Football brings out positives in a lot of personalities, but for Hamley Bridge and Gawler Central legend Kym Herrmann, a return to football has been a life changer.
Herrmann will take on one of country football’s biggest challenges, hoping to take the Angle Vale Football Club from the depths of the Adelaide Plains Football League, but said it had been “life changing”.
“Getting back involved with footy has been a huge thing for me, it makes getting out of bed in the morning easier these days; it’s given me something to look forward to,” he said.
“I had a marriage break up just over nine years ago, and struggled pretty badly with that.
“I got involved with a few things I shouldn’t have – I moved to town, probably one of the worst things I could’ve done – I got away from Gawler and I have always loved my country town.
“I really got away from footy full stop, which wasn’t great as it’s been a huge part of my life.”
He put the gears into motion for his full time gig with a return to Gawler Central two years ago, a point that he called “the turning point” in his life.
“I got back involved with Gawler Central with Tom Lane as an assistant coach of the under 17s, who has been great, he’s been a great mate of mine and a great supporter and stuck by me,” he said.
“To be involved with the kids at Gawler Central again was probably the turning point in my life, I didn’t know whether I still had the passion to coach football or not.
“It was a club I played a lot of footy at, I wore my heart on my sleeve for that club when I played there, and then drifted away from them for a few years, and it was great to be back.”
Similar to the challenge he faced while at Hamley Bridge in the early 2000s, Herrmann sought the Angle Vale senior position
“It was sad to see Angle Vale struggling so badly, and I know the community here is huge, a lot of kids in the place I heard were going to move on because the seniors were struggling so badly,” he said.
“I put my hand up to coach the senior side here and it’s one of the greatest decisions I’ve made.”
The change at Angle Vale has been astronomical, with numbers increasing massively.
“We’ve got some great numbers on the track and some good players around the place, it’s great to go bed at night thinking about footy and being happy with my life again,” Herrmann said.
“I’ve got a daughter that supports my sport and footy, she’s been fantastic, and to get involved with footy again and show her what I love doing has been a huge thing too.
“The support I’ve had out at Angle Vale has been second to none, and I’m quite excited about the season ahead, I’m just glad I got the passion for footy back.
Herrmann has rated the feeling around Angle Vale as “one of the greatest feelings” he’s ever had around a football club, saying that it’s a “bigger and better” thing than what happened at Hamley Bridge, where the Bombers won four games in five seasons.
“It’s up with any of the individual awards, I captained the 2001 premiership winning side at Gawler Central, coached by a person I respect greatly Peter Vivian,” he said.
“Where the footy club’s come from at Angle Vale, I get goosebumps talking about it, cause it is exciting, it’s fantastic, it’s numbing and mind blowing really.
“I heard that there was between six to 10 players on the track on a Thursday night before a game last year, and we’re averaging about 40 players on the track Tuesdays and Thursdays.
“It’d have to be near the greatest thing I’ve been involved with at a footy club, going from a club that probably could’ve folded and was struggling so badly to a state where I know we’ll be competitive, it’s probably one of the greatest feelings I’ve ever had.
“I have goosebumps thinking about the Hamley Bridge days and now the Angle Vale days, it makes me feel great, and especially struggling with depression and personal problems, but to be back on top of the world now and involved with footy is a huge thing.
“I definitely say down at Angle Vale it’s a bigger and better thing than Hamley, because they already had some good star players there and we just tweaked a few things and got them fit.”
Herrmann said football was the icing on the cake on returning to the top, but it was family first.
“My daughter definitely saved my life, at one stage I did nearly give up after my marriage break up, gambling problems, drug problems and a massive alcohol problem, but I couldn’t bare the thought of my daughter growing up without a dad, that was my life saver there,” he said.
“But returning to football has definitely been the icing on the cake.”