Mark Robinson reflects on his substantial contribution to local soccer. The ball on his desk is signed by the Nimbin Headers team that drew 1-1 with Workers in their first premier division match at Oakes Oval in 1991.
Mark Robinson reflects on his substantial contribution to local soccer. The ball on his desk is signed by the Nimbin Headers team that drew 1-1 with Workers in their first premier division match at Oakes Oval in 1991. Steve Mackney

Calling full-time on soccer chapter for Robinson

MARK Robinson has been an integral part of local soccer since 1985, with most knowing him as the trusty scribe reporting on men's premier league soccer matches for much of the past 30 years.

As a player, Robbo was a foundation member of Nimbin Headers FC, plying his skills at Headers until 1999 before eventually ending his career in 2007 at the ripe old age of 52 with Italo Stars.

In addition to his role at club level, Robbo was a director with Football Far North Coast between 1991 and 1998, confirming his broad commitment and passion for the game.

Avid soccer fans over the past three decades have waited each week for their copy of The Northern Star, with Robbo's inciteful preview of the upcoming weekend games, followed each Monday morning by his descriptive commentary giving readers an understanding of how teams are performing and what players are most influential in the premier league.

The impact of time dictates that change is inevitable and such will be the case in local soccer reporting for 2017.

Robbo has made a decision to retire his pen and trusty notepad, after reassessing the meaning of life following a difficult 2016.

"After the loss of my father just over a year ago, and nudging over the age of 60 myself, I've reassessed my future and decided it's time to hand on the baton,” Robinson said.

The changing face of the media is very different to the one that Robbo worked in for so long, but this seasoned part-time journo insists that the reporting should remain fundamentally the same.

Speaking with people, asking the right questions and trying to write in a respectful and professional way, is the advice that Robbo gives to anyone contributing to a community publication.

"I have to pay tribute to all the coaches who have so willingly been available when I would contact them over the years,” Robbo said

"I also acknowledge the support from former Northern Star sports editor Barry Cheadle, who gave me the chance to first start submitting copy way back in 1988.”

Although being a close observer of the game for such a long time and seeing many talented players, Robbo declined to nominate any one player ahead of another, saying in typical diplomatic style, "there have been so many brilliant players in different positions”.

Finding someone with the enthusiasm of Robbo to deliver reviews and post-match reports throughout a long season, will be a very tough assignment indeed.

The time and effort to deliver articles every week is very demanding and with the position relying substantially on a desire to do the task rather than receive remuneration, it is far from certain if we will see another Robbo in the short term.

On behalf of an appreciative soccer community, I say "thanks, Robbo, for a job well done”.



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