Interview Tuesday 2 June, 6pm
The Halley Appleby Memorial Scholarship was established in 2012, and is awarded to a single UQRFC current player who is not a student at the University, but rather an apprentice or trainee, and is a proven team player, just as Halley was.
1) Tell us a bit about yourself, and your apprentice/trade
My name is Lyall Fidow and I’m a plumber. I was a techie (printer technician) for the first 2 years after I finished school, and then I decided to do an apprenticeship. I’ve got one more year to go and then I’ll be a fully qualified plumber.
2) How long have you been playing for UQ?
I’ve been at the UQ Rugby Club for 6 years.
3) Did you ever play rugby alongside Halley?
My first year here I played Colts with Halley and I learned a lot off him. We were both playing prop because in our year there were three hookers, so Halley and I had to prop. He was a (carpenter) tradie as well, so we used to have chats about it. We were always having a dig at each other, carpenter vs. plumber.
4) What’s it like to juggle your apprenticeship and footy?
It takes a lot out of you. Waking up at 5 in the morning, getting to work at 6am, and having to ask the boss to knock off early on Tuesday and Thursday to come to training until late. It’s really hard work.
5) As the inaugural recipient of the Halley Appleby Memorial Scholarship in 2012, what did it mean for you and your rugby experience at UQRFC?
I was lucky enough to be noticed as a plumber by one of the coaches at UQ, Mick Zaicek who encouraged me to apply. He thought I’d be a good candidate for that first ever Halley Scholarship. I feel privileged. I knew Halley, we played Colts, Prems and Reserves together, so it meant a lot. It helped me to buy my tools. Tools are very expensive, the cheapest costs around $50 each, and that’s just hand tools. I spent most of the scholarship reward on power tools and saved the rest. I was struggling to buy tools at the time because I was just finishing up my first year as an apprentice and going into my second year where I needed my own tools. It helped a lot. Gary & Sue (Appleby, Halley’s parents) are lovely people. I have a lot of respect for them.
6) The Scholarship is based on being a “proven team player”, just as Halley was. What makes you a team player at UQRFC?
I think I offer a fair bit to the Club. I do the best I can, always. I just love the team, it’s a good environment and training doesn’t feel like a burden at all. I live ages away, and I could easily go play for Sunnybank that is just up the road, but it’s a good bunch of boys here. It feels like family.
7) Who supports you the most with your rugby?
Easily my mum. She always watches my games. When I’m slacking, she’ll kick me up the butt. Sometimes she’ll prep my meals before game day. I tell her she doesn’t have to and I’m a big boy, but she knows I work a lot so I let her.
8) What would you like to tell fellow apprentice/trainees who want to play rugby at UQ?
I reckon that if you want to come and play for a good club, good people, you should come and play for UQ. You don’t have to be a smart bloke haha. It’s just a great rugby club.
Lyall ‘Cannonball’ Fidow is completing his 4th and final year as an apprentice plumber and is a regular feature in the Premier and Reserve Premier grade teams for UQRFC. 2014 is his 6thseason with the Club.