By Helen Tatchell
He never played one game of football but has been honoured for his services to the Bungaree Football Club.
Migrating to Australia from Holland in the 1950s, Bill Adriaans started his 46-year ‘career’ in 1971 and held numerous volunteer positions within the club, including Treasurer, Secretary, time-keeping and gate-keeper. His wife Clare always washed the senior jumpers after each game. In those 46 years, Mr Adriaans has attended every Annual General Meeting.
At a sponsor’s lunch on Saturday 15 July, the club unveiled their new $60,000 scoreboard, and gave the naming rights to Life Member Mr Adriaans, ‘Billy’s Scoreboard’.
Mr Adriaans shared his main memory, the 1976 grand final victory against Springbank.
“They were actually carting the champagne in to the rooms at three quarter time, and we beat them.”
And the best player he has seen?
“Oh, nearly all the best players came out of the 1970s. the club was involved in seven grand finals, we won three and lost four. But that best player would be Tony Howlett.
“Not only was he a good kick and good at marking, but he was one of two players after a game that went home with clean boots. He always washed them. You can tell a lot about a person with clean shoes,” he said.
“The club has always been positive, never been not able to solve any problems that may have confronted them.”
But a club doesn’t just ‘get’ a scoreboard; it came about with the hard work internally from the committee. Sponsors generously put their hand in their pockets to see the club own the scoreboard, which can also project movies.
Bungaree FNC President Andrew Mahar said sponsors help support the clubs five football teams and seven netball teams.
“This scoreboard was needed to catch up with other clubs and leagues. No funding was available and the club had to source sponsors.”
One man who spent his early years at Bungaree, under the watchful eye of Mr Adriaans, was Graeme Hudson. Now living in Queensland, Mr Hudson comes back to Bungaree every year for the sponsors day and was instrumental in seeing the club achieve their $60,000 goal.
A Platinum sponsor, Mr Hudson contributed $30,000 and offered a simple reason for doing so.
“You make money, you gotta share it,” he said.
“Sport can help keep kids off the streets and if it helps to keep them away from drugs then that’s my motivation.”
For the scoreboard to be purchased and operational other sponsors included Case Construction, Reece Civil, Ballan & District Community Bank Branch all contributing $5000, Bungaree FNC raised $16,000 with Eureka Concrete and Pipecon $2000 each.