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Episode 184 - David Westley

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In this podcast


3:31 – Welcome David Westley

4:10 – His upbringing in PNG

5:06 – His village growing up

8:13 - Finding out his Dad played league

10:10 - PNG genetics

12:30 - Leaving PNG for Australia

13:42 - Moving to Cairns in the 80’s

15:05 - Finding rugby league

16:05 - Losing his Father early in life

19:36 - Wally Lewis and shyness growing

21:00 - Playing in QLD rep teams with Sid Domic and Wendell Sailor

22:30 - Nearly signing for the Gold Coast instead of Canberra

24:12 - Tim Sheens and his eye for talent

24:49 - His first contract with Canberra

25:58 - The Raiders boarding house at Seiffert Oval

26:55 - Bruce Mamando

28:05 - Being coaches by Craig Bellamey in under 21’s

30:05 - His approach to the Raiders super stars

31:40 - Brutal training sessions between the front rowers (quote)

33:39 - Coming through the grades and preparing to play in first grade

34:50 - His run on debut against the Balmain Tigers

36:30 - 1993 the season that got away

37:10 - Motivation for 1994

38:00 - Who’s the fastest out of Mullins, Nadruku and Nagas?

38:15 - The excitement back in PNG

39:45 - Preparing for his first grand final

42:00 - Burying his sister with his grand final jersey

42:53 - His support system (quote)

44:02 - Involvement and love for Women’s rugby league

44:34 - Memories from the 94 grand final

45:45 - Concussions and head knocks

47:40 - Celebrating the GF win

48:45 - The pride of representing PNG

51:05 - How they signed with Super League

51:40 – Paul Osborne

52:33 – Being coached by Mal Meninga

53:38 – Who he learnt most from in coaching

54:35 – How the move to Parramatta eventuated

56:21 – His experience under Brian Smith

57:07 – Seeking a Father figure

59:35 – Knowing when he had to retire

1:00:45 – Finding his passion

1:01:21 – Coaching vs Playing

1:02:44 – Battles with mental health

1:05:04 – The passing of Quentin Pongia

1:06:42 – Life coaching with Tony Priddle

1:08:29 – The Grass Skirts Project

1:11:10 – The potential for a PNG NRL team

1:11:40 – 5 people he would invite to a private dinner party

PART B begins 1:18:00


David Westley is a former professional rugby league player who played 143 first grade games for the Canberra Raiders, Parramatta Eels and Northern Eagles winning a premiership with the Raiders in 1994. David was born in PNG and represented his country of birth in 5 tests. Post footy he is the Head of Rugby League Sports and Social Impact at the Grass Skirts Project and is also well credentialed in coaching having coached the PNG National Women’s team and Strength and Conditioning for the PNG Kumals Men’s team.

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Related Episodes - Episode 183: Nigel Vagana | Episode 163: James Maloney |


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