We’re all here because we love Footy, appreciating that we measure success in different ways. Footy is a results business, and the temptation is there for the club to make premierships its priority. We understand this is what each team sets out to do at the start of a new season, but its not the only measure of a club. As a committee we support the club’s mission, the reason we exist – so that our kids can play their footy locally. By extension, then, we understand that our job is to cultivate an environment that our kids want to be part of and return to each year – where they feel safe, have fun, make new friends, and grow as both footballers and people. Yes, winning is more fun than losing, but there is a lot more that goes into creating great clubs.
In 2017 our Girls football program grew from two teams (U12 & U15) to five teams (U12, U13, U15, U16 & U18). We planned for 4, we pushed for 5, we identified coaches and volunteers who worked to find and pull in the players required to put teams on the park. We kept the faith, encouraged our officials to work together to find solutions, and together we built it, winning our first Girls premiership (U12) and failing to secure another (U16) by the narrowest of margins. Our work isn’t complete, but it’s one hell of a start. Thanks to Sue Castelow, Andrew White, Andrew Toomey, Mark Hart, Sarah Gladman, Andrew Buntin, Rod & Alison Bradshaw, Aaron Martini, Simon Rabl, Joe McCarthy, Pete Herring, Julie Potter & everyone else involved.
In 2017 we had more teams playing Division 1 Footy than ever before. In part this was due to a change by the YJFL who chose to have less divisions with more teams, and in part due to the increasingly capable and committed coaches and players involved with our club. Division One footy in the strongest junior league in Australia is tough – moving from Div 2 to Div 1 can be likened to moving from the VFL to the AFL. Our players and coaches embraced the challenge no matter which division they competed in, and by end of season every team was consistently competitive and winning games. A low point was two serious on-field incidents which forced us to pursue the YJFL’s grievance policy with mixed results. As disappointing as it was to have to go down this path, it highlighted the need for well defined internal process which has been addressed the creation of a Conduct Officer role in our revised constitution.
In 2017 we had more ‘non-parent’ coaches than ever before. It is no small commitment to take on the role of coach for a team that you have no immediate affiliation with, and so we thank and recognize Andrew White (Youth), Chops Langkau (Colts 1), George Papa (Colts 2), Terry Mason & Mark Askew (U15B), Dean Spencer (U15W), Harry Lacchiana (U14W) and Simon Hauser (U10). We were also excited to have a number of our former juniors as Asst Coaches across these age groups including Liam Mooney, James Marshall, Paul Collopy, Noah Bennett and Tom Veitch. We were also very fortunate to have Brendan Scott from Oakleigh Chargers working with us to run a series of multi age-group pre-season sessions, and then working with our coaches throughout the season.
I want to acknowledge and thank our Committee members, coaches, team managers and other volunteers for their tireless efforts. Likewise, we must recognize and thank our sponsors, because without their support it would be so much more difficult to constantly upgrade our facilities and equipment. In 2017 Epworth Health, Bendigo Bank Surrey Hills, Lindellas First National, Sportsafe and Express Plumbing & Gas all made significant contributions, and we encourage our members to show their appreciation by utilizing our sponsors’ services wherever possible. Without these volunteers and sponsors we would not have had the wonderful & extremely successful season that we did.
Record numbers – 21 Teams, 450 Players
U12 Girls – Premiers & Eastern Region Junior Coach of the Year (Joe McCarthy)
U13 Black, U16 Girls – Runners up
VIC Metro Representatives
U18 – Hannah McLaren
U16 – Dylan Williams, Josh May
Oakleigh Chargers Representatives
U18 – Dylan Williams, James May, Lachie Summers, Hannah McLaren (B&F winner >>>)
U16 – Josh May, Nick Balderanos, Max Inglis, Cooper Lean
U15 – Lachlan Barclay, Will Binnie-Peart, Cormac Bohanna, Sam Lanigan, Oscar Lunny, Flynn Maguire, Damon Maurice, Matt Moran, Dan Smart, Alastair Sutherland
Team Of The Year – Josh May, Dylan Williams, Hannah McLaren, Kate Tanner
U16 – Brianna Shelley, Rachael Smith
U15 – Lachlan Barclay, Cormac Bohanna, Oscar Lunny, Flynn Maguire, Damon Maurice, Matt Moran, Dan Smart, Mia Kolednik, Mia Branda-Pawlaczyk
U14 – Hayden Telford, Ben Woodfull, Max Askew, Sara Layton, Emily Bacon
U13 – Elijah Tsatas, Oscar Brown, Cooper Ferdinando, Max Gruzewski, Logan White
Bennettswood ground redevelopment
Bennettswood clubroom redevelopment
Surrey Park changeroom refurbishment