Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

G'day there Mr President

Old mates Darren Hall, Geoff O'Sullivan and Kevin Preece have just more than a passing interest in football, they're all presidents of Goulburn Valley Football League clubs.

GEORGINA CAHILL September 5, 2014 3:10am

Good mates Kevin Preece (Shepparton Swans), Darren Hall (Mooroopna) and Geoff O’Sullivan (Shepparton) are all presidents of GVFL clubs.

Darren Hall, Geoff O’Sullivan and Kevin Preece are unlikely mates.

The three Goulburn Valley Football League club presidents love a laugh and they certainly love a beer.

There have been holidays to Barwon Heads and cricket trips to Adelaide, but their friendship formed when they were much younger.

Preece (Shepparton Swans) and O’Sullivan (Shepparton), met when they were students at St Colman’s (now Notre Dame College).

Nowadays Preece and Hall (Mooroopna), live just down the road from each other, while O’Sullivan is not too far away either.

Their rise through the football club ranks has been somewhat different.

But their allegiances stem from their kids, who followed in their parents’ footsteps and attended Notre Dame.

‘‘A bit like Kev, my son came out of the (Notre Dame) juniors,’’ O’Sullivan said.

‘‘We grew up around Shepparton United for many years and my son wanted a bit of a change and wanted to go to Shepp.

‘‘I said ‘as long as you don’t go to Mooroopna or the Swans no worries’,’’ he said with a laugh.

‘‘It’s funny, I could have said exactly the same thing,’’ Hall said with a chuckle.

Hall is the longest serving president of the three.

He grew up in Mooroopna and has been at the reins of the club for five years.

Hall said their friends often played up the club rivalries.

‘‘If we’re at a party, normally it’s been we’re all at a party together, I’m sure 90 per cent of the people are trying to wind us up to get us to say something,’’ Hall said.

‘‘But we haven’t had that.’’

Preece grew up at Tatura, but his son prompted the move to the Swans, where he has been president for two years.

Preece, like the others, loves his role.

‘‘For a period of your life it becomes your major hobby and your major interest outside of work,’’ he said.

‘‘You’ve got to consign yourself to that and look to take up golf when you finish.’’

In his first year as president at Shepparton, O’Sullivan said footy always popped up in conversation with Hall and Preece.

‘‘We try not to talk too much (footy), but then again you can learn a lot off each other and what you do at each club,’’ O’Sullivan said.

‘‘Everyone’s got their own way of doing things and they’ve been in it a lot longer. It’s all new to me.’’

While the Bears’ season finished last week, the Swans and Cats could meet again. If minor premier Benalla accounts for the Swans and the Cats are too good for Kyabram, they would meet in a semi-final.

Surely that would spark a dinner conversation or two.

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