Paul L Hopgood
Career: 1988 - 1990, 2001
Senior Games: 25
Reserves Games: 2
3rds Games: 9
Senior Captain/Coach : 2001
VFL/AFL Clubs: Melbourne 113 Games
How could he not become a football tragic? At the tender age of three days and on his first outing from the hospital where do his loving parents Les and Jenny take him? Direct to the footy of course.
The dye was set—Paul Hopgood didn’t know it but he was hooked and it didn’t take long to show. At the age of seven he was already disappearing over the fence and getting a kick in amongst the under thirteens at Chelsea Heights.
Les immediately transferred the lad to Chelsea Under 9’s and watched as he progressed through every junior age group up to the Under 15’s, winning a Best & Fairest at every level. Paul was now ready to start getting serious. Training with Melbourne thirds and playing in Chelsea’s 1st XV111, he managed to fit in school footy with Haileybury College and the vice-captaincy of Victoria’s Teal Cup side. He made All Australian.
Coming home with a wired up broken jaw, he played the last game of the season with Chelsea thirds and earned thirty plus possessions in a best on ground performance.
But it was off to climb the big fence into the AFL where he scored a goal with his first kick and played 113 senior games before his battle weary legs started to let him down. He was never out of the top ten in Melbourne’s Best & Fairest Awards and returned to coach Chelsea in 2001 before moving on to coach successful Mt Eliza teams.
Whilst more focussed on education than football, younger brother Travis still managed to play 92 Games with Frankston as a half-back before transferring across to play under Paul at Chelsea and Mt Eliza.
Recruited by Melbourne—1993
(Played 1993 to 2000)
113 games; 10 goals.
Victorian Metro Teal Cup Captain-1990
Winner Teal Cup Championship-1990
Ron James Medal-1990
Chelsea F. C. Senior Cup—2001
Premiership—Mt Eliza 2005