IT is not called the “family league” for no reason and Millicent couple Ian and Lorraine Faulkner bear testament to the nickname of the Mid South East football and netball competitions.
They are rightly proud eight of their children and grandchildren will play for Hatherleigh in the grand finals at Nangwarry today.
Between the start of the junior colts’ football at 9am and the final siren to end the A Grade football eight hours later, Ian and Lorraine will be closely watching the fate of the Eagles on the courts and the oval.
After decades of service as players, coaches and administrators with the club, it was no surprise the following generations of Faulkner’s would wear the blue and the gold colours with distinction.
The Mid SE is known as the “family league” but Lorraine doubts there has ever been a day when one family will feature in three football and two netball season deciders.
Their sons Matt and Jason are playing A-grade football while daughter Sarah is in the A-grade netball team.
Grandsons Jett Faulkner and Tom Gray are playing junior colts’ football while grandsons Sam and Jack Gray are in the senior colts.
Granddaughter Lacey Haines completes the eight in Under 13 netball.
Much of the interest across the Mid SE will focus on Jason.
In his first year as coach, he has ended the club’s three year absence from the major round, been named as coach of the year and taken his team into the grand final.
“We have more depth than Mount Burr and the grand final will be won in defence,” Jason said.
His association with this day on the sporting calendar began on the day of his birth in the Millicent and District Hospital in September, 1986.
Lorraine said she knew Jason’s birth was imminent but did not want her husband to miss his role as captain of the Hatherleigh Reserves in the grand final at Robe.
“I told Ian the doctor had told me that I had to stay at home but I knew I would be going into hospital,” Lorraine shed.
“Ian played in the winning grand final team and then he was told after the game by Hatherleigh president John Skeer that he had become a father again.”
Meanwhile, there is a significant milestone in the Mount Burr camp on Saturday with junior colts coach Maurie Puiatti marking his 500th game as a player and coach with the Mozzies.