In 2007 an ex Victorian (who had lived in Lane Cove for a while) had a vision. He wanted to create a Junior AFL team for Lane Cove. He knocked on the doors of all the local schools and lobbied the NSW AFL. Steve Chisholm started the St Michaels Blues Junior AFL club. A very passionate man who wanted to bring AFL to the young kids of Lane Cove. He started an Auskick programme in Lane Cove; which was amazing considering his son was too old for Auskick. Each year he managed to persuade more and more members to join up. The Auskick programme led to the formation of an Under 9 and 10’s team. He had an able offsider who helped him out and kept the team growing. His name was Roger Caine (or some of you might know him as Mr ITC).
In 2011 Steve Chisholm met another ex Victorian who also had a vision of AFL in Lane Cove, but on a bigger stage. Enter Nick Brumley who turned the St Michaels Blues into the Lane Cove Cats. In 2015 the Lane Cove Cats is one of the fastest growing junior AFL clubs in Sydney. The Lane Cove Cats have recorded a near 50% growth in numbers, which enabled them to field four teams in Greater Sydney AFL league. This included two Under 9 teams, an Under 10 team and an Under 11 team. This year their Under 11’s are into the preliminary final.
Then and Now – The St Michaels Blues (left) and the Lane Cove Cats today (right)
The Lane Cove Cats is a club that loves tradition. They have a theme song, banners and they recently granted Steve Chisholm and Roger Caine life membership of the Cats. The AFL Cats has a philosophy of Family, Fun and Respect. It’s a great team to involve your young boy or girl. If you are new to Lane Cove and you love AFL you will meet some great people if you sign up your child with the club. They have an annual trip to Geelong (which is enjoyed by both parents and kids).
One of the parents involved in the Lane Cove Cats, Paul Schofield was awarded the 2013 GSJAFL North Shore AUSKICK Coordinator of the Year award and picked up a national award; the NAB AFL Auskick Volunteer of the Year. This year Nick Brumley was awarded the GSJAFL North Shore AUSKICK Coordinator of the Year. The club is going from strength to strength with Denis Fitzgerald at the helm as club president.
If you would like to register your son or daughter (and yes girls are very welcome – Miss ITC played for four years), just click on this link
The Lane Cove Cats has some terrific sponsors who has helped them on their way.