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So who’s behind the SMJFL after all? The people running this organisation have answered some of the questions that really matter to give you an insight into who they are…

David Cannizzo

What do you do at the SMJFL? General Manager

What’s the best thing about doing it? Bossing Adam around… No, seriously, my enjoyment comes from seeing significant improvements in this fantastic league every day.

Where have you come from and where are you going? Was previously Operations Manager for the Southern Football League while simultaneously the Administration Manager for the South Metro Junior Football League. Hoping to continue to climb the sports industry ladder and maybe work alongside the likes of Adrian Anderson one day.

What traits do you bring to the SMJFL table? Bossing everyone around is probably my strongest trait, and I think I’ve also improved the attractiveness of the office.

Are you any good at playing footy? Well, definitely the best footballer in the SMJFL team, that’s for sure! Been a back-man most of my career – even in juniors – but can kick a goal when given the opportunity. I kicked Goal of the Century last year from full-back, taking a massive mark on the wing after leading from the backline, dodging three players and then drilling a left-foot kick from the flank about 45m out. Played junior footy at Wesley College and senior footy at Collegians/South Yarra/Clayton.

What is your best memory of your junior footy days? Running off the ground and finding shelter when it starting hailing one game.

Who do you support in the AFL? Geelong

Which AFL player would you most like to be and why? Harry Taylor. He never loses one-on-one and hurts his opponents by running offensively.

What is your favourite food? Friday pork rolls with gravy from King of the Roast, Clarinda. Adam is soft and can’t handle the pork.

Adam Sparrow

What do you do at the SMJFL? Football Operations Administration Officer

What’s the best thing about doing it? Where do I start…? Great to be a part of helping children enjoy football; great fun working with great people; get to be involved with my favourite sport 24/7.

Where have you come from and where are you going? Studied commerce/sports management before moving into the sports industry. Looking forward to continuing my personal development here, with the hope of moving into a more senior position in the sports industry in the future.

What traits do you bring to the SMJFL table? Good looks & co-ordinator of the SMJFL office Friday lunches.

Are you any good at playing footy? 8 years experience playing in the SMJFL for the Cheltenham Panthers, before moving into senior football with Cheltenham/Heatherton.

What is your best memory of your junior footy days? Winning premierships with my mates.

Who do you support in the AFL? Carlton

Which AFL player would you most like to be and why? Marc Murphy – future Brownlow medallist and smooth-moving ball magnet.

What is your favourite food? Friday grilled chicken rolls from King of the Roast, Clarinda. Doughnuts a close second.

Ben Pollard

What do you do at the SMJFL? I do a bit of work for the website and take care of social media.

What’s the best thing about doing it? It’s just great to get a foot in the door of the football media in some way. Can’t complain about the casual hours and working mostly from home either!

Where have you come from and where are you going? I’m a veteran uni bum. Completed a commerce degree at the University of Melbourne, decided I didn’t actually like it and am now completing a journalism degree at Monash University. Hoping to get involved in the AFL media scene in some capacity down the track.

What traits do you bring to the SMJFL table? I plan to implement a strict regime of proper apostrophe usage.

Are you any good at playing footy? Unfortunately, I’m absolutely awful at playing footy. When I realised my skinny adolescent frame was never going to fill out, I turned my attention to simply writing about footy.

What is your best memory of your junior footy days? Following a freakish growth spurt, I enjoyed a year of towering over most kids in the Under 13s for St Joseph’s in Geelong. Kicked a few goals from centre-half forward, including four in my first match.

Who do you support in the AFL? The mighty Cattas, of course

Which AFL player would you most like to be and why? I’d love to be a fearless, hardnut Joel Selwood-type, but in all honesty, if I was somehow playing in the AFL I’d be a Mark Blake-type throwback to the days when ruckmen did nothing but reach up to occasionally palm the ball down at stoppages.

What is your favourite food? Nothing beats a spicy Thai curry with an ice cold beer.

Sam Taylor

What do you do at the SMJFL? I do work placement on Mondays.

What’s the best thing about doing it? I enjoy the work that I do, and obviously working with David and Adam.

Where have you come from and where are you going? I’m studying for a Diploma of Sport Development at SEDA (Sports Education and Development Australia) and hope to get a job in the sports administration field after this year.

What traits do you bring to the SMJFL table? I am the man. The SMJFL would be in a worse position without the one and only Sammy Taylor!

Are you any good at playing footy? Good on the track, but when it gets to game day can seriously warm a bench up! Played my junior footy in the SMJFL for Mordialloc-Braeside, but have hung up the boots and taken up my coaching career, also at Mordialloc Braeside.

What is your best memory of your junior footy days? Would have to be winning one of those prestigious lightning premierships!

Who do you support in the AFL? Western Bulldogs

Which AFL player would you most like to be and why? Chris Judd. The reason why is my serious football talent.

What is your favourite food? Most definitely a chicken parma!

Sarah Perkins

What do you do at the SMJFL? Work placement student helping with administration. 

What’s the best thing about doing it? You get treated like you’re a part of the team and I’m learning about something that I’d like to do in the future.

Where have you come from and where are you going? I’ve been studying at SEDA (Sports Education and Development Australia) for the past two years and am completing my last year. Past work experiences were at Parkhill Primary and the Yarra Junior Football League. After this year I plan to study at uni, but I’m not sure what I want to do yet.

What traits do you bring to the SMJFL table? I do the counting, because Adam can’t count very well.

Are you any good at playing footy? I’m alright at footy. I’ve played in the Youth Girls league for three years and I’m now playing in the Victorian Women’s Football League for East Burwood. I play in the forward line and get put in the ruck sometimes. 

What is your best memory of your junior footy days? My best memory would have to be playing for Victoria in 2010 and being a part of the first ever team to win the Under 18 national carnival and being in the team last year when we won back-to-back titles.

Who do you support in the AFL? Hawthorn

Which AFL player would you most like to be and why? I’d have to say Sam Mitchell, as he is an amazing player and I’d just love to be that good a player. 

What is your favourite food? Chocolate 

Matthew Blee (Matty B)

What do you do at the SMJFL? Work experience.

What’s the best thing about doing it? Meeting new people and getting to know what happens behind the scenes of a junior football league.

Where have you come from and where are you going? I have come from SEDA (Sports Education and Development Australia) to do this work placement.

What traits do you bring to the SMJFL table? A good looking head!

Are you any good at playing footy? Am I good at playing footy?! Hahaha! I’m usually used as a bit of a utility all over the ground. Can pretty much play anywhere.

What is your best memory of your junior footy days? Winning the Under 17 premiership with St Pauls JFC and playing in Adelaide representing the MSJFL, as it was called back then.

Who do you support in the AFL? St Kilda

Which AFL player would you most like to be and why? I would have to say that I already resemble a player who would be a mix of Aaron Sandilands and Brent Harvey, in that I can play anywhere on the field and dominate!

What is your favourite food? Would have to be good old home-made lasagne.

Lucas Forato

What do you do at the SMJFL? Take calls, match information from the weekend and little jobs for Adam.

What’s the best thing about doing it? It’s a foot in the door. If you’re looking to continue on in this industry then you know you’ve already got a brief understanding of what’s really going on.

Where have you come from and where are you going? I finished VCE last year at De La Salle. My work experience was actually done at the SFL with Dave, but he wasn’t a big honcho like he is today. My future ambitions would be to follow my dreams of getting drafted and making something out of my footy knowledge through the AFL industry.

What traits do you bring to the SMJFL table? With only such a limited time being there, you just have to get the work done while you’re there. One of my finer qualities is being on the receiving end of Adam’s handball jobs. Anything that doesn’t fit his day-to-day desk-related jobs is coming straight to me or one of the other work experience guys. But on the other hand, we know our place.

Are you any good at playing footy? I am lucky enough to have made the Oakleigh Chargers Under 18 squad this year. I feel that I’m a strong footballer but will need to keep on improving if I’m to go further.

What is your best memory of your junior footy days? Captaining the Under 14 grand final win or last year’s Under 17 grand final win.

Who do you support in the AFL? The mighty Blues

Which AFL player would you most like to be and why? Either Lenny Hayes or Luke Ball. True honest footballers who constantly put their bodies on the line for the team. Also, you never see them put a foot wrong; they are well respected and very focused.

What is your favourite food? Hard one, probably Nonna’s gnocchi. Sorry Mum.