Vale Allan Waud

This week we were advised of the passing of Allan Waud. Allan Waud was an influential figure in the development of AFL in our region. Allan served the Hunter and Central Coast AFL community in a number of roles, spanning across 2 decades. In 1995, Allan was appointed as AFL Development Officer for the region, before he was then appointed as the Regional Manager. Allan also held other roles including the junior chairman.

Allan was influential in supporting elite AFL content in Newcastle with AFL Clubs Carlton, Geelong and Collingwood playing Sydney in pre-season fixtures at Newcastle No1 Oval. He supported the Central Coast and Hunter Development teams playing in the U/18 and Reserve grade Sydney Competitions, so he could help keep the local talent in the area and not leave the region for other playing opportunities.

Allan was a link between the Hunter Academy of Sport and local talent development squads, when they would play in the Northern Heat talent programs. Allan built a team of development officers to service schools and clubs and to help grow the game across both regions. As well as providing opportunities for trainees and young talent with work and further development opportunities.

With his hard work and commitment, it helped to support the creation of the Niagara Park Demons (now the Niagara Park Ourimbah Dockers), the Saratoga Hawks and Northlakes Cats (now northern Giants).

Due to his long tenure and influence on AFL with in the region, the U17 Boys Best and Fairest medal is named in his honour.

Allan is survived by his children: Mark and his wife Sachiko and their children Jack and Emma; Liane and her son Thomas; Michael and his wife Bianca; Katie and her partner Craig and their daughter Grace.

For those wanting to join the service for Allan, please use the below link, it will be Live streamed on Monday 23rd August from 9.55am to 11.00am: https://admin.oneroomstreaming.com/email/view/58179f148a

For those that wish to, cards for the family can be sent to 126 Reeves Street Narara NSW 2250 or or feel free to pass on a note, share a memory via Allan’s son Michael on mwaudie@pm.me.

Below are just a few memories of Allan from a few who had the pleasure of meeting and working with Allan, we’re sure there are many others who have similar fond memories:

Mitchell Ede, AFL Development, Central Coast

My first real memories of Alan were back in 1998, when he was the MC on grand final day at Don Small Oval, and was handing out season Awards in-between games. I’d see Him at every major event, carnival and function for the next 4 years before he offered me the opportunity to become an AFL Sportsready trainee whilst working as a development officer across the Hunter and Central Coast at the end of 2002. He was a huge supporter of mine and became a mentor, career advisor and good friend from that point onwards. I was fortunate enough to spend some time with him late last year and he was still the positive and engaging figure I first met way back in 98’, who only wanted to talk about my journey, both professional and personal, with genuine interest. He always put the clubs and the people within them first, was passionate about the game and was always finding ways to continually grow it. He was a great supporter of mine and I was so appreciated of what he helped me achieve both on and Off the field, shaping the person I am today. He will be sadly missed.

Ross Hughes, Current AFL HCC Board member and former Hunter Coast Junior AFL Board member:

It is hard to believe that such a popular stalwart of our AFL community is no longer with us.  When you consider the AFL’s presence in our region now, Allan should be remembered very much a pioneer.  As the sole AFL development officer within a Rugby League heartland, operating out of the boot of his car, he was a man very much driven by his passion.  His document management system may not have been the best, often running off to the car to fetch promotional material on training nights and returning with Auskick flyers smudged by the spare tyre.  At his meetings you could also set a watch by the times he would reach for a document from his huge pile of papers only to come up empty handed.  But it was on the sidelines that I remember him best.  His ability to work a crowd of parents and young future players was amazing.  His ability to communicate with anyone and undeniable passion for the game demanded your interest. His energy and encouragement no doubt started many a young footballer’s career.  The naming of a junior B&F medal in his honour couldn’t be any more deserving.

Chris Bishop, Cup Men’s Coach, Terrigal Avoca

Allan was AFL on the Central Coast and the Hunter, everything he did was try and develop kids from school ages all the way up to the seniors.

Allan was so generous with his time always taking time to speak to you about yourself and your family. He actually gave most of the kids on the Central Coast job so they could enhance their footy skills but also get some money.

I saw Allan last year one of our games and he couldn’t believe how many people played the game on the Central Coast these days, he was so proud that he played a major role in developing the game in NSW.

Paul Forster, President Killarney Vale

Allan was a true gentleman, he was instrumental in growing Auskick from early days 1995 on and passionate about the game and caring for the people, especially the kids involved. One of the good guys.

David Flynn, Chair HCC Board

Initially when asked to pen a note about Allan, I was hesitant as I don’t believe I can do him justice and there are many who are more fitting than I to write a note. But what I can do is reflect and provide an insight into how Allan impacted a local junior footballer’s life.

It was January 1996 and shortly after our family relocated to the area i first met Allan at a regional representative trial. At the time I was a skinny lanky boy (probably resembling something off the Thunderbirds more than a footballer) and sporting long shoulder length long hair and plenty of facial pimples. I remember it vividly, as at the time I was wearing boardshorts and Nike basketball boots and hat to training (thinking it was more of a pre-season get together than a training run). At the conclusion of training, I spoke with Allan for the first time and after answering his many questions, he said “if you would like to make it in our game you need to be professional on and off the park. I can see there’s more, but others may not look so deep”. This comment struck a chord and on reflection it showed the character of Allan. His questions were a result of his curious, genuine, and caring nature, his statement was his way of trying to guide a young player. In the years come, I would realise he was always looking to support and improve those around him.

I was privileged to see firsthand how Allan contributed to the growth of juniors and he could often be heard talking in depth and passionately about our Region. If you ever quizzed him about a player, he’d know their parents name, the school they attend, how they were introduced to footy, their strengths and areas they needed to work on – he was a walking encyclopedia.

He found his calling when he started working with the AFL. His success in this role came from his strong relationships. His warmth and passion would have undoubtedly shone through in all his development programmes. He achieved results with limited resources and within a minority sport.

In recent times, I’d cross paths with Allan during final series where we’d have a chat about football. The conversation would always centre around the players that were local juniors as he asked questions about their journey. I always enjoyed our time because we could have been standing there watching Dusty Martin or Daisy Pearce playing in our local league and Allan would have more interest in our local junior playing in the back pocket… it was the person who he was and embedded in his DNA.

I’m sure there’s hundreds of ‘Waudy’s juniors’ out there who shared these experiences and have the same feeling of loss. From all of us thank you Allan for your being you. Your impact on our community cannot be measured and will certainly transcend generations. We hope the proud smile that you wore watching your local juniors continues to shine bright in the next stage of your journey.

RIP Allan