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  • Writer's pictureOld Ignatians Football Club

2023 Presentation Dinner | President's Speech

Good evening ladies and gentlemen and welcome to the 2023 Presentation Dinner. May I first extend a warm welcome to the Club Sponsors and Members who have joined us here this evening. May I also extend a special welcome and thanks to Aussie and Chris Horner who have help facilitate tonight.

I welcome the many Past Presidents and Club Life Members who are here tonight. I would like to acknowledge their past and ongoing contributions to the Club.

Well 2023, what a year it has been. We were in this room 12 months ago celebrating the fact that we competed in 2 grand finals and won an epic match against Port Districts to remain in Div 1. Unfortunately, 6 weeks later we had a few issues to deal with. A month later we were happy to sign a new coach in Daryl Spencer. I think the Club was indeed fortunate to sign Daryl as our Head coach. Daryl understood we had lost a number of players and we were late to the party in a recruiting sense. Daryl found his feet quickly and took on the job with great enthusiasm and zeal. To emulate the success of the last three or four years was always going to be difficult, but as a Club we had to get going and turn up week in and week out. It is always difficult when you are losing, but to the credit of Daryl and the other coaches, the teams kept turning up and giving there best. I have said to a number of people:

“Its not if you get knocked over, its whether you get up.“

I saw that from our young Men’s playing group, getting up every week and you are to be congratulated for that. Daryl your knowledge and empathy directed towards our playing group was acknowledged by our players and supporters and I also acknowledge and thank you for that.

The leadership shown by our Club Captain, Sam Boots should also be recognized. After getting injured he was at most trainings and supporting Daryl on Saturdays as runner A grade runner. Sam also said to the A grade group:

“you need to go through tough times to appreciate the good times”

Very true words Sam.

The Club also owes a huge debt of gratitude to Tim Rice. Tim remained committed to the Club and I cannot express my appreciation or thanks deeply enough. Tim’s loyalty and devotion to the Club was evident from before the start of pre-season, when we had a number of discussions, and I just wanted to publicly acknowledge you and your contributions, for a difficult 2023. Additionally, I recognize the prior 3 years, where your win/loss ratio would have been remarkable. Tim was always finishing up this year, so I personally thank you for all you have done over the last 4 years and I thank your wife Kirsten, for all she has put up with over that time!! Tim, the players from the B grade and the Club have some gifts for you, which will be presented later. Again, many thanks for all you have contributed to the Club.

The C grade was managed by Nathan Bailey. Obviously, the highlights for the year were Bails speeches at the Bath on a Saturday night. Bails, thank you for all your great efforts in getting the C grade on the park every week, bringing out a bunch of players who we hadn’t seen in a while and having fun in doing it.

To that point I have previously acknowledged those players who turned up to assist the Club in fielding the 3 teams every week, but I want to make the broader point of thanking all the men’s players and in particular the young group that ended up playing up in the A and B grade. Your contribution to the Club cannot go without acknowledgement and I am sure the Coaches will elaborate further in a little while.

The Women’s program was led by Brian Gue. Brian has also had a tough year using some 69 ladies over the season. I believe Brian is looking at confiscating passports during the footy season next year!! Brian to his credit worked tirelessly in getting the two teams on the park every week and the Club acknowledges and thanks him for that. I discussed the challenges with Brian in the pre-season and Brian took it all in his calm manner and just got on with the job. Brian, I hope we can settle the Women’s program down, get a few more recruits in and field 2 competitive sides again next year.

My thanks also go to Gabi Salt. Gabi took the women’s reserve teams coaching role and did a fantastic job. I understand the girls really appreciated your kind words and passionate enthusiasm for the role. Many thanks Gabi.

The girls had limited success this year, but the infectious enthusiasm from this young playing group and its ability to laugh and smile throughout the year and also keep turning up every week no matter, what was a credit to them. You also deserve better fortune next year.

As a Club we have been indeed fortunate to have an outstanding group of coaches leading our young playing groups.

As you will appreciate, we have many off-field roles, and I will allow the various coaches to thank their individual off-field assistants. I will however make special mention of the C grade assistant manager, Isiah Black. Isiah thank you for all you do for the Club, you are a true legend and we all appreciate your contributions to our Club. I will mention my off-field committee team and thank the following people:

PAUL ZOLLO Treasurer/Wine



PATRICK TYMUKAS Umps and Property Manager

RICK WARD Auctioneer and BBQ


ISAAC AND LIV RYAN Socials and other

Additionally, thanks to my Game Day Manager PATRICK STEEN

The Club could not survive with the invaluable contributions from these people. Please consider what you can do for the Club in 2024, we will need more help.

I would also like to acknowledge Grace Roberts and her fantastic team. Grace, you and your team provided care and attention to our playing group 4 nights a week and all day on Saturday. We are indeed fortunate to have such a dedicated group and I thank you. I think you and Neve Ingram have joined us tonight, so thank you both for being here tonight as well.

Thank you to the Dropkick Editors for all the time and effort you put in, it is much appreciated and the publication is read far and wide!!

Peter Zollo again ran the successful Business Lunch where Tom Harley spoke. This is a crucial fund raiser for the Club and Peter does a tremendous job organizing same.

I would like to recognize some players who achieved game milestones this year:

Daniel McCabe 250

Michael Stephenson 200

Patrick Tymukas 200

Alice Winter 50

Lily McDonald 50

Adele Czechowicz 50

In conclusion, it has been a pretty tough 2023. As a Club we now need to stick together, dig in for the fight and front up again in 2024 with renewed enthusiasm, passion and excitement. Lets get behind Daryl and Brian, the other coaches and support staff and work hard to have a better 2024. We have a great Club here and we have a committee and leadership that is committed to seeing on field success combined with off-field enjoyment. We want to be known as a Club that has a warm and welcoming environment that is represented on the field with pride and distinction. It is up to everyone to create that environment.

I congratulate the award winners tonight, thank you all for coming along and thank our MC Sticks McCabe. Have a great night everyone. Thank you.

Paul Kirchner


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