FIRE destroyed their facilities but never the heart and soul of this country footy club.
Two years after flames ripped through their humble headquarters on the outskirts of Swan Hill, Woorinen Football and Netball Club players are ready to make a final mark on this year’s competition.
In all, seven Tigers teams are in finals contention: the senior football side, the youth girls’ and junior boys’ squads, and two senior and two junior netball sides.
President Dean Morpeth said it was a credit to every member of the club that it had kept its competitive edge in the face of the challenges.
“The players have been great considering they have had nowhere to change or shower,’’ Mr Morpeth said.
“We could have quite easily dropped away but it’s a reflection on the strength of our volunteers who have worked hard to ensure our footballers and netballers could still be successful.’’
The cause of the July 2015 fire was never determined, because of the risk from asbestos in the gutted remains.
Of the fire, Mr Morpeth said: “The day after was pretty heartbreaking, especially for some of the older guys who had been a big part of the club for so long. We lost everything, including a lot of photos and memorabilia.’’
Since then, the club has used a shed for social activities and a caravan as a kiosk. The senior footy squad is an underdog against Kerang for the Central Murray League silverware: Kerang has won five premierships in a row.
Player Matt Iannucci said the team had become stronger since the fire.
“We all stood in front of the rubble and spoke about what we could try and do to create a new history for the club. Now we are working towards that,’’ he said.
But the wingman also conceded this weekend’s contest would be tough.
“We have beaten (Kerang) once and drawn with them once last year and we have always been within a couple of kicks,’’ Iannucci said.