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House feels right at home with the Cats

The West Australian
Timm House with players from the Gnowangerup junior football team.
Camera IconTimm House with players from the Gnowangerup junior football team. Credit: no copyright

It’s a long way from the WAWheatbelt where he grew up, but Geelong draftee and proud Gnowangerup local Timm House is exactly where he wants to be — playing footy with the Cats.

In November last year, the 21-year-old’s life changed when he was picked up at 68 in the AFL draft.

“I was driving a truck for Dad during harvest, delivering the grain to the silos and a mate actually rang me and told me that I’d been picked up by Geelong,” Mr House said. “I couldn’t quite believe it.”

This weekend at the MCG, the AFL and event sponsor Case IH will be celebrating players like Mr House, and communities like Gnowangerup at the second annual Country Festival game between Geelong and Essendon.

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“We’re thrilled to be involved in such a great event, recognising the great players and supporters from country communities,” Case IH Australia and New Zealand brand leader Bruce Healy said.

“It’s great to see the AFL, including the Geelong Football Club supporting country kids.”

Mr House is excited to celebrate the game’s country connections.

“So many great players and people in the AFL have come from regional towns, and this event is an opportunity to recognise the role that country people play in our game,” he said.

Back in his days playing footy for the Gnowangerup Bulldogs, House would look forward to playing all week.

“It was certainly the dream growing up, my brother and I were on the back lawn every day for hours playing footy,” House said.

“Our winter revolved around local footy. Mum and dad would drive us around the countryside to play.”

Like in many regional communities throughout Australia, Mr House said the footy club was a place for locals to gather each week.

“Whenever I go back, I always to try to catch a game and still see a lot of the people that I grew up playing footy with who are now playing in the senior side,” he said.

“I go watch them. Everyone’s very welcoming and glad to see me back, and I’m glad to see them.”

According to Kevin Newman, who is the manager of Case IH dealership Farmers Centre 1978 in Katanning, sports clubs are important for the survival and growth of country communities.

For this reason, the dealership has sponsored the Gnowangerup Bulldogs for more than a decade, and is proud to continue supporting players like Mr House.

Mr House agrees. “Gnowangerup has a really strong football club, and we have netball and hockey as well,” he said. “It means quite a lot to the community and the town.

“You see a lot of new people that come to the town and they come down to footy training and meet all the locals and they get involved.

“I think without footy in the country, it’d be a lot harder to socialise and have an outlet besides work.

“I’m really proud to be from the country because of the community spirit ... I really enjoy going back to Gnowangerup, it still feels like home.”

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