Report: JEFF STEPHENSON
CAMERON Spence doesn’t necessarily adhere to the saying: “He who hesitates is lost”.
But he does believe in exploring every detail and examining every issue confronting him, particularly when it comes to making a move that will affect his future and the futures of those around him.
As he should.
Big decisions need big investigations and that was the course he adopted when he was approached to move from Camperdown in Victoria’s western district – the club he had served so well since his days as a junior – to the northern climes of Brisbane and more particularly to Redlands.
Cameron, 23, was maybe a little surprised when approached by his coach of the previous four years, Phil Carse to join him at Redlands for season 2019.
He had been Phil’s assistant for the previous two years indicating his depth of maturity.
The Magpies finished runner-up to Koroit in last year’s Hampden League premiership decider, which was a magnificent achievement since they were expected to finish down among the also-rans.
So, despite Phil’s decision to accept an offer to return to the Bombers as coach, the signs for Camperdown’s 2019 prospects were looking decidedly rosy.
That played on Cameron’s mind.
So too did leaving his family and the place where he had spent his life thus far.
“It was a hard decision to make,” Cameron said before training at Scottsdale Park this week.
“I thought about it for probably three months before making up my mind.”
“I discussed it with Emma (his girlfriend) and I finally came to realise it was just too good an opportunity.”
Cameron is now ensconced in his new surrounds and adjusting to the heat as he prepares himself for his next big challenge.
“Yeah, it’s been hot and it’s taken a bit of time to adjust.
“I’ve lost a lot of sweat over the last few weeks, I know that.
“But then I think back to home and I won’t miss running around in the mud during a cold Victorian winter, either.”
The speedy midfielder will prove a handy acquisition for the Bombers this NEAFL season coming to the club from one of the strongest competitions in country Victoria.
Knowing full well the strengths Phil brings to a club has been a driving influence in his decision.
His two years as an assistant coach at Camperdown has expanded his horizons.
He says he played a “behind the scenes” type of role and absorbed as much as he could from Phil and the rest of the leadership group.
“I’d gone through the juniors with a lot of the players and had a strong relationship with them so it was a role that worked out pretty well.”
He also discussed his impending move with his teammates and his resolve strengthened when to a man they insisted he should take on the challenge and make the move to Brisbane.
“Everyone was great.
“They really encouraged me.”
Since arriving at Redland he’s been impressed by the work ethic of the group and the professionalism at the club.
“They’re a great bunch of blokes.
“I don’t know a great deal about the NEAFL, except there’s a fair bit of travel involved, but I’m really looking forward to taking that next step.
“It will be an exciting season.”
He’s one of four former Hampden players Phil has enticed north.
Other members of the “Western Stars” are his Camperdown captain Sam Cunnington, Koroit’s three-time premiership player Blair McCutcheon and Warrnambool’s Darcy Graham.
All of them have made the transition smoothly and are keen to strut their stuff.
But let’s get back to Cameron.
Last year was the first time Camperdown had played in a premiership decider for more than a decade.
The township of a little more than 3000 threw its support behind the team and while the 11-point loss to Koroit was disappointing it was only marginally so and the players were feted as a result of the achievement.
“The build-up was massive,” Cameron said.
“I don’t know what would have happened if we’d won – the place would probably have shut down for three months.”