Warren has also been awarded the prestigious AFL Merit award for his contribution to Sydney AFL over many years.
Warren ‘Pops’ Quintrell is known as the father figure of Australian Rules football in the Hills area, and many in the club say he was instrumental in setting up clubs in Pennant Hills, Baulkham Hills and Kellyville.
Pops was on the sidelines unsure of which team to be supporting, but with many of the senior players running onto the field being his ex-charges, he was a proud man watching their progress.
The Pennant Hills and Baulkham Hills rivalry developed as a result of many players playing football against each other since they were in junior competitions.
The centrepiece of the ‘Back to Baulko Day’ is the Warren ‘Pops’ Quintrell Trophy, which is awarded to the winning captain and coach.
Moving from South Australia in 1996, Quintrell was one of the original Australian football fanatics in Sydney.
“In some ways I brought it up here, because I used to do school clinics and I finished up doing Auskick for a few years,” he says.
“A lot of them out there are players from Auskick, and I believe that my last lot of Auskick players are now under 14s.
“I’d like to still be doing it, but my knees don’t let me do it anymore.”
Pops remembers all too well the challenges he faced bringing Australian Rules to a state caught up in rugby league and union.
“I found that a lot of the kids loved the game, but it was a matter of convincing their parents,” he says. “Their dads had played league or soccer all their lives.”
Sitting on the sidelines is hard for the man who has spent almost 40 years teaching north-western Sydney schoolkids about his beloved sport.
“I miss it,” he says of the teaching. “It keeps you young if you’re playing with young kids.”
People involved with both clubs change directions to talk to Pops, say g’day and ask him how he is going. It’s obvious he’s a well-respected man.
Eagles general manager Anthony Dignan puts it simply: “He’s a legend in the area”.