Local Footy: Steve Armstrong — a man for all footy seasons

By Pamela Sherpa

When Steve Armstrong isn’t busy with football and family, he’s busy with football.

In the city of Goulburn, NSW, Australian football exists alongside the larger organisations of rugby, soccer and hockey.

Steve isn’t involved at one level of footy: he is involved at every level.

He organises the footy team at the Wollondilly school, where he is assistant principal, organises the primary schools’ interschool competition, coaches the Goulburn/Queanbeyan under-16 side in the local competition, helps coach the under-14 team at training, is assistant coach for the South Coast ACT CATS representative squad, is assistant coach for the under-14 representative team that attends the state carnival, is manager for the NSW South Coast PSSA AFL team which recently competed in Broken Hill, assists with Auskick on Sundays, transports children to gala days, umpires the local juniors, is president of the junior footy club in Goulburn, sells programs at Manuka when an AFL game is on, and works with the Masters helping the Auskick kids at half time. And if there’s anything else football-wise that needs attending to, Steve usually lends a hand if he isn’t too busy already doing something else football-related.

Typically, some days his duties clash but Steve does his best to be everywhere.

Recently he managed to squeeze in playing his 350th game. AFL Canberra granted special permission for Steve’s 14-year-old son James to join him alongside brother Bradley, 20, in the seniors for Steve’s milestone game with the Goulburn Swans. Despite Goulburn thrashing last year’s premiers Yass on the day, the Yass boys were pleased that Steve had had a memorable day.

Steve has a habit of playing well on big occasions. He won’t forget his 300th game. After his team was down by six goals they surged in the last quarter and Steve kicked the winning goal to help his team to a four-point victory.

Back to back premierships were won with the former Goulburn Hawks and the 2004 flag with the Goulburn Swans in their first year of competition in the Canberra and Districts league. Steve put in a best on ground performance in that final.

He won the local Goulburn Post sports star award four times in the 1990s, which is no mean feat in a region where there are stars aplenty from other codes.

Steve has won eight league best and fairests and five for his Goulburn club.

He received the Australian sports medal for service to sport in the community and is a Life member of the Goulburn Hawks/Swans club.

Local legend he is.

Born in SA, not surprisingly he is a Crows fan. When his family moved to Sydney Steve remained firmly aligned to his team and his kind of “footy”. With a family who supports the Swans he attends AFL games when possible.

Steve played junior footy in the western suburbs of Sydney and won an under-19 best and fairest award.

Masters footy has also provided Steve with many great football highlights. He received All Australian honours four times and was named best player at one carnival in Sydney.

A New Zealand football trip allowed him to spend two days with the great Ron Barassi.

Football has given Steve a lot of fulfilment and he finds giving back to the game just as satisfying.

The success of the Goulburn Workers Swans under-16s junior team has been a highlight. Winning a flag in their first year of competition, then following it up with back to back success.

Aussie football in Goulburn is growing in popularity with junior participants and Steve Armstrong is making sure he is part of the journey.


  1. Peter Schumacher says

    It would be great to see the real footy really get going in Canberra again, I understand that a long time ago it was the dominant code there. We have been given a really good pen picture of one who’s enthusiasm and action might help make it so again.

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