Seagulls ready to fly

November 18, 2021 BY

Corio MP Richard Marles visited North Shore Football and Netball Club to check out the new coaches' box, which received federal funding through the Stronger Community program.

AFTER two pandemic-interrupted seasons and the ongoing challenge of attracting football and netball players, North Shore has its sights on 2022 with new coaches, new facilities and an influx of juniors.

The Seagulls’ new oval lighting and coaches’ box are complete, they are in the process of completing a master plan to deliver a major facility upgrade and they are building teams for the future, with 130 Auskick kids pulling on the boots.

North Shore Football and Netball Club has won 14 senior premierships, countless reserves and junior premierships since 1974, culminating in six Premierships in a row from 1995 to 2000.

Senior netballers won the inaugural GFNL Premiership in 2000 but numbers then gradually diminished and last year the netballers were reduced to one playing team.

The club has always remained financially viable but school closures across Corio and Norlane, and a changing demographic over the past two decades contributed to some tough years at North Shore.

But president Dale Purcell says the club has worked hard to turn it around, and is looking forward to success in 2022 and beyond; “craving a return to the Premiership podium in all sections”.

Purcell leads a dedicated and hard-working committee, with a separate working group who are committed to finalising the master plan and creating the GFL’s best facility by 2027, when the club celebrates its centenary.

The Seagulls are looking forward to a fantastic 2022 season, with new facilities and great support from community leaders.

The working group includes federal MP Richard Marles, state MP John Eren, and City of Greater Geelong councillors Anthony Aitken and Kylie Grzybek who have provided great ongoing support to secure funding for new lighting for training and night games, and the new coaches’ box.

“The club is working towards having the master plan fully funded and delivered before 2027,” Purcell said.

“COVID has affected everybody, however, the club is really buzzing, with the football section securing Geelong’s best coaching team in Darren Winter and Nick Dixon.

“This has opened the door for recruiting of young players which never been seen before.

“Pre-season training, under Stephen ‘Stoofa’ Lewry has been the best in memory with over 60 players attending so far, including many keen recruits.

“The netball section is building a committed off field team with the determined plan to get this section back where it belongs.”

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