By Sam Watson

BASS Coast Shire Mayor Cr Brett Tessari has returned to a role in football and netball administration, joining the new board of the Gippsland League.

Earlier this year, Gippsland League clubs decided to move away from AFL Gippsland administration for 2022, and last week the next step was taken when the league board was formed.

Eight very well credentialed members, including Tessari, have been selected to lead the league forward as they move away from the AFL.

Tessari, who was president of Wonthaggi Power for six years before becoming mayor, is very excited to be back in football and netball.

“I’m obviously very passionate about football and netball, not only in Wonthaggi but all of Gippsland,” Tessari said.

“It’s been fantastic for me, so if I can do my bit to help the league continue, then I’m really keen to do that.”

He did admit that he’s missed being involved, and he’s looking forward to working with the other seven members.

“The board looks fantastic, just reading up on the bios of the people involved, I’ve had a bit to do with Andrew Livingston previously, so I’m really looking forward to working with him.”

And he thinks his experience in his former role as Wonthaggi Power president and his current role as Bass Coast Shire Mayor will hold him in good stead in his latest endeavour.

“I’ve learnt a lot in my current role over the last three years, so I know how boards and such work, and I know how footy and netball works across Gippsland and how passionate people are about it.

“So, I think if I can marry the two together, I think I could be somewhat of a help to the league moving forward.”

Tessari said the biggest difficulty the league will face is the impacts of another season lost to COVID-19 restrictions.

“I think the first thing we’ve got to do is see how we come out the current situation we’re in,” Tessari said.

“We haven’t had a completed season now for two years and I think one of the biggest issues of us coming out is getting the reserves and the junior age groups back into playing sport each weekend.

“I think a lot of people would’ve taken the two years off and they’ll struggle to come back, so getting the under 16s, under 18s and the reserves back involved in footy is going to be a big challenge.

“And I imagine it’d be the same in netball as well.”

But despite the looming challenges, he can’t wait to get to work.

“I’m really excited to be on the board, and I’m really excited to be representing this side of the Strzeleckis on the board as well.

“I think it’s important to make sure that all clubs get an even keel, it’s a really strong board and I’m really happy to be part of it representing South Gippsland.”

Also on the board is Andrew Livingston, Dean Benson, Duane Rek, Jodi Galea, Shane
Paynter, Ian Dougherty, and Stuart Dalton.

They met with AFL Gippsland last week to begin the transition process to self-governance.