On behalf of your Executive Committee, I am proud to present the 36th St Mary’s GJFC Annual Report for the year ending 30 September, 2009. The past year has been a, demanding and rewarding experience for us all.

I would firstly like to thank Phillip Cattenazi and Tom Chapman for their ongoing support, guidance and counsel throughout the season and also congratulate them & their committee on the formation of the Senior club which now offers all our Colts players the opportunity to continue playing football with the club on completion of their junior careers. The success of the Senior club can be best illustrated by the senior player retention rate in 2009 of 92% compared to an average 32% in previous seasons.

A sincere thank you to all of our wonderful coaches and team managers who did such a great job throughout the year. Personally, I do not measure the success of any junior football club by how many premierships they win, instead I prefer to measure performance on how many kids are given the opportunity to play our great game. Approximately half of our competitive teams played finals this year. The feedback that the committee has received from members has confirmed that the additional money which was spent on employing various specialist coaches, who educated both our coaches and players throughout the season resulted in significant benefits.

Under the guidance of Greg Norden we are proposing to expand & fine tune this concept further in 2010 with a focus particularly on the younger age groups, teaching them the basics of kicking, marking etc. Our long term goal is that every player will be given the best possible junior football education in Australia and given every opportunity to become the best that they can be.

I would also like to briefly recognise all the executive members who made such a significant contribution to the running of our great club in 2009. It was a great team effort with no weak links, which I was truly privileged to lead.

Paul Millet who handled the difficult role of Club Secretary so professionally, as well as being a tremendous backstop and confidant for me

Paul Mitchell who brought so much enthusiasm to every task

Greg Norden who brought such integrity and vision to the most demanding role in the club.

John Snell who’s commitment and reliability was second to none.

Lynne Yates who spent many hours updating and improving our registration process

Guy Iacona who continues to improve our bottom line each year.

Jon Benson who’s humour was a constant source of amusement plus his ability to organise the club’s various social events during the year

Walter Ferronato who brought a new level of expertise to the club in such a demanding role.

Livio Basile who is the backbone and soul of St Mary’s and who’s commitment could never be questioned.

Bernie Girolami who organised all our practice matches as well as the catering at our various end of year functions

Mark Stanley for his commitment, enthusiasm & reliability

Sam Gioffre who made a significant contribution to the team with his energy, commitment & professionalism

I would also like to congratulate all of our players who received awards at the YJFL best and fairest or were lucky enough to be selected in the YJFL representative teams, as well as the many boys who played 50, 100 or 150 milestone games during the course of the season.

Congratulations also to our new Life Members Guy & Rita Iacona, a wonderful St Mary’s family that has given outstanding service to the club over many years.

This year again we spent up big with all the kids receiving FREE Hoodies, training shorts and footballs when registering as well as purchasing new jumpers for all of our Colts teams and significantly upgrading the lighting at Greensborough Park. All this could not have been possible without the continued generous support of all of our Major, Club and Team sponsors.

The clubroom re-development now looks like commencing early next year as there have been many unexpected delays with the Council & the tendering process, this will unfortunately lead to some inconvenience next season, however the new committee will liaise with the council to minimise the disruption as much as possible

Some other highlights during the year included:

First ever school holiday Footy Clinic which over 350 players attended

Specialist training programs by elite coaches including Peter Daicos, Phiv Demetriou, Justin Wenke, Rick Irwin & Martin Pike

The inaugural season of St Mary’s Senior Football Club which now offers all of our players a choice & direct pathway to U/19/Senior football.

Inaugural Sportsman Night which over 300 people attended

Total overhaul of our registration database, website and email communication.

Fielding 4 Colts teams for the first time in club or YJFL history

Finally on a personal note a huge thank you to my 4 children and my wife Kerry, who have supported me throughout another very long year. As you are aware I have decided to stand down as President, however as my boys have one more year left in Colts, I will still be around to support the new President & committee in any way I can. With a club record 589 children, playing in 27 teams, 2009 was another outstanding year at the St Mary’s Greensborough Junior Football Club. I look forward to an even bigger & better year in 2010. Thank you to all our members for your ongoing support and ensuring that your child continues to represent the biggest and best junior football club in Australia.

Chris Freeman