young bloods

THE Warrandyte Junior Football Club has enjoyed an exciting first half of the season with the move into the brand new clubrooms a highlight a month ago.

Joined by the netball club in early June, the club celebrated their first family night under the new roof with over 250 locals coming along to see what all the fuss was about. Needless to say, it was a fabulous night celebrating what has been a long time coming. Quite clearly the Warrandyte community is fortunate to be granted such an outstanding facility and it is due in no small part to the efforts of the Warrandyte Community Bank, Member for Warrandyte Ryan Smith, the Manningham City Council and the four tenant clubs.

All junior teams are playing competitive football with the Colts side really finding their feet in recent weeks and the prospect of finals not out of the question. Both Under 13s sides have slotted into their respective divisions well and the Under 15s under the tutelage of former AFL player Mark Trewella are sitting strongly on top of the ladder.

Meanwhile the 200 junior players are now sporting professional looking training tops with thanks to local identities Peter O’Reilly and Phil Pollock through their respective businesses A1 Office Fitouts and Cat. That along with fantastic game day attire, state of the art club rooms, a fantastic group of coaches, assistants and team managers and a dedicated and energetic committee means the Warrandyte junior players are as well presented and supported in the Yarra Junior Football League.

With a real drive within the senior football club to outperform in all areas this augurs well for the current crop of junior players to go a long way with their football in Warrandyte.

As part of the club’s desire to breed not just champion footballers but also upstanding citizens, the club is eagerly awaiting their two BETTERMAN seminars to be held on July 15 and 16 for 10-13 year old boys and 14-17 year old boys respectively. The BETTERMAN program is designed to empower young men to make a commitment to making positive life choices and building happy and healthy futures.

On a sad note, many people within the junior football club and the broader Warrandyte community are mourning the recent passing of Miki
Bilos, wife of Tony and mother of Michael who was the club vice captain in 2013, and Josh, who is a current Colts player. Miki was a fantastic contributor to the junior football club over many years, holding both committee and team management positions with distinction.
Miki’s smiling face, passion for her boys and the football club, and who was courageous in the face of adversity, will be sorely missed by all who knew her.

Heave ho, in Freo

Earlier this year the Colts side joined forces with the Doncaster Heights Dockers Junior Football Club team.

The Doncaster Heights Dockers and the Fremantle Dockers have a long standing relationship given their Docker heritage and earlier in the year the combined Warrandyte/Doncaster Heights team were invited, much to the team’s delight, to play the curtain raiser for the Fremantle v Essendon match at Patterson Stadium in mid-April. Setting off a couple of days before the game, the selected players experienced the trip of a lifetime, as 16-year-old WJFC captain Jack Poole and vice-captain Jarrah Sofarnos report:

“In April this year, 10 ten of us from the Warrandyte-Doncaster Heights Colts jumped on a plane for Perth. For a few of us this was their first time flying and we were headed across the country for a football match like no other.

“We touched down and headed straight for our hotel which was right by the home of the Fremantle Dockers. After watching them train we were taken on a tour of their clubrooms and even allowed to use their training gear to begin preparing for our match against another junior footy club from Sydney.

“In the lead up to the game we spent time training on the beach, swimming in the Indian Ocean and when we weren’t exploring the Fremantle markets by day we were touring the Fremantle Jail by night (which was a bit frightening).

“The time spent together was an incredible bonding experience and by the Sunday we were ready to play as a team.

“All 10 of us were itching for a kick and we knew this could be our only chance to play a real game on a real AFL oval. It was an amazing and oncein-a-lifetime experience. We played our hearts out on Patterson Stadium, and even managed to win, before relinquishing the field to the big boys – the Dockers and the Bombers.

“The trip lasted four days. It was an unbelievable trip that none of us will ever forget. On behalf of our teammates we’d like to thank our coaches James Yoffa and Sean Smith along with Damien Sproulle-Carrol, Dave Schwarzer and Aldo Toppi, without whom none of this would have been possible.

“Our enormous thanks also goes to the many people behind the scenes who did such an amazing job organising the trip and to the Fremantle Dockers Football Club for inviting us to play on their home field and for giving us this fantastic opportunity.”
Warrandyte Diary – Issue 2014_7