Happy Holidays

MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A MASSIVE THANK YOU

It’s unbelievable we’re about to bid farewell to 2017 as it seems like yesterday I was running like a madman across Sandringham and Elsternwick ovals celebrating our Premierships. Combine that with our Reserves Final and the Seniors improvements and we were spoilt indeed this year. Thanks again to everyone involved at OCGAFC and we’re already looking forward to 2018.

We held our AGM a few weeks ago and a new Committee has been appointed for 2018. Before I go into the new team I would like to thank a few people.

Firstly Andrew Tsindos and Steve Derry who are officially stepping down from the Committee. Sos and Dez are the real deal – genuine Wellers and I think it is not unreasonable to say have kept our Club alive over the last decade. Their contributions have been IMMENSE and I could not have done my role this year without them. Steve will continue to support many things in 2018 and Sos will enjoy a very well earned break but I’m sure we’ll see him around. Please thank them when you see them.

I’d also like to thank Greg Tolson who is stepping down from the Committee. With a young family and a business to run he has his hands full. Thank you Greg. You are another great Weller and we look forward to seeing you at the Club in 2018.

Our Committee for 2018 is the following –

NEW – Boyd Elliott – Vice-President – a massive contribution in 2017 and we’re thrilled to have him in 2018
NEW ROLE – Katherine Bithavas – Secretary – fantastic to see Kath step up into this role
James Way – Treasurer
Alex Osborne
Alex Vickery
Jo Hook
John Lagzdins
Rebecca Kertes

We’re also delighted that Anson Brownless will continue in 2018 with the Seniors along with Tim Killworth and Gavin Powell as Assistant Seniors Coaches. Massive congratulations to Tim for his current role with the Western Bulldogs AFLW Team.

Ken Schwab, Andrew Romanin and Jayden Tapscott are all continuing with our Women’s Teams and we are building well towards fielding a second Women’s Team in 2018.

I am also in conversations with people regarding Football Operations and hope to make an announcement in January for someone to support Tim Cottrell in 2018.

Our pressing needs are to identify coaches for the Reserves and Under 19 teams. We are in conversation with the VAFA about keeping the 2017 Under 19 team together. I WOULD WELCOME EXPRESSIONS OF INTEREST AND IDEAS FOR THESE TWO ROLES AS A MATTER OF URGENCY. Please contact me on 0499 333 571.

I would again like to thank all our incredible sponsors and financial supporters. We cannot dare to dream without your backing and are always hugely appreciative of your generousity and backing.

Pre-Season 2018 begins January 22nd and I will update everyone regarding several 2018 initiatives early in the year including a HUGE GALA BALL which will form the cornerstone of our fundraising efforts for 2018.

As always we warmly welcome any offers to help on game days and throughout the year. It is EVERYONE’S club so if you can, be a part of it and help make 2018 another great year for the might Wellers!

Merry Christmas and have a wonderful 2018.

Go Wells

Adam

Notice of AGM – 23rd November

THURSDAY 23RD NOVEMBER – 7PM

Old Camberwell Grammarians Football Club
ABN 31 400 615 100

Notice is hereby given that this year’s AGM will be held:

Date: Thursday 23rd November 2017
Venue: Camberwell Grammar School – Development Office
Time: 7:00pm

All are welcome to attend.

IF YOU WISH TO JOIN THE COMMITTEE – you need to advise the Secretary beforehand. We welcome all interested parties to get involved. The club relies heavily on volunteers, and many hands might light work.

AGENDA

1. Welcome & Apologies

2. Confirm minutes of the Annual General Meeting held in October 2016.

3. Presidents Report

4. Treasurers Report & Annual Accounts.  Receive and consider the Annual Financial Statements for the financial year ended 30 September 2017.

5. Election of Office Bearers and Committee for 2018 Season.

6. Any special business of which notice has been given in accordance with the Club’s Rules
Any questions or nominations should be made to secretary@ocgfc.com.au

– By Order of the Committee

 

Stephen Derry
Secretary OCGFC
secretary@ocgfc.com.au
0422 573 400

Seniors – Season Review from the Coach

Seniors Season Review

Summary
While we were disappointed to have not made finals in 2017, to be in a position to push for finals is a significant step forward for our Senior group and OCGAFC. Belief is an integral part of success and our group is building into a team that can win against anyone. We had some fantastic wins, many against the eventual finalists including a stirring win against Caulfield Grammarians’ at GBO. Importantly there was further improvement from our young Wellers and when combined with our more experienced players, we closed the gap in Premier C to become a highly competitive aside from a few losses we’ve learnt a lot from. But we want more.

There were some incredible individual achievements and milestones in 2017 and we have taken a huge step forward towards our goal to play finals football and challenge for the ultimate prize in 2018. Our aim is to continue improving through developing our current group and recruit over the off-season to bolster our depth for 2018 and beyond.

The Breakdown

  • The season started promisingly with back to back away wins against eventual preliminary finalists Marcellin Old Collegians & traditional foes Old Ivanhoe Grammarians’ and set up what was to be a very competitive and tight Premier C season. At the halfway point, we turned with a 5 from 9 win ratio
  • Our belief and depth were tested after our great start as we suffer 3 large losses however I’m incredibly proud of the way our players bounced back from these. We responded with 3 strong  wins in a row, the most memorable being a scintillating display against another top 4 side Williamstown at GBO where we would kick 8 magical goals in the first quarter. That quarter along showed how much potential and ability we have.
  • The second half of the season ultimately cost us a finals berth as we recorded 3 wins from 9. For the players to have controlled many of these games for long periods and not record wins was heartbreaking. We know we were good enough in some of those games and it’s these games we will learn from and look to win next year to ensure we play finals football.
  • As if to further illustrate our capability, we recorded 2 of our best wins of the season with a comprehensive 24-point win against Old Geelong at Como Park and as mentioned above, a superb win over top of the table Caulfield in round 12.

The Highlights

  • We won 8 games during the year and improved on last year. Turning at 5/9 was our best start to a season for several years. We beat 3 of the top 4 sides during the year to give us a lot of belief going into 2018.
  • We missed finals by 1 game and genuinely believe we can significantly improve in 2018
  • Ben Hart won the Premier C League Best & fairest award – a sensational achievement and our first Senior Men’s League B&F since Graeme Ewart in 1993
  • Simon Bennett was selected in the Premier C team of the year – another outstanding achievement for one of our best and most consistent on and off-field clubmen
  • We played 3 Under 19s during the year – Josh Holding, Lachie Powell & Kellan Percy – who all acquitted themselves well and adjusted quickly to the pace of senior football and look to have bright futures in the years to come at the club.
  • Our new recruits Chris HensbyShaun McDonald, Angus Brettingham-Moore,Daniel Lattanzio & Gene Thorbecke played some great football and are eager for success in with the Wellers in  2018
  • Given the success and strength of our Reserves side in 2017, competition for spots was tougher which is a critical part of our future growth

The Milestones

  • Greg Tolson played his 200 th game for OCGAFC in round 5 with a best on ground performance and became a Life Member
  • Captain Ben Hart played his 150th game in round 18 on one leg
  • One of our leaders Rob Deev played his 150th in round 16.
  • Young leaders James Allen & Fraser Wells also play their 50th throughout the year.
  • James Allen won the Club Best & Fairest for the 2nd time and cemented himself as one of the premier midfielders in the competition
  • Nick Adamson kicked a personal best 38 goals and took his game to another level.

As we know, it takes a lot of off-field hard work to give our players the opportunity to play football on a Saturday. I would like to personally thank my fellow coaches Tim Killworthand Ken Darby for their amazing support and work throughout the season, our Team Manager Dave Frearson who was again brilliant throughout the year, Tim Cottrell for all his work around the club from pre-season onwards, our runners in particularly Alex Vickery who was a fantastic support to the players and myself throughout the year, Gavin Powell and Boyd Elliott for their great work with the Under 19s and for their support of the Senior group, Ken SchwabAndrew Romanin and Jay Tapscott for creating such a fantastic Women’s Team, all our trainers for training and Saturday’s, Sue Mullet and Richard Clarke for their ongoing work in the Canteen, all the Committee and perhaps most importantly my wife Lucy and kids for all their encouragement and support over the season.

Finally I’d like to thank the players for what was a hugely enjoyable year. Yes we didn’t get the chocolates but it’s a real privilege to work with you all. I know how hard you work and I’m looking forward to improving with you and having a massive tilt at next year. We are good enough to play finals football and push for the big prize.
Thanks finally to all our supporters for coming to watch or follow us online. We love having you there on a Saturday and know you thirst for finals football like us. We look forward to seeing you all again in 2018 and celebrating further success.

Anson Brownless
Senior Coach

Reserves – Season Review from the Coaches

Reserves Season Review 2017

Stepping into the role as first time coaches, we were both a little uncertain how this year would pan out. Having both played a few seasons in the Reserves and playing with most of the players we were about to coach we were a bit unclear as to how the players would react and how we would be able to adjust from playing to coaching.

It was clear from the first training session however that all the players were willing and committed to listen to any instructions given. It was a real testament to the quality of the people in the playing group as neither of us felt at any stage of the season we didn’t have the respect of the playing group and their commitment.

It was a slow start to our season and at the half-way point were 3 wins and 6 losses. We decided to sit down with the playing group to decide what we wanted to make of the year and what we stood for. To their credit the boys drew a line in the sand and improved across the board to remain undefeated for the rest of year with 9 wins in row and having beaten every team above us to secure 4th spot.

Unfortunately we fell short to a quality Geelong outfit in the semi-final however the boys should be immensely proud of the commitment to each other and the improvement they have achieved this year. As coaches, we have taken much satisfaction from the genuine enjoyment from the group and the fact that a desire to win and improve was driven by the players.

The challenge with Reserves football has always been assembling a consistent team year on year however the team has benefited greatly from increased depth this year and a renewed commitment from players. It has been a unique year in that a healthy list has meant that many players deserving of a game missed out at various points during the year. We’d like to thank everyone for their attitude towards rotations during the year and how players made the most of their opportunities .

With a handy injection of the “Rat Pack” (GilmoreHuntsmanCristianiStone and Benson) we had some welcome fresh faces and led by Stayner and Urwin there was much optimism for the year. After a rather unforgettable start against Marcellin in Round 1 it took a while for the team to gel and get to know each other. We sat 1 win and 4 losses after round 5 as the competition found its feet and the gap between the top 3 teams and the rest of the pack was becoming apparent.

We strung together consecutive wins against Willy and Mentone however losses to Kew and Hampton where we led late in the game became the turning point of our season as we learnt the level of work required to win games of football.

Some memorable games for the year included holding off a fast finishing Caulfield who were undefeated at the time in Round 12 to win by a goal (and turning around an 80 point loss to Caulfield earlier in the year; thanks for the cameos DeSanctis and McGuigan!), coming from 2 goals behind at ¾ time at Geelong to kick 7 goals in the last and run over the top of them and a second half blitz in Round 16 against our closest rival Hampton to secure a finals position.

Finally some notable mentions for the year, Herbstreit as ruckman managed to surprise us each week with his ability to keep competing for 4 quarters and earnt a well deserved promotion to the ones late in the year, Kaiser took out the leading goal kicker for the competition with 48 goals, players working hard and coming into form late in the year (BannisterCampbell), the development during the year of a number of players including Gilmore and Warburton and finally it was great to see Edwards and Gorman back on the footy field and congrats to Russell for making it through the season after a few injury plagued years!

As always a special thanks goes out to Tim Cottrell for his tireless efforts during the year making sure we are organised on game day, Andrew for supporting us all year around the boundary and Jordan and the trainers for keeping us on the field

Tom Schipper & Chris Woodbridge
Reserves Coaches

 

 

Presentation Night – Sept 28th – The Winners

Presentation Night was held at Amora Hotel Riverwalk, Richmond on Thursday 28th September.

Presentation Night 2017

Given it’s now Friday, I can safely say I am fully recovered after the post-Presentation Night celebrations last Thursday. It was always going to be a challenge with four teams, particularly given the extraordinary season we’ve had as a club.

It was a night to celebrate and I know we will do better next year (talking during speeches) when it comes to giving the Club a chance to say ‘congratulations’ and ‘thank-you’ to all our incredible contributors and players but I’m excited about the positivity and energy on the night.

We will harness that next year, continue to enjoy the social occasions and drive for further on-field success if we stay together, as one,

One Wellers!

Steve Derry has kindly pulled together this newsletter to celebrate our Awards Winners. A huge thank-you and well done for some brilliant performances and contributions to our club.

I will write again next week to review our year and provide an update on all our plans for 2018.
What a year we have to build on and we intend to continue improving to make our club
that great place it is for all our community.

Adam Kyriacou
President


Committee Awards

President’s Trophy Katherine Bithavas
Ron Wooton Trophy (on & off field) Alex Vickery
Church Family Award (on field) Tim Cottrell
Rising Star Award Lachie Powell
U19 Best Clubman Boyd Elliot
Women’s Best Clubman Tim Wilson / Alex Osbourne
Life Membership Greg Tolson

Many thanks to our Trainers for the year:

  • Jordan Oliva (Head Trainer)
  • Talisa Wong
  • Emily Irvine
  • Ella Joseland
  • Rhys Upton
  • Jamie Tabacco
  • Rianna Percy
  • Brian Woo

Women’s Awards

Best & Fairest Rhiannon Green
Runners Up Samantha Anjou & Maggie Wilson
Most Consistent Stephanie Defina
Most Determined Katherine Mirabella
Coach’s Award Cassandra Nolan
Best in Finals Rhiannon Green
Rising Star Sophie Bangs
Goal Kicking Award Eloise Defina (31)

U19s

Best & Fairest Josh Holding
Runner Up Mitch Fletcher
Most Consistent Will Dalrymple
Most Determined Lucas Lewit-Mendes
Coach’s Award Declan Hudson-Mollard
Most Corageous (Matt Austin Award) Robert West
Best in Finals Kellan Percy
Goal Kicking Award Mike Schumann (52)

Seniors

Best & Fairest James Allen
Runner Up Joe Arnold
Most Consistent Chris Hensby
Most Determined Simon Bennett
Coach’s Award Cameron Wilson
Most Improved Sam Powell
Goal Kicking Award Nick Adamson (38)

Reserves

Best & Fairest  

Ben Mann

Runners Up Charlie Urwin & Tom Vogel
Most Consistent Tom Eastick
Most Determined Tom Stayner
Coach’s Award Taylor Stone
Most Improved Tom Pepperell

 

U19 Grand Final Review

ONWARDS TO VICTORY!
How lucky are we as a football club to have this fantastic group of young men, our new Premiers – the Under 19s of 2017!

I can vividly remember one of the first games against Hampton Rovers away. It was a miserable afternoon and we didn’t bring our best footy but as was typical of this team, we worked out a way to win. The away change-rooms were small and as I watched the boys from the doorway, arms around each other’s shoulders, readying themselves to belt out ‘Cheers Cheers’, a number of Mum’s rushed past me to get in. Afterwards I asked someone why the rush? ‘These boys haven’t sung the some much during school footy and I wanted to see them sing it!’ From there to Premiers – what a story!

As with any success across sport, work and life, there are so many factors that need to come to together at the right time. What has been so inspirational for me has been watching the evolution of this team and the individuals in it across the year. I can still remember (just!) how apprehensive I was walking into the club as a 17 year old but I also remember how supportive and interested the club was in our young group. We’ve endeavoured to make 2017 no different and that’s down to a lot of people.

We have been blessed with an outstanding group of supporters. Lead brilliantly by their coach, Gavin ‘Cool Daddy’ Powell and Team Manager Boyd ‘Inkman’ Elliott, I don’t think we could have hoped for a better and more effective combination both on game day and throughout the week.  A huge thank-you to you both from all the OCGAFC community. Magnificent!

But the group is always more powerful than the individual and across the year so many have contributed I would only do someone an injustice by attempting to list them all here. Special mention though must go toJustine ElliottLisa Powell and the dedicated group of parents who were there week in week out. As I said at the Grand Final BBQ post-game, families and communities help shape great people and this group was wonderfully guided.

Premierships are never won by the team that runs out for the Grand Final. A football season is a lengthy challenge and a huge congratulations to each and every player across the whole year who has made this possible. We look forward to welcoming all of you back to the club over the years and hopefully as many of you as possible for 2018.

Hopefully we’ll be seeing many of you at our final club function for 2017 – the Presentation Night this Thursday 28th September.  Tickets still available.

We have a few more season reviews to come and I will sign-off before the end of September with a wrap-up and some plans for 2018.

Come on the Wells!Adam Kyriacou

President

Teams entering Premier C next season
Coming up from Division 1 are St Marys Salesians and PEGS.
Coming down from Premier B are Fitzroy and Peninsula

—————————————————————————————————————–
U19s Match ReviewThe Old Camberwell Under 19’s awoke to a cold and wet morning for their Grand Final against Melbourne High School Old Boys.  Each side had won its preliminary final convincingly, and were therefore entitled to approach the day with a degree of confidence.

The muddy and slippery conditions dictated the style of play.  It would be a tough, contested game – a game of territory.  Play the percentages, move the ball forward at all costs, and limit your mistakes.

Old Camberwell kicked with the slight breeze in the first quarter.  As expected, it was an arm wrestle early.  Kellan Percy was again dominant in the ruck, with Robbie West and Josh Holding winning plenty of the ball.  The boys’ tackling and pressure was outstanding, with Fraser MascitelliMitch McPherson and Harry O’Brien leading the way.

The first goal of the game came when Lachie Powell grabbed a loose ball and was taken high.  He kicked accurately from the resultant free kick from 35 metres out.  We continued to dominate the quarter, but couldn’t convert, adding a number of behinds.  MHSOB had few forays forward, but when they did, our defence was solid.  Harrison Lucas showed his class in a potentially dangerous two on two situation, when he attacked the oncoming ball, gathered it cleanly and used his pace to race away and clear the ball long to the wing.

We were able to add a deserved second goal late in the quarter when Harry Veitch was interfered with in a goal square marking contest.  He kicked truly, leaving us 16 points up at quarter time.

It was important to start well into the breeze in the second.  Lucas Lewit-Mendes and Harrison Lucas were rock solid down back, and Josh Holding continued his strong work around the ball.  Old Camberwell looked dangerous when allowed to move the ball quickly into an open forward line.  As others fumbled, the class of Powell was evident as he was able to pick –up on the run and fire a handpass out to Lucas who had drifted down from half-back.  His sliding goal gave the team enormous confidence.  Shortly after Schumann snapped a goal from the goal square when surrounded by three opponents in a further blow to MHSOB’s self belief.

To their credit, MHSOB lifted and continued to work the ball forward, finally posting the first goal.  Our boys responded immediately, with Josh Holding kicking long to an open forward line.  Powell punched the ball forward and ran onto the ball 50 metres from goal.  He took a bounce (why would you do that?), ran in and calmly slotted it home from 20 out, restoring our four goal lead.

MHSOB scored a late goal to keep themselves in the game going into half time.

At half time the coaches emphasised the importance of the first five minutes.  Early goals would likely crush the opposition’s resistance.  Again the boys came out firing.  Will Dalrymple and Dan Straw were instrumental in forcing the ball forward.  Declan Hudson-Mollard was engaging their loose defender allowing our other forwards to be one-out with their direct opponents.

Josh Holding kicked forward and Lachie Powell scooped the ball up, evaded two opponents and kicked his third to set the tone.  Soon after Jake Purcell booted a long bomb that cleared the pack and rolled through for a crucial goal.  We continued to pile on the pressure, with Harry Veitch cleverly centring the ball to Robbie West, who duly converted.  When Alex Dalla Riva goaled after marking a Jonathan Tan pass, the lead was out to eight goals.  Veitch again finished off with a late goal, and the game was as good as over.
Great credit must go to all defenders who again held MHSOB scoreless for the second time in three quarters.

With a 55 point lead at three quarter time the boys would have been entitled to just go out and enjoy the last quarter.  But showing great pride, we set ourselves the challenge of winning the quarter.  Lucas Lewit-MendesMitch Fletcher and Jake Purcell held firm in defence, and with Jonathan TanWill Dalrympleand Mitch McPherson driving the ball forward a final goal seemed inevitable.  And it came when Harry Veitch tackled the MHSOB full back as he tried to play in from a kick in.  His goal was our last for the game.

The final siren brought understandable joy to the boys, who had been duly rewarded for an outstanding season.  As we talked about after the game, a bond had been formed that would last forever.

The key to our performances during both finals matches was such an even contribution from all players, with everyone contributing at various times.  As the old adage goes, a champion team will always beat a team of champions!

Finally, to those boys that played during the year but not on Grand Final day, premierships are won by squads, not just 24 players, so be proud of the contribution you have made.

To all the parents and supporters, and the Club for its unwavering support, a big thanks to you as well.  We hope you enjoyed it as much as we did.

Scores 
Old Camberwell                 2.5.17   5.6.36   10.11.71   11.15.81
MHSOB                            0.0.00    2.4.16   2.4.16   3.8.26

Goals:   Powell 3, Veitch 3, Lucas, Schumann, Purcell, West, Dalla Riva
Best:  Lewit-Mendes, Percy, Powell, Holding, Lucas, Mascitelli, Tan, Dalla Riva, Purcell

Line-Up

Backs Lewit-Mendes Appleyard Elliott
Half-Backs Fletcher Lucas Purcell
Centres T Oliver Holding Tan
HalfForwards Dalla Riva Schumann Everett
Forwards O’Brien Powell Hudson-Mollard
Followers Percy Dalrymple West
Interchange Straw Mascitelli Terriaca
McPherson Veitch Soloman

Gavin Powell
U19 Coach

Women’s Season Review

Season review
Writer’s note: It’s difficult to review a season such as we’ve had in few words, so apologies in advance for the length. Get comfortable.

As the exhilaration of the weekend’s events begins to settle, the magnitude of what this group have achieved this past year may not have dawned on them yet. In fact it may take years for them to realise the impact they have had on Old Camberwell Grammarians AFC – as a football club, community and home to many – and the generations of women to come who will take up their legacy. It is a legacy that will live with the club forever and should not be underestimated.

I commented to several people after Saturday’s game that in 50 years’ time a photo of 40 or so young women (and a few men) will hang in the clubrooms at Gordon Barnard Oval alongside a premiership cup and flag. Those present might not recognise the faces or know the names, but it will be genuinely celebrated and remembered as one of the most significant events in the club’s history. You can only be an inaugural women’s team and premiers once. Thanks to each of them, it’s now impossible to think of Old Camberwell without a women’s team at the heart of our club.

The fact that this team did not even exist 12 months ago, let alone the idea that it might at all, is a surreal thought. There are many thanks to be made to various people for why it does now, a lot of whom I’ll acknowledge later, but it’s only fitting to first recognise our ex-president Andrew Tsindos who was the brainchild, current president Adam Kyriacouand our super coach Ken Schwab for making this a reality. Their passion, commitment and vision have guided this team and its development. Without them it may not have happened at all.

Looking back to where it all began in late 2016, five girls turned up to the initial introductory meeting at the clubrooms, and not long after a small group of a 17 girls gathered at GBO for their first training session. They came from a range of schools and backgrounds. Some new each other, others did not. Without being there myself, I am confident they would have approached that first night with the same sense of enthusiasm, fun, comradery, determination and willingness to learn that has become characteristic of this team. A mix of abilities and expectations for what was to come were probably floating around, but the initial foundations had been laid.
Pre-season was different to what the average male footballer would experience. No gut busting sprints or gruelling runs, just the basics of the game. They literally started from scratch. While I was still training and considering playing myself, I was interested to look across at times and observe how they were going under the guidance of Alex Mackenzieand Schwaby. Kicks flying here and there, handballs missing targets, dropped marks. But also the occasional pinpoint pass and clean hands. Lots of chatter and encouragement, consistent numbers at training, but not huge. A sign of things to come.

Fast forward to a week or so before the first practice game and Schwaby had officially been appointed as coach. I had opted not to play due to a back injury and be Schwaby’sassistant instead. We were both excited and unsure about what the season had in store for us, but knew we had a great group to work with.

Our first practice games were at a round robin tournament at Marcellin College in Bulleen. Ironically, our first game was against Marcellin who had one team on the field and a whole other team on the bench – they would go on to win this year’s Premier Division. We had 16 or so from memory. Suffice to say we lost that first game, but followed it up by recording our first win in even more ironic circumstances against Old Carey. The following week our pre-season wrapped up with the VAFA Women’s Lightning Premiership at Elsternwick. Again we had about 16 give or take, but showed plenty of promise recording a great win against Oakleigh in our final game.

Given we were only just able to field teams for the practice games we were a bit unsure if we would have enough players committed to play throughout the year. Fortunately, and unexpectedly, in the few weeks between the Lightning Premiership and about Round 2 or 3 we had close to ten new players join – the likes of SturrockHarperHartSloaneKingRichardsStoyle and a second Bangs all fitted in seamlessly on and off the field. Selection was tough from then on.

Based on the pre-season, we thought if we could be competitive and win a few games then it would be a successful year. The only aim Schwaby and I discussed, and agreed on, was that we needed to create an environment and team culture that everyone enjoyed and felt a part of. If by season’s end all, or most of, the girls wanted to play again in 2018 then we would have done our job.

Prior to Round 1 the team appointed S. Defina to be our inaugural captain, supported by M. WilsonAnderson and Nolan who led the team with distinction all year. Then it was upon us, the first of three grading games. Up against Old Geelong at Como Park we got flogged by 80-plus points, but in the final minutes of the game who else but E. Definabecame the first woman to kick a goal for the club in a competition game. That initial loss turned out to be a rarity. We returned to GBO the following week for our first home game and turned that around to record our own 80-point win against Canterbury, uncovering some genuine stars. We backed up a week later on the top oval with a commanding win over Hawthorn who ended up winning the Development Division 4 flag.

Placed in Development Division 2 with our two previous wins still counting, we maintained our winning form in the season proper with a huge win against Yarra Grammarians under lights. With three wins on the trot an early season top of the table clash against Collegians established our season-long rivalry. After defeating Collegians in a tough game, it was probably then that we first thought we had a team that could seriously play and challenge for the flag.

This was confirmed a week later when we took on Ivanhoe in what turned out to be our most hard fought win. They were unfancied at the time and beat us physically early on. It wasn’t until C. Wilson ran straight from the bench and floored her opponent that the intensity lifted. It was a season defining moment. We clawed the lead back and held on in a heart stopper. I also recall reflecting on that game and the attitude of the team when we were down. The encouragement and incessant cheers from the bench were so loud, while Ivanhoe’s players began to abuse each other. I felt this really showed the calibre of our players, the respect they had for each other and the bond they were forming.

Another strong win against Old Carey was followed by a stinging 3-point loss to Oakleigh. Probably our low point for the year, but also pivotal to the rest of the season. The marginal loss came with an undermanned team showing the depth of the squad. Outstanding defensive efforts from Mirabella and Donkin in the absence of our key defenders, S. Defina and M. Wilson, was particularly impressive. The game also highlighted that we needed to be more physical. The loss hurt and we didn’t want to experience it again.

History will show that we didn’t. From that point on we won eight games straight to claim the flag. We put the loss behind us and flogged UHS-VU in a top of the table clash to regain top spot. Then went on and did the same to four teams in succession – St Bede’s, Ivanhoe, Old Carey and Yarra Grammarians. The juggernaut was gaining momentum and still we had players wanting to get on board. In the second half of the season we gave debuts to FranklinHillmanHamiltonHam and Collins. Again, the ability for the team to welcome new faces and see them become a part of the group so quickly is not something I have experienced with any other team. Unfortunately, we also said goodbye to the physical presence provided by Booth and speed of Kertes who went abroad.

Halfway through the season, Green and the Defina twins became the club’s first women Big V representatives. All three made the final squad, but unfortunately (and somewhat mistakenly it could be argued) missed out on being selected in the final 24. There were few other clubs that achieved this and hopefully in years to come we will have many more represent the Big V.

Our final home and away game was a precursor to the first semi-final and a test of how we would perform in the finals. Collegians were up for it and it took a serious effort to get over the line. The following week was not much different. By this stage we knew the flag was ours to lose. Beating Collegians and getting direct passage to the grand final was key. The most nerve-wracking finish all season came down to a goal-saving smother from Anjou in the dying seconds, allowing us to avoid a preliminary final.

Making the grand final was the minimum this team deserved. The week leading in was a mix of emotions and activity. We kicked it off with a training session at Trevor Barker Oval on the Saturday before. Over 20 girls made the effort to get there demonstrating they wanted to finish the job. The Monday night delivered our first women’s competition B&F and goal kicking award to Green and E. Defina respectively, while Tuesday and Thursday training were sharp with a buzz of excitement. Saturday came and there is no need to repeat the rest of it.
This year has been successful on the field, but it’s perhaps off it that the team has made their biggest impact. They have contributed enormous energy and enthusiasm to organising and being part of the social life of the club. The off-field shenanigans – player events, crap trap Thursdays, Super Saturdays – have been first rate with the girls often showing the guys how it’s done.

I was initially unsure how a group of women would fit into an environment dominated by men almost since its establishment. The attitude and level of interaction from both sides was always going to need an adjustment. Hindsight has shown this was never something to worry about. This year has gone a long way to building a better atmosphere and making GBO a place people want to spend time at. It has never been better in the 12 years I’ve been associated with Old Camberwell. Everyone I have spoken to has attributed this to the girls. In this instance a huge acknowledgment goes to KathAlexBec and Jo for their involvement on the committee, and Jules on game days. They have all put in considerable time and effort.

As much as the girls have embraced being a part of the club, so too have their parents, siblings and extended networks. The team and coaching staff have had continual support all year. A team where every single off-field job is filled week in week out has been a rarity in my time at Old Camberwell. We have been lucky to not have this problem, for which we can eternally thank Tim Wilson who has carried out his team manager duties to perfection. He has the entire admiration and respect of the playing group, as well as Schwaby and I.

Added to this are the goal umpiring and interchange feats of Michael Hook and Mitch Anjou. They have never hesitated to put their hands up for these roles. Our runner Stefan Anjou and sometimes controversial umpire Dave Anjou have similarly been there without fail. Stefan, in particular, has been a key member of the game day squad, and again has the respect of the whole playing group. In general, the WilsonAnjou and Hook familieshave been enormous support.

Mid-season, Jay Tapscott came along and began to help out with training and on game days. His patience and drive has been crucial to many of the girls improving their individual skills. The whole team and our performance has benefited greatly from having him around.

The team has stayed hydrated largely thanks to Jackson Eade who really took to being there every week without any expectation or having to be asked. He’s already signed up for next year. Emilia Fuller and Jade Bingley who are both players, but for various reasons have had interrupted seasons, and while not always getting on the field we never needed to ask them twice to help out running the boundary, water or filling other roles. Jordan and his team of trainers who have kept us on the field as players started to pick up injuries throughout the season. And as always, Tim Cottrell and Warren Earle (aka Wearly) for ensuring we were kitted out and fed/hydrated post-match or training.

I’m sure I have missed individuals, apologies if so. There are many who helped out at various points in the year. Thanks to all.

To tie it all up (thanks for sticking with me), I would (selfishly) like to say a very big personal thanks to the team, Schwaby and Adam. Some know that I returned to Melbourne late last year after a few years abroad. As always there is a transition period with these things and I looked to Old Camberwell as a place that was familiar. However, while I was still considering playing in early January I wasn’t so sure it was that place anymore. So when I opted not to play and said I would help out, I had very little sense of what that would mean. The excitement of being involved with something new, a new challenge and community was what triggered my interest.

Eight months down the track I can well and truly say that this team has had a profound impact on me, just as it has this club. The fun and enjoyment you have fostered, along with the improvement and success you have achieved, and the respect and friendship you show towards each other, and to me, has been a most fulfilling experience to be a part of. For me, you have made Old Camberwell that familiar place again and for that I’m very grateful.

Let this be the beginning of some thing special. Stick together. Cheers to the women and premiers of 2017. Onwards to victory!

Andrew Romanin
Women’s Assistant Coach

 

Women’s Grand Final Review

PREMIERS!

I will never write a newsletter like this again.

With the introduction of a Women’s Competition into the VAFA this year there was always going to be ‘firsts’ – the first OCGAFC Women’s Team led by our first leadership group – Steph Defina (C) alongside Maggie WilsonLou Anderson and Cassie Nolan, the first time we’ve had 4 women on committee – Katherine BithavasAlex OsborneJo Hookand Bec Kertes, our first Women’s Coaching group – Ken SchwabAndrew Romaninand Jayden Tapscott, our first Women’s Team Manager – Tim Wilson, our first dedicated Women’s runners – Steph Anjou and Jackson Eade, our first Women’s supporter and helper group lead by the Wilson’sAnjou’s and Hook’s, our first Women’s sponsor – Ray White Balywn, our first Women’s Jumper and Women’s Club Song!

But clearly this group wanted to create a few more firsts!

Our first Women’s Competition Best & Fairest and Best on Ground in a Grand Final – Rhiannon Green, our first VAFA leading goalkicker – Eloise Defina and to cap off a season we’ll never forget – OUR FIRST WOMEN’S PREMIERS! History makers you most definitely are!

Andrew Romanin has put together a superb wrap-up of not only the game but also the season. Thank-you Roma. Enjoy it along with some of the photos from Saturday.

I speak for every part of our large and widespread community and say a huge thank-you for it all and to you all. You have spoiled us. You have exceeded all expectations and made so many people so happy and proud to be a part of this club. Accolades, achievements and premierships aside, you are some of the finest young women I will ever have the privilege to know and deserve every last bit of your success. We can’t wait for next year.

Come on the Wells!

Adam Kyriacou
President


Women’s Grand Final Review

19 August 2017. A day that has been etched in the history of Old Camberwell Grammarians AFC. The women’s team took home the ultimate prize with an outstanding grand final performance against a determined Old Carey.

After a week of rain and bitter cold, conditions turned out to be near perfect at Trevor Barker Oval. With the team having mentally and physically prepared for wet and windy conditions, the added confidence and assurance that this offered was the perfect boost as the women ran through their final warm up. The feeling in the rooms, as it has been all year, was positive and upbeat. Hints of nervous energy were there, but the players were harnessing this and looked focused pre-match. Schwaby’s final message echoed the confidence in the room. The team had done the work, put in the hard yards week in week out and that’s all they needed to do again. Get on top early and we would win.

With that, a first quarter goal burst set up the day and we never looked back. Across the ground everyone was in the play early on, finding the footy and attacking the contest with a desire to impact the game. Led by a brilliant and tireless performance from the starting midfield trio of GreenAnjou and Anderson we managed to maintain control on the tempo of the game. While up against an athletic Old Carey ruck, Harper and Sincock won their share of the taps to provide first use all day.

We looked dangerous each time we attacked, setting up well across half forward and with our small forwards E. DefinaC. Wilson and Nolan applying forward pressure to lock the ball in. Our efforts were rewarded with two goals at the first change – a classy roving effort from Anderson and a classic big forward poacher’s goal to Sturrock.

As Old Carey worked their way into the game during the second quarter and began to get their share of the play our defence held up strongly. DonkinSam BangsMirabella and M. Wilson were in the thick of it, winning their one on ones but we were struggling to clear our defensive fifty for much of the second quarter. Conceding a goal during that critical period would have opened the door for Old Carey to take the momentum into the main break, so it was pleasing that we weathered their best while marginally extending our lead.

In absorbing their pressure, and with a comfortable but not an unassailable lead at half time, the “premiership” quarter delivered the most exciting and memorable performance for the year. Our run and link up game was in full stride with OpraySoph BangsElovaris and Mohamed using their pace to break away from the contest. Further up the field, our forwards were also providing a presence, playing their roles perfectly. Osborne was consistently playing in front, with Franklin’s physicality around the contest and Robison’s ability to continue to lead and present wearing down the Old Carey defence. At the other end of the ground S. Defina was imposing herself across the half back line and deep in defence, picking off the ball at will to dominate the second half. Meanwhile Bithavas played disciplined footy, sticking to her man and defensive duties.

The three third quarter goals not only put the result beyond doubt, but it did so with a statement. The quality of all three goals was unquestionable. Each one would win a goal of the round (maybe even season) award without doubt. Green’s effort to slot two almost identical goals in which she read the play beautifully, gathered the ball cleanly and baulked several players to split the middle from close to the boundary was pure class. Her two goals came either side of possibly the most magical goal E. Defina, and any women in the VAFA, has kicked all year (and she’s kicked a few). A crumbing effort after a long kick forward, gathering it with ease off the deck and snapping on her non-preferred from an acute angle to dribble the ball through. All three goals will be talked about for years to come. Our third quarter broke Old Carey, in the process delivering a display and brand of footy that exemplifies this team.

The final huddle for the year was enormous. It was an amazing sight to see and with the win virtually locked up there was a sense of relief. With a comfortable lead, the break offered the opportunity to mix it up a little. Strong final quarter contributions from Taverner and Edwards to nullify Old Carey’s effective No.7 was impressive, and in hindsight a call we should have made earlier in the day. They provided us with another level of energy around the contest as legs began to tire, continually finding space.

Despite the sting going out of the game, credit to Old Carey for their last quarter performance. They stuck at it and were rewarded with a final goal, which only slightly raised a few heartbeats.

As the final siren sounded the celebrations began. Green deservedly won the best on ground award to cap a memorable season. But all 24 who played on Saturday impacted the result in some way and can be proud of their contribution. The further 20 or so that did not take the field were just as important to our grand final win. Particular acknowledgment needs to go to Tori FotheringhamMaddy Sloane and Jules Hart who were desperately unlucky to miss out on selection this week. Every player in the squad has stood up this season at different times and this is the sole reason for our success.

The fact that this team did not even exist 12 months prior, let alone the idea that it might at all, is a surreal thought. There are many thanks to be made to various people for why it now does, a lot of whom were acknowledged on Saturday, but it’s only fitting to here acknowledge our ex-President Andrew Tsindos, current president Adam and our super coach Schwaby for making this a reality. Their passion, commitment and vision have guided this team and its development. Without them it may not have happened at all.

Congratulations to the team, we answered that one final question… Enjoy it, they really don’t come around often. Next year will be a bigger and more exciting challenge, but we get to do that as the reigning and inaugural premiers – a feat that everyone at Old Camberwell is, and will always be, proud of.

Goal Kickers: R. Green 2, E. Defina, A. Sturrock, L. Anderson
Best Players: R. Green, S. Anjou, C. Nolan, M. Wilson, L. Anderson, S. Defina

Andrew Romanin
Women’s Assistant Coach