October 30, 2020


The All Saints Hunters Hill Football Club over 35s division four team

In their first year of competition, this team from All Saints Hunters Hill Football Club not only brought home the trophy but forged a community.

They lived their ethos that ‘culture wins comps’, setting a great example for the youngsters they also coach and support and earning them a nod as Hunters Hill Heroes.

The All Saints over 35s division four group was a newly-formed soccer team of local dads who went above and beyond in the community this year.

Most of the team coach or manage kids’ teams at All Saints and are great role models for the younger generation.

They have contributed to many local businesses this year during hard financial times and on top of everything won both the 35/4 Premiership and Championship in their very first year.

Dan Buckley, co-manager of the All Saints over 35s division 4 team with Matthew McCann, said many of the team’s members had children who were new to the club this year in joining the under 6s competition.

Then came the idea for a senior team too.

“Matt and I basically started the team and decided to see if we could get a local bunch of dads together to play in the over 35s competition,” Dan said.

Dan and some of the other dads also coach both boys and girls under 6s teams for All Saints.

“We found there was a fairly strong community connection with local parents,” Dan said.

“It actually worked out well because the sixes play Saturday morning and we played Saturday afternoon.

“It was a good opportunity for us to all go and coach kids and watch them play, then the kids could come and watch their dads play.

“It made Saturday really special.

“All of the wives and girlfriends got involved.”

Dan said while most of the team lived in the area now, many hadn’t grown up here, so this year was also about forming community connections off the field.

“When you grow up and move to an area … and have kids, sometimes it’s difficult to meet a new network of friends,” he said.

“Now I’ve got close mates who I play soccer with, who are also neighbours, our kids go to school together and you see around the neighbourhood.”

While the over 35s/4 team started for fun, with a mix of experienced and first-time soccer players, it soon took on a more athletic sentiment.

“Initially we pitched it as a social Saturday afternoon,” Dan said.

“We quickly realised we could play a little bit and it became a bit more competitive than we thought.

“As a result, we formed a really strong bond and we ended up winning the premiership and grand final.”

Off the field there were also regular catch ups, weekly training and other health and fitness sessions.

“It created a really good team dynamic,” Dan said.

And the team believes it was the work they did off the field that contributed to its success at season’s end.

The team motto is: ‘culture wins comps’.

“We built the culture around it,” Dan said.

“Winning the competition followed.

“That was our philosophy from the start.

“I think it set a really good example for our kids as well.

“It was good to see, particularly in a tough year.”

Will they do it all again next year?

“Absolutely,” Dan said.

“I think it’s going to snowball.

“We’ve already had some interest from other dads and mates.”

Help us to shine a light on other unsung Hunters Hill Heroes by nominating your hero today.

Please note that nominations for Hunters Hill Heroes will be considered for Citizen of the Year awards.

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Hunter’s Hill Council

22 Alexandra Street, Hunters Hill NSW 2110
PO Box 21, Hunters Hill NSW 2110
Tel: (02) 9879 9400
ABN: 75 570 316 011