A Decade On: Paul Vines

“There’s a distinct sound when you walk back into the club with two medals around your neck….”

Paul Vines says he had a point to prove in the 2004 WAFL Grand Final.

While every player is desperate to perform well on the biggest stage Vines’ motivation ran deeper.

24 months before wining the Simpson Medal in Subiaco’s 48 point win over Claremont, Vines was undergoing the first of two knee reconstructions.

The silky midfielder ruptured his anterior cruciate ligament during the Second Semi final against East Perth in 2002.

Vines was forced to watch on in 2003 as the Lions, led by the likes of Mark Haynes, Brad Smith and Alistair Pickett, conquered all during the home and away season to finish equal top of the WAFL ladder.

“I came back with about or four or five rounds left in the 03’ season.”

“I remember playing a couple of finals in the reserves and then Germo (Peter German) told me on the Tuesday night he wanted to roll the dice and pick me for the Grand Final for my first game of the year.” Vines said

Vines admits he underperformed in his one and only senior appearance in 2003 but he wasn’t alone, Subiaco lost the Grand Final by 23 points to West Perth

The club’s focus quickly turned to season 2004.

“I didn’t have a great game so that was in the back of my mind, I’d copped a bit of flack from people outside of the club.”

2 years after undergoing a knee reconstruction Vines gathered 24 disposals, kicked a goal and heard his name read out in front of 22 thousand people at Subiaco Oval as best on ground.


“I remember a certain journalist had given Germo and I a massive bake in the paper the next day after 2003, and the funny thing was after the 04 Grand Final he was the first reporter who came up to me. I felt like saying ‘mate I’m not going to talk to you’.”

“It’s surreal, you go out there to play footy, you’re playing a team game but to be recognized that you played your part for the side and your peers have identified that and chosen you to win it, it was pretty good.

“There’s a distinct sound when you walk back into the club and you’ve got the two medals around your neck clinking together and the boys are having a dig at you telling you they could hear you coming.”

What were your memories of the Grand Final?

“Through out the whole game I honesty felt like we were always in control even though they got within two or three goals it was just the belief I had that we were going to win because you just knew the guys you were playing with were going to put in if it got really tight.”

“The hole four quarters was just a bloody good game to play in. It was comfortable I never felt worried that we were under the pump in anyway.”

What was it like at Subiaco in 2004 ?

“At the time you probably don’t realize how good it was and how professional it was and the belief and the discipline the whole group had and you go to a few other clubs and you see the differences.”

“You constantly refer back to it and find ways to compare where you’re at and how to get to that level, it was a real benchmark. I think Germo set that benchmark and there’s been many clubs and many coaches and in particular myself who’ve tried to reach that level with other players I’ve coached and other clubs I’ve been involved in.”

Vines squeezed 45 WALF games out of his injury riddled body.


A second knee reconstruction in 2005 ultimately put an end to his football career.

He returned to the Lions in 2008 as an assistant coach to Scott Watters, he then coached the Lions reserves in 2009 and assisted Jarrad Schofield with the Colts in 2011.

Vines joined Swan Districts as an assistant coach in 2012 before spending 2013 as an assistant coach at Peel Thunder.

He’s since taken a break from football to concentrate on his young family.

Lions fans can catch up with Vines and all the other heroes from 2004 at the ten year re-union scheduled for the 31st of August after Subiaco’s final home game for season 2014.

Click here for more details or to book your ticket to the event contact the club on 9208 9999

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