Presidents Report – 8 September 2021
Well, the inevitable has eventuated.
With rising Covid numbers and the State Government announcement 1 September resulting in an unknown end date to our lockdown, AFL Victoria has finally pulled the pin on all Metropolitan Football and Netball competitions in an announcement on 2 September.
In 2021 I, among with many others, believe we saw the re-emergence of our great football club. Both womens teams both finished on top of the ladder and securing their spot in the Grand Final, with strong Semi Final wins to cap off their undefeated seasons for both the Seniors and Reserves in the Premier division.
In my 35+ years of being involved in Amateur football I don’t recall this achievement ever being reached by any other program, and if this year was any indication the progression and development of our womens program is not going to slow down in the next 12 months. We look forward to the girls picking up from where they left off this year and we hope we get a full season in to allow the women to show the Marcellin community just how good we are.
Luke and Tony have developed a group of women who now play structured football with a defined game plan that continually stretches our opposition, and the girls deserved to be undefeated at the conclusion of the season as they were clearly the best teams in their respective division.
The numbers for our womens program this year were absolutely astounding this year, and we truly appreciate each and every player we have had who lined up in the guernsey. I can understand that some players may be frustrated by the season ending prematurely and also the constant movements due to large player numbers. The club has every intention of exploring the possibility of a Thirds Womens Team next year to give every women who has registered an opportunity to play, and we will be working with Luke and Tony over the pre-season to try and make this possibility a reality.
Our Men’s program showed significant improvement from the previous few seasons, and, whilst the win loss ratio may not reflect the improvement, I challenge anyone who can say that our program hasn’t captured the attention of our opposition. The Eagles are showing signs of getting the competitive edge of the late 1990s/early 2000s sides and I anticipate that growth to continue in 2022. This young team has started to mature, and the fact that we had a percentage over 100% in our 4-7 record shows that we are in the beginning of a new successful era for the Senior Mens.
Another year under Simon Abrahams where his structure and game plan will become more innate bodes well for continued improvement for 2022. It is time to ask the question, why not us?
Our Development Squad, coached by Thomas Black, played in a structured game style consistent with the Senior team which is something we placed great emphasis on throughout the pre-season. This ensured that players could slide seamlessly between the Seniors and Development team and has created our own brand of Marcellin football. Blacky, in his first year of coaching, worked closely with Simon and has played a key part in assisting this young core group to play a Senior brand of football.
Our Secretary Matthew Frost took on the duties as our Thirds coach for 2021. This can sometimes be a thankless task, as it is sometimes quite difficult to pull together a team each week and regular training sessions is not usually on the typical Thirds players radar. This year that wasn’t the case, every game played saw players missing out due to our improved player registration numbers, and there was consistent training numbers and buy-in from all age groups. As luck would have it, the games missed due to COVID were games that we would have expected to perform well in. The important thing was that we were competitive and the lads represented the club in a manner that now becomes the bar for our players
Last, but not least, there was our Under 19’s coached by first time coaches Nicholas Hullick and Lucas Mallamace who managed to pull together a core group of lads who went from strength to strength as the season progressed. Hard to predict but a full season would have seen the Under 19’s playing off in the finials, and Hul and Malla have developed a strong group of players who will truly be in the mix to play Senior football next year. Once again, the brand of football adopted by the Under 19’s also mirrored that of the Seniors so, across the board, all players and coaches now have an identity of what Marcellin football is all about.
So that’s it for football this season, but rest assured when the opportunity allows us we will still get together to celebrate the season that was. Whilst we might have had to postpone some events to next year, namely the Team of the Decade and the Trivia Night, we still very much intend to still hold the Presentation Night, the Nest Ball, The Harp Appreciation night as well as the Premiership Reunion Luncheon.
The way I see it is that we are a club that is desperate to be able to come together to socialise and enjoy each others company. We have all been through a lot over the past 2 years and it will be a welcomed opportunity for us to be able to come together to celebrate who we are and what we all stand for.
I’ll be in touch in a week or two to hopefully detail when these events will occur, and also elaborate on initiatives we introduced this year such as the “Ton up Club’ as well as our General Membership drive.
To our corporate partners: Woodridge Homes, MicroCloud, Bendigo Bank, The Harp Hotel, Donnellan’s the Tyreman, Paul Money Partners, and Harv Design. I cannot thank you all enough for your support and I encourage everyone in our great club to utilise the services of our corporate partners wherever possible.
Lastly as we look to next year, we desperately need more support at Committee level. It takes a lot of work to run a footy club and at present we have too few doing too much, so we really need mums, dads, brothers, sisters, partners, or any supporters to put their hands up and offer your support. With the possibility of adding a new team to our ranks the need for volunteers has never become greater, so I will be talking to several of you in the coming months with a view of coming on board to help out and hopefully lighten the load on the few that are already there. More involvement around the club will only help the club succeed further.
Stay safe Marcellin community, I look forward to seeing you all at the next event.
President of the Marcellin Old Collegians Football Club