COVID-19 lockdowns and wild storms were not enough to stop Olinda Ferny Creek Football Netball Club from enjoying a great season, in what has been a tough year.
With storms sweeping through the mountain ranges during the middle part of the year and the Bloods unable to play on their home ground in the weeks afterwards, the club went through a rough period but continued to stay positive as their teams took to the field/court.
Reflecting on the positive and challenging aspects of 2021, club president Mick Hill still saw great improvement across the club with great numbers in participation and volunteering making for a great atmosphere around the club.
“We worked hard on recruiting players and getting enough to fill two teams rather than be embarrassed by clubs,” Hill said.
“The big plus for me is we were able to fill teams across seniors and reserves, in addition to getting an under 19’s team up and about.”
Under the watchful eye of Football Operations Manager, Grant Full, the footballers who played just seven games in 2021 managed to have good success with the seniors and reserves finishing inside the top five in each of their respective categories.
The netballers on the other hand were also outstanding, as each side finished inside the top five, with the A grade team winning all nine of its matches to finish on top of the ladder.
“They were going to be hard to beat, had we been able to complete a full season or play finals, the A grade especially,” Hill mentioned.
“It’s a credit to Matt Blanchard, the coaching staff and the way they operate in the netball department, as part of the overarching sports management group we run.”
The highlight of the year, however, was the success of the women’s football team, which was formed just weeks before the season commenced.
From not scoring in the first three quarters of their very first match to securing a grand final berth in their last appearance for the season, the women of Olinda Ferny Creek were outstanding in their first year and Hill is looking to what they can achieve next year.
“The women’s football has been a breath of fresh air,” Hill explained.
“Win, lose or draw they are always happy and they turn up to training so eager as well.”
“We had a lot of work going on behind the scenes at the beginning of the year to make it happen and I am really pleased with what they were able to produce this season.”
Looking ahead into 2022, the Bloods are aiming for continuity with participation numbers and again hope to win enough matches to qualify for finals across all teams.
Hill thanked his volunteers, sponsors, members and coaches who stuck by the club during very difficult circumstances in 2021 and is hugely proud of their efforts.
Additionally, the head of Olinda Ferny Creek also expressed his appreciation to AFL Outer East for the hard work they put in and the assistance provided to all clubs during very difficult circumstances in 2021.
“The league has been very good to us and the wider competition, and always worked in the best interests of all clubs during what was a trying season,” Hill said.
“We are incredibly grateful to the league and its staff for providing as much community sport as possible across the year.”
|Totally WorkWear Berwick & Knoxfield Premier Division||5th||4||3|
|Coates Premier Division Reserves||4th||4||3|
|Box Hill Institute U19 Division One||3rd||8||1|
|Kärcher Women’s Division Two||2nd||5||4|
|Kärcher Premier Division A Grade||1st||9||0|
|Kärcher Premier Division B Grade||2nd||7||2|
|Kärcher Premier Division C Grade||2nd||8||1|
|Kärcher Premier Division D Grade||5th||4||4|
|Kärcher 17 & Under Blue||4th||4||5|