2017 Presidents Report

It is with a degree of pride that I present my second President’s report for the 2017 season.

The year has seen many outstanding results ‘off field’ and the strength of the committee continues to impress me.

The committee met formally on 7 occasions throughout the year and informally on many more. This year individual committee members have been given specific tasks and these have been accepted and carried out without pomp or fanfare.

Specifically, Terry Ryan has organised and controlled the Thursday night meals as well as other duties relating to the successful running of the canteen. Terry and Lisa along with their family did a great job and were well supported by a loyal group of assistants.

Andrew Rodgers did a similar and equally professional job of the sometimes difficult task of managing the bar and liquor delivery.

Dale was again our conduit to the football department and his experience was immeasurable, it is a pity that Dale will not be seeking reelection and I wish him all the best. Tom and Leanne have been faithful supporters of our endeavours and although they were ‘time poor’ at times, they contributed and enhanced debate.

On field, the football department struggled to produce consistent results but a number of matches proved that the talent was evident but producing it on a regular basis proved challenging. I believe a highlight was the third round away win and demolition of Park Orchards. This was a memorable game that saw all players, officials and supporters excited and proud. This was even more commendable noting that Park Orchards were the eventual worthy Premiers.

Financially speaking, I am pleased to report a very solid financial result which has the added bonus of allowing us a positive bank balance for the start of the 2018 season. This magnificent result was a pipe dream and considered impossible this time last year.

Treasurer Jeff will detail our result but I would like to place on record the fact that his continual control of expenditure and extraordinary experience should not be underestimated.

The end of year Special Effort Draw is now a feature of our budget and is imperative to our continual success. Jeff controls and handles this feature admirably. The turn around in our finances cannot be underestimated and the committee should be congratulated in sticking to rigid beliefs and strict guidelines set by Jeff, Stephen and myself.

Sponsorship has gained a new dimension due to the tireless efforts of Jackie Austin. She is loyal, talented and professional and the club is absolutely in her debt. She organises, maintains, manages and sources all our sponsors and the growth in this field has been a main reason why we are continuing to flourish financially and why home games are so well supported. The introduction of themed sponsors home games has been a huge success and this initiative has been another success story. Facebook continues to grow in importance for immediate information sharing and it is now obvious that this method resonates with our players, supporters and officials.

Our membership base and lack of major growth continues to throw out challenges and this is one facet that requires attention in 2018.

Our website has been continually updated by Belinda Martin and her knowledge, talent and understanding has made the sharing of information, merchandise sales, function tickets and all other digital media issues a very easy task for me. The introduction of a mail chimp account this year has made bulk transferring of information easy, quick and targeted.

The handling of all our correspondence, committee issues and interaction with the EFL has been well handled by Joan. She has continued to grow in this important role and is continually increasing her knowledge of these essential issues.

The addition of Stephen Dunn as the Vice President has taken a lot of pressure off me and he easily assumed the role of President in the weeks when I was absent on holidays. He has been a constant support, a sounding board for ideas, generator of his own ideas and most of all a loyal friend during difficult times and difficult decisions.

This brings me to the difficult decision of terminating the senior coach with two rounds of football left on the fixture. This decision was not taken lightly and the misinformation of agreed positions was not ideal which led me to address the players on the Thursday night at training. Individual senior players stepped up to coach the remaining games and that was a huge step in their development and showed a fantastic club spirit. It is with a great deal of disappointment that it ended in such an unsatisfactory manner.

Steve Rowarth has informed me that he will not be in a position to carry out the role of Football Manager in 2018 and his knowledge and expertise will also be missed. I am hopeful that Steve will assist in some capacity.

I would also like to acknowledge and thank our tireless volunteers, both at training and more importantly on match day. Without them a successful club cannot operate. They are the lifeblood of a great clubs and most of the time go about their business without guidance, prompting and without any thought of gratitude. They are our humble heroes.

Finally, the future looks very bright indeed. We have successfully and spectacularly turned around our finances, have successfully appointed a new senior coach, recruited personnel who will embrace our culture, have farewelled a handful of players that have not committed to this culture, have a stable and knowledgeable executive committee, are the envy of many Division Three teams and Presidents, have a highly talented group of footballers, will once again field an Under 19’s team in 2018 and finally have the right people in the right jobs.

Not a bad 2017 after all……….

I will continue, with the support of Stephen, to drive a positive, nurturing and embracing club that stands up for our values.

Peter Hookey


2016 Presidents Report

2016 was a challenging year to say the least with multiple obstructions placed on the club weekly.

The committee has met on four occasions formally for committee meetings in the 6 months since the last AFM and this alone is a major step in bringing structure and process back to the club. We have also convened on numerous times informally in addition to the strict conditions employed in a committee meeting environment.

The committee of Jeff, Dale, Joan, Andrew, Tom, Terry and Leanne have had frank and honest discussions during the year regarding many sectors of our club and it is a testament to them that they have stayed focussed and on task. It is a committee with differing views on occasions but one that can always find a solution in the interests of the club no matter how confronting discussions and opinions become.

They are to be congratulated.

The football operations department has had its challenges but I believe has come out of 2016 with a very successful result. We have consolidated our position in Third Division through the hard work and determination of all coaching staff. I would like to make particular note of the senior coach, Pete Muscat. Pete did not find the club in a position that was sold to him at his job interview and subsequent meeting when he was offered the position. I will not go over or dwell on what occurred before, during or following pre season but he has stayed focussed and on task under many, many obstacles and dramas and has well and truly shown that he has the welfare of the club at heart. Thank you.

Dale has overseen the football department and is to be congratulated on fielding three teams ‘week in week out’ with only one round in which we were reduced to only two teams. It has been a huge challenge for him to achieve this and he retires from that position this year having given our club every opportunity to achieve success whilst nurturing our younger players. I have constantly pressed him to fine tune our football department expenditure and this continues to be a work in progress. Dale was invaluable, particularly in early 2016 and the club should thank him for this.

Jeff is and has been a huge asset to our club and has been a confidant and mentor to me in my first year as President. His knowledge and experience has been immeasurable and I have been lucky to have him as Treasurer and friend. We have attempted over the year to revisit and reevaluate our club budget and he has overseen our continual quest for trimming costs and looking at ways of achieving results whilst lowering expenditure. At the last AGM we forecast a major trading loss of around $29,000 for the 2016 season and many questions were rightly asked of our plan to counteract this prediction. I am extremely pleased to announce that we have worked diligently and frugally to record an outstanding fiscal result given the inherent circumstances. We are financially viable which cannot be said of every EFL club and we are constantly fine tuning our expenditure whilst assessing its implications. We have turned the club around from this projected loss to a very successful outcome as will be detailed in the treasurers report. Mid year, we met representatives of the EFL to report, we stated our position and advised them that we were doing everything possible to avoid defaulting on our responsibilities. The end of year result should not be taken lightly and is once again a testament to Jeff and the committee that we have placed the club in such a positive position.

Andrew Rogers has been a valuable and loyal committee member often going outside of his bar and beverage duties to fill in and assist whenever needed. His commitment and work ethic has been a huge factor in achieving off field success this year.

I cannot speak highly enough of Tom Naughtin, as well as captaining the senior team and conducting a successful business, Tom has been sought out by me on numerous occasions. His friendship, honest opinions and experience has assisted me greatly. 2017 will see Tom overseeing our club mail outs to members and is responsible for our growing membership base.

The Thursday night meals would not be possible if not for Terry and Lisa Ryan. Their team of competent volunteers has meant that each week runs without major dramas. The club is lucky to have Terry, Lisa, Travis, Anne and Roger Drew, Judy, Carly,John and Lesley Naughtin as well as numerous other helpers. I would also like to acknowledge the tremendous amount of work undertaken by Ian Hook and Darryl Speers. They are tireless and loyal contributors to our club who can always be relied on and often perform duties anonymously and without fanfare. All our volunteers are critical to our success and are the envy of other clubs.

Our membership of the Warrandyte Sporting Group has once again been overseen by our two delegates, Phil Treeby and Jeff Evans. They are important conduits to our club, reporting and directing the multiple issues received over the year. The membership of the sporting club continues to throw up challenges. A culmination of this work will see the new electronic scoreboard being constructed in the near future.

2016 has seen many successful events, starting with the inaugural Life Members Dinner and followed by our partnership with the Junior club in organising and hosting the highly patronised Ladies Lunch. The annual Sponsors/President lunch was a sell out with Kevin Sheedy proving to be a huge draw card and he provided us with a very entertaining speech and was most forthcoming with his time at the question and answer session. The major fundraiser for the year was our special effort draw overseen by our treasurer and it is hoped that this will be a yearly event. It was a massive effort by all involved and I am happy to report that it gained and indeed required a ‘buy in ‘ by  all the players. All who attended were presented with an extremely entertaining day. This years financial result would not have occurred if not for this event and the drive and determination of Jeff and Barbara Evans. Well done.

2017 sees the appointment of a sponsorship manager and new football manager. Jackie Austin has hit the ground running in her sponsorship role and is already achieving great results and her professionalism and skills will be invaluable to us.

Steve Rowarth has been appointed new Football Manager and his passion, knowledge and enthusiasm will be an positive for the club.

Joan Atkinson has taken over the administrative and secretarial role in 2017, her skills and commitment will mean that we continue to be a professional and forward thinking club. She is and will be our main conduit to the EFL. All new appointees are committed to our cause and I sincerely trust that they will continue in their roles for many years, thus ensuring a solid and reliable off field base.

In closing, 2016 has not been easy but we have steadied the ship and I look forward to 2017 with a great deal of confidence. We now have a competent and loyal team off the field and it is hoped that this can carry over to success on the field.

Thank you for your support and confidence.