Denis Brien

Games Played: 

Denis "Rocka" Brien began with RFC in 1959.  He was recruited from Sacred Heart College.  Other local clubs, in particular, Semaphore Centrals, were keen to have him (a couple of their officials were friends of Rocka's parents).   However, mates were playing with RFC, and as a result Rocka came to RFC.  

In 1959 Rocka played most of the season in the A1's but in the finals played in the losing A4 Grand Final side.  To qualify he had to play in both the A1's and A4's in the last minor round game. 

It was an interesting situation in Season 1959 as the A1's were relegated to A2 and the A4's promoted to A3.  This came about as in those days in the SAAFL there were no Reserve Grades.
In 1960 Denis went to Alberton Oval and played with Port Adelaide Football Club Seconds.  In July there was a bye (State game) so he returned to, and played for, RFC v. Goodwood at Goodwood Oval on that Saturday.  During the encounter he had his left cheekbones smashed inwardly - a result was an operation to prise them out.  No more footy for that season.

During the season, going to Adelaide University, he was "encouraged" to play there.  However he weighed the options up, and decided if he was to play, at a club other than Port Adelaide, he was very happy with RFC.
Rocka returned to RFC in 1961.   Rocka believed the PAFC lacked the camaraderie of RFC - it was just a number of teams.   RFC was a genuine club.  

The move suited Rocka's attributes and he joined the Executive Committee.  This Committee was responsible for building the present Clubrooms.   In the 1961 finals he played in the losing A2 Preliminary Final against Goodwood.
1962 and still in A2, Rocca played in the losing Grand Final  v. Alberton United (6.16 to 9.9).  A loss, but at least RFC were re-admitted to A1.
1963  in A1 and he suffered a bad knee injury v. Brighton at Brighton Oval.   RFC finished 5th.
1964 the injury didn't come up and he had a cartilage removed.  With very little known about Sports Medicine then a wrong diagnosis (the cartilage) was found out later in life to be a ruptured cruciate ligament.
1965 and he tried to play again but retired on medical advice.
Playing years 1959 - 1963  appearing approximately 75 times as a wingman/rover.

A member of the Executive Committee 1961 - 1964.

Rocka is a member of the famous Brien Family of Alberton Hotel fame.

He continues to this day (2010) to be involved in sport.  He is the President of West Torrens Distric Cricket Club.  Additionally he is the Junior Development Committee Chairman and is the historian of the WTDCC.  Rocka's efforts in delving into the history of the WTDCC has had the spin off of identifying Rosewater's first mention (1887) in the SA press. 

Rocka also played Grade Cricket, to A Grade Level, at University (whilst studying) and at Port Adelaide and West Torrens. 

In addition he was, for many years, the State Cricket, practice coordinator. 

Known to have an ale or three - but is kept on his toes by a most understanding Noaline.

One of RFC favourite sons.