Season Report 2020

Throughout the 2020 Season, we have tried to keep our members informed, sponsors exposed, players engaged and our Mighty Sharks Family ALL-IN.  It’s been a difficult year for many of our club families and really ‘trying’ for a lot of individuals with people losing their jobs, some struggling with the isolation enforced, and us all missing the routine of our gatherings each week up at Domeney (and out on the court for the Netballers).  Behind the scenes, there have been some absolute superstars supporting our community, plenty of acts of kindness and our club care cards working a treat for so many.

I want to start our report for the most unusual season we will probably ever experience in our lifetime, by stating the obvious and acknowledging the amazing work of the true mighty sharks that supported their mates, loved them through a difficult year and in many situations provided the very thing someone needed in this difficult time – thank you for your care.

When our season was officially cancelled for the year, it was so disappointing and a massive hole was left in our week without being a part of the Sharks family face to face.  After the frustration and disappointment subsided, we reset and focused the club on winning a different Premiership this year.
A reward perhaps much bigger than 22 guys or a netball team winning a flag.  The goal we set was to not leave anyone behind.  To take everyone with us through this difficult season, supporting where ever possible.  We have had people give jobs to some who have lost theirs, there have been families supported with meals, zoom catchups aplenty, Thursday Night dinners to try and keep our community together online and the ‘Club Care Cards’ that allowed as many members of our club to stay connected and supported as possible.

If you are not a part of the club online social community, unfortunately, you’ve missed out on a lot of activity throughout the season.  There has been much banter and a lot of fun had with:

  • Player ‘Get to Know You’ segments and interviews
  • Guess who competitions
  • We saw Issy Pollock once again clean up in the Women’s TOP DOG player of the competition coming second
  • It was fun to watch Coach Dennis and Captain Prozza get matched up in the TOP DOG semi-final for best player in Div 1.  We are a proud club today and can announce that our own Dennis won the division one TOP DOG competition for the EFNL.
  • Our club was voted online over many weeks the #4 best jumper in the EFNL across all divisions and we thank our whole community for their vote.
  • We had fun bidding against one another with Kev Georges weekly Auction Items to help raise much-needed funds in a difficult year.
  • We had different people host zoom dinners and segments over 2 months which was a lot of fun to see so many people on zoom averaging 80-90 attendees each week.

We saw light at the end of the tunnel and launched an initiative called ‘Hoskins Cup’ where our men and women footballers were placed into a franchise, given a sponsor, president, coach and teammates to give our community something to look forward too.Take a look at the Hoskins Promo Video below.

The concept captured all the player’s attention and we had almost 100% of our men and women’s players signed up to take part in this internal competition – all doning on a new Hoskins Cup Franchise jumper. With restrictions blowing out in Vic for this to go ahead as planned, both the committee and coaches have every intention to still try and give this an opportunity to go ahead later in the year or even as late as early next year.  We look forward to welcoming you all down to be a part of this fun competition.
This competition, named after our Club Major Sponsor – John Hoskins and his team at Hoskins Premium Property People, was an opportunity for the club to say thank you to John and his team for their amazing support to our club over many years now.
It also allowed us to highlight other sponsors of our club that were given a team to align too
  • Consolidated Energy were with LIGHTNING,
  • The LumberJacks had Doncaster Mitre 10
  • The Elephants had Elephant & Co
  • The Bears had Warrandyte Bendigo Bank. 
For our Women’s Teams we had:
  • TEMPEST – sponsored by Indulgence Medi Spa and
  • MUTINY sponsored by Younique Journeys. 

We thank all our sponsors who supported us throughout a difficult season.So we made it to the end of the season and still haven’t had the chance to run around and enjoy the game we love and be with the best local footy people in Australia.  But we are still standing, still supporting one another and it would be an understatement to say we are looking forward to catching up together as a club just to BE TOGETHER again.  Thanks for standing together in such a tough year.  Thank you for caring enough to reach out to your mate.  Thanks for making our club so great even though we’ve been apart.

As we come to the end of another season of football we have tried to take stock of the playing group and sought out where we sit for the season ahead, and to seek out who we might acknowledge as a retiring player of our club.  There has been a handful of players that have considered retiring but it has been hard to seek out definites just yet.  We will acknowledge our retiring players in the coming weeks to say our thanks for their services.

What is exciting is the opportunity for us in 2021.  With no football this year, it has no doubt made our playing group hungry.  We have signed our whole senior list from 2019/20 and making some exciting inroads for strengthening our senior list.  For those that aren’t aware, our competition through COVID-19 has taken some twists moving into the future.  One of them was the introduction to a large salary cap drop for each division.  Division one has gone from a maximum spend of $150k p.a to $85k – which has made for some huge adjustments.

You can imagine how tricky it is for many clubs with this being the modern day currency at many clubs for players.  I am so proud to share with you all that the maturity and understanding of our playing group with this forced change was met with a ‘club first’ attitude and desire to want to play with their mates and in the best cultured environment possible.  The most repeated response was along the lines of ‘I want to win a flag with this group, sign me up’.  Our players have all signed for season 2021 with a handful of guys in the reserves still to catchup with in the preseason so that our whole list is together, committed and signed on.

We have several additions that we welcomed to preseason training this year including Ryan and Daniel Wilson, Mason Blakey and Kane Keppel who will become full time players for us in 2021, Taylor Murrell from Portland who will prove to be another good in and under mid, the return of Nathan Wiggins, Darcy Trentfield, and Henry Jacobs.  With an enormously talented group of u19 players coming through over the 19/20/21 season, we will see the likes of TJ, Alex Magnano and the guys chasing VFL action – Lachie Gawell, Lachie Munroe and James Blanck and a handful of other great local talent find their way into senior football in the coming season.

There is also strong indications of a handful of older talented players wanting to return to the Shark Tank for 2021 preseason and we look forward to sharing with you all if any of them follow through with their desire to play again.
We are planning on adding 1-2 more recruits to this talented list and also look forward to sharing with you in the coming days.

The football operations team, along with the committee have endorsed the coaching group that have been assembled for the upcoming season 2021.  Its with great pleasure that we announce that after a lay-off season (COVID-19 related) we have re-appointed Dennis Armfield for another 2 seasons of football as our Club Senior Coach and Mentor.  We have been working closely with Dennis through the season to prepare for a big 2021 and are excited to announce our coaching lineup for 2021:

  • SENIOR COACH: Dennis Armfield
  • FORWARD COACH: Kire Talevski
  • BACKS COACH & REHAB: Paul Bevan
  • + 1 to be announced
  • U19’s: TONY WEEKS
  • +2 to be announced
  • WOMEN’S SENIOR COACH: Simon McAuliffe
  • ASSISTANT COACH: David Philpsen

The Park Orchards Football Netball Club would like to welcome to the club Kire Talevski as a coach along with his beautiful family – wife Meghan and children Sophia and Chili.  We would also like to welcome Mason Blakey to our club fulltime as a playing coach of our midfield.  We are also wrapped to welcome skipper of the ressies into the coaching group as our reserves senior assistant.  All of the appointments for 2021 make for a strong coaching, leadership and development focus and reflect on what we are striving for and where we are going as a club.

As mentioned earlier, there have been some super stars off field this season that have gone above and beyond.  It is dangerous starting to mention people but at the risk of missing someone who has been a star behind our closed doors this year, we’d like to publicly thank:

  • Our committed committee who saw out and lead our club through a very difficult year
  • Our clubs major sponsor – John Hoskins and his team from Hoskins Premium Property Group
  • Nicki George and Andrew Molloy for keeping us connected online and engaged whilst apart through our website and social media banter
  • Senior Coach Dennis Armfield for his willingness to continue to lead and have to work even harder to keep the playing group and coaching group connected through the season – all whilst looking after and loving his beautiful pregnant wife Abby, yes a COVID baby that will make us all so happy and Dennis and Abby the best parents.
  • Our playing leadership group lead by our skipper Michael Prosenak, for working hard to keep all of the playing group cared for
  • Our Football Operations Department for working thoughtfully and respectfully to navigate our way through player negotiations and locking in our complete list for 2021
  • For our key sponsors in David Waterman – Consolidated Energy, Matt Cornwell – Doncaster Mitre 10, and all the financial supporters of the season
  • We had amazing gifts of kindness from Elephant & Co – in gifted programs to those in need, Nicolle Knox – Indulgence Medi Spa gift packages to some of the wonderful women to encourage, and then there was the illusive ‘flower fairy’ – who gifted many women with gorgeous flowers to their doorstep – my guess is Gin Fasan but I might be wrong.
  • Tim Dawson, our Chaplain, and our team of dedicated carers within our club who continue to give of themselves to help others
  • Weeksy our inaugural life member, coaching extraordinaire and club legend, who caught up with small groups right throughout our lockdown and tried to keep our u19 boys active by having many kicking sessions with them (and with the odd dad who Weeksy would run with) – of course 1.5m distancing measures were applied.
  • and this list could go on.  Thankyou for being as ALL-IN as we could have been this year, I am so proud of our club and all the members that are a part of it.
There are two key dates coming up that I am asking you all to put in your diaries right now.  it is for everyone that considers themselves as Shark:

  1.  Our Annual AGM – Thursday 12th November 7pm Sharp.
  2.   A special night of Zoom fun and year highlights – Thursday 12th November 7:30 pm.  This will follow on after the AGM.  More details will be posted on this.

Gear yourself up for a massive 2021 football and netball season.  Before the year is out and the new year starts, we will get more information out to our Netballers on your season ahead.

Can’t wait to catch up with you all.

We are the Mighty Sharks

Jeremy Thomas, POFNC Prenident.