AFL Victoria

The battle for the ultimate football bragging rights will be up for grabs today, with the return of the 2019 WorkSafe AFL Victoria Community Championships.

This year, the WorkSafe AFL Victoria Community Championships once again promises to deliver another exciting round of community football, as the opportunity to participate in senior and junior representative programs continues to be a highlight for footballers in community competitions across the state.

Today, a total of 32 leagues will compete in a one off head-to-head match across 16 different venues around Victoria.

The battle for community football’s top ranking is set to be another blockbuster, with Geelong FNL lining up against the Northern FL at Queens Park, Geelong. The winner will have 12 months to prepare for a huge challenge from either the Mornington Peninsula Nepean Football League (MPNFL) or Ovens and Murray (O&M) who clash in a three v four battle at Rosebud today.

The Rosebud team has done a great job, with Olympic Park looking pristine for today’s big event. 

In addition to the Championships, it’s great to see a host of junior and senior female community football stars don their local colours and participate in a number of representative games taking place as curtain raisers to their respective Community Championship senior match. Visit aflvic.com.au for the full fixtures.

Following on from a successful 2019 Community Umpiring Week earlier this month, I would like to congratulate all the umpires who have been selected to adjudicate in today’s matches.

Their hard work, dedication and strong performances either in the V/Line Umpiring Academies or metropolitan league associations will put them in good stead to officiate community football’s top players.

Lastly, I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the leagues, staff, players, coaches and volunteers involved in the 2019 WorkSafe AFL Victoria Community Championships, for their enthusiasm and support in the lead up to the event.

We hope that you enjoy the experience and wish you the best of luck for the remainder of the 2019 football season.

Stephen O’Donohue
AFL Victoria Community Football & Development Manager

AFLSE Welcome

Welcome all to Olympic Park Recreation Reserve, Rosebud, for today’s very important clashes in the 2019 WorkSafe AFL Victoria Community Championships.

At AFL South East we are very proud of our Mornington Peninsula Nepean Football League (MPNFL), in both football and netball.

At the senior football level today we take on the strong Ovens and Murray League in a match between the third and fourth ranked leagues in the State. The winner will challenge for the No. 1 spot in 2020.

We are also delighted to be hosting an Under 19 game of football prior to the main game as well as a senior netball game on the adjacent court.

Senior coach Chris Holcombe will be keen to avenge last year’s loss to the Northern Football League at Preston, which has relegated us to today’s fixture. The Ovens and Murray have been a formidable opponent in several interleague matches and today will be no exception.

I wish Chris and his team of assistants all the best for today’s game.

Country football legend Paul “Chewy” Scanlon has taken on the coaching of the MPNFL Under 19 side which will also take on the Ovens and Murray prior to the main game. Chewy’s enthusiasm has been an inspiration to the boys, despite him carrying a bad break to his ankle. We hope the side shares his attitude and repeats its win in 2018 when Chewy was an assistant. 

These Community Championships provide a wonderful opportunity for both the young and mature talent in the MPNFL to showcase their skills on the biggest stage in community football. It is an honour at any time to play representative football. Playing with your peers at such an elite level is an experience most players never forget.

The MPNFL has not had a senior representative netball fixture since 2016, therefore it is very pleasing that the Ovens and Murray have brought a team down. Having the netball fixture at the same complex as the football provides for a very exciting atmosphere.

I wish coach Keira Wills, her assistants and the players all the best for an entertaining game.

Last year, the AFL South East women’s team took on the Northern FL and came away with an exciting one-point win, which I’m sure the girls will long remember.

This year the team takes on the Southern FL in a stand-alone game at RSEA Park, Moorabbin on Sunday 19 May. I wish coach Gary Sanford and the players all the best for another terrific clash. Gary replaces inaugural coach Megan Snart who put a lot of time and energy into preparing the squad last season and I’m sure gary will do the same.

It is a great experience for the girls to play representative football

Finally, a thank you to a few groups:

To AFLSE Operation Managers Sam Downie (Netball), Rod Hamilton (SEWF) and Haydn Parsons (MPNFL) for bringing together our teams, and the Ovens and Murray administration for organising three representative teams to make the long trip and back.

Also, to Brett McRae, Lachie White and the Committee of the Rosebud Football Netball Club for hosting the events today. The club has done a great deal of preparation to ensure the success of today’s fixture.

To all the participants, enjoy the day!

John Anderson
Regional General Manager
AFL South East

OMFNL Chairman's Welcome

The SS&A OMFNL are pleased to again be participating in the Worksafe AFL Victoria Community Championships and thank the Mornington Peninsula Nepean Football League and the Rosebud Football Club for hosting today’s game.

Today is the seventh occasion the two Leagues have met with both League’s sharing the spoils with 3 wins each. The last time we met, in 2015, it was a narrow victory to the MPNFL in a terrific game in Albury. Today we hope to continue our progress up the rankings with positive results in Senior and U/19 games.

We’re extremely pleased that our Senior Netballers will also compete against MPNFL for the first time in the long version of the game. We thank the MPNFL for providing the opportunity for both Leagues to have a solid hit our prior to the Netball Victoria Association Championships in June.

We thank all our clubs, players, coaches, officials, volunteers and fans for their continued support of Interleague Football and Netball.

Our Football coaches today are league legends Jon Henry and Brad Murray with Darren Hovey again taking charge of the U/19 team. Lou Byrne, Tam Mathews and Paula Carey bring enormous experience to the court as joint coaches of our Senior Netball group. All are capably supported by a dedicated and enthusiastic team of assistants, coaches, team managers, runners, timekeepers, trainers/physios, scorers, interchange stewards and statisticians.

Many thanks to our clubs that have hosted training during the campaign preparation including Wodonga, Corowa-Rutherglen and Albury. On behalf of our Board we are also indebted to our General Manager Sean Barrett and Operations Manager Greg Dawson for pulling the campaign together and organising the logistics.

We recognise and thank AFL Victoria and Worksafe for again providing the platform for our best country footballers and netballers to display their talent.

Also thanks to the print and electronic media for their continued support and promotion of Interleague Football and Netball.

Good luck to everyone participating today including the umpires and we hope you have an injury free contest across all games.

Thanks to our business partners including: SS&A, Johnsons MME, KFC, Optus, Sherrin, CUB, Prime7, 1494 2AY, McRae Motors, Bendigo Bank, Health Focus Physiotherapy, Patties Foods, Dutch Media, TWP, Roadsafe North East, Dysons, Coca Cola, Victor Sports, Club Warehouse, Lawrence & Hansen and Morris Wines.

David Sinclair, Chairman
SS&A Ovens & Murray FNL

Coaches Senior Football

I would like to start by welcoming the Ovens and Murray Football and Netball League down to the Mornington Peninsula, in what should be a great day of intense competition.

Thanks again to Haydn Parsons and AFL South East for giving me the honour of coaching the senior interleague side for a second year.

Last year we were able to blood many new and young players to the interleague experience against a very strong Northern Football League side at Preston. We know we face an extremely tough challenge against Ovens and Murray and we can’t wait to get out onto Rosebud Park.

I would like to wish our women’s coach Gary Sanford, our Under 19s coach Paul Scanlon and netball coach Keira Wills all the very best as they take on the best that the Southern FNL and Ovens and Murray Football Netball League has to offer.

Good luck to all players for the weekend and let’s get back to that top bracket where we belong.

Chris Holcombe


This year’s representative football brings us to Rosebud to take on the strong Mornington Peninsula Nepean Football League. The last three clashes between the leagues have seen tightly contested games with all three results going the way of MPNFL. With the added incentive of advancing to the 1 v 2 game in 2020, I am sure we will see another high standard contest.

The SS&A Ovens and Murray have a proud history and strong tradition in representative football. Buy in from the players is critical to this success. A common theme for our players over the last few games has been team success over individual recognition. The opportunity to perform your role and earn the respect of your peers is a rewarding experience for those chosen to represent the Ovens and Murray.

With 15 players in the squad from last year’s win over Western Region Football League, we believe we have selected a well-rounded side with depth in each position. We look forward to the challenge of travelling to Rosebud and testing ourselves against a high-quality opponent.

To the volunteers, trainers and physios who sacrifice their time to help the team, we truly appreciate your work. A special mention to Team Manager Ross Reid, who’s dedication to representative football over the past 20 plus years has been truly amazing.

Good luck to all players involved in today’s games!

Jon Henry & Brad Murray

Coaches Senior Netball

What a fantastic opportunity to showcase our strengths as the two divisions of MPNFL A Grade netball come together to taken on Ovens and Murray. I’d personally like to thank AFL South East and the MPNFL for trusting me to guide this talented group of netballers, it is a huge honour for me.

We have been able to form a fantastic team of 10 which was picked from an initial squad of 18. It was great to see so many girls in our competition wanting to represent our league and wanting to be part of this game. Choosing a team of 10 was not an easy task with a solid 18 squad members who could have all been chosen with strengths in different areas.

Our focus throughout the squad and final team training sessions has been on building connections and trusting each other when we get on the court. All girls have taken on this challenge and been able to execute under pressure consistently. We take on this game with an enormous sense of pride and willingness to see what we come up against and to work together to overcome whatever it is that is placed in front of us.

Louise Manders from Bonbeach Football Netball Club has been an excellent addition to our group, stepping in as my assistant coach and manager for the match. She brings a distinct enthusiasm for the game and has shown through her involvement at Bonbeach that she is a fantastic leader and I am very thankful for her support throughout this process and during the match.

I would also like to take the opportunity to thank Samantha Downie from AFL South East for her support in getting this match up and running again after the MPNFL not being represented in netball for a number of years. Her support has been invaluable.

We look forward to the challenges that we will face against Ovens and Murray and will give the match everything we have to represent the MPNFL well.

Keira Wills
MPNFL Netball Coach


Ovens and Murray Netball

This weekend marks a fantastic opportunity for the SS&A Ovens and Murray team to travel outside the region and test ourselves against a metropolitan side!

The O&M prides itself on being among the premier competitions in the NSW/VIC. Our competition grows stronger every year and continues to provide a great opportunities for the region’s best netballers to showcase their talent.

As coaches we have been incredibly lucky to have such talent to select from and are very excited at the team that we have been able to put together.

The 2019 team brings together a blend of youth and experience which is so very reflective of the current state of our competition. A number of players are embarking on yet another representative campaign whilst for others it is their first opportunity to represent the league at the Open level.

Despite the short lead-in, the team is very familiar with each other and we have no doubt this will hold us in good stead on game day. We are looking forward to watching the players represent the league with great pride and are very thankful to be given the opportunity to coach this team.

Thank you to the O&M Staff and Board for continuing to provide endless support to representative netball. There is a significant amount of planning and work that goes into taking representative sides away, and for our netballers to be given this opportunity is greatly appreciated.

We extend good luck to the OMFNL Under 19 and Senior Football teams as we all make the trek south.

Lou Byrne, Paula Cary, Tamara Matthews
O&M Co-Coaches 

U19 Coaches Message

Firstly I’d like to thank AFL South East and the MPNFL for providing me with the opportunity to coach the Under-19 Interleague team.

It is a great honour, and being passionate and ambitious about coaching is one that I certainly don’t take for granted.

I’d also like to thank the coaches and support staff that have been outstanding through this campaign, and have given the under-19 playing group a taste of what footy is like at a higher level.

My assistant coaches, Byron Barry, Tim Bongetti and Adam Hunter, are all legends of the MPNFL and I have thoroughly enjoyed the experience of working with these guys.  

In terms of the playing list we have put together a highly talented bunch of kids, and right from the start their commitment to the program has been super impressive. It’s a credit to their coaches at local level who have produced not only quality footballers but quality people as well.

Leaving players out has been very difficult to do, with so much depth through the MPNFL, but I have no doubt the players selected to represent our region will do us proud. Ovens and Murray will provide very strong opposition but I will back my boys in to play attractive footy and get the job done.

I’m keen for the boys to show off their talent on match day, as it’s an opportunity that not many get.

I want them to have fun and enjoy the experience. That’s what interleague is all about, having fun.

They also get the opportunity to meet other players and coaches from the league that they can build relationships with that will last long into the future.

Good luck to Chris Holcombe and the senior team, to Keira Wills and the netball girls, and to Gary Sanford and our women’s team.

Let’s bring home all four wins over the weekend – but most of all let’s enjoy the experience.

Paul Scanlon
MPNFL Under 19s Coach


I would firstly like to thank the SS&A Ovens and Murray league for the opportunity to coach the Under 19 side for the second year in a row. Over the four years I have been involved with the Under 19 side I consider it to be a privilege to coach the best young talent our league has to offer.

Through the lead up phase we have had over 40 players attend training and it was incredibly difficult to cut the squad down to just 25 players. The squad has representation across the teams from Ovens and Murray. I believe it is important to acknowledge the support from each of the teams in the Ovens and Murray who have strongly encourage their players to represent our league.

This year I am joined by Laurie Burt as Assistant Coach. Laurie with the support of Sean Barrett and Greg Dawson have allow us to prepare the best possible side for todays clash. I also thank all parents and family who have made the journey to support us today. It is my hope that the Under 19 side are able to get the SS&A Ovens and Murray off to a great start and wish all our sides, both football and netball the best of luck today.

Darren Hovey
O&M Under 19s Coach