Terry Wallace has recalled a story surrounding himself and former Western Bulldogs defender Steven Kretiuk.
Kretiuk was a player Wallace admired due to his versatility and dogged defensive approach, labelling him one of the most underrated players he ever coached.
There was one particular game where Kretiuk lowered his colours to Sydney star Michael O’Loughlin at the SCG.
An optimistic suggestion from the coach following the thrashing would transpire into a lovely story that involved the unsung Dog and his pay cheque.
“We got pummelled; we lost by 20 goals. I got into the rooms after the game and sort of said are you guys fair dinkum?” Wallace told SEN Afternoons.
“With the way that we played you ought to give your pay packets back. You reckon you’re professional footballers, you ought to give your pay packets back.
“It was a throwaway line as a coach says at the end of the day.
“I used to meet with the guys on a Monday and have individual meetings with every player who walked in.
“Basically they apologised for the weekend and admitted they just weren’t themselves.
“Steven Kretiuk did the exact same thing, saying the ball was coming in that quick and he just got rattled.
“He went to walk out and just before he walked out he turned to the door and said ‘oh I forgot, I just wanted to leave you with this’.
“He had a cheque which was the amount of what his payment would have been for that particular night.
“I took it and what I did was put it in a satchel that I used to take to the games, and about three weeks later we beat Hawthorn and he kept Jason Dunstall to one or two goals.
“The other players never knew any of this but at the end of the game I turned around in front of the guys and said you don’t know what happened three weeks ago but this is how fair dinkum this guy is.
“You have earned double after what you have done today and I gave him his cheque.”
Originally published on SEN.com.au