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House of the Rising Sun

Tuesday, June 16, 2015 - 12:01 AM

Caversham Suns JFC are set to shine in its debut season in the Swans District Junior Competition and to mark this occasion, Black & White spoke to Caversham JFC President, Geoff Buck to discover the story behind Caversham JFC and how things are shaping up for 2015 and beyond. Caversham JFC, which was previously known as La Salle JFC elected Buck back in 2011, which is seen as defining moment for the future of Caversham JFC. La Salle JFC wasn’t sustainable in its present structure due to a number of issues associated with facilities and player recruitment. The bulk of players were sourced from La Salle College, which meant La Salle JFC had difficulties in developing Auskick and junior community pathways.

In 2012, Geoff and his committee developed a strategy to develop La Salle JFC into a junior community club, but were prevented from doing so due to the peak utilization of La Salle College Oval by AFL and other sporting codes. La Salle JFC was also devoid of a clubroom, which meant they didn’t possess the capacity to utilize the canteen or store equipment. The expansion of La Salle College was matched by their growing desire to utilize La Salle College Oval, which decreased the capacity for La Salle JFC to utilize it on a sustainable basis. With the sustainability of La Salle JFC in question, it was a simple decision for Buck and La Salle JFC to either become a junior community club with a pathway from Auskick to Year 12s or move to a different playing ground.

Despite this move being initially met with some resistance by La Salle College and La Salle JFC stakeholders, La Salle JFC which has been in the Swans District Junior Competition since 1952, saw that it was poised to benefit from the flourishing population of Caversham, Dayton and West Swan. Caversham JFC has since made moves to recognize the newly minted junior community club’s historical links to La Salle JFC. Caversham JFC has also decided to stick with tradition by hosting the Borg Cup, which was played between Bassendean JFC and La Salle JFC Year 12s in memory of Adam Borg, a past Bassendean JFC and La Salle JFC player.

The shift to Caversham JFC has seen the inclusion of a highly dedicated band of new committee members coupled with a smattering of experienced committee members sourced from La Salle JFC. The new committee is excited by the shimmering potential of Caversham JFC and is committed to seeing AFL succeed and expand in Caversham and the surrounding suburbs. In 2015, Caversham JFC will play in the Swans District Year 3s, 4s, 5s, 6s, 7s, 8s and 9s Junior Competition and the Year 10s and 12s WAFC Central Conference coupled with the development of a community-based Auskick Centre. Buck is delighted by the rapid expansion of Caversham JFC particularly in Auskick and the Year 3s, 4s, 5s and 6s, which Buck sees as the backbone of Caversham JFCs dazzling future.

Despite La Salle JFC players dominating the makeup of the Year 8s, 9s, 10s and 12s, Auskick and modified community sides consist of a swathe of players sourced from Caversham, Dayton and West Swan. Buck hopes Caversham JFC will begin to source more players from such suburbs between 2016 and 2017 when Caversham Playing Fields is destined for completion. The surprising degree of community support has been a boon for Caversham JFC with its profile expected to burn brighter as the season dawns on the 19th April. Since becoming Caversham JFC, Buck said the junior community club has witnessed some early success stories with sponsors including Swans District Principal Partner, Progress Developments providing fantastic support to Caversham JFC in its debut season in the Swans District Junior Competition.

Despite Caversham JFC’s obvious desire to play in the Swans District Junior Competition Grand Finals, Buck sees the development of a junior community club, increased player numbers and support of fantastic sponsors like Progress Developments as the true success story. Buck believes the Suns are destined to become a beacon in the suburbs of Caversham, Dayton and West Swan with the potential to attract a significant number of kids and parents from diverse nationalities who have settled at Chenel at St Leonard’s, St Leonard’s Private Estate and Suffolk Park Private Estate. Caversham JFC embraces inclusive practices and seeks to provide junior community club pathways for kids of all abilities and cultures to participate in our great game.

Buck recognizes the support of Progress Developments Managing Director, Chris Lewis and WAFC Community Development Manager, Metropolitan Central, Isaac Stewart who supported La Salle JFC in its transition to Caversham JFC, coupled with the dedicated La Salle JFC committee members who stayed onboard to guide the Suns through the governance process including Secretary, Sandra Zagabria and Registrar Desi O’Kane. Buck said that without the support of such key stakeholders, the development of Caversham JFC would not have been possible. The Swans District wishes Caversham JFC all the best in their debut season and congratulates the residents of Caversham and the surrounding suburbs for supporting the development of their local junior community club.