We published this a few years ago, but it is worth a re-run because, it is important.
” Where Are They Now”? Its pretty much a question that gets asked in all competitions but particularly in Sydney.
Someone recently said that there would not be 20 people in their sixties or so who have had a life long and continued involvement in Sydney football. Well, thats the way it goes, but the same question was being asked in 1958.
We are reprinting an article from the Football Record in that year so the subject was being asked then, 59 years ago:
“One of the major mysteries in Sydney football is that players on leaving a club have no further interest in the game.
In all the years that Australian Football has been played here there have been, literally, thousands of players passed through the ranks in all clubs. And it would be no exaggeration to say that in the past 25 years, thousands of players have been listed in the Sydney competition.
It is a sad fact that only a very, very small percentage of former players are now actively connected with the game here.
Where have these thousands got to? Certain it is that quite a number have died. Some have passed into an age in which they can no longer take an active part in club or league affairs. Many are invalids. Many find the pressure of family affairs too great to allow an active interest. The reasons are many for a lack of active participation, and there are many quite legitimate reasons.
But it cannot be doubted that there is a big percentage whose reasons for being inactive in football are quite specious.
Once again, where are these lovers of the game?
There are only two possibilities – (a) they are dead; (b) they are alive.
For the first group, we can do nothing but honour their memories, and assist as much as lies in our power their widows and children.
For the second group, we have a number of courses of action open to us.
If amongst the living there are invalids, people in hospital, followers down on their luck, and so on, we can assist to brighten their lives by friendly visits, chats about the old times.
In general, the now active members can show that the code’s supporters having “a tough trot” are not forgotten. We can and we should assist them all.
And if amongst the living we know of former players, officials and supporters whose interest in the code appears dead or dying, we must do our utmost to activate them again. To this end a few suggestions may not be amiss.
Notify your Club Secretary of the names and addresses of the inactive supporters you know. He will contact them.
Where you can make a personal contact, do so.
You can bring along old-timers as your guests for some games. Aged pensions can be notified that the league will give them a complimentary seasons ticket.
Other avenues of re-arousing interest in football will occur to you. Use them.
In spite of the adverse criticism at times, the consoling thought is – “We are citizens of no mean city.” Lets get to work to bring back those who’ve slipped away. they’ll be added strength in our drive to build up a stronger following for the code in Sydney.”
Today there is more to do in their free time and that free time is forever being called upon; many are time poor. Those who leave the club’s ranks perhaps feel that they have done their bit. They have given part of their life to the game. It was no doubt enjoyable for them or they would not have played and when it is over, they just drift off.
The best way of arresting this is to recognize a persons worth and ask him or her to remain and take on another task. If this is successful the main thing is not to over-burden the person or they will burn out.