President's Report

05 October 2012

With St Bernard’s back in Premier Division in 2012, it was imperative the club became stronger on and off the field, so we could consolidate on this promotion and press for future success.

Our no1 focus on field is player development, while off field its engagement with the community.

The St Bernard’s community is vast as shown by the schools 10,000 household (approx. 40,000 people) mailing list and we invited this community to “Get on Board” and engage with the football club. The community is responding and we posted improvements in membership, sponsorship, events and fund raising  This also included naming 2012 “Women’s Year” , a well deserved thank you to a vital support group within our club  . Congratulations to our joint No1 ticket holders : Secretary Doriana Cooper, event & team manager Deb Marinier and catering manager Veronica Moloney, and thanks to the hundreds of women who attended special ladies events. On the player development front an expanded colts program coupled with key appointments of Simon Atkins and Dean Laidley, saw the club offer an elite football development program. While encouraging across many areas, there are still big steps to be taken before we maximize development, are fully engaged, and have the financial base and further operational improvements needed, for long term premier division success.

On Field: Under the skillful guidance of Chris Tankard and an outstanding coaching team, a hardworking 7 wins and 7th place for the Seniors gives us a solid base to launch our 2013 campaign. While longer term the future looks bright, with prelim finals for Serge Romano’s u/18 and Peter Wood’s u/19 premier team, plus all the talent emerging in the junior club being well coordinated by Andrew Vinecombe and his hard working committee. Meanwhile our creative and focused Football Director Craig Connelly, continues to roll out a high performance football plan for 2013 and beyond.

Off Field : From Auskick through to the 20 teams in the club, each weekend almost 650 players run out for/at St Bernard’s. Of course this huge logistical exercise, with the very dedicated John Raffle at the hub, only happens through the hard work of literally hundreds of volunteers through the senior & junior programs.

Thankyous: Impossible to name everyone so an overall thanks to all Coaches, Assistant & Development coaches, team managers, runners, game day officials, water boys and importantly our Ian Wheeler organized medical team and experienced Football Ops Manager Paul Garth.

Thanks to the diligent and hardworking club committee, including amongst others already named, Luke Gollant, John Hughes, Vinnie McGuire , Luke Baird and Terry Bentick .They have kept this very large operation on the rails and going forward. On a personal note I have found their support, good humor and wise counsel invaluable.

In addition we would like to thank all those in other operational roles, including 300 game coach & event manager Mel Beyer, the Moloney family Kiosk, Grant Cooper & Mick Moloney behind the bar and Simon and his BBQ Bloke catering team. Also thanks to Bernie O’Sullivan, Keith Craven along with all the ladies who provide the delicious thursday night player dinners.


A big thank you to the playing group, proudly lead by Danny Byrne, who is stepping down after being one of the clubs best captains. The ramped up football development program is very challenging and demanding, as we search to maximize everyone’s ability. The players have responded well to a heavy workload, dug deep and given their best and shown great improvement in 2012.

Special thanks to Principal Tony Paatsch, Chairman Peter Hogan and their staff at the school who have greatly assisted the clubs endeavors. Congratulations to the school team coached by Simon Atkins, on winning the ACC cup for the first time in 11yrs and progressing on to play at the mighty MCG. The further strengthening of the club-school relationship, continues to deliver more benefits to both parties and we look forward to this developing further in 2013 and beyond.

Thank you to our Sponsors and key suppliers whose contributions are vital. We now have 29 community based companies listed on the club website who provide critical financial and services support. They are generously lead by major sponsors Strathmore Community Branch – Bendigo Bank , North Suburban Sports Club and John Fawkner Hospital. We do ask you all to refer to the website and support those that consistently support our club.

While it was a year of positives the sad loss of Gary McAllister,Harry Overman and Bree Taylor were felt deeply by the club community. However the way the club came together to support the respective families and each other, was strong testimony to what a great club we are all a part of, and how our club is about much more than just football.

The Future: 2013 marks an important historic milestone, the clubs 50th Anniversary. As mentioned there are still some big steps ahead of the club, however we are very focused on improving allaspects of on and off field operations. We are optimistic that if we continue our Development & Engagement Strategy and you join us in “Taking the next Step” we will all have a very enjoyable 50th in 2013, and many good years beyond.

Go Bernard’s !

Patrick Crabb