Presidents Report

13 December 2018

2018 Presidents Report

They say a week is a long time in football so I was a little concerned about a break of 18 years from my previous time as Chairman of the St Bernard’s OCFC. I need not worry, as I already knew that the club had been in very safe hands, especially over the previous 6 years under the reign of Patrick Crabb. Patrick was awarded the Best Clubman Award in 2018 to a standing ovation at our Presentation night and although up against some outstanding nominations in a Premiership year, it was a unanimous committee vote. Just recognition for not only this season but a reflection of his commitment to this club, players, supporters, college, sponsors and community over 6 years. Pat has made my transition seamless, been a constant source of information and advice in handing over whilst continuing to contribute throughout the year above and beyond. From the St Bernard’s OCFC Pat, we thank you for your stewardship over the previous 6 years and the direction and contribution history will reflect you provided this great club.

The clubs mantra should always remain to play in A Grade of the VAFA competition. So from the beginning of pre season training and the devastation of the Preliminary Final loss in 2017 it was the clubs sole goal to take the next step. In winning the B Grade Grand Final we erased some of the memory and have accomplished our deserved promotion back into A Grade in 2019. I’m sure the Coaches reports will reflect in more detail the fantastic football year that it was for the club across all teams. Off field can I thank all the football staff, led by Senior coach Mark Riley whom I’m delighted is continuing in 2019. Terry Bentick has been Football Director and has overseen a great era, in particular the A Grade Premiership in 2015, and retires from the committee having spent many, many hours at the club guiding Coaches and players in the way Amateur Football should be played. He has been a valuable contributor to the Senior group over many years and no doubt his insight has been a major contribution to our success. The club thanks you Terry.

The club saw a refreshed committee in 2019 with 5 new members. Each took to their roles well. I would need many pages to describe their individual 2018 achievements so I thank them all with the knowledge it will continue in 2019 and be part of continued success in A Grade in 2019. Special mention should be made of Secretary Ross Di Lizio and his transition into a very demanding role. Ross performed the role as professionally as anyone could and is a great asset to the Senior Club. To all our Sponsors, it’s old but so true we couldn’t be where we are without your support. Our community should seek out and use our sponsors where possible, recommend them to others and congratulate them on helping us function to the standard required to be an A Grade club. In particular, The Moonee Ponds Club, Nelson Alexander, Strathmore Community Bank and Ascot Group. To every sponsor the club has (see listing) our club is indeed thankful for your on going financial support.

Our subscriptions were a main focus of the committee in 2018 and I can report a large increase in players being financial. A special mention to Paul Sullivan and James Hannah insuring the second Thirds Team were financial in season 2018. With James luring over 50 players to the club, a marvellous achievement in itself, it was important that not only were they successful (Won the Grand Final, see Coaches Report) but were not a financial burden. With the monies in Bar takings from the Premiership evening victory, it was far from a financial burden.

Clubs do only function to their maximum potential with hard workers. Grant Cooper is as reliable as you get and the perfect Bar Manager. Veronica Moloney runs a huge component of this football club, the canteen, which she does very, very well however the additional time Veronica spends doing what players call 1%ers is a massive asset to this club. In addition, I’m sure our player recruiting and retention is helped by the Thursday night dinner Veronica provides. We all thank you Veronica (for the hottest Winter Pies in the State!) I can’t say more than that that has already been said before about John Raffle other than his minor health scare during the year put us all on edge. Thankfully, he is back to his “mellow” best….and it is fantastic to have him at full throttle and know the club will run smoothly with his behind the scenes unofficial officialdom.

Congratulations to John Tormey and the Juniors on an outstanding year. Beginning last Summer with the introduction of the Development Programme the Juniors are always innovating to improve players whilst looking to retain and recruit for the future. The success of the two Junior Girls teams was an outstanding result which I hope be reflected in our Senior Women’s team(s) in the future.

To Vinnie McGuire and the Diamond Dogs Group, Player Sponsors and Bernards Club Members your support goes without saying and is a huge part of why this club is so successful not only on field but beyond. To our Media Men, Joe Pignatore, Patrick Crabb, Glen Scarborough, James Hannah, Jack Sullivan and Webman Tom Dervan many thanks for the knowledge and promotion of the club through your various channels in 2018. Finally to our players. You are the ones who put on the show. The club is very fortunate to have such an outstanding Senior playing group led by Captain Simon Caven. On behalf of all the St Bernards supporters and community, what a pleasure it was to be involved in some way to your success in 2018. May it continue for all our teams in 2019.


The Committee