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1 Jul 2014
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As part of a series of newspaper workshops, students from Plunkett St Public School school interviewed South Sydney Rabbitohs players John Sutton and Nathan Merritt; former player and now General Manager of Souths Cares, Shannon Donato organised and participated in the interviews. The students from Plunkett St were so impressed with the Rabbitohs that they gave them front page in first edition of The Woolloomooloo Warrior.

Karim: When will you retire?

John: When will I retire? Well I just signed another 4 years at South Sydney, so hopefully I’ll be playing for at least another 5 years. Next Question?

Kade (?): My name is Kade and which football team did you support when you were a kid?

John: That’s a good one, well I used to play for a team called Kensington United and we had the same colours as the St George Illawarra Dragons, so I used to go for the Dragons.

(?): How tall are you?

John: I am 6’3”, that’s about 190cm

Kia: My name is Kia and what do you hope will happen this year?

John: Well hopefully we win the premiership. It’s easy saying that it’s just that a lot of hard work goes in to it so hopefully we start off with a good win against the Roosters

Nick: My name is Nick, what do you do to relax outside of football?

John: I like to go surfing and I’ve got a 2-year-old daughter that I like to take to the park and spend some time with.

(?): Who was the biggest influence on your career?

John: probably my parents, my mum and dad, they got me in to football and they really pushed me to stick at it and I’m glad that they did.

Mackenzie: Do you have a kid?

John: yes I have a 2-year-old daughter and her name is Pippy.

(?): What would you do if you were stranded on an island?

John: probably try to find some food to eat, so to stay alive and some water to drink, and other than that just living island life.

(?): Do you watch the walking dead?

John: No, I don’t watch it

Nicholas: What is your favourite underwear pattern?

John: I actually don’t wear underwear… I wear tights…

(?): Yeah skins… skins are like things that make you move fast

(?): If there was a fire, what three things would you keep safe?

John: my daughter, my partner and probably photos

(?): Lets do that again, your families made it out

John: oh so things besides my family? Probably photos, my surfboard and my TV

(?): So you wouldn’t bring your money?

John: Well my moneys in the bank

(?): What about you wallet and stuff?

John: (?)

Kia: Who’s the biggest in your team

John: aw the 2 biggest would be the Burgess twins, George and Tom, they weigh about 120 odd kilos.

(?): What is your partner’s name?

John: Stacey

(?): beautypie(?)?

John: beautypie? No

(?): well of course your don’t

(?): you don’t go on Youtube do you?

John: Well not very often no

Nichola: What is your hardest team that you were up against?

John: Oh that’s a tough one… every games hard in the NRL. If I had to pick a team, probably the Roosters because they did win the comp last year, so it’d probs be them

(?): I don’t go for them, I used to go for Bunnies but I don’t go for them anymore

John: Why don’t you go for us?

(?): I used to… I play. I’m under 12’s now and I play for (?) Tigers. And we have to support the Roosters.

John: You don’t have to! Coz you’re in the comp

(?): They’re the people who support us too… Kensington

John:  There’s not many Kenso teams going around anymore

(?): We versed the wombats once

(?): The bulldogs!

(?): OMG that was the worst team!

(?): What age did you get those tattoos

John: I got this one when I was about 20.. I’m 29 now so when I was 20… they’re Balinese tattoos

(?): How did you feel when you won a premiership

John: We haven’t won one yet, so hopefully this year

(?): Were you in the team when you won one?

John: When I was younger, when I played for Kenso we won 10 straight premierships

(?): Well I came thirst last year

Makenzie: What made you want to get the tattoos?

John: because I liked them

(?): uh because I wanted to look like a rebel

Kia: What sport so you like to play?

John: beside Rugby League, I like Tennis, I like to play tennis, it’s fun

(?): Can you do me a favour? Can I see you flex your muscles?

John: me arms?

(?): WOAH !

(?): Have you ever rode a bike?

John: Yes, I have rode a bike before

(?): Me too ! I have one with high speed

John: Yeah? Well that’s cool

(?): Have you tried to be on a world tour?

John: No..

(?): Do you think about going to other countries?

John: I’ve been to a lot of countries for holidays, not on tour though…


John: Okay so who’s first?

(?): Have you ever been ?

John: No. Never haha

(?): Does it get annoying when fans come up to you and your family?

John: Nah not really, it’s just part of my job. They’re the ones that support us every week so it’s good that they come up and say hello.

(?): Do you watch the walking dead?

John: They asked me that before, no I don’t

(?): Did you ever want to support a different club when you were a kid?

John: I supported the dragons when I was a little kid because the team I played for had the same uniform, so I used to go for them

(?): I used to go for the Dragons, until I realized they sucked then I went for the Roosters.

(?): Who is that on your tattoo?

John: Oh that’s just a picture I got in Bali when I was on holidays

(?): It looks like Tyra Banks

(?): It looks like Beyoncé

(?): What’s your favourite sport besides footy?

John: probably surfing, I like to go surfing in my spare time. Not so much skate boarding

(?): What’s 5 + 5?

John: Uhhhh 10

(?): What’s 12 x 12?

John: 144

(?): Do you own any pets?

John: No I don’t have any pets

(?): not even rabbits?

(?): Who is your favourite friend in football?

John: my best friend? I wouldn’t say I’ve got a best friend. All my team mates are…

(?): Who do you hang out with the most?

John: training? Probably Nath…

(?): Were you ever bullied as a child?

John: no not really, no…

(?): were you bigger than everyone?

John: What do you wanna know?

(?): Was your life hard?

John: No it wasn’t hard, it was pretty….

(?): lie..

John: Why should I lie for?

(?): It’s more interesting

(?): Do you have any other friends in different clubs?

John: yeah I’ve got a lot of different friends, just from playing with and against other teams. You know you make friends all the time and you see them at functions and stuff.. so year at a few different clubs

(?): How old are you?

John: I’m 29

(?): So Nathan is older than you?

John: Yeah, I think he’s a year older than me

(?): You have a better hair do

John: you like it? What’s going on with your hair?

(?): I hardly ever brush my hair

John: you’re going for the ‘I just woke up’ look?

(?): yeah

John: I like your hair cut, that’s cool

(?): I can make my hair look like wolverine

(?): What school did you go to?

John: Primary school or high school?

(?): both

John:  I went to (?) public school, which is near Kingsford. And high school I went to (?) College at Randwick.

(?): Don’t take this personally, it just came up because it’s really dramatic, did you grow up with, do you have a mum and a dad or did you lose them when you were a kid

John: nah I have a mum and dad, they still live in Mascot where I grew up and I’ve got a sister too, she lives in Adelaide.

(?): is she going good?

John: yeah, she’s pregnant and she’s gonna have a baby in a couple of months

(?): I was gonna ask if she played footy but…

John: she used to play netball

(?): Do you have a big house?

John: Oh  wouldn’t say big house, but it’s okay

(?): is it bigger than the school?

(?): Were you ever shy as a kid?

John: yeah I was pretty shy growing up

(?): but did you ever take your anger out on footy?

John: in some ways yes

(?): Why do you go for the Rabbitohs?

John: Why do I? I guess because I grew up in the area and just came through the grades. Playing under grade and I’ve been lucky enough to play my whole career for souths

(?): What is your best animal impression?

John: I don’t have any

(?): What was your favourite subject in maths as a kid?

John: oh in maths… I didn’t really have a favourite, I guess… algebra

(?): Are you smarter than your team?

John: Am I starter than my team? Yeah, I’m the smartest, that’s why I’m captain

(?): Do you like all the Burgess brothers or only some of them?

John: Nah I like them all, I like everyone in my team


(?): Do you have any kids?

Shannon: Yes, I have 2 children; I have a 13 year old named James he’s at (?) where John went to school and a 9 year old daughter

(?): Do you like your position in footy?

Shannon: I don’t play footy, I just keep these guys under control, I used to play footy a long time ago, 25 kilos ago

(?): was it a fun time?

Shannon: Yeah I liked it, I loved it

(?): Is it true that you used to come to this school?

Shannon: I did, I came her from kindy all the way through to year 6

(?): How many schools have you gone to?

Shannon: I went to two primary schools and 3 high schools. Mackenzie’s mum I went to school with

(?): If you could go back to playing footy, would you?

Shannon: No, I’m very happy to be retired. I enjoyed playing footy, but I’m glad it’s over.

(?): Do people still recognise you as a good footy player?

Shannon: no, not really, it was so long ago

(?): But do they still recognise you around the street?

Shannon: in the Redfern are they still so, some of the old south supporters still remember me. John remembers me, I think John used to be my ball boy when he was a kid

(?): were you better than him?

Shannon: no I wasn’t, John’s actually the captain of the Rabbitohs, he’s the best player on our squad John

(?): John are you the captain of the Rabbitohs?

John: Yeah I am

(?): Are you the best player?

John: I wouldn’t say I’m the best player

(?): Who do you despise on other teams?

John: I get along with most other teams but when we’re playing you gotta hate them

(?): did you ever have an interesting Aboriginal painting or Aboriginal culture?

John: no

(?): Where did you grow up?

John: I grew up in Maroubra

(?): Was it nice there?


John: yes

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