OUR NEW PAVILION - THE LONG WAIT IS OVER!
More than a decade of frustration, stalled planning and dashed hopes finally came to an end when the new $2.5 million Ormond Park pavilion was officially opened on May 3.
Moonee Valley Mayor Narelle Sharpe cut the ribbon to signify the pavilion was handed over to the cricket and football clubs, with an arch of black and white balloons a triumphant backdrop.
The Friday evening opening perfectly showcased the Moonee Valley Football and Cricket clubs, and with the Auskick kids and parents packing the oval, the opening crowd swelled beyond 1000 - and all were impressed.
Cr Jim Cusack, who has been an unrelenting advocate for the new clubrooms, spoke at the opening, after Mayor Sharpe opened proceedings.
Council CEO Bryan Lancaster, Cricket Club president Charlie Walker and Football Club president Jason Helwig also spoke as part of the official party.
In his speech, Charlie Walker acknowledged the efforts of cricket premiership co-captain and football secretary Brett Curran and Cr Nicole Marshall. Cr Cusack and Cr Marshall championed the need for the new pavilion from the moment they did a walk-through in November 2015 and fully realised how unsuitable the old facility was for our two clubs.
At left: Cutting the ribbon: L-R Cricket president Charlie Walker, Cr Samantha Byrne, Mayor Narelle Sharpe, CEO Bryan Lancaster, Cr Jim Cusack and football president Jason Helwig.
One of the highlights - which many in the crowd went up to see - was the new upstairs scorer's box, with its air conditioning and room for more than a dozen people. It's got a definite future as a corporate box on occasions, looking right over the bowler's arm at the northern end.
The new and expanded canteen is also a highlight, as was the catering on the night, organised by Tracey Larobina and a dedicated crew of football supporters.
Moonee Valley cricket and football legend Ian Denny has organised Life Member Committees for both clubs, and is leading a joint fundraising push to fit out the new pavilion, which has already supplied catering equipment and new TVs and entertainment equipment.
At left: Three proud Life Members who remember back to the days of the old "Dungeon" pavilion in the 1980s - two pavilions removed from now. L-R Sandro Capocchi, Greg Peters and Club founder Ray Storey.
Moonee Valley Cricket Club was very proud to welcome so many Life Members to the opening, led by Club founder Ray Storey, down from Leitchville for the occasion.
Other Life Members were Greg Peters, John Talone, Darren Nagle, Mark Gauci, Matt Thomas, Jim McKenzie, Sandro Capocchi, Ian Sutherland, Joe Ansaldo, Jim Polonidis, Ian Denny, Bob Sciacchitano, Michael Cumbo, Dean Jukic, Kevin Gardiner, Jesse Felle and Charlie Walker.
A big contingent of current players, past players, supporters and families also did our cricket club proud - as did the football club.
All got the opportunity to see through the new pavilion. The social space is 194 square metres - almost three times the space of the old pavilion. In his speech Charlie acknowledged the decision by the Council on the back of advocacy from Cr Cusack to fund tables and 70 chairs - ensuring the social area is a comfortable and welcoming space.
At right: Old times: L-R Joe Ansaldo, Jim Polonidis, and two of the regulars from the last Moonee Valley women's cricket teams, Kim Johnston and Victoria Thorneycroft.
There are four changerooms - the front rooms can be opened up into one big room for Moonee Valley. They provide the capacity for separate changing areas for women - one of the drawbacks when Moonee Valley last had women's teams - and we're working towards the reintroduction of women's cricket for the 2019/20 season.
***For more photos from the opening, click HERE
***To see the walk-through during construction featuring Complete Stainless Steel, click HERE
Honors for Club legends at Presentation Night
Two of Moonee Valley's finest clubmen received special honors at our Presentation Night on April 13.
Three-hundred-gamer Mark Gauci - third on our all-time games list - received the only major honor which had eluded him up until now - our most prestigious trophy, the Lindsay Jones Award for best clubman.
At left: Mark Gauci responds to the announcement of his Lindsay Jones Award, while President Charlie Walker holds his plaque and the perpetual trophy.
And Sean O'Kane, who received Life Membership last year, was stunned and surprised to hear it announced that the Moonee Ponds Award - for best player in all grades other than the Firsts - had been renamed in his honor.
Fittingly, close mate Mark Gauci, who has played in two premierships with Sean - in the Firsts and the Sixths - was the inaugural winner of the Sean O'Kane Award.
And Sean's other closest mate at Moonee Valley, Dean Jukic, had the honor of announcing the renaming of the award and the inaugural winner, and had the crowd of more than 70 on the edge of their seats as he delivered an excellent and often-humorous speech, as only Deano can do it.
Jack Newman won the Club Champion Award.
Young star Krish Kanchan, who went from Under 14s-eligible to six games in our Firsts, was a runaway winner of the Most Improved Award.
At right: Three great mates together: L-R Sean O'Kane, Mark Gauci and Dean Jukic are honored.
Geoff McKeown won the Wicketkeeper of the Year.
And the Moonee Valley Cricket Club inducted its 30th and 31st Life Members - Ben Thomas and Peter Smith.
Ben and Postcode were joined at the front of the venue by the other Life Members present - Darren Nagle, Jim Polonidis, Danny Terzini, Matt Thomas, Sean O'Kane, Mark Gauci, Dean Jukic, Michael Cumbo, Jim McKenzie, Charlie Walker and Ian Denny.
Thanks to our long-time sponsors the Moonee Ponds Club, which has been supporting our cricket club for well over a decade for again providing an excellent venue and a great meal.
**See here for more words and photos from Presentation Night: Click HERE
Introducing our new Senior Coach: Tony Gleeson
Moonee Valley Cricket Club is proud to announce the appointment ofTony Gleeson as our senior coach for the 2019/20 season.
Tony, who coached the Moonee Valley First Eleven to a premiership in the old Moreland Moonee Valley Cricket Association in 2000/01, comes back to us after more than a decade at Premier club Carlton, which culminated in a First Eleven premiership earlier in April.
At right: Moonee Valley's newly-appointed senior coach, Tony Gleeson (far right) with Firsts captain Jack Newman.
Club President Charlie Walker said he ws thrilled to welcome Tony "home" to Ormond Park.
Even during his time at Carlton Tony maintained close links with Moonee Valley, playing occasional games when available in our lower turf teams and being a regular in the MVCC teams at the Barooga Over 35s tournaments for the past six years - including winning the competition in January this year.
Tony initially took on a role as Seconds team manager at Carlton, was chairman of selectors for a number of years and for the past four seasons was team manager of the Firsts, including for this year's premiership.
Tony has already identified a tighter and more focused training program to ensure that players can get the best out of themselves on training days, and a greater emphasis on enjoying their cricket and the cameraderie of a team sport. This will be aided by moving back into our new $2.5 million Ormond Park clubrooms from the portables which housed the club for the 2018/19 season.
A 94-game player at Moonee Valley, including the 2000/01 First Eleven premiership, Tony is impressed with the young players from our juniors who are already making a name in senior ranks.
He is keen to review the playing list for our top grades in association with Vice President Mark Gauci, and is happy to consider applications to join the club.
Any player wishing to find out more should ring Charlie Walker on 0411 705 381.
Main Club contact details:
* Charlie Walker - President/Secretary 0411 705 381; 9370 1802
* Peter Golding - Treasurer 0419 009 721
* Mark Gauci - Vice President 0457 778 335
* Peter Pickering - Junior Co-ordinator 0414 800 145 email@example.com
* Channa DeSilva - Membership Co-ordinator 0402 833 592
For more contacts, see " Office bearers & Officials " under "Club News & Info" at the top of the page
Last updated: May 8, 2019.
For more of our history, including our Premierships, click HERE