Much has changed in the world since pre-season training commenced this year as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Club Committee resolved to monitor and disseminate appropriate updates using Football West, the FFA, Health Department and Smartraveller. Since that time Football West has cancelled all football activities and is liaising with the state government on behalf of the football community.
We will continue to publish updates on as many media platforms as possible, and timely decisions will continue to be made in order to look after the health and well-being of our members. In the meantime, coaches have been distributing challenges to the players to maintain their sharpness and good mental health.
One difficult decision that has had to be made in relation to the uncertainty around the pandemic and to ease the pressure building on some families was to withdraw from the 2020 Gothia Cup. It was sad having to do this, particularly after all the work that had been done on and off the park by the squad, support staff and parents, not to mention the promise being shown by this team!
However, to quote our Club Vice President, Michael Waller, “This is a great club and all we are really doing is taking a pause on behalf of the greater community. Being part of this club means looking after each other and staying in contact with each other. Gothia Cup is a great opportunity, but there will be others as the club is active in expanding our footprint across world tournaments There is probably more than one soccer ball in every household for our club members – get out there in the backyard or oval and keep playing. Keep loving this great game".
The club will work hard to find an alternative for this team if the parents and players are still keen to participate in a tournament.
Whilst we aren't currently playing, we look forward to the time when we will eventually do so, and we are delighted to announce a full complement of excellent coaches for the 2020 season. The U14's will be looked after by Alistair McMurdo, the U16's by Carlos Vega Mena and the U18's by Cameron Robertson. Our Metro-North 1 team will be in the capable hands of Michael Rosa and the Amateurs coach is Shane Atkins. The NPL U23's will be coached by a newcomer to the club, Kevin Punselie, and our NPLW team will be in the safe hands of last season's coach of the year Conrad McKelvie who will be ably assisted by Greg Farrell. All of the club's goalkeepers will be ably coached by Nick Celenza. During the short pre-season, it was great to observe the laughter and enjoyment on the training track as the players responded to the high expectations placed on them by these coaches.
It was also great to see so many young players feature in our senior team during the NPLW Night Series. We were eliminated in the semifinals but displayed composure and dominance throughout most of the matches.
In March our club participated in the launch of the NPL men’s and women’s season at Dorrien Gardens. The Minister for Sport, the Hon Mick Murray, provided his enthusiastic support for our game. Our club captain, Shawn Billam was front and central in the official launch photograph of team captains and senior coach Conrad McKelvie was on stage for the panel discussion.
A good number of roles have been filled by volunteers to keep the club progressing as the season approaches. However, the committee has identified a number of positions that still need filling. These include a person responsible for sourcing funding opportunities and completing grant applications and also a contact responsible for sponsorship. If you are able to help with these or in any other capacity, please let me or any of the committee know. I and Committee/Directors will approach each team for volunteers as soon as circumstances allow.
The Club’s social media presence has been recognized by the Women’s FIFA World Cup official Instagram account as part of their campaign highlighting women’s teams around the world. Congratulations to our media director Neil Bennett on a job well done. Neil will be relying on each team to post pictures and/or videos from each of their matches which can be published on the Club’s social media. Creativity in this time of social distancing will be most welcome!
So, until the next newsletter, please adhere to the guidelines issued by our medical experts and stay safe! We’ll hope that the inaugural NPLW season kicks off this year, that all our players get to kick a ball around the park with their teammates and that club members get to cheer on some of the other teams within the Club.