Big man of Lismore soccer returns

The big man, Noel Field.
The big man, Noel Field.

THERE is not a lot Noel Field has not achieved in local football.

Although it's more than 25 years since he hung up his boots, Fieldsy, as he is affectionately known, continues to frequent dozens of games every week, such is his love of soccer.

Noel has only ever been directly involved with two clubs, Rovers and South Lismore, having close affiliation with both as a player and coach. He has returned to South Lismore in 2012 as coach of their top side, trying to guide their return to premier division.

With his distinctive long auburn hair and lush beard suggesting an affiliation with a bikie gang, Fieldsy's dulcet tones can often be heard booming across the field as he adds his coaching commentary to every play. There are no airs and graces to this now stocky character who at age 19 was voted Men's Premier Player of the Year.

What you do get with Noel is honesty, loyalty and a genuine desire to progress the game. His playing career started at age nine with Lismore Richmond Rovers, progressed through junior representative teams, State representation at both school and Northern NSW Football and even brought offers to pursue a professional career, a fact that few know. This once classy midfielder won premierships with Rovers in 1987 and 1988, before retiring at the all too-young age of 28.

Like many talented sportspeople from country regions, the reality of paying the bills and raising a family impedes the dream of becoming an elite sportsperson and for Fieldsy, marriage, children and working night-shift to make a living were the highest priorities. Noel and his devoted wife Jenny were married in 1979 and along with children Katie, Michael, Stephen and Kim remain staunch locals. Although a smaller, svelte, athletic body shape may have been replaced by a "big marn", Fieldsy has never lost his friendly, caring disposition and mischievous smile. If you ever need someone to seek a sound opinion from, particularly on football matters, look no further than Noel. His credentials as a player, coach and even administrator, where he served two years on the old LDSA Board, have him well placed to comment.

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