THIS is it…my last opportunity to speak honestly about my two years involved with the Bendigo Football Club.
At times, I have expressed my views in what’s good for footy in general and also to predict or assess the game at the top level.
I have had the chance to express my views about the club and I will again now.
On field, we have under-performed for a number of reasons and I certainly don’t hide from being the face of this area.
We have faced many challenges and always been positive.
Off-field, we generated more sponsorship and support than ever before, but in reality, the task was too big without certain needs - that is well documented.
However, I want to focus on our people, which have been led by Tim Dickson.
Make no mistake, this club will finish with respect thanks to the work of Tim.
The dedication and leadership he has shown has been unwavering and a sign of a great individual with great morals.
I do not have enough time to go into Tim’s contribution but it is one of great integrity and sacrifice.
Publicly, I want to thank Tim for his amazing support of myself, my family and every individual within the footy club.
We have had some long serving football department servants led by Lenny Schmidt, Paul Seery, Theo Kappa and John Goodridge.
These guys are the best in their trade within the region and have poured their heart and soul into the club.
Behind the scenes, Wal Thelen, Ken Lynch, Wendy Taylor and John Stewart have done the tough jobs, keeping the place ticking, they have been the fabric of the club.
As we tried everything in our power to compete with the big clubs, we added Laura Naughton to our staff.
Without going into detail, I can see why Bridgewater are a powerhouse if Laura, Wayne and her family are an indication of how that club conducts itself.
They are great people and selfless workers.
Recently, we have been able to add some of the best people I have met in footy.
To Andrew Sharpe, Andrew Williams, Mark Adamson, Sean Rashleigh and Jordy Burke, I sincerely thank you for your ongoing support and commitment in sometimes challenging circumstances.
We have had significant involvement from Aaron Milsom, Jason Cole, Josh Deans, Alan Morrison, Chris Brown, Tim Robinson and Trav Matheson, Raf, Reece and Rami our doctors as well as our many physio students that have been keen to work under our physio guru.
They are not household names but without their commitment, our club and no other club would be able to survive.
To all of our board, sponsors and parents, there are too many to mention, but of course without you, our club would not have existed.
I want to thank the players I have coached.
Our players have accepted every challenge, on and off field, and will be great people in our community for years to come.
Not once have they complained, sort the easy option or looked sideways for excuses.
These players will be so strong in their footy career and more importantly life, for their community understanding and involvement in helping those in need.
A sincere good luck to all of you in your future endeavors.
Finally, I thank my amazing wife Kate, and my two boys Kai and Alfie.
The support my family has provided me throughout has been above and beyond and I look forward to the next chapter of our lives.
I have met some great people outside our club but my focus at this time has to be on those who will lose their club by the end of this week.
It will be an emotional night on Friday but I know our club, we will enjoy the night, have a crack and all go out knowing we gave it our all.