President's report 2016
President's Report 2016
Old Carey Grammarians FC
7.30pm, Tuesday 29th November 2016
OCGA Rooms, Carey Bulleen
2016 Season certainly didn’t pan out as we had hoped; sadly it was a painful year culminating in the relegation of our seniors to Premier B for 2017: the chance to get healthy again, re-establish our confidence by getting some wins on the board. Amateur football at the highest grade can be brutal; the quality of the opposition is outstanding, many clubs fielding ex AFL stars and plenty of depth. We knew 2016 was going to be a challenge, having lost our 2015 skipper; Cam Howat in the off season as well as another 10 experienced senior players was always going to test our depth. What we hadn’t counted on was a further 30 plus injured players.
The injuries did create opportunities, 16 debutants getting their first taste at senior football at the highest level. This was in keeping with our newly adopted #GENERATIONNEXT mantra, and great to see several of the 2015 U19 premiership team get their chance: Angus Archibald, Ben Coull, Harry Hill, Mitch Nixon, Cal Cameron, Jeremy Cator, Tagan Carter-Taylor, Hayden Hrovat and Will Nichols all did very well and will quickly form part of our core senior team in 2017 and beyond. Whilst the Unders had great numbers and played some excellent football the highlight for 2016 was the senior’s outstanding win v SKOB’s away at St Kevin’s on their Foundation Day weekend, our song has never been belted out loader.
A lot of praise must go the club’s coaching staff, we can be immensely proud of their commitment and unity. Despite the enormous challenges the group was able to maintain a positive mindset and worked tirelessly in developing the playing group. It was a tough baptism for our co senior coaches; Michael Tarrant and Paul O’Connell. Despite not previously knowing each other Taz and Ockie quickly formed a wonderful working relationship. They are in for the long haul and were prepared to absorb the short term pain believing that their plan for the club was going to take its time. We knew we were on the correct path both with the co appointments as well as the newly adopted mantra.
I would like to acknowledge Jarrod Reid for his tireless work ensuring the winless 2nds maintained their desire. Despite some savage beatings, this group, under Jarod’s leadership continued to front up. Praise to the extended playing list for their perseverance, Jarrod played in excess of 70 panthers in the 2nds throughout the seasons. I long for the day when the 2nds string some wins together and set themselves for finals. I don’t think that’s far off looking at the U19 graduates coming through and a better run with injuries.
Sadly we had to withdraw our 3rds early on, with the mounting injury toll many of the 3rds moved up into the 2nds making the 3rds selection nightmares for their coach, Dave Pocock. It became very apparent that we would need to withdraw the 3rds team and concentrate on underpinning the two senior teams. Dave Pocock did a wonderful job and in true fashion had the club’s best interest at heart, Dave turned his attention to helping out Jarrod and the 2nds, even playing games for the 2nds when called on, we are indebted to Dave and his panther passion. Hopefully we can reintroduce the 3rds in 2017 and continue to provide a game of football to the extended OC community. Our strength will be our depth so we need a 3rds team to generate this. Furthermore the 3rds also provides the U19’s with the opportunity to play a game on the weekend for those not selected in the Unders.
On the subject of the Unders, Nick Andrews continues to grow as a coach. The team was rewarded with a premiership in 2015 and promoted this season and Nick in his first season as coach did a great job in leading the ever increasing list of Unders in 2016. It wasn’t that long ago that we struggled to field an U19’s team mid-season, we registered close to 40 boys and that will be the case again in 2017. The connection with the school is terrific and praise must go to Nick and his support crew, Rob Newton and Gary Chapman for the work they have done. We had several of the school’s 1st 18 play with us during the T2 break and again once their school football commitments had ended. Despite going up a division the boys acquitted themselves very well, had there not been the customary mid-year travel exodus Nick’s boys may well have played finals.
Please to report some excellent progress off field in 2016:
- Retention of our major sponsor YAMZAR as well as a further renewal into 2017, mighty praise goes to club legend and owner John Hands
- New sponsorship deal brokered with The Harp of Erin and Kay & Burton. Both very generous with their support and providing some greater diversity in business contacts. The Harp was an instant success, quickly became our pub of choice. We hope to provide extended exposure of the Kay & Burton brand, having received many positive comments within the VAFA community.
- Retention of loyal corporate sponsors, BosCastle, Bank of Bendigo, Patterson Cheney, Colombo’s and the OCGA. I know I speak on behalf of players, coaching staff and committee in stating how appreciative we are of their generous support.
- Redesign care of Alan Fotheringham to update both the club’s core objectives as well as redefining our membership(s), thereby allowing the club to attract a variety of paid up members, offering value in exchange. The membership drive was well received and we hope to grow this in 2017 thereby attracting a larger number of past players and supporters to the club and giving them a greater sense of engagement and involvement.
- Relaunch in conjunction with ClubData, allowing for easier enhancements and change. ClubData provided a great deal of design support during the pre-launch and throughout the season. Thanks as well to past player Howard Kimber for his support, Howard loads up the weekly news feed as well as providing a working knowledge of the web site’s functionality.
- Cash flow
- Under Ben’s management we put in place a more detailed operating budget ahead of the season. This was needed to ensure we did not repeat the previous seasons trading loss. Pleased to report the club returned a surplus for 2016. The heightened awareness over costs combined with the membership drive assisted in returning us to surplus. Costs continue to grow, we must remain vigilant in controlling them and at the same time maximizing sponsorship opportunities, providing improved value add.
- Home lunches
- Cookie was again active and delivered several outstanding home lunches. He has an amazing network and was able to pull some big guest speakers, all no charge. 2016 included: Simon Beasley, Bernie Crimmins, Ian Cordner and Bruce Stevenson. The lunches remain vital to our success as they provide supporters and the opposition time to enjoy the some company ahead of the home games. There are not many clubs these days that are committed to putting on weekly home game lunches. Cookie has again done a magnificent job and is already planning the 2017 menu!
- Life Membership
- The club inducted a new life member in 2016, Matt Baker. We celebrated Matt’s 150th game on Dunshea in R7, despite an early injury and the loss we are thrilled to be able to have Matt join the club os a life member and will remember fondly his football exploits, in particular his high marking and athleticism, congratulations Matt.
- Best & Fairest
- 180 people packed into the Boulevard to celebrate the end of our 2016 and acknowledge the worthy recipients:
|Seniors||B & F||Sam Cust|
|Runner Up||Cameron Jones|
|Coaches Award||Morgan Evans|
|Most Improved||Tom Chapman|
|Most Consistent||Ben Smithwick|
|Reserves||B & F||Harry Moore|
|Runner Up||Jeremy Cator|
|Coaches Award||Athol Candlish|
|Best Team Man||Zac Lisle|
|Most Improved||Michael Mazzocato|
|U19's||B & F||Campbell Aitken|
|Runner Up||Jack Quartermain|
|Coaches Award||Jack Lardner|
|Most Improved||Brayden Dunstan|
|Club||Nick Everett Award - Best Senior First Year Player||Tagan Carter-Taylor|
|Kelvin Shrives Award - Most Determined Player||Bruno Consalvo|
|Lew Mackrall Memorial Award - For Outstanding Service||Paul O'Connell & Michael Tarrant|
|Ian 'Ocka' England - Best Clubman Award||David Pocock|
|Life Membership||Matt Baker|
- Plenty of good news with the signing of 5 excellent recruits already, 3 former Carey students and the other 2 have team mates at the club.
- Plenty of Carey YR12 boys and girls signed up, approx. 25 each
- Women’s football
- We are set to launch a women’s team in 2017 in the VAFA and have already appointed a coach, Greg Harding. Pre-season gets underway for the girls this week. We have engaged the OCGA to assist in funding on the back of a 3 year budget where we expect the program to break even after the 3rd season.
On the social scene we held several functions aimed at getting the boys out and away from football, as reported earlier The Harp of Erin quickly became our home venue, the Harp’s loyalty cards ensured everyone stayed around and had fun despite the on field results.
I know I have already acknowledged our fantastic sponsors but I must again single out the very generous support offered by Terri and Beck Cremean, owners of BosCastle, they kindly donated to our canteen: pies, pasties an sausage rolls, we were very fortunate to have this generous offering each home game, great product and a big thanks to the Cremeans.
A special farewell to the retiring Jules Rowe, Jules has had a stela football career, having played at the highest level. Jules reached his 100th game at OC in 2016 and was given a great roast by friend and team mate Steve Freemantle. I take this opportunity to again thank Jules for his commitment to the club, he has been an integral part of our recent success and a forerunner of quality Carey footballers who return to us once they have played out their days at the elite level.
The two senior teams were again well organised by our Team Managers, Russell Morris and Alan Fotheringham. Gary Chapman did likewise with the U19’s, whilst Dave Pocock was ably supported by Paul Graham with Sam Hassett always helping out. The club continued its commitment to provide the playing group with all of its needs (despite the increasing cost of running a driven program). We engaged a new physio for 2016, Richard Taylor. Richard with support from Sarah did a great job given the injury toll; let’s hope 2017 is a bit better. Praise to our trainers, under the guidance of head trainer Lize Cremean the trainers had a busy season.
Special mention must go to our team captains and the leadership groups, Cam Jones had a tough first season as captain and lead the playing group with great pride and enthusiasm. The club is indebted to the tireless work undertaken by the entire committee, in particular Ben Smithwick our Treasurer and the ever reliable support provided by Alan Fotheringham as Secretary. The same can be said about Rob Smithwick, Dave Wright, Gary Chapman, Sam Hassett, Paul Gaff, Ben Dunshea, James Wagner.
Carey Grammar School in conjunction with the OCGA has again been great supporters of the club, both in providing facilities as well as administrative support and understanding. Jim and Erin at Bulleen are always obliging and have made our job all the easier at times, so too Kate with OCGA matters.
So in closing I would like to thank you all for the support you have given me. Looking to 2017, there is no off season. With the retention of our coaches and the continued focus on GENERATION NEXT we eagerly await to see how far the younger players have come and how well they can combine with our quality recruits. On top of this we will be fielding a women’s team, new challenges and rewards no doubt.
With pre-season training already underway 2017 is not that far off. The doubters will already be saying OC is under the pump after the terrible 2016. I say let them believe that because I know what hard work we are doing to ensure we put together a much improved showing. All the same I am sure Scotch, Brighton, Fitzroy and AJAX will be eager to renew the battle, whilst Monash and Parkdale will be keen. So too the newly promoted Mazenod and Peninsula and I have no doubt Bernies will be all out reloading for another crack at A grade. So please join me and the committee for the big year ahead. I hope the extended OC community hears this call and gets involved. We need more people to join us, I’m sure we will surprise so don’t miss the opportunity. For all of us remember it will be the hard work now that will generate the rewards!
#GENERATIONNEXT HAS JUST BEGUN