Winter is well and truly upon us with the condition of our home ground at Brindisi Reserve still in reasonable condition considering the amount of wet weather we have experienced over the past few months. The club has recently purchased its own covers to protect the centre wicket and our SBMT Director of Coaching (Juniors) Joe Galati, has done an amazing job in maintaining the centre wicket with the help of a few foot soldiers. Such is the condition of our ground that the SMJFL are looking to host finals at the ground which will definitely help make up for a fair amount of lost revenue over the lockdown period.
I’d like to sincerely thank all of our club sponsors and partners who have generously donated to the club over the past two years, to help us through this difficult time. We have been totally blown away by our major sponsor in The Bendigo Bank Parkdale/Mentone, who have agreed to sponsor the club to a figure of $20,000 each year for the next two years. We are so grateful to be involved with such a wonderful organisation. Our senior men’s and women’s major jumper sponsors in Carter Grange, Barry Plant Bayside, and Geschke have also been tremendous supporters of the club and we greatly appreciate their generous support too.
With the stop start season, which we have experienced this season, our senior playing group has been so determined and resilient to put aside their frustration of missing out on matches, and being together with each other, and out of our seven senior teams, we have five teams that all going well, should play finals in the coming weeks with realistic chances of doing quite well in the finals.
Our senior men’s team over the past two seasons have introduced more than 20 young and exciting players to the team and although they have missed out on winning a few close games this season, they are definitely building an exciting list and hope to finish the season off strongly.
Our senior women’s team have had a fantastic season to date and finished the season second on the ladder. Their second semi-final (the last weekend we played) against Aquinas was a frustrating day for the women going down by seven goals but they will dust themselves off and be fiercer than ever when they get to take on Mazenod in a cutthroat preliminary final when play returns. The women have been amazing all year and should bounce back really well with a strong and resilient team effort.
Our senior men’s reserves team has had a really solid year to date and are currently equal fourth on the ladder with five rounds to go. Our new coach Matt Mitchell has done a fantastic job with the group and they are building into a really good team, understanding the game plan. Finals are definitely on the radar for this team.
Our senior women’s reserves team have also enjoyed a tremendous season with plenty of wins. Although their first finals appearance against Mazenod didn’t work out as well as was hoped for, going down by a single goal. Joey Remman has done an amazing job with their development and the club couldn’t be any prouder of the team’s efforts this season. They will be a regular finals contributor going forward with exciting times ahead.
Our senior men’s Third 18 have increased their playing numbers enormously over the last two seasons, due to the fantastic work by their coach and mentor Fin Neaves, with Joel McKee taking over the reins early this season. The boys are playing a really good brand of football and will head into the finals next weekend with a great deal of confidence to hopefully go all the way.
Our Under 19’s Division 1 team, who had a slow start to the season, have quickly turned things around and have beaten everyone around them playing an exciting brand of football. Coach Caine Groves, is really getting great results from the playing group and should also figure prominently with their upcoming finals campaign.
Finally, our Under 19’s Division 4 team, ably led by coach Tighe Chandler also had a slow start to the year, but have improved out of sight to possibly find their way through to the finals this year. They currently sit eighth on the ladder, but have a pretty good run home. Regardless of whether or not they play finals this year, the growth in the group has been outstanding and will only hold them in good stead for season 2022.
Finally, with current state government return to play protocols, we are restricted in the numbers we are allowed to host upstairs in our brand-new facility. Thank you all for your continued support of the club despite the restrictions. Together we will rise above all the setbacks we have encountered over the past 18 months and become stronger as one.
Cheers to you all and go Tigers,
President – SBMT Senior VAFA Committee
St Bedes/Mentone Tigers AFC