From the Record – Collingullie Glenfield Park
Collingullie Set Sights on Off Field Development and On Field Success
Is 2017 the year of the Demon once more?
Douglas Connor – 27th May 2017
It’s a good time to be a Collingullie fan.
Unbeaten in 2017, the Demons are well on track for a successful year on the field, however it developments off the field which are taking the club from strength to strength. The long-term goal, according to club president Glen Crane, is to build a bigger and better club each year, with facilities to match, to entice the next generation to play their footy at Collingullie.
“Each year we want to be better. We want to grow. We set out goals to improve our club, the developments off the field have been in the process for two or three years and are coming together now.”
“It’s about becoming an attractive proposition for young footballers, because you need your junior base. People see good things going on at the club and they want to be involved going forward,” he said.
Demon’s home ground Crossroad’s Oval is set for improvements, with work to develop a 180-seater clubhouse with new bar and canteen facilities now underway. The club’s junior grounds at Glenfield Park are also set for change, with the installation of new netball courts as well as an upgrade to existing changing and toilet facilities.
“Every club has to have the goal to get better each year, that makes the competition better, which makes it a higher quality for the spectators.
“You want all the clubs to be improving, because that forces us to be better. Forces us to play better footy, be better.”
Looking at some of the players that the club has produced from its youth in the past, it isn’t hard to see why there is such a strong focus on junior development. Former Demon’s junior Harry Perryman made his debut for Greater Western Sydney in their thrilling 3-point win over the Richmond Tigers last weekend. Perryman has joined Demon’s teammate Matthew Kennedy at the Giants, and the club couldn’t be prouder that two of their juniors have found success at the professional level.
“Both the boys played their entire junior careers with Collingullie, it’s fantastic. It’s given us a leg up over the years, there’s four Kennedy boys and four Perrymans so they both come from good stock, good families of footballers.”
“It’s amazing for the club, great young players- great young gentleman,” said Crane.
Perryman and Kennedy aren’t the only young Collingullie players exciting crowds in recent weeks, with a number of junior Demon’s knocking on the door of success in 2017.
“Shaun and Ben Keith came through last year. These developing players are key, each year your wanting one or two to come through for you. Cody Cool is another that has really developed, and has been going well. Once again, this year, you see a couple of juniors really putting their hands up for games in the senior side.”
These young guns and the rest of the Collingullie side are led by first time coach Luke Gestier, who seems like a perfect fit for the club, as the Demons continue to win games and secure their position at the top of the league table.
“It’s great for the boys to have a new voice, having a captain-coach instead of a coach in a non-playing role has been great for the younger players, even though he has been injured for a while now. The club is just thriving with that captain-coach role, and Luke’s going to be very good for us. It’s good to have a new Leader in the club,” Crane said.
Part of Collingullie’s successful start this season comes from the return of star forward Marc Geppert from Farrer League club East Wagga Kooringal. Geppert kicked 327 goals in his three-year stint with EWK, and another 600 in his successful previous stints with Collingullie.
The return of big game players this season to the club, has seen the on-field performances go from strength to strength. “A few key players have returned. Marc Geppert is one, to have a forward who can kick a hundred goals a season is massive for any club. Chris Jackson, is back from Newcastle, he played in our last two premierships and it’s great to have him back.”
For now, the club continues to focus on their impressive off field development, and are determined to take each game as it comes to prolong their winning form. The next challenge comes against the third placed Griffith Swans on Saturday, who’s flowing attacking footy will be a new challenge for the Collingullie men. Club President Glen Crane says that the Swans always offer his men a tough, physical encounter and there is no reason this time will be any different.
“It should be a great game. We enjoy playing Griffith. You have those clubs you love playing against, it’s played hard and in the right spirit.”
“We’re unbeaten so they’ll be looking to knock us off of course. We’re still the new kid on the block in the Riverina league. In our 6 years in the league we’ve been in 4 grand finals, won 2 lost 2.”
New kid on the block or not, there’s big things brewing in Collingullie Glenfield Park in 2017.