Take Two for a former Pres

23 December 2017

With just over 100 days until Round 1 of the 2018 VAFA season newly elected Andrew Vinecombe has wasted no time.

With just over 100 days until Round 1 of the 2018 VAFA season newly elected President of the St Bernard’s Football Club Andrew Vinecombe has wasted no time getting his hands dirty and getting to work implementing a recruiting strategy that he hopes will come with immediate rewards in the coming 12-24 months.

Andrew was officially announced as the club’s President at the AGM on November 27 and takes over from Patty Crabb who has been in the position for the last 6 years spending the last 12 months as the outgoing President. When asked about what he did on the first night of being officially President Andrew didn’t mince his words on the St Bernard’s Footycast “I got straight involved in the recruiting side of things. I wanted to be involved in that, you’ve got to be really straight in and put your finger print on things and find out how the club is running through the pre-season and you’ve got to get that background on the place”

Andrew has already had a go at the Presidential role of the footy club in the late 90’s, early 2000’s but is back at the helm for a second stint this time hoping to stay in the role as the club chases the elusive B Grade Premiership that will get us back up to A Grade.

The club has come a long way in the past 15 years since Andrew stood down from the role, a new pavilion replaces the old one, the kennel has had an upgrade, Saturday lunches have grown over the time and the club has won 2 A Grade flags however under his reign he hopes that with the current coaching group and targeting a specific age bracket of boys this club can have a period of sustained success over the coming years.

“We just met a potential recruit and he said who have you got coaching and to be able to reel off Riley (Senior coach Mark Riley), Johnston (senior assistant coach Andrew Johnston), Doug Brown (High performance manager) (all AFL experience) it’s impressive … it’s exciting to be able to tell those recruits who we’ve got here that will be able to help them improve their footy” Andrew has told the St Bernard’s Footycast.

With the decision at the end of the 2017 season that Simon Atkins would step away from his coaching role to spend more time with his young family the club went about replacing “Axe” with the best possible candidate available. The position has been filled by former St Bernard’s boy Andrew Johnston. Andrew played 9 games at AFL level with Fitzroy and then development coaching roles at TAC Cup level with the Eastern Ranges and the Calder Cannons as well as heading up the development coaching position with AFL franchise club the Gold Coast Suns in its first 4 seasons of existence.

With the credentials that Johnno brings to the table, coincided with the club’s world-famous football academy program then it seems a perfect fit that Andrew’s recruiting vision is focused on developing the youth already at St Bernard’s and in the local community “What I wanted to instil to the guys who are doing the recruiting was let’s target those guys under 24 because they are the future of the club. Of course, we’re happy to have any guys older than that come in but we’ve really got to make a concerted effort to make sure those younger guys are coming through the footy club” telling the St Bernard’s Footycast.

Under previous President’s and now under Andrew the club continues to push its open book policy, the door is always open for anyone to come down and play with St Bernard’s at any level (seniors, reserves, thirds and under 19’s). For anyone who is interested in playing for St Bernard’s in 2018 head to www.stbernardsfc.com.au for more information or follow St Bernard’s Football Club on Facebook where you can keep up to date will all the important dates during the pre-season.

Joey Pignataro