With the 2021 season-proper now well underway we have reached the point that would have been round 7 (or round 6 for the U13s), if not for the current COVID-19 lockdown.
Naturally it's frustrating that we are not playing football this weekend, but it provides the chance for a newsletter and update on the many things that are happening behind the scenes at your club.
Read on, and please share our newsletter with your friends and family, and invite them to subscribe.
From the club president
In a busy couple of months for our club it has been good to see all teams making such positive improvements on the pitch and playing quality football.
There have been a few changes to our teams during the transfer period and in particular we warmly welcome Cody Block, Evie Nuttall and Ollie Walker to the U14 squad.
Players and parents are asked to keep a close eye on the online fixtures where the latest venues and times for match-days are posted (see article below). At our request several away rounds were switched for home rounds (and vice versa). This was done to avoid clashes with Epsom FC and to allow us to play matches on pitch 5 or the synthetic pitch where possible.
In addition, the coronavirus lockdown may mean that rounds are rescheduled or allocated to "catch-up" weekends. Your team manager will keep you updated, but you'll learn about it first by monitoring GameDay or the online fixtures.
Friday night training is gaining momentum and we are pleased to be offering specialised training for our goalkeepers. It has been great to see the U13s taking initiative and organising some after-training social dinners, hopefully this is something that continues.
Behind the scenes your committee is working on a strategic planning process. This will involve surveying all members of our club - players, parents, coaches and committee to learn more about the direction and focus you want for Bendigo City.
Our relationship with our sponsors is critical and I urge you to support them where you can, and to mention your family's involvement with BCFC. On a related matter, thank you to all team managers, parents and to Katie Burton in particular, who have helped in bringing in playing shirts to enable overprinting with new sponsor logos.
While it's disappointing that we cannot play this weekend, I hope that all players keep active during the week and come back refreshed and ready to play at their best when the season resumes.
Paul Henderson President.
From the Technical Director
Without going into too much detail on each team and the areas of improvement or development, it is pleasing to see that across the board progress is evident and match results support that. In some cases there has been a dramatic turnaround, whilst in others there is slow and steady progress, but at all age levels there is undeniable improvements being made. At the start of the year I asked parents and club members to bear with us throughout the pre-season grading process, to encourage our players through some trying experiences, to trust the process that was being implemented by an outstanding group of coaches and not make too many judgements until midway through the year. It’s really pleasing to see that even before we hit that midyear point, the development of all teams, the standard of coaching and the subsequent output from our players is reaping results on the pitch. Thank you for your patience in the process and I am confident we will see these results get better and better.
Continual commendation goes to our coaching group who are delivering an exceptional standard of coaching. There is regular video analysis supporting their decision making and directing session planning that is matched with a high degree of application & dedication to delivery, ensuring that our players are getting the absolute best. I often wish that local parents and players had the awareness and reference point of coaching standards wider in the NPL. There is often a misconception that what goes on in Melbourne is ‘better’. I can assure you from first hand experience over many years that it just isn’t that way. Every single one of our coaches would be snapped up in an instant by the so called ‘big clubs’… many at senior levels too. The players at BCFC at the moment are getting some of the best coaching input available in the NPL. On that note, we are definitely on the front foot in regards to re-signing all of our current coaches for next year, as well as recruiting one or two more exceptional coaches who not only bring a wealth of football knowledge to the club but will continue to add value to the culture. We will hopefully be making some announcements in the coming months about this but all of our coaches are in this for long term outcomes for both the club and for football in the region.
I am equally proud of the endeavour and application of all our players. From our youngest group the 13’s, who have an incredibly high degree of commitment to professionalism and are achieving great things at the top of the table, to our 14’s who have been on a steep learning curve and despite frustrations have an amazing attitude that is supported by a remarkable resilience and have shown the most significant development of all groups. Then there is the 15’s who are consistent performers, continually demanding the best from themselves and applying themselves to the coaches instructions to improve whilst being undefeated. And last, but not least, the 17’s who have been severely undermanned yet somehow manage to grind out results due to amazing commitment, competitive drive and a collective effort that comes from believing in each other and supporting the leadership of their coach. There is so much for us all to be proud of so far this season and I look forward to celebrating more great moments in the coming months.
On some more practical notes, players will soon be engaged in individual development reports. We ask all players to complete the components required of them immediately upon receiving the paperwork so that our coaches can complete their part and players can benefit from the individual technical reporting process. Coaches are meeting to discuss practical ways that we can apply a more collaborative approach to the development of our players, ensuring that the players experience at BCFC is enhanced by the combined input of all our coaches. This is something we flagged at the start of the season but haven’t executed yet, primarily due to the busyness of getting through the pre-season grading process. Finally, it is pleasing to see a relatively good turnout to the third night training offered on Friday nights. Can I remind all players that they need to be undertaking at least 3 football specific sessions per week at a minimum at this level. I personally recommend individual sessions with Fab Soncin as an extra to your two nights a week team training or the third night with myself and other coaches on a Friday night. Players should be adding these to their weekly schedule out of their own desire and drive to become better but where there are players not doing enough, we will be having a quiet word in the coming months to ensure adequate opportunities for development are being undertaken.
As always, I am available to parents for a chat about these or any other matters. Thank you to parents for their amazing support so far. The club is headed in the right direction and it is the collective result of everyone committing to play their role and working together to build this great club and set-up a future where many more generations can benefit from high quality NPL football in our region.
The Fixture for the 2021 season has been published and we have been fortunate to have a majority of our home JBNPL home games scheduled with all 3 age groups playing on the same day. We also have 5 of the Under 13 games scheduled to play at home with the JBNPL teams (included round 1) so a terrific outcome for the club on that front.
What didn’t quite work for us is that many of our home games are scheduled on the same Sunday as Epsom FC also play at home. With the BASL draw issued first and the Senior competition having priority access to Pitch 5 we have had to adjust the draw for the interim to play 7 home games on Pitch 4 which may also move the under 13’s to Pitch 3 on those days.
Compounding that is a requirement that NPL pitches must be fenced or a least fully roped off so that spectators have a clear separation from the pitch and match officials. We received an exemption for the round 3 game, but it is expected that next time we use pitch 4, it must be at a minimum roped off. We have had an in principal agreement on the minimum requirements but this is an additional significant cost to the club as well as extra work and inconvenience for volunteers to set them up on game day.
So to reduce or remove this need we have worked with other clubs for the reversal of 2 rounds so we can maximise utilisation of Pitch 5.
Switching round 5 and 16 so that we will play round 5 away and round 16 at home.
Switching Round 6 and 17 so that we will play round 6 at home and round 17 away.
We are also looking at switching the remainder of the JBNPL games, currently drawn on Pitch 4 (that will now be 4 rounds) to the new Synthetic Pitch (fully fenced) but we cannot do that until the pitch has the coaches boxes installed and Football Victoria Approval.
So to ensure you are up to date with all the latest information on the draws bookmark.
Or download the “Gameday” app for your phone or tablet for Android or Apple.
Third training night, and goalkeeper training
Commencing Friday March 26 we introduced a "third" training night for players. This will be optional, depending on the training/playing load of each individual player, however it is strongly encouraged as it will primarily focus on the individual technical development for players. Most would have observed that this is an area we are generally behind in regional areas.
This training will be overseen & primarily delivered by our TD, Nathan Claridge, along with our wider coaching group at different times. Occasionally we will deliver specialised training for different phases of the game (eg. attacking, defending, midfield play etc) as well as some video analysis sessions. The focus of these nights will be communicated each week.
In addition, a specific Goal Keeper training session will also be held on this night. This will be conducted by Maxi Shanahan & Brent Monro, the club's GK coaches. There will also be times where we bring in an outside GK coach to work with our players & coaches on these nights. Goal keepers will also get specialised coaching intermittently on Tuesday and/or Thursday nights from Brent Monro.
These Friday night sessions are only be one hour in duration so as not to take up too much of your Friday nights.
Friday Night Training Epsom Huntly Recreation Reserve 4:30-5:30pm.
We note that some squads are also holding team training sessions on Friday evenings and it has been positive to see some team bonding and social dinners incorporated into these nights too.
Bendigo City we are one
We keep pushing till it’s done
Feel our passion, feel our pride
We take pressure in our stride
Respect the game
Our club is fully supportive of initiatives to make the football playing environment safe and enjoyable for players, referees and spectators. April 13-19 was designated respect round by Football Victoria, and clubs were asked to make a highly visible stand against anti-social, abusive behaviour.
FV released the following video last month to support their message.
During the pre-qualifying phase our club experienced several unpleasant and alarming incidents of poor spectator behaviour from visiting teams. This has not only taken an undue amount of time and attention away from the joy of watching our kids, it has caused us as parent volunteers and committee members unnecessary distress and discomfort.
This is not just a problem for our club, as observers of regular games of other Melbourne clubs many of us have witnessed similar and worst behaviour over the same period.
There are many contributing factors to incidents of poor behaviour, but there several mitigating factors which if addressed should help us more confidently, safely and effectively promote a positive playing environment for 2021 season.
These relate to ensuring club officials and marshals are more fully informed and educated about;
Our roles and powers in such situations,
The relevant Football Victoria statutes,
What we can do in these situations to help reduce tensions, and
Our options are when this is not possible.
Watch out for more training and information in this area to come, but in the mean time we ask all parents of players to please read the Ground Marshal Handbook (link below).
Ground Marshal Handbook
The Ground Marshal plays an integral role in providing support to the clubs, players, parents, coaches, assistants and referees participating in Football of a high quality, welcoming and respectful sporting experience.
The Ground Marshal is a nominated club representative who co-ordinates the efficient completion of match day fixtures.
There are specific duties and expectations of the ground marshal. If you are appointed as ground marshal you should be aware of these responsibilities which are outlined in the Ground Marshal Handbook published by Football Victoria.
Each team has been issued with a printed copy of this document for reference, but we encourage every parent to download and read the document. This will help players, parents, officials and spectators to better understand the role and lead to safer and more enjoyable football experience for everyone.
Our club is delighted to announce that the redesign of our club website has commenced. Already the site is looking fresh, professional and easy to navigate. The new site provides important and relevant information for current and future players and families.
The site also provides space for our club to upload policies and other important information to satisfy Football Victoria compliance requirements.
Like all websites, ours will develop further over time, with new information, news, events and links. Come back and visit it frequently to keep informed of club activities.
Tip: quick links to online fixture information
Here's a feature available on our new website, quick links to the fixture information for each team.
If you don't have access to a device with GameDay installed on it, and you want to check the latest fixture information, or the results from other teams, just go to the BCFC website, scroll to the bottom and follow the links to each team's fixture, results and ladder.
Bendigo City FC now on Linked-In
A small but significant addition to our social media collection is the addition of a Bendigo City FC presence on Linked-In.
This app may not have as many followers as Facebook or Instagram, but it's valuable for young adults who are building a resume for football or professional purposes. Players, coaches and volunteers can describe their role at BCFC and link to our club in a professional manner to build a resume that stands out.
Referee course information
Level 4 Referee Course information is now available online to anyone interested in becoming a referee.
A great way to be involved in the game and make a little extra money. Please see the course overview below:
Level 4 referee course is the introductory level course for anyone wanting to become a referee
Refereeing is for anyone, at any age, at any time – aligning to FV’s FootballALLways Strategic Plan.
Refereeing provides access to referee in all FV managed competitions and regional based leagues across metropolitan and region Victoria.
The new online course provides participants with 24/7 access to complete the Level 4 referee course at a time that suits the participants schedule.
The course includes four modules – 3 conducted online and one skills based on field module.
- Online course access - Skills based training sessions - First year registration - Laws Of The Game book - Referee Uniform – shirt, shorts, socks - Whistle - Yellow & Red cards - Assistant Referee flags
Community sport depends on volunteers. Thank you to all those who put their names down at the pre-Christmas information season to volunteer for the roles required to run the club throughout the season.
We still have plenty of vacancies so we will need your support. Please talk to one of the committee members or your team manager about how you can help (see list below).
NPL Requirements for each team we must provide
2 x Marshals
Club assistant referees (lines person)
Video operator for all homes games (equipment supplied)
First Aid officer for each team
COVID Officer (as required)
Club additional requirements
Ground marking and setup
BBQ and/or canteen operators
First aid qualification
As part of our NPL Participation Licence, each BCFC team is required to have a nominated provider of first aid at their matches and their training sessions.
First Aid qualification involves the completion of an accredited unit "Provide First Aid" which is valid for three years following completion. First aiders also require annual completion of the unit "Provide Cardiovascular Resuscitation". These courses are available in Bendigo from a range of providers on various days, times and venues.
If you have current first aid and CPR certification please let your Team Manager know, they will coordinate this information and include you on a roster to ensure our players have first aid qualified volunteer available at their matches.
If you are not yet qualified the club strongly encourages you to complete first aid training to ensure these skills are widely available to our players and the community.
First aid skills may prove valuable outside of the soccer field for other children or family members, your workplace may also benefit from these skills or be willing to pay for you to complete this training. The cost of the course may also be tax-deductible for some people.
Social media highlights
Is Bendigo City FC Victoria's leading football club for social media content? We think we might be!
If you're not following us on Facebook or Instagram these are some of the posts you have been missing.
Not to mention the incredibly popular player profiles, and the "how it started, how it's going" series.
This week we were able to support the work of Beram Kumar & the Hope Australia Soccer Academy (HASA).
HASA is a not-for-profit community organisation that brings Australians together through football. The program specifically targets new Australians, refugees & those who find it difficult to access social & sporting opportunities. Football clinics are provided by a team of highly qualified people, including former Brazilian national team players, who have relocated out here to support the work of HASA. The team also go into other countries using football as a means of community engagement, often following natural disaster or in places devastated by famine or conflict.
We were able to provide around 60 new (or barely used) quality training balls along with some other equipment to support this great community initiative.
Our TD (Nathan Claridge) & Beram (HASA) are continuing to explore further ways to partner together & build on this initial support.
Well done to Beram & his team on an incredible initiative. We are proud to be able to support you!
Pictures: Nathan (BCFC TD) & Beram (HASA); Clinics in Collingwood Public Housing reaching mostly Somalian born children; Clinics in Melton focused on reaching South Sudanese children
Don’t forget, BCFC club merchandise is available online! Players can add to the extensive wardrobe they already received by getting a few extra items and of course parents, friends & supporters can deck themselves out in the latest BCFC Nike Football gear.
1. Head to our apparel partner Ultra Football online BCFC store (Link is below). ... 2. Navigate to ‘clubzone’ & select BENDIGO CITY FC.
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