It’s been all systems go for Bexley North Football Club President Eddie Yazbeck as the return to community football has seen his 500 plus players and 45 teams enjoy the world game once more in the St George Football Association.

The highly ambitious grassroots club who are set to celebrate 60 years of existence this season, have been firing on all cylinders ensuring their participants were enjoying the game as best as possible albeit in a condensed period.

“It is great to be back.  It is great to have all community sport back,” said Yazbeck.

“As a father of 3 kids who all play at Bexley North FC, they have been eager and itching for months.

“Playing football brings that sense of community, catching up with members, grabbing a bacon and egg roll or sausage sizzle (of course whilst maintaining social distancing), which is always fantastic.

“For me, it’s great to be out and on the field.

“The club is celebrating 60 years and we have pushed ahead with commemorative training shirts and other initiatives to ensure our members and players have something to recognise this milestone. Our members, players and sponsors have shown great patience and support for the Club.”

The club has pulled its weight as well pushing the message that safety is and has been number one on their priority list since restrictions were eased as Yazbeck and co have been doing their bit providing a COVID safe environment for its entire football family.

“The club has implemented a number of initiatives in ensuring the health and safety of all our participants were top on the list.

“We’ve exercised the return to training and play guidelines in line with Football NSW as well as displayed appropriate communication plans and signage across our grounds.

“We’ve reduced training schedules and more recently spectator numbers as well as handing out 1 litre sanitiser bottles for every team in their kit bag.

“We’ve installed new soap and sanitiser dispenses in bathrooms/change rooms as well as the canteen and have created an online form for players/parents to register their attendance at training sessions and games each week.

“We’ve been able to do this via Zoom for committee and RTO meetings so all in all we are doing all we can in stopping the spread.”

With a strong focus on its youth teams, Yazbek has been proud of how his passionate and dedicated volunteers have continued to operate with the objectives of keeping their players happy and safe.

“The Club has approximately 25 volunteers across the Management Committee and Sub Committee. When you add in Coaches, Managers and RTOs, which is another 100 people, it clearly shows just how much a Community Club like Bexley North FC relies on volunteers.

“Volunteers play a critical role and without them across all levels, many Clubs just would not function.

“There are many volunteers that I could signal out and they would probably be embarrassed.  But I do have to give a special mention to Greg Gregoriou.  I refer to him as the Club Guru.

“He does and knows everything and everyone.

“Greg is always the first to help and goes out of his way to make sure things get done.  Greg has been with the Club for over 10 years in various committee roles and is currently coach of the Under 17 and Under 21 teams Girls team.  Others refer to Greg as the Club Spiritual Adviser.”

Yazbeck, although not wanting to be signalled out as the driving force behind the club, has given up a lot of his time in promoting the club ever since he joined six years ago.

“It’s been a good journey so far.

“I have been President for just over a year now.  I joined Bexley North FC about 6 years ago when my youngest began playing.

“I started off coaching, helping out where I could with my kids teams, then joined committee few years ago as a football coordinator, helping with the grading, looked after IT, and then assistant registrar, and still part-time coaching and manager as well.

“It is like a second job at times but is rewarding and good to give something back to the community.

“We have some big plans for the club over the next few years and hoping we can get there with the help of Bayside Council, St George Football Association and State and Federal Governments.”