After five months without a president, Brett Stevens has taken on the role at Echuca Football Netball Club.By Zach Hubber
Echuca Football Netball Club appointed Brett Stevens as its president for 2013 on Thursday.
Stevens joined the club committee for the first time in November and after much deliberation with committee members, decided to take on the top job after a five-month vacancy.
Stevens has lived in Echuca since 1991 after moving from Millicent in south-east South Australia and has been a supporter of the football club for 14 years.
Stevens is married to Lyn, is the father of senior player Tom Stevens and former Echuca netballer Jessica Stevens and works as a real estate valuer in Echuca.
He said when he joined the committee he had no intention of taking on the presidency, but decided it was a worthwhile venture after much deliberation.
‘‘Having been on the committee since November I’ve realised the people at the club have a wealth of knowledge and that there are more people involved than I thought, a lot of good quality people,’’ he said.
‘‘We needed a leader, a president to bring all these good sub-groups, subcommittees together and just make it a closer, united football club.’’
Building unity and culture is high on Stevens’ priorities and he said senior coach Cam Stewart is someone who instigated those qualities.
‘‘The coach is the most important part of the footy club because of how he’s perceived by the players and supporters,’’ Stevens said.
‘‘Cam’s ability to promote young people, coach young people and teach young people is as good as I’ve seen in country footy anywhere.’’
He said the challenges facing the club were similar to the challenges facing most country football clubs.
‘‘The biggest challenge for country football clubs is the cost of players and players wanting to be paid to play for their club,’’ he said.
‘‘I’m sure in years to come for clubs to survive, they’re going to have to rely on locals who don’t demand ridiculous dollars.
‘‘We can continue to pay players, but at the end of the day if we spend too much money we’re not going to survive.’’
Stevens remained upbeat with the football and netball clubs’ development and was excited for what 2013 would unveil.
‘‘I think it was clear last year that we didn’t pay a significant amount on player payments, yet we had a fantastic year in player development and some results last year that were unexpected and that was fantastic,’’ he said.
‘‘That win against Mooroopna, some of the old guys who have been around the club a long time said that was one of the best they’ve seen.
‘‘If we can continue that development I’m sure we’ll see a few more results like that this season.’’
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