'Chief' plays 350 for Hawks

By David Polkinghorne
Updated August 10 2014 - 12:08am, first published August 9 2014 - 11:56pm
Tuggeranong Hawks veteran Gerrit Wanganeen. Photo: Graham Tidy
Tuggeranong Hawks veteran Gerrit Wanganeen. Photo: Graham Tidy
Brumbies hooker Josh Mann-Rea. Photo: Jamila Toderas
Brumbies hooker Josh Mann-Rea. Photo: Jamila Toderas

When he was 14, Gerrit Wanganeen's father died of a heart attack and the Tuggeranong ACT AFL footy club became like a surrogate dad. Twenty-four years later, the man affectionately known as "Chief" is preparing to play his 350th club game for the Hawks on Sunday. A second cousin of AFL star Gavin Wanganeen, Chief is a Tuggeranong premiership captain, has coached and been on the board. He's also been involved with the ACT/South Coast indigenous side. Now 38, Wanganeen reaches his milestone game against Ainslie at Greenway Oval on Sunday at 2.15pm. His first match was for Tuggeranong's Under-19s as a 16-year-old. "My father passed away when I was 14 and initially a couple of people at the Tuggeranong Lions played a big part in helping me through that," Wanganeen recalled. "When I joined the senior club a couple of people who knew my father through work took me under their wing. At the time the senior players really looked after me and made me feel a part of it. Then it became part of what I do."

Subscribe now for unlimited access.

or signup to continue reading

All articles from our website & app
The digital version of Today's Paper
Breaking news alerts direct to your inbox
Interactive Crosswords, Sudoku and Trivia
All articles from the other in your area

Get the latest Canberra news in your inbox

Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.

We care about the protection of your data. Read our Privacy Policy.