Presidents Report 2017 - Matt Cook

16 October 2017

MWFL PRESIDENTS REPORT 2017

I have enjoyed the challenge of being the Mid-West President this year, but this is only made possible with the helpful support from everyone. In particular, I would like to thank Leanne McArdle, as secretary, who has promptly and efficiently dealt with meetings and correspondence on everything to do with the running of the League. Also, Peter Cock, as Vice President, for his untiring help and wise guidance. Kelly O’Brien for her great job as Treasurer over the last four years. Shane and Cindy Best for their organised coordination of the juniors, for the Port Adelaide Cup and the Kinlough Cup. Andrew Buckham as recorder, doing much of what he does behind the scenes, helping keep the League running smoothly and also steadily progressing with a photographic history of our clubs. A special mention must be made to Wade Shepperd as the Umpires Coordinator and the umpiring panel and the various club umpires that put their hands up during the season…. as we all know, without umpires we don’t have a game. We are very fortunate to have such capable panel umpires that also represent our League during finals – thank-you. Our League Commissioner, Ned Luscombe and Tribunal Secretary, Bert Kwaterski were also an essential part of the successful running of our League. As well, mention must be made of our club delegates for their dedication to the League and the suggestions and good ideas they often put forward to help improve the running of the League. Also, the clubs for very successfully hosting the minor round and finals and for the various people involved, both during the season and the finals as goal umpires, boundary umpires, time-keepers and anyone else, often behind the scenes doing relatively thankless tasks. A big thank-you - It is much appreciated.

During the year, our Interleague sides had some early success in May, with the A’s and the U17’s winning their games against Eastern Eyre. However, the representation of the Mid-West League by the Port Adelaide Cup, Kinlough Cup and Mortlock Shield sides, despite admirable efforts, came 6th, 4th and 7th positions respectively. I am sure you would all agree that having to play in the ‘early’ game next year is not where Mid-West want to be. There is the promise of better things to come in 2018. I would like to thank all the players that stood up and made themselves available at trainings and selections, along with the coaches and support staff for their efforts in Representative football. A thank-you also goes to parents and supporters of junior players for their dedication to getting them to trainings and games. Well done to players that represented the EP sides, including McKenzie Best, Zac Lovegrove and Jonti Brice in the U15’s, Jay Johns and Kahil Evans in the U17’s and Jesse Stringer, Zac Fitzgerald (injured), Adam Hurrell, Tasman Fitzgerald, Scott Feltus as selector and runner and Craig Sampson as trainer in the Senior EP side. Also, a special acknowledgement must be made of Harrison Petty being selected in the U18 National Carnival, gaining All Australian Selection and now entered in this year’s draft.

Congratulations to this year’s Grand Finalists. It is hard enough to get to a Grand Final, let alone winning one. Grand Final success was shared around, with Central Eyre in the A grade, Western Districts in the B Grade and West Coast Hawks in the Colts. As an interesting aside, now that Western Districts have finally won a B grade Grand Final, all clubs have now won a B grade flag. Well done in A Grade to Mail Medallist - Dylan Kelsh, the Presidents Medal – shared by Ryan Watson and Cameron Montgomerie, the JV Day Best U21 – Jake McEvoy, the JH McKenna Leading Goal Kicker – Aiden Whitford with 66 goals, and the Flow FM Most Valuable Player – Jack Lange. In B Grade, the Montgomerie Medal – Shard Gosling and the Bob Whetstone Medal – David Moyse, and in the Colts, the Lockwood Medallist – Ryan Lymn and the Doug Fox Medallist – Corey Waters. Finally, Mortlock Shield Life Memberships were awarded to Scott Feltus and Andrew Buckham, both characteristically reluctant in accepting, but very deserved recipients.

As with previous seasons, this year has not been without incident or challenges. As we all know, there are the continued difficulties of clubs retaining young players and recruiting players, more often than not, from the same recruiting zones. This has affects on a clubs selection depth and results in difficulties filling sides, in particular B Grade and Colts, with some forfeits, although at this stage the situation is not getting any worse. Neighbouring Leagues seeing some of Mid-West’s difficulties, continue to pressure for League restructures and amalgamations, realising that the successful Mid-West League, with six clubs is the corner stone preventing this from happening. Administration by club volunteers has increased with regular requirements to report player payments, a salary cap and points systems. Just getting competent club volunteers is always a challenge in itself. Players, club officials and supporters were reminded again of social media abuse, abuse towards umpires and sling-tackling, the former issue being resolved and the latter issues successfully addressed and acted upon, with immediate and sustained improvements. There are organisational issues with representative football along with player commitment problems. As well, our panel and club umpiring numbers are dwindling, with difficulties recruiting trainee umpires. Both the representative football and umpire issues are critical for our Leagues success and need addressing prior to the start of next season. These issues cannot be solved in one year, and will require an ongoing focus in the next few years by the League for there not to be problems in the future.

All in all, we have had a very successful year of football in 2017, and we anticipate another great year in 2018.

Once again, I thank everyone for the help I have received this year, and look forward to next year.

Matthew Cook

President

Mid West Football League




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