The 'Mighty Midgets' (below): One of the Beaumaris Football Club's inaugural junior teams in 1963 - the club celebrates its 50-year anniversary in 2012 Posted in Front Page News , People of the SMJFL

By Ben Pollard

In 1963, they were known as the ‘Mighty Midgets’.

These days, they’re known as anything from Black Tails to Hammerheads or Hound Sharks.

The names of their junior teams may have changed, but even as the Beaumaris Football Club celebrates its 50-year anniversary, some important things from that first year remain the same.

The Under 10s of 2012 still wear the royal blue with gold sash, they still play at Banksia Reserve in Oak Street and, according to juniors secretary Nicki Spencer, the sense of belonging that surrounds them at Beaumaris has been a constant.

“It’s a really good community feel here,” she says.

“To use last year as an example, one of the Dads here had cancer and deteriorated rapidly, and the way that particular team and the people within the football club rallied around that family was just… Well, you don’t get that anywhere else.”

Junior players act as waterboys for their older siblings’ teams, five members of the Sharks’ senior squad coach junior teams and even high-profile local Dermott Brereton coaches an Under 13 team.

Nicki’s son Tom, a member of one of Beaumaris’ four Under 10 teams, has already made some great friends in the community through football.

Tom will run out with some of them for the Sharks team this Sunday in the Under 10 NAB Lightning Carnival.

Naturally, Nicki thinks her son’s team will do well, but Tom has really sized up the opposition ahead of his side’s three games.

“There’s one team we’ve won against by 10 goals and two others we lost to by four goals, so it’ll be pretty close,” he says.

Tom is desperate to make amends for last year’s carnival, when his team was the only one of four Beaumaris Under 9 sides not to win their group.

He’ll be doing all he can to get his team across the line from his position at half back.

But Tom points to teammate Luke Cleary as one player who could break the game open for the Sharks.

“He (Luke) just runs, finds an option and kicks it to them, and usually finds the person he’s kicking it to,” he says.

The Spencers also point to Jackson Turner from the Hammerheads, Jarrod Jackson from the Black Tails and Matthew Edwards from the Hound Sharks as players who will help the Beaumaris cause on Sunday.

Time will tell if they follow in the footsteps of the community’s finest junior products.

Among those to have donned the blue and gold are recently-retired Melbourne and Hawthorn AFL player Cameron Bruce and 212-game Saints veteran Jason Blake.

Past and present-day St Kilda figures Michael Roberts and Michael Nettlefold also started their football journeys at Beaumaris.

It’s a rich history for a club formed 50 years ago in a largely undeveloped area with just three junior teams.

The current total of 23 junior teams shows some things will change at Beaumaris, but it’s the things that have stayed the same that contribute most to the success of the Sharks community.

The Under 10s will be giving everything to add to that success on Sunday.