South Metro Junior Football League (SMJFL) has officially kicked off the 2017 season following Thursday night’s season launch at Sandy by the Bay.
With this season being spoken about as ‘the best one yet’, Trevor Barker Oval was the setting for a number of guest speakers from all facets of the SMJFL community, hosted by former Melbourne FC star Russell Robertson.
Some of the featured guests in attendance were Peter Ryan (Chairman), Sarah Loh (CEO), Brett Connell (AFL Victoria), Angus Brayshaw (Melbourne FC) and Matt Finnis (St Kilda FC CEO).
Those in attendance were also treated to a surprise appearance from 1970 AFL Brownlow Medalist Peter Bedford, with the former South Melbourne star a guest of South Melbourne Districts JFC.
Key announcements from the night included:
- Monash University unveiled as the SMJFL’s new major sponsor for two years – Monash’s core values of ‘Community, Leadership & Diversity’ aligning with those of the SMJFL.
- Launch of the ‘Play Fair’ campaign – which will be rolled out throughout the season – Play, Coach, Support FAIR.
- The plans to move back to Moorabbin the ‘heartland’ of football in the south-east with St Kilda FC.
- Our increase in junior teams to over 470, with a spike in girls teams up to 70+
Matt Finnis – St Kilda FC – CEO
On the move back to Moorabbin… Spoke about utilising the economy of scale by sharing facilities and by having a dedicated Community Football Pavilion (SMJFL, Southern Football & Netball League, Sandringham Dragons & AFL Victoria), players will be able to use the facilities and share experiences with the elite level at Moorabbin. As a result, the development of junior footballers in the region will virtually have no ceiling.
Matt also spoke about the potential for the official community events to be held in-house at Linton St. post-development, meaning future season launches could be held at Moorabbin.
Angus Brayshaw – Melbourne FC – Former Hampton Rover Junior
On his junior career in the SMJFL… Spoke about the committees, coaches and parents instilling a “passion for the sport,” which was crucial in his development as a professional footballer and for others looking at the elite pathway. The culture of the SMJFL was important to him personally and a trademark of the league as a whole. Kids need to be having fun.
- Played 124 games for Hampton Rovers AFC Juniors
- Represented SMJFL in Interleague 10 times (2009-2011)
- Captained the Under 15 Div 1 side in 2011
- Captained Sandringham Dragons in the TAC Cup
- Represented Vic Metro in the U/18’s in 2014