Reserve Grade 2011 - The Originals
Reserve Grade 2011 – The Originals

The club was founded in 2011 and is identifiable by our striking, chique orange uniform and also as the only club that fields females in the otherwise all male NSW Churches Football Association. While little deliberate energy was devoted to the purpose and direction of team in our first year, we have always been a club that prayed and sought to honour God in the way that we played.

In 2011, the club fielded one team in the reserve grade of the “South” part of the NSWCA competition. The team was an astonishing mix of players, featuring some that had played representative football and others such as Jack Buster, who, having only even competed in equestrian, was playing his first season of ball sports. Despite player attendance at games fluctuating more than a weather vane in a hurricane,  the 2011 reserve grade side tackled the season with pizzazz and an incredible amount of heart. They set the culture that was to become the hallmark of Barneys F.C. sides: playing tough, determined, but fair football, and enjoying football as a gift of God regardless of the result.

In 2012, due to rising interest levels, St. Barnabas F.C. fielded both a First and Reserve Grade side.

After Aleisa Jelbart and Naomi Smith had blazed the trail for the girls in 2011, the numbers of female players swelled in 2012, with Fiona Copeman, Lauren Jones, Jess Cowell, and Toby Knights all sighing on. These ladies proved throughout the season that they were not to be trifled with, leaving many supposedly faster and stronger male players sprawled in the dirt as they ran off with the ball. Aleisa also scored the first goal by a female in the history of the NSWCFA.

Our first grade side experienced an up and down ride in its first season. Given that it was brought together quickly (with a mix of players from St. Barnabas Church, St. Andrew’s College, St. Stephens’s Newtown and a token South American import-Juan), and that that we stopped training 3 weeks into the season, the side did remarkably well.

The season was perhaps marked most strongly by the astonishing number of injuries which befell the club, which meant that in spite of having 42 players on the books, we frequently struggled to field a fresh 11 in each grade. Despite the best efforts of the players, both teams fell agonizingly short of the finals.

2013 saw the club really shine. The year began with a large influx of raw enthusiasm and energy as more than 25 new players joined the orange and black. Perhaps the most revolutionary move, aside from the purchase of slick Nike kits, was the booking of a field for a once a week training session. This ran throughout the season under the expert tutelage of Tom Sowden, a regular member of St. Barnabas Church who had recently ‘retired’ from semi professional football at the age of 25.

Reserve grade had a fantastic season, both on and off the field, and finished just one game away from the semi-finals.

First Grade, under the guidance of senior players such as Tom Sowden and Cameron Patrick, managed to win both the Minor Premiership and the Grand Final, and along the way embarrass more than a few highly rated sides in the association knockout competition.

In another first for the club, a team from St Barnabas F.C. took out the annual NSWCFA 6-a-side Men’s Competition, and a composite team of players from St. Barnabas Church and Wesley College,  finished runners up in the female 6-a-side competition. The gala day on which these competitions were hosted was an undoubtedly orange affair, with no less than 5 teams representing the Flames across both the men’s and women’s competitions.