On behalf of the club, I would formally like to welcome back all of our players, partners and their families, along with all our club members, supporters and sponsors from your Christmas break. There has been so much going on behind the scenes since the completion of the 2019 season heading up with the appointment of our new senior men’s coach Adrian McBean. Adrian was Michael Hazell’s senior assistant coach last year and has stepped up to take on the new role after Michael stood down due to hectic work and family commitments. Michael will still be heavily involved in assisting Adrian and all the senior coaches at the club.
We would also like to welcome back Al Gailey as the senior women’s coach again for the 2020 season after a tremendous couple of years with the team. Another fantastic inclusion to the women’s team is the appointment of women’s senior assistant coach Belinda Ounsey, who comes to the club with great experience at both from a playing and coaching perspective . The numbers at pre-season training has again been awesome with the women and we will continue to field a second women’s team this season with Joey Remman at the helm again, which is fantastic.
Our senior men’s reserves team has also gained the services of a fantastic appointment in Anthony Ashworth, who takes over from Russell Barnes, who did an amazing job in developing our senior players over the last couple of years. Anthony is a young and enthusiastic guy who will complement senior coaching group and we are wrapt to have him on board.
With our Under 19’s, due to his years of experience and football knowledge, Brad Berry has been approached by the Highett Football Club and has accepted the senior coaching role for the season. We would like to thank Brad and Russell the tremendous contribution they have both given to the club over many years and wish them both the very best for the season ahead . Taking over from Brad this season is Caine Groves, who comes to the club with a impressive playing and coaching resume. When interviewing potential coaches for the Under 19’s role, Caine was a clear stand out with his thoughts on football and life in general and developing our young players into senior men. Unfortunately, due to a situation where our juniors were short of a team coming through the ranks over the past few years, it has led to us having to field only one Under 19 team this season. We will however be able to provide our Under 19 players with some valuable game time in our senior reserves, and thirds men’s teams throughout the season to help grow their experience.
Due to popular demand, and after building a fantastic list of players last season, our senior third 18 team, led by coaching royalty Fin Neaves will be looking to grow on their first season back in senior football for quite some time. This season, we are hoping to develop a group of players that can potentially move up through the ranks and eventually play senior 1st 18 football. Onshore with dinner at the helm in ably supported by Jake Goodchild and Stephen Clarke, it promises to be an enjoyable season ahead for the team. The Club 18 competition will allow these players to be able to enjoy their football at a more social level and it will be great to have these players back at the club.
With every new season, we welcome in all our new recruits, existing long serving players, our junior players who move up into senior ranks, and we also acknowledge many of our senior players and coaches who won’t be involved with the club this year but have given so much to the club over many years. On behalf of the club, I would like to formally like to sincerely thank Russell Barnes, Brad Berry, Dan Young, Pat Tyquin, Chris Richards, Dan Garside, Jarryd Robertson, George Rowlands and Lachie Mirams for their outstanding contributions to the club over many years, and wish them all the very best with all their future endeavors. .
On another exciting front, we will be soon taking possession of our brand new state-of-the-art two-storey facility at Brindisi Reserve. Although there has been some inconvenience over the last 12 months, the finished product looks amazing and we can’t wait to move in in the next week or so. We are also involved with Kingston Heath Cricket Club in some much-needed improvements to the facility at Southern Reserve which should be ready by the middle of the season. Special thanks to Peter Davis and Mark Tyquin for all their amazing efforts in making this possible along with local, State and Federal funding, and the City of Kingston Council who have also been fantastic supporter of our club over many years.
With Samuel Browne, and Rebecca Dee at the helm this year, along with our junior club committee, will be more prominent this year with our social media/communications to all our club members and sponsors and will inform you of any upcoming events including our season launch prior to the commencement of the 2020 season. Thanks again for your continued support of the club and we look forward to an amazing year ahead.
Paul O’Toole VAFA President
St.Bedes Mentone Tigers AFC