Life membership pins for Junior League trio
THREE of Balmain Junior League’s most respected officials Ð Craig Barnett, Alex Siemsen and Wally Carpenter – have been bestowed with life membership.
In recognition of their sterling service, the hard-working trio were presented with life membership pins at this year’s AGM at Ryde Eastwood Leagues Club.
CRAIG BARNETT has a 45 year involvement with the Balmain Junior League, starting as a player in 1972 with Leichhardt Coaching Class.
He moved to Leichhardt Wanderers in 1974 and has given the club yeoman service for over 40 years as a player, coach, trainer and administrator.
Craig was a member of Balmain’s premiership-winning 1982 S.G Ball Cup and 1984 Jersey Flegg Cup squads; captained the 1985 Balmain Flegg Cup team and played in the Tigers’ 1986 Presidents Cup side.
He began coaching at the Wanderers in 1985 with an U/8s team and has since coached or trained with every age group including a stint as A Grade captain-coach.
In 1984 he was awarded Life Membership of Leichhardt Wanderers.
Barnett is a long-serving committee member who was Wanderers’ Senior Vice President in 2010 and has done a tremendous job as the current Club President since 2011.
He has organised social events with stalwart Frank Dunne since 2005.
Craig was a statistician for Balmain S.G Ball coach Barry Donnelly in 1988; was a Junior Rep trainer in 1989; selector in 1990 for coach Bernie Zappia and took stats for Barry Donnelly’s Balmain U/21 side in 1991.
He was also trainer of the Balmain S.G Ball and Jersey Flegg sides coached by Ken Stapleton in the early to mid 1990s.
Craig is part of a family dynasty at the Wanderers Ð his father Bob, wife Leoni, sister Melinda and nephew Jeremy are also on a distinguished honour roll of life members.
ALEX SIEMSEN has chalked up 22 years service with St Patricks/Dundas Shamrocks JRLFC which includes 18 consecutive years as current Club secretary and Registrar. She was the recipient of a Commonwealth Sports Achievement Award in 2004 for her outstanding contribution to the local sporting community and received the award from Olympic golden girl Betty Cuthbert.
Alex received the George Thompson Volunteer of the Year Award in 2008 and life membership of the Shamrocks (2010) before being named the inaugural recipient of the Wests Tigers’ Woman of the Year Award in recognition of her dedicated service to the BJL at club grassroots and community level.
A tireless volunteer, Alex has proved instrumental in helping the Shamrocks club become a force to be reckoned with through her organisational, communication and fund raising skills. In 2014, she helped organise a memorable 50year Jubilee Anniversary dinner for the Shamrocks at Ryde Eastwood Leagues Club.
Alex has held many positions which include Canteen co coordinator, Fundraising Coordinator and Social coordinator.
WALLY CARPENTER has had an association with the Balmain District since 1988 as a player, then as a coach and representative trainer.
An elusive back, he shone for Ryde Eastwood (1988-1991), Balmain United (1992) and Birkenhead Buccaneers (1993) before coaching Holy Cross (1993-1999) and North Ryde Hawks (2006-2009).
Since 1997, Wally has been actively involved as a trainer with Balmain Harold Matthews Cup, S.G Ball Cup, Jersey Flegg Cup and Premier League squads and was Head Trainer of the Tigers’ 2012 and 2013 S.G Ball premiership-winning teams that also clinched National U/18 Challenge titles.
Carpenter also devotes many hours training the Balmain Junior Winter Development squads and the Tigers’ annual U/15 tours to Ballina and was NSW U/17s trainer in 2007.
He has worked with the City and NSW Tertiary rugby league squads since 2000 and toured France and England with Australian Universities in 2010, assisting the Australian team on home soil the following year in ‘tests’ against Great Britain and Ireland.
Balmain Junior League stalwarts Craig Barnett, Alex Siemsen and Wally Carpenter received their life membership pins from patron Mick Manning and Operations Manager Jennie Webster. TWT on-the-spot PHOTO.