The Bond University AFL Club has announced its new President to lead the club into the 2020 season.
John Le Lievre has been appointed as incoming President following the retirement of Professor Barry Burgan from the role.
Mr Le Lievre has witnessed the development of the Club from close range in his position as Vice President of Operations at Bond University.
Since the establishment of the fledgling club in 2011, Mr Le Lievre has been a strong supporter of the Bullsharks, through passionately attending many games and club functions, mentoring several of the student-players and ensuring that infrastructure at the Club has progressed at pace.
The annual award for best Club-person is already named in Mr Le Lievre’s honour, recognising his early involvement in the Club’s development.
Mr Le Lievre said: “It is a privilege to be appointed to this position. The development of the AFL Club is something of which I am immensely proud.
“From humble beginnings as a single team competing in a low division, the Club has rapidly emerged as a significant force in suburban football in southeast Queensland.
“The culture -- which is embedded in strong values, celebration of individuals within the ethos of team first, and the thirst for sustained success -- is something I look forward to contributing to.”
Mr Le Lievre replaces Professor Burgan who has steered the Club for the past two seasons.
Senior Men’s Coach Sam Whish-Wilson paid tribute to Professor Burgan’s legacy.
“Barry has overseen a period of immense growth and success,” Mr Whish-Wilson said.
“During his tenure, the Club’s infrastructure development has included new change rooms, the construction of a clubhouse, new coaches boxes for game day, and a ground improvement program. These initiatives have contributed to our on-field success.”
Last season, the Bullsharks added two premiership flags to their impressive record of five flags in their first nine years. All four teams across both men and women’s competitions made the finals.
Professor Burgan, who has been involved in club football for several decades, mainly in South Australia, reflected on his time at the helm.
“The Bond AFL Club has a great culture and is well positioned to continue its push forward to be recognised as the premier community AFL club on the Gold Coast,” he said.
“I have really enjoyed my time with the teams and assisting with off-field support. I will maintain a strong interest and forever support the Bullsharks.”
The incoming President, Mr Le Lievre, also has a strong record of involvement in the game through his many years growing up around country football in central Victoria and offered the final word on Professor Burgan’s contribution.
“Barry recognised that on-field success is created by off-field support and harmony,” Mr Le Lievre said.
“His leadership has been integral to steering the ship and I confidently say that the players, coaching staff, supporters and University acknowledge his efforts and dedication. I aim to follow his lead.”