusting off his well-worn black and white jumper.
Toogood, 44, had filled in as a top-up in previous seasons when the ressies were light on for numbers. And by the end of the 2019 season, his games tally was 249 – one match shy of a huge milestone. Only five other players in the club’s lengthy history have played more than 250 games.
Toogood, a primary school teacher, joined the Hoers in 1997 when the club was in B grade. He initially struggled to get a game in the reserves. But after the club was relegated to C and later D grades, opportunities arose and he was eventually rewarded for his hard efforts with a senior slot in the back pocket, wearing number 48.
What Toogood lacked in pace or height, he more than compensated for with courage, determination, efficient disposal and ability to read play.
With the support of his partner Amanda and their darling daughter Jasmine, he has remained actively involved as coach, assistant coach, runner, and committee member. He is also our website editor, a key administrator of social media platforms, and a proud life member.
For the record, Toogood brought himself on late in the first quarter and got several touches of the ball in a tight win over Yarra Valley Old Boys.
Well done Rossco, the club salutes you!
*For a complete list of Ivanhoe players who have played over 200 games, go to: https://ivanhoeafc.com/history/our-people/200-games/