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Jeff Jones, CEO of Mornington Peninsula Nepean Football League Inc. has sport running through his veins. Sitting opposite me at the Peninsula League Grand Final in the officials area at Frankston Park, Jeff talks candidly about his position as CEO and his life achievements and I begin to understand the man behind the new image of Football and Netball in the region.

Fourteen months ago, Jeff took over the onerous task of ‘bringing about change’ to the MPNFL Inc. focusing on strategic direction, including brand identity and awareness, sponsorship, a higher commercial profile and developing a sense of belonging in the wider community. To achieve this PCN Sports Alliance was introduced.

MPNFL Inc. t/as PCN Sports Alliance was  developed to bring 3 leagues together; Peninsula Football League, Nepean Football League and Casey Cardinia Football League including Netball for all 3 geographic areas. Each league has it’s own colour coded logo, representing each geographic area to help promote the brand. The PCN Sports Alliance role is to assist with the growth, education and training, actively promote sport and encourage a high standard of competition.

Jeff was born into a football netball sporting family and grew up in his early years within the West Gippsland Football League watching his brothers and sister play for ROC before moving to the Peninsula in the early 1980’s. The experience and expertise he brings to the full time CEO role, which includes Business Development, Commercial Management, Project Management & Implementation, Brand Development and innovation, means he is the right man for the job to take the MPNFL Inc. to the next level for the benefit of local sport and the wider community.

Jeff is a keen sportsman finding his love of umpiring at age 7. From there he dedicated 32 years of umpiring with the Victorian State Home Loans Southern Umpires Association (Inc) and currently is their Chairman/CEO in a voluntary role outside of his fulltime position within the alliance. I was astounded when he informed me that umpires can run between 16 – 22 kilometres during a football match – now that’s impressive!

Next year in the Casey Cardinia Football Netball League with the full backing of all the club presidents will see the introduction of an Under 17’s and U19’s age groups, moving away from an the U18’s,  and more time will be invested promoting and engaging the community in Netball as a further 30 netball teams are introduced into the competition.

The football netball leagues have a lot of home grown talented and are ‘poached’ in AFL selection process so they are not reliant on ‘outsiders’ to prop up the high calibre of gifted players.

When asked what’s one thing people may know about him, Jeff replied humbly, “I was presented with the Mornington Peninsula Young Citizen of the Year award for my involvement in sport in 1986, named as the umpire of the century in 2008 and officiated in the 1992 Victoria State Football League under 18’s grand final at the MCG, which is now called the TAC Cup.”

Jeff would like to thank the continued support of the Clubs affiliated with PCN Sports Alliance, including players, Presidents, committees, sponsors, media including photographers and RPP FM commentators who bring live action to the airways, volunteers and supporters.

The success of the 3 leagues would not be possible without their tireless work and passion for the game.

As the 2013 season wraps up, Jeff is already putting in place new and exciting ventures to welcome the 2014 competition with a promise that next year will be bigger and better.
With Jeff Jones at the helm, the only way is up.

Words Debra Mar
Photographer Rab Siddhi

Pictured: Jeff taking control of live scoring and digital communications at the Peninsula Football Netball League at Frankston Park to witness the exciting Grand Final between Edi-Asp vs Bonbeach.