As we approach the midway point of the season, it’s time to take a look at how Bardon Latrobe
Football Club is performing across its Senior and Junior age groups. With sixteen different
teams to consider, there’s a lot to cover, so we’ll be splitting the review into two parts. Part One
will focus on the Senior teams and Part Two will focus on our Junior cohort.
In this review we’ll have a look at how each team is doing in their respective league campaigns
and Club President, Samuel Irvine Casey will take this info and the games he has personally
watched to make some wild gut based end of season predictions. The President has also
identified a player to keep an eye on from each team based on mid season performances but
has stressed that this was a hard decision as he loves each of his 1,000 players equally – from
our home grown heroes to those stepping foot on Bowman Park for the first time this season.
Starting with the Senior teams, it’s been a mixed bag for Bardon Latrobe so far.
While some sides have been putting out unbelievable performances each week, others have struggled to
find their rhythm. Thankfully, irrespective of on the pitch performance, the team culture has been
strong across all teams with players sticking around after games for a beer and chat and to
cheer on their fellow teams.
Our first team has had an incredible start to the season, currently sitting in second place on the
ladder after a string of impressive results. With a mixture of new recruits and returning Bardon
Latrobe players, pre-season predictions had Bardon placed in the upper mid table with
questions being asked about how the team would bounce back from last season and gel under
new Head Coach Russell Mapri.
With the team playing beautiful football and earning comfortable victories against quality
opposition, the Bardon faithful are starting to dream about the bus to Perry Park for what could
be the first finals appearance for Bardon in many years in addition to potential promotion to
FQPL4. If you haven’t made it to a game yet this season, I’d encourage you to head down and
support Mapri and the lads as they challenge league leaders Yeronga Eagles FC for the premiership going
into the final games of the season.
FQPL5 though is a strange league and they’ll like be more twists in the tale. Only 3 teams boast a positive goal difference and when Jimboomba beat Yeronga – to hand the Eagles their only defeat of the season – it was a game that pitted first against last.
Bardon has three home games left.
- Pine Rivers – June 24
- Narangba Eagles – July 16
- Jimboomba United – August 20
All three will be broadcast on our Facebook and YouTube channel.
Coach: Russell Mapri
Current Top Goal Scorer: Austyn Boardman (10)
President’s End of Season Prediction: 2nd in the League and Grand Final Winners
President’s Player to Watch: Ben Stanley – An absolute weapon in the midfield. Stanley has
covered every blade of grass at Bowman and has been an integral part in our defensive stability
alongside our quick transitions in attack including scoring some crucial goals.
Unfortunately, the reserves side has had a tougher time, finding themselves in second last on
the table. Largely a new side from last year, the U23s are a young side with a number of
talented young players emerging as potential stars of the future at Bardon Latrobe. Their
performances on the pitch have been largely far better than their position on the table would
suggest with small lapses in defensive concentration and a lack of consistent finishing in the
final third often costing them points.
Despite the results, it has been great to see the comradery across the team including the
promotion of some of last year’s U18s into the squad as part of our connected pathway across
the club. The side has continued to gel nicely and we’re starting to see the results on the pitch.
If this form continues, we’ll hopefully see a strong end to the season from the lads.
Coach: Deric Woodford
Current Top Goal Scorer: Yuki Fumimoto (8)
President’s End of Season Prediction: 6th in the League
President’s Player to Watch: Yuki Fumimoto – Quick, calm on the ball and a clinical finisher, Yuki
is a nightmare for U23s Defenders. Playing on the wing or in striker, Yuki has been a standout in
the U23s and is no stranger to the weekly goal wrap. His performances week in and out have
been noticed by Head Coach Mapri where he’s been a regular call up to the first team bench.
Coming off a double winning season last year in Metro 6, rumours were floating around as to
whether the team would be able to back it up again after their super coach Ross Parker was
lured into retirement by the over 35 Div 2s. Fortunately long term clubmen Alex Chalmers and
Rory Wheeler (with the occasional appearance from Metro Coordinator Isaak Baker) stepped up
to the plate and have guided the relatively unchanged team to a strong first half of the season
with Bardon sitting in 2nd place behind a dominant Westside.
Combining classic Metro tactics of FM inspired formations alongside QPL quality players,
Chalmers and Wheeler have stamped their mark on the Metro 5 competition. With the team
finally clicking into gear after a few tight games, the run into finals will be one to watch. As the
only team to have taken points off Westside this season it will be a tough next game when we
meet them again after the mid season break but their form has been strong so we’ll have to rely
on them dropping points elsewhere if we’re taking the top spot back.
Coach: Alex Chalmers
Current Top Goal Scorer: Robbie Field (14)
President’s End of Season Prediction: 1st in the League and Grand Final Winners
President’s Player to Watch: Anthony Powell – I’ve had the pleasure of Ant carrying me to
trophies for almost 20 years and this season is no different. Joining the club as a Miniroo, Ant
has always been a key part of the team he’s played in. This man can play in literally any position
and has demonstrated that multiple times this season, playing all over the park including two
stints as GK when Harry was unavailable.
It is always hard to predict where teams will sit within the lower metro leagues and with only a
few pre-season games under the belt and some strong recruitment in the off-season, the club
was optimistic in promoting our Grand Finalists from last year’s Metro 9 competition into Metro 7.
Unfortunately, the squad suffered some long term injuries to key players in the first few weeks
of the season and have struggled to hit their pre-season form in what has been a strong
competition all round.
After some mid-season recruitment to help fill injury spots the 7s have started clicking together
and have been playing some great football including a narrow defeat to league leaders Pine
Hills at Bowman Park. Off the field, the 7s have some of the strongest culture in the club as win,
lose or draw, they will stay around after their game, have a few beers and support the 5s from
the hill. I’m hoping the second half of the season will start seeing the hard work turn into results
and pull you back up the table.
Coach: Sam Bloom
Current Top Goal Scorer: Henry Wilson (3)
President’s End of Season Prediction: 8th in the League
President’s Player to Watch: Jay Hilditch – A midfield maestro on the pitch and DJ maestro off
the pitch, Jay has played at Bardon for a number of seasons now and has always bought into
the Bardon culture and been a leader in every team he plays in. If you’re down at Bowman on
1pm on a Sunday keep an eye out for the Scottish lad with blonde highlights running tirelessly
across the field, geeing up his team.
The Over 35 Div 1s have had a slow start to the season, playing quality football in patches but
struggling to find the back of the net and currently sit in 8th place. In the games I’ve watched,
the Div 1 lads have suffered a number of narrow losses which could have gone either way had
we taken our chances. The over 35s had a busy intra-club transfer window over the summer
and as a result there are a number of new and old faces in the team. With quality individual
players across the pitch, it won’t take long for the results to start coming in once the team gets a
feel for each other and can field a consistent lineup. With four very dominant sides in the Div 1
league, finals may be out of reach but I back the team to have a strong second half of the
season and finish comfortably in mid-table.
Coach: Rich Vincent
Current Top Goal Scorer: David Bounds (4)
President’s End of Season Prediction: 5th in the League
President’s Player to Watch: David Bounds – You don’t have to spend much time at BLFC before
you’ll hear the calls of “Umbrella” or “Diags” from an energetic left-footed CB echo throughout
Bowman Park. A proper club legend, Boundsy has achieved great success for Bardon on and
off the field. As coach, he guided our first team to a double winning promotion in 2015 and our
Division 1 Junior Girls team to three league titles in a row in 2019-2021. As a player he
captained the Metro 5 team to a championship in 2018. Boundsy is a natural leader and a
strong ball playing centre back and is an asset to any team he is in.
The Over 35 Div 2s have had a mixed first half of the season. The team features a large
contingent of former BLFC Capital and Metro players who have played together for many years
and they play an attractive brand of football under BLFC Super Coach and Vice President
(Seniors) Ross Parker. The team started the season with a couple of tough one goal defeats but
has since kicked into gear and has been steadily climbing back up the table, currently occupying 4th spot. With the coaching and player quality, I have no doubt that we’ll be bus ward bound at the end of the season to watch these guys play finals football.
Coach: Ross Parker
Current Top Goal Scorer: Kevin Thai (6 Goals)
President’s End of Season Prediction: 3rd in the League and Grand Final Winners
President’s Player to Watch: Rich Sharp – After captaining his Metro 5 side to the double last
year, Rich finally decided to hang up his boots from competitive football and follow coach Parker
to Over 35s. Key figures around the club wondered how the 2022 Senior Player of the Year
would fare in Division 2 Over 35s and the answer unsurprisingly is very well. Rich has made an
instant impact into the team as a leader on the pitch and a brick wall at the back. When he’s not
sending a defensive clearance into the forest behind the club, you may find Rich lurking around
a set piece or two where he has headed home a few crucial goals for the 2s this season.
The Over 35 Div 4s have had a strong season so far and currently sit in 5th place only a few points outside of the Top 4. Featuring some of the clubs biggest characters the 4s have been
grinding out impressive results in what has been a very competitive league. The 4s will be
looking to improve on last year’s mid table finish and secure a finals berth. With a large number
of games still to be played, this should be more than achievable for Ben Smee’s men if they
keep up their run of form.
Coach: Ben Smee
Current Top Goal Scorer: Ben Smee, Ali McCall and Tommy Raad (3 Goals)
President’s End of Season Prediction: 4th in the League and Grand Finalists
President’s Player to Watch: Andy McCabe – When he’s not performing oasis bangers, Andy
can be found jogging around Bowman Park playing lethal through balls to the Div 4 strikers and
hitting the occasional long range screamer from deep. A set piece specialist, Andy provides a
great creative outlet for the Div 4s and has scored a few key goals for them this season. The 4s
will be hoping Andy stays injury free as they push onto finals.
The Over 35 Div 6s have been unlucky in their league campaign this season currently sitting in
8th place. The 6s are home to some of Bardon’s finest such as our Grant Writer and Community
Liaison officer Seweryn Unagiewicz and “Club Culture” Coach James Downton. When not
playing football the 6s can be found on the Clubhouse Terrace having a laugh and a drink and
offering words of ‘support’ to their fellow over 35 teams. At this stage of the season finals are
likely out of reach given the gap the current Top 4 have carved out but there are plenty of games left in the season for Downton’s rabble to earn a respectable mid table finish. Although I know
that irrespective of the end of season position, they’ll still have one of the strongest turn outs at
the Senior Preso Night.
Coach: James Downton
Current Top Goal Scorer: Chris Ransley (5 Goals)
President’s End of Season Prediction: 6th in the League
President’s Player to Watch: Chris Ransley – Ransley is a household name at Bardon Latrobe
with Chris and his two sons Lewis & Jake having played for the club for multiple years. A clinical
finisher, Chris has played at Bardon across all senior levels and is now the go-to striker for the
Div 6s. Chris hit the ground running this season with a hot run of form finding the back of the net
5 times across 4 games. If he can find this form again the 6s will have a strong end to the
Over 45 Division 2
The Over 45 Div 2s a.k.a The BLFC Old Guard have had a pretty even start to the season with
a mixed bag of wins and losses that has them sitting in 3rd place in what (apart from 1st) is a
very competitive league. The Over 45s have been a great addition to the club allowing us to
maintain our all of life philosophy and providing our hard working committee + club parents with
a continued outlet to play the sport they love. Featuring long serving club committee members
such as Registrar and Former President Phil Cowlishaw, Groundskeeper Willie Mark Keane and
former jack of all trades Graeme Filippi, what’s not to love about this band of BLFC vets. They
work hard off the field and have fun on it and I have no doubt that they will crawl into finals one
Gillman penalty at a time.
Coach: Phil Jeffries
Current Top Goal Scorer: Jens Streit, David Gillman (4)
President’s End of Season Prediction: 3rd in the League
President’s Player to Watch: David Gillman – Some might consider this a contentious pick given David is only 43 (at the time of writing) and questions may be asked as to how a 43 year old can
play in the over 45s. Don’t you worry, in Over 45s football the motto is fun first, being over 45
second and David is one of the lucky few marquee players who is eligible to help bolster their
numbers in their 23 man squad.
A versatile player, Gillman believes he can play anywhere on the field. While in Metro 5 he is
firmly tied down in defence (and back up GK), as the former MVP in the 45s (2021) he has a
licence to roam further upfield and can be found bombing up the wing, lurking around the six
yard line on set pieces or sprinting upfield from CB to ensure he maintains his place as 45s
penalty taker (3/3 this season). When he’s not trying to play in every senior team he is eligible
for, you can find Dave coaching his sons in U15 Div 1 and U9s. Dave is a true Clubman for
Bardon and it has been a pleasure playing alongside him over the past decade.
Over 30 Women’s Bolts
One of the most energetic teams at the club, the Bardon Latrobe Bolts are the resulting baby
from the hard work of General Manager and former long term committee member Karen
Dickson. While currently sitting in 9th place, as there is only one division in the Over 30s
Women’s competition, it’s hard to really take the league table into consideration given there is
such a disparity in the social/competitive split between teams in the league. The Bolts come
together every Friday night to have fun, stay fit and play the game they love. Under
coach/taskmaster Robbie Dickson, the Bolts have improved year on year and have had some
impressive results against tough opponents. One thing is for sure, win/lose/draw, it’s a bad day
to be a bottle of champagne on a Friday night after the Bolts have played.
Coach: Robbie Dickson
Current Top Goal Scorer: Astrid Schwartz (3)
President’s End of Season Prediction: 8th in the League and Most Champagne Purchased at
the Canteen come end of season.
President’s Player(s) to Watch: Kellie Keane / Bec Boley – Opposition strikers have their work
cut out for them trying to split this centre back pairing so there’s no way I’m going to be able to.
Kellie and Bec have been key players in the bolts since its inception both making regular
appearances in the end of season awards. A dangerous centre back duo, Kellie and Bec lead
from the back and have prevented many a goal over the past four seasons. This season has been no different and they have been a pleasure to watch on a misty Friday night at Bowman