Brett Matthews was a journeyman footballer who played two Foundation Cup games in 1991, with Norwood defeating West Adelaide 11.7 to 9.8 and North Adelaide 14.5 to 9.7. He then returned to Canberra, where he was a tenacious onballer with Belconnen in the ACT competition between 1991 and 1993.
Known as ‘Yabba’ in those days, and later as ‘Yoda’, Brett worked as a dog trainer at the Customs Department’s drug detector dog national training centre, a job which took him around the country.
In 2003 he joined the Woden Blues in the ACT for “one last season” and the chance to enjoy a premiership.after 16 years without success. He was not disappointed. Woden defeated the Gungahin Jets by 10 goals in the Canberra District second division grand final and went on to its third successive premiership the following year.
In his late 30s, and with two premierships under his belt, Brett retired as a player at that point but took on the challenging role of coaching a Woden team promoted to first division. Hit by retirements, the club struggled in 2005 but remained in the top grade and Brett’s vision of expansion to two teams was realized a decade later.
P. Robins, G. Adams October 2021
*For the picture we thank Wayne Bennett, Woden AFC life member and former club president.