Mt Druitt - St Mary's Standard (East) - - SPORT - Marissa Ge­or­gopou­los

JOE Youssef is fa­mil­iar to any­one who knows any­thing about St Marys Soc­cer Club.

“Some­one told me they are go­ing to bury me here … another guy said I don’t have red blood, I have green blood in my veins,” the club’s pres­i­dent said with a laugh.

Youssef, 64, and wife Genelle joined the com­mit­tee in 1990 when their son started play­ing soc­cer.

The Ser­vice to Sport nom­i­nee spends up to 20 hours a week at Pot­ter Field each sea­son.

As so­cial sec­re­tary, he landed first spon­sor St Marys Bowl­ing Club and now ma­jor spon­sor St Marys Rugby League Club.

“… we needed it be­cause ev­ery four or five years we buy a set of play­ing strips,” Youssef, of Colyton, said.

In the early 2000s, he earned the Saints $17,000 in a year by get­ting groups to taste-test com­pany foods. One of his raf­fles, which had as a prize a ball signed by re­tired Brazil­ian soc­cer star Pele, raised $10,000.

The pres­i­dent lob­bied Pen­rith Coun­cil in 2014 to re­turf the field and has pushed for new flood lights.

Youssef has been St Marys’ sports man­ager and vice-pres­i­dent, and also shown his love for the club on the field for­merly as a player and then coach.

He said he was proud to have watched and helped mem­ber num­bers rise from 24 to 42 teams.

“We al­ways con­cen­trate on get­ting the younger play­ers to join be­cause that’s where the foun­da­tion is built,” Youssef said.

He said he would step aside for the 2017 sea­son in a bid to bring in younger vol­un­teers.

Rebel is the ma­jor spon­sor of the Ju­nior Sports Star.

De­tails: ju­nior­

Pic­ture: Justin San­son

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