Tatyoon product David Astbury will be vying for an AFL premiership on Saturday but he is not the only Astbury to contest a grand final this year.
Five members of the Astbury family played in Tatyoon’s A Grade team in the Mininera and District Netball Association season decider to continue a long tradition of the family’s involvement with the Hawks.
Astbury family has been involved in the club for 41 years with no end in sight.
David’s mum Kate said the family joined the club in the 1970s and it was a great fit for everyone involved.
“My Mother in law moved out here in 1976 when she married, it was her second marriage and she came here with her kids, Craig and Scott played football while sisters Libby and Kim played netball to start the involvement with the club,” she said.
“I started playing netball in 1985 after Craig and I married.”
It did not take long for the family’s ties to the club to strengthen, something that is still evident this year.
Astbury said it is not just the game each week that brings enjoyment to club members.
“I think country clubs offer not just sport but it is a community,” she said.
“It is where everyone catches up and it is the life blood of small communities.
“The Tatyoon Hawks are my community, I played in Ararat before I got married but Tatyoon is my home now, they are my mates and I would not have played anywhere else.”
The younger generation is now heavily involved in the club’s netball teams with Grace playing in the 15 and under team, Alice playing in the 17 and under team while also playing in the A Grade team alongside her sisters Maggie and Jane, their cousin Zoe Astbury and aunt Simone King.
Claire Tucker (nee Astbury) and Maggie coached the 17 and under team to the 2017 premiership in which Alice received the medal for best on court.
Tatyoon is my home now... I would not have played anywhere else.Kate Astbury
Astbury said the playing sport was not forced on them but they embraced it from a young age and grew interested in the idea.
“The kids take it on by osmosis I think and so when they are old enough to do it, they cannot get onto the court of football field quick enough,” she said.
“Six or seven of the girls have played representative netball across the different zones and in Melbourne.
“But it is the love of playing with their community and family that has brought them back to Tatyoon.”
The family has 41 consecutive years of involvement with the Hawks and growing.
Astbury is no longer playing netball but can be seen on the sidelines cheering on the team during the season with David venturing back to watch the team when it fits in with his AFL schedule.
She said she enjoys watching the family tradition continue to grow with each year.
“I am really enjoying watching my girls play with their cousins and getting to also play with their aunty which is great,” she said.
“It is lovely to do what you love doing with the people you enjoy doing it with.”