When Fremantle’s Next Generation Academy visited the Kimberley in their most recent road trip up north, Roger Hayden and Simon Eastaugh met arguably the most passionate Freo Dockers fan yet!
Ethan Hoad loves his footy and used to play as a forward and midfielder for the Yakanarra Dockers before having a major accident which resulted in him using a wheelchair.
After emulating the likes of Stephen Hill and Michael Walters on the footy field in the Central Kimberley Football League, he now passionately follows Freo and even hopes to one day make the 2500km journey south to see Freo in action at Optus Stadium.
He was thrilled to have the chance to meet two former Freo players in Hayden, Fremantle’s NGA Coach, and Eastaugh, Fremantle’s head of community engagement.
“(Meeting Roger and Simon) was great. We spoke about being up here and how I’ve been a big supporter of Fremantle. I remember Roger, he was number 43,” Hoad said.
“I only came to Perth when I had my accident but I haven’t been to any games.
“Matthew Pavlich and Nat Fyfe are my favourite players. They’re superstars. Stephen Hill also would have to be a favourite.
“I love my Fremantle Dockers. Doesn’t matter, win or lose, I’m always purple army.”
Since the incident, Hoad has completely changed up his career from working on a nearby cattle station to embracing a passion at a different kind of station as a radio DJ for Wangki Yupurnanupurru Radio 936AM.
“I used to work in the station. I used to ride a horse, I used to muster cattle. Yeah, after my accident, I told them I don’t wanna sit doing nothing,” Hoad said.
“They said, Ethan do you want a job? I said, 'yeah, I would love a job'.
“Then when I started practicing, people loved my radio.
“I love my music. I like the sound around me. I play mixed Rock ‘n Roll, Country and Indigenous music.
“And they always sing along with me. And when I sing, it makes me feel good in myself.”
Hayden said he was honoured to meet Ethan and have the chance to go on air with him.
“Just to meet him and see his personality and his bubbly nature was fantastic, especially after what he’s been through,” Hayden said.
“He’s a big Fremantle supporter, a really funny guy and it was nice to get on the radio with him and he even played some of my requests.
“He was decked out in his gear and he’s a big influence on the community so hopefully he can get a few more Freo fans on board.”
Click here to watch Ethan’s Story as a part of ’The Lives we Lead’ series