The formation of a Women’s team in the inaugural year of the Victorian Amateur Football Association,(VAFA) Womens’ competition, complementing our Senior and Reserves Men’s teams, was unquestionably a highlight of the 2017 season. The uncertainty at the beginning of 2017 as to whether we would recruit sufficient numbers to fulfil our commitment to the competition prevailed almost up to the commencement of the grading matches.
The persistence of John McCully and Clive Driscoll ensured that we not only achieved our initial objective of fielding a team but as the season progressed we became a highly competitive and remarkably skilful team. The intensity shown by the playing group in improving their skill level, working cohesively as a team and importantly playing the indigenous game with flair and respect for their teammates, opposition, umpires and their loyal band of supporters characterised the calibre of people involved in our Women’s team.
The club’s gratitude is extended to John McCully (Senior Women’s coach) and Jade Shanahan (Assistant Senior Women’s Coach for their unstinting work ethic that set the foundation for a highly successful year. The objective is to ensure the momentum that John and Jade created is rewarded in the years ahead.
I am pleased to announce that Dominic Lucarelli has been appointed Senior Women’s Coach for 2018. John McCully remains integral to the success of our team and will assume a Director/Coordinator role with the team in 2018.
The competitiveness of our Senior Men’s team was unquestioned. A total of ten wins is evidence of a team that has the potential to move up the VAFA ranks. We had to wait for the two undoubted highlights of our season until rounds 17 and 18. The Club’s win over the ultimate Premiers in University High/Victoria University at Parkville is in my mind the club’s most significant victory in 2017. I believe that this win and our subsequent demolition of Richmond Central in round 18, with the obvious exception being the 2015 Grand Final, were the most important wins for the club since joining the VAFA in 2014.
All credit to John Doak and his team of assistants, Sean Hanrahan, Chris Adames and Rohan Walmsley. John’s commitment and energy are renowned within the Club and deservedly was reappointed for 2018.
The Reserves had a roller-coaster year, competitive at times and capable of playing an attractive and open brand of football, yet were not rewarded for their efforts. To Dennis Szabo, a big thank you! Dennis was appointed at late notice, yet his commitment and knowledge of the game earned him great respect from all within the club.
Off the field, the Club is well served by the unrelenting and unheralded work of our training staff. To Sue, Xanthe, Molly and Annabel my sincere gratitude. Always in the background, yet collectively they are critical to the on field success of the club.
Well that summarises the season that was. The focus changes immediately and planning for 2018 is well underway.
Turning to the management of our club, I am pleased to report that the finances of the Club have markedly improved and with a further year of financial consolidation in 2018 we will establish a concrete platform for the club to push beyond VAFA Senior Men’s Division D3 and Women’s Development Division D4.
The catalyst of our improved financial position is the generosity of the Club’s commercial sponsors. The stalwarts, The Harp of Erin, Bendigo Bank, Fletchers Real Estate and The Athlete’s Foot led the charge. We secured two newcomers to the sponsors’ ranks, namely McClardy & McShane and Sportsbet.
The club is extremely appreciative of the significant level of support that our commercial sponsors provide it. Lachlan Haig has done a fabulous job as sponsorship coordinator and pleasingly has agreed to continue in this pivotal role for the 2018 season.
We are also indebted to a myriad of community sponsors, specifically Michael Crane, Juno & May, Bread Street and IGA Canterbury.
We should not underestimate or under-appreciate the commitment of our sponsors to our Club and it is imperative that collectively we reciprocate and support the people who make a substantial contribution to the economics of our club by using the products and services that they bring to the community.
Critical in my estimation is for the CFC to concentrate upon fostering closer relationships with our community, neighbours and co-tenants at Canterbury Sports Ground.
Pleasingly, the Canterbury Cricket Club, Canterbury Junior Football Club and the Canterbury Football Club will form a working party to present a compelling proposition to the City of Boroondara that will address the deficiencies of our facility and, in time, empower all three clubs to play a stronger role in providing sporting opportunities and social interaction for those who reside in our local environ.
The relationship with the City of Boroondara is purposeful, yet much more can be achieved with strengthening our collaboration with council. The facilities at Canterbury Oval are deficient in terms of amenity and function. The inadequacy of the changing facilities and constricted social rooms at Canterbury Oval create challenges that inhibit the growth of all three tenant clubs.
A club is only as strong as its members and the energy and commitment each and everyone brings to our club.
There are numerous people deserved of my thanks and recognition. The 2017 CFC committee comprising Clive Driscoll, Carol Pearce, David Scott, BJ Lashbrook, Yvette Hall, Sue Bach and Lachlan Haig all made significant contributions throughout the year and certainly made my role more pleasurable than I envisaged it would be.
My lasting appreciation to the numerous volunteers (we could always do with more), all of who gave generously of their time to ensure the Club fulfilled its commitments and are all appreciated and recognised by the CFC community. We look forward to welcoming you back in 2018.
A superb initiative that will straddle the 2017 and 2018 seasons of identifying the club’s most decorated and famed players throughout the illustrious 136 years of Canterbury Football Club’s history will culminate in the announcement of the CFC Team of Champions in 2018. My sincere appreciation and gratitude to James Nicolas for instigating this innovation and as importantly taking his idea from thought to reality.
In closing, I am strong in my belief that our best years lie ahead. Success, however, is a commodity that makes demands upon all of us and time will judge whether we accomplish our ambitious agenda or succumb to mediocrity.
I am extremely confident that success will be our reward in 2018 and beyond.