Garry Phillips was a slightly built former champion of the club who came straight from Haileybury College’s First XVIII in 1986. Between 1986 and 1998 Garry played 160 games shared between the Under 19’s and Senior side. Phillips’ school side was a successful group having finished runners up to Xavier in the 1985 APS season. This inevitably led to the large group of boys sticking together and coming down to the Old Haileybury Football Club. One of which was Garry’s good mate and former OHAFC ruckman Mark Warton, who he credits as being his favourite teammate to play alongside.
Individually, Garry was a very handy player having won two senior best and fairest awards in 1987 and 1997 as well a being a runner up in 1995. In addition, he also was a VAFA Representative on six occasions and an Old Haileybury Life Member. However, Garry’s on field brilliance was not limited to the VAFA. Between 1989 and 1992 Garry played for the Geelong Football Club under Malcolm Blight in a successful period for the club. Playing alongside AFL greats such as Gary Ablett Senior, Billy Brownless and Garry Hocking. Phillips’ has fond memories of rooming with Ablett Snr in Toronto on a football trip and playing in the curtain raiser for 1989 Grand Final which is often dubbed the best of all-time.
Some of his best football memories were had down at the Old Haileybury Football Club. During his time, the club spent a bit of its time “yo-yoing” in between the A and B grade competition. Having been relegated from A-Grade at the conclusion of 1994 season despite winning a healthy amount of games, an opportunity arose for his talented team. In 1995 Garry was a member of the B-Grade Premiership side. Off-Field, he remembers his younger years being full of fun alongside some great mates; a cocktail party hosted by David Southgate in Garry’s early years is one of those events that is still looked back on fondly. Phillips contribution to the club was not limited to his on-field exploits having also contributed extensively in roles as the Vice-President and a committee member also.
Currently, Garry lives in Warragul after returning from Sydney where he lived for 8 years for work. Upon his return to Victoria, the Gippsland town seemed fitting as it was close enough to the city to allow for an easy commute if needed, in close proximity to a good school for his kids in St Paul Anglican Grammar School and was home to many of his wife’s friends. Garry has a son and daughter who both are successful footballers. His daughter plays her football down at Warragul and his son Fraser recently got drafted by Carlton making him a third generation AFL footballer. Phillips currently works for the publicly listed energy provider AGL where he is mostly based down at the Loy Yang power station. Although most of his weekends are filled with his kids sports when given the chance Garry is also a single-figure golfer and keen surfer.