President’s Report – Ocean Ridge AFC 2019
Welcome to the 2019 Annual General Meeting, the Clubs 43rd AGM since inception. Welcome to the life members and thank you to all players, football department staff, administrators, coaches, sponsors, committee, volunteers, supporters club and the Club Executive who made a contribution to the Club in 2019.
We entered 2019 with a resoundingly ‘Ridge’ looking coaching group, with the return of a number of ex-players, coaches and life members in key football roles. The appointment of Tony O’Connell and Matt Waters as the Clubs senior coaches was a decision not made lightly, but their commitment to development, transparency, strong communication and a desire to build the senior playing group were key factors in the decision – one which I believe has proven to be the right one for our Club and playing group, not only in 2019, but for well into the future.
We also welcomed back Chris Gooch and Darren Gooch as the coaches for our Reserves group, taking on a side which was coming off 3 consecutive premierships across C1 and C2 reserves grades. They took on a challenging role, managing a reserves group which was used to success with aplomb and can be proud of their efforts and the outcome of the season, even though we fell short in the Grand Final by a solitary point.
Combining with our Reserves coaching group was the return of Aaron Huggett as our third senior side coach, who’s role was as challenging as anyone’s. Based on the strong player numbers seen in pre-season, the Club took the decision to add a fourth senior side in February under the guidance of Dave Rees, TC and Glen Herbert. The D1 grade coaching group as mentioned, along with Lee Aeschlimann showed incredible resilience week in, week out as they competed in a very tough grade against the thirds and fourths sides of A grade clubs. It is testament too the commitment of these coaches, along with the playing group, that we fought out the season, and each game to the final siren – including a stirring 55 point win against Mt Lawley in D1 in round 15.
Our colts coaching group of Brad Kenney and Matt Vickers returned for a second season, with Paul Carlsen also spending some time working with the Colts group after a hiatus from the club over the past few years. Whilst we fell short of the previous years Preliminary Final appearance, 10 colts aged players were blooded in our League side through the season and our colts group proved that we have plenty of talent and quality young men coming through our Colts program.
A number of massive social events filled our calendar, with our Ladies Day raising significant funds for McGrath Foundation as we do each year – Mel Gould took the event on for the first time and put on one of the best days in recent memory – thanks Mel! Our past players day was extremely well attended and a number of life members commented that it was the best they had been to – with a number of premiership reunions to be held in 2020 and 2021, this is no doubt set to continue. Our traditional Beyond Blue fixture was extremely well orchestrated by the Supporters Club, with a special mention to Shaz Sloss, it is an extremely important day each season and focuses on making sure that every single one of our members knows that they have a strong support network within the Ridge family and a reminder to everyone – you are never alone.
The Club Award Winners in 2019 were as follows:
- Life Membership – Adam Martland
- Jeanette Skilton Club person of the year – Jake Russell
- Presidents Award – Noel Wallace
- Best First year player – Lincoln Kempton
- Club Champion – Ryan Maitland
- Core Values Award – Taj O’Hayon
An update on two of our strategic objectives below:
- Women’s Football – we appointed Rachel Ortlepp to the role of Senior Coach – Women’s early in 2019. She has worked tirelessly, coaching the ORJFC Y9-11 girls side whilst recruiting for a 2020 launch of the Clubs inaugural women’s side. As a testament to Rachel’s hard work, we have entered a side in the 2019 Spring Football Competition and are on track to get our first team in the PFL in 2020 which is an extraordinary step in the right direction for our Club.
- Heathridge Redevelopment – There has been ongoing communication with all levels of government, with a needs analysis for all key user groups commencing in August of this year. We have strong support from Federal MP, Ian Goodenough and state MP Emily Hamilton, along with an ongoing dialogue with City of Joondalup Mayor, Albert Jacobs, as we continue to push towards a master plan for the Heathridge site. While we are not quite there yet, I have absolute confidence that the Ocean Ridge Clubs continued work together will see us with money in the CoJ capital budget in coming years and will see new club rooms become a reality for all Club’s members and the local community.
I’d like to take the opportunity to offer sincere thanks to two outgoing Executive members in Mic Hampton and Luke Richards. Both have served on the Club’s Executive for 3 consecutive seasons and have made enormous contributions to the Club over that period. With Mic & Luke stepping down, the opportunity for fresh blood to enter the Executive and committee as a whole exists. It is without doubt that we are a Club on the rise, it will take the effort of many people to ensure we continue on this path. Bring on 2020!