365 Days of Us: Day 184

Friday. 23rd September 2016.

Unbelievable! I just don’t even know where to start.

Last night I was awarded by the Western Region Football League the Lindsay Patching Memorial Award – Club Official of the Year. It came as a complete surprise and by my speech, that was apparent. I forgot to thank so many people and I didn’t say a huge amount of things I should have, so I am doing this now.

Thank you to all the committee at the Altona Juniors. You guys fucking ROCK! We had a great team through 2016 and without your unwavering support I can’t give that bit extra to the areas that I need to concentrate on at times. So thank you everyone for your back, each and every week. Also, thank you to the Senior committee for the their support through the year and over the 2016 Finals series. You guys are a machine, so proud to be a part of the Viking history!

Thanks Vito! The bloke who I go to when I need something done, when I can’t do something myself. You fill the gaps, and that’s so liberating to know that I can count on you. You keep me in line and handle the areas I am too emotional to deal with. This award is half yours mate! You stood beside me the entire time. Bloody legend.

Thank you to my amazing husband Ben. I didn’t thank you last night but I am so, so, so thrilled you were there with me. It was a really special thing and to have you there was so amazing. I know you relinquish a huge amount of me to football, and I will forever be grateful of the support, love and understanding you have for me. I can not for second do any of this without your blessing.

Thank you to the entire League, particularly Dave and Tim who have the answers that I don’t, and who also have allowed me the opportunity to shine. Match Managing finals campaigns is a tough gig. I’m the person teams love to love when it suits them and then I’m hated when I’m pulling them into line. Ha, it’s a crazy few hours! I have learned a huge amount about myself over the past 6 weeks of finals and grown in ways I never thought I could. The League cop a fair amount of flack at times, but I see just a small portion of the work that they all put into making a great comp, and lets be realistic, the WRFL is a great league. They might not have the dollars to flick around like other leagues but we are humble and we are proud in the Western Region. Good footy and good people with an abundance of talent.

I have to also mention where my love of footy has come from. The smell of liniment, wet grass, mud and beer will hands down take me back to the change rooms at CFNC. Wet weekends sitting in the car with the wipers flicking, watching the footy through a towel wiped foggy window, eating fat busted saveloys with sauce in bread and a bag of mixed lollies. I grew up at the football watching dad play. Mum burnt his boots when he was 39 years old to stop him. He loved it and I guess that’s where it al began, so thanks dad, for pulling the boots on each week. It then it flowed through to watching Ben play until injury finished his football career early. Among the footy-netball, sprained and rolled ankles, broken noses, Ben’s arse in footy shorts, beers and great mates, footy was the glue that held our community together. Moving away made things hard to stay in touch at Clunes but we still got back when we could to watch. So eventually our boys decided to play football and things snowballed from there. Team Manager for a couple of years soon led to the AJFC Administrator and then by chance the League requested assistance for senior finals when someone else couldn’t do it last year. The 2016 finals were offered to me singularly I believe, and I never really believed that I made a difference. I am so humbled by all the people from other clubs who said thank you and congratulations last night.

Lastly, my Mum. I know she’s up there, all around me and guiding me. This one is for her. She was a massive driving force back in the day as Secretary, social, fundraising, canteen manager and god knows what else for the Clunes Football Netball Club for a number of years. Along side a strong committee she pushed the CFNC out of some serious shit with her ideas, time and effort, and was never really recognised for that. So this is for you mum. You were an amazing woman, thank you.

So there you have it. The speech I should have said. lol

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