The Mitcham Junior Football Club held its third and final Presentation Night for the competitive teams on Friday, August 21 at the Mitcham Sporting Club. With a large crowd in attendance we were able to showcase the talent we have in our Under 11, 12, 13 and 15 teams. It was a chance to thank the many volunteers who help put our teams out on the field each week along our many generous sponsors, whom without, we would not be the club that we are. The entire club was also able to help celebrate the fantastic Under 12 Premiership.
The Under 11’s kicked the night off, with Coach Jason Philacitdes speaking about the tough season his team had in 2015, unexpectedly being put up into B Division after only winning a handful of games in C Division in 2014 and then still not being re-graded after the first 4 rounds. Jason being the great coach that he is, only really spoke of the positives taken out to the season and how the boys in the long run, will gain great strength out of what they went through this year. Although the boys suffered some heavy losses during the year, they also showed great promise in some games towards the end of the season and really took it up to some very good opposition. Well done on a great season boys – the club is really proud of how you fought it out and maintained your enthusiasm and love of the game right throughout the season. Season 2016 is one you should all be looking forward to!
Under 11 Awards
BEST & FAIREST – NATHAN PHILACTIDES
BEST & FAIREST RUNNER UP – DANIEL NEWNHAM
MOST IMPROVED – DAMON EDE
MOST COURAGEOUS – DANIEL TRINDER
COACHES AWARD – HARRY APOSTOLOPOULOS
The Under 13’s were next up and Coach Shane Dickson spoke with a lot of pride in what his boys achieved as the season progressed. Starting the pre-season short on numbers and a few not sure whether they were going to play or not, Shane and his coaching staff (and particularly Team Manager Michael Frogley) worked tirelessly getting new boys along to the club. It was great to see the numbers build and even more impressive to see the group of boys develop into a close knit group who by seasons end, really started to believe in their ability to play and compete on even terms against the better team in the competition. Who can forget their game against the undefeated Ferntree Gully team at Walker park late in the season where they led for much of the day only to go down by a couple of goals. The atmosphere in the crowd that day was electric and the boys played out of their skins. To win their final game of the season against South Belgrave by 75 points was testament to the great improvement this team made over duration of the season. Well-done boys!
UNDER 13 Awards
BEST & FAIREST – MICHAEL BRADTKE
BEST & FAIREST RUNNER UP – BAILEY HUNTER
MOST IMPROVED – KYLE SMITH
MOST COURAGEOUS – NOAH HOARE
COACHES AWARD – JULIAN HOPKINS
At the half waypoint of the night, it was time announce the winner of the Graham McCallum Best Clubman Award. This year’s winner was none other than our Football Operations Manager, Gavin Ward. Has there ever been a more deserving winner of this award? What he has done for our club over several years really underlines what this award is all about. Early this year, with our Under 17’s low on numbers and not being able to field a team, Gavin worked tirelessly in trying to find a home for the existing boys, most of whom, had only ever played football for Mitcham. Gavin was instrumental in getting a deal done with Vermont where the boys could continue to play their final season of Junior football together, be it in Vermont colors. This meant Gavin’s only boy left in the Mitcham Junior program was now playing at Vermont. For most people this would have meant that they would have stepped away from the commitment of Mitcham JFC Executive Committee and Football Operations. Not Gav! He continued to strive to make our club the best it could be and never missed a beat throughout the season. Gavin ends his formal involvement with the Mitcham Junior Football Club leaving a great legacy. He has not only been a successful Premiership Coach (Under 14’s in 2012) but he has always seen the bigger picture and always thought of every Mitcham team, not just the one he and his children were involved with. He spoke with great passion about this in his acceptance speech last night – calling for people to step up and help Craig, Glenn, Vicki and Leigh on the Committee. He also spoke with great sadness about the fact he will attend a funeral of a boy he coached this week, the importance of sporting clubs in general and that the boys need to look out for their mates. Gavin has led the way with our Sponsors, set up most of our apparel, organized our Comedy Nights and other fundraising events, but above all, never stopped thinking of ways to do things better. Gavin Ward – The MItcham Junior Football Club thanks you for everything you have done for all of us. You are a legend!
The Under 15’s awards followed and Coach Cam Horsey spoke about how hard his team had worked from an early pre-season right through to the finish where they bowed out of the finals in unfortunate fashion. After only losing three games during the home and away season in a very, very even competition, they just could not put it together in the two finals they played. Cam spoke of the exciting brand of footy that these boys played during the season and how if a few little things had have gone our way at certain times, things may have been a bit different. He mentioned that the team did defeat both the eventual Grand Finalists fairly convincingly during the season and had other terrific wins along the way. Cam said that so many players had improved this year and that this had enabled him to move players around depending on the situation of the game with confidence that the players would respond to the challenge. Cam thanked the boys for a wonderful season and looks forward to coaching them next year in the Under 17’s. Lets hope the boys can take that next step!
UNDER 15 Awards
BEST & FAIREST – JARROD POWSON
BEST & FAIREST RUNNER UP – JOSH HOPKINS
MOST IMPROVED - MAX HAMMOND
MOST COURAGEOUS – TIM ROSS
COACHES AWARD – TONY KIM
The Under 12’s, fresh from their Premiership Glory last Sunday, were the final team to hand out their awards. Coach Mark Ross put on an entertaining segment, speaking about each individual player and exactly what and how they contributed to this great team. There were some great stories but none better than what the teams goals were at the start of the season and how the season was based around the catch cry “ENJOY THE CONTEST” - a term that was the main feature on their Grand Final banner. Mark spoke with pride about this team that had lost some players from last season and had picked up several new players during the pre-season. He was rapt with how quickly the new players settled in and within no time became really important members of the team. Mark presented every member of the team a little replica Premiership Cup (No expense spared there Mark J) as he went through the team from the backline, to the forward line. We also had a slide show in the background as the team put their 2015 Team Photo up on the wall in the Sporting Club alongside some legendary Mitcham Premiership teams from years gone by. The Award ceremony ended with Mark and the team, placing the Premiership Cup and Match Day football in the clubs prestigious Trophy Cabinet. The Club could not have wished to end the night in a better way. Well-done Mark and the Mitcham Under 12’s on achieving Premiership Glory! Well-done Tigers!
UNDER 12 Awards
BEST & FAIREST – JOEL MICHAELSON
BEST & FAIREST RUNNER UP – ETHAN WU
MOST IMPROVED – BLAKE MCDONOUGH
MOST COURAGEOUS – TYLER KENYON
COACHES AWARD – BEN PETTERLIN
* As always Thank you to Graham Bradkte for the excellent photos
A big shout out of thanks to Melissa Frogley on helping to set up the room and of course Macca, Luke, Jacko and Brian for running the bar throughout the evening.
A reminder to everyone that the Mitcham Football Club is currently hosting the Division 4 Finals at Walker Park. It’s a big job and requires many helpers. With our Reserves and Seniors playing next Saturday at East Burwood at the same time as the club is hosting the Division 4 Preliminary Final at Walker Park, we will be looking for as much help as possible. The Juniors always run the Dunlavin Rd. BBQ and BAR on Preliminary Final Day (Saturday, August 29) and Grand Final Day (Saturday, September5). If you can help at any time over these two weekends (even for just and hour or two), it would be much appreciated. It’s a lot of fun and you get to watch some great local football while you help out your club. Please call Glenn on 0403 121 096 if you think you can help and or require more details! #neverbeenabettertimetobeatiger