DALYSTON may have slipped down the West Gippsland Competition ladder on the footy field, but with sustained success from the netballers, the club is happy where it sits.
The handover of the coaching reins went ahead as planned. Paul Brosnan stepped aside after a long and successful stint, and now Mark Lafferty, his assistant last year, is in the role.
Lafferty has plenty of coaching experience including stints with MDU, Leongatha’s reserves and at Port Melbourne where he was part of Gary Ayres’ staff during a premiership year.
He’ll have more to work with following the recruitment of assistant coach Daniel Beyer, a strong bodied midfielder from Ferntree Gully in the Eastern Football League.
He’s bringing a handful of mates with him from the same part of the world who impressed the Dalyston scouts.
President Andy Thomas said the West Gippsland League provides an attractive option for suburban players looking for a kick in the country.
“The league is very easy to get to. For players in Clyde, Berwick or Beaconsfield, our away games are just 30 minutes from their home.”
He said the clubs from the Alberton and Ellinbank leagues that came together to form the West Gippsland competition two years ago have already formed strong bonds.
“Everyone gets along well and tries to help each other out. There’s mutual respect, for sure.”
He said AFL Gippsland’s push for a Sunday grand final for the WGFNC united the clubs in their opposition.
“Before then we were a bit stand-offish but we’ve come together since.”
He said now representatives look forward to meeting with each other and working to benefit football and netball.
Andy said his club had some reservations about the latest review that will see Warragul Industrials and Tooradin-Dalmore enter the competion.
He admitted the latter had few alternatives, but was concerned the Warragul Industrials would become their town’s major team, given the league’s proximity to Melbourne, and Warragul’s major league team playing games further from the city.
“We’ll go with the umpires’ call. We don’t think it will be a big deal and it shuts the door on anyone else coming in with a maximum of 12 teams.”:
Andy said he felt for the Alberton clubs and hoped the review works in their favour.
Like the Alberton clubs, Dalyston needs more junior players to field under 16 and 18 players.
Dalyston’s Under 18s will be coached by Greg Davis who has extensive experience at senior level. A strong group of Under 16 players will join him but that leaves a gap for Under 16 players to come on board.
Off the ground, exciting times are ahead with new changerooms being built as well as new social rooms. New netball courts are also on the horizon.
“We hope to become the community hub of Dalyston. We want parents to know that their kids will be looked after when they’re here, on and off the field.
“We want to build a club with a social conscience that welcomes people of all abilities and that can turn them into good footballers, netballers and good people.”