Toby Green overcame flack in his early years, but he’s a fantastic person, except he’s no good at golf, writes Jeremy Cameron.
If you had asked me when I first met him if Toby Green would one day be an AFL captain, I would have said no 1,000 times over.
But the kid I met in my early days at the GWS Giants has become a great leader and I’m looking forward to seeing him through his 200th game at home on Saturday.
I think people are pretty hard on him and he’s the complete opposite of what people think he would be.
He’s a really nice guy and one of my best friends.
I called him about a month ago when it looked like he was about to hit his 200th at the MCG in round 9 and asked if I could sneak in with his family and friends for the game but he let me know , that can be missed. A few weeks into the injury and I knew the bar was going to fall on us.
I know the Giants guys will be rooting for him.
All the talk about him early in his career with the few incidents he was involved in was unfair, he’s just a competitive guy who wants to win and cross the line a few times, which I’ve done myself.
I was pretty quiet when I first got to the Giants and Toby really stood out to me and from then on we just loved playing together.
He’s a really loyal family man and friend, he seems to have hundreds of friends because people just gravitate towards him and I know if you asked people at other clubs they’d love him in their team.
Toby is an incredible soccer player, but he’s not good at golf.
Stephen Coniglio is the worst golfer I’ve ever seen, but Toby isn’t far behind and knows him if he sees me saying he’ll take the time to get better on the range.
He likes reading the paper and drinking coffee, so I’m sure he’ll find a copy of Addy this week.
My best native stars
Before I go, we have to continue the Sir Doug Nicholls Round at home on Saturday against the Giants.
Guys think about how special this phase is and most of us will be wearing custom shoes made by several artists to celebrate.
My shoes include a fish and Macey’s name, which is quite special; I didn’t want to wear them to practice this week in case I got them dirty.
In keeping with the tour, I thought I’d list some of my favorite native players.
1 – Lance “Buddy” Franklin
I watched Buddy a lot and his ability to run hard back to goal was incredible in his prime, it’s something I’ve really worked on in my game.
It was a special moment at the ground when he scored his 1,000th goal last year.
2 – Adam Goodes
The way he could play in so many positions was amazing and he was super clean in midfield for a player of his size.
3 – Eddie Betts
It was amazing to pick Eddie’s brain and how he approaches Footy when he was with us at the Cats last year. He broke our heat in one game with one of his goals of the year against us, a crucial moment when I was with the Giants, I try to enjoy those moments even if it hurts you on the scoreboard.
4 – Andrew McLeod
You can still hear how skilled he was with his kicks even in practice. He played his best games in the biggest moments and won two Norm Smith Medals.
5 – Michael O’Loughlin
I watched him a little bit as a youngster considering he was a striker. Who could forget the image of him giving it to the West Coast fans after scoring?
6 – Cyril Rioli
Isaac Smith tells me about the things Cyril did in training, he could change the game with just a few touches.
Originally published as Jeremy Cameron’s column. Why Tobey Green Is Misunderstood and My Best Native Stars