This week we took several big steps towards what many of you have been training continuously for since September last year – the restart of NPL competition. It has been a long and extremely frustrating 4 or 5 months.
Competitive sport is a wonderful outlet for everyone, and for that reason it is so important that these activities are allowed to resume. However, it is important to remember that the events of the last 5 months have had some terrible consequences for many people all around the world. It allows us to realise how lucky we are, for so many reasons, to live in Australia.

“What’s the Latest about 2020 Season Start”
• All teams are now back together and into training.
• The official approvals came through this week that Senior football will be able to start competition in July.
• We have been provided a draft draw to check for any issues or problems. That is scheduled to be published on Wednesday 17th June.
• At this stage the indications are that “Game Day Restrictions” will need to be consistent with many similar procedures that are currently part of our day to day life. However, conditions are changing at a fast pace, and so we just need to wait to see what rules will apply. Maitland Football “Game Day Committee” will be meeting this week, in preparation for those special considerations. We will need to take a conservative approach in that planning.
Words of Wisdom –
“Work Ethic” – Champions do extra on and off the field. Always tell yourself that you are going to be better and work harder than you did yesterday.
This region’s most honored footballer is Craig
Johnston. Craig was only of average ability. In 1975 as a 14-year-old he went over to England on trial. His ‘work ethic’ made up for his average skills. By 1988 Craig had won 5 League Championships with Liverpool, plus scored the winning goal in an FA Cup Final and a role in their European Champions League victory. Yet Craig was only of ‘average ability’. His exceptional ‘work ethic’ made the difference.

Special Thanks –
This week I had the opportunity to get to a few training sessions. Terrific to see the boys out on the training field, and just as special to see the enthusiasm and commitment that the coaching and management staff of the club have shown, during this period of transition back to training. It has not been an easy task for our club management to overcome the hurdles involved with the transition, but the support that has been received from coaches has been very encouraging and appreciated.

1st Grade Player Profiles
In Edition 2 of Magpie Mail, we featured an article about a couple of new players to watch this year from our 1st Grade squad. In today’s edition we feature a couple of returning ‘local heroes’ and favourite sons, to the senior squad.

Matt Comerford returns after a serious knee injury that sidelined him last season.
He has been itching to return and is an incredibly dangerous, explosive and unpredictable player.
Matt plays in the wide areas up front, and is a very fast, and skillful player, who can dribble and strike the ball off both sides.
He is bound to cause opposition defenders more than a few headaches this year.

Ben Martin has returned after a couple of years off. He has worked very hard on his fitness and was training well before the lockdown.
He is an imposing strong ‘target man’ who also strikes the ball off both sides and so is bound to score goals this season.
He has also played a valuable role in bringing a number of our young players on.
Ben is so well regarded by his peers that he has been appointed as ‘Club Captain” for 2020.

We are fortunate to have both players back and ready to go.

UK Tour 2021
As mentioned in an earlier Magpie Mail edition, we have started the initial stages of planning for a Club tour to the UK, and perhaps France, at the end of season 2021. This is a follow on from similar tours in 2016 and 2019.

We are now looking for expressions of interest – that does not mean a commitment – it means an indication of interest. We appreciate that the world has a long way to go before it gets back to normal, but there is benefit in planning for that time.
The tour party will comprise players and families from U14’s, U15’s and U16’s in the 2021 season.
We would like to organise some video conference meetings, with the tour organiser (Phil Dando), so that we can get some feedback from parents on timings and itinerary, and I’m sure that parents would like to get feedback on costs.
I repeat, the meetings are not an indication of a commitment, just a sign of interest, so that we can establish a platform for arrangements.
If you would like to be included in one of these meetings, could you send an email to Kylie Hubbard at, just giving your name and best email address for the conference call. Many thanks.

Have a great week, and we look forward to availability of competition draws on Wednesday.