Olinda Ferny Creek Football Netball Club are looking forward to a great year in premier division, as they prepare to get into a full season of community sport again.
With pre-season training going strongly thus far with strong numbers, the Bloods are ready and raring to go as the club experiences good participation numbers once again.
Brendan Donovan, Theo Zaharopoulos, Adam Borg and Simon Gilson will return to coach the seniors, reserves, under 19’s and women’s football teams in 2022 which will provide great consistency for its football department.
Club president Mick Hill is excited about what lies ahead for his club this year as he appreciates the strong numbers that have returned.
“We’ve managed to retain the bulk of our list in the football department, despite the departures of Mitch Bonuda to Warburton Millgrove and Heath Hocking to Mooroolbark,” he said.
“We are probably a little light on in our numbers for Under 19’s, but I’m hopeful they will come rushing in soon.”
The team that will arguably be the most watched this season at the club is Gilson’s women’s football side who put in an outstanding performance in 2021 in its first outing as a team to book a spot in a preliminary final before the season was cancelled.
The next step in the journey of the women’s footballers will be to back up their efforts from last year, with the aim to hopefully feature in finals again.
“Those girls are on their own journey now with their football career and it’s just about putting in the same performances again to see where they end up,” Hill explained.
“We have seen a strong retention rate for these players so no doubt they will have the desire to see what they are capable of this season.”
The netball department has seen great change over the off-season, with Tim Smith stepping down from his A Grade coaching responsibility to fulfil the role of Netball Coordinator, following the departure of Matt Blanchard to take up a role at Outer East Football Netball.
Brie DeJong will step into a dual role as coach of both the A and C Grade teams, while Chelsea Maher will fill the B Grade and 17 & Under duties, and Kylie Claringbold will steer the D Grade.
As he looks ahead to a full season of football and netball, Hill is excited of the possibilities that lie ahead for his club, both on-field and off-field and hopes everyone involved can enjoy themselves again.
“I expect all players across the club to give their best efforts, but above all else, I want everyone to enjoy the atmosphere and embrace being involved in community sport again,” he said.
“After what we have been through over the last couple of years, it’s important to bring everyone together and make sure we’re enjoying being part of it again.”