Practice matches 2016

We’ve confirmed practice matches ahead of the 2016 season, details are as follows:

March 12th – Westbourne Grammarians @ Westbourne School Ground
March 19th – Nunawading @ Koonung Reserve
April 2nd – Intra club game @ The Snake Pit

If all players could do their best to be available on the above dates it would be appreciated.

Training details

We can confirm that training will take place at Cooper Reserve each Monday and Wednesday night until the end of March, kicking off on Wednesday 27th January. Each session will begin at 6pm, and will focus on skills and game plans, with fitness work to form part of the drills.

A reminder that all players will need to register online in order to be eligible to play, more information can be found on the registrations page, the sooner this gets done the better!

Vale: Al McDonnell

The Canterbury Football Club was today saddened to hear the news that club life member Al McDonell has passed away, only a few weeks after the passing of his wife, Rose.

Al filled many roles for Canterbury during his time with the club including coaching the reserves team, however he was best known for his long standing role as team manager. He and his wife did so much for the club that annual reports would often refer to them as “Mr & Mrs Canterbury”.

Also heavily involved at the Canterbury Cricket Club, the Canterbury family has lost a true legend.

Our thoughts are with the McDonell family.

The funeral service to celebrate the life of Alan John McDonell will be held at the Le Pine Chapel, 1048 Whitehorse Road (Cnr Linsley Street), Box Hill on Friday, January 22nd, commencing at 10.00am. No flowers by family request. Private cremation to follow

Happy belated new year!

From all at the Canterbury Football Club, we’d like to wish you a (belated) happy new year! Hopefully everyone has enjoyed the festive period and is now refreshed and looking forward to the year ahead.

Training is set to resume on Wednesday 27th January, at Cooper Reserve in Camberwell from 6.15pm. Training will then take place each Monday & Wednesday until we return to the Snake Pit once cricket season is complete.

The committee is busy preparing the social calendar for the coming season, there are some new and exciting events in the works, watch this space!

Player registrations are now open for season 2016, all players should follow the instructions on the registration page to ensure their eligibility for the upcoming season.

That’s all for now, keep an eye on the usual channels to keep up with the latest Cobra news.

Pre christmas training

We’ve all had a nice break and some of you are occupied with other things such as cricket, going to the races, watching tv, playing xbox, sitting on your arses, etc.

So what better way to blow the cobwebs off and shed a couple of spring carnival kegs than having a run around on a balmy summer’s evening with your premiership team-mates?

We will be holding 2 sessions prior to Chistmas – on Weds 2nd and Weds 16th. Probably at Cooper Reserve in Warragul Road although this is TBC. Only 2 sessions prior to Christmas and then get into pre-season proper on January 27.

It would be great to see as many of you there as possible. We will have some snags and beers/soft drinks afterwards. I will be trying to make contact with as many of you as possible over the next few weeks to try and coax you down. If you want to get in early, just text or ring me on 0413 757 149 or email me on if you prefer.

Back to Back, Cobbies!


2016 coaches

We’re pleased to announce Sean Hanrahan will coach the clubs reserves team in 2016. A premiership player this year in the seniors, Sean has hung up the boots and decided to make the move in to coaching. He joins the senior coaching staff consisting of Damien Reeves, Paul Luby and John Doak, we’re looking forward to D3 next season!

Positions for 2016

After last weeks AGM, the committee for season 2016 remains largely unchanged from this season. BJ Lashbrook and Kirsten Kent are continuing in their roles as President and Vice President, and long time club volunteers Sue Bach and Carol Pearce also continue in their roles as Secretary and Treasurer respectively. Rex Johnson has also stayed on as a committee member, while Sean Woodward has decided to join the committee for the first time, welcome Sean!

The club would like to sure up numbers a little more, especially in areas such as sponsorship and social. If you’d like to join the committee, or potentially a sub-committee, please get in touch via

The club would also like to formally announce Damien Reeves as senior coach for season 2016, stepping up from the assistants role he’s held for the past two seasons. Reevesy brings with him to the club Paul Luby as an assistant, and has also locked in John Doak to complete the senior coaching line up for next year. The club has full confidence in these appointments and is excited to see what 2016 and division 3 will bring.

With Doaky moving into a position with the seniors, the club is currently looking for a reserves coach. If you’re interested in the position ow know anyone who might be, please get in touch with the club via

Presidents report 2015

We did it! The Canterbury Football Club are premiers, in both the senior and reserve grades! This is the club’s first senior flag since 2003, the first reserves flag since 1965, and the first time both flags have been won in the same year since 1956!

A massive thanks needs to go out to everyone who helped achieve our goals this year, especially the coaches, the players, the support staff and of course, the committee. Hopefully the club can now build on this season as we venture into VAFA Division 3 – the last 2 D4 premiers have gone on to take the D3 flag the very next year, dare to dream Cobras!

So, how did this all come about?

Like every year before this, the season officially began at the AGM, held at the end of October, 2014. The meeting saw myself, Sue Bach and Carol Pearce all re-elected into the positions of President, Secretary and Treasurer respectively. Hamish Giles and Rex Johnson again nominated for a spot on the committee, while James Nicolas would also rejoin after some time away. The position of Vice President wasn’t immediately filled, though before the end of 2014, newcomer to the club Kirsten Kent would join the committee and take on the role. Michael Kruger, Siobhan Barker and Amy Bennett elected not to return to their positions on the committee, the club thanks them for their efforts and we hope to see them return in the near future.

On field, things could hardly have gone better. After almost earning promotion in our very first VAFA season – finishing 3rd after going down to eventual premiers West Brunswick in the preliminary final – it was obvious that the club had a great bunch of players, as well as a fantastic coaching group. It would come as no surprise to all that Michael Harper, Damien Reeves, Tim Nichols & Chris Adames were reappointed in their senior roles, as was John Doak in the reserves, bringing with him Andy Gill as his assistant.

After training resumed in February, practice matches were arranged to be played against our old EFL opponents in Surrey Park and Nunawading. These games gave the coaches their first real look at how the teams might line up in round 1 and a glimpse of what potential the playing group had.

The year started out with a thumping of league newcomers Parkside in the reserves to the tune of 164 points, while in the seniors a last quarter comeback saw the Cobras get over the line by the slimmest of margins, edging out the eventual fellow grand finalists by a solitary point. The reserves would then go on to lose only 3 games for the home and away season, and the seniors dropping only 1, which was in the final round. Apart from a semi final hiccup by the seniors, the team’s then went through the finals series undefeated to take both flags, with the reserves knocking off the previously undefeated and highly fancied Westbourne Grammarians. Well done once again to all!

The on field success the club had this season was due to the retention of almost all players from season 2014, as well as some handy acquisitions and a few ex-players returning to the club. It’s imperative that we again retain our players as well as recruit well to ensure we’re up the right end of the ladder in 2016.

During the home game against Mt Lilydale in June, the club also hosted an Auskick game at halftime of the seniors, where around 35 local kids participated in a scratch match. The event was certainly a success and the kids enjoyed coming down and playing in front of a crowd. As well as the community benefits, it’s also great advertising as a place the kids can play once they’re old enough.

Also on field, though in a non playing role, the club stepped up both the roles and payments of the trainers, which paid immediate dividends. Sarah Scott, Caitlin Kent, Xanthe Foster and Sue Bach did a huge job throughout the year to keep the players on the field, both on game day and at training, thanks to all for their amazing work over the season.

Major sponsors of the club The Harp of Erin and The Bendigo Bank were both back on board for season, with the Harp increasing their contributions via their loyalty program. Many of the local business sponsors were also back on board, though overall, sponsorship was slightly down on 2014. This is an area the club can certainly improve in seasons to come, and can certainly use assistance in. As always, if you know of anyone who may be willing to sponsor the club, please get in touch ASAP.

Socially, the club had another successful year. Events that were held included the Cobra Quarrel (family feud), ladies day, past player/sponsors day, Snakes on a Train (follow up to Snakes on a Plane), the annual ball, a trivia night, as well as the reverse raffle. Presentation night was slightly different this year compared to years gone by with extra entertainment provided and from all reports enjoyed by all. Each event was well attended, and we look forward to putting together another enjoyable social event for all for season 2016.

It should also be noted that Andrew Mack and Lachlan Giles were awarded life membership at presentation night. Both reached the 200 game milestone at the club, and both were members of the 2003 senior premiership, as well as the 2015 reserves flag. As well as this both have also contributed off field, helping where they can, and Lachy also served on the committee for a number of years. Though both have indicated that they’ve played their final games, the club looks forward to seeing them for many years to come. Congratulations to both on their life memberships.

Once again, congratulations to all on achieving two premierships in the same year, something we’ll all remember forever. I certainly look forward to the reunions that will take place in the years to come.

I’d like to take this opportunity to thank our outgoing, premiership winning senior coach, Michael Harper, for his efforts at the club during my time as president. Over the past two seasons. Harps was instrumental in obtaining pitch covers from council, pulling in extra club sponsors as well as raising player sponsorship to a figure never seen before. On top of this, Harps also stepped into the role of council liaison, ensured the maintenance of the club rooms was upheld and took care of a number of other matters throughout the year – as well as coaching the club to a senior premiership. The work Harps has put in has been amazing and the results certainly show that. Harps, thanks for everything you’ve done, I’m hoping you can continue to assist in some capacity next season.

A big thank you also to the committee this season – Kirsten, Sue, Carol, Rex, James and Hamish, you should all be extremely proud of what our club achieved this season. Thank you also to everyone who helped in any other role this year, everyone from the team managers to the time keepers, line markers to the ladies in the canteen. There really are too many people to name, the club would fall over without people like you assisting each week, I hope we can have as many volunteers (if not more) next season as we did this year.

Looking on to 2016, Damien Reeves has been appointed senior coach and has arranged Paul Luby and John Doak to be his assistants. Paul is new to the club, while Doaky has been the reserves coach for the past two seasons. With John stepping up into a senior role, this (at the time of writing) leaves the reserves position vacant, though we’re chasing up a few potential leads, stay tuned for updates on that.

Off field, as always, there are areas we can improve. I’d like to see a rise in committee member numbers next year to help spread the load across more people. Many hands really do make light work, and with just a couple of extra people on board, the impact will be immediately noticed. Sponsorship is the main area I’d like to focus on improving next season, though we could also use assistance in social and membership. Everything the committee does is on a volunteer basis and is for the benefit of the club, your club. If you’ve thought about joining the committee before, now’s a great chance to do it.

I’ll be running for president again in 2016, and hope that we can continue to build the club up in the local community while also tasting success in VAFA Division 3.

Here’s to another great year at Canterbury in 2016.

BJ Lashbrook

Seniors coaches report 2015

2015 promised to be an exciting year for Canterbury Football Club. While 2014 had been a solid entry into the VAFA, we had been unsuccessful in making the grand final. Truth be told, we were not quite good enough to go further than we did, and 2015 gave us the chance to redress that deficiency.

After a promising pre-Christmas program where we saw mid-thirties on the track on a couple of occasions, the preseason program went well, with many new faces making their presence felt. They didn’t all stay, but 7 of the new faces at pre-season played in our premiership senior side, so we would consider that our efforts in recruiting were reasonably successful.

With the same coaching panel for the second year in succession, we were able to build on what had been accomplished, focussing heavily on managing stoppages and making sure that we had extra numbers at the stoppages. Two practice matches gave us a chance to see how we performed under heat, and we felt well placed going into round one. Round one gave us a rude awakening, when Parkside took all the initiative and controlled the stoppages all day to set up a match winning lead. 6 goals in the last 8 minutes gave us the victory by a solitary point, thanks largely to the final quarter contributions of veterans Walmsley and Baker, with new recruit Fitzgerald kicking 5 of them.

Some soft games followed before we met Westbourne, who we saw as potential rivals. A comfortable victory over them at home had us starting to believe that we could give the year a shake, and after thrashing North Brunswick at their ground in round 7 we had the first of 4 byes for the year. Having a chance to take stock and plan the next phase of the season, the coaching panel began to set our sights on a premiership. Nothing less would be acceptable.

As the season moved along, and we remained undefeated, we began to gather momentum, as well as good players. Lowden, the Szabos, Augustinus, and Hunter all joined in well into the season, and all added something to the mix. We maintained this momentum despite having to play against substandard sides where 30+ goals was the norm, and also having to deal with 4 byes during the season.

By and large, our players remained committed and were reasonably good with training attendance, although the coaching panel were often frustrated by some players’ absences and late starts to training. The riot act was metaphorically read and things improved a little.

After the first bye, good wins ensued against Manningham (when the Cobra Cup was retained) and a much improved Mt Lilydale, who were level with us at half time. Unfortunately, they couldn’t cope with our 19 goal second half, and skulked back up the mountain 105 point losers. Then came our next big test – Point Cook. We were undefeated on top and Point Cook were second. We travelled over the Westgate and hammered them to send a clear message to the competition. We were in it to win it.

But things were not all going our way. Lots of injuries, including to or skipper and one of our best players in Ben Peel, meant that we were making 6 changes every week. We played 41 different players in the seniors over the season, each of whom acquitted themselves well at senior level. A big difference from 2014 was our depth, which was a credit to the great job being done by the reserves coaching panel, who had to manage rotations of their huge squad while ensuring that players on the fringe were ready for senior selection when required. The season rolled on – another Saturday afternoon, another win. As we headed down the final straight towards the finals we remained undefeated, until round 18 when we met our nemesis, Westbourne, at that horrible home of theirs.

The loss of Walmsley for the season during round 17 was a huge blow, and combined with the continued absence of the skipper, meant we were a little down on class and leadership. The loss of Hanrahan, Lowden during the warmup and Winn and Chapman early on made it hard for us. Outstanding performances from Baker with 7 goals, Fitzgerald and Woods, got us close but we tasted our first loss for the season. Not a disaster, but not pleasant by any means.

We hoped this would give us a wakeup and going into the first final, we were very confident that we would have too much for North Brunswick, even without our captain, vice-captain and gun Centre half forward. How wrong we were. North Brunswick skipped away to a 9 goal lead and we couldn’t quite drag it back, going down by 11 points.

The preliminary final against Box Hill North had us in the same position as 2014, despite our outstanding season – a knockout match at Parade College with the victor into the Grand Final. It was a tough encounter but we were able to grind them down, and then open them up in the last quarter to record a 48 point win, and earn the right to play in the Grand Final.

An interesting week ensued. We were kicked off our ground by the council and found ourselves training in a strange locale. But we remained focussed and prepared well.

Back out to Parade to meet the much improved Parkside – who almost knocked us off in round one – in the big one. We receive a huge boost watching the seconds teach the undefeated Westbourne a football lesson to earn some silverware for the Cobras.

The game was a dour struggle, with Parkside dropping players back, and a strong cross breeze making it difficult to score. We led narrowly for the whole game, never quite getting away, and when Woods converted a difficult set shot late in the last quarter, we were home. A premiership. Two premierships, which made it all the sweeter. Appropriate celebrations ensued over the following weeks – the difference in club morale and player bonding between 2014 and 2015 was huge.

Premierships are wonderful things.

Some random observations on the season.
It was great to blood club mascot Ryan Pearce to senior football as a 15- year-old where he earned 3 umpires votes in his first game and always looked good at the level. He is probably destined for greater things but it was nice to have him.
The finals campaign of Lachie Chapman where he was clearly our best contributor after an indifferent season by his standards helped us cover the loss of Walmsley, Peel and Winn.
Mick Peel’s excellent season showed everyone what he knew and we knew – he can play.
James Wilson’s emergence as a dangerous forward pinch hitting in the midfield points to an exciting future for him, and hopefully us.
Scott Fitzgerald’s decision to play with the Cobras is a huge part of why we won the flag. He is almost as good as he tells everyone he is, and was a great leader in a side that calls out for leadership.
Andrew Baker’s final season was a testament to his ability to nurse his ageing body through one last year to get the flag he was after. 59 of the best goals you would ever have the privilege to see. Well done Champ!
Tom Lowden’s decision to come back to the Snakepit mid-season was a good one for us and him. A third placing in the best and fairest from 8 games shows his value. Let’s hope he can get that body right for what should be a big 2016.
Rohan Walmsley’s effort in winning his 5th best and fairest is almost taken for granted. Apparently when Phar Lap raced, they used to bet on who would come second. So it is when there’s a B & F at Canterbury. Wombat wins, so who will come second?
While we had plenty of old dogs in the side, the young guns such as Nick Szabo, David Gates, Cam Wynn, Ryan Pearce, James Wilson, Cam Woods and Tom Hunter bodes well for the future.

Congratulations to Sean Hanrahan, Fitzy, Wombat and Bakes for being selected in the VAFA team of the year. Mick Peel, Willo and Lowds were probably stiff.

Chris Adames fantastic performance as a (hard working) runner cannot be overstated. Trying to decipher the mixed messages coming from the coaches at times stretched him, and in reality he was more of a mobile assistant coach than a runner.

Farewell to Bakes, Winny, Doc, Strachanie and anyone else who decides not to go around again. We had fun.

Finally, thanks to all 41 of the players. Remember, good players make good coaches.

Damien Reeves – Assistant Coach

Reserves coaches report 2015

With a solid pre-season under our belts and some handy new recruitsthrough the door, we were looking great with numbers and depth for the first time in years. With around 77 registered players on the books, our biggest problem in the reserves this season was how to juggle it and make sure everyone got a game whilst still fielding our best side and providing players to the seniors ready for their game style and positional requirements. Rotating 50 odd players through the 2s was a logistical nightmare, but as the season got rolling things started to sort themselves out with unavailabilities and injuries starting to occur.

Our Round 1 side v Parkside was the strongest 2s side I’ve ever seen at the club in my 15 years, and the scoreboard reflected this with a dominant 164pt win. With a favourable draw having to play mostly the weaker sides twice and the stronger sides once apart from Westbourne Grammar, we went 4 wins no losses with a % of 600 after Round 4 whilst still rotating guys through. Round 5 was our first hard fought battle for the year, as we came up against the also undefeated Westbourne who were belting cellar dwellers Chadstone, Mt Lilydale, Masala, and Parkside by even bigger margins than us. On a sunny day at ‘The Snake Pit’ it was a real arm wrestle as we kept within striking distance of them for much of the game, with only 9pts in it 5mins into the last quarter before our courageous captain Turbo hurt his neck, requiring an ambulance, and the game was abandoned. What may have happened after this who knows, but it recorded our first loss for the year and brought us back to the pack.

With plenty of easy wins in between, we got to Round 8 out at Nth Brunswick with a weak side, and underestimated our strong bodied opponents in Nth Brunswick to get absolutely hammered to the tune of 84pts. This was a real wake up call, showing us that if we are slightly off, and aren’t prepared to put our heads over the ball, we will get beaten by lesser sides on paper than us.

The break came at a perfect time for us, as we regrouped, and reflected on our impressive start to the season. With many areas of our game needing to be perfected, and a tough run of games coming up, the next month was season defining. A massive game out at Point Cook, with only 7pts in it at ¾ time, saw us go away from them to the tune of 35pts to almost seal a top 2 finish provided we take care of the lower ranked sides in the run home. We then proceeded to knock off a much improved Mt Lilydale, Parkside at home, Manningham, Chadstone and Masala to go to the last break in great shape with 2 strong sides to follow to harden us up for finals.

With South Mornington in the top 6 and stacking their side with their seniors out of the equation, we knew we were in for a real contest. We jumped them early, setting up a 60pt half time lead with our side playing an impressive brand of football. After half time we seemed to put the cue in the rack, allowing the Tigers to get some run out of defence and take the game right up to us. To the boys credit we fought it out well to hold our half time lead of 60pts at the final siren.

Round 18 was a perfect rendition for our finals campaign, heading out to Westbourne Grammar to take on the undefeated power house. In windy scrappy conditions, we kept in touch until a late flurry of goals to them late in the game sealed a 21pt loss. But we knew our best was good enough, especially if we could tidy up our skills under pressure and field our best possible side for the next time we may face them. We were finals bound for the first time since 2008, with many of the boys never having played a final which was so exciting.

If we were to jag a flag for the first time since 1965, we would have to overcome our nemesis’s in Nth Brunswick, Box Hill Nth, and Westbourne in successive weeks and that’s exactly what we achieved. We took it right up to Nth Brunswick and wore hit after hit, after hit, playing our best game for the year to get the job done by 8 goals. With a heap of confidence from beating Nth Brunswick, we took down Box Hill Nth in a dominant first half display in windy spring conditions to set up a Grand Final with the undefeated Westbourne.

Grand Final week should be one of the most exciting weeks of a player or coaches life, but instead turned out to be a most stressful one for myself and the players. With numerous obstacles that we had to overcome including the changing of the venue without any notice early in the week, then our opponent in Westbourne being disqualified then re-instated on the Thursday was an absolute joke to be fair. But this made us all the more determined to knock over whoever was in front of us on the day and get it down the hard way.

We knew we had to start well, as we won the toss and kicked down breeze in the first term jumping out to a 2 goal lead. The second term saw Westbourne come back at us hard, controlling the first half of the quarter with the wind behind their backs, but they couldn’t make us pay on the scoreboard as our defence held firm and re-buffed countless attacks before a late goal just before the siren to Mitchy Szabo got us back in front at the main break. The third term saw one of the best quarters of team football you will see, as we kicked 6 goals in a row to go out to a 29pt ¾ time lead. We had to hold strong, as we knew Westbourne would come at us hard as they were too good a side to not go down with a fight. With our midfielders going in for the ball with no fear and our defence holding firm, we kept the wolves at bay and went on the win the premiership.

What an amazing ride. A big thanks to my leaders in Turbo and Straughnie who were the rocks for the team all year, and to all the hard work put in by every single player over my last 2 years as ressies coach… with our photo now up on the wall we now will share a special memory of season 2015 forever…

John Doak