Marc Warren doesn’t do many interviews and when we sat down with him earlier in the week, what ensued was not an interview in the conventional sense.
It was essentially an informal chat in which he opened up on a wide range of issues, some professional and some very personal.
So rather than structure this as a regular article, we’ve simply pulled together what he said under some general headings and as requested by the man himself, presented it raw and uncut.
Over to you, ‘Wazza’.
"I have to be busy.
Sometimes I just lie in my bed and I can’t sleep because I’m thinking about things.
Now, I’m thinking specifically about my injury, but at other times I might be thinking ‘what if I’d passed it there’ or ‘should I have said that?’
That’s why I’m always out and about having coffee, doing a bit of study, doing a bit of work, doing something.
I don’t get tired. If the sun’s up, I’m up, no matter what.
If we get into Wellington at 1am, I’m up at 6 or whatever. Where’s my coffee, what can I do today?
Even this morning, I messaged a few of the boys, ‘come on, breakfast, let’s go!’
Then about 9.30 they all woke up and got back to me!
The only time I do sit and relax is when I’m sitting at home with my girlfriend watching tv.
She has some sort of power to help me switch off!
I can’t sit still.
I get very frustrated with myself.
People might think it’s anger, but it’s not, it’s frustration as in, ‘f*****g hell, I know I can do better than that.
I do get a bit lairy!
But when I’m on that field, nothing else is in my mind.
That’s the wonderful thing about football; it’s just there, it’s step by step by step, one thing after another.
The pass goes there, then you move there and so on."
"I grew up two years ago.
I went from England to Scotland and was thinking, ah, the next deal will be big and I’ll be fine.
Then I came back to Australia, signed for Sydney FC, p****d that up the wall and suddenly I’m back in the State League and working full-time.
And I still didn’t grow up even then.
And then it hit me. I met my missus and then she said to me, ‘why don’t you try and play again professionally, why not?’
I had a big chip on my shoulder and was like ‘nah, what for?’
But then I messaged Kenny [Lowe] and said I’ve done this, I’ve done that, this is where I’m at, can I come over on trial?
When I came over, it all hit me and I thought, ‘f**k, I really want this’.
Two years ago I realised what I actually wanted to do and what kind of person I wanted to be.
Mind you, it wasn’t smooth sailing.
But I know what I want to do and who I want to be and I believe in it as well.
There’s a difference between KNOWING and BELIEVING.
I’ve got my 3-month, 6-month, 12-month and 18-month plans about where I want to be.
They’re written down and that’s come with help from my mum and my old man.
I was a person that used to keep things to myself.
I wasn’t an angry ant. I think I got angry as I went on, as I started losing things.
Not losing opportunities because I p*****d them up the wall myself.
You know what, it’s hard, because there’s so much expectation.
One minute you’re doing this, that and the other and the next minute you’re in a warehouse. That’s hard on people; that was hard on me.
So having that on your shoulder and finding something else to succeed in down a path where you don’t really know where it leads comes back to using the opportunities you get as a footballer.
I’m much happier now."
The Present and the Future
"I’m always thinking about something, like what’s the next right thing for me and the family, what’s going to come? Later this year I’m off contract, what am I going to do?
What can I do now to benefit me in six months’ time?
All sorts of things.
You see situations where players come off contracts and they are just like ‘what am I going to do?’
But if you get involved in other things outside of football, it can help so much.
Other opportunities can come up, or someone at the club can think ‘Wazza has done quite a lot. He’s done the right things for the club, let’s keep him.’
It’s not all about ability.
I don’t take advantage of things in the moment.
I do everything in the moment to the best of my ability but I’m always thinking of my next move.
Not necessarily a move in a football sense to another club, but what’s going to happen in the next six months.
Because in six months’ time, I could have nothing.
Coming from when I was younger and had those opportunities overseas and stuff like that, I think it’s really important that you think about the future rather than the now.
Because at 18, 19 or 20 and having everything that you want, you have to make sure you don’t end up p*****g it up the wall.
Players suffer from the expectation from friends and so on that we are big earners and you feel like you have to live up to that and spend on this and spend on that.
Nowadays, you have Chris Harold who’s going to be a lawyer. You have things that you can do after this, like doing my personal training.
I did my personal training at the AIS when I was 17 or 18 and the opportunities the PFA give you, whether it’s psychologists or whatever you want, they can help you.
The PFA help so much.
We had a talk last time about the education grants and we’d had them before and I didn’t take advantage of them, but this time it clicked with me and I thought ‘what am I doing, why aren’t I doing this?’
So about two days later I called Robbie Gaspar (PFA Representative) and said 'let’s go'."
"My missus, Chelsea, has a few things going on.
She works for a cosmetic surgeon and we’ve also brought a teeth whitening company to Perth called ‘Sparkling White Smiles’.
It’s a portable teeth-whitening system which is really good!
Obviously I’ve taken us away from our families in Sydney, but so many good things have happened since we’ve been in Perth. Good jobs, good opportunities and good friends.
Burnsy’s [Jacob Burns] from Sydney and he told me that once you come to Perth you won’t want to leave and life’s been good for us here.
Chelsea gave me the initial kick start to get back into the professional game.
We were only together a short amount of time before we moved to Perth, maybe four months.
So we were both thrown in at the deep end, but having her here is the easy thing because it means I go home to her rather than go to the pub or whatever.
So that’s a big thing for me.
She’s the same as me and sometimes we might as well be talking to the wall because we’re just both talking at the same time!
But she’s definitely more switched on than me in general, in terms of money and in terms of what a ‘normal’ person should be doing.
I’m definitely hard to live with and she’s a pain in the arse as well sometimes!
But I am very anal in what I do.
My shoes are just stacked but the clothes in my wardrobe are all colour coordinated.
She did that and now I have to do it.
I’m a complete weirdo. I have to double check if I’ve put deodorant on and it doesn’t matter how many times I do it."
"Diego [Castro] speaks ok English, but somehow he understands me the best.
We relate quite well and can go and sit there for two-and-a-half hours at the coffee shop and have a really funny conversation.
Sometimes I’ll be taking the piss out of him.
If I get along with someone, I want to know all about them.
If I relate to something, I’ll tell you my story and want to know yours."
(Parkerville, Glory’s charity partner, is an organisation that protects, cares, advocates and promotes recovery for children and young people who have experienced trauma from abuse, to support families and to work with the community to prevent child abuse.)
"We went to Parkerville for a promo and I had no idea what it was about.
At the first one, I met the workers but I didn’t meet the kids.
They had a presentation for us outlining what they’re about and I was really taken aback, to think that the abuse they talked about actually exists.
Because none of that ever happened to me, I just kind of thought it doesn’t happen.
I spoke to the workers and they were saying that they have to get help to cope with what they deal with themselves.
I don’t even have kids, so it can be hard to relate to.
But once you start listening to the workers and the police who are there, you just think, whatever I can do to help, I will.
It just kind of pulled a string for me and was something that I thought I wanted to be a part of.
I say to Bas Hanna [Parkerville CEO] every time I see him that I’m so grateful that there is a place like Parkerville.
On another visit I did meet the kids and it’s just so horrible to think what has happened to those kids who are just so innocent.
I’ve never won a man of the match award, but if I do ever get one, I’ll donate it to them.
$1000 dollars going to them is a bigger thing than it going to one person.
I’m not someone who’ll sit here and say ‘I love coppers’ because I don’t, but the respect that I have for the officers who go in there and deal with things and then switch off when they go home is massive.
That’s such a strength to have as a person.
I know even from working here at the football club that switching off when you go home is not easy, so for them to do it is incredible."
(For more details about the superb work undertaken at Parkerville, visit Parkerville.org.au)