SNAPSHOP OF THE 2023 SEASON
Hello Members and Families,
We hope you have had a terrific first half of the 2023 winter hockey season whether you are a player, member, parent, volunteer or supporter.
The new board hit the ground running and has had a very busy and productive 6 months. Consisting of a dynamic mix of experienced and new board members, all with a subset of skills that has been keeping the club ticking along.
We are still seeking a treasurer who is prepared to come on board for 4 months until the next AGM. Nick Gill indicated early last year to the board that he intedned to hand over the role, and basically the club’s finances have been running on Nick’s good will this year. It’s time for someone with a finance background to step up and lend a hand, there is massive support in place for the role. Please contact any board member if you are able to help.
Secretary: Rod Fuentes
Planning & Performance: Greg Hopkins
Grounds: Andrew Boyle
Retail: Karen Johnstone
Sponsorship: Myles Landon
Men: Colin Keating
Women: Nicole Virtuoso
Masters: Damien Toussaint
Juniors: Mel Sanders
Please reach out to any of our board members and of course, offers of support and help are most welcomed.
After an extremely successfull 2022 year where we were one of 3 metropolitan clubs to excede their 2019 pre-pandemic membership and the only Premier League Club to do so…we entered the 2023 season with much enthusiasm for maintaining those numbers.
The 2023 year has hit all sporting bodies hard, a recent report saw a massive decline in participation numbers across all sports, in particular the grass roots level and hockey has seen the same trend as reported by Hockey Victoria at their recent forum. Other hockey clubs are reporting the same decline.
For Footscray Hockey Club, we are sitting at 540 members, around 50 fewer than this time last year. The Men’s section reduced from 8 to 7 teams, the U18 juniors did not get up and running and the biggest hit has been in the U8 and U10 sections albeit running the exact same school clinic and come and try program it has for 20 years.
Why are we seeing these trends? Experts say the economy, rising interest rates, both parents having to work and being more time poor. Cutting back on expences has been a major factor in the decline. For FHC we have seen in a local increase in other grass root sporting opportunities the same time as our Wednesday evening U6, U8 and U10 program which may be having an impact.
The board will be looking at ways to boost numbers in these age groups for the second half of the year and into the Term 4 summer junior program. We are having another Come and Try on Indigenous Round at 1.00pm, 2.00pm and 3.00pm Saturday 15th July. For those U6, U8 and U10 current participants, they are enjoying a very successful program delivered by dedicated and enthusiastic coaches and parents. The annual FHC Summer Mixed Competition and 6 week junior summer program also sees many new casual members sign up that boosted our numbers in the later part of the year.
We are well on our way to meeting Hockey Victoria’s Premier League Entry Criteria for 2023 and continue to foster many incusion activities and events across the year. We thank you for all your support with these intiatives. The canteen levy is working well with members doing their shift to receive their $50 rebate back.
Maribyrnong Council have finally commenced lease negoatiations with the club after the last lease ran out in 2016, since then we have been in a year by year over holding lease waiting for council’s new Lease Policy to be developed and approved. This will be an interesting venture under their new policy and we will continue to put FHC’s best interests forward.
After the social room renovation (see below) and the Junior State Championships held the weekend just gone, we look forward to having Hockey HQ back in action. It will re-open Tue, Wed & Thu evenings from Tue 11th onwards.
A massive thanks to all our volunteers to helped over the JSC weekend – a huge 4 days for the club and we couldn’t have done it without you!
There are many opportunities for club members to help and volunteer for the club’s various sub committees, directors and jobs. For those already locked into positions – we thank you for your contributions. Watch out for the next opportunity for when you can put your hand up.
Take note of our Social Events Calendar below. These events keep everyone connected, provide a wonderful social atmosphere around the club and are good opportunities to hold a few fundraisers.
Lastsly, there are 4 goals that FHC no longer use that are free to good homes if any members would like one for their backyard. Sturdy and in reasonably good condition, you would have to arrange transport of the goals to your home. Please contact Grounds Director – Andrew Boyle email@example.com if you’d like to take one.
If you have any questions about our club happenings, please don’t hesitate to contact our General Secretary Rod Fuentes at firstname.lastname@example.org he will direct your enquiry to the responsible Director.
Wishing you all a terrific back end of the 2023 season.
Board of Directors
SOCIAL SPACE UPGRADE
Maribyrnong Council have delivered a 25k social room and Hockey HQ upgrade with new insulated black ceiling to match the rest of the pavilion, LED lighting, fans and new carpet.
The contractors were able to install a larger storage loft in Hockey HQ and the clubroom has had a spotlight installed for our functions.
The combined project really lifts the social area with a fresh and modern look and we thank Maribyrnong Council for thier financial contirbution and work.
ZONE UMPIRE DEVELOPER
FHC POLICY UPDATES
The board is working on reviewing and updating (if required) all of our current policies. So far this year the following policies have been approved by the board and can be located footscrayhockey.com.au/about/#policies
- Social Media Policy
- Hockey Australia Code of Conduct
- Hockey Australia Complaints, Disputes and Discipline
- Hockey Australia Member Protection Safe hockey framework
McIVOR RESERVE MADSTERPLAN
The McIvor Reserve Masterplan was approved by council which enters the next stage of the design stage. Pertinant to FHC are the following numbers which correspond to the map pictured above.
19 Realign the path to the hockey precinct perimeter fence and plant addtional trees to frame the open sports field area
20 Reconsider the vegetation buffer species along the hockey perimeter fence to avoid leaf litter impacting the pitch surface
21 Install hockey player benches, a tech bench, and a built store
There is provision for grandstands between the soccer and hockey club, however further consultation with Maribyrnong Council initiated the requirement to provide portable grandstands able to be moved to suit our needs.
WORKING WITH CHILDREN’S CHECKS
All volunteers, coaches, directors, coordinators, team managers and anyone who works directly with children, must have a working with children’s check. If you are a teacher, you will need to provide your VIT number for our records.
Mel Morton is our WWCC coordinator who will collect the details required for the club register and assist those who need to apply.
Please reach out if you need to submit your WWCC number email@example.com
Footscray Hockey Club are proud to have partnered with Hockey Victoria and SCOPE to deliver a 6-Week Pilot Wheelchair Hockey Program at our club this year. The program also had the chance to move indoors to the Whitten Oval due to the Melbourne weather.
20 participants eagarly had a go at wheelchair hockey and there were some enthusiastic regulars every week!
Organised by Mel Morton and the All Abilities Team, we had numerous volunteers assisting on the day.
Thank you to everyone involved.
@ YARRAVILLE CLUB
Yarraville Club have jsut come on board as a Platinum Sponsor this year so if you visit the establishment at 135 Stephens Street, Yarraville, be sure to book or pay under the name of Footscray Hockey Club or #14824.
It would be terrific for Yarraville Club to get a guage on the return business or support through the bistro, bar or function rooms.
FHC #36 @ HARDIMANS
If you are ever out at Hardimans Hotel 521 Macaulay Rd, Kensington, please book or pay under the number of ‘36’ for Footscray Hockey Club so the club receives sponsorship benefits.
Hardimans are a platinum sponsor, so they receive the knowledge that FHC are supporting thier business a nd in turn will continue to support us.
FHC @ YARRAVILLE-FOOTSCRAY BOWLS
Just across McIvor reserve on the nothan side sits Yarraville-Footscray Bowling Club who have come on baord as a gold sponsor this year.
If you venture there for a bistro meal or some barefoot bowls, be sure to book under Footscray Hockey Club. The more we can show that our members visit local establishments, the more sponsorship we generate for our club!
FHC IS A DOG FREE AREA
A friendly reminder that dogs are not permitted inside the FHC gates, unless they are a service dog.
The Board are remaining consistent with thier decision to keep FHC a dog free environment. This is out of respect for our family-friendly environment, crowds on busy home rounds, safety issues, feedback from the members and cleanliness concerns. Please adhere to the signage erected at the entrance gate, so please feel free to politely ask visitors to remove their dogs if they are brought inside the venue.
WHEELIE BIN STORAGE UNITS
We are trying to get our hands on some wheelie bin storage units, Maribyrnong Council don’t have any lying around.
If you have contacts or know where we can acquire some (preferably 6 double units) please contact Andrew Boyle firstname.lastname@example.org
FHC is looking for a volunteer who may have some time to scan our photos on the clubroom walls from the 1980’s, 1990’s and 2000’s.
These will compliment our digital scans from the 1930’s – 1970’s and will be able to be added to our website.
Please contact Greg email@example.com
TRIVIA NIGHT – SAT 22nd JULY
Footscray Hockey Club’s Indigenous Round Family Day is back for another huge year!
Join us at Footscray Hockey Club on Bunurong Country to celebrate our 2023 Indigenous Round Family Day.
Date: Saturday 15 July 2023
Time: 12PM – 5PM
CLUB SPONSORS 2023
Yarraville Footscray Bowling Club
Big 5 Fitness
It’s been a bit of a roller coaster first half of the season with our PL boys not quite hitting the mark just yet but, other teams in our Men’s section are going along really well and are giving themselves every chance of being involved at the pointy end of the season.
Two new coaches to our ranks this year and they have settled in perfectly. Jordan Tamblyn has hit the ground running and has a very young PLR group sitting inside the top 6 currently which has been a fantastic start to his time at the club. Plenty of youngsters going around in this team which is an exciting insight into what the future of the PL team looks like going forward. Chris Heslop has also taken on the coaching position in the PD team and is also doing a great job with a mix of young and experienced players.
With Euan Gilmour having to split his playing and coaching duties due to clashes in fixturing with the PL team, the PA boys have been incredibly well managed with Alex Grosz and Scott Walters providing invaluable coaching and leadership experience on game day, again, with a consistent group of young players who are making their way through the ranks. They sit just outside the top 4 at this point but have been ultra-competitive against all the top 4 teams so a couple of wins after the break should see them in with a genuine crack at the finals.
Josh Walsh and Kyle Lewis along with RJ (providing fantastic assistant coaching support), have done an amazing job of navigating the promotion into PB this year, again, with junior players getting a genuine feel for senior hockey in this team. The boys have been outstanding and sit in 4th spot on the ladder which has been an amazing effort given the rise in level.
The Metro 1 boys led by Wayne D’Souza and Anthony Santoro are tearing up the competition with a mix of youth and experience and they sit comfortably in top spot on the ladder with finals beckoning! Alex Fensome is also doing an amazing job with this team, often undermanned they are giving their all every week but most importantly, are having a great time enjoying their hockey. They’re only one game out of the top 4 so are another team in with a chance to find a berth in the finals at season end!
Heather Shaw continues to do an amazing job of looking after the whole Men’s section with her scrumptuous chicken snitz burgers on Thursday nights along with her ‘world’ famous afternoon tea for the PL teams at our home games! Big thanks to Heather for her ongoing support and commitment to our Men’s section.
Also, a big thank you to our team managers this year, David Braiden, Paul Jones, Rodney Johnstone, Adrian Randall (captain as well of PD!), Anthony Santoro and Alex Fensome (wears many hats in the M2 team!) and to our Chairman of selectors Rick Wiseman, without all of your support it would be an impossible task getting our 7 teams on the park each week!
Onwards and upwards for the second half of the season, be sure to get down to the kennel and give all our teams the support they thoroughly deserve!
The Women’s section is fielding 8 teams strong this season and have welcomed many new and returning members.
The pre-season commenced in January and a full practice match schedule.
Promising results over the first half of the season and our coaching structure all locked in for the year of
PL Alex Shirly and Assistant Coach Megan Alakus (2nd)
RES Stuart Hyslop (1st)
PA David Gorton (4th)
PB Julian Pratt (3rd)
PC Phylicia Taylor (1st)
PD Karen Johnstone (8th)
PE Helen Morton (4th)
Metro 1 Tania Bezzobs (7th)
We were granted a PD to PC promotion during the pre-season when a team moved to the Vic League structure which we enthusiastically took up.
Our team managers are not to be missed, completing the all important re-match, during mastch and after match duties to keep things ticking along.
Harry Zac & Greg Hopkins (PL)
Sue Milford (RES)
Kirstin Cheney (PA)
Brianna McLaughlin (PB)
Christy Jeromson (PC)
Diedre Ruane (PD)
Scarlett Fitzpatrick (PE)
Sharon Pollard (M1)
Maintaining a team in every single level of competition in Melbourne is a great asset as successful Premier League Club as it means our depth across 8 teams is strong and there are immedate and step by step pathways for players ceveloping up the grades. We also have a very healthy fill in list, if you’d like to be a part of the women’s section contact firstname.lastname@example.org
A few key people to thank; Lynda Thomas, Angela Thompson, Karen Johnstone, Andrew Wiseman. Mel Morton and all the coaches, team managers and helpers.
Huge thanks to Heather Shaw for preparing and providing the Premier Leuage and Reserves afternoon teas, especially for ensuring the honey joys are well stocked on the day! A personal favourite!
Can’t wait to see the back end of 2023 play out!
A snap shot so far!
Men’s 45 – 3rd
Men’s 50 – 5th
Men’s 60 – 8th
Women’s 35 A – 4th
Womens’ 35 B – 4th
Women’s 45 – 9th
Congratulations to the following FHC players who have been selected in Victorian Men’s Masters’ teams.
– Alex Grosz – Over 40s Div 1
– Nigel Toussaint – Over 45 Div 1
– Geoff Peacock – Over 50 Div 2
– Phil Frost – Over 60 Div 1
– Martin Babb – Over 60 Div 2
– Geoff Pilley – Over 65 Div 1
– Neville Hopkins, Peter Byrne, Neil Coster, Geoff Lewis (shadow) – O70 Div 1
– David Sonenberg – O75
– David Sinclair, Henry Barrie – O80
Congratulations to the following FHC players who have been selected in Victorian Women’s Masters’ teams.
– 40s – Jane Luckett, Maz Stonehouse
– 45s – Katherine Wilson, Christine Henderson (Manager)
– 50s – Therese Burke
– 60s – Marita Tranter
– 65s/70s squad – Jo Torr, Deb O’Shannessey
Thanks to everyone who came down to celebrate Cosi’s 1100 th game milestone. Big thanks
to Greg Hopkins for sorting the banner and to Rick Wiseman for the design of the graphics.
Have a great back end of the season everyone!
It has been a busy 6 months in the junior section, kick starting the year with the Western Elite Hockey Academy WEHA, delivered by our Junior Director of Coaching Daniel Mitchell and our annual school roadshow clinics and Come and Try. We have entered 12 juniors teams into Hockey Victoria Competitions, one less than last year as the U18 team didn’t have enough players to form a team, thankfully most have entered into our senior Men & Women’s competitions.
The Star 6’s Hookin2Hockey program run by JA Sheehan has been well attended with many coaches, mostly parents. Super U8s Stick to Hockey program headed up by Liv Moores and Michca Philips continues to see consistent numbers. U10 Super League coached by Mark Wiseman and Tom Hogan is enjoyed by an enthusiastic bunch of hockey goers. Although the numbers are lower than in 2023 for U8 and U10, the program still is delivering quality hockey coaching and games and the participants in that program are showing great talent.
Coaches and results to date
U16 Girls A Shield (Alicea Duggan, Hannah Lowrey and Georgia Cutrale) – 4th
U16 Boys Shield A (Mitch Braiden) – 4th
U16 District NW (Jim Morton) – 2nd
U14 Girls Shield A (Mel Sanders) – 4th
U14 Shield A Boys (Nigel Toussaint) – 6th
U14 Mixed District (John Shearer) – 7th
U12 Girls Shield A (Damien Toussaint) – 4th
U12 Boys Shield B (Alex Grosz) – 4th
U12 Girls Pennant (Trixie Nicholson, Gen Hussell) – 7th
U12 Boys Pennant (Isaac Grimes & Tom Braham) – 6th
U10 Boys (James Gilchrist) – 1st
U10 Girls (Suzie Grosz) – 4th
Thank you to all our junior umpires, support coaches for U6/8 and10, team managers, ball patrol and section/admin coordinators for all your efforts to keep the junior section running.
Congratulations to the whopping 52 Wildcats players who just competed in the Junior State Championships and we continue to be represented well in our Victorian State Teams. A bright future ahead.
Look forward to the second half of the season. Let’s go Doggies!
A huge thank you to all of the board directors who helped to get this Bulldog Banter finalised.
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