Andy’s club honour

By Zoe McMaugh

When Andy Lostroh finished his football career with the Blighty Football Club more than a decade ago, it lead to a new opportunity for him to become involved in his favourite club.

He switched his attentions to netball, which his daughters Jemma and Sophie started playing for his beloved Redeyes.

Admitting he knew virtually nothing about the sport at the time, Lostroh had to find his feet early when he took on the role of minis coach in that first year.

In the years since, Lostroh has perfected his netball skills and on Saturday his efforts were rewarded when he was made a Blighty Netball Club life members.

"I would go an help at the school with Friday sport when the girls were there, and so I thought it can't be that hard," Lostroh said of taking on coaching from the get-go.

"I learned a fair bit, and away it went.

"I played 374 games of footy for Blighty and I have been on the football committee for about 35 years.

"I then became a netball committee member (on which he has previously held the role of president).

"I was surprised and extremely honoured, because we don;t have a lot of life members in netball."

Lostroh said while the life membership was a surprise, he did get suspicious when he saw both of his daughters - who now play netball in Bendigo where they attend university - in the crowd gathered for the clubrooms opening.

"I saw the girls and then the running sheet, which said there was two presentations, and I thought something was going on."

Lostroh coached the minis from 2009 to 2010, then the under 15s in 2011, the premiership winning under 17s in 2012 and the under 15s in 2013 when they were grand final runners up.

He began umpiring in 2009, attained his C Grade Badge 2010 and B Grade Badge in 2012. He has umpired zone and NSW and Victorian championships.

He is the umpire coordinator and mentor for Blighty, the assistant umpire coordinator for the Picola league and is a current member of the Umpire Mentor Program for Victoria.

Lostroh was president of Blighty Netball Club from 2012 to 2017. In 2017 he joined the board of the Picola District Football Netball League.

He was succeeded as Blighty Netball president by Vicki Ackers who had the honour of presenting Lostroh with his life membership on Saturday.