You all know Toby Greene as one of the most captivating players in the AFL, but what do you know about Toby Greene the person?
The 27-year-old has established himself as one of the best footballers in the land when at the peak of his powers.
He has won Greater Western Sydney’s best and fairest, earned an All Australian blazer, Big V selection, and is one of the toughest match-ups in the game.
But when it comes to everything else, the Victorian is a bit of a mystery to those who don’t know him.
And that’s what we are here for. We are here to take you behind the curtains.
As it turns out, he is just like many of us, someone who idolises sports stars, even when he is one himself.
Greene travelled through Europe with Stephen Coniglio and Jaeger O’Meara late last year, shortly after the Giants were smashed by Richmond in the 2019 Grand Final.
They went everywhere, from Lake Como to Milan to Barcelona to London. But one stop more than any other stands out for one reason. And that involved visiting the state of the art training facilities of French football powerhouse Paris Saint-Germain and the opportunity to meet global superstars like Kylian Mbappe, Edison Cavani and Mauro Icardi.
“It was an amazing experience. We went into PSG to see the facilities. They are pretty well protected and secured, it’s like going into a prison in a way. It was amazing to see the fields they have there and how they operate,” Greene told Behind the Lens.
“We watched a whole training and spoke to the head of sports science for two hours while we watched them train. I probably asked him 700 hundred questions and then we waited for the players after training in the family and friends area. They all came and said hello and gave us the time of day, which was awesome. Then they all just rolled into their Bentleys and Rolls Royces. It was amazing to see how the other half live.
“I’ve been a big fan of Mbappe for a while, so I was like a kid in a candy store. Mbappe is one of the biggest stars in the world. It is just another level soccer. The reach they have across the world is just incredible. Kylian is from France so he is quite the superstar in Paris. It was good to see PSG make the Champions League final this year too knowing I’d given them some words of wisdom.”
If you didn’t realise by now, Greene is a keen traveller. But just like everyone still in Australia, international travel is not an option this off-season – and might not be for some time.
But when the world returns to normal, the star Giant will be heading back to the United Kingdom to visit Old Trafford, Anfield and many other famous football stadiums in that corner of the globe.
“If you are allowed to go to the football, I reckon London is my next trip and a bit of Europe. Maybe even eastern Europe?
“I’d love to go to Manchester and Liverpool. I didn’t get the opportunity to do that last year, so it would be good to watch some games there and visit some real football towns and immerse myself in the culture there.
“It could be a while, though, so if not, it could be the 2020 World Cup in Qatar. I’ve locked myself in for that.”
Twelve things you didn’t know about Toby Greene:
What is your favourite song?
Walking with elephants (Ten Walls)
What is your favourite movie?
What is your favourite book?
Steven Gerrard Autobiography
If you can invite three people out for dinner, who is on your guest list?
‘Iron’ Mike Tyson, James Hird and Michelle Obama
Who is your favourite sports star and team?
Mbappe and France National Team
Where are you eating your last meal on earth?
How do you drink your coffee order and where?
Long black at Tide Café in Rose Bay
What is your favourite holiday destination?
New York with Rio de Janiero as a close second
What is your signature drink?
If they have the unpasteurised Carlton Draught it is probably that
What was your dream job growing up?
Working on Getaway. That’s the dream.
What is your favourite form of exercise?
The best day on the calendar is….
It has to be Derby Day, doesn’t it?