Volunteers - The people that keep our clubs alive

On Tuesday, we put out a social media post for everyone to put in their nominations for some of the great people that are around our football clubs and give them the recognition that they thoroughly deserve.

And while some weren't mentioned, we say thanks to all the volunteers who give up many hours of their week into their football clubs to be in the canteen, run the bar, set up the club for the day, wash the jumpers, fill the water bottles, all that and much, much more!

One nominee is Gail Smith from the Dandenong West Football Club.

When we rang to speak to Gail, she was blown away that she had been nominated by someone from her club.

"The club means everything to me. I've been invovled with football since I was just 12 years of age when I was at Parkmore with my Dad and couldn't imagine my Saturday's not having local football involved,"

Gail detailed that when she arrived at Dandenong West that her daughter was involved at the club when they were on their knees.

"We were in a lot of trouble and we're on the brink of extinction. My daughter was on the committee at the time and asked me to come on board, to which I told her that my committee days were over and I just wanted to enjoy my Saturday's at the local footy. However tears welled up in her eyes and I just couldn't say no and I don't regret it for a second,"

With tears almost coming out of her eyes, Gail says the one thing that stands out above the rest is that the culture at Dandenong West is one of the best she's seen as every person she comes across is a "beautiful human,"

Check out Gail's nomination below

Gail is the glue that holds our club together. A senior mother figure amongst all at the club, Gail is the go to for all advice
& guidance. With a rich history throughout her family for local football (through the DDJFL many moons ago), Gail’s role at our club is so vital. She manages & runs the canteen every home game & makes sure our bar is stocked every
training night & game day. Slightly bias, but we’re up there with the best canteens in the SFNL! Whilst taking a step down from the exec this season, she’s been an integral part over the past 5 years in getting our club back in the black
from a LONG way back. We’re proud to look like we’ll be in the black from mid way this season & Gail has been vital in
the revival of Dandy West. Everybody loves Gail, the work she does for our club & quite often goes under appreciated
and without notice.

Another member of the community that got plenty of love was Murrumbeena's Rohan White, who received in excess of a handful of nominations from his peers down at the Lions.

"The club is community, and that's what we do it for, to give back to the community. I love being involved and being part of that community. I played over 200 games at the club and this is me giving my time back to the club," Rohan said.

"All clubs do it tough with helpers, but to see the excitement of young kids coming through and having the success that they're currently having it what does it for me. Watching guys that were 17 when I was still playing, now coaching, starting families of their own, probably explains the era I'm heading into, but I still get so much enjoyment out of it,

"And the thing that I'm really proud of this season especially is that we've got a thirds team up of guys that may not have got games in the past and they're having a ball, winning all bar one game, so it's really pleasing to see,"

Read some of the nominations about Rohan below

He’s played over 200 games for Murrembeena. He has been part of the committee for many years and is also a massive part of the club. Rohan is the first person at the club during weekdays for training to set everything up and the last one to leave. He has a heart of gold and would bend over backwards for anyone at the club. In short he is what every clubs needs and wants, a beautiful human.

Rohan is our footy ops voulenteer,
- washes jumpers
- washes training bibs
- sells all of our merchandise
- is the first their on game day and training and last to leave
- you will find him umpiring thirds, helping sweep rooms or team manager .

Football Ops Mgr - Goes above & beyond with coaches, players, trainers, tm, at training, ensuring equipment, ground are in good nick & availble. Washes team jumpers, & much more.

Endless work at trainings, game days, and in between. With
out them honestly the club would be no where near it is.

Take a look at the remaining nominations that were sent through by the locals in the Southern Football Netball League

Ralle Marie - Narre South Saints
Also known as “Mum” Week in and week out she puts blood sweat and tears into the club and plays such a huge part of both our women’s teams. She is a kind hearted, sweet loving woman and continues to go above and beyond for the club, on and off the field

Peter Syle - Frankston Dolphins
His our team manager in the 2s. There every week without fail. Loves getting around the boys. Really just enjoys the game and culture of local footy. Hands out his own personal pizza awards on thursdays too. Great bloke!

Brendan Mentha - Cranbourne Football Netball Club
Brendan is the heart and soul of a football club, The first one at the club Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday. He is there pumping the footballs, Turning on the lights, Opening the doors, If someone forgets something at a game, he cleans the rooms and returns their lost property. Brendan only has partial hearing And Has hearing aids for this. Despite this if you get to the club on a Wednesday, and need to get in the rooms, There within five minutes to open up no matter what time of the day

Cheryl Carter - Murrumbeena Football Netball Club
Cheryl is our secretary , books everything. Runs our canteen , organises our function nights, helps with
council grants, and helps with our social media

Jessica McCabe - Dandenong West Football Netball Club
This person gives 110% of her time to the club. Every Saturday she is helping in the canteen. She is helping the netball girls with fitness running fitness classes on her free days with her husband. She is at events and setting up and planning so everyone has a great time. She helps with aus kick and there every Saturday morning and back Sunday to
help run canteen again. She is one incredible and deserves recognition

Bruce Hill - South Yarra Football Netball Club
At 78, Bruce should be watching games of football as a casual observer. Instead, he loads up his car to bring in all training equipment to our training ground (belongs to another club) twice a week and then brings it all again to match day where he coordinates the set up pack up.

Debbie Collard - Lyndale Football Club
Deb is always happy to put her hand up and help around the club no matter what. She plans events like ladies day, has
taken on the role of the seniors team manager and everything in-between. Everything she does is with enthusiasm and so much heart. She provides the boys beautiful fruit platters and endless lollies on game day and is a mum to everyone.
Lyndale would be lost without Debbie.

Debbie Thompson - Springvale Districts Football Netball Club
Debbie is the heart and soul of Springvales Netball Teams, Welcomes everyone with her open arms and huge smile. The club for her is like her home and the people are her family. Would drop everything to be able to help anyone in
need and steps up to every task asked of her.

Jeff Swift - St Kilda City Football Netball Club
Jeff spends countless hours at the Club and can be relied on to complete any job including picking up fridges, unblocking toilets, liaising with Council, timekeeping, shopping etc. He is usually the first to arrive and the last to leave. This new committee, coaching and playing group wouldn’t be able to do what we are doing without him.

Graeme Hyman - Hampton Hammers Football Netball Club
Graeme is our Club President and has always going above and beyond for the club. He spends a great deal of his week at the club and does a lot of the jobs behind the scenes that see our teams on the park each week. From managing the committee, to managing both reserves and senior teams on a Saturday, fundraising, meeting with councils and assisting with club functions; Graeme always goes above and beyond and has done so for many years. He has even organised the clubs first ever aboriginally designed jumpers (which will be unveiled shortly) which we are very excited for. He has seen the club through Covid and some of its darkest days where the club almost went into recess. His commitment to the club should be celebrated as he is a leader that we needed and will stand with 100% of the time. Thanks Graeme!

Lisa Buswell - Lyndhurst Football Netball Club
Lisa is an amazing volunteer for the Lyndhurst Football Netball Club. Her role at the club is Junior Football Operations, Senior Men's Football Team Manager & Open Grade Team Manager. Lisa has 3 kids of her own playing Junior football and no family connection playing senior football but always puts her hand up to support the teams and our one club vision! As a volunteer herself, Lisa also organises match day volunteers. As a young club, we know how hard that can be,
but she does it every week for each team! Lisa always puts her hand up where required and has the club's interest at best! She puts countless hours in behind the scenes, making sure all teams are ready to go before the weekend! We are so lucky to have Lisa, the hard work she puts in is shaping our clubs future and it does not go unnoticed!
She deserves all the recognition she gets!!

Brad Timms - Hampton Hammers Football Netball Club
Been a part of the club for years. From winning best and fairests to being on the commitee for years after. His two sons
have both played the club for a over 400 combined games and still going strong. Team manger for the U19s whenever
the club had them and never misses a game (unless he's bathing topless in bali)

Justin Reynolds - Heatherton Football Netball Club
Footy ops- plus so much more. Has built a relationship with many players and created a new under 19 team this year (
first in over 20 years) plus recruited senior player.

Congratulations to all that were nominated by their peers and we can't thank you enough for the work you do around your local leagues

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