Starting a football club from scratch is no easy task – but if you’re chasing a template to success, look no further than the Scotts Head Sharks.
After more than 20 years without a football presence, Gavin Jones and Ben Evans got their noggins together and wondered if there might be a better way than kids having to travel a fair way to the nearest club at Macksville.
“We had a great ground in the town, Buz Brazel Oval, which is maintained by Richie Donovan who is passionate about athletics – and we dared to dream,” Gavin said.
“So we talked with the local businesses and they were keen to support us to form a club.”
Two seasons ago, the Scotts Heads Sharks were born, and Gavin serves as club president.
Gavin is the Newcastle Permanent Volunteer of the Month for August 2020.
“We’re basically at the end of the universe here, and the first season was a struggle but we were allowed to mix and match, with some playing down an age so we could field teams,” Gavin said.
Those testy teething times are now well and truly in the rear vision mirror.
“We’ve got eight teams this year, about 80 kids all up, and we’ve had 20 girls join just this season. 95 per cent of our players are from the town, so it’s great for the community.
“We’ve been able to keep the old colours though we’ve got a new logo. It’s created a real buzz in the town.”
The Sharks, for now at least, are proudly a junior football club – fielding mixed sides in the 6s, 7s, 8s, 10s and 11 year age groups, and competition outfits in the 12s and 13s.
The question of whether North Coast Football will one day see some senior Sharks is an unknown unknown – but in the words of Sean Connery, never say never.
“There’s been talk about a potential women’s team but for the moment we’re just pleased to be where we are at. We’re truly a grassroots club and we’ve got some really good players.”
The Sharks are though aspirational.
“It would be great to get some infrastructure grants – lights for the ground would really help with training, and we’re looking to extend the clubhouse, and we need new goalposts,” Gavin said.
With support, it’s hard to see the little club which could doing anything but ticking the boxes on that wish-list.