Stats courtesy of the Ranger Info Centre.
Ranger #: 299
Club Debut: 2012
E’s Best & Fairest: 2013
E’s Players’ Player: 2013
E’s Top Goal Scorer: 2013, 2014 & 2015
C’s Top Goal Scorer: 2016
E’s Captain: 2013-2015
Club Secretary: 2016-17
Executive Committee: 2015-2018
Words by Roshan Wilson
What an amazing football journey Matt has had with our Club so far.
The stats above give you a glimpse of his work rate and passion for the game on and off the field.
I have known Matt since he started playing for our Club in 2012. From the minute he pulled on the badge, he was hooked with the Ranger bug. He played with hunger and enthusiasm which was contagious to his teammates and supporters. You step on the field with him, and he makes you a better footballer – wanting to win and continue to fight until the final whistle. It is one of the reasons he was an easy choice to be Captain (in his second year), and to ask him to serve on the Executive Committee – he strives to make it a better place.
During his time at the Rangers, he has also recruited eight players, promoted our Club not only in SA, but on a national level, and continues to be an advocate for community and semi-pro football. If you didn’t know, Matt is highly regarded in the wider SA football community. He works for Football SA to ensure all clubs (including the Rangers, Adelaide United and emerging youngsters) has a platform on a national stage as he works with media teams to promote players, events and their club.
On top of that, he is a very passionate Arsenal supporter, leading their chorus as a founding member of Arsenal Australia – heck even as a Manchester United fan, I’ve found myself at some of their events.
Overall, Matt has been a blessing for Football SA and the Rangers. He’s one of the most down to earth blokes you’ll ever meet. Easy to approach, have a beer with, he listens and genuinely cares.
From all the media work, reaching 150 games, verging on scoring nearly 100 goals for our club are just few of his achievements we should celebrate. I’m sure wife Billie and their young daughter are just as proud.
Thank you for your service mate, and good luck this weekend.
Words by Coach – Paul Cooksey
Matty Maize / El Tortuja.
The original and best nickname in my eyes.
150 games is really something considering that I was there at the start and now I’m still there and I only played about half that.
I think it’s a testament to the man’s dedication to the club and football in general but he manage to fit that many games in. I think he must’ve played pretty much every level of the club. Luke even played him as a 6 (I did laugh a bit at that Luke—- you’ve seen him tackle… coz I haven’t!) Scored almost 100 goals. Almost. Rumour has it he even got one with his head. Although I think that was just a dream. I must not be cruel though. He has improved a lot in that area. To be fair – getting worse would have involved decapitation and that’s not high on anyone self-improvement chart. I still smile at those early Maize headers.
Matty makes me smile a lot. Like when I think of the young lad getting Freddy Lumberg interviews with all the glee of a schoolboy. And the passion he shows on the pitch even now playing Div 6. There’s no doubt his dedication to his teammates and the club is still unwavering despite the fact that now you actually manage to hold down a job and even has a child. I reckon you could have knocked me down with a feather if you’d told me I’d had been around to witness that when this young gunner first came to the club.
It is actually a huge privilege to have watched him grow as a player and a man over the last few years. I think that’s the biggest review I can give to him, whilst his passing and striking of the ball is some of the best I’ve seen – it’s his growth as a person which has been a marvellous thing to bear witness to. He’s a wonderful father and husband to Piper and Billy and a great advocate for football in the state.
I’m sure he’ll go on to do even better and bigger things not just for the club, but for football in general and I can’t wait to see it.
Well done on 150 games mate. Hope you’ve got a few more in the legs yet.