The VAFA Sportscover 2015 Season Launch last night again acknowledged those clubs legends and volunteers of the game that have given their heart and sole to a club over a significant period of time. A VAFA Certificate of Merit Award is just a small token of appreciation to the men and women who keep their clubs or organisations going all for the love of the game. Each recipient is no more worthy than any other, but the 10 names below join a large number of people before that the VAFA and their clubs have acknowledge over time.
Frank Stringer (Ormond)
Frank joined Ormond in 1978 as a supporter after meeting two players Bruce Bourne and Shane Dove who lived near him. He was asked by the committee to take on the role of interchange steward soon after joining the club and he continues in this role as of today. Frank joined the committee in 1984 and served for 30 consecutive years. He is now regularly seen behind the bar after games and on Thursday nights where he also helps prepare meals for the players and supporters. Frank is an integral part of the Ormond Amateur F.C. He is highly respected by all at Ormond and the wider VAFA community. He has provided the club and the VAFA with 36 consecutive years of service, always with a smile and a story to tell.
Barry Lynch (Kew)
Barry played exactly 150 games for Kew across ten seasons and has the honour of being the last player to win the B Reserve Section Best & Fairest Award in 1969, the last year Reserves Best and Fairest Awards were given by the VAFA. Since his retirement, Barry was a constant off field contributor, serving as a member of the Committee between 1975-78 and he has been the club bar manager since 1969, a role which he fulfils to this day. Barry also acted as the club trainer between 1976 and 1996 and has been the club goal umpire since 1997. When not required between the posts, Barry fills any number of roles including, timekeeper, scoreboard attendant or interchange steward as required. Furthermore the Lynch family (including Barry and his his wife Lois and daughter Mandy) have run the canteen at Kew on Saturdays and sold raffle tickets etc post game for numerous years.
Andrew McCormack (Emmaus St Leos)
Andrew played 190 games for Emmaus St Leos from the clubs inception in 1971. Since then he has served the club primarily as team manager for 30 years, combining for 44 years of continuous service. For the past 20 years, Andrew has been the bar manager and anyone who visits the club is always made to feel at home. Andrew has provided outstanding service to the Animals for its entire history of operation. He is one of those truly remarkable grassroots football people who has filled almost every role across the club. At the same time, he has earned universal appeal as a fantastic person.
Dr Colin Melville (Old Scotch)
Colin commenced with Old Scotch in 1953 and played 190 games for the Cardinals. Colin then took up coaching and he spent five seasons leading the Under 19s in the 1970s. Colin served as the honorary club doctor from 1967 to 2012 setting the trend for the VAFA and VAFA clubs alike. All in all Colin’s service to Old Scotch spans a staggering 60 seasons of the VAFA.
Andrew Simpson (St Kevin’s Old Boys)
Andrew has had a continuous involvement at St Kevins for 45 years as a player, committee member, sponsor and official. As a player he won two reserves premierships in the 1970s and managed 152 games for the club. Off field the numbers are bigger, with over 30 years of service and three decades as Vice President alone. Andrew has been responsible for the strong relationship with the school and is the chief organizer of Foundation Day when SKOBs play on the school ground. As well as giving his time, Andrew has been the club’s longest serving sponsor.
Neil Wallmeyer (Prahran Assumption)
Neil commenced with the club when it was known as State Bank, before continuing his service through the amalgamations of Commonwealth Bank, Southbank then Prahran. Neil began playing in 1988, finishing with more than 250 games and two premierships, including 1990 when he was premiership captain. Neil has coached the reserves on two occasions, also winning a reserves premiership as coach in 1997. Neil has been a committeeman for 20 years including five years as general manager. He has been a reserves club umpire and filled in every other match day role possible and also helped set up the junior club. The club owes so much to Neil’s work in 1998, to ensure the continuation of the club via Prahran and his efforts to maintain and include all the previous club’s history.
Sid Catlin (Beaumaris)
Sid has been Treasurer for all 20 years that Beaumaris has been in the VAFA and for the past 15 years he has doubled up as the Shark’s chief statistician. Sid will be retiring from the Committee at the end of the year and is the only remaining committee member left since the club joined the VAFA. Sid has been doing the stats with his mate John Martin with the two having been friends since school days. Their passion for the stats has been evident since day one and whilst the coaches come and go, the stats men remain. Sid was also a great contributor to the junior part of the club before he joined the senior committee. As a point of trivia, Sid played his first game of senior VFL football with Melbourne at the ripe old age of 16 years and 218 days. He played 4 games for Melbourne and 15 with South Melbourne, but only managed to play 1 reserves game with Beaumaris.
Ken Petrucco (Inner FM)
Ken has been watching at least one and sometimes three games a week of VAFA football, all the while offering his opinion on proceedings on 96.5 Inner FM since 1998. Since then, the station, of which Ken is President, has presented weekly the VAFA match of the day, live to listeners across Melbourne and globally via the internet. Ken has also hosted and the weekly VAFA football show on Saturday mornings and has interviewed close to 1000 guests in the past decade. It was Ken’s initiative to broadcast live counts of the VAFA section medals on radio and to cover representative carnivals and matches.
Peter Hevey (North Old Boys St Patrick’s)
Peter has served continuously on the committee of North Old Boys since 1994, spending time as Secretary and Vice President. He has spent six seasons as a team manager and has concurrently managed the canteen and facilities of the club for the past 15 years and counting. Peter managed a 63 game career as a wiry ruckman through the 1980s and early 1990s before becoming a club umpire for NOBs. Peter’s pleasant personality, willingness to help and loyalty have endeared him to everyone he meets.
Simon Hunt (Old Xaverians)
Simon was a player from 1984-86 but it is off the field where his service has been most notable: involved off field at Old Xaverians since 1991 serving 15 years on the committee, 10 years of which he was President, Simon collected an astonishing 23 premiership flags in that time, including five in Premier Section. Much of Xavs success on field can be attributed to the leader at the top and Simon was a popular and engaging leader that got the best out of everyone. A constant promoter of Old Xaverians and the VAFA, Simon grew the club from four teams to seven during his time and always encouraged the club to embrace the VAFA and the wider community.
View a Timelapse of last night’s Sportscover Season Launch