Hey, Hey, Hey- what a great weekend to be at UPE.
It just seemed like somehow the planets had aligned and the competition with our teams omnipresent has just got into full swing. This could also be due to the fact that this particular scribe may or may not have had a week on the sidelines ‘to cool his heels’ after an incident packed first game of the season that found him at the mercy of the judiciary.
Anyway, enough of the less than positive, let’s get into some of our early season highlights, achievements and successes of this great little club that we continually grow proud of.
Season 2019 thus far has unveiled a veritable smorgasbord of wonderful personnel and sponsor additions to the UPE extended family within our coaching, playing and administrative ranks and we cannot thank everyone enough for stepping up into their chosen or appointed roles - honestly with such wonderful people and businesses in key positions of support upholding and reaffirming our club ethos of ‘where football meets friendship’ it only affirms that this is a cracking great club!
So far this year success has come on the field through the traditional veins of accomplishment that is our ‘Takalvans’ Division 1 Ladies- still undefeated after 3 club games and also a knockout game victory amongst it. Coach Ash has this tight knit group of classy ladies looking as formidable as ever -the return of the sublime Sarah Bretag has had an immediate effect both professionally and from a morale perspective as she is a wonderful captain and person to be around at all times. A standout from an Overandout viewpoint thus far has been the mighty Brooke Harrington- I’ve watched Brooke play for nigh on 6 years now- Futsal and outdoor and there are not many tougher or more committed. Her thirst for work, skill on the ball, vision and love of the game is infectious and she continues to set the bar on improving her abilities by training like a warrior- well done Brooke!
Our Twyford Motor Group/ Pulse Electrical Div 1 men have had a varied start to the season but something tells me that for the past 12 weeks coach Scotty Bretag has just been building the engine- once he clicks it over with all of the components in place- watch out opposition! To a man these fellas are such great and committed characters and on a weekly basis it is clearly visible that they are now knitting together as one cohesive unit. A great win against the Buccaneers in Hervey Bay, and a tenaciously fought out draw against KSS Jets last Saturday night are two seasons highlights thus far, as is the form of Lynton Seary, Dom Woodland and my new cult hero - Damien Wilson. Damo is Zen like in his preparation -he is unassuming, yet so assured and although watching him play through rose coloured glasses- I don’t think he has made a mistake on the field this season yet. Welcome to UPE Damien, thank you for joining us and so quickly making a difference - we look forward to many great times into the future. Another that seems continually to prick the passion cushion of the fans has been the indomitable Joel Porch- so, so formidable from the back- he is a great onfield communicator with his teammates but also great on the banter to any opponents- I heard him say mid-match recently to an opposing striker, ‘You best be calling Kenny Loggins old mate, cause you are entering the Danger Zone back here’- quality stuff from Porchy. Just in front of him stands our Division 1 captain of 2019, Jake Davis. He is crazy good -unpretentious yet fiercely proud of his abilities, his accomplishments and his club. Off field he is musically inclined playing the saxophone, triangle and kazoo and he struggles to find a quality EPL team to follow. Jake Davis has been a mainstay of this club since its inception and he continues to lead not only as a player but even more importantly as a role model to our ever swelling nursery of outstanding juniors coming through. I know that young Ian Brewer of our champion 3rd Division side really looks up to Jake, figuratively and literally of course.
Another undefeated team within our realms are our incredible ‘Aussie Home Loans’ Division 2 Ladies playing with a zest for football under club president Sir Mark Haster. This team is headed for the stars my beautiful friends- with an exquisite blend of baby boomers, millennials and echo boomers these ladies are the real deal. Superstars amongst them include Taylor Stumer, Bella Matebau, Ruby ‘The Rock’ Rowlands and the ageless Jas Haster and her partners in crime Fiona Bath, Karly Jacobsen and Sandy Farmer. Last Friday the girls came away with a 3 nil victory over the might of Bingera with our own ‘Miss Fantastic’ Emily Nejman scoring a hat trick of goals.... wow, well done Emily.
Our ‘Twyford Motor Group’ and ‘Spotted Dog Tavern’ Men’s Wide Bay 2 side under coach Shane Stewart-Cook are riding high after a 1 nil win on Saturday afternoon at Martens against KSS Jets. These men have bonded beautifully in the short time Cookie has had them in his care and the brand of football that they are starting to play is to be much admired. With a myriad of international signings amongst this squad the ever present need for an interpreter would have driven a lesser coach to the brink but Cookie just goes about the job speaking a kind of pidgin English with an accentuated Viet/Nepalese accent, hand signals and lower body gesticulations- these boys, having traveled the world plying their trade always seem to get what is being relayed to them and then hit the big stage like men possessed. Some stand outs for the team so far have been Padraig Pagliano and Alex Buckholz- two young superstars of the club- on and off the field.
I recently had the pleasure of watching Alex and another young UPE man in Hein Kuyler compete in a Lions Club youth speech competition -essentially a competition debating format where the boys are handed a topic and have to mount an argument for or against for two minutes- let me just say that I don’t think either of Alex’s or Hein’s parents win many arguments in their households- the boys were absolutely brilliant and have both moved through to regional finals. Paddy has been away from town a little due to essentially doing a traineeship with Ergon to be a linesman, cannot wait to see Paddy running our lines and hopefully not calling us offside to often- well in boys.
Our local Division 2 side- affectionately know as The Jaycar ‘Electrics’ have been just that. Coach Stewie Smith knows this team are semi final bound and he is using all of his tactical nuance and guile to shape them into the team he wants them to be. Captain Lachlan Cant has proved that he surely can (sorry- terrible pun)! by leading this mob of crazy roosters around the park. In recent weeks we have had 6 senior level game debuts from 6 of the toughest little hombres getting around. Ryder Markey, Aiden Davidson, Luke Darcy, Dylan Heycox, Jordan Baker and Will Bath have all bravely stepped up into the harsh reality of cheap jibes, the deliberate foot stomp and the fine art of the ‘accidental elbow to the solar plexus’- and let me tell you they have owned the field each and every time that they are out there. Last Saturday Luke Darcy took a running shot from the sideline, 32 metres out, as he saw the goal keeper was off his line- it was never going to miss- honed in on top bar, over the keepers head - BOOMTIME! And boy didn’t we celebrate-goal of the season thus far- well done Luke.
Speaking of goalkeeping, down in our own goal on said day was the young man who is from this day forward to be known as Rhys ‘The Beast’ Morrow. Amazing athleticism, courage and commitment on continual display whenever Rhys is custodian. The artist formerly known as UPE’s ‘Goal Keeper coach’ Luke Gayton has been working with all of our competition level goal keepers and it is now clearly evident in the way they are all plying their trade. Cody Muller, Ruby Rowlands, Sonny Thiele and Rhys are currently studying at the ‘School of Luke’ and the results are starting to speak for themselves. Rhys would have stopped at least 6 certain goals on Saturday- just phenomenal mate- well done to The Beast!
I wanted to also make mention this week of Anthea Linderberg. For two days last week Anthea, trapped in a dungeon under Dr May’s old house hand sewed a UPE flag with our club logo and in our colours to put on display up in the grandstand during our games to protect our fans from the sun bearing down on their necks, ears and in some cases bald patches. I often only talk of of the players and onfield performers in this mighty place, but so many of you do so much behind the scenes to bring all of the onfield stuff together. Anthea, thank you for giving me another example of why this place is so cool- an amazing effort and I definitely won’t be telling James that you used his bed sheet to make it!😂 Can he read?
Most teams now have a break for a couple of weeks but please note Pep Cookieola and his Wide Bay League 2 Men’s side are playing Waves this Saturday afternoon - 4pm at Waves home ground- and truly, they love us up there- so if you are having withdrawals from all of the familiar faces and need to see a bit of high quality footballing action, Saturday afternoon could slot in pretty well. If you can’t make it I sincerely hope that everyone has a safe and happy Easter break and thank you all again for your readership, your support and for always working to uphold all of this great clubs values and ideals on field and off it.
To see some of our teams in action, check last weekend's gallery
All the very best,
RO (I’m trying it -saves time)