Mindless vandals can’t sap bush club’s spirit

Coreen treasurer Ian Playford contemplates how the bush footy club might pay for the vandals’ handiwork. Picture: JOHN RUSSELL
Coreen treasurer Ian Playford contemplates how the bush footy club might pay for the vandals’ handiwork. Picture: JOHN RUSSELL

COUNTLESS hours of hard community work have been lost in a senseless, devastating attack on Coreen’s footy club.

Vandals attacked the inside of the CDHBU clubrooms, most likely over the weekend.

Builders working on an extension of the umpires’ room discovered the damage on Monday morning when they saw some broken glass.

It could cost much more than $5000 to repair the damage, club vice-president Jarrod Hanrahan said yesterday.

“That’s going to hurt us a bit financially, but you can’t let them dint your spirit, we run off spirit out here.

“The sort of people who do this haven’t got any spirit.

“They’ve just gone in and absolutely wrecked the place.”

A kitchen installed in recent years was trashed.

“There’s about five big glass-panel doors that open into the pavilion and they’ve smashed all of them,” Mr Hanrahan said.

“They’ve gone into the ladies’ changeroom and toilets and smashed all the big mirrors.”

The club did not have insurance so it will have to dip into savings for repairs.

The club committee might also take a closer look at insurance and surveillance and security measures such as cameras and extra lighting.

Thefts from sports clubs are common, and CDHBU is no exception.

But usually that is all that happens — someone breaks in and a small haul of grog is taken. At Coreen it happens once a year or so.

“We thought that’s what had happened again — that they’d stolen a bit of alcohol which, at the end of the day, is no big deal. You get over it,” Mr Hanrahan said.

But such heavy damage has left him “quite angry, and disappointed”.

“A lot of people work hard to keep these little clubs going, selling raffle tickets or tipping in money for grain drives,” he said.

He said he had heard another sporting club in the region might also have been hit, although that could not be confirmed yesterday.

A utility, stolen from Corowa and later found burnt out at Lockhart, might be connected to the Coreen break-in.

Mr Hanrahan said police had asked that the clubrooms be left for the time being while they completed their investigations. And then the hard work will begin.

“We’ve got to waste another day cleaning up a mess that didn’t really need to happen,” Mr Hanrahan said. It’s the last job we needed before Christmas.”

He said the club did not understand why anyone would do such a thing.

He urged anyone with information about the vandals to call police.

“At the end of the day, a lot of these people aren’t real smart,” he said.

“I’ve got a few nieces and nephews searching around on Facebook for them and have my fingers crossed that something will come of it.”