A year like no other, our club, like all clubs and organisations, faced the many challengers that Covid-19 brought us throughout the year. Leading into the 2020 season, the Bentleigh Football Netball Club was arguably in the best shape in the club’s history, and the pre-season led to plenty of exciting momentum going into the season. 3 Senior sides, 2 Under 19 sides, 40 Women’s Footballers and 4 netball teams made us one of, if not, the biggest sporting club not only in the SFNL but in the south-east region. With some great senior recruits, plenty of talented juniors coming through, a strong and united committee, we were excited to see what 2020 could bring. The biggest challenge our club now faces is ensuring we can carry the momentum we had and kick start where we left off for the 2021 season.
I would like to thank our committee for their tireless efforts in preparing our club for the 2020 season, and for adapting and managing the changes that continually came at us.
Brett Cooper – Vice President
James Coles – Junior Vice President/Subscriptions Jayde O’Brien – Secretary
Mark Eyles – Treasurer
Sarah Radlow – Communications Coordinator Taryn McGaw – Functions Coordinator
Jeff Mackie – Licensed Bar Coordinator
Olivia Scott – Women’s Netball Coordinator Garry Morgan – Facilities Manager
Garry Matlock – General Manager
Danny Mountt – Merchandise Coordinator
One of our challengers this season was keeping our community and members engaged, I would like to make a special thanks to Sarah Radlow who worked tirelessly on our social media pages to ensure they were up to date and keeping everyone within our community engaged. A huge thanks also to Sarah for the work she has done in upgrading our website and databases.
I would also like to thank General Manager, Garry Matlock, and Secretary, Jayde O’Brien, for their communication and work with key stakeholders during Covid-19, particularly with the council and the league.
An enormous thanks goes to our coaching group and support staff across all teams. Our head coach’s Peter Pirera, Brad Atholwood, Liam Dimattina, Paul Nankervis, Steve Hall, Steph Clegg and Ozcan Ozaydin and all their assistant coaches have remained stable, loyal and on task during very tough circumstances. Well done on a great pre-season and keeping our playing group motivated and engaged throughout year. It was difficult times during our return to training in June, and our coaching group managed it superbly. A huge thanks goes to Steve Hall who took on the role as Covid-19 Safety officer, and special thanks to Jayde, James Watts and Stephen
Black who ensured protocols and safety measures were being implemented. We are thrilled our coaches are on board again for season 2021.
We thank all our trainers for their hard work and commitment through the pre-season and mid- year return to training.
Although there was no football played in 2020, our affiliation with the Bentleigh Junior Football Club, Bentleigh Auskick, and our co-tenants, Bentleigh Cricket Club, remain in a great position. It is very exciting to see the pathway between the Auskick, Juniors and Senior Club so coherent, the incredible numbers of our juniors transitioning into our under 19s program is evidence of this.
Sponsorship and fundraising remain pivotal, even though we had no season, there were still expenses that needed to paid. A huge thank you to Bendigo Bank and all our sponsors that continued to support us in 2020. Without your support we could not operate. I would also like to thank all those members of our club, past players, parents and supporters who purchased a social membership this year. It is much appreciated and heartening to have so many people support our club during the hard times. Big thanks to Sarah Radlow for her management in helping set this up, and to Russell Holmesby for his help in organising the club’s inaugural online auction which raised close to $5,000.
Although the impacts of Covid-19 have been challenging, we are confident the club is in a great position for 2021 and beyond. Together with the Dragon Club, we will continue to ensure our decisions in the short-term are in the best interest of the sustainability and viability of our great club going forward. We look forward to bouncing back next season and kicking off where we left off.