Welcome to the March newsletter!
As we approach the start of the season, there has been a hive of activity around the club with many teams taking part in pre-season tournaments and friendlies and our club rooms and dressing rooms all getting prepped up to be ready for the big kick-off next month.
Our NPLW side took part in the traditional pre-season night series competition, and whilst they didn't make it to the semi-final stages they showed glimpses in their games that the hard work put in during pre-season so far is starting to pay dividends.
Our Metro teams have also been in action with our Division 2 side hosting a representative side from Newman on Friday the 12th of March, and our Division 1 side playing in a one-day tournament at Armadale last Sunday.
The Division 2 team won their encounter but more importantly they showed our visitors fantastic hospitality and formed a great relationship with players and officials from the Newman region. Congratulations ladies!
Our Metro 1 side had an exhausting but hugely successful day last Sunday and played some terrific football on their way to the final which they narrowly lost in a penalty shoot-out. Playing against teams that were much older than them, they earned plaudits for the style of football they displayed and we offer them our warmest congratulations.
On Sunday 14 March, we celebrated the launch of the 2021 season campaign at Celebration Park. While looking forward to the season with optimism, we also celebrated the culture that has been built over the past two decades by some dedicated servants of the club and handed out life membership awards and a 250 game memorial plaque to our most capped player.
Life memberships were given to current players Carla Bennett and Emily Dunn and former player, now an assistant coach at Lazio, Nicola Williams, all of whom have played more than 200 senior games for Northern Redbacks.
We also awarded life membership to Keith Anderson for more than ten years’ service to the club as a volunteer, coach and committee member in most offices including President, Treasurer and Registrar, and a life membership plaque was presented to Tim Hodgson, which supplemented his life member award from the 2012 club AGM.
Carla Bennett was given formal recognition of her record-breaking 250 senior appearances by the club with a commemorative plaque that was awarded to her by representatives from our Platinum Sponsors, EPIROC. Carla’s interview on Sandy Bay media contains several stories which should provide inspiration for our younger players.
To help us launch the season, we were delighted to have a few special guests in attendance, and they included our platinum sponsors, EPIROC, our junior silver sponsors, Total Concrete and newly elected MLA for Mirrabooka, Meredith Hammat. We also acknowledged the generous support of our NPLW silver sponsor Saraceni Fire Engineering Group, our fitness and conditioning partner and NPLW shorts sponsor Body Fit Training Fremantle as well as our official technical kit suppliers, Onside Sports.
There was also a friendly game between our Amateur and NPLW U23 squads who took on the NTC U15's. A fitting game to highlight the incredible strength in depth that our club has in the younger age groups.
We also paid tribute to the amazing amount of work that has been done by our committee and various volunteers who have moved mountains to get things ready, not just for the season launch, but more importantly, the season ahead. The development of the NPLW has required a step up in administration and I commend all who have stepped up to the plate to meet those requirements and then some.
On Wednesday the 17th I accompanied our Club Captain, Shawn Billam, NPLW Coach, Carlos Vega Mena, and NPLW team manager Registrar Michelle Anderson to the Football West launch of the 2021 NPL Season. I may be biased, but I think our players and coaches will be some of the smartest looking in the league!
Our last committee determined to continue working on forward planning for the medium and long term to meet the demands created by the growing strength of our sport, as well as ensuring the day to day tasks of running the club are met. One position we do need help with is the role of canteen manager. It's well-stocked but we're looking for someone to take over the role. The person (or persons) who step up will be well supported by the Club’s Facilities Department. If you can fill this or any other role, please talk with your team manager of any member of the committee.
Our players really appreciate all the support they get, in whatever form it arrives!
Our search for an NPLW standard facility and Centre of Excellence is gathering pace, and representation has been made to the Cities of Wanneroo and Stirling. We are also planning on making more representation to Federal and State political representatives as we push for our vision to be realised.
We have been encouraged by the enthusiasm expressed for women’s football on her first day in the job as MLA for Mirrabooka, Meredith Hammat. We also had a very promising meeting with the Mayor of Wanneroo and her team. An announcement of our home NPLW venue for 2021 is hopefully imminent.
Our Club has a history of winning on the field. That was made possible by the dedicated work and good governance of volunteers working as a team. We are now aiming towards wins off the field also. Go Redbacks!
Yours in women’s football,
Tony Mullen President