By Tyler Lewis
Beaconsfield Junior Football Club has been boosted by yet another star on the rise, with Cody Weightman being the Round 10 AFL Rising Star nominee.
Weightman is the third nomination in recent times out of the Eagles, with Melbourne AFLW star Tyla Hanks winning the award earlier in the year and Tyanna Smith also being a nominee.
Beaconsfield JFC president Paul Matson couldn’t be prouder of how his club has progressed to now being one of the recognised football factories.
“The club takes pride in it (having so many juniors nominated), and I think it is a reflection on the coaches and everyone that surrounds and supports the club,” he said.
“To get three in one year is just fantastic.
“The club gets a small financial boost which is welcomed, we put that back into the kids, buying more training gear, apparel, and it assists in running the club – every little bit helps.”
The girls – Tyanna and Tyla – are kicking goals, figuratively and literally.
A true reflection on the system of women’s football down at Holm Park.
While he could take all the credit, Matson believes the girls program has a lot to do with the structures set in place by the senior football president.
“I think a lot of credit for the girls program has to go to Troy (Robinson) the senior club president,” Matson said.
“He has instigated the girls fully for the last six or seven years, it is credit to him for the girls.
“Did we think they were going to be this successful? No, but it is a credit to who they are.
“To see girls this much in football is a good thing, it has been dominated by men for such a long time.
“Now the girls are starting to play a part in it and I think it’s good to see.
“It’s good for the community and good for football” he said.
While many clubs would be set and complacent on the three players they have got to Rising Star status in the AFL, Beaconsfield believe it is the benchmark now, hoping they can get all kids to believe they achieve what Cody, Tyanna and Tyla have accomplished themselves.
“I think we have set ourselves the benchmark now,” he said.
“A lot of emphasis will go to getting the right coaching staff for the right programs, if you can give them the right tools and the right time to do the job – it will continue to rise the way it is.
“We have a good structure behind us and the club is really focused on our women’s football as well as our men’s football.
“I think from where we are, we will grow further with it,” Matson said.
Beaconsfield currently has a number of other previous junior footballers thriving at higher levels, most predominantly Jimmy Munro – 2019 Casey Demons best and fairest winner – and Pat Gerdan, current ruckman in the Dandenong Stringrays program.