McLaren named Club Champion

Star ruckman Sean McLaren claimed his first Club Champion award in front of packed room of nearly 200 people at the 2017 Club Champion awards dinner at Southern Golf Club.

McLaren enjoyed a fine first season at Jack Barker Oval being named in the SFNL Division 1 Team of the Year and was a constant performer in the ruck and up forward throughout the season.

Thanks to all those who made the night run smoothly and successfully with nearly 200 people in attendance.


Best & Fairest                                        Sean McLaren
Runner Up Best & Fairest                    Jackson Barclay
Third Best & Fairest                              Daniel Vaughan
Rookie of the Year                                 Will Edmunds


Best & Fairest                                        Anthony Milesi
Runner Up Best & Fairest                     Luke Brookman
Third Best & Fairest                              Jack Gavin
Best Finals Player                                 Tom Nelson
Coaches Award                                     Alan Anderson


Best & Fairest                                        Anthony Cilia
Runner Up Best & Fairest                     Shaun Uphill
Most Improved                                       Sam Oke
Coaches/Leadership Award                  Hayden Taylor

Under 19s

Best & Fairest                                        Anthony Malamas
Runner Up Best & Fairest                    Thomas Kilner
Third Best & Fairest                              Nathan Karpathakis
Most Improved                                       Luke Whalebone
Best Team Player                                  Tom Davis

Netball A

Best & Fairest                                        Tessa McKay
Runner Up Best & Fairest                     Lauren Geischke

Netball B

Best & Fairest                                        Janice Lamb
Runner Up                                              Andrea Wyatt            

Club Awards

Bob Blake Most Courageous                Renny Trainor
Best Club Person                                   Chris Graham
Life Membership                                    Alistair Garlick

Reserves complete flag romp

Cheltenham stormed to its second reserves premiership in eight seasons with a comprehensive victory over minor premiers Dingley at Springvale Reserve.

Kicking with the aid of a strong breeze, a four goal to zero opening term paved the way for the victory, but it was also the Rosellas water-tight defence that played a huge role keeping the Dingoes to just two majors for the entire game.

Chris Graham was rewarded for his strong performance with the Malcolm Medal for best afield.

Despite playing in the finals every year since 2002, it is just the fourth flag for the reserves in over 125 years.

Dingley 0.0 1.5-11 1.5-11 2.10-22
Cheltenham 4.6-30 4.6-30 5.9-39 6.11-47


Goal Kickers: M. Stevens 2, A. Milesi 2, C. Bennetts, C. Graham
Best Players: C. Graham, T. Nelson, M. Worrell, L. Brookman, M. Thorneycroft, M. Styring
Goal Kickers: S. Williams, J. Campbell
Best Players: B. Ginns, A. Lloyd, H. Thompson, N. Lloyd, S. Williams, J. Cullen

President’s Luncheon

This Saturday is a huge day at Jack Barker Oval! Three games of football with the thirds playing a twilight game after the seniors:

12pm – Reserves v. Dingley
2.15pm – Seniors v. Dingley
4.45pm – Thirds v. Dingley

A big attendance is also expected for Presidents Luncheon with guest speaker Gerard Ryan…

* Over 20 years as either President/Vice President at Sandringham Football Club
* Senior anti-corruption Investigator Officer for the AFL working in areas such as match fixing, illegal betting, improper associations, supplement abuse and performance enhancing drugs use.
* 44 years as police officer, leaving the police force as one of Victoria’s highest ranking detectives.
* Leader of the armed crime taskforce
* Led the investigation in foiling the alleged Islamist terrorist plot targeting the Holsworthy Army Barracks in Sydney
* Awarded the highest award in Australia for an police member – The Australian Police Medal.

This luncheon is expected to be at full capacity so bookings is a must!

Cost is $30 per person, with drinks at bar prices.

Please book via:
Sue Anderson – 0418 583 436
Pete Goodchild – 0418 560 087
John Graham – 0417 533 752

Rosellas, Panthers in alliance

Cheltenham Football Club, the Rosellas, and Cheltenham Junior Football Club, the Panthers, are kicking goals together.

The pair signed a memorandum of association and formed a strategic alliance that should see them both thrive.

The clubs operate at different grounds – the Rosellas at Jack Barker Oval, and the Panthers at Le Page Park – and in different councils, and they will maintain their own identities and control their own business affairs.

The Rosellas are in their 127th year – making them one of the oldest local football clubs in metropolitan Melbourne, while the Panthers were formed in 1990 after the amalgamation of St Francis and Cheltenham Assumption, and now have over 400 registered players and field 19 teams – including 60 girls across four teams.

However, they will come together when it is mutually beneficial to work on bigger picture issues such as sponsorship and marketing, sharing of relevant information and ideas, and to fast track the development of players.

The memorandum of association signed by the clubs complies with AFL Victoria’s player-points system and will encourage the movement of players from the junior Panthers to the senior Rosellas.

Rosellas president John Graham said: “Our club is dedicated in our drive for positive action that will bring about and enable a professional, well run, structured sporting club for the community. We look forward to continuing to work with the Panthers to assist them in the development of their junior players and then welcoming those players to the Rosellas.”

Cheltenham Panthers president Tony Pitara said: “We are a club with a strong focus on player development and fostering community involvement. We want our junior players to have as many options as possible to continue their football growth and pathway to senior football. Our relationship with the Rosellas is as strong as ever and we look forward to working with them in other areas to continue to strengthen both clubs.”

The alliance is already bearing fruit with Carlisle Homes announced as their first joint sponsor. Carlisle Homes were thrilled to be able to play a role in supporting the community and grassroots sports with this exciting partnership, which is part of their significant community sports sponsorship program.

Vale Barry Bursey

The Cheltenham Football Netball Club is saddened by the passing of long-time supporter, Barry Bursey.

Barry was a keen supporter of the club over the last 10-15 years and will be missed by those who came in for a drink on Thursday nights and on Saturday afternoon  – both home and away.

Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this difficult time.

Cheltenham reclaims RSL Cup

The Rosellas reclaimed the RSL Cup from rivals Bentleigh after a hard-fought victory in their ANZAC Round clash at Jack Barker Oval.

It was a pulsating contest between the two sides for much of the afternoon, with the lead changing several times during the first three quarters. Both teams played scintillating football at times, however, neither could wrest control of the match.

But Cheltenham finally found another gear in the final term, kicking six goals to one to turn their narrow three quarter time deficit into a confidence-boosting 25-point victory.

Sean McLaren dominated in the ruck for the Rosellas all afternoon and duly earned best on ground honours. Teammates Tom Donnell and Daniel Vaughn were both prolific ball-winners and provided plenty of forward momentum, while the diminutive Ange Soldatos proved a livewire up forward.

Jackson Meredith and Brody Lawford were the standouts in what was an admirable performance from Bentleigh, who entered the clash with several key players missing from its best 22.

Ruckman Sean McLaren was best afield for the Rosellas.

With the weather goes Rosellas winning hopes

Heavy rain and a changing breeze in the final quarter ruined any chance Cheltenham had of upsetting reigning premier Dingley at Souter Oval.

With ex-Sandringham and Sydney rookie ruckman Sean McLaren in everything, the Rosellas took the game right up to the Dingoes early and trailed by a solitary point at the long break. Without the onset of heavy rain, the visitors may well have done some real damage with the strong breeze in the final term, with just a 13-point deficit at the last change.

But in the end, the Dingoes carried the day by 27 points, holding their visitors scoreless in that wet, final stanza.

Danny Ades and Luke Walmsley led the way for the Dingoes with three goals apiece, while Luke Bartholomew and Marcus Freeman also excelled. Troy McKenzie, back playing football after a basketball stint, was another to show out for the winners.

Former VFL midfielder Jarrad Matheson was among the Rosellas’ many good players, along with Daniel Vaughan, Bane Suboticki and Tom Donnell.

SFNL’s Cheltenham season preview

Courtesy of

Cheltenham is hoping to continue the impressive form it displayed at back end of 2016 as it begins its ascent up the Division 1 ladder.

Staring down the barrel of season wasted languishing in the bottom reaches of the ladder, the young Rosellas managed to turn their fortunes around with scintillating performances in the second half of the season. From a 2-6 start, they claimed five wins and a draw from their final 10 games and to finish the season on a positive note.

And coach Des Ryan says that the club is aiming to build on that late season form in 2017, and a return to September action may not be beyond the realms of possibility.

“We would be (pushing for finals), yeah,” Ryan said.

“It’s been a case of progressing our football club with talent, and we’ve managed to do that a little bit over the summer, and the natural progression of the boys from last year.

“The progress they made was fantastic, so we’re now looking to take the next step.”

The Rosellas have been active in the off-season, securing the signatures of several star players to strengthen its playing stocks. Former Sydney Swans rookie Sean McLaren has been the club’s highest-profile recruit, while ex-VFL players Will McTaggart and Jarrad Matheson also loom as key inclusions.

Ryan is confident the big-name trio, as well as a host of other inclusions, can help fill the deficiencies the club identified within its list.

“Look, we needed height, and we’ve topped up our list with three guys over 6’5 who are well credentialed and can play, so we’ve ticked that box,” Ryan said.

“Big-bodied, inside ball-winning players as well we’ve added to that. We’ve got Jarryd (Bloink) coming back from injury, he missed all of last year, so from an onball, big body perspective, we’re a lot healthier unit.”

After having his 2016 season ruined by a knee injury, gun ball-winner Bloink spent the year watching from the sidelines. And while he was impressed by what his team mates produced in the back half of the season, he can’t wait to take the field again for Round 1.

“Nothing quite like nine months on the sidelines to fire you up again so it will be good to get back out there,” Bloink said.

“It was good, though, watching the way the boys came together last year. I was really impressed with how much they got out of themselves and the work we did preseason really paid off so it’s really exciting coming into this year with another preseason under the belt of these guys together.”

The excitement generated by the club’s stunning late-season form has carried through the summer, with a buzz permeating Jack Barker Oval for the entirety of the preseason. Training numbers have been extremely healthy and everyone is gearing up for a big year ahead.

“Numbers have been great, they’re the best since I’ve been at the club, and that’s nearly been six years now, so everyone’s ready to go,” skipper Jack Worrall said.

“We’re a young, up and coming team and the boys are really putting the work in on the track and looking forward to Round 1.”

The club has under gone an off-field restructure as well. Popular President Col Anderson stepped down during the off-season after a five-year tenure, with Treasurer John Graham assuming the role.

Practice Match schedule

With the home and away season not far away, the club has locked in three practice matches to help fine tune the players prior to real stuff. If you are in the area, get down and show your support and get behind the Rosellas in 2017.

Saturday 11 March

Birchip-Watchem – North Central Football League

Venue: Nullawil Recreation Reserve, Railway St, Nullawil VIC 3529

Friday 17 March

Intra Club

Venue: TBA

Saturday 25 March

Highett – Southern Football Netball League (Division 2)

Venue: Highett Reserve, Turner Rd, Highett VIC 3190

Saturday 1 April

Norwood – Eastern Football League (Division 1)

Venue: Mullum Reserve, 59 Mullum Mullum Rd, Ringwood VIC 3134

Cheltenham’s Triple M of recruits

Cheltenham will hit Southern airwaves with what it’s promoting as a Triple M of recruits this year.

Former VFL players Sean McLaren, Jarrad Matheson and Will McTaggart have joined the Rosellas, putting them in good shape a few weeks out from the season.

Key position player and ruckman McLaren was drafted by Sydney as a rookie from the Sandringham Dragons and spent 2015 with the Swans.

He joined Sandringham VFL last year.

Matheson, a left-foot midfielder and small forward, was at Port Melbourne last year, having previously had VFL stints at Casey Scorpions and Frankston.

He also had a stop at Eastern power Balwyn.

McTaggart, another tall, also played in the VFL, at Port Melbourne and Sandringham.

In another boost for the Rosellas, Tom Donnell has returned after two years away from the club,

Jarryd Bloink is back from a knee injury, and Old Haileybury top-liner Daniel Harrison, Beaumaris flanker Richard Ryan, Balwyn small forward/Ange Soldatos and Oakleigh District wingman Liam Boschen have signed.

Young and vibrant, Cheltenham finished with seven wins, 10 losses and one draw last season under former Richmond player and Frankston VFL captain Des Ryan.

“We needed to inject talented big bodied on-ballers and height into our 2017 list,’’ Ryan told Leader.

“We established great standards and culture in 2016, built on hard work and the leadership of skipper Jack Worrell with largely a group of players who were all local players.

“We are only concerned with recruiting good people with good behaviours to our club and people who will help us make Cheltenham a great club. Our focus in 2016 was to coach a brand of footy that would see us become a competitive unit. Now we want to go to the next stage and be a finals contender.

“We wanted to maintain a ‘local’ recruitment strategy and develop a pathway for Cheltenham Panthers juniors to join Cheltenham as a club of choice. Most of our recruits are from bayside suburbs and clubs.’’

Ryan said the Rosellas were entering the second year of a three-year plan and would focus on the development of their Under 19 players. The influx of recruits would fast-track their improvement.

Ryan has brought in his brother and fellow ex-Tiger Stevie as an assistant coach.

Steve Ryan coached St Bedes Mentone Tigers to the VAFA Premier B grand final last year but was surprisingly let go.

Off the field, Cheltenham has a new president in John Graham, who succeeds the great Col Anderson, and announced Carlisle Homes as its new major sponsor.


Sean McLaren: 21-year-old Beaumaris resident who is mates with half our club. Recruited from Sandringham, Sean was rookied by Sydney Swans but he found it difficult to get promoted to the senior list with Franklin and Tippet. He leaves nothing in the tank when he plays and his competitive spirit and athleticism are exciting qualities for our club.

Will McTaggart: 25, lives locally in Hampton, recruited from Sandringham. Will is a big bodied defender/midfielder with a penetrating leg. Has speed and power and a good tank. I’ve been really excited by the way Will has attacked his pre-season. He is a real package and has set a standard on the track from the first session.

Jarrod Matheson: he’s 27 and comes from Port Melbourne. Tremendous contested ball player with an ability to kick bags of goals. Has a bull physique and will help teach our group of young boys coming through — 2016 rookie of the year Mitch Daniels, Jake Hibbert, Jax and Nick Kilner — the game craft required for senior football.

Richard Ryan: 22, lives in Cheltenham and was a Chelt Panthers junior. Recruited from Beaumaris AFC, where he played senior and reserve football in 2016. He’s a utility who will play forward/back and ruck for us in 2017. A real solid citizen, Richie has fitted in extremely well.

Ange Soldatos: a 25-year-old midfielder/small forward recruited from Balwyn. Ange lives locally and is best mates with Cheltenham’s 2014 best and fairest Chris Neophitou. A great leader and trainer, Ange will give us much-needed small forward class.

Daniel Harrison: 25 years old, lives at Hampton and is a 195cm wingman/defender. Recruited from Haileybury, Daniel is highly mobile and skilful player who covers the ground well for a tall. He’ll play in a number of positions for us, giving us added flexibility.