SUANFC ready for take-off after 2013 season launch

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130 Sydney University Australian National Football Club (SUANFC) members and supporters packed The Grandstand Bar and Restaurant for the 2013 NEAFL & Sydney AFL Season Launch on Saturday night.

Apart from the official launch of the clubs premiership campaigns for both the NEAFL and Sydney AFL, the evening provided an opportunity to formally recognise the 2013 coaching group, and for those coaches to announce the captains for all grades for the upcoming season.

In addition to Club President Chas Wilkinson addressing the audience on the upcoming season, those in attendance were also introduced to the clubs 2013 Major Partners, Bendigo Bank and CplusC Architectural Workshop. Rob Chittick and Clinton Cole, of Bendigo and CplusC respectively, each presented to the crowd an insight into why each organisation have partnered with SUANFC in the past, and continue to do so in 2013.

Thanks were also given to SUNAFC’s Corporate, Community and High Performance Partners for 2013 – Sydney Uni Sport & Fitness, Sports Lab, The Marly, Gildan, Elastoplast, The Rubbish Taxi, Funkified Entertainment, Thema, Chempower and PowerPlay Sports.

The formalities then got under way with the announcement of captains for the newly created Platinums, Golds, Reds and Blues teams, with Michael Murray, Mitch Hume, Paul Ioakim and Scott Snodgrass accepting their captaincy’s respectively.

Daniel Gilmore, Senior NEAFL Coach, then introduced the senior coaching panel that will support him, before handing over to Tom Morrison, Premier Division and Senior Development Coach, to outline the direction for the club’s Premier Division squad over the 2013 season, including the decision to rotate the captaincy of Premier Division based on the number of players expected to rotate through the NEAFL team.

This was the prelude to Daniel Gilmore announcing Tim Barton and Ryan Silvester as Senior Co-captains for 2013, then presenting the 60 man senior squad with their playing jumpers.

SUANFC Commercial & Football Operations Manager Tim Air said “It was great to see so many of the Clubs players and supporters turn out to mark the start of a new season. The naming of Tim Barton and Ryan Silvester as NEAFL Co-Captains is a great reward for the hard work both young men have put in with the club both on and off the field over the last couple of seasons”.

“The most pleasing thing with the naming of the captains is that across the board, the players named are not just great players and on field leaders, but they are all outstanding young men and members of the community,” said Air.

SUANFC will now look forward with high hopes for the coming season.

Senior NEAFL coach Daniel Gilmore was also pleased with the tone of the evening.

“Tonight’s season launch was a great opportunity for the club at large to get together and see what sort of shape we are all in after a long summer,” explained Gilmore.   

Gilmore highlighted Nick Roberts and Anton Turco as two players from the senior NEAFL squad who have had an exceptional preseason and will be players to watch this coming season. Roberts has had a “huge preseason with him making considerable gains in strength, aerobic fitness and in knowledge of the game, his preparation has been first class and he looks the goods in March,” said Gimore.

Gilmore also said that Turco has had “the best preseason of his career. He has the form on the track to warrant an early selection and his exemplary work ethic and effort around the players group and club can never be questioned.”

SUANFC’s NEAFL side take on 2012 AFL Premiers – the Sydney Swans – reserves this Friday night in a trial match, before taking on Belconnen on Saturday March 30 in their first 2013 competition hit-out.

The club’s Platinums, Golds, Reds and Blues teams will kick-off their season proper the following weekend in the Sydney AFL competition.