Wedderburn football, netball and hockey clubs to fall one under one banner

WEDDERBURN’S football, netball and hockey clubs will enter the 2018 North Central league season under the one banner.

Members of the three entities voted to approve a merger at the Redbacks’ annual general meeting on Tuesday night, where Sharyn Lockhart was installed as the inaugural president.

The former netball president was one of four members of a five-person working party which had spent months brokering the merger, to be elected to the new committee.

FUTURE: Nikki Lockhart takes control during last year's North Central A-grade premiership win for Wedderburn. The Redbacks' football, netball and hockey clubs have merged.

FUTURE: Nikki Lockhart takes control during last year's North Central A-grade premiership win for Wedderburn. The Redbacks' football, netball and hockey clubs have merged.

Wedderburn becomes the second North Central club to merge operations behind Sea Lake-Nandaly, which was only admitted to the league in 2016.

Lockhart said it was an exciting time for the club, which had an astonishing nine teams (six netball, two hockey and one football) contest grand finals in 2017.

She added that while the vote had not been unanimous, members had acknowledged the enormous benefits of streamlining operations.

Wedderburn's men's and women's hockey teams both played in grand finals in 2017.

Wedderburn's men's and women's hockey teams both played in grand finals in 2017.

“The aim is a fully united club – we’re all working together and towards the same goals,” Lockhart said.

“And I think the merger will allow more people to utilise their skills-base in an appropriate area.

“(Sea Lake-Nandaly) came into the league as an amalgamated club – they had done it previously as football-netball and then added the hockey on and they speak quite highly of being together.

“Time will tell how it goes for us. I imagine we will be watched like hawks to see how it goes and whether it is worthwhile for any other clubs to pursue.”

Lockhart praised the input of Sport Focus during the months-long consultation process.

A new nine –member committee comprises three each football, netball and hockey representatives.

The aim is a truly united club - we’re all working together and towards the same goals.

Sharyn Lockhart

Joining Lockhart will are Chris Holt (vice-president), Christine Coombes (secretary), Deanne Caserta (treasurer), Danny Fowles (football operations manager), Michelle Hargreaves (hockey operations manager), Maddison Holt (netball operations manager) and Thomas Jackson (communications and promotions).

Meanwhile, the Redbacks are still on the hunt for an A-grade netball coach.

Potential suitors would be taking control of a club, which has won seven of the last eight premierships, including six-in-a-row from to 2010-15.

Wedderburn’s 2017 flag came under the coaching of Shelley DeAraugo and Sophie Taylor, who have played in all seven of those premiership victories.

The Redbacks are also looking for B and C-grade coaches.

Wedderburn A-grade netballers celebrate their seventh premiership in eight years at Boort last season.

Wedderburn A-grade netballers celebrate their seventh premiership in eight years at Boort last season.