Centenary Speech by Jack Potter
President, Lindisfarne Football Club
9th July 2011 Wrest Point Casino Derwent Room
As the President, the Chairman, or the head of any organisation, there is an expectation that you will do what all the members of that organisation wish you to do. This is very difficult and, as we all know, you can’t keep everyone happy all the time. However, this night isn't about individuals, it is about the thousands of people as a whole who have been players, coaches, administrators, supporters and later, sponsors of this Club from its seeds in 1910 to its inception in 1911 right up to all those involved in the Club today.
I wish to make a specific acknowledgement to all past Presidents and Board Members of the last century who have fought through tough times to make this night possible. It is a testament to our past that I can stand here as your representative tonight celebrating a milestone such as this. And I do so with technology such arriving by motorcar, being able to look around at you all with the benefit of electric lighting and using such wonderful instruments as microphones, data projectors, and computers all while wearing a shirt made with a connected collar and a tie made from polyester.
The club has its history. Many here have spoken about the Club’s history at length in various forums. They have spoken about what it has achieved, about great teams, brilliant coaches, gifted players and all the characters that have made up our Club along the way.
Certain teams, lead by certain coaches have won statewide premierships, regional premierships, reserves premierships and the trophies won or lost annually against old foes like Channel and Triabunna.
But what about the history of what went on during the time Lindisfarne has been around?
Our club is older than:
- The flurodisation of water
- Parking meters
- The MTT
- The Royal Hobart Hospital in Argyle St
- The State Library
- Motorised taxis
- The Polio epidemic
- Mt Wellington’s Pinnacle road
- Cadbury making chocolate at Claremont
- Tasmania’s first Radio Station; and
- The EZ Company
In 1911 itself, South Australia transferred the Northern Territory to federal government and the ACT is proclaimed.
1911 was also the year in which the first non-stop London-Paris flight occurred,
There was the first running of Indianapolis 500,
The current Queen’s Grandfather, King George V was crowned,
The Lost City of the Incas was discovered,
Amundsen reached the South Pole; and one of our major sponsors, Co-Op Toyota, was founded in 1911 making it the longest running automotive dealership in Australia today.
What other milestones has the Lindisfarne Football Club seen since its establishment?
- The Last hanging in Australia
- Introduction of television
- The First Sydney-to Hobart Yacht Race
- Development of penicillin
- Sydney Harbour Bridge
- The Extinction of the Thylacine
- Phar Lap
- The Great Depression
- The introduction of Vegemite
- The founding of Qantas and
- And the Great War of 1914 to 1918
Many players went gone off to the wars which occurred during the last century. They left the field of play and ended up on the fields of France. They swapped their footy boots for rifles and their jumpers for fatigues. They fought at the battles of Jutland and The Coral Sea, a far cry from playing centre-half-back against Smithy from Clarence. While some continued the great game here at home, some paid the ultimate price.
On the Western Front against the Germans, in the jungles of New Guinea against the Japanese, or putting up with Americans in Vietnam, the Blue Boys have done their share.
This club must continue this fighting spirit if it is to survive. 100 years is a long time for a company to be around. But for an urban football club fighting against the lure of the sponsorship dollar, for players, for supporters and for equal representation? Even more so.
Does this great club use its proven tenacity to fight against spurious comments and disparaging remarks? No, it does not. The Lindisfarne Football Club uses its fighting spirit to overcome the hurdles put in front of it; to draw upon the contributions of all past members and puts its honesty and integrity to the fore, supporting its coaches, its players, its supporters and its sponsors. We have been successful in the past and have been through the desert of the early 2000’s and the night of the sackings when people didn’t uphold spirit of the club. We came through that period well and begun to thrive again.
Did our players from the early- to mid- 20th century go off to war for selfaggrandisement? Of course not: they went to war to protect something bigger than themselves: They left to do their bit, as they say, to secure the future of this nation and their way of life so that those left behind could enjoy what they had. Indeed, all of us in this room owe not just our past players who went away to fight but more so those that did not return.
This club is older than internal plumbing, the telephone and the trolley-bus. This club has survived the Great Depression, Rationing and the Spanish Flu. And it is currently trying its best to survive that dreaded of all footy clubs: AFL Tasmania. The club is still here. And people want to be a part of it.
The Club has been a leader in the development of junior and senior footballers within this State and the Club is committed to providing every player skills development to assist them achieve their individual goals, whether it be playing Senior, Representative or Statewide football.
In the club’s endeavours to get as much out of its players, there have been 21 Coaches in the second half of our first century. The most noted of these are
John Kuipers, Phil Burridge, Steve Midson and John Peers of the 1980’s during which period we won six premierships: No list of coaches of Lindisfarne would be complete without mentioning that man on the track dressed in Blue, White and Black, the mighty Bill Kingston of the fifties and sixties. Amongst these notables, are Peter Clements who coached the winning 2005 Reserves Premiership side, Dan Willing, now Assistant Coach at the Hobart Football Club, Chooka Rainbird who, after coaching the U17 Colts in 2009 stepped in at short notice to help out his club by coaching the 2010 Senior side in his final year of football. And lastly, Rod Mayne, Darren Kaye, Gary Williamson, and Kaine Menzie. To those blokes and to all those I haven’t mentioned: we thank you for your time and effort to bring out the best of our boys.
We competed in the Clarence Football Association until 1948, winning the 1924 Premiership along the way.
In 1949 we joined the Tasmanian Amateur Football League (Southern Division) until the League went out of existence at the end of the 1995 season. During this period we won the TAFL Southern Division Premierships in 1957, 82, and 89 as well as the State Amateur premierships in 1957 and ’89. Not forgetting the Reserves side, which went about winning the 1986, ‘88 and ’89 Premierships as well as winning the State Reserves Premiership in the same year, 1989, as their Senior counterparts under the two Bugsys: Burridge for the Seniors and Midson for the Reserves. Finally, under the tutelage of John Peers, the Blues managed to win the 3rd Division Premiership against New Town in 1988.
In 1996 the club joined the newly started Southern Tasmanian Football League now known as the SFL where it still competes today.
After a solid start to our SFL tenure, we suffered a disastrous period between 1998 and 2004 in which we lost 74-consecutive senior matches. However, we managed to win the 2005 Reserves Premiers title. In 2008, under coach Daniel Willing, the Blues swept all before them, winning all of our 18 roster matches and the Second Semi Final before crashing to the Huonville Lions by 37-points on Grand Final day before 4,397-fans. We also managed to make the 2009 SFL grand final although losing to New Norfolk who had been undefeated all season.
Last year, the Seniors ended up in sixth position. New Norfolk, once again, went on to snare the Premiership title quite easily over Dodges Ferry at King George V Oval in front of a crowd larger than that of the Statewide League Grand Final which was being held on the same day at Bellerive Oval.
Current Club Coach Adrian Goodwin was appointed by 2010 President Trevor Bailey. After a few hiccups in the early pre-season, what followed was history making. We had a huge influx of players: a mixture of young bloods and experienced players from other clubs, including two from interstate. With no tall forward and a running style of play, we have started the season on a good path, having lost only three of our 14 senior games so far. With the retirement of Nick Braslin to the Old Scholars competition, our new Club Captain, Justin Myers has taken control of the senior group, ably assisted by Vice Captain Scott Bester.
Mixed results in the Reserves have yet to fully cement their opportunity of playing finals. However, with the group developing under the guidance of Brad Turner, the twos look to be in with a good chance.
We failed to field an U18 Colts team for the first two rounds this year due to a lack of young players. However, with the Clarence alliance in place, we were able to secure the skills and talents of some sensational players from the overburdened U16 Roos side. As a whole, the young boys from the Red & White have done a superb job in augmenting a strong core of the 17 year-olds we had from last year and, with their distinctive red shorts with our blue-and-blue jumper, they have worked to play a harder style of football, trying to get first to the ball and not backing out of tough contests. It is pleasing to see such determination in 15 and 16- year olds as they battle seasoned 17- and 18 year olds from other SFL clubs.
The Club also has a very good relationship with the Lindisfarne JFC, a few of which also play in our U18 Colts side. We strive to provide a clear pathway from the Under 16 sides in our zone to the U18 Colts as the boys grow in stature and skill. With the Lindisfarne U16s training with our club fortnightly, it gives both Goody and the U16 Coach Mark Hutchinson a good idea of their aptitude and skill levels. There are some players there already showing exceptional ability and could easily fit into our Colts or even Senior side tomorrow.
At the commencement of the 1997 season, the Board of Lindisfarne acknowledged the outstanding achievements of Bill Kingston in having a medal struck in his name to be presented to the Senior Best and Fairest Player for each year.
The inaugural winner was Tim Blanden, followed in 1998 by Tony Alderton, then B Taylor, Darren Kaye, Chris Bone, Nick Blacklow, Todd Willing, B Turner, Mick Cassidy, Nick Braslin, Tim Bracken, Brendan Johnson, Aaron Hilder and for the second time, Nick Braslin.
Also in recognition of the outstanding service given by a past player, this year the Board will be presenting a new award. Toward the end of the 2010 season, Trevor Bailey and Beverley Shadwick approached the terminally ill Ashley Law at his wake. Actually, I better stop there and explain: Ashley, never one to miss a party, thought that if everyone was going to have a few beers for him when he died, he may as well have a couple with all his mates before he went. The Beltana Bowls Club was packed and Ashley enjoyed a number of libations with his friends and family throughout what ended up being quite a long day – to which I can attest personally. Anyway, I digress; Trev and Bev asked if Ashley if he would agree to the Lindisfarne Football Club creating an Honour Board in his name. He humbly accepted and this year the Lindisfarne Football Club will be presenting the inaugural Ashley “Blakey” Law award to the highest goal kicker in the Senior side.
With first 100 years of the club coming to an end, we see so many faces in this room, young and old, enjoying the spirit which binds past players and the current players to the club. We intend to continue to foster community spirit, determination in play and be good football citizens. Past players from all eras, we thank you for having built a great club through your own hard work and commitment. The work continues as the current players show leadership, sportsmanship and good character.
The future looks bright.