© Marcellin Old Collegians Football Club. All rights reserved.

Milestone Games – Saturday 11 May

Congratulations to Timothy James (100 games) and Ben Rodwell (50 games) on their milestones this weekend!

Timothy James

Big congratulations to Tim ‘TJ’ James on notching up 100 games for the Marcellin Old Collegians Football Club this weekend.

Tim arrived at the football club for his first training session in December 2013 fresh off the plan from Gold Coast schoolies. It was a training session he and I were lucky to survive but ever since we have fallen in love with the organisation together.

Tim’s first 2 seasons were spent playing in the Under 19’s under Jordy Wise and subsequently Tony Norris where he became a valued utility used in all areas of the ground. Full Forward, ruck, full back you name it, he would’ve played it. After compiling 25 games in the Under 19’s across his first 2 seasons in 2014-2015 he cut his teeth at senior level in the reserves under Daniel Fraser in 2016 playing 15 games as a ruck/forward. From 2017-2018 was Tim’s self-described famous ‘purple patch’ where he kicked 23 goals from 29 games in the Thirds culminating in a final’s appearance in 2018. Tim rewarded himself for this dominant period with the next 3 years off but returned in 2022. Since then he has spent most of his time in the reserves, establishing himself as one half of a formidable ruck duo with Michael Lane as the team charged towards a prelim berth in 2023. Any ruck coming up against that combination had a long day ahead of them with the physical approach they took.

Over the years, TJ has evolved as a player. Starting as a lightly framed key position player in the 19’s who would rely on his marking he has adapted his game style to physically hunt the opposition and models his game on Shane Mumford with his follow up tackling. Over the years Tim’s kicking has improved out of sight which is a testament to the hard work he has put in. Despite my urgings however, he has still not come round to the idea of chest marks-preferring to always take it strongly out in front. It is a sight to behold a storming TJ coming out of the goal square arms outstretched taking the ball at its highest point, barrel chested. TJ is genuinely a team lifting player with the whole hearted nature he plays the game, vocal instruction and physical support he provides for younger or smaller players in the side. It never ceases to amaze me given he has never played in a filmed game for the club how often a TJ shot on goal will end up doing the rounds on social media post game. No one loves a TJ goal more than the boys he plays alongside of and of course the man himself with his over exuberant celebrations. As I mentioned before, so much of what he does on field is team lifting.

There is one primary aspect I admire most about TJ as a footballer after playing alongside him for many years. The attitude with which he plays the game and competes. Regardless of whether he is out on the Bray oval at 11:40 with the Reserves or 9:20 in Williamstown with the Thirds you can expect the exact same level of effort. He plays every game with an effort, intensity and pride like it is a final regardless of circumstances or luck at selection and that is what has sustained him for such a long period of time and allowed him to reach 100 games.

In addition to his on-field effort has been his off-field contribution. Who can forget the 2023 reverse raffle where he took over MC’ing the event without being asked. I am laughing while writing this thinking back on some of the one liners he came up with as people were eliminated that day from the raffle. The Harp Of Erin Hotel, a major sponsor of the footy club over the past 10 years must surely have TJ up on an honour board somewhere such has been his sustained support of their business throughout the years too.

I can’t quite do justice in writing for what playing alongside TJ the last 10 years has meant for me personally. From walking home from training together (via Big Brothers pizza of course) as 23 year old’s because we still didn’t have our drivers licenses, to shared onfield highs as well as experiencing the lows that come with playing football together, it simply would not have been as good or fun had it not been with TJ around.

Play your heart out as always on Saturday mate and walk off with the 4 points.

Patrick Lunn

Ben Rodwell

Congratulations Ben on reaching the 50 games milestone at Marcelin OCFC, many (including myself) honestly did not believe your hamstrings had 50 games in them, but here we are so well done!

Ben started playing for the Marcellin Old Boys in 2019 after a solid junior career at Bulleen Templestowe. During his first year at Marcellin, Ben became known as a strong and reliable defender. Ben would always play bigger than he is, managing to keep the oppositions key forward at bay on numerous occasions.

Outside of football Ben is studying to be a teacher, one of his many qualities is his understanding of each person’s differences and being capable to adjust his teaching approach based on the individual. These skills are apparent on the football field. Over the years Ben has become a natural leader taking new players under his wing and teaching them key football skills and guiding them to improve themselves each and every week. Ben’s kind and patient persona has helped numerous new players who have never played before become reliable and talented footballers for Marcellin.

Ben has been instrumental in the Thirds group over the past 4 years. A few weeks out from the 2022 season we only had 4 people at our Thirds training and were at risk of not fielding a team. Ben, showing his passion for the club dedicated himself to ensuring we had enough players to field a team that year. It is Ben’s positive energy that keeps bringing people back to this team year after year. He has always been there to assist with anything you ask of him from team managerial duties to running training sessions, Ben always does it. Without him we would not have a Thirds football team, let alone the two we have this season.

As I have mentioned above, Ben has had numerous hamstring injuries during his career. However, Ben has always shown resilience, putting in the hours to rehab his injuries and whilst injured always continues to support the club from off the field. Even after all these injuries Ben’s passion for the club and his mates keeps him coming back year after year, which is something we all love about him.

Whilst Ben does spend most of his time in the backline, he has a natural ability to find the big sticks. On numerous occasions Ben has made his way forward and kicked a pivotal goal for the team, and he always has a celebration to go with it!

Off the field, Ben is a great friend of many of the guys at the club. He has been the kind of person people respect and listen to. Whilst Ben does have numerous on-field highlights, his off the field work at the social functions and events are what will have his name written down in the Marcellin history books!

Ben, it has been a pleasure to play alongside you, you are a great teammate and an even better friend. Congratulations again on reaching 50 games, play well and I am looking forward to seeing what the next 50 games has to offer.

James Barbuto


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