Robert Filippin is Marconi through and through.
He vaguely admits to working fifteen years at the club as a gear steward which is his current role, but well-placed sources believe it to be more even though no one can exactly remember how many years to be precise.
The reason is because he has always been there.
After every home game it’s “Hi, Rob”, “Thanks, Rob” and “See you next week, Rob.” Journalists, officials, referees and players have always been greeted by the same smile in the Marconi players’ tunnel for as long as anyone can remember.
Robert Filippin is always there: rain, hail or shine. It’s Marconi and it’s his passion.
“Marconi means a lot because I grew up here,” he says proudly and modestly.
In fact, he couldn’t believe that someone would even have a modicum of interest in interviewing him.
However, it’s people like Robert that make our great game truly great and it’s appropriate that for Heritage Round they are recognised.
There would be no PS4 NPL NSW Men’s 1 competition or any other grassroots football competitions without the likes of Robert Filippin.
“I have always been here,” he responds to a question regarding the exact number of years he has supported and volunteered at Marconi.
“I have been here in the heydays of the old NSL, so it’s been a passion of mine for more than 30 years.
“I still support the club,” he says but this is never in any doubt.
When asked again to quantity in years this support he modestly states: “I was originally in the supporters club that we had and I was on the committee and that was back in the 1980’s; in fact the 1970’s, through the whole ‘80’s and ‘90’s.”
It’s that type of passion that Robert Filippin speaks with that brings about the next question: why? “Passion,” he says.
“The passion that I have for this club and the boys. I think all we need here now is more people with passion, more people like us.”
He is far too modest and prefers the first person plural of “us” rather than the singular of “I” – it’s just the way he is because it’s not about him, it’s about the club.
The final question for a club stalwart such as Robert is to get an opinion on the many great coaches to have coached Marconi over the years.
However, he wasn’t about to let his guard down and miss any of them. So who was the best?
“It was all of them,” he said.
The answer is as expected so I press for some names. It’s not about the greatest now, it’s about the ones who provided the fondest memories for Robert.
“Zoran Matic and Les Scheinflug, and Rale Rasic is in there somewhere too,” he states. “My highlight of the NSW Premier League, not the NSL, would have to be Luke Casserly in 2012. We came from sixth position and we won the title and it was all because of Luke.”
And that sums up Robert Filippin.
He gives full credit to someone else but this Heritage Round, we acknowledge you, Robert, faithful and loyal servant of one of Australia’s greatest football clubs: Marconi Stallions.
It’s a great place to still watch football because of people like you.
Heritage Round Match Details
APIA Leichhardt Tigers vs Marconi Stallions
7:45pm Saturday 13th June @ Lambert Park
Tickets available at the gate (Adults $15, Concessions $10)
– by Joe Russo