David Parkin played 211 games for Hawthorn during the ’60s and ’70s before forging a reputation as one of the game’s great coaches, leading the Hawks to a Premiership in 1978 before winning three flags with Carlton in 1981, 1982 and 1995.
But as Parkin recalled last week, the early days of his career were far from glamorous.
“I went off with a broken heart and a bit of concussion” – David Parkin
“It was hardly a game. I was emergency, I think, in the last round versus Richmond,” Parkin told AFLPlayers.com.au last week when recalling his VFL debut.
“It was at Punt Road, I got the ball nine times – never got the chance to kick it or handpass it because someone threw me into Punt Road very quickly. I was too slow to get out of my own way.”
Few would have predicted Parkin to reach the heights he did thereafter – least of all Parkin himself.
“I really thought at the end of that – I think I played one and a half quarters – I’m not up to it. I didn’t think I’d have the capacity [to make it at that level].”
Parkin’s recollections of his first two games are just a snippet of what was discussed when he sat down for a chat with sports writer and footy tragic John Harms at the Glenferrie Hotel last week. Harms will speak to a host of the game’s great characters for AFLPlayers.com.au throughout the season.
The full interview with David Parkin will be available on AFLPlayers.com.au this Thursday.