Grossman builds on family legacy
STEVE Grossman’s immense contribution to Torquay Football Club is not only apparent through the amount of people at the club who know and respect him, but the range of roles he is respected for.
Described by his friend Steve Dunstan as “well-liked by everybody”, some at the club think of Steve firstly as a former teammate, others as a past committee member, and for several of the current senior players, a former coach.
The Grossman family is as intrinsic to the club as its recognisable black and yellow jersey.
Steve’s grandfather played for the club just after it was formed in the in the wake of World War One. This began a tradition that has carried all the way through to Steve’s own sons.
Steve himself said he was “practically born at the club.”
“I remember watching my dad when he played in the premiership around 1970 when the old hotrod track was behind the southern goals.
“We used to watch the hot rods go round and round where the tennis courts now are, and then we’d go across and watch the footy.”
Inevitably, it was not long before Steve was on the field himself.
Steve’s dad went on to coach the junior side, and according to Steve also played an important role as players’ chauffeur.
“The old man used to have a one-tonne ute when we were all 13 or 14. He’d put 10 or 12 of us on the back of the ute and drop all the kids off at the top of the street on the way home to the farm.”
Steve was part of a golden generation of players at the club, playing in the grand final of every season of junior football he played.
His Under 17 coach and fellow life member at the club Terry Pyers said Steve was a central part of team that knew little other than winning.
“Steve was a very handy player and a good kid.
“He and the other players thought it was their god given right to play in the grand final every year. But then they moved up to seniors and kept playing in grand finals.”
Yet Steve and his fellow teammates’ transition to the senior side was not entirely seamless.
Steve would feature in Tigers teams that made the seniors grand final in 1981, 82 and 83, with the club falling at the last hurdle on all three occasions.
Steve then had the misfortune of missing out on the 1984 grand final, where Torquay dramatically won by a single point.
But before the decade was finished he would play in and win three more grand finals with the club before the decade was over.
For much of that time Steve played with his friend Steve Dunstan.
Dunstan has fond memories of playing with his namesake.
“Steve played mostly on the wing, and I played mostly on the half-back flanks, so we looked after each other.
“He had a bit of pace and would have a bit of a poke at some of the bigger blokes, which meant I had to go and stick up for him a lot of the time.
“They were very happy years and we all enjoyed each other’s company.”
Following his playing days Steve served in various coaching and committee roles, including coaching the juniors for about a decade.
Nowadays Steve Grossman acts as MC for the club on Thursday nights when the different senior and junior football and netball teams join together for a meal. He informally interviews the coaches of the different sides.
Dunstan said Steve helps everyone at the club become invested in every team.
“He brings the junior clubs and senior clubs together and is a fantastic ambassador for the club.”
Steve himself said he is more than happy to give back to the club.
“It’s like a second home to me. It’s a really fantastic club.”