Soccer: Melville City bestows life membership upon departing women’s coach

Gary Crerie with his 2016 Division One team.
Gary Crerie with his 2016 Division One team.

AFTER 15 consecutive seasons without a single missed practice, departing coach Gary Crerie has been unveiled as the latest Melville City Football Club life member.

It is the first time life membership has been awarded to a coach who is not also part of the club’s committee and is reward for the long service Crerie has given to Melville City.

The retiring Crerie coached the women’s metropolitan squad and some of the current players have been playing for him for his whole 15-year tenure.

After coming closing to folding five years ago, the team has rebounded to come close to topping three separate divisions in consecutive years.

In 2012, the team struggled for numbers and played each week three players short.

After reaching out to friends and recruiting players who were in the team as juniors, the 2014 side won Division 3 to earn promotion, the following season finishing equal top in Division 2 and losing in the Metropolitan Cup semi-final.

Again promoted for 2016, Melville led Division 1 all season until a loss in the second last game of the year against bottom-side Kelmscott dropped City to second.

“The success of the team has been down to the players’ resilience, determination and good nature,” Crerie said.

“Football is a great team game, a reflection of life and fosters the ability to grow as community-minded people.

“It is also great exercise and amongst all this you won’t find a better bunch of women and girls anywhere.”

In leaving, Crerie praised his team’s spirit, its persistence, ability to learn and improve and tenacity to lead three different leagues in three years.

“We need some new players to top up the squad for 2017 and another successful year, we hope,” he said.

“It has been a great joy and experience for me to be a part of this team and to see these girls growing up and supporting the Melville City Football club and community.

“Some have volunteered over the years to coach juniors, join the club committees, fundraise and become role models representing their State and country.”