Snapper's Musings

5 Minutes with "SNAPPER" (Ben Torney)

5 Minutes with Snapper


with Ben Torney

Hi Ben. This kinda feels like I'm interviewing Kim Jong Il, the old North Korean dictator. Since you got a girlfriend a while back we don't get to hear much of what's happening inside your borders - this is a fascinating opportunity to find out what's been happening inside a rogue nation-state. How are things?

Yeah things are going well.

Remember when Kim Il Jong died? And for the first time in years we saw pictures in North Korea that weren't of military parades? Of their people mourning? It was weird stuff, it looked like some sort of enormous cult. Is that what you've got going with your girlfriend? Are you the head of your own cult and she's your follower?

No idea what you're on about but did you know that back in 1994, this man set a record that is likely to stand forever. Playing his first round of golf on a regulation, PGA-style, 18-hole course, Kim Jong Il scored 11 holes-in-one while he carded a stunning 38 UNDER par. Seventeen bodyguards were on hand to witness and attest the score.

Ok, well then can you tell us a bit about her mate - where did you meet?

I met Mel in 2006 at university when we both started our teaching degrees. She eventually agreed to a date in 2011 so I wore her down.

What does she think of you always hanging around her? Does she worry that you're not developing a full, well-rounded social life?

Mel is fully supportive of everything I do. One of the drawbacks of being a pre service teacher is the large chunks of unpaid rounds required in the final year this has lead to a empty bank account and needing to cut back certain areas including rent and alcohol. We don't all live the Revolver lifestyle forever.

So what do you guys do together?

I'm a huge fan of The Biggest Loser and House Husbands so I try to schedule my life around those shows' time slots. We enjoy a late breakfasts on cricket free Sundays and cooking up a storm. We both enjoy travel and hopefully a European adventure is not too far off.

Very nice. What does she think of cricket, does she like you playing all day every Saturday? It can be tough on the WAGs.

It can be tough especially when {*expletive deleted - easily the worst expletive ever seen on 5 mins with the Snapper*} accuse her constantly of ruining her boyfriend's social life which is untrue. The club hasn't had any female friendly functions until recently and I think the new social committee are taking the right steps to improve this. But Mel's knowledge of the game has improved amazingly, she's even learnt how to follow the competition scores on twitter and often tells me which teams are up and about. Last game she told me "Melbourne look like the team to beat this year". She's also constantly telling me to "make a century and bowl 10 wickets" so she clearly knows her stuff and sets the bar high.

Where are you living at the moment?

Living in Vermont, not far away from the home of the mighty white dragon.

Dragontown! What are you doing for work?

I've just finished my degree and scored a teaching position straight up for next year at Heathmont East teaching grade 1 & 2.

How do you unwind after a tough hit-out on the cricket field on Saturdays?

Depends if I've had a good day or bad day. Good day tell people how well I've done a few beers and a good meal, bad day talk about something else a shit meal and an early night.

How's the biggest Chief of them all going? Well?

Yeah he's going well, he recently suffered a broken ankle in a pool cleaning accident but apparently it's just one of those injuries you can walk off.

Yeesssss! What's he been up to?

He has discovered Dennis has a lolly supply in the change rooms so you often see him sneaking in once the 1st XI take the field.

He must have enjoyed watching you win the First XI premiership last year. What was it like?

It was an amazing experience I think it's something I will fully appreciate once my Richmond career has finished.

Have you found it especially challenging to get up and about this year after reaching such highs?

Not really after having success I'm really keen on staying on top for as long as possible. It took 8 years at the club to win one flag hopefully we can win some more and become a strong premier club.

You played a vital role at times last year and in the finals, it must feel very satisfying looking at that medal every night?

Yeah it's good to know I played my part when required. The 1sts have a strong mentality of everyone contributing when required I'm just lucky my time came in the finals.

What are you looking to achieve now for the rest of your career? Now you've won one, what do you do, set yourself a goal of hopefully, say, winning 3 of them before you're done?

I would love to win 3 of them. I think we need to be a better team at the short form of the game which we've started well this season. Personally I'm batting higher up the order this season so I'm aiming for more runs and also aiming for more wickets.

Perhaps you'll be the captain one day down the track and you can lead us to another one?

Well I'm one from one as a skipper I think that was in the 2nds so the record speaks for itself really however the ever green Allan Wise has another 5 years in him I think.

I know you used to love a punt, but because of the media ban in North Korea I've got no idea if you still bother. Gambling would be banned in North Korea anyway wouldn't it?

Not sure but I don't think the TAB app works in Asia.

How's the punting been going then? Any good wins recently?

The punting is going well I just enjoy participating in a spring specialist competition with a few boys and former players. I've been improving every year and hopefully next year I can take the prize. No good wins recently but plenty of ones that lost by a nose.

I know its un-Australian but I got on South Africa this series. $2.40 for a side of that calibre was just too good for me to refuse. I've got bills to pay!

I reckon you may have gone a little early that price should blow out after the first test punters always come hard for Australia at home but good luck, the saffas definitely need to play their leggie.

How's the footy going? Still getting paid a truckload at Warrandyte to do not much at all?

I was at Donvale for the last two seasons but I've decided to hang up the boots so the body is fresh for cricket.

What do you think is the most important thing in succeeding on a cricket field?

Understanding the game. If you can see what is going to happen or control what's happening you'll be successful. If that fails just make sure your side makes more runs than your opponents.

What 'discipline' or activity in cricket is overrated in terms of contributing to success?

Running the tan, I'm so glad the club is at Glen Waverley now running the tan used to kill me.

I noticed a distinct change in you on the field a few years ago, you seemed to come of age almost all at once. Did you do something in particular to your game, or did it just come about because you got older?

I think it just came with age. I worked with the ability I already had and tried to make it successful. Lock up a few shots I can't play and a few balls I can't bowl then just focus on being consistent.

What do you enjoy most about playing cricket at a high level?

I enjoy the competition both from opposition and from blokes trying to get your spot. I get a little white line fever and enjoy some banter. Especially when Tangles is being a flog in the nets.

Which is every Tuesday and Thursday night. What are some of the drawbacks to spending your Saturdays in summer in the field for 6 hours?

It's definitely getting a cricket shirt tan. After winning the tan off a few years back its hard for the rest of my rig to catch up.

What's your match day routine?

Vegemite toast and yoghurt with muesli for breakfast and a long black or two. Mel got me an espresso machine so no need to stop for a coffee anymore to have a 15 year old make me a shit cappuccino. A quick look over the paper and get to the ground in time so I avoid the late punishment.

Mate you're obviously buying your coffee in need to hit Chapel Street for breaky and have your coffee made by one of those bohemian tattood hipters with facial hair. They're the ones who know how to make good coffee. Who's the funniest bloke at Richmond?

Probably me, have you heard some of the gold I come up with every flog of the fortnight? That stuff doesn't write itself.

No worries tickets. Out of all our fabulous committee members who help out down the club, who would you most like to sit down with a few froths and chew the fat with?

It's a pretty close call. Both Randy and Lindsay have had heart attacks, work hard and have some good stories so either of them.

Who is the most annoying player at Richmond on match days?

I recently sat next to Pinhead and he took up so much space so I'd say him. Plus I'm sick of celebrating his wickets on Springvale Rd.

What about in general? Same bloke?

Nah I'd say Chalks he's been at the club two minutes and he carries on like Brendan Adams. It must be hard when they both play in the same side.

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