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One of the key people behind Norths Connect’s evening at Endeavour Tap Rooms on Wednesday night is Chris Hall, pictured here with Hian Nguyen of FAST partnership. Chris’s involvement with Norths stems from player to board and his latest challenge is going out on his own with his own company, Blue Crane Capital. We caught up with Chris on Norths, his new business and Norths Connect.
When did you first connect with Norths?
I started playing colts in 2003 and finished playing Grade on the US Tour in 2010. Never really was interested in coaching but was convinced by Archie at the time to stay involved and help 2nd colts.
Best rugby moment?
Semi final win in 1st colts (2012) was pretty special against a good West Harbour outfit, boys came back from 26-7 down to win that day. Many of those boys ended up playing in the premiership side last year.
The other obvious one was the Grand Final day and watching the boys win. Seeing Richard Maude outpace Woolfie to put us in front was in image, which will be with me for life.
How would you define the Norths community?
It’s my second family.
There are plenty of parallels between team sport and business, putting the team first, following process, discipline, hard work, planning and resilience. Resilience is probably the key, just like in rugby sometimes momentum changes and you need to pick yourself up and go again…
To be honest, Norths Connect was created about two years ago after speaking to many ex-players and stakeholders of Norths, like Cam Shepherd, Justin Drew and Arch. I sat there looking at other clubs who have strong alumni support (both membership wise and financially) and then couldn’t pin point why we as a club, in one of the most affluent demographics in Australia with 118 years of history, struggled to engage our local business community and ex-players. There are many ex-players that have gone onto lead very successful careers in their own profession, the Norths Connect forum will hopefully get them back involved.
It was also born out of the fact we need to create channels for our current group of players to gain exposure to jobs and industries. From my time coaching, this is a major challenge for our players – jobs. Our coaches, Crono and Joel Rivers along with the Rugby Committee work tirelessly to help with jobs for new and current players.
On your rugby strategies and business?
If you’re going to do something, do it 100% and be the best of the best (to use a Cronism).
My brother Ash (Ashcorp Building) and I put our hand up to be a jersey sponsor this year as we saw the value in the sponsorship lunches but also we just thought it would be pretty cool to have our brands on the Norths #2 jersey.
On Norths Connect on Wednesday night?
The model has worked well so far, key note speakers, with commercial and sporting themes tied in. We don’t push the forced connotation of ‘networking’ rather just lay a platform to help people connect. We have raised approx $5k to the playing group for training gear with some players receiving jobs out of these evenings so far – which is great. Shep does a top job steering the ship on the night and everyone has a drink or three.
I also selfishly wanted to hear Brett Kelly’s story (our major sponsor), which is quite incredible. To go from start up to floating on the ASX within a decade is nothing short of impressive – and I hope to take some of his tips/experience back to my business.
On Blue Crane Capital?
Residential, commercial and construction finance is my specialty after working for 12 years for the major banks. I am 6 months in. You have your highs and lows and after listening to Brett Kelly last night, all in I know I have made the right decision. I know I can add more value to clients in structuring their loans and banking arrangements.
The club is a great place to be right now. Everyone has worked hard on and off the field to make this a very successful season. We still have 4 weeks to go and would be great to see as much support behind our 2nds colts, 4th Grade and our First graders.
Chris can be contacted on, his details are email@example.com