DENIS Potter has never kicked a goal or soared above the pack to take a ‘speccy’ for Huntly, but he plays a crucial role for the Hawks in the Bendigo Bank Heathcote District Football Netball League.
This season marks Denis’ 10th as team manager for the Huntly reserves.
His stint with the brown and gold began in 2006 when his son Jonathan, aka Jono was playing in the-then under-17 ½ competition.
“Early years at Huntly was as a supporter of Jono and the under-17 ½ team,” Denis said.
In the lead-up to the 2011 season, Denis was approached about managing the reserves team.
“Huntly’s always been a great club to be with,” Denis said.
“The support they provided for me and the family after Jono’s death was incredible.”
Like all volunteers, Denis has never sought the slaps on the back.
“For me it’s all about the love of the game and doing what I can to help the club,” Denis said.
“To see the young players coming through and following their progress, whether it be at Huntly or other clubs is what I have always enjoyed.”
Denis played football at Kangaroo Flat and also took on a coaching role with the Roos’ juniors.
He also had coaching stints with St Therese’s, Kennington Junior Football Club and Kennington Sandhurst JFC.
“The Kennington Cockerels became the Kennington Saints and later the Kennington Sandhurst Dragons,” Denis said of his time at the Neale Street-based club.
“There were a lot of talented players at all those junior clubs,” Denis said.
“A highlight was the St Therese’s under-12s in 1991.
“They were undefeated premiers,” Denis said of a team that included names such as Sexton, Slater, Perez, Prowse, Nick Baker and Kane Rodda.
“In my time at Kennington-Sandhurst we had a couple of players join from Mandurang.
“Two of the best were Nick Dal Santo and Matt Keown.
“It was fantastic to see Nick go on to play so many games in the AFL at St Kilda and North Melbourne, and Matt was a great player for Sandhurst in the Bendigo league.”
After no football in 2020, Denis is rapt to be back involved this season.
“There have been a couple of setbacks because of COVID lockdown, but it’s great that footy and netball is being played most weeks.”
In the lead-up to match day, Denis is at Huntly on Thursday night to collect the paperwork.
“Time goes fast on game day,” Denis said.
“Filling up of water bottles, checking off the team sheet, organising an umpire if needed, timekeeper and runner are just some of the things to be done.
“Any support you have is always appreciated,” Denis said of players who are unavailable because of injury being able to assist, or club supporters chipping in to help.
“Like all clubs, the volunteers are so important.
“We do what we do because we want to,” Denis said.
Written by Nathan dole.