Frankston Dolphins President Malcolm Lewis could not be happier with his club's start to senior football in the SFNL, saying it’s been a great effort to get to where they are now.
The Dolphins joined the SFNL this season after years of hard work and their efforts have been rewarded with a positive start on the field too. Sitting at 2-1, the Dolphins have established themselves as one of the teams to beat this season in Division 4. But just having a senior team was an achievement in itself.
"Three years ago people in the junior club saw the need for a pathway," Lewis explained to Wiz, Bug and Beanie on last weekend’s episode of The 5th Quarter.
"We had 24 junior teams, but were losing kids out of the Under 17’s. We approached a couple of leagues two years ago but they never got off the ground."
However things began to turn in July last year with the formation of a committee and progressive talks with the SFNL.
"The SFNL were brilliant to deal with. Dave Cannizzo and David Jennings came down for a chat and had a look at the facilities. We just went from there."
From there, social media campaigns and player information nights were established, with around 25-28 interested players turning up. The potential was certainly there but the end result was remarkable, 64 players on the list built up from nothing.
Lewis credits this achievement to the fact that it was a chance for a fresh start for everyone involved.
"It was a blank canvas with no expectations and no pressure," he said.
"A lot of the guys haven’t played much footy but you have young guys coming down for a kick without any expectation. The guys have gelled really well considering they barely knew each other."
Typifying this is the fact that the club has been able to attract players from far and wide, including some already within the SFNL system. The ability of the club to sign on multiple sponsors also highlights the appetite for senior football within the area.
After a couple of wins there is a sense of excitement at Overport Park, which is also due for a significant upgrade come the back end of the year. “It’s getting knocked over in August/September with a new $3.5 million development being done” said a proud Lewis.
"A lot of that will cater for the expansion and women’s footy too. We have four girl’s teams and a senior women’s side that has also come into the SFNL".
In addition there has also been recent major lighting upgrades to both grounds, which have come at a cost over half a million dollars.
On Saturday the Dolphins will face arguably their biggest test yet when they face an undefeated Carrum Patterson Lakes at home. But Lewis is confident that his club can get back onto the winners list.
"It’ll be a big day. The boys know what they need to do, they are still pretty upbeat. It’ll be hard but we couldn’t be happier with the start so far," he said.
Regardless of the result on the weekend, the Dolphins can be sure that the future of their club looks bright.
Listen to the full interview with Mal Lewis on The 5th Quarter in the player at the top of the page.
Listen to the podcast of Sunday's Nothing But Net show in the player below.