Play in a simulated football league - find great movies and TV shows - play Werewolf - play video games (try our Minecraft server) - argue about politics - listen to music - keep up with science news - play board games - just gasbag - discuss true crime - and so much more.
Don't think so.
Jasp ain't your average footy head. He is a smart fellow, thoughtful, introspective and a bit more inner-north than most footy players. He also obviously understands the game which was clear in his talk to his fellow defenders on Friday and in close convo with Scamper during breaks. And he is gutsy as all fu**, which helps.
He is all things to all people.
McLachlan will be fighting very hard 'for AFLW'
Toughness =/= bullshit machismo. What a man
Jasper Pittard opens up about being traded by Port Adelaide and why he is so happy at North Melbourne
Jasper Pittard fell out of love with footy while at Port Adelaide. But what started as a steak knives addition to a teammate’s trade quickly turned into one of football’s biggest wins, for both the player and his new club.
Sam Landsberger, Sunday Herald Sun
April 4, 2020 2:33pm
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Jasper Pittard makes walking through North Melbourne’s administration offices sound like a scene from Cheers, the 1980s TV sitcom.
They aren’t swigging beers, but they are welcoming.
“In the upstairs area everyone says hello when you walk past and you know everyone by name. There’s no rock stars,” the defender told the Sunday Herald Sun.
Pittard’s adjectives for Arden St flow like his run from the backline. He loves the place.
“It’s a club that really suits my personality,” he said.
“It’s a really inclusive club and a progressive club in social matters, which is important to me.
“I’ve only been there just over a year, but I’ve really been able to be myself. That’s been really important for my overall happiness.”
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Jasper Pittard is loving his time at North Melbourne. Picture: Sarah Reed
Pittard, 29, wanted to be himself. But who is Jasper Pittard?
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“Jasper does Jasper,” teammate and Pittard’s barber Mason Wood said.
“His haircut is no exception. He treats his body as a blank canvas and his haircut adds to the work of art that is Jasper Pittard.”
Before the AFL was shutdown by coronavirus, North coach Rhyce Shaw would wake up most mornings wondering what on earth Pittard would wear to training.
“At one stage last year he was wearing chef pants with Crocs and a beanie. It’s like … what’s going on with this bloke?” Shaw said.
“But he is who he is and I love that about him. I want our players to express who they are and he certainly does that. I love him to death.”
On the track, Shaw wishes everyone looked like Pittard.
“He trains all the time – hardly misses a session – and he’s someone that’s always involved and always communicating,” Shaw said.
“He’s someone we’ve grown to really rely on, both during the week and in games.
“He’s a really unique individual, Jasper. He’s got a different lifestyle away from the club and he thinks about different things.
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“It’s no surprise he was voted into the leadership group.”
Pittard spent nine seasons at Port Adelaide and enjoyed most of them. The Torquay boy was drafted at pick No. 16 in 2009, a selection received as part of the Shaun Burgoyne deal.
For a long time he was Port’s headband-wearing, rocket launcher behind the ball. But Pittard’s happiness eroded sharply towards the end and his form followed.
In 2018 he questioned whether his love for football had run out.
“There’s a lot of that old footy culture still floating around the industry … that macho kind of culture,” Pittard said.
“When you’re surrounded by it in that kind of environment you feel like you have to bend that way to fit in.
“We don’t have much of that at North. Whatever floats your boat is accepted and people take a genuine interest in getting to know you.
“That can be quite difficult to do at times, especially as young men”
Early on at Port Adelaide, Pittard bought in on a greyhound with a bunch of teammates. The dog’s racing career flopped and it was put down.
Jasper Pittard is a big fan of the long sleeves. Picture: Michael Klein
“I kind of wish it was given an opportunity to live, but it had an injury that apparently couldn’t be fixed,” Pittard said.
“I was pretty immature back then. I really felt terrible about that, so it was something I looked into.”
Guilt followed Pittard, and so six months ago he and his partner Grace Gowers contacted Amazing Greys to rescue Zorro, an ex-racer.
“He’s super chill – but a big greyhound,” Pittard said.
“You’ve got to get on the couch pretty quick or he’ll sit in the middle and take up most of it.”
Pittard’s first AFL coach, Mark Williams, banned long-sleeve jumpers. Now Pittard wears them routinely … even on team photo day.
“I think it looks great at North with the hoop sleeves and if it’s cold it keeps you warm. Not that much science to it, really,” he said.
Pittard is Melbourne Storm fullback Ryan Papenhuyzen’s favourite AFL player. Why?
“He’s just a bit different and I like that about him. Tough little bugger too and the long sleeves helps,” the NRL star said.
AFLW gun Kaitlyn Ashmore also declared Pittard her favourite. So have Ashmore’s Kangaroo teammates Tahni Nestor, Sarah Wright and Kate Gillespie-Jones.
Jasper Pittard relaxes at home with partner Grace Gowers and their adopted greyhound, Zorro.
That’s because Pittard is committed to North’s AFLW team and spent last season getting peppered with questions from defenders.
He wasn’t involved to turbocharge his coaching methods. Simply, Pittard wanted to drive unity at North.
“We share the facility, but it’s still in those teething processes and there’s awkwardness there,” he said.
“I hate not knowing people’s names – I felt strange when we were sharing the same space.
“It was about getting involved with our girls to show we’re invested and we really value what they’re doing for our club.
“If a lot of our 18-19 year old boys came in with the same enthusiasm and thirst to learn, they would probably develop a lot quicker.”
Pittard is as creative changing lanes in the backline as he is off the field.
He’s studying graphic design online and is about to dive into some crime novels.
During isolation he wants to watch a movie marathon of David Lynch-directed flicks – think Mullholland Drive and Twin Peaks.
Recently, Pittard turned the last page on The Captain Class, a sports leadership book handed to him by Kangas chief executive Ben Amarfio upon his entry to the leadership group.
Pittard presents as a rugged footballer on the surface. Calves covered in ink – he has more than 20 tattoos, including eight new ones – and a haircut that wouldn’t fly at plenty of high schools.
Jasper Pittard was shocked to be moved on by the Power. Picture: Getty Images
But scratch deeper and he comes across as a caring and gentle man. The left-footer is compassionate. Ultimately, that proved detrimental at Port Adelaide.
“I was taking on a lot of other people’s issues and trying to fix them,” he said.
“It was casting a bitter shadow over the footy industry and what I was thinking.
“I was thinking I was wasting my time and I wasn’t getting that enjoyment. I wasn’t sure if I loved footy anymore, basically.”
Pittard never blamed Port Adelaide for his fading happiness. In fact, he walked into his 2018 exit meeting still keen on the idea of being a one-club player. Then, he was effectively sacked by coach Ken Hinkley.
“They said straight-up, ‘What are your thoughts on looking for opportunities elsewhere?’” Pittard said.
“It was a surprise. I had two years left on my contract, so it wasn’t something I was thinking about.”
North was the only buyer and he was thrown into the Jared Polec deal … proving to be more Swiss Army than steak knife.
Shaw pointed out that in 2016 Pittard made the 40-man All-Australian squad as a rebounding weapon.
Rhyce Shaw has a great relationship with Jasper Pittard. Picture: Michael Klein.
“I remember playing against him and he was a really dangerous asset with his left foot and ability to run and attack. To get on the end of some handball chains and really drive the ball forward,” Shaw said.
“He started to do that last year as well and got more confident in the way we were playing and the gamestyle.”
But last season Pittard was told to focus on being more of a stopper rather than a starter. He placed ninth in the best-and-fairest and averaged 5.7 spoils per game, rated elite by Champion Data.
He was, in Shaw’s eyes, North’s version of Sydney co-captain Dane Rampe.
“That last quarter against St Kilda in Round 1 you saw some of Jasper’s efforts to get across, help his teammates and put his body on the line,” Shaw said.
“Ramps was like that all the time. He was amazing at just getting a finger in and helping out and desperate, and that’s what Jasper brings.”
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The player-coach relationship has played no small part in Pittard’s revival.
“The move (to North) has been life-changing,” he said.
“This club has meant the world to me. I’ve gone from someone who was a little unsure of where I was at in my footy career, because I really didn’t enjoy it anymore.
“Shawry has been unbelievable, we clicked right from the word go.
“When I got traded I didn’t quite have my confidence back in terms of my footy, and he was one of the main reasons why I got back to feeling confident in what I could produce on the field.”
WHO IS BEHIND THE AFL’S WILDEST HAIRCUT?
MASON Wood gave Jasper Pittard a clip and Pittard has given him one back.
“Mason can cop the criticism for a change,” Pittard said of his budding barber.
Yes, Wood cuts Pittard’s hair … and it’s been a wild ride of ’dos.
“I had long hair for a while and I still liked the length last year, but it was getting a bit annoying for footy,” Pittard said.
“I thought I’d give the mullet a try, so I stuck with that for a few months and then it’s just become a shortened version of that.
“Obviously my haircut cops a lot of flak so people probably think whoever is cutting my hair is no good, but (Wood) is actually is very good.
“He does a fair few of the boys, he could open a little side business sometime. He actually does his own hair somehow in the mirror as well without stuffing up, so pretty impressive.”
Wood confirmed this was no gimmick. He’s taken the scissors to more than 20 players, completing a few house calls but mostly in his own bathroom.
What are the options? There’s Kayne Turner’s ‘The Dragon’, Pittard’s ‘Modern-day mullet’, Luke McDonald’s ‘The London’ and Ryan Clarke’s … err … we’ll leave that name off.
As for “every other man and their dog?” They go for the short, back and sides look, Wood said.
It just goes to show how important our community engagement programs and social engineering policies are in attracting and retaining elite players. We really need to ramp this shit up once we emerge from under the dark cloud of this wretched virus. The macho posturing of yesteryear has no relevance to our curent crop of millennials. They're more likely to be adopting greyhounds and becoming vegan than starting fights in licensed venues (Garns aside). North ahead of the curve yet again.Jasper straight up trolling Tef.
I know Jaspy's cousin and can 100% confirm that everything in this interview is genuinefu**en just cop it sweet.
Jasper doesn't think like you. Very few people do.
You're perfectly entitled to believe what you wish, but this delusion that players are "put up to" saying this stuff is just hilarious.