Australian Men’s Open coach, Tony Trad and former international leading referee, Adam Foley have been recognised for their contributions to the sport of Touch Football, inducted into the New South Wales Touch Association Hall of Fame.
Both Trad and Foley were inducted into the Hall of Fame at last weekend’s New South Wales Touch Association’s Blues Awards dinner, in front of over 300 people. Their induction follows being named in the Touch Football Australia Hall of Fame in April at the 2015 World Cup.
It’s been a big year for Trad, having coached the Australian Men’s Open team to their World Cup win in May, his fourth World Cup Open’s title. He said to be inducted into the NSWTA Hall of Fame ‘means the world’ to him.
“(To be inducted into the) Hall of Fame firstly with Touch Football Australia earlier this year and now with my home state New South Wales where it all started, I think it’s just unbelievable. Some of the people that are Hall of Famers, some of the legends that were gracing the fields when I first started playing Touch, to be in that company, that’s ridiculous,” Trad said.
“Being inducted into the Hall of Fame at your home World Cup was incredible and now the great state of New South Wales embracing me in their Hall of Fame, it’s a bit surreal but it’s great, I can’t stop smiling.”
Trad’s wife Trish and Wests Magpies Men’s Premier League team were in attendance at the dinner, making it a special night for all involved.
“I’ve been at Wests my whole life, I started out as a Canterbury junior and spent a couple of years at Cronulla but realistically Wests is my home, Wests is where my heart is and that club has made me what I am today. Andy Yiangou is the first guy that really taught me about how to be a good person and how to get the best out of players as a coach, so to have my club mates and my wife Trish here, that’s very, very special. You can’t beat that.”
After retiring from an international level following the 2011 Touch World Cup, Foley is still involved in the sport at a park level and in a referee coaching capacity. Foley said the induction ‘really meant a lot and was quite a shock’.
“It’s very strange for a referee to be inducted into the Hall of Fame. We go about our job behind the scenes, it’s all about the players, not the referees so it’s a huge honour.”
“Both (inductions) were a huge honour. My first nationals was 1995, so until retirement in 2011, it’s a huge commitment but I’m really happy. In saying that there’s a lot of other people that in my mind can be put in front of me.”
Foley said he has many career highlights.
“At a TFA level it would probably be my first Men’s Open final, it was a game of everything. At a New South Wales level, a number of Men’s Open games that went down to the wire, there was so many great players, great times, both at Vawdon Cup and State Cups.”