Hall: Sydney break-up helped me

Written By Unknown on Senin, 22 April 2013 | 23.40

Open Mike ... Barry Hall reviews his lengthy rap sheet. Source: FOX SPORTS

Barry Hall grew up with three stern mantras instilled by his father that in hindsight, make it easy to see why he spent much of his career as a player who tiptoed the line between potent match-winner and reckless liability.

1) The only way to stop violence is more violence;
2) Never give a mug an even break;
3) Never let anyone have anything over you.

By his own admission, Hall's father was a ruthless character and much of his own attitude – both on and off the field – stemmed from this early relationship.

But it was a bitter fallout with the Swans that ironically provided the 289-game premiership player with a new lease on life and an opportunity to shape the course of his legacy.

"My most enjoyable two years of footy was at the Bulldogs," Hall told revered journalist Mike Sheahan on Monday night's episode of Open Mike.

This, despite captaining a premiership side, winning the best and fairest, and making the All-Australian team three consecutive years while at the Swans.

But as Hall explains, a move to the club he supported as a boy allowed him to re-invent himself.

"I think everyone cares about what people think of them. I care about what people think about me.

"If I didn't play again [after Sydney], I would be remembered in a totally different light to what I am now. I will be forever indebted to the Bulldogs. There weren't a lot of clubs that put up their hand to put me on their books. They were probably the only one.

"Most of the time what people think about me is wrong and you want to set the record straight with them. From that point of view, I think people that generally meet me walk away with a more positive view of me than they did before."

This wouldn't have been the case several years ago when he infamously struck Matt Maguire behind play, punched Brent Staker in the head and shattered the jaw of North Melbourne reserves player Sam McFarlane who would never play another game.

Hall looked at himself and knew things had to change.

"The transition from Sydney to Melbourne was a negative to start with, but turned out to be a massive positive for me," he said.

"I worked out some of my on-field issues that were really unhealthy and the reason it went pear-shaped in Sydney.

"I think you saw me at the Bulldogs as a much happier player with not as much expectation on myself. I got married, I started to like Melbourne again and there were a lot of things in my life that went to plan. I'm in a great spot now."

The straw that broke the camel's back in the harbour city was Hall's 250th game in which he was reported for striking Adelaide full-back Ben Rutten.

Hall phoned Paul Roos on Sunday and visited the club on Monday, but the next he heard from the Sydney coach was a television interview where he publicly doubted Hall's future at the club.

"I understand why the issue was there," Hall said.

"It was me. I'm not hiding from that fact at all. But the way it was handled, I thought was terrible. I ended up walking away from the club bitter. I left on a handshake and on ok terms, but I started to get bitter down the track. I 'resigned' but I really got sacked."

While Hall claims to have put the acrimonious relationship behind him, there is still an elephant in the room when it comes to the man that sent him packing.

"I don't think I'll get a Christmas card off Paul Roos", said Hall, who often works alongside his former coach in their respective media roles at FOX FOOTY.

"He's put it behind him, I've put it behind me. We haven't really spoken about it too much. I think Paul knows where I sit.

"To Roosy's credit, I said a lot of things about him in my book that were probably uncomfortable for him, but I stand by those. I'm not going to back away from that.

"Roosy knows where I'm at and I know where Roosy's at. In terms of having a beer together? I don't think that's going to happen but in saying that, I hope down the track it does."

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