Adam Clydsdale may be a Scone junior but few players in Saturday’s opening round clash against Coalfields rivals Cessnock boast better Maitland Pickers bloodlines.
Clydsdale is the grandson of Maitland legend and former Australian representative Don “Bandy” Adams and admits to a few nerves ahead of his first grade debut for the Pickers in their return to the Maitland Sportsground.
“It’s a pretty good Pickers bloodline. It feels like home.” Clydsdale, who has joined brother and Maitland reserve coach Luke at the Pickers after walking away from the final year of a contract with the Canberra Raiders.
“I’m hoping he (Bandy) will be able to get down to a few games this season and see Luke and myself playing. He is looking forward to it and it will mean a lot to both of us and him.”
Luke had two seasons with Maitland from 2014 and is a key part of Pickers senior coach Luke Dorn’s coaching panel and plans to lift the team back into premiership contention.
“Luke (Clydsdale) is my best mate, it’s going to be great to be at the same club as him and spending more time with him. Hopefully we’ll get a few games togher,” Clydsdale, who has returned to the carpentry trade and is loving the balance of work and playing footy back in the Hunter.
“I had a few mates here before I came and they are a great bunch of blokes I have settled right in and made a lot of mates.
“They always say ‘have something to fall back on’, but you think ‘I’ll play footy for 10 years and I won’t have to worry about that’.
“But I’m pretty luck to have that. I’m back with my first boss. Most people going into the game should have something behind them.”
Clydsale said his decision to walk away from the Raiders was simply that the could not commit 100 per cent mentally to the game.
“I talked to a few people at the club, assistant coach Mick Crawley and Ricky (head coach Ricky Stuart), because Ricky was a player he really understood as well. Having that really helped,” he said.
“I thought was time for a change and move on to the next phase of my life.
“It’s good to be home and I’m really enjoying it.”
Clydsdale said it was an exciting time to be part of the Pickers in what he believes will be a new era of success.
“To see what they’ve done with the ground and with Maitland City behind the club it’s going place. It’s an awesome time to be a part of it.
“Dorny is 100 per cent football, he loves it. He has brought a lot of passion.”
Clydsdale is part of a talented group of playmakers at the club.
“I’m a hooker but I’ll play anywhere the club needs me, but obviously I want to play at hooker as that’s where I have played most of my career,” he said.
“The depth we’ve got is great. Jarrod Smith is the Country hooker, so me and him will probably share the job I’m really looking forward to it.”
Clydsdale said it was great to open his Pickers career in a Coalfields clash against the Cessnock Goannas.
“We know it’s going to be a tough game, they have recruited well and it’s always a grudge match,” he said
“I’m excited, it’s football. You play with your best mates week in week out, you train with them all year. We’ve had a great tough pre-season with Dorny. All the boys are fit and raring to go.”
A huge day kicks off at Maitland Sportsground with the Ladies League Tag at 10.30am, followed by under-19s, open-age, reserves and first grade at 3.30pm.
A big crowd is expected and will include the Pickers Old Boys, who are celebrating their annual day.
It is also the annual Harry Hofman memorial round, with a special service to be held to remember the former Picker before the reserves match.