JOCK Clark has labelled 2018 the re-birth of the Castlemaine Football-Netball Club.
Clark has been announced as the new president of the Magpies and will set about re-engaging the Bendigo Football-Netball League club with the Castlemaine community.
Clark will lead a new-look Castlemaine committee and is relishing the opportunity to get back involved at club land.
Clark was a former president at Kangaroo Flat during the 1980s and is a previous chairman of the BFNL in the early 2000s, while he is well known in the football community for his years of commentating games with radio station 101.5 Fresh FM.
“I’ve known a lot of people at Castlemaine for a long time through calling games on Fresh FM and feel that now is a perfect time to get involved again,” Clark said on Wednesday.
“There’s no involvement like being in club land and in my thoughts, this year is the re-birth of the Castlemaine Football-Netball Club.
“We want to embrace our community. Hopefully, I can bring some vision and passion, and there’s some great people who are prepared to put their hand up to do the hard work.
“If we can re-engage with our community up to our eyebrows then we really think by the end of this year we can take some giant steps in again becoming a force in the competition.”
Castlemaine won its last senior premiership in 2000 and is currently enduring the longest senior finals drought of any club in the BFNL. The Magpies haven’t figured in September since 2005.
However, it’s not just senior football where the Magpies have been languishing for more than a decade.
A recent Addy breakdown of BFNL clubs football and netball performances across all grades from 2010-2017 shows Castlemaine ranks last for home and away wins (172), teams in finals (four) and premierships won (0).
“To me it’s less about on the field and court and more about community engagement… it’s about being invested in the community and them being invested in us,” Clark said.
“It’s a vibrant community in Castlemaine and we want to embrace all facets of the community and get it behind us.
“One of the first things we want to do at our first home game (against Eaglehawk on April 21) is for everybody at the club to bring along one person who hasn’t been to a Castlemaine game for five years to show them that this is their home club.”
Meanwhile, on the football field the Magpies, who will again be coached by Derrick Filo, also announced several new recruits on Wednesday.
Joining the Magpies are key position player Jesse Johnson and midfielder Tyler Gavralas, who have both played with the Tassie Mariners state under-18 side.
Winger/flanker Tom Hedley from Ouyen has also signed, while Port Melbourne-listed Jake O’Brien will be an aligned player.
Earlier in the pre-season the Magpies announced Dylan Atkins and Fabian Brancatisano as their first two recruits.