On Wednesday, September 22, the CSUFC annual general meeting attendees were confined to their homes and listened as the Executive Committee members for 2022 were announced over a Zoom conference.
The announcement came after a second consecutive COVID-affected year for the football club and was consummated with the appointment of a new president; Bachelor of Teaching student James Worthington.
“I’m excited, and yeah, it’s a big responsibility, but I’m looking forward to it,” Worthington said.
The 19-year-old assumed the role during (what is currently) his second year at the club, succeeding longtime club favourite Tom “Muzz” Murray in the leadership position.
“Muzz has left a great path and left the club in a good position,” Worthington said. “Amazingly, he’s done it for the last two years, two COVID-affected years, and he’s mentored me coming into this role.”
Initially from Rainbow Beach, Queensland, Worthington openly expressed his enthusiasm in approaching the position and remains hopeful that the club will not witness a repeat of the COVID restrictions, which heavily interrupted the 2020 and 2021 seasons.
“The plan is just to get back to where we were before it all and look to maybe gain more numbers in the club,” he said. “As I don’t quite know what it looks like to have a completely COVID free year yet, I’m sure everyone is willing to figure it out together.”
In addition to stressing the importance of the club’s financial sustainability next season, Worthington claims that his leadership experience from coaching last season will guide him in his new role.
“Coaching the second-grade ladies was a great experience,” he said. “I guess it taught me how to approach certain situations in a team sense, and I think that I can take those strategies not just leading around a team, but a whole club.”
Setting aside his involvement in the football club, Worthington’s tumultuous first two years at the university have seen him move to Bathurst from his home state and back again following the initial nationwide lockdown early last year. Moving back onto the Bathurst campus a few months later, Worthington switched up his studies from Sports Media to Teaching and now faces an entirely new predicament; the continued closure of the Queensland border, for which he claims has been “not great, but it’s alright.”
“Fingers crossed, I can head home at the end of the year or beginning of next year,” he said. “That’s the plan, but we’ll see how we go. I’ll just keep chugging along in the meantime.”
And chug along he will, as the club stride on towards a hopefully entire playing season in 2022.
“And on the committee, we’re all very excited to see it happen.”