Club History 2016 

2016 saw continued growth with 431 active members playing in an equal record 20 teams. This included 4 girls’ teams. Our on field success is obviously giving so many young boys and girls the opportunity to play our great game, Aussie Rules Football, in a safe, supportive and inclusive environment. This culminated in 3 Premierships teams, 3 Grand Finalist teams, 1 in finals and 2 Lightening Premierships. This year also  excelled in a very high level of St Peters FC representing SMJFL Interleague.

Our success off the field has also been outstanding. This year we invited the under 15s, 16’s and 17’s to a seminar called “Taking the Tackle”. This seminar with video and conversation provided these boys with an understanding and educational view that violence against women in any form is not acceptable.

AFL Victoria and the SMJFL requested that all clubs in their league re-submit their accreditations with their new criteria before the start of the season. This was an impossible task and unrealistic time frame. St Peters Football Club have however completed our accreditation (stage one) and are the only SMJFL to be accepted so far. Thanks to Vicki Durston in her new role as Club Secretary for taking on this mammoth job. Her commitment, tireless hours and expertise has been truly remarkable and we would not have achieved this without her.

We appointed our first Director of Coaching, Sam Calogero. Sam’s position was to coach the coaches and instil out SPFC culture with his expert game day advice, up to date training methods and assist our coaching co-ordinators. Sam’s appointment has been a huge success, especially bringing all the coaches together with the same ambitions and expectations that are required to coach at a junior level.

The new Julie Cooper pavilion had its first full season in 2016. We now have a pavilion that we can now call home. Thank you to all the past committees that have had previous influence in giving our players the best possible facilities available.

As part of the 60 year anniversary the Heritage Round was introduced as well as the introduction of the Presidents medal to our best and fairest on the day for both the U17’s and U18 Youth girls. The heritage round saw the new heritage jumper launched and being worn during this round. This will now become an ongoing tradition for our club.

The 60th Anniversary Gala event was held at the Yarra Yarra Golf Club. It was wonderful to see so many past players, committee members, coaches that have established our club as one of the best in the SMJFL. Thank you to LIfe Member, Rosa Beverige, for her commitment as patron for our 60th anniversary year. After 60 years of tradition and success our club is growing and excelling in junior football. 

2016 Life Membership

Life Memberships were awarded to Chelle Dingwall and Robyn O'Toole


2016 Eddie Griffin Award

The Eddie Griffin Award went to Paul O'Toole. 


2016 Beveridge Family Award

The Beveridge Award went to Kane O'Toole.


2016 Wardlaw Family Award

The Wardlaw Family Award went to Liv Gleeson.


Club History 2015 

This year St Peters fielded 19 teams (including 3 girls teams), 8 of a possible 13 of these teams made the finals, 4 made Grand Finals and 3 won premierships. That is a very successful season for any club in terms of on field success, and I congratulate all teams for their efforts throughout season 2015.

At the recent SMJFL League Awards Presentation event, St Peters FC was awarded Runners Up in the category for Best Conducted Club. To be adjudged the 2nd best conducted club out of 27 clubs in the competition is a credit to many on the committee, the football department, and also all those that performed an official role for a team this year. Coaches, Team Managers, Runners, Medical staff, etc.   

Our U8’s had a successful first year of football at St Peters and this culminated in them holding a joint presentation day which was great to see. There is enormous value and benefit gained from operating as an entire squad from the earliest possible opportunity. This does come with some headaches, pains and a few upset parents, but this is where our club’s ability as a football department and committee to deal with these challenges fairly and respectfully, is so important. And on that note I would like to particularly thank Anthony Grant as the U8/9 age group coordinator for the way he dealt with all parents and players in the U8’s. Anthony is a true leader and demonstrated great empathy and assertiveness in this part of his role this season. And it was his very first year at the club. Anthony is a true leader and a person that St Peters FC needs to be very appreciative of.

This year we also experienced something that many of us never thought we would. And that was the completion of the new Julie Cooper Pavilion at Centenary Park. I am so pleased that we were all able to enjoy a few weeks in the new pavilion and thank all those involved over many years of meetings, phone calls, emails, to ensure that the future players and families of St Peters Football Club would have a modern and functional facility to use and enjoy as part of their football journey with St Peters FC.

Throughout this process, and particularly during this season, we have greatly enhanced our positive relationship with the Bentleigh Uniting Cricket Club. 

This year SPFC saw the continuance of the high level of player representation at Interleague and TAC Cup level. This is a credit to the boys’ hard work and dedication to their games but also to their coaches and support personnel, keeping the players focussed on getting the best out of themselves but also to maintain their love and enjoyment of the game.

This year SPFC Football Department made the recommendation to the Committee (which was subsequently accepted) to identify and appoint a Director of Coaching for the 2016 season. This appointment will be the first official paid position within the club and with 15 of the 27 other clubs in the SMJFL already having made a similar appointment, we are making this move to avoid becoming somewhat left behind the rest of the competition in the area of future team, coach and player development. Thanks to Football Department members Tim Jane, Anthony Grant, Kara Malley, Brent Gleeson, Damian Gleeson and myself for their efforts in developing and Position Description and Key Performance Indicators and for bringing this position to a reality. Whilst an appointment is still to be made, the quality groundwork has been done and should ensure a quality appointment is made for the club to benefit from in season 2016 and beyond.  

2015 Life Membership

Life Memberships were awarded to Tim Jane and Lyle Horsnell

2015 Eddie Griffin Award

The Eddie Griffin Award went to Anthony Grant and Lyle Horsnell.

2015 Beveridge Family Award

The Beveridge Award went to Ben Dance. 

Chris Harrington



Club History 2014

The season began with some unforeseen changes to the make-up of the committee, with some committee members having to relinquish their positions for various reasons. Such is the generous nature of our club members, the support arrived from many helpers and the season commenced relatively smoothly.

With the introduction of an U8 competition to the SMJFL, St Peters was of course right in the thick of it with two brand new U8 teams ready and raring to go! Thanks to the two inaugural U8 coaches, Rachel Matthews and Brett Howe. Both Rachel and Brett did a sensational job to introduce two groups of young footballers to the competition and also to St Peters. Their efforts in coaching football for the first time as well as adapting to a new competition with modified rules, and the challenges that this presents was absolutely outstanding. The reports from both coaches were that the players and parents thoroughly enjoyed their first year playing footy at St Peters.

The Youth Girls Football Competition entered its 4th year with the SMJFL and St Peters continued its pioneer role in the development and growth of this competition, fielding 3 teams in the girl’s competition for 2014. Coaches Maree Ohlson (U11), Colin Cochrane (U13) and Jay Wardlaw (assisted ably by Alex Elias and Bernard O’Meara) (U16) were terrific mentors to the 3 teams, and the girls performed brilliantly, with the U13’s making the Grand Final. Maree Ohlson was also nominated as a candidate for the SMJFL Junior Coach of the Year, and attended the official awards ceremony hosted by the league. A terrific achievement for a first year coach and a credit to the way Maree approached her role this year.

St Peters are so much at the coalface of this expansion that we took the initiative of hosting and convening a Forum on Youth Girls Football on the 10th September, where we welcomed delegates from over 15 other clubs as they came together to participate in a forum designed to bring out the best ideas and strategies for the continued growth and development of youth Girls Football. Special thanks to Colin Cochrane for initiating this forum and to Robyn Cochrane who provided the professional facilitation services for the forum. A comprehensive document of the results of this forum will be produced and circulated to the participating clubs as well as the SMJFL for their information, review, and hopefully, their action.

St Peters fielded a record number of 20 teams this year, compared to 18 in 2013 and 17 in 2012. A sign that our club continues to grow and attract players and families from the surrounding areas. Well supported by St Peters and Coatesville Auskick programs and the fantastic Auskick Co-Ordinators in Damien Gleeson (St Peters) and Dan Burmeister (Coatesville).

The growth in our club this year saw a record number of players register to play football at St Peters FC. 415 boys and girls along with their families registered with our club this year, as compared to 348 in 2013.


2014 saw all but 4 teams from our entire club participate in finals, which is a sensational achievement. It shows that our structures around coaching appointments are healthy; it shows that our attention to rotating players through positions in the modified rules and younger age groups is showing signs of success; it shows that our focus on performing grading from U11’s onwards is working; and it shows that the players themselves are developing and improving.

We can always get better at this however, and that is the most exciting part of being involved in the football side of our club operations.

Of the record 9 teams that we had participate in finals, 3 of those made Grand Finals, and 1 team missed out on playing in the Grand Final by 3 points in a nail biting Preliminary Final.

Whilst we were unable to achieve the ultimate success of winning a Premiership from these 3 Grand Finals, the performances of all of the teams in finals was terrific and is to be highly commended.

Whilst football has and always will be a team sport, it has also always rewarded the feats and achievements of individuals.

This year St Peters were well in the spotlight in this regard.

We had players involved in the Interleague squads from U13’s, 14’s and 15’s. We also had a high number of players in the U16’s & U17’s Sandringham Dragons program. St Peters also had over 6 players invited to attend the SMJFL League Best & Fairest Presentation nights. This means that each player made the top 3 Best players in their age group and division. A sensational achievement by these players.

2014 also saw the majority of the group of U17’s complete their playing journey with St Peters FC. I’d like to on behalf of the entire committee and club congratulate the U17 team of 2014 for their efforts this year and also to the many of that group who have played their whole junior football career to date with our club, we thank you and hope you have learned a lot, developed life-long friendships, but most importantly have enjoyed playing footy with the red and green jumper on.

Centenary Park – Julie Cooper Pavilion

For over a decade now, many people from within the St Peters FC have been campaigning for a refurbishment to be made to the ailing and neglected Julie Cooper pavilion at Centenary Park. Whilst the SMJFL and no doubt other sporting associations increase the pressure on us as the tenants of this fantastic park to host additional games there, our cries for a more modern and appropriate pavilion to be supplied to accommodate this extra activity, and the people that come with it have been largely ignored in favour of new developments in other areas within our electorate. Fortunately though, thanks to the persistence of many St Peters people, we have finally seen some action. The Julie Cooper Pavilion is now gone and the foundations of a modern but modest pavilion have been laid, and the first load of concrete has been poured. The St Peters players and parents of 2015 and beyond will enjoy the fruits of the labour of many people who have already finished their time with the club and some others who only have a short time left before they too have sons and daughters finishing their playing time at St Peters. But that’s OK however, because that’s what a close community of quality people who share a common interest do for each other. They build structures and environments now while they can, for the benefit of those present now, and also for those yet to reach the age of participation.

A target completion date of April next year may not necessarily be reached, but we can expect that sometime in 2015 we will be invited to attend the unveiling of a brand new pavilion and complex that our sons and daughters can enjoy whilst representing our great club.


This year the club again held a very successful Trivia Night. The Coatesville Bowling Club hosted many club members including a large contingent of parents new to the club this year, which was terrific to see. They, like the rest of us had a fantastic night and helped to raise valuable funds for the benefit of all St Peters FC players. 

We also held a social night with the assistance of the lads from Bogan Bingo. A novelty company that allows many mums and dads to delve into their inner Bogan, dig out their flannelette shirts and AC/DC t-shirts and dance the night away. 

Thanks again to Chelle & Kel Dingwall, Sue Aloi and the many other helpers that put together these events this year. They are a lot of work but are well worth the effort.  

2014 Life Members

Each year there exists the ability for members to nominate another club member for Life Membership of the St Peters FC. This year Life membership was awarded to Brent Gleeson. Brent has been a tireless worker and supporter of the club for many years, and has served the club in almost every capacity possible. Form Boundary Umpire to Goal Umpire, to runner, Coach and also Committee Member. This year Brent joined me in taking on the role of Joint Vice President of the club and his work rate and calm and reasonable manner once again came to the fore. A worthy recipient of the Life Member award. Congratulation Brent.

2014 Eddie Griffin Award

The Eddie Griffin was awarded to Chelle Dingwall. Another worthy winner of this award, Chelle performed many roles for the club this year including Canteen Co-Ordinator, Events Co- ordinator, Sub Committee member and also membership fee administration and supporting the Treasurer with the many financial functions that go with running a successful club like St Peters FC. Keen to avoid the spotlight and happy to go about her business in an unassuming manner, Chelle was suitably embarrassed when the committee turned up at her home to present her with the award, and captured it all on video! Another reason for those Facebook users to ‘Like’ the St Peters Facebook Page!

2014 Beveridge Family Award

Congratulations also to Nicky Joseph from the U17’s who won the 2014 Beveridge Award. Nicky has played all of his footy with St Peters from Auskick to U9’s then right through to the U17’s. He has been an exemplary representative of the club and has displayed exceptional sportsmanship and provided outstanding service to St Peters FC. It was great to see Life Member Mrs Rosa Beveridge and her daughter Cath Beveridge-Knights attend the Club Presentation Night to present the award to Nicky. 


Brent Gleeson & Chris Harrington



Club History 2013

The start to the 2013 season had 19 teams enter the competition with 15 sides making finals or lightening carnivals which resulted in 2 premierships and 3 pennants.

While all teams were competitive in their divisions our grading policy being a simple one is designed around striving for the highest division possible.

The St Peters Auskick program continued to grow under the leadership of Damian Gleeson who worked very closely with the Coatesville Auskick ensuring the association continues to benefit the local community.

Our girls program went from strength to strength as St Peters lead the way in the number of teams and their success.

The highlight of the year was our flagship team of Under 17’s coached by Peter Clements wining a nail biting grand final.  While our team on the day was well supported by a remarkable number of club families the manner in which our boys went about the task was impressive. Peter Clements supported by Sue Drummond as Team Manager balanced and juggled their list of 30 players ensuring they all contributed to the well deserved premiership.

Another huge highlight was again the Under 15’s girls wining back to back premierships. Undefeated all season these girls were again coached by Hayley Lyons (SMJFL 2012 Female Coach of the Year) and assisted by Helen Gleeson as Team Manager. Remarkably Hayley also completed her final year of VCE however remained committed in support of her players and the club.

The girls lightening Carnival words can’t describe. The weather conditions were atrocious with 7°c being the top temp with rain and mud never seen before. Our Under 12’s battled through the elements being triumphant wining 4 matches. Our Under 12 Girls were coached by Colin Cochrane and supported by Gina Hartwig as Team Manager. Our Under 10 girls both red and green also competed on the same day in the same weather conditions however the green team coached by Tim Jane was successful wining their pennant.

Our Under 9’s Silver team coached by Tony Murphy and Tony McCulloch, having not won a match all season, won their premiership. There is a great foundation now set for the playing future at St Peters with our young boys and girls all participating in the sport of their choice.

Off field success came with the club being awarded Gold Accreditation by AFL Victoria. Gold accreditation recognises St Peters JFC as one of the best run and administrated clubs in Victoria with only two other junior clubs within the state holding the same accreditation.

A new electronic scoreboard commissioned early in the season is now the envoy of many clubs. Hard work by Steve Ingham dealing with Council together with Guy and Sue Aloi made this possible and they should be congratulated.

Our community program this year focussed on Cyber Safety, hosted by Susan McLean and attended by both players and parents was an enormous success. The event was also attended by the sitting State Member for Bentleigh – Elizabeth Miller who then went onto report the community event in the Victoria Parliament House of Representatives during the Hansard Report.

This year again the club induct as Life Members for 2013 into St Peters JFC – Kara Malley and Mark Dance.  Both Mark and Kara were warmly received on the night with their life member badges presented by Ray Nielsen a life member now for many years who remains very well respected around St Peters. 

2013 St Peters JFC - Beverage Family Perpetual Award
This award is presented to an under 17’s player for exceptional sportsmanship and service to the club of course voted by the Committee. This very prestigious award was struck in honour of Phillip Jefferson, an outstanding sportsman and an ornament to the club who sadly lost his life at a young age in a traffic accident many years ago.  We had an outstanding list of candidates to choose from making the task difficult there was no one more qualified than the recipient Thomas Still. What an outstanding young man, one who we know will go onto playing a high and competitive brand of football synonymous to the Still name.

2013 St Peters JFC - Life Member Award

Kara Malley – The matriarch of St Peters for many years. She has developed and evolved our club into the one of the best run and administered junior clubs in Victoria if not Australia. Our gold accreditation is due to Kara and her drive to excel for the betterment of our club both now and for the future. Kara has been for years the ‘go to’ person for the club given her knowledge in the area of technology, administration and marketing.

Mark Dance – joined the St Peters JFC in 2006 with the foresight of Paul O’Toole. Mark was quickly elevated to Vice President then shortly became President where he set about to grow the club into a community based club. Both Mark and Kara showed initiatives by including community programs to assist our youths with life skills, programs such as TAC Education nights, Cyber Safety Information nights, Youth Mental Health Awareness etc They were also instrumental in introducing girls football and of course our Under 18’s Colts team.


Club History 2012

The start to the 2012 season was again a whirlwind with this year St Peters entering the competition with 18 Teams.

St Peters entered for the very first time in history an Under 18’s team into the SFL competition, a competition known or recognised as The Colts. Finishing second on the ladder at the completion of the home and away season our boys played fierce finals football only loosing in the dying minutes of the preliminary final against Murrumbeena by 11 points. I’d like to express my congratulations to Steve Cathcart (Coach), Brian Cathcart (Assistant Coach) and Mitch Kent (Captain) for the amount of work and effort they displayed throughout the year to ensure the inaugural Colts was successful.

Our clubs resources where stretched this year with the inclusion of three girl’s teams being - U10’s U12’s and U14’s all guided and overseen by Jay Wardlaw. This year of course our Girls U14’s went onto win their grand final coached by Hayley Lyons and captained by Lizzy Wardlaw. A marvellous display of football was witnessed week in and week out by a tremendous parental group who were prepared to battle some of the coldest nights in support of their girls.

The year also had our Under 9’s Navy Team win the Leagues Lightening Carnival at King George Reserve with both Calum Parker (Coach) assisted by Mick Lawrence (Team Manager) having a remarkable season. Again this year we managed three U9’s teams, something that appears year in year out.

The season also exposed both U14’s, Coached by Andrew Hibbert and Steve Sziller, along with our U17’s Coached by Tim Jane to finals, all of which were gallant in defeat against some very strong and perhaps manipulative competition.

The 2012 St Peters Auskick program, under the guidance of coordinator Dave Brigazzi was outstanding. Coatesville Auskick this season overseen by the McCulloch Brothers remains an integral part of the St Peters JFC and must remain as part of our long term strategy.

Congratulations also goes to all our Coaches, Team Managers and support parents who this year helped to ensure we operate in a wonderful and safe sporing environment for our children

Our off field activities including our 2012 St Peters Junior Football Ladies Lunch held at the South Oakleigh Club hosting around 120 ladies. The Luncheon focus this year was in support of Ovarian Cancer with St Peters JFC donating considerable funds to a very worthy cause. Another wonderful contribution and effort by Deb Vassiliadis to ensure this event was successful.

Our Beverage Family Perpetual Award is presented to an Under 17’s player for outstanding sportsmanship and service to the club. Having this year an outstanding list of candidates to choose from appeared a difficult task, or was it.

This year again the club was extremely proud to induct as Life Members for 2012 into St Peters JFC – Marty Lyons, Sylvia Young and Geoff Still. All three were so warmly received on the night with their life member badges presented by last year’s recipient, Sue Drummond.

2012 St Peters JFC - Beverage Family Perpetual Award

This award is presented to an under 17’s player for exceptional sportsmanship and service to the club of course voted by the Committee. This very prestigious award was struck in honour of Phillip Jefferson, an outstanding sportsman and an ornament to the club who sadly lost his life at a young age in a traffic accident many years ago. As mentioned previously we had and outstanding list of candidates to choose making the task difficult however there was no more qualified than this years recipient Lachlan Harkness. What an outstanding young man, one we’re lucky to have as part of our club and the greater community.

2012 St Peters JFC - Life Member Award

Marty Lyons - for many years Marty has been involved with junior football either as a Committee Member, Football Director, Coaches Co-ordinator, Trainer, Coach or game day helper. Marty’s knowledge of junior and senior football is very well known and most certainly well respected at all clubs not just ours.

Sylvia Young – just an outstanding servant to our club and the boys. Sylvia has always placed the players first and foremost. She’s provided Committee support to the club for many years, while also providing game day support as Team Manager, Umpires Escort, Time Keeper etc etc. There is nothing Sylvia isn’t prepared to do in support of her boys and inturn our club.

Geoff Still – experience and knowledge at all levels is Geoff. Stilly as he’s known is all about the kids and their development. Geoff has served on the Committee as Coaches Co-ordinator for a number of years leading the club through some difficult times. He’s coached at all levels around the club from U9’s to U17’s and is someone well respected for his knowledge of the game.


Club History 2011

Following a tumultuous off season with the old MSJFL delegates being ousted by AFL Victoria the Clubs voted in an independent board meaning there was very little break for Club Executives between season. St Peters JFC however supported by a tremendous committee launched into the season with 15 teams including 3 U9’s and 2 U17’s followed mid season with an inaugural girls only U12’s team coached by Jay Wardlaw and assisted by Hayley Lyons. The girls competition is governed and supported by the AFL offering modified rules while encompassing a carnival type match day. The interest and enthusiasm from both girls and their parents in support of this competition has been overwhelming and recognised now as part of our clubs future.

Our off field activities including our 2011 St Peters Junior Football Ladies Lunch held at the South Oakleigh Club hosted well over 120 ladies. The Luncheon focus this year was in support of the Jim Stynes – Reach Foundation with St Peters JFC raising a charitable donation of $600 to the very worthy cause. The club also this season went onto gain its AFL – Club Quality Sliver Level Accreditation Award. The quality club program is a program recognising club standards and administration all designed to reward football clubs for achieving a base standard of club administration through to levels of excellence.

Our on field activities were very successful as we witnessed our Under 9’s and 10’s lightning carnival season kicking off with 2 premierships followed on with our U13’, 15’s, 16’s and both 17’s all participating in end of year finals activities. The committee having decided our club would not host finals this year proved pertinent as it allowed and freed up many of those who’d normally offer their services on a roster to attend games in support of our boys, their teams and our club. The finals campaign finished of course for our U13’s, 15’s and 17’s Green all being knocked out in preliminary finals however their participation and endeavour on game day was exemplary.

The battle continued of course with our U16’s coached by Tim Jane and U17’s Red Team coached by both Steve and Brian Cathcart as they lead their sides into grand finals, both providing success for our boys and the club. Their efforts of course were well support by an enormous strong St Peters crowd who’d come along to witness a long awaited premiership cup and flag.

Our Beverage Family Perpetual Award is presented to an Under 17’s player for outstanding sportsmanship and service to the club. Having twoU17’s this year meant there sere two prestigious awards presented having Kevin Harris and Lucas Forato being very worthy winners.

This year surely unites us all as we induct as Life Members into St Peters JFC - Sue Drummond, Peter Clements and Paul O’Toole.

Sue Drummond for over a decade has been involved with junior football either as a Committee member carrying out a five year stint as property manager, fundraiser and presentation night coordinator. Sue has also been actively involved throughout this period as a trainer on match day.

Peter Clements over his time has been involved in 14 years of unbroken service for St Peters JFC. Peter’s taken on every position within the club from Coach to President having of course demonstrated enormous loyalty through some tumultuous years. Peter in 2011 remained committed to the club being actively involved as assistant coach and a mentoring role to the U16’s premiership side this season.

Paul O’Toole for many is very much the face of the club, his involvement extends from playing for the club in the 70’s, to coaching some 30 years later. We all now witness the next generation of O’Toole’s in the playing group at St Peters. Paul went on to support the club during difficult times in 2006 being elected as President and being the first to do so having played as a junior at the club

Mark Dance – President


Club History 2010

Starting the season with 16 teams consisting of 340 players the numbers were boosted by our very successful Auskick clinics at both St Peters and Coatesville, in total over 500 children participated in our wonderful community sporting activity.

Certainly it proved successful on field having won a premiership flag with our Under 14’s followed by three runners up, Under 13’s North, Under 16’s Div and Under 17’s Div 1 all finishing with tight marginal games and all being conducted in tremendous spirit.

Having many of our boys represent the club at Interleague and Sandringham Dragons level was an outstanding achievement and credit to our young players. Also encouraging was to have many of our boys finish well within the top ranks of the leader board during the Moorabbin Saints Junior Football Leagues best and fairest counts. All in all the players conduct both on an off the field with the St Peters Junior Football Club has been this year exemplary.

Off the field highlighted how successful we can be with dedicated and committed people running and supporting this club of 54 years. This years community program and focus was placed on Youth Mental Health, with the help of Southern Football League and St James Secondary College, the St Peters Junior Football club hosted an evening specifically dedicated to mental health and youth depression with overwhelming success. Followed shortly after was our 2010 St Peters Junior Football Club Ladies Luncheon also raising awareness of mental health within our community and donating proceeds to the Lantern Group – Shining Light on Mental Health

Arguably the largest crowd ever to attend an official St Peters Junior Football Club function turned out at the Bentleigh Club on Friday night to farewell our Under 17’s, and certainly it was a night to remember. The inclusion of our two Under 16 teams this year tipped the player list well over 60 then of course there were parents and friends, committee and “royalty” which collectively made the evening an enormous success.

Our Beverage Family Perpetual Award is presented to an Under 17’s player for outstanding sportsmanship and service to the club. This prestigious award was won by the very worthy Michael Barnes

This year also bought enormous pleasure to all involved having Brother Phillip Sheridan (St James Secondary College Principle) nominated and inducted as the 2010 St Peters Junior Football Club Life Member. Brother Phil is extraordinary in his support to the majority of our boys off the filed by mentoring and offering guidance with many life skills.

Further developments occurred with the possible removal of the Moorabbin Saints Junior Football League Delegates (MSJFL) with AFL Victoria involving clubs within our league to assist in reviewing the operation. This process took several weeks with the outcome being to remove the Delegates and form an independent board to govern the now 27 club strong competition in 2011.

Mark Dance – President


Season 2009

The season 2009 saw the inclusion of many teams from the Waverley Association join the Moorabbin Saints Junior Football League with now as many as 26 clubsparticipating in our competition. With numerous clubs fielding in excess of 20 teams this season highlights theimportance for St Peters to remain committed to building and encouraging ourAuskick programs both here, at St Peters, as well as our long serving friends at Coastesville.

This year registrations were on par with the previous year having in excess of 320registered players fielding 14 teams.

The season start was once again in limbo as uncertainty on ground availabilitysurrounded both the league and the council, all due to the climatic conditions,many ovals as we remember being so much in need of water along with plenty of maintenance. The help and assistance once again from Brother Philip, Principle of St James College, meant many of our younger boys were able to train on the College grounds.

While perhaps the season didn’t bring the on field success of last year, and it’s something we’re mindful of, the manner and sportsmanship in which our players, coaches and support staff conducted themselves both on and off the field was an outstanding achievement.

With many of our teams having experienced success in the previous year, it meant our boys face this year the assignment of participating in higher divisions. It’s pleasing to see our players took up the challenge having 5 of our teams play off in finals. Our Under 11’s south, 13’s south, 15’s Div 1, 16’s Div 1 and Under 17’s Div 1 all represented our club in the finals campaign. For a decade now St Peters Under 17’s have played off in finals, this must be acknowledged as an outstanding club achievement.

Our Social functions for 2009 proved as popular as ever, our Trivia Night, Dinner Dance, a new look Ladies Luncheon, Backward Draw and Under 16’s / 17’s presentation night all very successful and are integral aspects of our social calendar.

Our Beverage Family Perpetual Award is presented to an under 17’s player for outstanding sportsmanship and service to the club. This prestigious award was won by a very worthy Brad Wilson.

With 2009 now behind us we must pay tribute to those Committee Members who worked assiduously to ensure our boys participate in a sport that offers a safe and friendly environment.


The 2008 season will go down as perhaps our most succesful ever. The club entered 14 teams with 10 teams between under 11 and under 17. Of these, eight played finals, seven played grand finals and five won premierships. The 31st of August 2008 in particular was an historic day for the club. Four age groups participated in consecutive grand finals at Souter Reserve Dingley with each being triumphant. The club had strong claims to being the most dominant in the MSJLF, particularly in the older age groups, with our under 15’s, 16’s and 17’s all winning division one premierships. Our achievments were such that an article appeared in the sporting pages of the Herald Sun recognising the clubs success.

11 West and 12 South both capped fine seasons by making the grand final. 11 West were desperately unlucky to lose a close encounter by 4 points after a dominant season. 12 South probably exceeded pre season expectations and despite playing short of numbers most weeks had a fantastic season. Peter Clements, a man who has done just about everything at the club, could now add premiership coach to his resume with a flag for our 13 West team. Brett Gardner's remarkable coaching record continued. Five times Brett has coached an under 17 St Peters team for five division 1 grand final appearances and three premierships. It was back to back flags for our under 17 division 1 team to continue the clubs supremacy in this age group. Our under 16 division 1 team went one better than their second place in 2007. They finished the home and away season in 3rd position but put in an outstanding finals series and recorded a huge win in the grand final. It was also back to back for the 15 division 1 team. Undefeated as under 14’s in 2007 they started the season slowly but hit form at the right time. After going down in the 2nd semi they turned the tables on Beaumaris to record a gutsy 17 point win. The under 14 division 2 coached by another club stalwart Peter Harris ended a heartbreaking run of three consecutive narrow preliminary final losses when they comfortably won their grand final.

If you were to look at the coaches and team managers of the aforementioned premiership teams you would see the names of many prominent people who have formed the back bone of the club during the last decade. It was particularly pleasing to see their hard work, loyalty and commitment being rewarded. A clean sweep of premierships between under 13 and under 17 with our on field success being complimented by a stable off field environment, a sound financial position, very good player numbers and a dedicated band of committee members and officials. The club is as strong as ever.

By the completion of the 2008 season St Peters Junior Football Club had won 62 premierships.

Another first in 2007 with the club fielding two under 17 teams. Despite being well short of comfortable numbers both teams had great seasons. The under 17 division one side coached by Brett Gardner capped a great year by winning the premiership in a classic grand final. Three goals down late in the final quarter they stormed home to hit the front with a few minutes remaining and hung on for a deserved victory, a fitting send off for this group who had been a great side over many seasons. The very talented under 14 division one side comfortably won their grand final to remain undefeated for the year, a remarkable effort in the top division. There were some other notable performances during the season. The under 15 division one team coached by John Soldatos made the grand final after losing their first 5 games. Coming from last after 6 rounds they showed enormous character to win a number of virtual elimination games but fell a bit short in the grand final despite a very brave effort. The under 10 North side also just missed a flag in the lightning premiership, going down by a single point against a more fancied opponent. There were finals appearances also by both under 13’s and the under 17 division 2.

Also notable was the vastly improved condition of the playing surface at Centenary Park. Now the equal of anything in the competition and for the first time ever finals were played on both ovals.

While the grounds are in excellent condition the ongoing battle to upgrade the pavilion continues.

In 2006 the club celebrated its 50th year and entered a record 17 teams. There was number of firsts with three under 9’s, three under13’s and multiple teams in most age groups. In what is believed to be another first, new president Paul O’Toole became the first St Peters player to be president of the club. Paul’s involvement goes back to the70’s as a player, coach, committee member and now president. Centenary Park was now at breaking point but with support from the MSJFL we were able to play regular games at Moorleigh Reserve. A Herald – Sun poll showed that St Peters JFC was now the equal fourth largest club in the state. There were finals appearances by 8 teams with both under 16’s making the grand final but ultimate success eluded us. Nearly every age group had a side competing in the top division. This continued our club philosophy of promoting boys to play at the highest level possible rather than chasing glory in lower grades.

2005 was another very successful season. Peter Clements took over as president from Dan Hogan with Dan remaining on the committee to continue his long period of service to the club. Our two under 12 teams repeated the success of the 2004 under 14’s by winning premierships in both divisions. The 12 East coached by Peter Still were convincing winners over Beaumaris while the 12 West team coached by Darren Seccull recorded a memorable win against previously undefeated Dingley. The under 16 combined team also tasted success by defeating Cheltenham. This was a particularly sweet victory as most of these boys had endured some hard times due to lack of numbers for several years. It was a tribute to those players, parents and officials who had worked so hard to keep the boys together and make the merger viable.

2004 saw the club again expand to 14 teams. Centenary Park was really starting to feel pinch with both training and playing commitments severely testing the capacity of the ground and the patience of the secretary. On and off the field the club enjoyed another very successful season. The club received fantastic support with our Sunday Night Coaches Corner' also testing the capacity of the Anchor. Paul O’Tooles’ under 10 East made it back to back premierships. An ex St Peters player himself, Paul made it two flags from two attempts. Another remarkable achievement was that of the two St Peters Under 14 teams who were premiers in their respective divisions. The U14 East team, coached by Tony Butta had a remarkable year, going through the season undefeated on the way to the premiership. The West team, coached by another ex St Peters player Anthony Ashworth, had a fantastic season and a convincing win in the grand final.

Season 2003 was the beginning of a remarkably successful period for this club. It was the end of an era in some respects with the Under 16’s and 17’s wearing the new jumper design. While it was sad to farewell the famous old red and green stripes the new predominantly black strip looked fantastic. It incorporated the old and the new with the St Peters colors of red and green displayed in flashes across the new black jumper. By 2004 all St Peters teams would be wearing the new strip, a tribute to the hard work of so many people to fit out an entire club in such a short space of time. Long time club servant Dan Hogan took over as President from Peter Looby with Peter remaining on the executive committee. This continued an amazing period of involvement by Peter who had served the club in almost every capacity for over twenty years long after his own boys had finished playing junior football. Also significant was that many second generation St Peters names were appearing.

The names of Still, O’Toole, Boyle, Cathcart, Cull and others were now following their father’s footsteps as St Peters players. Whilst the club was in a strong position in most age groups, the under 14 team merged with Murrumbeena. This group of boys had struggled for numbers from the outset and it was a tribute to their loyalty that they stuck by the club through some tough times. Coached by Murrumbeena’s Michael Hogan, the team was rewarded with a third place finish, losing the preliminary final after a great win in the 1st semi final. The efforts of Peter Clements (later to be club president) leading up to and during the merger were exceptional. Peter proved himself to be a selfless worker for the club.

2003 saw premierships to the under 9 East team coached by Paul O’Toole and both under 10’s – the West coached by Greg Valles and the South coached by Michael (Butch) Thorne. 2003 was also significant as it was the first time in the history of the club (and perhaps the MSJFL) that two St Peters teams played off against each other in the grand final. Both under 12's competed in the West division with the 'Green' team coached by Marty McCarthy and the 'Red' team coached by Mark Todd. The teams split their results during the year, finishing first and second and booking a date in the 2nd semi-final. A goal after the siren saw the Green team advance straight to the grand final. Predictably they once again faced the Red team who comfortably won the preliminary final. While it guaranteed the club another premiership the achievement was tempered by the fact that there had to be a loser. The idea of mates and amily friends playing, coaching and barracking against each other meant that the game was approached with some trepidation. Despite this it was an epic encounter with Marty McCarthy’s Green team getting up in a very close match. This gave the club 4 premierships for the 2003 season and finals appearances by every age group.

The 2002 season culminated in the under 17’s winning the division one premiership under the coaching of Brett Gardner. Of particular note was that team manager Paul Counihan had managed this team consecutively since under 10’s. This side also contained many boys who had started at St Peters as seven, eight and nine year olds who had figured in finals almost every year without winning a premiership. Despite regular finals appearances in all age groups this was the clubs first premiership since 1998.

1980 –2002

An extremely successful period for the club with 25 premierships won between 1980 and 1997. Ken Shaw coached the club to an unprecedented 12 premierships in row with the same team starting with the under 10’s in 1985 and finishing with the under 17’s in 1996.

One of the most important changes during this time was acquisition in July 1981 of the building known as “The Anchor” situated within the St Peters school grounds. This gave the club a building to make our headquarters. We could now hold meetings and functions and display our Premiership flags and photographic history. It is now the center of the St. Peter’s Boys Club, showing the foresight of the executive committee at that time. 1981 also marked the 25th anniversary of the club with 6 teams reaching the finals and the under 11 Rovers winning the premiership under John Beveridge, his fourth premiership as coach.

We also changed from Saturday to Sunday football, and had nine teams from Under 9 to 17, all now playing in the same league, the Moorabbin Saints Junior Football League. We also participated in Vickick, for boys and girls from the 5 – 9 age group. This allowed us to teach the skills of football for the future generations of the club.

The club continued to flourish throughout the nineties and beyond.

Season 2002 saw the club field 13 side in the MSJFL, and the crowning achievement of a 4th MSJFL under 17 premiership. With Auskick, baseball, T-ball and basketball, the club had over 300 boys and girls involved in sporting activity of some kind. Through careful management the club built a position of financial strength in difficult times of increasing costs and skyrocketing insurance, while maintaining fees at absolutely minimum levels. Despite increasing pressures on time, St. Peter’s continued to attract absolutely first-rate coaches, team managers and committee members. The selfless input from these people made the club stronger each year. The value of the work of Mick and Kerrin Holden, Peter Looby and Janine Beckwith in recent years could not be overstated. Despite overall sound numbers, an occasional shortage of eligible players occurred in some age groups, and the club was forced to merge sides. The U14s combining with Bentleigh (1998) and U16 with Oakleigh (1999). Both sides acquitted themselves with distinction, the 2001 Bentleigh/St. Peter’s side going down narrowly in the U17 Grand Final.

The introduction of Vickick – now Auskick – in 1990 has given humdreds of kids an introduction to the skills of football, and has no doubt been largely responsible for the strength the club enjoys in the lower age groups. Mick and Kerrin Holden, Karen Stormont, Janine Beckwith, Tony O’Kearney and Barry Howard are to be commended on the magnificent job done maintaining the clinic over the years.

In recent years the relationship with Coatesville Primary School and Coatesville Auskick has been strengthened with a steady of influx of players, coaches and team managers further swelling the ranks. The philosophy of the club has been to provide a game of footy to as many kids as possible, and where there has been a choice between fielding two struggling teams, where twenty five kids get three quarters each, the club has chosen the former. This has often been hard for the team and connections, needing to top up with younger players and struggling for numbers on occasions, but continued growth of the club shows that this is the right way to go. Support of the policy by the parents and players has been sensational, with a regular dash to help out in the next game being preformed by many of the younger players (and their parents!).

The tragic loss of Eddie Griffin, a great clubman, in 1996 while umpiring rocked the club. The Eddie Griffin Memorial award was instituted, being awarded for outstanding service. This, with the Phillip Jefferson Award, awarded for outstanding sportsmanship in the U17 side, now form the most respected and prestigious awards presented by the club. Phillip Jefferson was an outstanding sportsman, an ornament to the club, sadly lost to us in a traffic accident.

A new under 16 team was formed in 1979 under coach Ron Robinson competing in the Dandenong and District Junior Football League. In their first year the team just missed the finals. Again five teams made the finals with two premierships – Under 11 Rovers coached by John Beveridge and the Under 15 Panthers who gave Frank Fidge his second consecutive season without a defeat.

1978 again saw five of the seven teams make the finals with three teams wining the premiership – the Under 13 Rovers coached by Warren McGenniss, the Under 15 Panthers coached by Frank Fidge and our first under 17 flag coached by Graham Pierce. Graham played with the Under 13 team in 1960. Every team in the club had now won at least one premiership.

1977 saw five of the seven team make the finals with the Under 11 Rovers coached by John Beveridge and the Under 15 Spartans coached by Wayne Day bringing home another two flags.

Another first was in 1976 when Graham Cowen and his Under 13 Rovers won another premiership for the club. Graham and his father Basil, the coach of the first two premiership team became the first “father and son” successful coaching double.

With the appointment of Rosa Beverage as Secretary in October 1975 another first was created – our first lady Executive Officer. Don Baron and his under 11 Rovers concluded a most successful 1975 season by wining yet another flag for the club. After several lean seasons premierships were becoming an annual event.

Because of team problems in the Melbourne Boys League our under 17 team transferred to the Waverley District Junior Football Association in 1974. This was an outstanding year for the club. The under 11 Colts coached by Bob Matthews won the premiership and six of the seven teams made the finals.

The Club’s fourth premiership came in 1971 when the Under 15 “Spartans”, under John Beveridge, comfortably won the grand final. As many boys were looking for another club after finishing with our under 15 team, it was decided during 1972 that an under 17 team should be formed to cater further for our players.

The growth of the club continued and in 1970 a second Under 15 team was formed, known as the “Panthers”. There were now two teams in each grade. The first Coach of the “Panthers” was Kevin McGuiness, who had previously coached an Under 11 team.

Another premiership came to the Club in 1969 with Jim Stewart’s Under 11 “Rovers” winning a meritorious victory in the Grand Final. The club had now won a premiership in each grade. Two more perpetual trophies were obtained, one purchased by the Club and one donated by Kevin Logan. These were for the Under 11 and Under 13 teams and were known as the “David Farelly Memorial Trophy” and the “Gary Kelly Memorial Trophy”, in memory of two of our young men who were both tragically killed in car accidents. These have been awarded annually since.

The fifth set of Red and Green jumpers was purchased in 1967 and the Club was proud to see all its teams in uniform. This year also saw Kevin Logan installed as president for the third successive year. For the first time all teams were equipped not only with the Club Guernseys, but with Red and Green socks which greatly enhanced the appearance of the players.

The second premiership came in 1966 through the Under 15’s, again under the guidance of Basil Cowen. This year also saw four of the five teams outfitted in the Club’s Red and Green colours, at a total cost of $210. During 1966 the death occurred of one of the Club’s loyal supporters and helpers, Bill Richer. Bill’s son, John, joined the Boys Club at 9 years of age and was now playing in the Under 15 team. As a memorial to Bill’s interest his brother Ian presented the Club with a Perpetual trophy for the Under 15 Best Fairest Player. This trophy, known as the “W. J. Richer Memorial Trophy”, has been awarded annually since 1966.

In February 1965 it was decided that the Under 11 and Under 13 teams would no longer be called “a” and “b”. They would be known as “Colts” and “Rovers”. Jumpers used by teams were supplied by the B.M.Y.C.F.L. at this stage and all teams played in different colours. It was suggested that as funds became available the Club would purchase their own guernseys, so that eventually all teams would be playing in the Club colours. At the end of 1965 the B.M.Y.C.F.L. sent its first junior representative teams to Western Australia. St. Peter’s Boys Club had 7 representatives – Russell Logan, who captained the side, Tony Boyle, Robert Cowen, Graeme McLeod, Michael Smithet and Robert Taylor, with Des Morgan as the appointed Coach.

The Club’s first football premiership came in 1964 with the Under 13 ‘A’ Team, under Basil Cowen, being successful. After many years of being close we had finally made it to the top.

Season 1963 saw the entry of the first team in the Under 15 competition, the initial Coach being Bill Rodriquez who transferred from the Under 13 ‘A’ Team. The Club was now represented in all age groups for the B.M.Y.C.F.L. During this year, because of ill health, Ron Pearson tendered his resignation which was accepted with deep regret.

At the start of the 1962 season a second Under 13 team was formed, under new Coach Bob Lamb. For the first time adequate help was available from the start of the season.

In 1961 the teams were again under control of Ron Pearson and Bill Rodriquez. A second Under 11 team known as Mackie came under the control of the Boys Club, the first Coach of this team being Kevin McGuiness. Helpers were recruited as the season progressed, and the Club was finally on a firm footing.

Season 1960 again saw the entry of two teams with the same coaches. After a couple of weeks Jim Spence was unavailable due to business commitments, control of the two teams being left to Bill Rodriquez. As the Under 11’s started at 9:00 am and the Under 13’s at 9:30 am, neither team was adequately looked after as Bill was required to go from one ground to the other to oversee the matches. It was an impossible task. After a few weeks of this Ron Pearson, who was umpiring in the competition, saw the Under 11 team without anyone at the complete game. He retired from umpiring and took over coaching the Under 11 team.

In 1959, Basil Sullivan started his own business and was unable to maintain his involvement with St. Peter’s. Before he left, he recommended that an Under 13 team should be formed. Jim Spence replaced Basil Sullivan as under 11 coach and Bill Rodriquez, the new Club President, coached the first Under 13 Team. Jack Kelly also took time to assist when required.

By 1957, St. Peter’s had grown. There were now more than enough enthusiastic players to field a representative team and so the first St. Peter’s Boys club team took the field in the Under 11 section of the Bentleigh McKinnon Youth Centre Football League. Naturally Basil Sullivan was coach (and first President) and Jack Kelly Manager (and Secretary). Basil and Jack were the lifeblood of the Club during this time, and without their keenness the Club could well have foundered.

The parish priest of St.Peters’, Father Fred McKenna recognized the need for a football team to be started at the school. So too did Basil Sullivan and Jack Kelly who met with Father McKenna late that year to consider the proposition. Meanwhile Bill Warren had similar ideas. He wanted to field a local team in the Bon Ami League. Neither the St Peters Group nor Warren had enough players to form a side so they joined forces and fielded the “East Bentleigh” team in 1955 and 1956.

St Peters Boys Club had slow beginning. In 1954 the school was anything but the large flourishing affair if today. Football was just kick to kick in the yard during breaks. There was no organized competition in the area for enthusiastic youngsters.

Please note that this history is a combination of the original compiled in 1980 by W.A Rodriquez and updated commentaries as follows: 1980 –2002 by Derek Jefferson and Bruce Dare and 2002 –2008 by Simon Humphrey. Much of this information was obtained from the booklet printed in October 2002 titled 'The History of the St Peters Boy's Club - East Bentleigh' in which Bill Rodriquez compiled the vast majority of information. Now known as the "St Peters Football Club", the information in this history document is still used as the club's history.