It is rare to find individuals who can think broadly about the game, speak with great context about the game and retain their obvious passion for the game and that of his club, but it is fair to say that great leaders somehow find a way.
As a player Mark Answerth was a skinny little runt, always yapping and always sharing his views of the world on how to kick, where to run and, occasionally, offering some unscripted advice to his teammates or the opposition.
Perhaps his parents’ qualities were left on the other side of the white line in the name of competitive passion, but Mark’s love of his club’s jumper has been a telling factor in Churchill Football Netball Club’s rise from several tough years to the powerhouse it has become today.
You do not become a life member of a club without making a significant contribution. This accolade was afforded to him in 1997 and it is unbelievable to think he is just as dedicated today as he was back then, nearly 21 years ago.
Until a bit of recent surgery you could see him and his lily white legs on our football fields doing his thing in that trendy orange runners uniform, directing traffic and dispensing messages with regular frequency.
From time to time one could argue that he was perhaps more a coach than a runner.
Notwithstanding his 30-plus year journey, he has not only been a player across all levels, amassing significant milestones along the way, but he has just about assumed every key role within his club at one stage or another.
President, secretary, club captain, premiership player, sponsorship director, club sponsor, league sponsor, club runner and currently the Churchill Football Netball Club past players president, Mark has always answered the call for help when asked.
There is no higher honour than being respected by your peers and there would be few in our football and netball community who would disagree when it comes Mark’s contribution.
Life memberships always recognise those within our organisations who have done so much – they cannot be bought, they must be earned.
This honour was bestowed upon Alanna by the Rosedale Football Netball Club in 2005 and she has remained extremely active around her club and local community.
As a player, Alanna amassed an incredible 432 games at various levels.
Not satisfied with just being involved on the court, she has been part of the club’s executive and general committee in one way shape or form since 1988, serving in roles from secretary, treasurer, senior vice president, junior vice president and her current day role as netball director, which she has done with energy and a calming influence.
It would be interesting to note just how many premierships the Blues have won since Alanna joined the club, with the potential of adding another couple to that list on Saturday.
The attention to detail and astute eye to encourage where needed and address small issues before they are allowed to become major has no doubt been a contributing factor to this significant list of success.
Someone close to her recently offered five of Alanna’s greatest qualities as; tireless, true blue, passionate, proud and loyal.
These traits are admirable to say the least and of which many would aspire to have bestowed upon them.
Alanna is astute and very considered in her thoughts, sensitive to the issues of the day, motherly when required and not only hardworking and dedicated to the cause but to committed getting the job done right.
Alanna is well and truly worthy of her place in the NGFNL Hall of Fame.
Best described affectionately as a “character”, Paul Nolan commenced his association within our league and the Sale City Football Netball Club way back in 1976 when he donned the boots for a few years, but thereafter fundamentally followed in his father’s footsteps to become the league identity he is today.
Work and family commitments saw him move away for a few years, but he returned to the Kennel in ’84 which saw him gravitate immediately to the trainer’s room. It could be argued that perhaps it was the smell of the Dencorub or perhaps it was his father’s guidance or his passion for the medical treatment of players which had subsequently transgressed into his veins which saw him take this direction.
However, since choosing this path, no one could argue that his dedication to ensuring that “best practice” was applied in the treatment of player injuries and his commitment towards educating others in the skill and art of sports medicine is to be admired.
He has been a servant on the SCFNC committee, has been head trainer, and was honoured with life membership of his club in 2008 and to this day remains an active member and trainer of the club.
On the other hand, it is only fair to make the valid point that he is also well known for his short gait walking style onto the field of battle and to and from the change rooms which makes him instantly recognisable and if that was not enough, his is without “guilty as charged” for influencing the baggy white shorts fashion sense of the current brigade of trainers at the Sale City FNC.
It is a pleasure to have Paul Nolan from the SCFNC in the NGFNL Hall of Fame.
Already a legend in many punters eyes, Noel was the second inductee into the Hall of Fame for 2017.
Snowy moved to Heyfield at a young age in the mid 1960s and eventually donned the Kangaroo colours to play thirds footy. He went on to play seconds with the club, but, regretfully his skill for the game on the footy field did not quite allow him to reach the 100-game tally.
His instinctive nature and desire to help others saw him move into the medical room and become a club trainer, however, in 2001 the club was desperate for a thirds coach and of course he put his hand up to help. It was during this phase of his time at Heyfield that Snowy and Mitch Comen formed an inseparable friendship, significant mateship bond and partnership which has withstood the test of time and still exists to this very day.
Somehow Snowy never seemed to make time to get his licence, but that never became a barrier or excuse for him to miss a match and watch his beloved Roos play footy and netballers take the court and most people can never remember him missing a match – except for perhaps a horse meeting in Warrnambool. He is still occasionally active time in the medical room rubbing down players’ legs, but it is fundamentally the role of Team Manager for the senior team he enjoys the most these days.
He is a lovable character, universally admired by all, and who extends the hand of friendship to everyone and knows every Heyfield member male or female by name, which is something to be admired.
It has been a long time coming, but it gives us significant pleasure to welcome our beloved friend Noel Snow to the NGFNL Hall of Fame.
Gentle by nature and an unflappable, likeable character, Peter ONeill’s view of the world is always well considered and his opinions usually conveyed in a straight to the point manner using no more words than necessary to deliver that message.
Peter’s career and involvement in local sport started way back in 1964 at age 12 for what is now known as the Yarram FNC. It’s somewhat ironic that his first club is now an active member of the NGFNL since moving from the Alberton FNL in 2013.
After cutting his teeth and serving his apprenticeship in the thirds competition, he finally worked his way up into senior football, playing in premierships with Yarram in 1972 and 1973. His interest in sports administration started in 1985 when he took on the Yarram secretary role for a few years.
Somewhere in his journey he found the time to attend and participate in a pre-season with the Footscray Football Club where he told me he was training the house down and as fit as he had ever been, but a difference of opinion about a refreshment or two saw him return home to play football.
After many years of travel and work commitments outside the Gippsland area, the love of a good woman brought him to Traralgon, which eventually saw him gravitate towards the Rosedale FNC. In his own words, he told me he approached the president one day and said he had better start doing something around here and shortly thereafter took on the secretary’s role in 2002 and 2003.
Work commitments again saw him come and go from Gippsland, however in 2007 and for the second time, he took up the secretary position at Rosedale, a position that he still holds today.
It is the Board’s view that being a secretary at any club is a difficult and demanding task. Without a doubt we believe the workload is significant and in our opinion, a club secretary is an “unsung hero” position.
Throughout his journey, he could talk about using dropkicks from full-back, premierships and all the highs and lows that come within Football/Netball clubs and this alone would make for an interesting discussion with a refreshment or two in hand.
Congratulations to Peter “Lizard” O’Neill on joining the NGFNL Hall of Fame.
There have been so many people around our league who have dedicated a significant chunk of their lives to our league and in my opinion, none more than our next inductee.
There is not much this lady has not done and we have sung her praises on many occasions before however, it seems equally appropriate to do so again.
Her involvement within this league began at Gormandale after following her then boyfriend to Tiger Land. She played Netball for 24 years, amassing 300 plus games, best and fairest honours, captained and assumed various coaching roles, ultimately becoming a life member of Gormandale FNC in the late ’80s
From a league perspective, her involvement commenced in 1988 and continued in a formal capacity until 2015 when she retired from her role as league administrator and her employer AFL Gippsland.
Yes, I am talking about Pauline Bayley but more importantly I want to talk about Pauline the person, I want to share with you some of what I see as the characteristics that are the core make-up of Pauline.
There is no doubt, in my opinion, she has done more than enough to be honoured as a league hall of fame person….. despite her husband’s unwillingness and reluctance to put her name forward when our Board considers HOF nominations probably because he knows he would be in trouble for not telling her.
Pauline will not like me saying this but she is a particularly fussy and very motherly type and this alone explains her compassion for us all. She is an extremely genuine, passionate and humble person and that’s why she dedicated many hours to ensure the little things are executed well within our Brand.
She has always wanted to ensure the integrity of our Brand remains intact. Pauline has consistently thought of others and has always thought about someone else’s worthiness before her own and I can recount hundreds of examples where she has said……
Invariably these issues are addressed outside of what anyone would consider normal working hours and quite frankly it would not matter what day it was either.
How do you describe all of this, well I guess you could use words like committed and dedicated, loyal and hardworking but I would rather just say she is a legend
and that why it gave me great pleasure to support her nomination and equally great pleasure to induct Pauline Bayley into the leagues Hall of Fame.
Our next inductee into the NGFNL Hall of fame has a history which spans over 4 decades which in itself is a major achievement in my mind.
When I think about this aspect it highlights to me the character and qualities you must possess to be involved in anything for 40 plus years of one’s life.
Some words which come to top of mind are:
Commitment, Dedication, devoted and Passion to name a few
Perhaps you could also throw in the mix crazy, silly and stupid
In fact, I am not even sure if there is such a word as stickability, but what I mean by this is:
Without a doubt this lady a sense of community involvement, and a willingness to offer a helping for the betterment of others or an organization. You cannot buy these qualities, you either have them or you don’t
Her involvement in the NGFNL spans 40 forty years and at least three clubs if my research is correct Glengarry, Rosedale and Heyfield
She has played across many grades including “A” grade, coached accross both junior and senior levels and umpired.
In addition to this she has been an administrator at both club and league level and this alone is no small feat.
She is passionate and humble and still an active life member of the Heyfield Football Netball club
I speak about none other than Maureen Kelly and it is my absolute pleasure to induct her into the NGFNL Hall of Fame
When I talk about Hall of fame inductees I like to think that they are universally admired within a broad section of our Football Netball community.
I am convinced our next inductee has ticked that box, in fact, I have no doubt all of this year’s inductees have done likewise.
Our First inductee has been circulating within the NGFNL Brand for more than 2 decades, who has a rich history of achievements and emanates from within the tough and rigorous landscape of the Umpiring fraternity and specifically the SUA.
This inductee has always held a passion for the NGFNL and it’s member clubs, he has been extremely committed over the years to drive and elevate umpiring professionalism within our Brand.
This alone is not an easy objective or ambition and despite any healthy debate about umpiring he has without a doubt, in my opinion, helped improve the landscape many of us take for granted.
He has umpired
When I think of this person some simple words resonate with me to describe him
Humbled, he is always thinking of others and sometimes wonders what all the fuss is about
Fatherly, he invests himself in the development of others and is loyal to his immediate family and that of his extended family at the SUA
Strategic, he always looks forward with the view of building for tomorrow
Genuine, Ken Wegener tells you the way life is….. even if that cuts to the bone and even a tough decision needs to be delivered.
I have a second Hall of Fame award to present and again it is absolutely a pleasure to speak about this individual.
His history and involvement at club level and also at league level is second to none having been actively around our league and district for 60 plus years.
It is fair to say he is a true Heyfield and district identity who’s integrity and values are undoubted.
He started his involvement in this district as young boundary umpiring when he was 11, clearly there would have been any green shirts around back in those days
He has been a player winning the Rex Hartley Medal (second B & F) in 1971 in what was then the Latrobe Valley Football League
After his playing days which included (270 plus games), he continued his love of football by taking up umpiring for approx. 7 years
He has coached many junior teams and is a life member of several organizations including the Heyfield Football and Netball Club
He has been involved in Administration for many years and held the role President for 5yrs at the Heyfield FNC and was an inaugural NGFNL Board member in the year 2000.
Known as “Stop Press” at school many think he should now be known as Sponge Cake enjoying many afternoon teas around the sporting arena’s and I suspect a few local farms as well.
His love of football continues today where he has been a well- respected timekeeper for both his Beloved Kangaroos and also as a league timekeeper throughout the finals series including many Grand Finals whenever the Roos boys are not playing.
A testament to his integrity has seen him recently appointed to the highly regarded AFL Gippsland panel who are conducting a local review of football and he has clearly added value to that process.
I am of course talking about Graeme Anderson, who is universally admired, holds an order of Australia medal and is tonight’s second inductee to the North Gippsland Football Netball Hall of Fame.
I say it every year that it is a privilege I am given to induct anyone into the Leagues Hall of Fame.
This Character and I mean that loving and affectionately is well known throughout our league and he would be the first person to help is asked.
His resume of achievements and service is long and distinguished with very few roles he has not attempted or undertaken which is a clear sign of his integrity and character.
To be honest this is only a fraction of his achievements.
I recently asked him about his about his stint as Netball Director and he passed onto me some insightful commentary about what improvements could be made within Netball circles. Regretfully he would not allow me to quote him on those suggestions.
By now you would all know that I am talking about Greg Robinson from The Sale City Football Netball Club.
And it gives me great pleasure to call him forward to be inducted into the NGFNL Hall of Fame.
While the above list of achievement is significant, it is his involvement directly with the League that I feel should be recognized with a life membership. His achievements are as follows:
John is a quiet, modest achiever with a real passion for Football.
In talking to John over the years he has a great feel for what is fair and just in our game of football.
Trevor has played for Glengarry since juniors and has just played his 400th game with the club.
One of Glengarry’s very own local boys, Trevor created history two seasons ago when he became the first player in the club’s 117 years to play 300 Senior games.
Trevor’s career spans over some two decades beginning as a junior playing right through to our seniors.
He first played for Glengarry as a 17-year-old in our Thirds competition where he played some 34 games; he claimed the club Best & Fairest Award in his second-ever season in 1991, continuing his career as a member of the reserves and then listed into the seniors in 2003.
Playing the majority of his career at full back and in the ruck where a string of accolades were linked to the May name with Trevor having played in four senior Grand Finals, the side claiming the Premiership in 1994 & 1996. Trevor played in last years reserves Grand Final taking home the Premiership.
Trevor is very highly regarded as a true ‘clubman’. He is respected by all players and members.
Trevor has won three senior club Best & Fairest awards claiming his first in 2001, followed by sealing back to back wins in 2005 and 2006, along with a number of other club awards including most disciplined and best utility.
Among other personal accolades, Trevor spent 5 years as Vice-Captain before taking on the top job of Captain for two seasons in 2006 and has had a short stint as Assistant Coach. Trevor shows a strong passion for not only the game but for the Glengarry Football Netball Club.
When TTU formed Ken played 9 games in the Reserves – since then he has been a Trainer at TTU for over 30years, he has missed 4 weeks in that time, it works out to about 550 days of football and if you think of training nights and the fact he does 3 games a day = a lot of Football.
He has been on the TTU Committee, usually first to all games and last to leave, opens and puts everything up including goal post pads and scoreboards.
First Life Member of TTU and a very well respected Trainer by all clubs who will assist anyone that is injured.
Loves bandaging Netballers.
Jim “Jimbo” Crabtree – The Rosedale Water Boy.
Jim arrived at Rosedale Football Netball Club as a skinny young 15-year-old with his brother Ronnie “muscle nut” Crabtree in 1956. He played for Rosedale between 1956 & 1958 but was forced into retirement due to injury and also gaining an apprenticeship as a Butcher in Traralgon.
He has many family ties playing Football/Netball for the Blues. He has 4 son-in-laws, David Reid, Peter Adrichem, Peter Shaw & Toby Thornton who have all played and/or Coached; brother-in-law Harry Reid played/coached; grandsons Matt, Jeremy & Josh Reid, Dean Adrichem, Dylan Shaw, Jordy Thornton & nephew Paul Reid (a member of the 2001 premiership team). Daughter Tanya Thornton and granddaughters Holly Reid & Terry Shaw have all played Netball with Rosedale.
After an absence, Jim returned to the club 15 years ago and has been Chief water boy ever since. He lists his highlights as being involved with the 2001 premiership team plus the many friendships he has made within the club, with opposition clubs, League officials & Umpires.
Now in his 76th year, Jimbo still travels from his home at “Honeysuckle Estate” to give his boys drinks each Saturday, rain, hail or shine.
When President David Kyle thought about “Hall of Fame” nominees his mind immediately drifts to the personalities we have around the league and this person ticks all the boxes.
This person was not blessed with significant football talent, he had a medical condition was never really enabled him to play football with his mates despite his love of the game and the people which surrounded it.
Notwithstanding this, he stayed involved by running the boundary on game day where his payment was probably a pie and can of drink if he was lucky. He subsequently entrenched himself into footy once his son started playing which I am told was at a very young age by assisting in the background and helping out wherever required.
Over time he got more and more interested in player care, treatment and training where he subsequently pursued many external courses to enhance his skills and knowledge within this critical segment of our game.
He has formed many friendships over the journey but none stronger than that with his fellow trainer and long term friend John Wyatt whom he considered his mentor for many years. This partnership has sustained the distance and been binding for well over 25 years
The life of a club trainer is not an easy path to follow, Friday nights packing and checking gear for game day, up early Saturday, to get on the road before 8, several hours of taping, strapping, rubbing, caring, repairing, icing, mending and sometimes the odd stitch or two. On a normal day, 10 hours of love and devotion.
But it does not end there, whilst most of us would be home on Sundays there is always washing to be done, rooms to tidy, the checking of supplies for next week and let’s not forget the demands of Tuesday and Thursday nights.
There is no doubt this person’s commitment to his club is outstanding, to say the least but from my perspective, it is what he does for others that is truly the mark of this man. I have seen him first hand assist players from other clubs when injured, or in need, not because he is asked too but because he wants too.
He is a quietly spoken man, a gentleman and gentleman of the game with a dry sense of humour. He has seen the highs and lows of football, he has seen the tears of joy and the tears of pain
NGFNL Board and that of many other new he was an ideal inductee into the League hall of fame.
When it comes to players within our league there are none better than the statistical history of Brett Szabo,
This person is known to us all in local football circles where he has carved out a local football career which has seen him play and coach at several clubs.
His passion for the Heyfield Kangaroos runs the deepest within his veins.
The quality of his character is unquestionable, his silky ability remarkable and in his younger days, he displayed freakish ability opposition clubs had little chance of controlling.
But above all I admire his longevity and sportsmanship displayed within the game, I suspect these are some of his most redeeming and outstanding qualities.
The career statistics look and sound something like this:
Without doubt, his history has been compelling and captivating, I am not sure when this journey will come to end as I suspect he is pulling the boots on again this weekend, but I trust we have all enjoyed the entertainment and exhibition he has given us along the way.
As we all know Gordon is also a Life Member of the NGFNL. His history is long, distinguished and nearly unparalleled.
He started playing at Gormandale in 73 won a SNR B & F in 75 played over 200 games and is also a life member of that club.
Gordon has facilitated the treasurer’s role of both Gormandale and the league.
When the league formed its inaugural Board in 2000 Gordon was an integral part of that process and has since worn the hats of Finance Director, General Manager and today sits as one of our most experienced Directors.
Notwithstanding this, from time to time it can be a bumpy ride and the reality is at times we do have differences of opinion but I think what is important is that I tell you about what you don’t see in record books
Many of the good things people say about our Brand have been conceptualized by Gordon and proactively driven to a conclusion with his intrinsic passion for Brand. For example
Gordon Bayley has been and will leave a legacy in many people’s minds as one of the great and long-serving community-based sporting administrators.