For Annette and Neill Burgoyne, their involvement Pittwater RSL Football Club has always been a family affair.
The pair are set to stand down from their roles as Pittwater RSL FC President and Vice-President at the end of the 2020 season.
The two have formed a formidable family partnership on Pittwater’s executive committee for the last eight years after decades of service throughout all levels of the club.
Annette followed in the footsteps of her parents Don and Lorna Gale who were also highly involved in the Pittwater club, while Neil has participated in a playing, coaching and administrative capacity since 1994.
During that time he coached both his children Sophie and Ryan throughout the age groups up to 18/1s level, while also spending many years playing himself and coaching the club’s AL/1s side.
He also served on the club’s grading committee, assists with registration days, organises the club’s trophies and has recently enlisted son Ryan’s help in his duties as groundsperson.
Neil feels fortunate to have embarked on such a journey alongside his wife.
“We a good team combo,” he reflects.
“Annette’s more of the admin side and I do more on the football side of things since I’m not very good at admin.
“It works well actually being in the same house and we can just sit and chat about the club, that’s what we do.
“But it is a lot of hard work and what people seem to forget as well is that it’s not just the football side of things, we are normal people who do have lives to live.”
While they have treasured every second of their time in charge of the Pittwater club, they feel as though the time is right to lighten their duties.
“We’re really happy with how the club is running at the moment,” Neil explains.
“It’s just that it’s probably a bit much for us now because we just become grandparents and we want to try and focus a bit more time on my daughter and the grandchild.
“It’s just time somebody else put their hand up as we’ve been doing it for such a long time- I’ve been on this committee for over 20 years.
“So, it’s time to step away a bit. I’ll probably still be on the committee next year because I don’t want to walk away completely.”
While he took the year off due to injury, Neil hopes to continue playing for Pittwater in the coming years, as well as continuing his role as coordinator of their O35s/45s teams. He has no shortage of memorable moments to look back on, including Pittwater’s famous quadruple trophy-winning season and the club’s annual crazy sock day to fundraise for breast cancer.
“The club’s been kind and I’ve made so many good friends,” Neil says.
“Coming over here from England I pretty much married into the club, with my in-laws Don and Lorna Gale who were known as Mr and Mrs Pittwater, and I wouldn’t change it for anything.”
Neil is looking forward to supporting Pittwater at Cromer Park on Saturday as they take on Brookvale in the MWFA Premier League Men’s Grand Final.