Meet Hugh Greenwood, a tenacious inside midfielder for North Melbourne whose journey to AFL has been nothing short of extraordinary. Initially forging a path in professional basketball, Hugh’s story took an intriguing turn as he transitioned from the courts of the New Mexico Lobos and training with the NBA's Utah Jazz to rediscover his passion for football back in Australia. Known for his "sweep the sheds" mentality, rooted in humility and selflessness, Hugh's commitment to the team extends beyond the field, embodying a spirit that values every aspect of the game, big or small.
Born and raised in Hobart, Tasmania, Hugh drew inspiration from his mum’s life quote, "make every second count," and has carried this motto with him through life and on the field.
“It’s something that has stuck with me for many years, and is something I took into football with me, so that's why every contest, every ground ball, every second that I'm out there, I just crack in.”
Hugh is not just an AFL player; he's a family man too. Balancing a busy lifestyle with his job as a professional athlete and being a dad, Hugh says he makes sure he prioritsies quality time with his two kids.
"I always ask myself if I'm really there with them, making the most of our time together. I make every second count with my family knowing that I have to make a lot of sacrifices to leave them to go and play professional sport.”
“When I got this opportunity to play football and be around that environment, and to see how important it was to have guys that embrace their role and swept the sheds, that was when the penny dropped for me.”
This shift in perspective became part of the reason for his resurgence, and now a decade later, Hugh acknowledges the fortune in this revelation, emphasizing the impact of prioritising the collective over individual glory.
“What got me back on track was putting that team first, that sweep the shed's mentality, and I was so fortunate that the penny did drop, because here we are 10 years later.”
Spoken highly of by teammate Bailey Scott, Hugh's humility is what makes him truly admirable.
"I admire Hugh’s humility. He is never the most important person in a room, even when he can be. He's an experienced character, but he still is so humble and embraces absolutely everyone. I guess he has every right to say I've been doing this the longest and just go and do his own thing and get himself right, but he embraces everyone at the football club from the players, the staff, and the fans. I think that's why he's had some success as well, because he brings people along with him and creates a successful group rather than just a successful person.”
“Sweep the shed is probably the ultimate definition of humility, and we see it in the book Legacy about the All Blacks and nothing's too big or too small. Their captain will stay behind at the end of games and make sure the facility is in a better state than when they arrived, and I think when we look at Hugh that epitomizes Hugh as a character. Nothing's too much trouble for him.”
LSKD VALUE 3/6: SWEEP THE SHEDS. No one is bigger than the team. No one is too big to do the small things.