In a new feature to the website we look to catch up with former players who have moved on to pastures new after they’ve finished playing for Preston Grasshoppers. The first player that we’ve caught up with is Austarlian Hooker/Centre Scott Podmore who spent two seasons with Hoppers between 2004 & 2006 making 34 appearances which included scoring five tries, two of which were in just his second game for the club against Vale of Lune at Lightfoot Green. Those two tries came in unusual circumstances as he was making his home debut off the bench.
The first game Scott played for Hoppers was again off the bench in the memorable contest at the now closed Howarth Road in Hull on the 11th of December 2004 were Hoppers won by a very narrow margin in a sixty six pointer over their closest rivals along with the other side from Hull that promotion season in Powergen North 1.
Tell us how you came to spend time at Lightfoot Green playing at Hoppers?
A friend of a friend had a contact who was looking for players. I had just finished my club season in Sydney and needed a change so jumped at the opportunity.
You arrived as a hooker but left as a centre….. Tell us about that.
I was a centre to start with and in the 2004 club season in Sydney and had begun the change to hooker to push for higher honours. Obviously the tough stuff is a lot tougher in UK so super coach Alex got me back out in the centres fast. I loved being out there, playing outside Michael Lough, surrounded by a lot of talented guys was good fun. I just tried to keep up with them.
Who are your most memorable Hoppers team mates?
The Steel brothers (Craig and Wayne) never stopped laughing around them, watching Paul Bailey and Russ Flynn play pranks, and just good times with Toby Foster, Rich Morton, Richie Sands, Will Hughes and Owen McKenna. But everyone in that squad was top shelf in my opinion.
Do any games stick in your memory from your time with Hoppers?
The home games with a packed Lightfoot Green were great to win and enjoy that atmosphere post match.
Where did you move to once your time at Lightfoot Green ended?
I moved back to Sydney and returned to playing for Parramatta, at hooker after gaining lots of experience from Hoppers.
You still have a very strong family connection with Hoppers. How is the family?
My family is growing. I Was lucky enough to marry Ian “Big Mack” Mcfarlane’s daughter Victoria in 2009. We now have 2 young boys. Hopefully 2 more recruits for Hoppers in the future!
How is the rugby career going in Australia?
My career really took off after my time at Hoppers, playing lots of 1st grade for the next 8 years, for Parramatta then Norths and I made the Australian Barbarians a few times. I also flirted with some minutes in super rugby. I have Hoppers to thank for any increase as I wasn’t going anywhere before my time in UK.
You recently became the most capped Australian Barbarian of all time. That must make you very proud?
Haha! Obviously Big Mack talks about his son in-law in the bar a fair bit? I’ve never really thought I was that good so I’m honoured to say the least. Captaining a side full of players I look up to is surreal. Hopefully my boys are proud of me.
Any plans to return to Lightfoot Green anytime soon?
The family and I are all coming back this May for a month, I look forward to showing my sons all around Lightfoot Green. And if there’s a game on I’ll play. (If my wife will let me!)
Anything or anyone that was special to your time at hoppers?
Ken & Penny Moore, and the entire Moore family. They have looked after so many players over the years and I can’t thank Penny enough for being so kind and generous.
Alex Keay, Paul Manley and Steve Gough. I was lucky enough to see Alex in Sydney for the Lions tour (Congrats by the way!) but the other 2 I’ve not seen since. All three were great coaches and mates to me. I know Manners was remembered for being tough on players, but I loved that. What the world doesn’t see is when Manners would check on foreign players to make sure they weren’t home sick, broke or lonely through Xmas. All our coaches looked out for me at Hoppers and I’m grateful.
We look forward to welcoming Scott and family in May!