DEDICATION HELPS ST MARYS SOCCER CLUB FLOURISH
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.