One of the more famous sayings that often gets wheeled out is “everything that’s old, is new again” what PEGS FC have uncovered to start 2022 is that calling back a legend of the football club to coach is paying early dividends.
Len Hannah has had one helluva journey in football, that started back in the VAFA in 1977 with De La Salle. Since then, he has taken on player development roles at Richmond, North Melbourne, Northern Knights, Calder Cannons, Glenroy and PEGS.
Hannah returned to the coaching reigns, at the school he has been a teacher of for the past 22 years and this week reflected on the VAFA’s For the Love of the Game podcast about how his priorities and approach to coaching has changed over the years “what you’re not doing is you’re not having to polish your ego. You’re not there to prove to people how good you are”
While the start to the year is promising for PEGS, and Premierships are often the #1 goal in every club’s mind, for Hannah it’s not all about the wins and losses column “what you’re there for is to make sure you get the best out of every person that’s in your organisation, that’s the thing that drives you” continued Hannah.
PEGS were a powerhouse of the VAFA before the Essendon District Football Club took a stranglehold on the northern suburbs with old boys from the school opting to play in local clubs, with the lure of money on the end of the stick.
For Hannah, being involved in the VAFA goes beyond any financial benefits a player can receive playing footy elsewhere “The role we have as Amatuer clubs means that we’ve got to be so much better at all the personal things, the interest in their courses how they’re going in their lives, their wives, their girlfriends, the pregnancies of their partners, everything that happens in their lives we’ve got to have such an investment and make them feel like they’re really really valued”
Listen to the full interview with Len Hannah on this weeks For the Love of the Game podcast:
As part of the Ask Grumpy Brian segment, we asked him whether the VAFA should bring back the Sunday match of the day at Elsternwick Park?
There’s pressure on all local councils to improve facilities. I know our own ground (Waverley Oval, De La Salle) we’re desperate to get some lights, not only for training conditions but for playing conditions to spread the load on the ground throughout more days.
I certainly think there’s merit in playing on more days (Friday night, Saturday twilight, Sunday afternoon), and clubs should be able to manage it through, it doesn’t traditionally always have to be a Saturday morning and afternoon.
I think there’s seemingly been a drop off in crowds across the competition this year, maybe people are going away and finding different things to do.
Maybe some Friday night may be of interest or Sunday afternoon games?
I don’t think it’s a silly thought to spread it around, there’s no reason why we can’t.
Through the 1980’s and 1990’s, we had a Sunday match of the day at Elsternwick Park, we’d get fixtured twice a year to play at Elsternwick and you actually quite enjoyed it.
We used to like it because you played finals there, so you would get a chance to play on the ground.
The Sunday game was deemed to be the game of the round, it was good fun!
There’s certainly a lot of fundraising at lunches that go on when clubs play at home these days, the ground at Elsternwick does have a terrific room, if you could make it an event that was specific to a fundraising activity there I don’t see why clubs couldn’t do it.