In first of our Player Profile series we sit down with Gary Shorto, Balga SC captain.

Gary, you are one of the long serving Balga SC players. How long have you been involved with the club?
My association with this great club started back in 1993, probably earlier than when half of our first team was born. I was playing U10’s at the time and have been registered here ever since.

Apart from being the Senior First Team captain you also serve on the board of the club. What is your role there?
My role is a fairly simple one, I am part of a team of like minded people all trying to get this club back into the top leagues of WA football. We are taking some really big steps this year and are already working hard to improve on that next season.

You’ve been called the Balga SC legend. How does that sit with you?
Haha I don’t think I am quite in the same league as guys like Jamesy, Banham, Rambo, Macca, Ken and of course Trevor. These guys have been fantastic for our club.

Your wife plays for the Balga SC Ladies team. Who’s the better Center Back?
I would like to say me but it’s probably not.

Vanessa Shorto

Vanessa Shorto

What is your pre-match routine?
Try to get down as early as possible to support the reserves. We are one club and we all support each other.

Gary Neville likes to wear the same belt, Kolo Toure must be the last man onto the pitch and John Terry likes to wear his lucky shin pads (which he has lost after 10 years of wear), do you have any superstitions?
No unfortunately, maybe I should start one.

Gary Shorto

Gary Shorto

The club has gone through some changes over the last few years. With the promotion to All Flags State League Division 2, how have you found the transition?
It was a tough first season back in the state league. It took us a long time to rack up our first points. We finished the season a lot better and we are looking to improve our position each season.

More recently we’ve had a coaching change at Balga. How do you find the new coaching team of Bobby, Amir and Lindsay?
I have known Bobby from when he was playing at Balga some 12 odd years ago. His knees couldn’t handle it anymore so he approached the club about the possibility of taking our reserves. It was a gamble with Bobby being so young but his passion for the game and the club was never in doubt. To this day he still has that about him. The board have been very happy with the direction the club is traveling in. Amir and Lindsay have also added to the whole package that these guys deliver.

We understand you will be running a Poker night at the club. Have you prepared your hat and glasses?
Absolutely, isn’t a rule that you have to have sunnies on while playing poker.

Can you tell us a little more about the event?
It essentially is a fundraiser for the club that has the potential to a) make the club some money and  b) be a great night enjoyed by all. It’s on the bye weekend on the 12th September down at the club rooms. It’s a $50 buy in with the top 9 players all taking away prizes with the winner taking away 7 nights accommodation at a 5* resort in Bali. If anyone wants to come along or wants more information please email [email protected] and I will be happy to help.

We are excited about the future and the direction the club is taking. Are you?
Most definitely. We are a club on the up. It has been a lot of hard work by others to get us in this position. It is now up to us to really push this club to the top. Go you ‘Black and Greens’.