Ask any South Sydney Junior and they’ll tell you the same thing – that Redfern Oval is a home. Rabbitohs forward Jason Clark is certainly no different.
With the Rabbitohs set to take on the State Championship winning Northern Pride in this Saturday’s Return to Redfern clash, Clark took time out this week to talk about the connection that he, the Rabbitohs and countless Junior footballers from the district have with Redfern Oval.
“It’s sort of been a home for me,” said Clark speaking in the Oval’s grandstand.
“It’s where we used to play our Junior Grand Finals up until I started playing SG Ball and Harold Matthews and then I still played here as well.
“I was lucky enough to (play) in one of the last games at Redfern Oval before it got renovated and I was lucky enough to play in the Return to Redfern once it was renovated, so it’s a big part that I’ll always remember.”
For many, the Return to Redfern clash is as much about nostalgia as it is about the football, and Clark certainly is nostalgic about the ground that South Sydney first settled into in 1948.
“A lot of people used to look at it and think how run-down it was,” recalled Clark of the ground before its renovations.
“I looked at it and the smell of the lockers, the bashed in black lockers down stairs – it’s something you always remembered that was Redfern Oval.
“Obviously the hill on the other side with the old-school score-board – it’s something that I’ll never forget and I always love seeing old photos of it.”
When it comes to memorable moments at the ground, Clark couldn’t go past winning his first Grand Final at the old Redfern Oval while playing for the Coogee-Randwick Wombats’ under 12’s side.
“We had quite a good team that came through the ranks and stuck together for quite a while,” said Clark.
“We won our first Grand Final in the under 12’s, so it took a while. I was lucky enough for my old man to be the Coach.
“Its home for a lot of us junior kids and it’s the heart of South Sydney.”
The South Sydney Rabbitohs will take on the Northern Pride in this Saturday’s Return to Redfern clash and the boys need you there to help them get over the line! Be there to celebrate our return to our spiritual home and get your photo taken with the Provan-Summons Trophy, while the kids enjoy a footy clinic among a range of activities on the day! Kick-off is at 6pm.