GippSport is very proud to be associated with the All Abilities Football team.  Like all football teams, there is a large amount of support that is required in order for the team to be able to take the field.

We would like to thank Chris Soumilas & the Gippsland league for their continuing support of the All Abilities footy program.  We look forward to continuing the relationship next season and for many seasons to come.

We’d also like to thank the Gippsland Power for their support this year.  There have been some legislative changes that have been imposed on the all abilities league from AFL Vic.  In order for us to field a team and meet these required changes Gippsland Power were kind enough to allow us to utilise their name and register our team as the regional all abilities side.  Further to this they provided their Gippsland Power jumpers from last year for the team to play in, which has been fantastic for the group.  Again, we look forward and hope to strengthen this partnership in future seasons.

Willaton Transport has been a supporter of the team for many years, sponsoring the fuel to enable us to get to games all over Melbourne each week.  On this note, thanks also to Mawarra in Warragul for allowing us to use their buses.  To the the Warragul Footy Club, thank you for their assistance in helping us host our own little end of season function a few weeks ago by providing access to the club and bar staff.  And finally, thank you to the Gippsland Umpires Association & Shane Morgan, this was the first year that we’ve approached the Association to assist with umpires.  The guys firstly were kind enough to donate their time to assist and further to this, we have received absolutely wonderful feedback from the other teams about them.

For the team, it’s been another fantastic year with many ups and one terribly sad down.

We sadly said goodbye to a great mate & team man in Ronnie Layton who tragically passed away in a traffic accident in Korumburra during the season.  Ronnie had been a great player for many years and will be sadly missed, yet fondly remembered in future seasons.  In his honour it was decided to name our Coaches award the “Ronnie Layton perpetual award” – the winner of which this year was Kelvin Waters.

In other awards Ryan Clarke was awarded our Most Improved player for the season.  And special mentions must go to Kelvin Waters & Matt Keily who were selected to represent Vic Country in the national all abilities footy carnival.  Vic Country were the eventual winners of the carnival and our guys played outstanding games.

The team finished the year with 16 players.  This was a great result, as early on in the season we barely had 10 and were considering whether it was worth fielding a side.  Certainly I’m working as hard as I can to promote the program and have recently been meeting with AFL Vic to develop a plan to develop All abilities footy across the region.  We have a fantastic junior program in Traralgon at the Southside Junior Footy Club.  At the end of the season in that program we had 19 players, with kids ranging in age from 5yrs old – 14.  I’m very keen to get similar programs happening in a number of other towns across the region and to establish a clear pathway to our Gippsland Power all abilities team.

The Herb Smith Perpetual Award is our teams Best & Fairest award.  This goes to the player who best displays the qualities of good sportsmanship, who turns up each week, and who is generally an all around great team player. This years winner of the award more than any of this is just a great young man.  Congratulations to David Bowen, the winner of the 2013 Herb Smith Perpetual Award.

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