Dad earns recog­ni­tion

As­so­ci­a­tion hon­ours vol­un­teer

Mt Druitt - St Mary's Standard (East) - - SPORT - Azal Khan

STEPHEN Brad­bury’s 45year foot­ball ca­reer has spanned many roles – from player, coach, man­ager, ad­min­is­tra­tor, match of­fi­cial and grounds per­son – and he has no plans to slow down.

He was re­cently awarded an ac­co­lade from Foot­ball NSW for his ser­vice to the sport in Black­town.

Brad­bury had been club sec­re­tary at Minch­in­bury Jets Soc­cer Club for 15 years and stepped down this year.

He helped grow the Minch­in­bury club from 200 play­ers 10 years ago to 600 play­ers this year.

“I’ve been in­volved in soc­cer as a player, coach and man­ager since I was five years old,” Brad­bury, 53, said.

“I just de­cided that I wanted to give back to the com­mu­nity and I just love the game.”

In ad­di­tion to be­ing first on the ground on Satur­day morn­ings, the fa­ther of an 18- year-old son is at the oval on Thurs­day nights writ­ing re­ceipts and pin­ning up game times so that Satur­day morn­ing is all about the young­sters’ soc­cer games.

“We get a real cross-sec­tion of peo­ple at the club from all dif­fer­ent eth­nic groups and ages,” the Syd­ney FC fan said.

“One of the things that I started at Minch­in­bury was to get the club in­volved in over-35s soc­cer.

“We try to be in­clu­sive and ap­pre­ci­ate that there are peo­ple com­ing from lower so­cio-eco­nomic groups too. We are con­scious about that and try to help peo­ple out with regis­tra­tion fees if they’re hav­ing trou­ble.”

Brad­bury spends much of his spare time on the week­ends and dur­ing the week he helps other com­mit­tee mem­bers to com­plete things that need to be done to get the teams on the field.

He said he planned to still be around the game in “any way, shape or form”.

Minch­in­bury Jets stal­wart Stephen Brad­bury has re­ceived a ser­vice award from Foot­ball NSW. Pic­ture: Justin San­son

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