Weekly Times Highlight the Baylisses
Blood pumps Bulldog blue for Wandin’s sporting Baylisses
ADAM RUSSELL, The Weekly Times
June 3, 2016 12:00am
THE Bayliss family name is synonymous with the Wandin Football Club.
With coaches, players, a vice-president and even a life member among the pack at the kennel, you don’t have to look far to find someone linked to the Bayliss family tree.
The connection dates back to the mid-1980s when Rob Bayliss was introduced to the club as a spectator by his brother-in-law and former Wandin player Paul Elliott.
Rob took on the role as senior team manager in 1988. He has been on the committee ever since and 27 years later watched his two sons — Jarrod and Jack — lead Wandin through an undefeated season to secure last year’s premiership in the Yarra Valley Mountain District league Division 1 (now AFL Yarra Ranges Senior Football Division 1).
“Last year with my two sons playing and winning the grand final, it was probably the most enjoyable moment since I’ve been at the club,” Rob said.
Jarrod relinquished the coaching role at the end of 2014 to focus on his football and captain’s duties, with Brett Fisher joining the club as a fulltime coach.
But Fisher’s departure ahead of this season put Jarrod back into the driver’s seat with co-coach Josh Taylor. “It was always going to be a little bit tough losing your coach in January,” Jarrod said. “But we put in a lot of really hard work and we’re just starting to tick along nicely.”
Jarrod, a past Vic Country representative, was appointed senior coach at the ripe age of 22 in 2010 in an attempt to revitalise Wandin.
He worked with coaches, players and staff to establish a five-year plan to build towards a premiership.
“In 2010, we were just about knackered,” Rob said.
“We had no under-18s at that stage, we had 32 players on our senior list and 25 of them were older than 30.”
Jarrod’s younger brother, Jack, has become just one of the weapons the Bulldogs have in their arsenal.
His father has described him as the “Joel Selwood” of Wandin.
“We have a really good relationship, me and Jack,” Jarrod said. “We have a really good combo going on.
“He likes to protect and hit the footy hard, so we work well together.
“To win the premiership together was a really special moment for our family.”
The sporting credentials of the Bayliss family extend to the netball court.
Rob said his daughter Tess had played more than 150 games in her 10-year tenure at the club between 2005 and 2014.
Tess is also engaged to her brothers’ teammate Michael Fowkes, who joined the club in 2013 after playing junior footy with Jarrod at Wagga Wagga.
Jarrod’s wife, Ella, is a premiership player with Victorian Fury in the Australian Netball League and has played at Wandin the past three years, co-coaching its A-grade side this season alongside Tayissa and Sam Coppinger.
The glue that holds the Bayliss crew together is wife and mother Tracey.
She puts endless hours into the club, whether working the canteen or helping out as a trainer on game day. She was duly recognised for her hard work when she was made a life member of the club last year.
The Bulldogs are striving for premiership success again this season and Rob has noted an unusual trend — call it the Bayliss lucky charm.
Wandin has lost only once with a Bayliss in the side on five occasions it has qualified for the senior grand final
“We only win grand finals with Baylisses in the side,” Rob joked.