Sitting across the table sits a proud man wearing his CYs hat, as the passion in his voice pierces through the sound of the noisy Williamstown café. Noury Sibaei describes the Williamstown CYMS Football Club as a “family” club, as the volunteer trainer works tirelessly behind the scenes to make sure the players are in good hands if injuries strike on the footy field.
Noury admits it was not a fast start for him at the CYs. “First up, the guys (players) wouldn’t come near me because they’d be used to the more experienced guys, but as it went along, they would come looking for me.”
Noury’s extensive history as a volunteer has continued on as he’s been involved in church organisations over the years. Noury has also cooked meals at soup kitchens, as he was a six-year volunteer for one in Williamstown. The former Assistant Manager of a Helping Hand Cafe (soup kitchen) says it’s emotional for him as some of the people he has been involved with have since passed away.
Noury, the sibling of five brothers and four sisters did his Bronze-Medallion at Williamstown and was casual lifeguard there for a short time & later at Port Melbourne.
He spent 25 years working in public swimming pools. Noury attributes his first aid skills from his lifeguard days, “If you’re a lifeguard you have to anticipate certain things… through that I had the training to deal with very stressful things… you just switch on.”
Dealing with injured, but bravado and adrenaline filled players can be a handful in the heat of the contest. “Some experienced players, when you’re running out to them to find out if they’re alright will tell they are okay & then run off. That’s part of the process of learning.”
Particular players let their on-field adrenaline keep them afloat, like Senior Ruckman, Nick Blackney. Noury theatrically describes the tough task to convince players such as “Blackers” to leave the ground when injured. “Mate, he would run around with a broken leg.”
“He will come off when the coaches tell him to, he doesn’t want to come off that ground.”
Noury says sometimes he cops a bit of verbal flack when trying to pull injured players off the ground, but he takes it pretty well. He says its water off a duck’s back.
Noury says some injuries are pretty gruesome, which means there is always a little anxiety running out to attend an injury. VAFA football is a brutal, three-sixty contact game that can result in bad injuries. Noury’s advice to others in his line of work is to manage the stress of the injuries & stick to your training and what you’re trained to do.
When Noury attends to an injury on the field with his fellow trainers, he can feel the nerves in the moment. “You hope for the best and fear for worst.”
Noury says you never know the severity of the injury until you get out there. In the loud café, the tension in his voice begins to pick up, “you gotta get there, you gotta get there.”
“You always feel something in the pit of your stomach when they get hurt, you don’t want them to get hurt because you care about them.”
This season will mark Noury’s seventh year at the CYs, but other than his role as a volunteer trainer, he has spent the seven years being a part of an integral group of men who have helped organise match-day operations.
Every Friday morning, Noury joins the likes of club legends such as, Peter Welsh, Mick & Peter Buckley, Bill Deller, Alan Thompson, John Kelly, Paul Johnson as they ensure all of the game-day equipment is all in-check. This includes anything from jumpers, footballs to First Aid bags. The group known as Dad’s Army, then spend the rest of their Friday morning commitment having coffee whilst watching over Fearon Reserve. The calm before the storm.
When asking Noury about the AFL team he supports, “This answer won’t be popular with many people” he said Collingwood. However, his heart does heavily lie with the Williamstown Seagulls Football Club. “When Williamstown play against Collingwood in the VFL, I support Williamstown.”
Noury’s smile broadens when asked about the best moments of being a trainer. “Premierships.”
Noury has been involved in three CYMS Premierships. “That moment of winning, everyone is congratulating each other, all the hard work, we all share that together.”
Noury describes the contribution of himself as a trainer to a premiership side as a cog in the wheel of a machine. And as for sticking fat to his club, Noury has displayed strong loyalty and integrity to the club throughout his seven-year journey. “I’m loyal to my club.”