Football in Australia has continually shot itself in the foot as certain individuals and clubs have put themselves before the good of the game and the big picture that united we can in fact move forward and make a difference.
This weekend saw the end of an era, and the loss of a man who never put himself ahead of the game or his club. He frequently fought for what he thought was best for his club and others within the state, but he never pushed agendas that would only benefit one.
In an age where words such as integrity and honesty are fast becoming redundant, Tom Bartlett president of Sorrento Football Club for 22 years epitomized those qualities, and his stepping down as President will be a great loss to the club he has served so well and the game as a whole.
Tom has always seen Sorrento as a family club, where players how have come through their junior ranks to the first team always feel at home and welcome. The fact that the likes of former Socceroo Shaun Murphy returned to the club after his time in England, and Jamie Harnwell after his record breaking stint at Perth Glory speak volumes for that dream being fulfilled.
Sorrento has never been a ‘glamour’ club in the Western Australian state league, but in the 22 years of Tom’s presidency they have enjoyed seeing every trophy on their mantelpiece; the only missing one being the State League Cup which was appropriately won this year.
They say that the sign of a good leader is the people he surrounds himself with, and Tom has had a great support team around him during his time at Sorrento, but all speak glowingly of his leadership and how he has steered the club to where it is today.
There is no doubt the club will miss his steady leadership, as will the game, but the legacy he leaves after his record breaking stint as President is an extremely rich one. May his efforts be a shining light to all those who follow, and may Tom enjoy the break.
Thank you for your service to the game!