2000 - BRETT BOWEY
THE NICE GUY
Former St Kilda and Frankston rover Brett Bowey was one very tough customer. He came to Chelsea as coach in 1999. His brother Matt was already established at the club and played a role in his recruitment.
Few crossed the line with more commitment than this man. He produced the goods with monotonous regularity for the seasiders.
Brett came to Chelsea as a first time coach. As such, he assumed that everyone had his dedication, commitment and understanding of what was required of them. They didn’t. The players needed strong guidance and, at this level, Brett’s own ability wasn’t sufficient to get the team over the line.
Leading the team to relegation at the end of his first season, Brett had to reassess his methods and enlist greater club support to engineer a fight-back.
After winning the 2000 premiership, ’Bowser’ was forced to reapply for his job when ex-local and Melbourne player, Paul Hopgood, showed interest. Brett was replaced but resolutely continued playing and later volunteered for what would be another two year stint as coach before he was, once again, replaced by an incoming coach who had more “pulling power” with regards to recruits.
These apparent snubs would have seen the back of a lesser person, but not the tough little rover who continued to apply his skills with passion for the club. Three best and fairest awards provide testimony to that.
Brett Bowey will always be remembered as a premiership coach who was an outstanding and unselfish contributor to the Chelsea Football Club—a man who was best on ground in his final game, the 2006 Grand Final and a genuine nice guy.