150 GAMES FOR D.A.

By Phil Skeggs

Ivanhoe AFC congratulates evergreen reserves defender Daniel Adams on his 150th game in Round 4 (May 6).

A natural leader with a great work ethic on and off the field, Dan was reserves co-captain for several seasons including 2015 when the Hoers won a Division 2 reserves premiership.

In 2010, Dan was acknowledged with the John Miles best clubman award for his ongoing role in recruiting quality trainers and providing blue ribbon physiotherapy services.

He was later awarded the annual Harry Award by the club’s coterie group, the Black & Whites, and  bestowed life membership in 2018.

Love your work. You’re the man Dan!

150 GAMES FOR HOERS CAPTAIN DANNY JONES

Ivanhoe AFC congratulates senior captain Danny Jones on his 150th game for the club in Round 2 (April 22).

Danny is a dual premiership captain, leading the club’s Under 19s to a flag in 2014 and the seniors to premiership glory in Division 2 last year.

A feisty rover who leads from the front with gut-running four-quarter efforts, Danny won the club’s senior B&F in 2021 and also won a competition B&F in Under 19s (North) in 2014.

He sets a shining example to younger teammates and recruits on and off the track.

Keep your motor running Danny! Watch Danny run through his 150th banner!

100 GAMES FOR JACK WRIGHT

Ivanhoe AFC congratulates Jack Wright on his 100th game for the Hoers in Round 2 (April 22).

“Herman” has been around the club since 2015 and is an absolute stalwart of the reserves.

He plays mainly across half-forward and always presents a solid attack on the ball, with strong marking skills and plenty of back-up for teammates.   

Herman gives it 100 per cent off the field too – a top clubman who always rolls up the sleeves to help out at social functions and with some match-day roles if called upon.

Thanks Herman. It’s blokes like you that make Ivanhoe a great club.

150 GAMES FOR JAMES ‘SHANGA’ LAGRECA

Ivanhoe AFC congratulates triple premiership player James ‘Shanga’ Lagreca on his 150th game for the club in Round 1, 2023.

Shanga was co-captain of Ivanhoe’s Under 19s when they won the North division flag in 2014.

A clever, gutsy small forward whose trademark tackling and pressure is gold, Shanga earned a coaches award in the seniors for his blue-collar work ethic in 2018.

He won premiership medallions in Ivanhoe’s Div 2 reserves flag in 2015 and last year’s drought-breaking Div 2 seniors flag.

Keep it going Shanga! Watch Shanga run through his 150th banner!

RIP JACK MAC

By Nick Godfrey

It is with heavy hearts that the Ivanhoe Amateur Football Club acknowledges the passing of former player and committee member Jack McDonald.

Jack was a hard-working midfielder and defender in the senior team that finished as minor premiers in Division 2 in 2015 and subsequently earned promotion to Division 1.

Although Jack had hung up his boots, he understood the need for an under 19s team and started work on recruiting former Colts at the end of season 2017.

Jack was honoured with the Tim Robinson Award for senior-junior club liaison for his work in pulling together an under 19s in season 2018. A recruitment drive he spearheaded also helped fill senior ranks that year.

Jack was an infectious, diligent and caring member of our community for many years and will be sorely missed.

We are acutely aware of the love that Jack had for our club, but also how much our people adored and respected him throughout his years of service as an incredibly loyal friend, teammate and committee member.

We will forever be able to call Jack one of our own and are extremely proud of that.

At this incredibly difficult time, we send our deepest condolences to the McDonald family – both immediate and extended. Our hearts are with you.

All team members will wear black armbands in Round 1 as a tribute to Jack.

It is crucial to mention at this time that if you or someone you care for needs help, the below contacts can provide free advice and information:

Lifeline: 13 11 14

Beyond Blue: 1300 22 4636

Suicide Call Back Service: 1300 659 467

VALE DOUG SMYTH, 1954 B GRADE PREMIERSHIP STAR

By Phil Skeggs

Doug Smyth was held in high esteem by his teammates in Ivanhoe’s 1954 B grade premiership team.

The team’s hardnut ruckman, the late great Reg ‘Mulga’ Miles, spoke highly of the big blond plumber from Reservoir when I asked him about Doug during my early research into the club’s history over 25 years ago.

Doug was the father of a former teammate of mine Phil Smyth, who was also terrific as a mobile tall in our forward line in under 19s and later in A grade seniors.

Reg acknowledged that Doug was a tough player who could look after himself on the ground and he was also a strong mark at centre-half forward.

Doug had won a couple of B&Fs playing for Reservoir before his wife’s brother Ray Sinclair recruited him to Ivanhoe in 1954, aged 25.

The Hoers, coached by Alec Weston and captained by full back  Merv Hughes, were favoured to win the flag after finishing as minor premiers.

According to a finals preview published in The Herald, the Hoers were “too strong in key positions”.

The Sporting Globe, which was considered  the sportsman’s bible, also heaped praise on the Ivanhoe team.

“Ivanhoe, in beating Collegians in the B section semi-final, featured Collingwood football at its best,” it reported.

“The play was built around the small men. The accuracy of the foot and hand-passing would have done credit to a league team.”

They were definitely on the money. Ivanhoe demolished State Bank by 35 points, 10.10 to 4.11, winning our second B grade flag.

Phil said his dad later trained with Collingwood  but decided he wasn’t VFL material.  “He did train at the Pies once but never went back as he said he didn’t see himself there,” said Phil.

Doug got into the building game instead. Among his many developments was the 7-Eleven in Heidelberg.

Doug died in Templestowe on February 28, aged 93. His funeral was held in Ivanhoe on March 9.

The club extends its heartfelt condolences to the Smyth family.

ASSISTANT COACHES KEEN FOR A CRACK ON THE TRACK

By Phil Skeggs

IVANHOE’S quality new assistant coaches have all voiced enthusiasm and confidence about the club’s 2023 campaign.

The new senior men’s assistant coach is life member Leighton Pearce, the men’s reserves will be coached by a trio of experienced players Tim Constantinou, Jake Steele and Adrian Sargent, and the Ivies have been most fortunate to enlist Essendon AFLW star forward Fede Frew.

Leighton, who has previously coached the Ivies and Under 19s, was a brilliant midfielder and onballer in his playing days. He played 117 senior games in B, C and D grades during the mid to late 1990s and was a runner-up in the seniors B&F.

Seniors assistant coach Leighton Pearce in 2023. Photo: Phil Skeggs

He was also an assistant coach with seniors and reserves under previous Ivanhoe coaches John Matthew and Doni Valkanis.

‘Leights’ is rapt that committee and the selection panel have given him another crack at coaching alongside Wayne Schultzand Ash Close.

“Obviously it’s a wonderful opportunity to work alongside Schultzy, Ash and the team. I’m looking forward to being back coaching at the club that I have loved being part of for the past 30 years,” he said.

“Moving up to Division 1 is a very exciting time for the club and I believe my diligent and competitive coaching style will assist the team continue to compete strongly in season 2023.

“Being reunited with the players I coached in the under 19s who have remained loyal to Ivanhoe is also something I’m excited about.”

Former Ivies champion Fede Frew is stoked about her new role alongside Ivies senior coach Ian Callahan.

Fede Frew, Ivies assistant coach in 2023. Pic courtesy essendonfc.com

“I am so excited to be helping out at Ivanhoe for the upcoming season. It was an honour to be asked to come down and be an assistant coach to the club that was the start of my footy journey,” she said.

“As long as I’ve known the club everyone is always so supportive and it’s been awesome to see the continued growth and investment in the Ivies program.

“I can’t wait to help out this year and am so thankful for the opportunity, especially working around my busy schedule, looking forward to meeting some new faces and spending more time at Ivanhoe Park!”

The reserves will benefit from the combined experience of Tim, Jake and Adrian.

Tim has played 54 games for the club since 2018, Jake has run out in 21 games since 2021, and Adrian has notched 22 games since 2019.

The trio has expressed great enthusiasm and understanding about their new role.

“I can’t think of anything more exciting than to take on the Development Squad coaching role alongside ‘Sarge’ and ‘Steelo’ next year and look forward to building on what was a great 2022 season,” said Tim.

“The club has built something very special over the last few years and it is very exciting to think about what the future holds for the playing group and club more widely.

“Not only has the club built a great culture and community here at Ivanhoe Park, but it welcomes players from all walks of life: whether they are learning the game for the first time, coming from another club, returning to the game after a long break, or just coming down for a kick with mates – IAFC welcomes everyone with open arms!

“This is one of the things that makes Ivanhoe so special. We have a great committee, great volunteers, a great playing group, and the club just attracts great people all round.

“I am a firm believer that footy is a metaphor for life and can’t wait to take on 2023 alongside such a great group of people both on and off the field. Bring on 2023!”

Tim, who has played 42 senior games and 12 in reserves mainly in defence, came to IAFC from Old Trinity for the strong junior connections and community at the club after a four-year break from playing footy.

He recalled: ”2018 and ’19 were rough years for the club, losing multiple games by over 100 points, but were years that built a resilience and appetite for success which, under the right conditions (incredible leadership from ‘Moose’, Nick, and Schultzy), made last year’s success all the sweeter. 

“Outside of footy at IAFC, I love a cold-water swim, working on the veggie patch, and can’t resist a good souva – that pretty much sums me up. In terms of footy, it’s about the same: I can’t wait to take the plunge into season 2023 with the boys headfirst, to grow as a group, and grab a souva after.”

Jake, who has played four senior games and 17 in reserves, is pumped for the task ahead too. He said: “Tim, Adrian and myself are super pumped about taking on the role of coaching the development squad. We look forward to building on our finals appearance from last season and the success of the club as a whole!

“It’s important we continue to follow the processes we have built around the club the last couple of years and continue to make Ivanhoe not only successful on the field but making it a place where everyone feels welcome and a part of the club.

“I think this was a great achievement for the club and is a reminder of the value of strong leadership and the rewards of sticking out a challenge as a group and making it through to the other side. This is a lesson I will remember and live by in 2023.”

Adrian, a reserves stalwart, is 100 per cent on the same page as his co-coaches.

“The club has been moving in a positive trajectory for a few years now and we look forward to help keeping that in motion,” he said.

“I believe the group can really draw upon last season’s finals experience and use it as a launchpad to enter the season with confidence.

“There were many players who had their best season at the club last year and we believe if that constant improvement comes from the list we’re in a good position to tackle the season well.

“Tim, Steelo and I can’t wait to get to work and help improve all the players and help them achieve their football goals.”

Club president Peter Rawley outlined committee’s proactive approach to development of players and coaching.

“I’m really proud of what we are developing at Ivanhoe for not only our players, but also our coaches. We continue to think innovatively about how we can support the development of people in their coaching journey and to see them develop new skillsets and grow as people is something that gives us great joy and satisfaction,” he said.

“The club is absolutely thrilled to welcome Leighton back to coaching duties at Ivanhoe in season 2023 and look forward to supporting him in his ongoing development as a coach.

“Leighton has an incredibly impressive record as a coach through under 19s, reserves and as senior coach of our women’s program, so to now see him step into the senior men’s assistant role gives us great confidence that our group will continue to develop under his coaching philosophies. 

“We trialed dual reserves coaches last year with Karl and Jacob and it worked really well, so to be fortunate enough to have three quality people leading our reserves men’s coaching in season 2023 is a wonderful position for our club to be in.

“The club could not be more thrilled in the appointment of Fede as the non-playing assistant coach of the Ivies in season 2023.

“To have one of our own return to the club to support the development of our women’s program, while still playing at the highest level, is an absolute bonus for everyone involved.”

Rawley was especially happy with the ability of the club to attract people back to the club and add to the quality of the coaching program.

“It’s another example of past players of our senior and junior clubs, who have made the elite level, returning to support the development and growth of the next wave of Ivanhoe players,” he said.

“We have a deliberate strategy as a club to provide quality coaching to people within our local area and that starts with quality people like Fede, Ash Close, Wayne Schultz and Scott Selwood who are or have been involved at the highest level.

“We would also like to thank the Ivanhoe Cricket Club and Ivanhoe Junior Football Club for their support and understanding in allowing us to get on Ivanhoe Park for pre-season.

“The respective committees of our two partner tenants have been absolutely fantastic in their support and partnership with us over the past 12 months and I can’t thank them enough in working with us to use the ground and facilities.”Pre-season training resumes for all teams on Mondays and Wednesdays at Ivanhoe Park from January 16, 6.30-8pm. Don’t forget to bring your runners. 😉

VALE DAVE BERRY, IVANHOE TEAM OF THE CENTURY LEGEND

By Phil Skeggs

Ivanhoe AFC was saddened to learn of the recent death of legendary premiership onballer and clubman David Berry. Dave was a life member and won the seniors B&F in 1971. One of many quality recruits from Northcote High during the 1960s, Dave initially started in our under 19s in 1961.

In 1966 at age 21 Dave was a regular in the seniors and played in the B grade grand final. He was vice-captain and second rover in the 1969 B grade premiership team. Dave kicked two goals and was named among our best players in the 21-point victory. He was later awarded a trophy for Most Determined at presentation night. 

He was recognised with the seniors’ Most Reliable trophy in 1970 and also awarded life membership.

He also played in the 1977 B grade reserves premiership team.

Dave’s longevity as a player was legendary. In 1976 he created a new club record, becoming the first to ever surpass the 250-game milestone. When he hung up the boots, he had amassed 283 games, which was a long-standing club record that Colin McDonald and club president Peter Rawley eventually overtook. Dave is fourth on the club’s games record tally nowadays.

He was named on the interchange in our Team of the Century in 2003.

Dave also put much time and effort into committee work. He began as the players’ representative in 1976 and was a vice-president in 1978. He was also chairman of the recruiting and training sub-committee. His then partner Lana Berry served for many years on the ladies committee and was awarded life membership for her work. Their daughter Sharon and son Scott were also involved in the club, helping in the canteen, selling raffle tickets, and boundary umpiring. By 1984, he was serving on the club’s board of directors and was also coaching our under 13s.

Dave attended reunions of the 1969 premiership team, making the trip from Healesville to Ivanhoe Park for the 50thanniversary luncheon in 2019.

Dave, whose nickname was Solid, is remembered by former teammates as a tough competitor with a penchant for drop-kicks.

Close mate Ralph Bourke recalled: “He had the best and most accurate drop-kick in the club and most likely the whole comp.”

Teammate Don Blackwood said: “The No.8 was always in the opposition’s face and burrowing in and under whether roving, half-forward or in the centre.

“Together with captain Bill McWhinnie, they were a tough double at ground level. Dave was VC to Bill in the 1969 B section premiership team.

“David loved drop-kicking for goal from way out regardless of the muddy ground at ‘Hoeland. He had much success.

“He made a significant contribution off the field after finishing his career. And he was a regular attender at past players’ functions. He will be missed.”

Dave was also highly regarded as a breeder and trainer of german shepherds.

He died peacefully in Healesville on Friday December 23, aged 77.

The club extends its condolences to Dave’s partner Carla and his family.

His funeral will be held at Heritage Pioneer Chapel, 1414 Koo Wee Rup Rd, Woori Yallock, on Wednesday January 4, starting 11am. Teammates Ralph Bourke and Robin Hick will be delivering a eulogy.

AGM: IT’S ALL GOOD FOR SEASON 2023

By Phil Skeggs

Ivanhoe AFC is well placed for another big season after the committee was re-elected and the club’s healthy financial status confirmed at the AGM on Tuesday night. (November 29)

Pete Rawley is staying at the helm for another year as club president, with Mark Centofanti (vice-president), Ross Toogood(secretary), Liz Valkanis (treasurer), Donny Valkanis (general committee/ food & beverage manager). 

Dual premiership player Nick Godfrey has also joined committee overseeing a new role of HR, Processes & Strategy after opting to hang up the boots and give back to the club after a decade as a player.

Aimee Trew will continue her support of the committee in the role of sponsorship manager after a successful year in 2022.

Liz released the 2022 season financial statement, which shows the club’s bottom line is the strongest it has been in many years.

This included significant increases in sponsorships, bar revenue and some further government grant support. Player subs remained strong despite being discounted 20pc because of a shortened 2021 season and the reduction of player numbers due to fielding just one Ivies team in 2022.

The club boasts 15 individual sponsors and it’s understood some have already approached the club with offers of increased support next season.

“I can’t be thankful enough for our sponsors’ support this year,” said Liz. “We would not be in the position we are now without them.”

Pete thanked Liz for her outstanding financial governance and Aimee, who took over the sponsorships role and has been very active attracting new sponsors.

Underlining the great work done by the social committee, the Big Draw, Life Members’ Lunch and Presentation Night made significant contributions to a stronger bottom line. 

Pete also signalled intentions to grow the Black & Whites coterie group and encourage more past Ivanhoe people back to the club. 

“Whilst this year’s result is outstanding, it costs just under $200,000 to run our little local football club, so we need to get further support to not only survive, but grow,” he said. “The committee is committed to reinvest any financial gains in coaching, equipment, staff and improved facilities in 2023.”

The committee continues to foster closer ties with Ivanhoe Juniors’ committee and coaches to encourage Colts and Youth Women’s team members to consider their playing futures with the senior club.

Pete also expressed thanks to retiring senior assistant coach Nick Carlyon, reserves coaches Karl Kaldawi and Jacob Healy for their fantastic work this year, with the latter pair not ruling out playing next year. Rhiannon Campbell has also indicated that while she can’t continue as Ivies assistant coach, she is keen to keep playing.

The club’s full annual report will be released soon.

SCHULTZ TO COACH HOERS IN DIV 1

By Phil Skeggs

Ivanhoe AFC’s drought-breaking Division 2 premiership mentors have swapped roles for season 2023.

Senior coach Ash Close has accepted a coaching job with Eastern Ranges women’s NAB Cup team, but has committed to remaining as a playing assistant coach for Ivanhoe in Division 1.

Dual D2 best and fairest Wayne Schultz, who has been working as assistant coach (midfield) for Carlton’s AFLW team, has been appointed as senior coach.

Ivanhoe president Peter Rawley said the committee was pleased to retain the Close and Schultz partnership that delivered great results in 2022.

“What Ash has done for our club is immeasurable. Not only did he lead the senior men’s team to their first premiership in 53 years, but he has done this via re-shaping the culture and work ethic of everyone involved,” he said.

Rawley praised Schultz as a “natural leader and an amazing teacher of the game”.

“You only have to look at Wayne’s decorated CV, inclusive of back-to-back VAFA competition B&F medals in the past two seasons, to understand he is a great player. But what external people don’t see is that Wayne is an amazing teacher of the game, something that Ash has had at his disposal over the past couple of years to fast-track the development of our playing group.”

Schultz, who was named in the centre in the VAFA’s D2 Team of the Year and best-on-ground in the grand final, said he was looking forward to coaching Ivanhoe.

“We have an outstanding bunch within this playing group and I’m looking forward to working with everyone once again,” he said.

“Ash Close has done a superb job with his role as coach and he has certainly set incredible foundations for us since his return to the club. This has allowed for such a smooth coaching transition to take place into next season and I thank Ash for that.”

Close is rapt to continue his partnership with Schultz at Ivanhoe and has no qualms about passing the baton as coach.

Close, who scored 71 goals in 13 games this year, was named by the VAFA as the coach and full-forward in the D2 Team of the Year. He is keen to play a full season in 2023.

“I plan to keep playing as long as my body will let me. I’ve always believed you are forever retired so I’m keen to keep going when work allows me to play. I’m also looking forward to taking less of a role game day and focusing more on playing and coaching the forwards,” he said.

It was a tough decision for him to leave Collingwood, where he was forwards development coach this year. But he’s excited by the prospect of coaching the Eastern Ranges Under 19 girls.

“I’ve always had a strong passion for development – whether it be at Ivanhoe or Collingwood – and I’m looking forward to a new challenge working in the NAB league with the Eastern Ranges Under 19 girls,” he said.

“Obviously it was sad to leave Collingwood after 10 years of work but I’ve made lifetime friends and left on really great terms and plan to stay in touch with everyone. I’m sure you’ll still see the Ivanhoe-Collingwood relationship continue.”

The Hoers are also seeking another senior assistant coach to replace Nick Carlyon, who has stepped away from coaching after four years in the role to spend more time with his family.