Reg Hickey

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Reg Hickey
Reg Hickey1.jpg
Personal information
Full name Reginald Joseph Hickey
Date of birth (1906-03-27)27 March 1906
Place of birth Collingwood
Date of death 13 December 1973(1973-12-13) (aged 67)
Place of death Geelong
Original team Cressy
Height/Weight 185cm / 92kg
Playing career1
Years Club Games (Goals)
1926–1940 Geelong 245 (24)
Coaching career3
Years Club Games (W–L–D)
1932–1959 Geelong 304 (183–118–3)
1 Playing statistics correct to end of 1940 season.
3 Coaching statistics correct as of 1959.
Career highlights

Reg Hickey (27 March 1906 – 13 December 1973) was a player, and later coach, of the Geelong Football Club. Between 1926 and 1959 he led the club to three premierships and participated as a player in a fourth. As a strong, fast and intelligent player with exquisite footskills, Hickey donned the Geelong hoops for 245 games in a career spanning fifteen years, including a part in two premierships, two club best-and-fairest awards and nine seasons as club captain. Hickey's involvement with the club after his playing career did not stop there, with Hickey establishing a reputation as a hard but equally fair coach, helping build the team into a powerhouse during the early 1950s.[1]

As a coach, Hickey led the club in 304 matches, including 91 as playing coach, all the while establishing a 60% winning record. Such is his place in Geelong history that the club currently has its Eastern Stand at its home ground, Skilled Stadium, named after him, as well as naming the prestigious R.J. Hickey Award after him, given annually by the club to an individual selected for his outstanding service to Australian rules football.[2]

Playing career[edit]

Geelong recruited Hickey for the start of the 1926 season, with Hickey himself making a name as a tough defender, renowned for his dashing runs out of the defensive half.

Captain-coach[edit]

Hickey was named captain-coach in 1932, but relinquished the coaching position to Arthur Coghlan the following season, though he continued in his role as captain of the club. Come 1936, however, Hickey again undertook the joint role of captain-coach, this time holding on to both positions until his retirement in 1940. By then he was the games record-holder for the club, and held that record until Bill Goggin took over in 1971.

Hickey's finest moment as captain-coach came in the 1937 Grand Final against Collingwood. Until the three quarter time break, the contest was relatively even between both sides, neither being able to get ahead by more than a few points. In an effort to break the deadlock, Hickey made wholesale positional changes – a coaching move almost unheard of in those days. Nevertheless, the tactic worked, with Geelong coming out comfortable winners.[1]

Hickey came 2nd in the Brownlow Medal count in 1936 and 3rd in 1931.[3]

Coaching career[edit]

Due to travel restrictions and an exodus of players to war service in the Second World War, Geelong were unable to field a side for the 1942 and 1943 seasons. Players transferred to other clubs, but not all returned when Geelong rejoined the competition for the 1944 season, and the club was left with the unenviable task of rebuilding, leading to poor finishes down the bottom end of the ladder for the rest of the late 1940s.[3]

Hickey was appointed coach for the third time in 1949, with immediate success. Though the club failed to make the finals, they showed marked improvement.

Hickey had a policy of fast, direct play, relentlessly drilling his players to ensure they made every possession count.[4] 1950 saw Geelong make the finals for the first time in ten years. For the next two and a half years, Geelong was the strongest side in the competition, winning two consecutive flags, and establishing a VFL/AFL record of 23 wins in a row during 1952 and 1953. It wasn't until the end of 1953 that Collingwood, with the use of ugly and restrictive football, were able to defeat on Hickey's side.[3] The Cats lost the Grand Final and failed to seriously challenge for the flag again for the rest of Hickey's reign. He retired from coaching at the end of the 1959 season, after 35 years of service to the Geelong Football Club.

In 2001, Reg Hickey was selected as the captain, coach, and centre half back of Geelong's official 'Team of the Century', a testament to his outstanding leadership skills and football talent. Likewise, his place in football was concreted with his naming on the interchange bench in the Victorian Team of the 20th Century, some 50 years after his own playing retirement, and his status as an Australian Football Hall of Fame member.

Reg Hickey's grandson is former Port Adelaide coach and captain Matthew Primus.

Preceded by
Ted Baker
Geelong Football Club captain
1932–1940
Succeeded by
Tom Arklay
Preceded by
Charlie Clymo
Geelong Football Club coach
1932
Succeeded by
Arthur Coghlan
Preceded by
P. Parratt
Geelong Football Club coach
1936–1940
Succeeded by
Len Metherell
Preceded by
Tom Quinn
Geelong Football Club coach
1949–1959
Succeeded by
Bob Davis

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Davie, Geoff and the Geelong Cats (1994) Cats on the Prowl
  2. ^ Scarlett signs for another two years
  3. ^ a b c Rodgers, Stephen, Every Game Ever Played (1983)
  4. ^ Ross, John and Hutchinson, Garrie The Clubs