There’s already a close bond between the Portarlington Golf Club and the town’s footy and netball club.

This year, it has become even tighter.

The two clubs have strengthened their financial and social ties, with the golf club one of the Demons’ executive partners.

But taking it more than another step further, three of those in red and blue this weekend for the start of the 2024 BFL season are golf club employees.

And in recruit Stephen Heppel’s case, it’s actually his new job as a bartender at the golf club that has enabled him to become a Demon.

“I’m really grateful the two clubs have such a great relationship because otherwise I couldn’t be here,” said Heppel, a former premiership player for North Launceston in the Tasmanian state league who has made his way to Port via St Albans in the Essendon District Football League.

“I’m pumped to get out there and represent the town … I haven’t been this excited about a footy season for a few years now and there is definitely a real buzz about the town.”

The dynamic greenskeeping duo of Matt Fromholtz and Sam Beeston also feel the support around both clubs.

“It’s always great to have the (golfing) members talk about footy, everyone’s getting a bit excited, I reckon,” Fromholtz said.

“And one of the best things is that we’ve got a lot of young talent as well, coming through from the (premiership) under-18s last year. There’s some real quality from those guys in the three practice games we’ve played, starting in the midfield in the senior squad and dominating.”

Beeston, whose spot in the seniors is potentially in jeopardy given the influx of talent, was equally upbeat regardless of the selectors’ views.

“Change is on its way, you can feel it. We’ve got some good players coming in and we’ve kept a few from the past couple of years, too,” he said.

“It’s just great to have everyone around town talking about it again … and great for the golf club to be part of helping out the way it has.”

Golf club chief executive Michael Phillips said the partnership between the clubs was important for all around town.

“We have a lot of long-term members who would love to see the footy and netball clubs do well, obviously,” he said.

“But I think some people forget how good it would be for the entire town to get behind the club when things start to turn around as we are confident they will very soon.

“If we at the golf club can play our part in making the footy and netball clubs hum along, then it’s a win for the whole Port community.”

2024 03 news golf footy
Sam Beeston, Stephen Heppel and Matt Fromholtz are raring to go on Friday.