The new season was officially launched at the 2022 VAFA William Buck Season Launch held at Crown last night.
Over 250 club personnel, VAFA board members, staff and sponsors were in attendance as President of the competition George Voyage officially opened proceedings after two tumultuous years with the 2020 season cancelled and the 2021 season abandoned.
The night was headlined by the appearance of four-time Hawthorn Premiership coach Alistair Clarkson, who has come on board as an ambassador with Tackle Your Feelings. A mental health training program for community AFL coaches, as well as committee members and other club support staff. Tackle Your Feelings is also an official partner of the VAFA.
Clarko held the room with much of the discussion around the importance of sport, and in particular local football clubs and the role they play in supporting the community. Recounting Buddy’s 1,000th magical goal and the potential whisper of him coaching Tasmania if they end up with a team in the AFL.
As always on the night of the season launch, the VAFA is pleased to announce seven 2022 Certificate of Merit awardees, each of whom have been recognised for their outstanding service to the VAFA and their clubs.
Russell Barnes (Ormond)
- Commenced involvement with Ormond as an U19 player in 1978
- Played 255 senior games
- Captain 1985 – 1989 & 1991
- 3x Premiership Captain
- Roles at Aquinas, Beaumaris, Hampton Rovers, Old Brighton & St Bede’s Mentone Tigers
- 2017 Big V Champion inductee
Richard “Titch” Callanan (St Kevin’s)
- Commenced his SKOB career in 1978
- Played 310 games and kick 450 goals
- Member of the Women’s coaching panel
David Veal (Old Ivanhoe)
- Played 106 games
- Umpired over 200 games for the VAFA
- Committee member of Old Ivanhoe 1990-2021
- Coach of the Old Ivanhoe Women’s 2018 – 2020
George Wakim (Preston)
- Co-creator of Preston Bullants
- 4x Premiership coach at Preston
- VAFA Coach of the Year 2014 and 2016
Warwick Watson (Caulfield)
- Involved with Caulfield 1971 – current
- 206 games, 127 goals 1971 -1987
- Best and Fairest 1979
- Caulfield Team of the Century member
Gary “Lumpy” Rosewarne (Elsternwick AFC)
- Elsternwick 1970 – 2021
- 307 games
- 5x best and fairest
- 1973 E-Grade leading goalkicker (78)
- 1982 Jack Fullerton Medal
- Captain of Elsternwick Team of the Centenary
Gary Nash (Hampton Rovers)
- 193 games for Hampton Rovers
- Senior captain
- 1986 senior and reserves coach
- President of Hampton (Current)
- 2x Best clubman
The VAFA also congratulated, recognised and honoured Life Membership of John Kanis and John Robinson for their significant contribution to the competition.
More photos from the evening can be viewed on the VAFA Facebook page.