Gippsland Power's Peter Francis Will Spend His Final Day At The Club Today
By Pat Gordon
After 25 years shaping the talent pathway for footballers in Gippsland, Peter Francis will depart Gippsland Power for the final time in an official capacity today.
The much loved Carlton premiership player (1979) who also enjoyed stints at Fitzroy, Richmond and Essendon during his playing days, is retiring from football to spend more time with his family, which now includes a number of young grandchildren.
Francis hands over the reigns to another club stalwart in Scott McDougal, who after a decade with the club will take over the duties of talent manager.
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Speaking about what the club means to him, Francis made it apparent that a sense of family surrounds Gippsland Power.
"Look Its been a wonderful place, I came here in the October of 1994 and thought if i lasted two or three years it would be absolutely fantastic, so to be able to be here for 25 years has been a dream come true" said Francis.
"I've been really fortunate to work in football, which is my hobby, to work with these young men and women who come through here, come with dreams and aspirations to be the best that they can be,"
"Not all of them get to the highest level of our game, but they go back better to their clubs, better for coming through here, we're really fortunate to work with them we're spoilt,"
"They're not only sensational players but sensational young people, I feel really honoured to have been able to work with them for so many years and be able to follow them through and see them become brilliant young people in our community, it's something that I'll cherish forever".
Francis says that after being involved in football since he turned up as a 17 year old at Carlton in 1977, he is ready for the next chapter, though Gippsland will always hold a special place.
"For me and my family to come down here, I'm originally a country boy from Heathcote and to bring my family back to the country from the city was something that i always wanted to do,"
"You know to come to Gippsland to be able to bring my children up in the country has been absolutely wonderful, we will always have really fond memories of Gippsland and especially Gippsland Power,"
"They won't loose me, I'll certainly come and watch games and follow them really hard, they're my club and I love it dearly".