Welcome to our first club newsletter for 2021, and welcome to the 2021 NPL season.
We aim to produce this newsletter every month to share some general news about our club and the talented people that make up Bendigo City. Families will still receive the customary communication from their team manager and coaches.
By sharing the news of each team more widely, and using this newsletter to communicate details of upcoming events, photos, player profiles and more we hope that our valued players and families will feel they are not just players on a team, but instead they are members of a club…
The young, but ambitious Bendigo City Football Club.
Welcome to BCFC 2021
The BCFC football season starts this weekend!
Our squad lists have been finalised, practice matches have been played in Ballarat and Shepparton, and the season begins at home against Brimbank Stallions on Sunday 7 February.
Matches this week:
All played at Epsom Huntly Recreation Reserve (Main Pitch)
BCFC U14, U15 and U17 teams will be playing in the NPL West Boys competition.
The first 11 rounds will be played in Bendigo - up to 28 March.
This will include two double header weekends:
13 and 14 Feb
20 and 21 March
There is a short break for Easter, after which matches return on 18 April. This commences the graded, 22 round home and away season which continues through to 5 September.
We extend our very best wishes to players and coaches for a successful 2021 season.
Jersey presentation 2021
Thursday 4 February
IMPORTANT - MASKS REQUIRED INDOORS
Due to the overnight change to Victoria's infection control requirements: masks must be worn in indoor public spaces apart from when eating or drinking.
Also, if you or your family have visited a tier 1 site during the times indicated by Victoria's DHHS (see announcement here), please do not attend tonight's presentation.
Please bring a mask if attending the jersey presentation.
Senior NPL football is coming to Bendigo
On Saturday 20 February BCFC will host the UCS Cup at Epsom Huntly Reserve. UCS is one of our major sponsor and also sponsors Avondale Seniors NPL1.
This action-packed, day-long event will see exciting practice matches of Senior Mens, Womens and Reserves NPL games between Avondale FC and Preston Lions FC.
We have taken this opportunity shift our BCFC JNPL games with Avondale FC to this day (instead of 21st) Feb , pending Football Victoria NPL approval.
Additionally in conjunction with Avondale we will be conducting some clinics for younger players from across the Bendigo football Community.
UCS and BCFC both share a vision of building the profile of soccer in the wider Bendigo community and this event has been created to kick 2021 off with an inspirational day of top quality football. This is also a wonderful opportunity to begin our relationship with Avondale and a pathway for development between our two programs.
This event will be widely publicized by UCS and BCFC both locally and in Melbourne. It will be a free entry to the public with a Gold Coin donation which we will donate to Bendigo Foodshare, a local charitable organisation that rescues donated and surplus food to feed more than 12,485 local people each week via food distributions to local charities, community groups and schools.
BCFC will provide all catering, we are looking to hold a series of raffles during the day and of course we will take the opportunity to promote our club and the JNPL program to our community.
Our coaches and the working group will be working closely with UCS and Avondale FC to put on a really exciting and fun day of soccer.
We are expecting up to 500+ on the day. While UCS is helping us with running the day, BCFC need to carefully plan it in line with State Gov regulations re: Covid-19 safety and staff it with a team of volunteers who will be suitably briefed and allocated to specific roles on the day. Please step forward to give a hand on the day, it will be lots of fun and a great way to get to know the club family.
Saturday 20 February - Save the date.
Anticipated kick off times: 11:00am NPL U19 Mens Avondale v Preston Lions 1:00pm NPL U21 Mens Avondale v Preston Lions 3:00pm SL1 Senior Womens Avondale v Preston Lions 5:00pm NPL Senior Mens Avondale v Preston Lions
From the Technical Director
On the eve of our first competitive match for season 2021, and with all the excitement and anticipation that this very full season brings, its good to pause and reflect on just how far we have come and what has been achieved in the last six months.
We knew the first step in establishing a successful football program was recruiting the best football people. With a clear purpose and long-term vision for the viability and success of NPL in Bendigo we set out on that mission of recruitment. Fast forward six months and the two licenced coaches we had in 2020 has now become (potentially) ten licenced coaches to guide our teams in 2021. I use the word ‘potentially’ as a few of them are still yet to complete their licence assessments however I have no doubt that will be a mere formality in the next few weeks.
Our 2021 coaching group consists of Fab Soncin, Greg Thomas, Ryan Pollard, JJ Miles-Keogh, Wayne Zantuck, Ben McDermid, Zac Mills, Charlie Keating and Max Shanahan. The collective experience and expertise in this group is something that is sought after by the strongest clubs in the NPL. There is professional coaching experience at the highest senior levels, state team coaches, state talent identification coaches, full-time and part-time professional playing experience and a range of licences from the C-licence all the way to a Pro-Licence. The important thing however is that all of these coaches have bought into the vision and purpose of establishing a long term successful NPL club in this region and I am confident will provide us with the stability & consistency we need, not to mention the expertise and competitive winning culture, to take us forward as a club for many years.
It’s important for me to mention that these football outcomes have been made possible by the second crucial factor we identified as necessary for the club to progress forward, and that is a hardworking, committed, intelligent, football-focused committee. The efforts of our committee over these past six months have been outstanding. Their support and commitment to the football program, specifically to myself and these coaches, is of the highest level. The synergy of these ‘on-field’ and ‘off-field’ elements has positioned us to build a very successful club well into the future, despite the difficulties of regional NPL.
The third element that we had to deliver on was players. There are many complexities to a regional based NPL club when it comes to attracting players, not to mention the usual dynamics of player drop off at particular ages. The added effect of COVID, making reengagement of players very difficult across the entire football landscape, only compounded this challenge of player recruitment. I am pleased however when we look at our squads, all of which are full, that we have retained a strong standard of player, with a mix of technical ability, athleticism and competitiveness. I am also confident that as we move forward and see the results of this high calibre coaching group, the challenge of talented player recruitment will become less and less as those talented players start knocking at the door to be involved in the program we are building right here in Central Victoria.
So now, with all of that (and so much more) accomplished, we look forward to the start of the season this weekend. It’s important for me to set the expectations of the club for the next 11 grading games however and explain the structure of NPL to provide context. The NPL is now divided into three divisions, where clubs will play other clubs of similar ability. This is to allow players to develop in the system without the disparity and negative effects of heavily lopsided games. This is a good thing. Before each of our teams are placed in the appropriate division however, we must play these 11 grading games. In some of these grading games we will come up against the strongest teams in the country. These teams are at a different stage to us and the results might be challenging. This should not deter players, parents or club supporters though as the path and trajectory we are on differs in the stage we are at to these teams. We are building something over time. We are also using these 11 games as an extension of our pre-season with a focus on being ready for the proper season to commence late April. I would encourage everyone to hold their judgement of our progression and success until we are into the regular season where our teams are playing in their relevant divisions.
We are all excited about the momentum we have as a club and the possibilities that season 2021 brings. I am always available to talk to parents and players so feel free to approach me or make contact to request a time to chat. There are plenty of other exciting things coming up including SAP Programs for players 10-12 years, Individual Player Development Plans, Tournaments for our younger ages and more. I look forward to going on this journey with you. Let's play some football!
Follow the U14, U15 and U17 season
The first part of the U14, U15 and U17 season comprises 11 grading "pre-qualification" games which will all be played in Bendigo.
Pre-qualification phase (NPL West Vic):
Commences: Weekend of 7 February 2021.
Conclude: Weekend of 28 March 2021.
There are no catch-up rounds in the pre-qualification phase.
Links for fixtures, results and ladders: U14U15U17 (SportsTG portal) or use the GameDay app.
Regular Season: Based on the results of the pre-qualification phase, each team will be assigned to one of three divisions for the regular season.
Division 1 top three teams from pre-qualification
Division 2 teams 4-6 from pre-qualification
Division 3 (north-west) teams 7-12 from pre-qualification.
The regular season will be a home-and-away season consisting of 22 matches.
It is possible for the U14, U15 and U17 teams to be assigned to different divisions for the regular season, based on ability and results in the pre-qualification phase.
Regular season dates
Regular season commences: Weekend of 17 April 2021.
Concludes: Weekend of 5 September 2021.
Catch-up Round: Weekend of 15 August 2021.
In 2022 the competition will reset and a similar structure is anticipated.
1 Matt Wernert 2 Caleb Irvine-Kingsmith 3 Eli Harvey 4 Jacob Floyd 5 Daffa Arrayan 6 Riley Henderson 7 Archie Grist 8 Antonio Figuero 9 Beau Hetherington 10 Ben Kirby 11 Nicholas Keatinge 12 Poung Thay 13 Shaelom North 14 Hsarlay Wah 15 Kalo Davis 17 Hamish Walker
Key personnel 2021:
Coach: JJ Miles-Keogh
Assistant coach: Zac Mills
Team managers: Judi McClelland and Peter Harvey
1 Will Bowles 2 Archie Matheson 3 Archie Goudie 4 Jasper Williams 5 Seth Repper 6 Brent White 7 Finn van Tiggelan 8 Silas van Tiggelan 9 Noah Rimmer 10 Jack Nuttell 11 Sam Collins 12 Fraser Lee 14 Ruben Christie 15 Ollie Bresland 16 Xavier Clark 18 Xavier Abicare
Coach: Ryan Pollard
Assistant coach: Charlie Garlick
Team manager: Ian and Susan White
1 Luke Oellermann 3 Harry Morrison 4 Zach Barker 6 Zac McGibbon 8 Will Chalkley 9 Rory Burke 12 Abbey Reid 14 Tanner Jennings 15 Henry Waters-Hughes 18 Timon Vellacott 19 Elois Bimenyimana 20 Evan McAuley 21 Raven McAllister 22 David McCalman 23 Cooper Rea 25 Elijah Forster
Coach: Fabrizio Soncin
Assistant coach: Wayne Zantuck
Team manager: Fergus McAllister
The club is waiting on details of the JBNPL U13 regular season, nevertheless plans are being put in place to prepare the players for competition.
Already some U13 players joined with the U14 team to play a practice match in Ballarat. The following week the U13 squad played a practice match in Shepparton against the GV Suns U13s.
U13 training formally begins on Tuesday 9 February, but many of the squad have already been training with the U14s.
1 Will de Vries 2 Mitch Burton 5 Kobe Barkla 6 Sutton Kearns 7 Max Claridge 8 Noah Pedrotti 9 Ethan Pope 10 Kai Thomas 11 Avery McDermid 14 Tyson Paratene 16 Wilson Springate 24 Archie Lee
Coach: Greg Thomas
Assistant coach: Ben McDermid
Team manager: Trent Burton
Skills Acquisition Program
Bendigo City FC Skills Acquisition Phase (SAP) Program
BCFC is endorsed by Football Victoria (FV) to run the SAP Program in Central Victoria as part of a greater pathway to develop young players with aspirations of taking the next step into the NPL and beyond. Players in the BCFC SAP program are positioned to progress into the BCFC NPL U13 team and commence their NPL Journey.
Players in the BCFC SAP Training Program are still able to remain registered with their BASL club and compete locally in the BASL Competition. As part of the SAP Program however, they will train 1 night per week at BCFC under professionally accredited coaches as well as taking part in State-wide Tournaments & FV SAP Gala Days where they will compete against the states best young players.
The SAP (Skill Acquisition Phase) is a key building block in the FFA National Curriculum. It is targeted to players between 9-12yrs and the focus of coaching is on developing a solid foundation of game-related technical skills. If a player does not develop this skill foundation during these ages it is very difficult to make it up later.
BCFC Technical Director: Nathan Claridge
Nathan holds an FFA B-Licence and has an extensive football resume as both a player and coach at NPL level, as well as overseas.
BCFC SAP Head Coach: Fabrizio Soncin
Fab is one of only a few FFA Pro-Licenced coaches outside of the A-League having coached at the highest levels in Australia including the W-League, NPL and overseeing State representative teams at the Nationals.
Together they will oversee the delivery of the BCFC SAP Program in 2021, with Fab primarily on the pitch.
A booking link (Try Booking) will be placed on the BCFC Facebook page in the next few days, and will also be sent by email to those players/families who have expressed interest in the BCFC SAP program.
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
Video operator for all homes games (equipment supplied)
First Aid officer for each team
COVID Officer (as required)
Club additional requirements
Team Manager (each team)
Ground marking and setup
BBQ – Canteen Operators
News from the BCFC committee
Your committee has been hard at working leading up to the 2021 season.
Since the 2020 AGM a new committee has been formed, coaching appointments made, the 2021 player selection process has been undertaken, uniforms are being ordered, training has commenced and we are looking forward to a successful season.
The club has engaged Ultra Football as provider of our playing and training kits for 2021 and as a result we will be wearing NIKE gear in 2021.
Both game day and training kits have now been ordered based on your sizing selection, they were to be delivered in two stages, but will now be delivered in full at our Jersey Presentation night on Thursday 4 February, just in time for our first game!
Orders will be individually packed and sent to the club for distribution.
Ultra Football have developed our own Bendigo City Club Store should players wish to order additional items at any stage during the year.
There are some important advantages to you and the club in using Ultra Football.
If you lose any items of your playing or training kit these can be reordered through Ultra using you own username and password (at your own expense).
It reduces excess stock carried by the Club.
Quick turnaround for re-supply (typically 2-3 days now that proofs are complete).
There is a range of additional apparel that players and families can order direct with Bendigo City Branding and they can be ordered at any time.
We reduce the admin burden on managing uniforms throughout the year.
Ultra provide exclusive discounted access to their entire retail range of football products, boasting access to the latest limited-edition boots, jerseys & other merchandise.
If you need assistance to logon or place an order one of our committee members will be able to help you. Email firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions.
The following dedicated people are the members of your volunteer BCFC committee for 2021.
Paul Henderson - President
Kate Tucker - Vice President
Kevin de Vries - Secretary
Mel Dillion - Treasurer
Please look out for these committee members around the club and say hello and thank you. It is only through your support that the club will grow.
BCFC is extremely proud to announce our major sponsors for 2021, The UCS GROUP and Blackbird Mortgage Solutions.
UCS has an impressive history of supporting local communities through significant sponsorship in the sporting & social services areas.
Based in Bendigo but boasting a large national footprint in business, UCS is an ideal partner for BCFC, and one that we are incredibly proud to welcome as part of our family.
The UCS logo will appear on the front of all BCFC playing jerseys for season 2021. It looks fantastic & we can’t wait to reveal the new NIKE jersey boldly displaying the UCS logo!
Thank you to the team at UCS for your commitment to our community & to assisting young players with football aspirations get a chance to follow their dream through the NPL pathway at BCFC. This makes a huge difference to our club & we are incredibly grateful.
Blackbird Mortgage Solutions
Blackbird Mortgage Solutions are trusted mortgage advisors passionate about helping their clients succeed in buying their first home or Investment property, and then being part of their journey to wealth and financial freedom.
Blackbird is a locally owned Bendigo business, who is dedicated, committed and excited to be a part of the BCFC vision and family for 2021 and beyond. Blackbird are 100% supportive of the pathway BCFC provides to young football players in Country Victoria, and we look forward to seeing everyone out on the pitch, with your new jersey proudly displaying Blackbird Mortgage Solutions logo on the back.
BCFC thanks Mel and Aaron from Blackbird Mortgage Solutions for their generosity, in addition to their sponsorship Mel’s son Tanner is in the U14 squad, and Mel is our Treasurer for 2021 – huge effort Mel!
Meat Matters is a locally owned Butcher, located in High Street Eaglehawk. We look forward to enjoying their quality produce including award winning sausages and hamburgers throughout the year.
BCFC has a range of sponsorships still available including individual player sponsorship, details below.
As an individual Player Sponsor, we will expose your business to all our registered players, families and friends, their opposition, including their families and friends, the Bendigo City Football Club website, and regular posts on social media.
Player sponsorship package includes:
Player sponsor certificate recognising the player/individual you are sponsoring and your businesses connection
Players sponsorship certificate and business logo online presence, on the Bendigo City Football Club Website and Social Media
TOTAL COST: $500
Your sponsorship funds will directly help pay for the individual players uniform for season 2020/2021 and help with the general operation of the Club for the year.
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