CHFA. For Irishtown Football Club, earning three Circular Head Football Association premiership titles in one year will go down in history.
For Dwayne Everett and Bryce Kidman, what stands out to them in the milestone match is sharing the honour with sons Kurt, 22, and Kyle Everett, 19, and Josh Kidman, 23.
The family trio and duo played in the Canaries’ senior game against Forest Stanley, defeating the Demons 14.7.91 to 8.6.54.
The Everett family first took to the field together with the Smithton Football Club in 2015.
The trio has since swapped the Saints’ colours of black, white and red for green and gold.
Taking on the role of Reserves coach three years ago, Dwayne took on the job again last year before moving to the Seniors as assistant coach to Matthew ‘Wak’ Walker.
His boys both started with the club two years ago: Kurt as co-coach of the Under 17 side and Kyle as match manager.
The rivalry is put aside, or at least eased, when the trio step onto the field.
“We all play well together,” says Dwayne.
“There’s no rivalry on my behalf, Kyle kicks to me, I kick it to Kurt,” he says, as Kurt adds: “Yeah there is but it’s unspoken . . . we don’t make a big deal of it but we let each other know who’s had a better game.”
As the final siren sounded on the Grand Final match, a mix of emotions struck Dwayne who, after 28 years in the game, finally earned his first premiership victory.
“About time!” he says.
“Winning a premiership is the highlight of your career, winning it with your sons is unheard of. It is the proudest moment of my football career.”
The achievement is not without hard work. The father-of-three is a qualified personal trainer and pushes himself to maintain a level of fitness to be able to play alongside his sons.
Along with winning a Seniors’ premiership title together, the Everett family marked another milestone last weekend as Kurt co-coached the Canaries’ Under 17 side alongside Josh with assistance from Kyle as match manager.
Despite pacing the sideline throughout the four quarters, Kurt says he was confident in the team’s ability, led by captains Brae Gardiner and Brody Davison.
“To win the premiership was an odd feeling knowing I couldn’t do anything myself but yell from the sideline,” he laughs.
“Going in as underdogs and pulling out a victory like that is more credit to the kids, than Josh and I.”
In his second year coaching the team, Kurt was a mentor and a mate to the young footballers.
Planning training sessions and game tactics is all part of the job and along with these duties, Kurt took it upon himself to ensure all players had equal opportunity.
Driving the club’s community bus between Smithton and Irishtown, Kurt and Kyle picked up and dropped off players before and after each training and game day.
Kyle was responsible for organising the team list, recording the goal kickers and best players of the round and liaising with umpires. Offering to lend a hand for all kinds of odd jobs, he says he is proud to have worked alongside Kurt and Josh.
Reflecting on the Grand Final win, the milestone is made more important by sharing it with the Kidmans.
“It was good to play alongside longtime football mate Bryce Kidman and his son Josh,” says Dwayne. “And everyone else at the Irishtown Football Club that created history that day.”
Bryce and Josh first played side by side in 2012 with Winnaleah Football Club in the north east of the state and later on, at Smithton Football Club.
Bryce played with Irishtown some two decades ago before breaking his wrist and arm and consequently taking some time away from the game. Josh debuted with the club in 2011, the same year he claimed the runner-up Best and Fairest title.
Returning to the green and gold last year, Josh took on the role of co-coach of the Under 17 side with Kurt.
“That man has a brilliant way of talking with kids so thankfully I didn’t have to do much talking,” laughs Josh of the job.
“But we shared a lot of the duties like training and organising. It was a lot easier for us because Kyle, our match manager, took care of a lot of bookwork and a lot of other stuff, so we can’t take all the credit.”
The Under 17 side claimed a strong 9.8.62 to 2.10.22 victory against Redpa.
“I’ve never won a premiership until that day and we won two!” says Josh.
“It was just a flood of emotions, I don’t think me and Kurt talked at all the last quarter.
“Kurt is one of my best mates and it was an absolute pleasure to be coaching alongside him . . . we worked brilliant as a team and no matter what, we would get the job done together. It was the best day of my life without a doubt.”
For Bryce, watching his son coach a premiership side is a proud moment. Taking to the field together in a Grand Final game is even higher on his list of highlights.
“Playing together for me is great,” he says.
“As a father your son is the best player. Josh tells me he’s better and I only agree as he’s younger, fitter and a versatile player.”
This season has been a big step for Bryce: “I made a promise to ‘Ev’ (Dwayne), Kurt, Kyle and Josh to get fit to play Seniors together,” he says. “I’ve played footy with Ev for about 15 years.”
Gaining a premiership title while Dwayne was injured, Bryce says this year was an opportunity to get across the line together.
“Winning was overwhelming, one of the best feelings I’ve ever had – I’m pretty sure tears flowed.”
The day started with an Under 17 victory, followed by success for the club in the Reserves and finally a shot at the Seniors flag.
“By the time we ran out for our game I was more excited than nervous,” says Josh.
“To be running out with my dad and so many of my good mates, it’s something I really don’t have words for.”