The Ken Shaw Story


By Andrew Paloczi

Ken Shaw has made a vast contribution to St Pauls Football Club, succeeding in a role he had no idea he would undertake when he arrived.

Shaw had a glittering career as a junior coach at St Peters Football Club, and believes his ability to understand the different personalities of his players was important.

He tailored his communication style to suit each player’s personality, with some needing more support and others requiring motivation.

Coaching youngsters to kick and handball on both sides of their body was something Shaw identified as important. He believes it gave his players an edge.

Shaw coached one group of boys from Under 10s to Under17s, with the side winning every premiership over that period.

St Pauls’ senior coach, Mark Williams, took an active interest in watching this group play and sometimes helped run training.

Under 17s was the highest age group at St Peters, so Williams encouraged Shaw to come to St Pauls with his group of players and to coach an Under 18s side there.

When he accepted this opportunity, Shaw had a goal to coach at senior level, but this changed suddenly during his second year in charge of his young side.

“I was training the Under 18 kids out on the oval, and they had an annual general meeting and they called me to come in and the next thing I knew I was President of St Pauls Footy Club,” Shaw said.

As shocked as Shaw was by this change in plans, he stuck at it, with his time as President commencing in 1998 and only ending after the 2015 season.

The club won three senior premierships during the Shaw era, with a big upset over St Kilda City in 2008 being an especially fond memory.

City had thrashed the Bulldogs earlier in the finals series. Shaw says the coach, Adam Shepard made some changes on the day that worked. Shaw recalls the joy of seeing the looks on the faces of players who had previously played in four or five losing grand final sides.

“What a great day it was, and what a great night it was,” he said.

Shaw’s son Damen, an ex-St Kilda player, was a member of the 2008 St Pauls premiership team.

The other senior premierships during Shaw’s presidency came against East Brighton in 2011 and 2013, with St Pauls coached by Paul Howroyd.

The Bulldogs also won five reserves premierships during the 18 seasons Shaw was President, and were runners up in the seniors on five occasions.

Shaw explains what he is most proud of from his time as St Pauls’ President.

“We didn't have as much money as any of the other clubs in the Southern footy league. We used to bring the local kids through. It was great to see all the local kids and their parents at the game enjoying themselves."

He admits he didn’t find the presidency too hard because he enjoyed it, so he kept going.

As is often the case with people who do something for the love of it, Shaw never expected to be inducted into the Hall of Fame.

“I’m pretty shocked that I got it actually. It’s a great honour that I never expected. If I’d have known it was coming I wouldn’t be going away,” he said.

He is disappointed not to be able to attend the Hall of Fame function due to plans made long before this year’s inductees were selected.

When nominating Shaw for the Hall of Fame, St Pauls described him as “the life and soul of the football club, a tireless and selfless worker who will set up the BBQ and bar at 8am and be manning the bar late into the day”.

The SFNL recognises Ken Shaw’s contribution as an administrator and as a valued Life Member at St Pauls Football Club.

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