SA’s top local footy legends announced as finalists in 2021 Statewide Super Volunteer of the Year Award

By SANFL Media

SANFL is pleased to announce the eight finalists in the 2021 Statewide Super Volunteer of the Year Award.

The shortlisted volunteers, representing each SANFL Club zone across the State, are now in the running to be SA’s Volunteer of the Year winner, to be announced at a ceremony at Adelaide Oval later this year.

Now in its fifth year, the SANFL Statewide Super Volunteer of the Year Award aims to highlight those individuals who have provided outstanding voluntary service to community football in South Australia.

The finalists, who have been nominated and endorsed by either their club or league for their significant contribution to grassroots football, are:

Craig Harley – Central United Football Club
(Central District Zone)

Mark Murphy
– South Clare Sports Club
(Woodville West Torrens Zone)

Stephanie Contin
– North Gambier Football Club
(Glenelg Zone)

Danny McNamara
– Fitzroy Community Club
(North Adelaide Zone)

Felicity Chinnery
– Kimba Districts Football Club
(Norwood Zone)

Gordon Thomson
– O’Sullivan Beach Lonsdale Football Club
(South Adelaide Zone)

Shane Snell
– River Murray Football League/Imperial Football Club
(Sturt Zone)

Steve Dirksen
– Flinders Park Football Club
(West Adelaide Zone)

SANFL Chief Executive Officer Darren Chandler congratulated the eight finalists, as well as all the local legends who were nominated this year for their work behind the scenes at a grassroots level to make football in SA great.

“From running club match days, fundraising and making sure teams take to the field every weekend, to dealing with the ongoing challenges of living in a pandemic, volunteers are the lifeblood of our footy clubs,” Mr Chandler said.

“These eight finalists are tremendous ambassadors for the thousands of South Australian volunteers who go above and beyond on and off the field, ensuring the future sustainability of community football clubs right across the State.”

As has become tradition, this year’s winner will be awarded the David Shipway AM Medal and the title of Statewide Super Volunteer of the Year.

The winner will receive:

  • A night’s accommodation for two people at the Serafino Winery McLaren vale, including a 3-course dinner and breakfast. During the stay, the winner will be provided a brand-new luxury Kia vehicle to explore the famous wine region in style.
  • 2 x Adelaide Oval Football Memberships, including reserved seats to all AFL Home games (excluding finals) in season 2022.
  • Invitation and entry into the Toyota Good for Footy AFL National Volunteer Awards.


Volunteer of the Year Finalists:

Craig Harley

Central District zone
Central United Football Club
Years of service – 45
Types  of service – former A grade coach, B grade coach, chairman, secretary, football director, barman, cleaner, BBQ cook and now the Auskick coordinator.

Words from nominator: “Craig has led this club back to a thriving club, winning games, financial and starting to get juniors in the area playing again with the Auskick he runs. He has done every job there is to do at a local football club, all as a volunteer. His family have also been involved over the last 50 years. Craig Harley deserves recognition for his efforts.”

Steph Contin

Glenelg zone
North Gambier Football Club
Years of service- 5+
Types of service – current Committee member, League delegate, Women’s Footballer & Coach, Auskick Coordinator.

Words from nominator: “Steph has many roles, both at her home club of North Gambier as a valuable committee member and in delegate and executive roles across three leagues: Western Border FL, Western Border Junior FL and the Limestone Coast Women’s League. Best described as an organisational powerhouse, Steph is currently our secretary and ensures that administrative requirements such as player registrations, transfers, COVID-19 guidelines, game day coordination, apparel designs and orders, washing of guernseys, creation of volunteer rosters and any and all other tasks are completed. Steph is the go-to person for any and all issues, she is critical to the success off North Gambier’s senior men’s, juniors and women’s football teams.”

Danny McNamara

North Adelaide zone
Fitzroy Community Club
Years of service – 50+
Types of service – committee member, secretary, junior football president, Auskick coordinator, umpire & works committee member

Words from nominator: “Danny McNamara is the doyen of Fitzroy…As his playing days came to an end, Danny joined the club’s steering committee and acted as secretary for many more years to come. He was instrumental in the push to find new facilities, as Brampton merged with four other clubs throughout the 1980s to form the Fitzroy Community Club in 1987. From 1993 to 2009, Danny volunteered to coach many of Fitzroy’s junior teams, serving on the junior committee throughout and taking on the role of Fitzroy Junior Football Club President in 2017. He has been the Auskick coordinator for as long as anyone can remember. Danny is always the first to the ground for training and game days, painting lines, setting up goals and pumping up footballs. He takes the time to get to know junior footballers and their parents, ensuring that our youngsters are getting the best opportunity to succeed.Danny McNamara is renowned in our local community for his dedication, generosity and friendliness.”

Felicity Chinnery

Norwood zone
Kimba Districts Football Club
Years of service – 8+
Types of service – Junior football secretary, Junior Football safety officer, football rep on committee.

Words from Nominator: “Felicity has been a big part of KDFC for a number of years. Her support and work ethic towards junior football at our club has been outstanding. From organising weekly junior football job rosters to developing our junior safety policy, Felicity has contributed significantly to junior football at KDFC over many years. Felicity also takes time out of her busy Saturdays to take photos of the day’s play and posts on our Facebook page…her involvement has been admirable. You won’t find a more committed parent or club volunteer.”

Gordon Thomson

South zone
O’Sullivan Beach Lonsdale Football club
Years of service – 35+
Types of service –  current vice president & sponsorship coordinator, past president, fundraising and sponsorship, cooking meals.

Words from Nominator: “If there are volunteers needed it would be unusual not to see ‘GT’ there, from making sure everything is set up on Saturdays, manning the BBQ on game day/training nights, making Thursday night meals, match day co-ordinator, sponsorship recruitment, mail collection, fundraising events, working bees, down to making sure the bins go out on bin day and taking the cans in to the collection centre. If something needs fixing or modifying you’ll usually find that GT has either organised someone to do it or he has found a solution to get it solved. It’s people like GT that keep small clubs like O’Sullivan Beach Lonsdale going.”

Shane Snell

Sturt zone
River Murray Football League/ Imperial Football Club
Years of service – 25+
Types of service – media and livestreaming of games, website and digital marketing, committee member.

Words from Nominator: “Runs and organises our live feed and commentary of match day games every week in the RMFL. Spends 16 hours per week finding out information on each club to promote them weekly and then edits and posts highlights and replays from each weeks game. Instrumental in organising sponsors to build our commentary box (which he designed and had built). Shane is on the Executive Committee of RMFL and has helped write our by-laws and constitution, plus maintains our website which he set up and keeps up to date. Also updates our Facebook page several times a week. He was previously a player and past president of Imperial FC – a player of over 300 games and 25 years on the management committee.”

Steve Dirksen

West Adelaide zone
Flinders Park Football Club
Years of service – 15
Types of service – Junior committee member and club registrations, team manager for junior teams and former zone rep for Auskick and Mini League.

Words from Nominator: “Steve joined the committee in 2020 and immediately took on the role of registrar which is one of the busiest roles in a junior football club. Steve has trained all of our team managers and up until a few weeks ago was also in a team manager role for our under 11 team. Steve has a real ‘can do’ attitude and has been an excellent contact point for all new and returning members at Flinders Park. Prior to joining Flinders Park, Steve had been involved with volunteering in the Auskick and Mini League at another SANFL club zone for more than 10 years. His longevity in the junior development makes him a worthy and popular nomination.”

Mark Murphy

Woodville-West Torrens zone
South Clare Sports Club
Years of service – 35

Types of service – Trainer for the entirety of his 35 years, water carrier, former vice president, cleaner and safety.

Words from Nominator: “Mark is usually the first one to arrive at the ground on Saturdays and one of the last to leave when the boys have finished in the change room. He is viewed a great mentor and advocate for all things South Clare. He is highly respected across the league and particularly at South Clare. He leads by example and carries himself with integrity. The amount of hours he has put in the club is not short of incredible. I am sure every club has a ‘Mark’, but it would be great to formally recognise him for his contributions on and off the field.”

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