What's Community?

I love Liverpool. Many of you might do, too, but there are also lots of you out there that hate those famous Reds. For other reasons to my Liverpool affection, I’m also a Coventry City fan. Most of you won’t get to the extremes of ‘love’ or ‘hate’ for the Sky Blues, and that’s part of why I love them – they are my family’s team, and they are not likely to be yours. 

 

My other family team is Roma, from the Italian side into which I married. And then there’s Greenock Morton in the Scottish second-tier because a mate got us a kick on their 125-year old ground, and their away strip is a BEAUTIFUL Wallace tartan. And then there’s Nurnberg in the German Bundesliga because I saw them with my boys, and no-one can ever take that shared experience away from us.

 

We follow the teams we follow because they provide us connection. My connections are not likely to be yours, but no matter, because when we wear the same colours and sing the same songs, then we are a part of a community.

 

And so it is at our community club – the Northern Falcons. Maybe you are the star player, or the team manager, committee member, line-marker, first-time player, canteen king or queen… we all share the green and black. We all have that rather fierce-looking falcon on our chests, and we all want the best for our kids and fellow members.

 

And you know what? After being privileged to see national teams up close and behind the scenes, witness English Premier League training and games, observe how this economy of global football ticks over, and explore how some of the top players go about becoming top players, the essence of it all is simple: a ball and a smile.

 

Sounds corny, but it’s true.

 

Even with cameras in their faces and the pressure for places in the team, the best of the best still smile. They play and train to their maximum when they enjoy it. It’s not work football, it’s play football.

 

The Northern Falcons are an ambitious, competitive community club. We want to offer anyone the chance to play and to be involved with our community, whether they are that star, or whether they are the first-timer. Or whether they are not a player at all!

 

To be a successful, engaged community club, it takes small input from the many rather than massive input from a few. So wear your smiles along with your green shirts. Strive to improve, look for ways to be a bigger part of your community, and share a laugh. That’s the heart of playing football. And that’s the spirit of the Falcons.

 

Neil Montagnana-Wallace

U/11 coach, committee member

Mid-season club update

By Frank Pizzo, President

Time flies! We are already over the halfway mark of the senior and junior seasons, and with the mid-season break (for most teams) came the chance for pause to reflect on how 2019 has been going. And it’s certainly been a great time to be a Falcon!

JUNIOR FOOTBALL AND COACHING
It’s fantastic to see Hayes Park a buzz with activity, even though the winter months have closed in. Coaches are working well with each other and sharing across teams. Regraded junior teams have been doing well in their more competitive leagues. There are high levels of engagement.

Two new programs have been introduced on a Saturday morning: goalkeeper-specific training with Melbourne City goalkeeper coaches and a girls’ Mini-Roos program for 5-11 year-olds that twenty-five girls enjoyed last term. It’s full-steam ahead for next term, too, and it’s wonderful to see more girls enjoying the game and being a part of the Falcons.

We are keeping in close contact with our coaches to give them the support they need, and we thank the parents for helping out where they can, too.

SENIORS
Our senior team is flying and is now just one point off the top of the league. We are very clearly vying for promotion, so I urge you all to come and enjoy the final games of the season as the excitement heats up!

Of particular pleasure is to see the number of our U/17 players make their debut in the senior development team, and even the senior team itself. The future looks bright.

AAA
We hosted a fantastic gala day for disabled players at the club a fortnight ago. The program that Anthony Risoli is running keeps going from strength to strength and is a great source of pride for the club. A fixture of coming games is available on our Facebook page.

MENTORING
Some of our junior teams have taken advantage of the mentoring program and are getting a lot out of it. For those teams where it hasn’t been activated, coaches (and the senior players) have been encouraged to get cracking with it asap.

SURVEY
Soon you will be sent a survey to complete. It should only take about five minutes and I really encourage all of you to complete it to help the club keep improving.

EVENTS
A list of club-wide social events will be communicated soon, but it’s great to see individual teams making the most of the clubrooms to have pizza or ‘foods of the world’ nights. Team building for players and parents can’t be overestimated!

FACILITIES
Thank you for your patience with the waterlogged ground at Hayes in the last few weeks. We were able to move some games to Mott Reserve, but are aware that there have been some hassles in recent weeks.

We are hoping that council will soon erect the net fencing along the residential side of Hayes, which will then mean we can reconfigure two full-sized grounds the way they were at the start of the year. We will keep you posted.

Just a note to make sure you look after the clubrooms. Especially in winter, tramping mud through the social area and change rooms happens too often, so please keep that in mind.

GENERAL
The club can always do with volunteers, so don’t be shy – let someone on the committee (or your coach) know that you’d like to help in some way. Maybe it’s in the canteen for a few hours, maybe you are a sign writer, a media student, or love to organise events. Whatever it is, we’d love to hear from you!

On top of all that, we are working on various environmental initiatives that you will soon see take shape around the place, planning for next year, working with the council, and making sure that smiles are wide anywhere there is Falcons green!

Enjoy the rest of your season!