D-day next week for Pines

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SOCCER

Not fine for Pines: Peter Blasby (left) and former Frankston Pines president Gary Hodgson. Pictures: Darryl Kennedy

FRANKSTON Pines’ future hangs in the balance after last week’s AGM left the club without a president.

“Boz” Osmancevic, interim president since August, was the only candidate for the position and after accepting the nomination he outlined how he wanted to run the club which sparked argument and the ensuing turmoil left Pines in limbo.

As reported last week the only member of the “old guard” that Osmancevic wanted on his committee was Tommy Mitchell.

However, long-serving administrator Steve Spencer was the only nomination for vice-president and his acceptance presented Osmancevic with a problem.

It was resolved in farcical circumstances.

Osmancevic made it clear that he would step down if he didn’t get his way.

Former president Gary Hodgson and his wife Pip told the meeting that in their view Osmancevic represented the only future for Pines and the Hodgsons were adamant that they would not stand for office.

“We can’t survive with just three people running the club,” Hodgson said, arguing that Pines needed to grow not merely lurch from one season to the next with its future under constant threat.

Yet division remained with some members arguing that they had a right to nominate and if elected participate in the decision-making process.

Osmancevic did not dispute this view but made it clear that he would not work with them.

Spencer resigned and left the meeting but when he returned a few minutes later he announced that he’d changed his mind and would serve as vice-president.

That triggered Osmancevic’s resignation and a walkout from his supporters.

The meeting ended with Spencer as vice-president and Mitchell and Lee Davies on the general committee.Pines were left without a president, secretary or treasurer.

An extraordinary AGM will now be held at the club’s Monterey Reserve headquarters at 7pm on Thursday 11 October.

Spencer dropped a bombshell after the meeting by announcing that he believes former vice-president Daniel Plaiche would make a suitable candidate as president.

Plaiche was last on the club’s executive in 2016 during a failed attempt to embrace the Mauritian community.

Spencer and Plaiche were due to discuss the matter as we went to print.

“The last time Daniel was on the committee there was a clash with Gary and Pip over the way decisions were made but that won’t be the case now,” Spencer said.

“But if Daniel says he can’t do it then I’ll ring ‘Boz’ and say ‘the keys are here. Come and get them.’

“I’m a realist and I know I can’t do this on my own.”

Spencer anticipates Osmancevic appearing at the extraordinary AGM and running for president again.

At last week’s AGM former club president and life member Alan Hodkinson chaired part of the meeting as elections for a new committee were held.

Hodkinson explained to Osmancevic that the option of signing up enough members to give himself the numbers to implement his plan remained on the table.

Osmancevic’s supporters include local businessman Arthur Proios who is keen to be part of the new committee.

Proios is a director of Frankston-based Discover Residential, part of the Eview Group, and it is thought that the real estate company would become a major sponsor if Osmancevic is at the helm.

Despite the turmoil both factions have been busy contacting their preferred candidates for the senior coaching role.

Last Friday Spencer sounded out Kevin “Squizzy” Taylor about the Pines’ senior post currently held by Paul Williams.

Taylor and Williams have a long-standing friendship and have worked together before.

On Saturday Spencer spoke to Williams and it is understood that he is prepared to work as an assistant to Taylor should the latter be appointed.

The irony of this situation won’t be lost on Skye United as both Taylor and Williams are believed to have applied for the senior coaching job there.

Osmancevic met with former Pines player Peter Blasby a fortnight back and is believed to have offered him the senior coaching position.

Blasby is holidaying in the UK but is understood to be keen to have another former Pines player as his assistant.

That player is Mornington midfielder Craig Smart while defenders Danny Black and Andy McIntyre are among a group of potential signing targets.

However Blasby’s skills as a goalkeeping coach are well known and it is believed that two other local clubs are keen to secure his services.

In NPL2 news Langwarrin still is conducting interviews for an under-20s coach.

The club is keen to foster continuity in player development and sent out pre-trial offers to a large group of last season’s players from under-12 to under-18 levels with 48 offers taken up.

Trials started this week for under-12, under-13, under-14, under-15 and under-16 squads.

In NPLW news Southern United announced a series of coaching appointments last week.

Senior player Olivia Groves will coach the under-12s in 2019 after coaching the under-16s this year.

Groves has been a junior coach at Nunawading City and assists Timothy Dakis with Football Technique Australia at Carwatha College in Noble Park.

The 19-year-old expects to complete her AFC C licence course by the end of the year.

“I couldn’t resist an opportunity to remain involved with Southern United’s juniors and continue to teach at a club I love,” Groves said.

Southern also announced that Ernie Cerda has been appointed head coach of the under-14 squad.

Cerda’s football connection can be traced back to his native Chile.

He arrived in Australia in the 1980s and his playing CV includes stints at Richmond and Bulleen.

Cerda has been involved with the women’s game for the past 12 years having spent seven years at Peninsula Strikers before working as senior development coach at Skye United.

Debbie Nichols and Emma Bracken will coach Southern’s under-16s for the 2019 season.

They are foundation coaches with the local women’s consortium club having taken charge of the under-13 squad for the competition’s inaugural 2016 season.

That squad is the most successful in Southern’s short history twice winning championships and reaching two Grand Finals in the past two seasons winning in 2017.

Nichols is a former Matilda and an FFV Hall of Fame inductee who has won two Women’s Premier League Coach of the Year awards and has been head coach at Casey Comets and Sandringham.

Bracken played with Langwarrin, Moorabbin, Waverley, South Melbourne and Casey Comets. She has coached the women’s reserves at Comets and has worked as a coach with FFV.

Nichols and Bracken are part of a long-term strategy to develop their squad into senior players and results to date have been spectacular.

Last week’s coaching announcements resulted from a review undertaken by technical director Harry Chalkitis, former head coach of Victoria’s NTC women’s program.

Chalkitis was recommended to Southern by FFV and the club hopes to finalise its under-19s and senior squad coaching appointments this week.

In State 3 South-East news Skye United will conduct interviews this week for candidates on its shortlist for senior coach and expects to make an announcement next week.

In State 4 South news George Hughes is a firm favourite to be appointed senior coach of Baxter.

The former Peninsula Strikers and Brandon Park head coach is set to have talks this week with Baxter president Justin Brown and director of coaching Billy McLeod.

First published in the Mornington News – 2 October 2018

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