KEITH WELLMAN - 2015
One of the reasons that the GVL has been such a successful League, has been the strength of its administrators.
When Kyabram and District League President Keith Wellman was appointed as the GVL Secretary in 1977, We could not have envisaged what an impact he would have on the league over many years and that he would eventually be the saviour of the league.
Keith had played country football from an early age playing with Undera in the KDFL, Plenty Rovers / Mernda in the Panton Hill League where he was nominated in the Mernda team of the century, Derrinallum in the Western Plains League and Beeac in the Polwarth League.
He returned to the Goulburn Valley in 1962, playing in an Undera premiership team with his brother Ray, under John Selwood’s coaching, before finishing his playing career with Ardmona where he played senior football and finished with the Ardmona seconds winning best player awards and running second in the Wade Medal for Best player in KDL reserves football.
After retiring as a player he became Secretary of the Ardmona Club for 4 years and was elected as President of the KDFL for the 1975 and 76 seasons.
He was re-appointed in 1977 but had to relinquish the position because he took on the role of Secretary/Treasurer of the Goulburn Valley Football League.
That commenced a wonderful career as a football administrator who would be respected throughout the state as one of the best.
Keith was a great success as League Secretary, as he had received a firm grounding as an administrator at club and league level.
He was brilliantly supported in his position by his wife Jean, who worked tirelessly taking phone calls and scores on a Saturday and milking cows whilst Keith was involved with the League.
He could not have been so successful without Jeans wonderful help.
The League also had success when Keith oversaw the GVL’s win in the inaugural Winfield Country Championships.
However the demands of a major League were increasing and in 1984 Keith was appointed as one of the first full time General Managers of a League in Victoria.
In doing so, working with KDFL Secretary Keith Whitford, he brought the country football world into the computer age.
He continued in the position until his resignation in 1997. The next year he spent as General Manager of the Rumbalara Football Club.
In 1999, Division 2 of the GVFL broke away to form the Central Goulburn Valley Football League with Keith Wellman as the Secretary and Jim Ure as President.
He continued in this position until the VCFL re aligned clubs and the Central GV League ceased to exist in 2005.
Keith then became Secretary of the Shepparton United Football Club, he spent a year as publicity officer for the KDFL and was involved in Greyhound Racing.
But all was not well with the GVFL.
Through mal administration during Keith’s absence, the League was put in drastic financial difficulties.
Due to Keith’s love of the game and the League, the then GVL President John Coughlan persuaded him to return to help the League out.
Keith was soon back at the helm in Dunkirk Ave.
Providing his administrative services for a nominal fee.
Over the next six years, through a lot of hard work using all his great experience, Keith steered the League back onto the right track and mainly due to his generosity, the GVFL worked its way out of its financial woes.
Keith ensured that his beloved GVL was once again a well administered and successful organisation.
The League owes Keith a great debt of gratitude. He will never be forgotten as the person who came to the League’s aid when it was in desperate trouble.
Tonight the League salutes a true GVL champion administrator and inducts Keith Wellman onto the GVL Hall of Fame.