After two disrupted seasons, local football and netball clubs are looking forward to the start of a new season this weekend.
Carson White, President of the Daylesford Football Netball Club acknowledged the difficulties. “We are hoping the 2022 season allows us to play all our games, run our events and have a finals series. The last two years have had a big impact on regional sporting clubs both in participation numbers and on club finances,” he said.
The Daylesford senior football side will be at home to Gordon starting at 2:30 at Victoria Park. Gordon were top of the seniors ladder at the end of last season and were declared premiers although finals could not be played. Carson is confident, though, that the Bulldogs will rise to the occasion. “Our senior team is looking stronger than 2021 and we hope to finish in the top 8 this year. We played some good footy against Gordon last year especially given they were the premiership favourites and it was on their home ground. We are confident we will step up a level again this them this Saturday.”
The Hepburn Burras will be at home to Ballan starting at 2:30 at Laurie Sullivan Oval. Hepburn lost only one game last season and finished second on the CHFL ladder behind Gordon but did not have an opportunity to play finals because of COVID restrictions.
The Burras have turned over a number of layers in their senior footy side and have picked up a new playing coach this year in Mitchell Banner, a former Port Adelaide AFL player. “We’ve recruited three very good players as well as having four or five return to the club from other clubs or other sports,” said HFNC vice-president, Jason Dooley. “We will be young but the boys have had a massive pre-season and we also have a lot of experience blended through the side.
Daylesford netball sides have received a tremendous boost this year with the addition Carly Post, as senior netball coach. Carly started prep at Daylesford primary and went on to a long and successful career with Geelong Amateur Ammos in the Bellarine league. Carly had reinvigorated the netball club and recruited new players so Doggies will field A, B and C Grade sides as well as three junior sides this season.
Hepburn has seen big changes to their netball club since last season and will only field A and B Grade teams in addition to three junior sides. “We have had a massive turn over of players and coaches but are confident that we will be competitive,” said Jason Dooley. “We’ve moved a lot of young players up to A and B grade so they will no doubt be excited and keen to perform.”
Both clubs are always welcoming new players and families for their junior and senior sides. Daylesford is looking in particular for under 18s and reserves players. For Daylesford FNC, new netballers should contact Leah Monaghan on 0438 132 052 and new footballers should contact Carson White on 0499 811 817. For Hepburn FNC, new players should contact Jason Dooley on 0407 697 877 for footy or netball. Both clubs are also keen to attract first aiders and sports trainers.
We have really good numbers in U12’s and U15’s. Our U18’s are a bit light on however our amazing coach Darren McColl is continuing to talk to potential new players. Our senior team is looking stronger than 2021 and we hope to finish in the top 8 this year. Finding Reserves players is always tough however (like our U18’s coach Darren), our Reserves coach Rob Rogers is also working hard to secure the Reserves side.
Both clubs are planning to resume social functions which have been curtailed for the past two seasons.
Daylesford FNC is looking forward to the return of their Pride Cup game, this year against Beaufort on Sat 28th May. “Our Inaugural Pride Cup was back in 2019 and a huge success. We run this event to help promote our clubs values around diversity and inclusion and strengthen our relationship with the Daylesford Community'” said Carson White. The day comprises of a sit down lunch with speakers and the senior netball and football Pride Cup games. For more details on the day and to purchase ticket to the lunch event, please visit https://www.trybooking.com/BYTIJ
Hepburn has had its past players days cancelled for the past to years but is looking to make amends by compiling all of their missed reunions into one great day of recognition. Senior and junior football and netball premiership sides will have their reunions on April 23. The day will coincide with the Life Members Day and Lucky Ticket Draw.