VAFA Cancels 2020 Season

PRESIDENT'S UPDATE – 3rd July 2020

Hi all Sharks,
VAFA 2020 season cancelled, but our Junior Season will proceed
As anticipated by many after the Covid-19 outbreak in recent days, the VAFA Board decided on Wednesday night to cancel the 2020 season. VAFA had initially planned for a season to commence in late July.
As I have mentioned in previous updates, our club was very proactive in pushing for the season to start. In simple terms we wanted our young men and women to play and we were prepared to deal with the significant hurdles in our way to make that happen.
Unfortunately the recent Covid-19 outbreak in the northern suburbs has weighed heavily, with some VAFA Clubs even unable to access an oval to train, let alone play. The financial burden on all clubs was expected to be significant with the likelihood of low bar revenue and reduced sponsorship.
While we are disappointed, we understand and accept VAFA’s decision. VAFA’s full statement is available here – CLICK HERE
A Big Thank You and Well Done to our Players, Coaches, Support Crew and Committees
Our players, coaches, support staff and committees have been magnificent over the last few months.
I do feel mostly for our players today. Some of our older players are in the twilight of their careers and cherish every season. So to lose a whole season hurts. Importantly, captain Matt “Skip” Petering will saddle up again in 2021. Then I’ll sign him up for another 5 years. Club stalwart Scott Gower too. Absolute marvels. Our Womens teams have lifted the culture and spirit of our club enormously and the improvement in their football skills has been amazing. They were in for a big year.
All our young men and women have been so positive over the last few months. They have been training the house down. Fit, skilled, enthusiastic, dedicated and ready to go.
Our senior men have a great balance of youth and experience. Their leadership base has grown from strength to strength. The vibe with this group is first class and I’ve got no doubt that they will stay positive and bring the energy for 2021. Captain Matt Petering would especially like to thank young guns Matthew Scott, Riley Mihailovic, Tom Spencer, George Grey, Liam Hayes, Kyle Yorke, Matt Harms, Baxter Pace, Mitch Owens and Nate Dear for all the hard work they have put in throughout this period. The future sure looks bright with a lineup of youthful talent like this coming into our Senior ranks.
I was so excited about our Senior Women this year. Their enthusiasm was infectious. Their numbers grew so significantly that for the first time we were going to field two Womens teams. They will go from strength to strength in 2021 despite the disappointment of a cancelled 2020 season.
Then there are our Under 19s. You can only be an U19s player for a short time. One, maybe two years. Losing your season hurts.  We will wrap our arms around them (with a lot of hand sanitiser of course) and get them ready to tackle senior footy in 2021. Some of them are also doing year 12, which has also presented challenges. Resilient young men with a wonderful attitude. We plan for them to keep coming to the club in 2020 as an outlet to train and have fun together and socialise in our rooms. The same goes for all our senior players.
I have so much admiration for our senior teams and while disappointed that we won’t get to see them in action this year, there is so much to be excited about for 2021.
Our senior coaching staff have been amazing. Bluey McKenna has been a tower of strength and positivity the whole time. He not only had the players ready, but he was consistently thinking about club and sponsors and regularly suggesting things to me that could help. Outstanding. Brian “Choco” Royal has gone above and beyond. He’s been at every training session performing both his footy role and as a Covid -19 officer. Selfless. Dave “Doggie” Carafella and Dave “”Conan” Bartlett have been their usual positive selves. We welcomed Lachie Batt as our new reserves coach this year and he has fitted in like a glove.
Brent “Wardy” Ward and Darrell “Dazza” Behrendorff have had an incredible impact on the Womens program. Their dedication, initiative, vision and enthusiasm has been incredible. I also like to thank Seniors Womens support staff  Peter Larrieu, Andrew Marriott and Craig Edwards. We'd also like to acknowledge all the new players who came from the MCC  with Jemima Savage leading the way. Also Alana Gadsby and Zoe Larrieu have been outstanding with their own training and recruitment. We’ve had 27 new players with many of them training the house down. Injured Co-captain Ellen Wood has done a lot of behind the scenes work for us. The registrar has been kept busy. Special mention to Fiona Rowbury, Jane Lapa, Darrell Behrendorff and our sponsors Askin and Priceline for securing new jumpers for the girls.
Our Under 17/19s coach Michael “Shmerls” Shmerling has been terrific. Using Michael’s words “the lads have been flying”. When asked to nominate outstanding performers on the training track Michael said, "I could name heaps, they've all been incredible."  We look forward to getting behind the U17s who will get to play their season as part of the SMJFL. They are our future senior players and it will be exciting to watch them play.
Off the field, things have been challenging. Your Senior and Junior committees are full of selfless dedicated passionate Shark people. They haven’t missed a beat in doing whatever they could to make season 2020 happen.
On the senior side, I’d like to thank Greg Diamond, Nick Heath, Tracey Francis, Peter Caswell, Richard Evans, Paul Davis, Nicki Spencer and Matt Petering. All long serving, passionate Sharks people.
The Junior Committee have been outstanding, working through all the additional Covid-19 protocols and issues to get 35 teams on the training track and on the field on Sunday July 12. I can’t wait. I hope the entire club get behind our Juniors.
Banksia Reserve Pavillion
I will provide a separate update in regards to our home very soon. There’s a lot of work going on behind the scenes regarding the long term future, and the three foundation sports clubs ARE UNITED. We are also hopeful that we will be able to open the facility soon this year.
What I want to mention today is that the BFC, together with the Beaumaris Cricket Club (“BCC”) and Beaumaris Lawn Tennis Club (“BLTC”) are working together on securing a long term lease of the Banksia Reserve Pavillion (“BRP”). We are also working on an operational agreement that will ensure the rights and needs of all clubs will be met (including the Beaumaris RSL), and that the BRP provides a great social environment for all club members and the community at large.
I look forward to updating all members with more information soon.

The History of Our Great Club
Life member and Former President Ron Nicholson is well known to many at the Sharks. Ron is putting together a book on the history of the Beaumaris Sharks. It will be so good for all our Shark Community to read it and understand how our great club was formed. 
Ron recently sent me a few pages as part of a reference he has done for the BFC.
Below is one paragraph I extracted. I find it fascinating. I can’t wait to read the whole book.
"The Beaumaris Football Club has had a very proud history since our inception as a grassroots, community based, volunteer organization. We were founded as a result of a series of local community meetings held at the Beaumaris RSL in 1962. Our club started its very humble beginnings at Oak Street , with four teams operating at an unfenced oval and from an extremely small pavilion with no lighting, canteen or social facilities. My belief is that the land had been bequeathed to the Sandringham Council by the large American conglomerate, the Dunlop Rubber and Sporting Goods Company, which had bought a large parcel of land (180 Hectares) within the suburb of Beaumaris in 1939, just prior to the Second World War. Dunlop had originally intended to house an Industrial Park and Workers Estate there but fortunately after the war there were several hurdles placed in that development by the then Sandringham Council. With the increasing demand for residential land following the war, Dunlop decided to scrap their original plans and hold a widely advertised auction of several hundred housing blocks in a marquee on Tramway Parade in the Spring of 1951. The arrangement with the council was for Dunlop to donate the block on which the Banksia Reserve is now located as an area for the purposes of community sport and recreation. I know from personal experience that a large portion of that block was swamp land where the local kids, including myself, once fished for tadpoles"
I can picture Ron fishing for tadpoles with his mates. Then don the jumper for the Sharks, then coach and later become President, a Life Member and official club historian. To this day, Ron's contribution to the club as a volunteer is enormous and extremely valued. Great stuff. I can’t wait for the book Ronny.

I also wanted to mention that our thoughts and Sharks love are with Life Members Mick Wearne and Simon Massey at this challenging time for them personally.

In closing, I would especially like to thank all our sponsors. They have remained loyal and committed. I can't thank them enough for their overwhelming support. I encourage our members and supporters to reciprocate where possible. A club like ours cannot operate without the backing of its sponsors. I would personally like to thank each and every one of them.
In the meantime, I hope everyone stays healthy and happy and lets look forward to the junior footy starting on Sunday July 12.
Fins Up Sharks,

Terry Lucas - Club President