Kohler inspiration hits close to home
HE has reached the highest levels of the game in Australia and won countless premierships along the way, but a simple coaching role has reinvigorated MA Olympic veteran Paul Kohler.
The 42-year-old defender, who will play in his third Crad Evans Shield clash this weekend, has taken his inspiration from his time off the field this season.
Kohler coached his fiveyear-old son Jude in his first season of football and said it had ignited his passion for the game all over again.
“He has wanted to play for a few years now, but this was the first year we could properly register him for the season. It is awesome,” Kohler said.
“I think growing up when I played with the Jets and even when I was 21 and 22 with (Sydney) Olympic, that was my immediate family.
“Winning a grand final with Olympic with him in the crowd in his Olympic shirt was something really special. He knows the club song and he sings that in the shower.
“You see professional players around the world walking around with their kids on the field after games. That was something I missed out with having kids late, but I’m making up for it.
“It just brings back memories. I speak to my dad about what I was like at that age and how I was interested in football. We compare stories about own goals and first goals and all the things he does on the field.
“It definitely brings back memories, it is really good seeing the juniors come through playing the world game.”
Kohler will be the oldest player on the field when MA Olympic meet Edge Hill United this weekend at Cairns’ Tiger Park.
With plenty of experience at both A-league and NPL level with clubs across Australia, the veteran defender is tipped to be the difference with both side’s chasing a North Queensland treble.
But Kohler admitted his side could not take their opposition lightly as the Tigers boasted plenty of high level experience in their own right.
“This is such an exciting time for myself and the team and the club, it is the biggest game in North Queensland football and we are quite lucky we have a few teams representing Olympic,” he said. “We have such a talented team. Half the squad are under the age of 24 and they have played in three or four grand finals already. They have that big game experience.
“It will be an intense game. They have a lot of quality players and it is the game you want to play in each year. It is the first time in a while that both clubs won the league and grand final and are both going for the treble. We both deserve to be there.
“It is a special badge to have if you are able to win the treble. It is something you will look back on for years to come.”