The club was saddened to hear of the passing of Tony who was much loved by all he met.
Tony’s character, his determination to grow the number of junior players and his infectious smile will be remembered as his standout qualities. He was one special person whom we will all miss.
Tony first appeared at the Mentone Recreation Reserve in the 1980’s playing for the Mentone Junior Football Club which was formed in 1979 and completed in the Chelsea District Football League. That league would then become Moorabbin Saints Junior Football League and is now known as the South Metro Junior Football League.
He had a bit of talent and moved through the ranks to the Under 16’s in 1985 playing 11 games. A shoulder injury cut short his playing career however his love for the club kept him involved in whatever capacity the club needed.
He was passionate about recruiting juniors to VicKick, now AusKick as our mighty game expanded. Tony would head off to each of the local primary schools every year handing out flyers to parents encouraging them to bring down there kids to learn the game at the Mentone Recreation Reserve.
In 2002 Tony coached the Under 9’s and throughout the following years again helped out in various footy roles on and off the field. In 2013 he stepped into the medical role for the Under 13 Premiership Team when no other parents felt qualified.
Moving forward on 10 more years of volunteering and a news story on 13 May 2012 recorded a story featuring stand in Under 19 Coach Tony Bova on the match played the previous day which the players of that time will remember of just how passionate he was for them to wear the jumper proudly.
Gutsy Draw for Under 19 Blue
The Under 19 Blue side today (12/5) headed over to the great house of learning to play Monash Blues where they gave their own classic lesson in guts and determination. With a starting line-up of only 18 players against Monash Blues who had 24, it seemed the odds were stacked against them from the start. With the aid of the westerly breeze, the Tigers opened brightly and by quarter time were up by 25 points in a great team display. However, by midway through the second quarter, we had Callum Byrnes off with an injured knee and Jake Townley concussed in a heavy knock.
The boys were now down to 16 players with Monash Blues in front at half time by 2 points. By the start of the second half, the number able to take the field dropped to 15 players as David Goodchild could not continue with his already damage back. The breeze died and midway through the third quarter, Taylor Gogerly came off with an eye injury and blurred vision. Player count was now SBMT 14 Monash Blues 24 and the meagre lead did not seem enough. Stand in Coach Tony Bova once again encouraged his charges to continue with the extraordinary level of effort and commit - and they did not let him down. While the Monash boys sprayed a few in front of goal, the Tigers boys took their chances. The endeavour, unity and self-belief in our boys to fight it out until the end to achieve a drawn game at 63 a piece was something to witness and really appreciate.
A fantastic gutsy effort by all the boys who really did stand tall. Well done boys. You should all be very proud!!
Well the club is certainly proud of your efforts over all the years you ventured down to Brindisi Street, assisting hundreds of players throughout the ages.
RIP Tony and thank you.
A Requiem Mass for Tony will be held this Friday 10.45am at St Pats Mentone. The Cortege will then proceed to Cheltenham Memorial Park for final service commencing at approximately 12.30pm. Rosary recited prior to the service at 10.30am.
All welcome at the Mentone Reserve clubrooms from 1pm to celebrate Tony's life.
Sincere condolences to partner Kerry, children Joseph, Daniel and Grace and extended family.
The club requests those who will be attending the clubrooms to bring a plate and Tony made a request to donate to the Cancer Council.